Saturday, August 06, 2022

SASSA in Khayelitsha resumes services

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in Khayelitsha have resumed services after being closed for nearly a month.

There was a temporary service interruption as the agency had to seek alternate premises in the area. SASSA does not own any sites in Khayelitsha. Accommodation space is shared with the Provincial Department of Social Development.

‘’During the second phase of quarter of 2021, SASSA was informed of maintenance to the shared site, however time lines were never confirmed. SASSA then began the process of seeking alternate sites in Khayelitsha by engaging the City of Cape Town,’’ said Shivani Wahab, Senior Manager: Communications.        

Wahab said SASSA had many sites that were identified as non-compliant in respect of Occupational Health & Safety. The City of Cape Town then assisted SASSA to secure a site at the Khulani Resource Centre.

‘’During the service interruption in Khayelitsha, a contingency plan was implemented to ensure business continuity. Staff from the Khayelitsha Office were redeployed to other sites in the Metro. A priority queue specifically for all clients from Khayelitsha was also established at these sites.’’

The agency says additional service sites are on the cards to assist in dealing with a possible backlog.

‘’SASSA services at the Khulani Resource Centre are fully operational from 03 August 2022. SASSA is in the process of securing additional sites in Khayelitsha, to extend services to the community. Details for these additional sites will be made available in due course.’’

‘’SASSA apologises to clients for any inconvenience. We remain committed to fulfil our constitutional mandate , to serve the most vulnerable, in a secure environment,’’ added Wahab.

 

PICTURE: SASSA


Done By: Mitchum George

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No evidence found against GBV, sexual harassment during EFF's removal from Parliament

An independent investigation appointed by National Assembly speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has found that there was no sexual harassment against parliamentary protection service officers when Economic Freedom Fighters MPs were forcibly removed from chambers on successive days after they disrupted President Cyril Ramaphosa's budget vote in June.

The complaint was laid by EFF chief whip, Floyd Shivambu against the Parliamentary Protection Services, who the party’s female MPs claim sexually harassed them.

Investigation led by advocate Elizabeth Baloyi-Mere found that the removal of the disruptive Members by PPS was characterised by violence on both sides.

‘’The MPs refused to comply with the instructions of the Speaker or ignored the Speaker when it was clear from the rules of the National Assembly that when Members arerequested to leave the Chamber they should do so consistent with the conduct expected of them as per their titles of ‘honourable Members’,’’ said Parliament Spokesperson, Moloto mathapo.

‘’The report also found that the Speaker endeavoured to comply with each and every rule before she could call forMembers to be removed out of the Chamber.  The investigation indicates that Members' attitude to the Rules, not the Rules, seemed to be a problem. Adv Baloyi-Mere recommended that the Speaker holds a meeting with all the Chief Whips to ensure that all public representativescomply with, and abides by the Rules of Parliament,’’ he added.

The report also recommended that during any given sitting of Parliament, there should be adequate number of female PPS personnel present, even though they might be other committees that conduct oversight work outside Parliament also requiring their services.

‘’This is based on the investigator's observation that, during the scuffle, there was no adequate capacity from the female component of thePPS members to effectively handle the removal of EFF female MPs.  The investigator observed that female PPS members were clearly overpowered by female members of the EFF,’’ said Mathapo.

‘’Furthermore, the report recommended that MPs accord respect to the PPS personnel. This is in light of the serous claims made during the investigation, which were also corroborated by the video footage, relating to abuse, threats and attacks PPS members often suffer from MPs. The independent investigator lamented the disgraceful conduct by some Members of undermining the authority of the PPS personnel and treating them with disrespect and disdain as shown in some of the video footage,’’ he added.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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Independent panel of experts to probe Ramaphosa's Phala Phala farm saga

A request by the African Transformation Movement’s (ATM) for Parliament to set up an inquiry into the Phala Phala saga will be referred to an independent panel.

This was confirmed by National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Friday.

The ATM submitted a proposed motion to Mapisa-Nqakula in June, requesting an enquiry into the removal of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Speaker had initially declined the Motion as it was not compliant with the applicable Rules of the National Assembly.  Following engagements with the Member, to ensure compliance of the motion with the Rules, an amended version of the motion was submitted in July 2022. 

The President is facing allegations of money laundering, among others, related to the theft of a large amount of foreign currency at his Phala Phala farm in 2020. 

The panel will now decide if Ramaphosa has a case to answer.

"The function of the independent panel is to conduct a preliminary assessment of the proposed motion, and in so doing, must in terms of Rule 129G, make a recommendation to the Speaker within 30 days, whether sufficient evidence exists to show the president committed any of the violations specified in the motion,” says Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo. 

“A panel referral therefore does not constitute a parliamentary impeachment process, but an assessment of the supplied evidence by legal and constitutional experts to determine if, in terms of the Constitution, it is adequate to warrant a further process,” he added.

Mothapo said the Speaker will request all political parties represented in the NA to nominate, on or before 16h00 on Wednesday 1 September 2022, candidates to serve on the Panel.

‘’Each nomination must be in writing and must include the full names of the nominees and a motivation focusing particularly on the requirements of the applicable Rules,’’ he added.

