Friday, February 29, 2008

Man molests 11 year-old girl

By Tina George
29 February 2008

This afternoon at about 12:15pm a man was arrested for allegedly molesting an 11 year-old girl at the Wynberg Magistrate’s court.

According to the communications officer at the Wynberg Police Station, Inspector Ezra October, the incident follows after the girl was sent to buy food while the parents were in court.

“The girl was approached by the man who is believed to be working as the messenger of Attorney Japhta at the Wynberg Magistrate’s court,” says Inspector October.

Inspector October adds that the suspect told the girl he was a lawyer and offered her R10 to accompany him to his office where he allegedly kissed her on the mouth and fondled with her private parts.

The man is currently being held at the Wynberg police station for further investigations.

Bail granted for three Metro cop murder accused

By Tina George
29 February 2008

Today the four metro police officers accused of assaulting and murdering 46-year-old Ebrahim Adams of Lavender Hill appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s court.

Three of the accused, Renier Swart, Kelvin Pillay and Gail Jacobs were all released on R2000 bail while the fourth accused, Tyrone Stewart was denied bail and is to apply on March 7.

The lawyers of each of the accused read out their affidavits in court. All of them have no previous convictions.

Magistrate Gafiesa Mohammed said that the conditions of their release were that they are not to make contact with any state witness nor be in the vicinity of the Lavender Hill area.

Meanwhile outside the court, emotions and tempers flared as the family of the deceased protested in anger against the granting of the three accused’s bail.

"My brother didn’t deserve to die, he begged and pleaded for his life but they killed him like an animal, he’s not an animal. They don’t deserve bail, they must get their punishment," said the sister of Adams, Aaisha Walters.

The four accused are expected to appear back in court on June 10 while the post mortem of Adam’s body will be underway during that time.

Solidarity's grain industry members set to strike

By Celeste Ganga
29 February 2008

Trade union Solidarity was issued with a strike certificate on Thursday after failed wage negotiations with the grain bargaining council. According to Solidarity’s Reint Dykema, the council was offering a wage increase from 6 to 7.5%, whilst the union was asking for a 9% increase.

“If one looks at the CPIX that is 8.8% at the moment, and the offer they (the council) are making is not better than the CPIX. So we had a mediator trying to get the parties together, but the end result was the mediator issuing a strike certificate,” says Dykema.

Dykema says no date has been set as yet for the strike. “We are going to take the strike certificate back to our members at the co-operatives - all over the country to inform them about the status of the matter. From there we will get a strike date and plan it in accordance.”

Solidarity represents 2000 members in the grain industry, mainly management and administrative staff.

Man wanted for the rape and murder of 2-year-old

By Rhodé Marshall
29 February 2008

Police is in search of a 30-year-old man regarding the rape and murder of 2-year-old Randaline Fortune from Valhalla Park in Bishop Lavis. The man is believed to be on the run now.

Late Thursday morning Randaline’s 19-year-old mother went to her place of employment, not far from their home and left her daughter in the care of her sister.

“The 30-year-old neighbour came to fetch the child at about 13h30 and was alone with her at his home until about 19h00. He took the child home wrapped in a blanket and told her family that something was wrong with her.

He told them that the child was nauseous had ‘dirtied’ herself that being the reason he had to dispose her underwear,” says police spokesperson Billy Jones.

Jones says the two-year-old girl’s mother was called by a family member and told to come home because there was something wrong with her daughter.

Randaline was then taken to the Elsies River Day Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival and the doctor who examined her said she may have been raped.

“A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death as well as to determine whether the child was raped. A case docket of murder and alleged rape has been opened for investigations,” says Jones.

Anyone with information can contact the Bishop Lavis police on 021 935 9845 or alternatively Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Community Information Network


# Newfields Primary School will host its annual car show on Saturday March 15, at 10am. The show will be at the school in Andrew Road. Tickets cost R10 for adults and R5 for children under 13. Call Vanessa on 021 691 0260 or the school on 021 692 1386 for more information.

# The 57th annual Maynardville Community Chest is taking place until Saturday the 1st of March. There will be plenty of entertainment, live music and themed jazz evenings. The event starts at 6pm and the entrance fee is between R5 and R25. For more in formation call 021 761 2082.

# Sikho - Sonke Youth Development Agency runs an unemployment registration desk and jobs placement service for young people from their offices at Unit 1 and 2 at the Spes Bona Building in Harmony Square in Town Centre. Registration costs R10. For more information call Moegsien Jacobs on 021 391 7414.

# The Westville Primary School is having a karaoke Friday February 29 at 7: 30pm, it takes place at the Mitchell’s Plain indoor sports centre in Merrydale Avenue, Portland. Tickets are available at the school or at the door for R20. Call the school on 021 392 5510.