 

PICTURE - @PresidencyZA: President Cyril Ramaphosa

Done By: Mitchum George

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Load shedding to continue over the weekend

Eskom has announced that Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented this weekend, but only between 4p.m and midnight

The ailing parastatal said this is due to the continued shortage of generation capacity.

Eskom spokesperson, Sikonathi Manthanthsa says the rolling power cuts will assist in recovering emergency generation reserves, which, he added, have been utilised extensively, to meet demand over the last few days.

‘’The capacity constraints have been exacerbated by the delay in returning a generation unit to service each at Koeberg, Kusile and Tutuka power stations, as well as the unplanned breakdowns of a generation unit each at Camden and Medupi, two at Hendrina and four units at Arnot power stations. Some generation units are anticipated to return to service over the next few days.’’

Meanwhile, the city of Cape Town said that its customers won’t be affected by the rolling power cuts this weekend, depending on Eskom’s updates.

 

PICTURE: Pixabay

Done By: Mitchum George

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Friday, August 05, 2022

CoCT urges residents to boil tap water

The City of Cape Town urged residents to boil their tap water before drinking it or using it for food preparation and cooking, until further notice.

In a statement, the municipality said that water in the distribution system is currently discoloured over parts of the eastern, central and southern suburbs. The affected areas are primarily south of the N2 reaching from Strand in the East through Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Philippi to Plumstead and down into the Southern suburbs as far as about Muizenburg.

‘’The fault is due to a process control fault at the Faure Water Treatment Plant, which is the result of cumulative effects of recent phases of load-shedding, which caused limited operational hours of the sludge handling process. This part of the treatment process cannot be augmented by generator capacity due to high energy demand.’’

‘’The continued sporadic bouts of load-shedding have a detrimental effect on the City’s operations. This is why we are pushing with such urgency to reduce our reliance on Eskom, lower the cost of electricity, and end load-shedding in Cape Town,’’ it added.

The City said that supply from the Faure water treatment plant has been stopped, and the affected areas of the network are being fed water from Blackheath Reservoir.

 ‘’The City is working on resolving the problem as soon as possible, and would like to apologise for any inconvenience. The situation is anticipated to normalise the water quality in this part of the supply network, over the next few days.’’

 

Residents should do one of the following, until further notice:

·        Boil the water for at least one minute, allow it to cool down and store it in clean, sanitised and sealed containers. Or,

·        Use household bleach (like Jik) to disinfect water. The World Health Organisation recommends adding 5 millilitres (1 teaspoon) of unperfumed household bleach to 25 litres of water. Let the water stand for at least 30 minutes before using it. Or,

·        Use water disinfection tablets. Follow the instructions prescribed by the respective manufacturers to ensure the safety of the water for drinking purposes.

 

The City said it is investigating the matter, and residents should keep an eye out on the municipalities social media pages for regular updates

 

The affected suburbs are (in alphabetical order): Admirals Park, Airport, Anchorage Park, Antilles/ Cayman Beach, Barnet Molokwana Corner, Beacon Valley, Bell Glen, Bongani, Brandwacht, Broadlands, Broadlands ark, Broadlands Village, Chris Hani park, Colorado Park, Crossroads, Corydon Olive Estate, De Velde, Deaconville, Deepfreeze, Diep River, Dobson, Dreamworld, Driftsands, Eagle Park, Eastridge, Ekhuphumleni, Elfindale, Endlovini, Enkanini, Eyethu, Fairview Golf Estate, False Bay Coastal Park, Firgrove, Firgrove rural, Forest Village, George Park, Goedehoop, Good Hope, Gordon Heights, Gordon’s Bay, Gordon’s Bay Ext 12, Gordon’s Bay Village, Gordon’s Strand Estate, Graceland, Grassy Park, Greenways, Gugulethu, Hanover Park, Harare, Harbour Island, Harmony Village, Heartland, Beach Road Precinct, Heartland Historic Precinct, Heathfield, Helderberg Park, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Ikwezi Park, Ilitha Park, Khaya, Khayalitsha, Kuyasa, Lakeside, Lansdowne, Lavender Hill, Lentegeur, Lotus River, Macassar, Macassar Beach, Macassar Village, Mall Interchange, Mandela Park, Manenberg, Mitchells Plain CBD, Monwabisi, Morgans Village, Mountainside, Mountainside Estate, Mountainside Ext 2, Muizenberg, Mxolosi Phetani, New Macassar, New Scheme, New Woodlands, Newfields, Nonqubela, Nyanga, Onverwacht – Gordons Bay, Onverwacht – The Strand, Ottery, Parkwood, Peaock Close, Pelikan Heights, Pelikan Park, Philippi, Philippi Park, Pinati Estate, Plumbstead, Portland, Protea Park – Gordon’s Bay, Retreat, Riverside, Rocklands, Rondevlei Park, Sabata Dalindyebo Square, Sand Industria, Sandvlei, Sea Breeze Park, Seawinds, Sercor Park, Silvertown – Khayelitsha, Sitari Country Estate, Smartie Town, Southfield, Southfork, St James, Steenberg, Strand, Strand Golf Club, Strandfontein, Tafelsig, Temporance Town, Thembokwezi, Twin Palms, Umrhabulo Triangle, Victoria Mxenge, Vrygrond, Weltevreden Valley, Westgage, Westridge- Mitchells Plain, Wetton, Wildwood, Wolfgat Nature Reserve, Woodlands and Zeekoevlei.

 

SUPPLIED: City of Cape Town

Done By: Mitchum George

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Three arrested for R400m cocaine in Cape Winelands

The Hawks together with Crime Intelligence and Western Cape’s mobility department have arrested three men who were in possession of a large consignment of cocaine with an estimated value of more than R400 million.

SUPPLIED: HAWKS


Hawks Spokesperson, Zinzi Hani said the team followed up on information about a truck, suspected to be transporting drugs on Thursday.

SUPPLIED: HAWKS


‘’An operation was organised on the N1 freeway and the truck was spotted at Winelands Engen garage travelling towards Cape Town. The vehicle was intercepted and a search was conducted wherein a large quantity of drugs was found hidden in false wooden boards at the back of the truck.’’

SUPPLIED: HAWKS


The three men, aged 39, 42 and 47 will appear in the Athlone Magistrate on Monday.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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Wednesday, August 03, 2022

WC traffic officers nabs suspects for drugs

The Western Cape’s Mobility MEC, Daylin Mitchell, has commended traffic officers to stop Western Cape roads from being used to transport illegal drugs.

A man was arrested on Sunday after officers found 188 parcels of dagga worth R10 000 in the vehicle along the R406 near Genadendal. In another incident, a provincial traffic officer stopped and searched a vehicle between Sir Lowry’s Pass and Grabouw. The driver was under the influence of alcohol and the officer found a bag of Mandrax in the vehicle. All three occupants were arrested. In a third incident, two people were arrested at a roadblock at Somerset West for possession of 32 units of cocaine. 

‘’I commend the officers for their continued efforts to stop Western Cape roads from being used to transport illegal drugs. Their efforts ensure that drugs are seized before they get to our communities and harm families,’’ said Western Cape’s Mobility MEC, Daylin Mitchell.

Furthermore, traffic officers arrested 67 suspects this past week. The bulk of these, 45, were for driving under the influence of alcohol.

27 people lost their lives whilst being on the province’s roads this past week. Of these, 18 were pedestrians, 4 were passengers, 3 drivers, and 2 were motorcyclists

‘’Speeding dramatically increases the chances of a crash, because the faster you drive, the less time you will have to react to emergencies. The Department requests drivers to reduce their speed when roads are wet and visibility is poor, because it will take longer to stop,’’ said Mitchell. 

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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Results of May/June 2022 NSC and Senior Certificate released

The results of the May/June 2022 National Senior Certificate (NSC) and Senior Certificate (SC) were released on Wednesday. 

12 755 candidates wrote the NSC examinations in the Western Cape, while a further 4 538 candidates wrote the SC examinations in the Province.

Western Cape’s Education MEC David Maynier, congratulated candidates on the release of the results

“We warmly congratulate all candidates who passed the May/June NSC and SC! And for those who were aiming to improve their results, but did not achieve their goal this time, please do not give up – there is another opportunity to try later this year, for the NSC, and next year for the SC, and we encourage you to take that up.”

Students who are unhappy about their marks are encouraged to apply for a re-mark, a recheck or a viewing of their scripts. The closing date for applications for re-marking, rechecking and viewing of scripts is Wednesday, 17 August 2022.

‘’The WCED ensures that quality markers are appointed and trained extensively, and that rigorous moderation and checking is conducted by marking management teams and external bodies,’’ said MEC Maynier.

 

The fees for the above are as follows:

• Re-mark – R110 per subject

• Recheck – R27 per subject

• Viewing of scripts – R212 per subject

 

A refund will be given if the candidate is, as a result of the re-marking process, awarded marks that improves their result by at least one level or if a candidate passes the subject, which he/she initially failed. 

 Maynier encouraged students who did not succeed in improving their NSC results to not give up

‘’For those candidates– there is another opportunity later this year to do so. Candidates who wish to apply for the 2022 NSC examinations need to do so by Tuesday, 16 August 2022. Only NSC candidates who entered and/or wrote the May/June 2022 examinations qualify to register for the November 2022 NSC examinations. Registration forms have been issued to schools.’’

Candidates can collect their official Statement of Results from their writing centres today. They can also search for their individual results on the WCED website: https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/exams

To gain access, candidates must use their surname and identity number. Candidates can also call the examination helpline on 0861 819 919 for assistance with result-related queries. 

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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Eskom implements Stage 2 load shedding

Eskom has announced that Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 4p.m on Wednesday until midnight, due to a shortage of generation capacity.

Eskom spokesperson, Sikonathi Manthantsha says Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented at the same times tomorrow

‘’The delay in returning a generation unit to service each at Arnot, Koeberg and the Kusile power stations, as well as the unplanned outage of a generation unit each at Camden, Medupi and two units each at Grootvlei, Hendrina and Majuba power stations, have exacerbated the capacity constraints. Some generation units are anticipated to return to service over the next few days.’’

‘’We currently have 2 931MW on planned maintenance, while another 15 051MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.’’

Eskom has urged consumers to use electricity sparingly.