# St Luke’s Hospice needs volunteers to assist with their annual street collection on Saturday the 1st of March, for more information call Debbie Clark on 021 797 5335.

# The Central Hockey Club wishes to expand their Youth Division which caters for boys and girls aged 8 to 18 years. Anyone who meets the requirements, and who is interested in training under well qualified coaches is invited to the annual registration day which takes place at Vygieskraal Hockey Complex, Johnson Road, Athlone on Saturday the 1st of March from 10am until 2pm. For more information call Lindsay De Kock on 082 772 7569 or visit

If you have any information for the CIN team regarding events happening in your community, please feel free to contact us on 021 448 5450 or fax us on 021 448 5451. Alternatively e-mail us to

Delft schools provide leaners with relief aid

By Chanel September
29 February 2008

Various schools in the Delft area have come to the aid of 152 learners that have been affected by the Delft-Symphony evictions.

Leiden Primary and High School, Voorbrug High School, Kairos Primary School and The Hague Primary School have all come out in support to assist those learners.

The school provided assisted with aid after evicted parents reported that their children are not attending school because of a lack of uniforms, food and books.

The Metropole North District Office of the Western Cape Education Department surveyed school attendance in the area last week and found that attendance was normal, except for The Hague Primary School, where attendance was down by about 40%.

“Whilst I support the order of court as government’s first responsibility is towards the legitimate beneficiaries, I nevertheless want to thank those schools that have responded to this humanitarian crisis and for putting in place temporary relief measures for the learners, says education MEC, in a statement, Cameron Dugmore.

Meanwhile in separate incident

Angry Strand parents held the principal of Silukhanyo Primary School and an education ward councillor hostage in a shipping container on Wednesday.

The group of parents decided to take matters into their own hands after they were told that there was no place to accommodate their children.

Some of the children have not attended school since the beginning of the new school year.

Education spokesperson Gert Witbooi says that instruction has been given to officials to prepare the two additional classrooms so that learning can get underway.

Increase of fuel hits its highest mark

By Rhodé Marshall
29 February 2008

Motorists are bearing the unfortunate brunt of having to spend much more money on petrol than they ever have before.

This comes as the price of fuel is to increase by R1 a litre over the next two months. A mere four years ago motorists were paying R4 a litre which means the price of fuel is just about to double – soon costing as much as R10 a litre.

Chief Economist at the Efficient Group – Dawie Roodt says the two main reasons for the biggest fuel increase in South Africa is the international oil price.

“Currently the price for Brent oil is over 100 dollars, that is the highest ever, so the oil price has gone up quite sharply over the last few weeks,” says Roodt.

Roodt says the other reason for the increase in the price of fuel is the exchange rate of the rand which has weakened considerably.

“Although in the last two weeks there has been some improvement because the rands trade to the dollar. The combined effect of these two changes on the price of the rand in the international oil price lie behind the expected increase in the petrol price,” explains Roodt.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Isidima Summit underway

By Tina George
28 February 2008

The Department of Local Governement and Housing together SANCO in the Western Cape is hosting the two day Isidima Summit.

The summit is being held in order to pave the way for the implementation of the provincial sustainable human settlements strategy.

Keynote speaker at the Summit, Premier Ebrahim Rasool says that government intends on gaining a broad agreement of a set of differential solutions that the backyard dwellers will agree to.

With regard to the invasion of the backyard dwellers in Delft, The cabinet has asked MEC for Housing and Government to do a full estimation of the costs and losses incurred in that area.

“There’s R20 million worth in damages and we will be finding out the expenditure on the N2 project for the last two months during which these invasions were taking place which is likely to go to R100 million,” says MEC for Housing and Government, Richard Dyanti.

Dyanti added that the costs will also include the money that the social development department spent on food.

“I will be getting full legal advice to know which grounds the department stands on to be able to lay a claim against the DA’s Frank Martin and the party to prevent them from leading the illegal occupants,” say Dyanti.

The Isidima summit will end on Friday in the hopeful light of achieving outcomes such as making housing markets work for the poor and gradually changing over to sustainable resource-use approaches such as sanitation and food supplies.

Khayelitsha traffic diverted to assist building of new rail bridge

By Celeste Ganga
28 February 2008

For the next year starting from Friday (29 February 2008) traffic in Khayelitsha will be diverted at the junction of Walter Sisulu and Oscar Mpetha roads onto a new by pass road to speed up the construction of an overhead railway bridge to the new station.

It’s been said that the 4,5 kilometre rail extension, estimated to cost over R300 million, is expected to increase the number of rail commuters by more than 40 000 in the next decade. It will mainly benefit Makhaza, Harare, Mandela Park and Kuyasa residents. The rail extension will provide four road-over-rail bridges, four stations and two transport interchanges.