‘’Eskom would like to remind the public that loadshedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid. We therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly especially during these uncertain times on the power system.’’

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town its customers will load shed on Stage 1 between 17:00 - 19:00

 

PICTURE: Pixabay

Done By: Mitchum George

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Western Cape Premier says COSATU strike is 'misguided'

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has lamented COSATU's planned strike for Thursday, describing it as misguided.

COSATU in the Western Cape, alongside its affiliates, is set to march to the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, and Parliament on Thursday regarding violent crimes in the province as well as the exorbitant fuel prices.

Winde says the strike is not the solution.

“It is safe to say all law-abiding Western Cape residents, including the government, are fed up with high crime rates and are tired of living in fear, but staging a protest and strike to draw attention to this issue is not the way to go,” lamented the Premier.

“This demonstration comes at a time when we need to buckle down to jumpstart the economy and create jobs after the Covid-19 State of Disaster. This action, however, is counter-productive as it will likely prevent hard-working citizens from getting to work on the day and will most certainly scupper the earnings of those taking part.”

The Premier said he invited Cosatu to meet with him to discuss a way forward on taking the unions demands to National Government.

“[We need to take] the grievances of the labour federation, as well as the millions of Western Cape citizens, to the doorstep of the National Government, specifically the President and Police Ministry, which sits in Pretoria, not the Western Cape.”

“We should rather seek to engage the President and Police Minister Bheki Cele together, to constructively raise our concerns and put solutions on the table.”

Speaking to Bush Radio on Tuesday, COSATU's secretary-general, Malvern de Bruyn, says the union has not received any communication from the Premier's office.

“It is sad that he (Premier Alan Winde) said we must meet them to discuss the issues, but we have been trying for the last 2 years to arrange a meeting with the Premier. I have sent numerous letters to the office to the Premier. Now you want to be the hypocrite and tell the media that COSATU can discuss the matter. The door was always open and is still open. Please send a formal communication and we will respond as COSATU and give a date to meet. We want partnership in this province. They must stop seeing COSATU as an enemy. We can jointly deal with issues affecting the working class.”

De Bruyn says taxi associations like CATA & CODETA will engage with the union on Wednesday regarding Thursday’s strike. De Bruyn says until then, he cannot respond whether public transport will be operating.

Premier Alan Winde has called on COSATU to join his office in finding solution.

“The WCG is going all-out to push for the devolution of the police service,” stressed the Premier, adding, “we have the political will and constitutional basis on our side to do this. I am sure Cosatu shares our goal of seeking real solutions to crime and should then join us in this call.”

 Members are set to march to the three spheres of government buildings on Thursday, whereby they will hand over a memorandum in which they have 14 days to respond.

 

PICTURED: Malvern de Bruyn, COSATU Secretary-General

Done By: Mitchum George

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Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Eskom warns of possible load shedding at short notice

Eskom has warned that it might have to implement Stage 2 load shedding at short notice.

In a statement, the ailing parastatal said that Stage 2 load shedding might be implemented between 16:00 - 00:00 over the next three days, following a shortage of generation capacity.

‘’The delay in returning a generation unit to service each at Arnot, Kusile and the Koeberg power stations, as well as the failure of a generation unit each at Medupi, Hendrina, Camden and two units at Majuba Power Station, have exacerbated the capacity constraints. Some generation units at other power stations are expected to return to service over the next few days.’’

‘’However, should there be any further loss of generation capacity over the next three days, or should some units fail to return to service as anticipated, loadshedding may be required to be implemented at short notice,’’ said spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

Eskom has urged consumers to use electricity sparingly.

‘’Eskom would like to remind the public that loadshedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid. We therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly especially during these uncertain times on the power system.’’

 

PICTURE: Pixabay

Done By: Mitchum George

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Man accused of stealing R200k SASSA money in Bishop Lavis to appear in court

A 36-year-old man is expected to appear in the Bishop Lavis Magistrates Court on Tuesday for theft, fraud, perjury and forger at Lavis Town Post office.

The suspect, who was nabbed by the Western Cape’s Commercial Crime Investigation Unit (Banking and Electronic Group), worked at the post office and managed the day to day administrative duties. Its alleged that he stole R200 000 of SASSA funds in May, which had not been collected by the approved recipients.

“[The money] was to be returned to the Post Office Bank account and to be collected by the relevant Private Security Company. During the normal course of business, he would be required to complete the relevant deposit slip, a collection slip by the private security company and endorse this in the relevant register of the post office to indicate the banking of the uncollected funds. It is alleged that the suspect, then made forged entries into these registers, indicating that the funds were indeed collected by the security company and deposited into the post office bank account whereas this was not done,” said Captain FC van Wyk.

Van Wyk says the matter was referred to the Western Cape's Commercial Crime Investigation Unit, who interviewed witnesses resulting in a prima face case. Furthermore, investigators also discovered that the suspect was involved in a similar case, involving approximately R500 000.

Western Cape police are probing the matter.

 

PICTURE: SA Post Office

Done By: Mitchum George

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All systems go for Thursday's strike, says COSATU

The Congress of South Africa Trade Union (COSATU) in the Western Cape, along with its affiliates, says its all systems go for Thursday's strike against violent crime in the province as well as the high fuel price in the country.

The union held its shop steward council meeting on Saturday, whereby 400 people attended the gathering in preparation for the 4th of August.

COSATU's provincial chairperson, Motlatsi Tsubane says they received positive feedback from members.

“In our council we concentrated on the readiness of affiliates for the march set to take place on the 4th of August, where we received a very positive response from the structures. We are also very bust engaging other stakeholders whom we want to be part of our march on 4 August. We have the South African Communist Party on board, who will be assisting; we also have our communities and other community structures.”

“We are ready for the 4th of August. The council today [Saturday] was a very successful council. That [The shop stewards council meeting] is always the platform  we are using in terms of reflecting on issues as workers,” added Tsubane.

COSATU's Secretary-General, Malvern De Bruyn says close to 10 000 people will attend Thursday’s strike.

“As COSATU, we are quite confident in the numbers. We had close to 400 people attending the council meeting and this is an indication of the readiness of COSATU. Our intention is to bring Cape Town to a standstill on Thursday because workers are angry. The march will be a success. We expect close to 10 000 people to march against the current crisis in our country.”

“We will march against the high fuel prices in the country, although the Section 77 talks about violent crimes, we have included the fuel hike as well,” he added.

De Bruyn says government needs to do more to eradicate crime in the province.

“We are telling government they must come to the party. They must really review the high petroleum prices, because workers are mostly affected by this. It is the poorest of the poor that’s affected.”.

The Secretary-General outlined the plan for the day.

“Members will start to gather in Hanover Street, Cape Town, from 8a.m. We will then march from 9a.m to the City of Cape town offices to hand over a memorandum to officials. We will then march to the Provincial Legislature where we will hand over a memorandum to the Police Oversight & Community Safety MEC, Reagen Allen and Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde. We will then proceed to Parliament to hand over the memorandum to the Speaker and we would love the police minister to be there, as well. We expect to disburse by 3p.m. We are confident and civil society will join is in their numbers,” said COSATU's Secretary-General, Malvern De Bruyn.

De Bruyn says the strike on Thursday is to bring Cape Town to a standstill, as government let them no choice but to down tool, as it’s the only option, says De Bruyn, in order for action to be taken.

“The intention is not to harm the economy, but that is the only tool we have as workers, to show our anger and frustration.”

The Communications Worker’s Union's (CWU) provincial secretary, Wayne Bredenkamp says government needs better interventions to combat crime.

“The issue of crime goes beyond our workplace. It infects and affects our families as well. Government needs to come to the party. They are failing to bring the crime rate down, but they are also adding to it, because if you look at the increase at patrol – it brings a new dimension of crime as it’s a criminal element whereby they are targeting people's car by siphoning patrol out of their tanks.”

“Government is creating an environment for crimes to increase in different forms. They are not just failing the workers, but the workers' families as well. We find that because workers are struggling to engage with employers for an increase in salaries they try and get things to prevent crime from home,” added Bredenkamp.

The provincial secretary echoed COSATU's Malvern Dr Bruyn's sentiments saying the aim of the day is not to harm the economy.

“We do not want to harm the economy, we just want government to put measures in place that will assist and help us - Not just as workers,but the ordinary person on the street as well.”

“We mobilized our members and the feedback we received is that it definitely affects them and their families and one thing they are willing to loose is a day’s salary in this. We are in support for our federation,” he added.

CWU's provincial chairman, Riedewaan Vermuelen described crime as a business.

“Crime has always been there, but not as bad as it is now. Crime is like a business – at prisons, gangsterism runs the prison cells and the outside gang is in colloboration with those inside. Without crime, you do not need police prisons, lawyers, judges, etc.”

“As workers we looked at where is the Crime and it is mostly infront of our doorstep. You leave in fear not knowing whether you will return, added Vermuelen.

He says the main cause for crime is unemployment as many resort to other source of income, albeit illegally.

“Our duties as workers is try and push government to hear our plea, because our children don’t make it to matric, they get killed on the sports round, in the school, in their own backyard. We need to establish ourselves.”

COSATU says the City of Cape Town, Provincial Government and Parliament has 14 days to respond to their list of demands.

 

PICTURE: Mitchum George - From left: Riedewaan Vermeulen (CWU Provincial chairman); Malvern De Bruyn (COSATU Secretary-General); Wayne Bredenkamp (CWU provincial secretary); Motlatsi Tsubane (COSATU provincial chairperson)

Done By: Mitchum George

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Monday, August 01, 2022

Western Cape MEC concerned over decrease in dam levels

Western Cape’s Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell has raised concern over the a relative dry start to the rain season in the province. Statistics from the  Department of Water and Sanitation reveal that dam levels are substantially lower than the same time last year

Currently, Western Cape dam levels are 63.6% full, compared to 76.6% a year ago.

Dams supplying the City of Cape Town which includes Wemmershoek, Voëlvlei, Steenbras Upper and Lower, Theewaterskloof and Berg River Dams, are currently at a combined level of 75.42%. At the same time last year, dams in the metro were at 97.53%. According to data from the City of Cape Town, daily water uses for the City as measured on the 25th of July stood at 768 million liter per day.