For many Khayelitsha residents the project will eventually provide enhanced access to public transport close to their homes and businesses.

“Motorists travelling from Cape Town along Walter Sisulu road will turn left into Batandwa Ndodo road, right into Oliver Tambo road and then right in Steve Tshwete road. Residents in the area will have unhindered access to their homes,” explains site agent Louis Mouton.

He adds that those using Walter Sisulu road to travel from Strand in the direction of Cape Town will need to turn right into Steve Tshwete road, left into Tambo road and left into Batandwa Ndodo road.

Mouton calls on motorists and pedestrians to be patient and exercise caution during the construction phase.

Three arrested for Dagga worth R80 - 000

By Rhodé Marshall
28 February 2008

Three men were arrested Tuesday for the possession of dagga worth R80 000. A police van patrolling the Philadelphia area noticed a white Audi driving slowly along the N7 highway in the direction of a parking facility used by trucks at 23:30 .

“When the police officials arrived they noticed two vehicles in the parking area, the Audi and a white Toyota Corolla as well as three men standing next to the vehicles,” says Inspector Bernadine Steyn.

Steyn says when the men became aware of the police’s presence they fled the scene in the Audi which drove in the direction of Bothasig.

“In Plattekloof Road, Bothasig police blocked the road and the Audi was stopped. Police searched the vehicle and found two bags containing dagga and arrested the three suspects for dealing of dagga,” says Steyn.

When the other car involved was searched by police, they came across two more bags of dagga as well as 18 bags were found near the vehicle.

“A total of 22 bags containing dagga were confiscated, one bag weighing 50 kg,” said Steyn.

The three suspects from Khayelitsha aged 18, 22 and 30 years are to appear in the Malmesbury Magistrates court soon.

COSATU president Willie Madisha axed

By Anele Siwa
28 February 2008

On Wednesday morning Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) released its president, Willie Madisha from his duties, for bringing the union federation into disrepute.

Madisha was last year suspended following his claim that he handed R500 000 to South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande, a claim that Nzimande denied.

COSATU’s Central Executive Committee has welcomed the Commission’s ruling and recommendations.

“The CEC collectively resolved to release Willie Madisha as president of COSATU in terms of Clause of COSATU constitution,” says COSATU national spokesperson Patrick Craven.

An acting president will be selected at the following CEC in May 2008.

Madisha is believed to have made statements which were seen as an attack on Zuma, and had urged members not to vote for immoral leaders.

“At the time that this allegation emerged there were lots of tensions concerning the COSATU congress and various destabilizing features that emanated from the succession issue within the ANC,” says Zwelethu Jolobe, a political analyst and lecturer at the of Cape Town.

“I don’t think the issue was about Madisha being pro Mbeki, Madisha questioned the support that COSATU gave to Jacob Zuma, and I think that created tensions within the union, especially with reference to the political direction that the union was taking,” Jolobe elaborates.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Two Diepriver car thieves arrested

By Tina George
27 February 2008

Two suspects have been arrested in Diepriver Wednesday afternoon after a motor vehicle was reported stolen in Muizenberg on Sunday.

This follows after two Grassy Park police sergeants spotted a red Kia Picanto with three occupants in Parkwood and tested the registration number.

“A chase followed onto the M5 where the suspects stopped and fled from the vehicle while firing shots at police members,” says Police spokesperson, Bernadine Steyn.

Steyn added that the one suspect (25) from Grassy Park and the other (34) from Diepriver were arrested while the third suspect is still at large and the firearm has not been found.

The two suspects are expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s court soon on charges of Attempted Murder and Possession of possible stolen property.

New employment initiative for Transport, Public Works

By Celeste Ganga
27 February 2008

The Western Cape’s Department of Transport and Public Works has launched a R90 million shared service centre that will steer public transport in the province into an exciting era. According to Dougie Oakes from the department, the centre seeks to bring some of the public transport related matters under one roof.

“The unique thing about it (the centre) is that in building it, we going to pull in people from different communities to help with the construction,” says Oakes.

He adds that because the building is going to be in Athlone, they’ve decided to look at the unemployed who live within a five kilometre radius of the building, and bring them in to help with construction.

“We are also looking at business people in the area, so that we can buy raw materials from them. And also people who can help with plant hire requirements, will also be utilised in the area,” explains Oakes.

The department is planning on spending R19 million rand over the 15 month period that the building will take to be built. Of the R19 million, over R3 million rand each will be set aside for women and youth. In terms of suppliers, more than R30 million will be used on local suppliers.

'South Africans postive about 2010' - survey

By Chanel September
27 February 2008

A recent survey conducted by the Human Science Research Council has revealed that South Africans’ attitudes remain positive towards the 2010 World Cup.