According to a Provincial Disaster Management Report to the Western Cape Cabinet, below normal rainfall and unseasonably warm temperatures were experienced during the first half of the Western Cape’s traditional rainfall season. The report suggests that below-normal rainfall may lead to water scarcity in the Province should the conditions persist throughout the winter rainfall season. The Western Cape’s traditional rain season is from May to August.

“In the absence of prolonged and widespread rain, our only available strategy is to use less water and allow the rain that we do get to fill up our dams as much as possible,” Bredell said.

Bredell said municipalities must ensure that leaks from storage dams and water distribution networks are kept to an absolute minimum, as this can also contribute to saving water. He added the role of alien plant infestation in catchment areas should also not be underestimated in our strategies to be more water secure in the Western Cape.

“The Greater Cape Town Water Fund, run initially by The Nature Conservancy, calculated that water lost to the Western Cape through invasive alien infestation amounts to 55 billion litres per year. Alien clearing programmes are essential to our future water security in the Province,” Bredell said.

According to the South African Weather Services, predictions for the next few months indicate a strong likelihood for continued below-normal rainfall, although the possibility of a few strong cold fronts cannot be excluded.

Bredell said The Department of Water and Sanitation, in consultation with the Western Cape Government will assess water availability at the end of October to decide if water restrictions will be implemented for the following year.

 

PICTURE: Pixabay

Done by: Mitchum George

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City's officials warned against fake event permit

City of Cape town’s law enforcements officials warned that fake event permit holders will be charged with fraud.

The City's Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security Alderman JP Smith said that the City Events Permit Office has recently been made aware of incidents in which event organisers have been found in possession of fraudulent event permits. This is after the perpetrators were allegedly found with an old letter hold, the office found that no application was ever submitted for those events.

Smith said that the South African Police Service will also be working to ensure cases are registered against the alleged perpetrators.

'We would also like to plea with event patrons to be diligent when buying tickets for events. It is important for event goers to enquire about the legal compliance or whether the event organiser/venue owners are in possession of a proper event permit. Illegal events endanger the lives of patrons as a result of the lack of proper planning, security and crowd management, to name but a few. Officials from the events office are available to assist in verifying the legality of advertised events,' said Alderman Smith.


by Everngelista Muza

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Three people arrested for the allegedly gunning down eight people in Gugulethu

Police arrested three suspects believed to have shot and killed eight people in Gugulethu last year.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said that the investigation began after five people were shot dead at a traditional cleansing ceremony in NY 79 in Gugulethu on July 23, 2021, while three others were shot and wounded.

The alleged perpetrators Thabo Dyasi, Sivuyile Matoti and Lundi Zweni, known to be from Philippi East and Gugulethu, made a brief appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court. Their cases were postponed until Tuesday for bail applications. They remain in custody.

Last month, investigating officers finally managed to track down the suspects, arresting two of them on July 20 and the third suspect on July 27 through a tracing operation.

“The determination of the investigators in solving the case and bringing the perpetrators to book is commended by the Western Cape SAPS management as part of ongoing efforts to root out criminality in local communities,” Potelwa said.


by Everngelista Muza

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four suspects were caught red-handed stealing diesel from a truck

 Four suspects were caught stealing diesel from a truck in Parow in the early hours of this morning. City Traffic Officers said that they are among at least 213 suspects arrested by the City’s Traffic and Law Enforcement Departments in the past week

The mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith said that the suspects were caught red handed, while the truck driver was asleep in the vehicle. He said the suspects had siphoned off approximately 125 litres of diesel by the time traffic officers arrived.

SUPPLIED: CoCT


Police confiscated a large number of drums and pipes used to extract diesel and the suspects vehicle with no number plate, was impounded. The suspects, aged from 26 to 39, were arrested and taken to Parow police station where they are being held.

SUPPLIED: CoCT

'While the "fill up and dash" phenomenon is not new, this type of incident is something else, and was an incredibly opportunistic and dangerous thing to do. Even if the suspects had gotten away, travelling with large amounts of fuel in makeshift containers would have been very risky. While it's difficult to speculate on the motive, it's likely that the cost of fuel was a factor. Mercifully, the truck driver wasn't hurt. In light of this incident, we call on the trucking industry, but motorists in general, to please be alert at all times,' said Smith.


by Everngelista Muza

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Friday, July 29, 2022

Body of an unknown man discovered near to Monwabisi beach

Harare police are seeking the assistance of the public to identify the body of an unknown man discovered near to Monwabisi beach.

The police’s Joseph Swartbooi said officers attended a complaint on Tuesday and discovered a naked body on the beach.

‘’Upon arrival near to Monwabisi beach at around 15:30, they discovered the naked body of a man aged between 20 and 30. The victim was declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel. Harare police registered an inquest for further investigation. A post mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death,’’ said Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi.

Anyone who has reason to believe that a family member is missing, is kindly requested to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

 

Done by: Mitchum George

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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Convicted Killer Ntuthuko Shoba`s Lawyer`s ask for a Reduced Sentence

Ntuthuko Shoba`s lawyers argued to get him a reduced sentence.

 source: miningmx


Shoba has been convicted for masterminding the murder of his pregnant girlfriend. Earlier this year, he was found guilty of premeditated murder for ordering a hit on 28-year-old Pule, who was eight months pregnant in 2020.

Shoba appeared in the Johannesburg High Court for sentencing proceedings on Thursday. One of the perpetrators who was hired by Shoba to kill his girlfriend managed to overturn state witnesses and was given a reduced sentence of 20 years in prison.

Advocate Norman Makhubela argued that since the two men acted together, they should be given a similar sentence, but the State prosecutor Faghre Mohammed give a number of arguments why the two perpetrators should be treated differently.

The Acting Judge Stuart Wilson postponed the trail until Friday when he will hand down the length of the sentence.


By Lulama Klassen

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Concerns raised over SASSA's inability to secure office space

 Western Cape Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez has raised concerns over South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) inability to secure proper office space.

She wrote to the National Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu in regards to her concerns. Fernandez said that the province’s SASSA is currently rendering services in Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Eerste River service centres-buildings owned and used by the Western Cape Government.

Fernandez further stated that the recent developments at their Khayelitsha shared services office have resulted in numerous aggrieved SASSA clients contacting DSD offices and threatening staff members.

“Even though SASSA is a national entity and not under the jurisdiction of the Western Cape Government, we wish to stress the importance of cooperation in an effort to find solutions to resolve the plight of the most vulnerable in our province” said Fernandez.


image: Ilastha

by Everngelista Muza


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Police looking for women who paid someone else to receive the COVID-19 vaccination on her behalf

 Western Cape police arrested three suspects on fraud charges on Wednesday. This is after the Provincial Commercial Crime Unit had received a tip off on suspicious individuals in relation to the vaccination for the COVID-19 epidemic.

Colonel Andrè Traut said that a 51-year-old female suspect from Claremont paid R3000 to a 33 year old woman and a 43 year old man to arrange someone to receive the COVID-19 vaccination on her behalf, so that she can obtain the vaccination certificate which was required for travelling purposes.

A 51 year old year old suspect was arrested after he received the vaccination on the Government’s account, The other two suspects who assisted to arrange the recipient of vaccination were also arrested meanwhile the main reciprocate is still being sought

“This suspect is still being sought but we believe that her arrest is imminent” said Traut.





by Everngelista Muza

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Explosive device discovered on Macassar Beach

The Western Cape police’s explosives unit is investigating an incident in which a resident of Macassar found an “explosive device” on the beach.

A resident discovered an explosive device on Macassar Beach. The woman shared a picture of the device she allegedly discovered on Macassar Beach on a Facebook group dedicated to the areas of Strand, Gordon’s Bay, Somerset West and Stellenbosch on Monday. She asked on her post if anyone knew what it was, as she had dug it up on the beach. She also stated that there were names printed on it in black but she could not see [what is stated.].  She eventually contacted South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Explosives Unit who came out to assess the item and eventually took it away.

Ward councillor, Peter Helfrich, said concerned residents reached out to him for assistance.

“When I initially heard about the matter I contacted the senior management of the RDM to ask them to provide me with formal feedback. I received a speedy response from them stating that their experts have closely studied the photographs of the ammunition which was found on Macassar beach and is being shared on social media. They informed me that they can with absolute certainty confirm that the item is not an RDM product. They stated that they do not make, nor have they ever made this particular item”.

“In their response to me, they also confirmed that the item is an old teargas grenade which was made to be fired from a rifle. According to them, it was on the beach because these types of items were historically tested in wide open spaces like beaches. They also confirm that their experts are available to assist in any way possible should SAPS require additional information,’’ he added.

 

PICTURED - Esmarie Fourie: Explosive device discovered at Macassar beach

Done By: Mitchum George

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Man kill 6 year old child in revenge killing

33-year-old man handed himself over to police after he allegedly strangled a six year old child to death, in Swartkops, Gqeberha

Police believe the murder accused is the child’s mother's ex-boyfriend, who strangled the child in revenge killing.

Police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that the body of Thabang Klaas was found on Monday on a footpath in the bushes between Mathys Grounds and Wells Estate in Swartkops. This is just hours after the perpetrator had handed himself over in connection with the murder.

“According to police information, the suspect took the child from his grandmother's house in New Brighton on Friday and went into the bushes between Mathys Grounds and Wells Estate in Swartkops, where he allegedly strangled [the child]," said Naidu.

The man faces a charge of murder and he is expected to appear in the Gqeberha Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. Naidu said the investigation was continuing.



by Everngelista Muza

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42 schools vandalised, burgled at WC schools over June/July holidays

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says that 42 schools have reported incidents of vandalism and burglary during the June/July holidays. This is four more cases compared to the same period in 2021

Items stolen or damaged included bathroom fixtures, fencing, solar panels, consumables such as stationery and cleaning materials, tablets and ICT equipment, security and electrical equipment, and bicycles. Criminals event looted packs of sanitary pads and first aid kits.

Education MEC, David maynier says one major incident involved damages estimated at over R121 000. He added that the total cost of all the incidents is currently estimated at R808 600, with the estimates for some of the incidents still outstanding.

‘’That means that nearly a million rand that could have been spend on educating our learners now must be spent on fixing wanton damage,’’ said Maynier.

Four hundred and seventeen schools received holiday security from the WCED over the June/July school holidays.

‘’We thank our school communities for keeping a close eye on our schools and reporting suspicious activity in their areas.’’

‘’Of particular concern is that some of the schools which fell victim to crime over the holidays had security guards, cameras, and other security features in place. We need to better understand what our schools need to ensure that they are safe from criminal attacks,’’ added Maynier.

The MEC said community has the responsibility to keep schools safe as well.  

‘’Our schools have reported the cases to SAPS, and I will seek a meeting with the provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile, to discuss progress on these and the cases reported by our schools and the Department previously,’’ said Maynier.


Done By: Mitchum George

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COSATU to strike over violent crimes in the Western Cape

The Congress of South African trade Unions in the western Cape, with affiliates such as Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA), Trade Union for Musicians of South Africa (TUMSA), South African Communist Party (SACP), and Agricultural Food and Allied Democratic Workers Union (AFADWU), held a media briefing on Wednesday regarding its planned provincial strike on the 4th of August.

COSATU says it submitted a notice regarding violent crimes in the Western Cape, which includes gang violence, substance abuse and crimes against women and children, to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) in September 2018.

COSATU’s provincial chair, Motlatsi Tsubane, says they filed a Section 77 of the labour relations act, which allows affected parties to strike if no resolution has been reached, out of desperation, following what they say a decline in safety situations of residents in the province.

The planned strike says COSATU, is to improve the situation for workers and their families and to provide a channel, through legitimate demands.

COSATU’s provincial secretary, Malvern De Bruyn says it had no option but to strike, as different spheres of government failed to agree with the union’s grievances

‘’We are forced to go to NEDLAC, where we cited the national minister of safety and security, Western Cape Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC, SAPS, SANDF, Security Industry Association, city of Cape Town, Civil Society, they were all part of the discussion.’’

De Bruyn says the parties met on 28 September 2018, 1 November 2018, 1 March 2019, 29 July 2019, 2 September 2019, 122 March 2020, 15 May 2020, 15 July 20202, 9 March 2021.

The affiliates have listed demands they want national government to react on, including:

1.   An end to gang violence in communities

2.   A responsive government that listens to all its people

3.   Government end all corruption

4.   All police stations and station commanders be evaluated by communities

5.   Quarterly community report back meetings are called by all stations commanders

6.   Regular police patrols in industrial areas

7.   Public safety at railway stations

8.   SAPS do more to enforce the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act.

9.   Government fire and charge police officers involved in gang violence

10.                Firearms are removed for communities and banned.

 

De Bruyn outlined proceedings for the day

‘’We will march from Hanover Street up until the City of Cape town offices to hand over a memorandum to the city, law enforcement agencies. We will then march to the Provincial Legislature where we will hand over the memo to the MEC and Premier. We will then proceed to Parliament to hand over the memorandum to the Speaker and we would love the police minister to be there.’’

‘’We will give them 14 days to respond. If they fail to do so, we will apply for another Section 77 application to ensure we go back and collect our memorandum,’’ added De Bruyn.

Ernest Theron, South African Communist Party Provincial Treasurer, alleges that the City of Cape Town & WCG does not use allocated funds for its intended use

‘’They have been taken people for a ride. If you look at the budget for safety and security which is millions, but if you ask where it is, they don’t know. I think we find farming communities within an urban setting where drugs are kept, GBV, nothing is being done. A lot of talk but no action.’’

DENOSA’s Jaco Van Heerden says health workers at medical facilities has been unsafe to work at. He highlighted the New Somerset Hospital, where two patients and a police officer were shot dead, and the killing of a patient by another patient at Valkenberg Hospital.

TUMSA’s president, Vicky Sampson, says musicians across the country has been affected through violence. Sampson says they want to raise awareness and wants to see action from government

AFADWU’s provincial secretary, Michael Helu, says workers in the agricultural sector feel unsafe in terms of safety and security

‘’You find that people do not have enough beds so service delivery is non-existent so that leads to workers probably stabbed, and unemployed. Furthermore, there’s a lack of resources for workers. In general, in the agricultural sector, safety and security is non-existent for workers, but they are available for their employers.’’

PICTURE - Mitchum George: AFADWU’s provincial secretary, Michael Helu; COSATU’s provincial chair, Motlatsi Tsubane; COSATU’s provincial secretary, Malvern De Bruyn; SACP provincial treasurer, Ernest Theron;TUMSA’s president, Vicky Sampson; DENOSA’s Jaco Van Heerden 


COSATU has urged members to attend the strike. De Bruyn says the union hopes to bring the province to a standstill on  4 August.

‘’We applied for 3 000 to attend the event, but we can’t guarantee this number. We intend to bring the Cape Town to a standstill, to bring the economy to a standstill, so government can see that workers and community are angry and we can’t sit hand folded as leaders and not do something to fight the plight of the vulnerable in the province.

‘’It will be a strike, a stay away and we will march. We however appeal to members to come to Town to show government we are angered. We have called on taxi associations, and all other organisations to get their support,’’ added Malvern De Bruyn, COSATU Provincial Secretary.

 

PICTURE: COSATU WC

Done By: Mitchum George

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