According to the annual survey perceptions of national readiness have been consistently high.

In 2007, 80% of respondents indicated that South Africa would be ready to host the World Cup in 2010 and public assessment of local authority readiness showed an faint change from 2006.
Only 56% believe that their local authority will be able to meet the needs of 2010.

“But given the recent spate of load-shedding, rising interest rates and stadium strike action, policy-makers and 2010 stakeholders should avoid complacency and pay attention to managing expectations in the lead up to 2010,” says the HSRC’s Dr Udesh Pillay.

With 41% of the respondents saying that benefits would be short term beliefs remained steady at 50% from 2006.

“It is vital that these expectations are addressed by policy-makers, government and 2010 stakeholders in planning for the event as the downward trend in the last two categories could be indicative of a growing sense of realism regarding 2010," says Pillay.

Meanwhile in the Western Cape, 22% respondents perceive increased tourism as the main benefit for South Africa of hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

This figure increased and exceeds the national average of 6%. However only 22% of the respondents indicated that they did not expect any benefits to accumulate at the city level.

DA raises their voice at Mfuleni police

By Rhodé Marshall
27 February 2008

The Mfuleni police have found themselves under public scrutiny yet again after residents in the community complained that none of their cases reported were being investigated.

Just a few months ago the police station was dubbed one of the worst stations in the country.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) responded to various complaints by residence in the area saying that the party was surprised that members of the police station would fall short of opening a case or of arresting people who are accused of assault.

In a statement, the party said: “The attitude of the SA Police members is not confined to Mfuleni only, but is a general trend throughout the Western Cape. One of the reasons could be that the police officers involved have tried to keep the crime statistics down by not registering the complaint as they should have done.

The DA went on saying the MEC for Community Safety Leonard Ramatlakane should ensure that the allegations made by the Mfuleni community are investigated and that those responsible are held accountable.

Spokesperson for Ramatlakane, Makhaya Mani said he was not at liberty to comment, Mfuleni station commissioner Denise Brand could not be reached and the police’s media centre declined to comment.

Kader Asmal bids Parliament farewell

Anele Siwa
27 February 2008

Farewell messages are pouring in for Professor Kader Asmal as he retires as a long-standing African National Congress Member of Parliament, to become a Professor at the University of the Western Cape.

“His retirement is a culmination of 14 years of disciplined and tireless service to the people of South Africa. We send our deep appreciation for his valuable political role to the organisation in Parliament,” says ANC provincial spokesperson Moloto Mathapo.

Meanwhile Tony Leon, ex-DA leader and currently the party spokesperson on foreign affairs, says the proceedings in honour of Asmal and his retirement are extraordinary for several reasons.

“It is an occasion to pay tribute across the aisle to a person who has rendered extraordinary service to Parliament and to the politics of South Africa for the last decade and a half,” says Leon.

Leon further elaborated that it is only Asmal’s departure from the parliament which has caused him to break his parliamentary silence after more than a year since his last speech.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dale moves in on Murali

By Tina George
26 February 2008

Proteas fast-bowler Dale Steyn is now just 37 points behind the world lead spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka.

This comes after gaining 38 crucial rating points in the first Test against Bangladesh which ended on Monday.

Steyn took seven wickets in the recently completed test after taking 13 tests to take his tally up to 50 wickets.

“The castle test squad member remains the highest rated fast bowler on the LG ICC world rankings with 870 points and soon closing in on the 900 mark,” says Cricket South Africa spokesperson, Michael Owen-Smith.

Owen-Smith added that Steyn will need just two wickets to reach 100 test dismissals in his 20th test match on Friday’s second test against Bangladesh.

Department of Science and Technology launches information management system

By Celeste Ganga
26 February 2008

On Tuesday the Department of Science and Technology launched its web-based tool that will capture statistical information on research and development (R&D) activities at universities, science councils and other government R&D funded agencies. The Research Information Management System (RIMS) was launched by Science and Technology Minister, Mosibudi Mangena.

According to the manager of the sector for R&D planning, Nkuli Shinga, the RIMS is a strategic tool that will be completely integrated with other existing systems at an institutional level. It will provide real-time information on human resources for science, engineering and technology, research and development (R&D) capacity and technology improvement and innovation.

Minister Mangena has been quoted as saying RIMS will provide government with the necessary tools to obtain detailed holistic understanding of where its research and development funds are invested, and how much it is spending on each area of science and technology.

Business and tourism hopefuls attend seminar

By Chanel September
26 February 2008

More than 100 young people from across the Western Cape gathered at the Sea Point Civic Centre on Tuesday morning to attend the youth tourism seminar.

The annual event forms part of a local government initiative which aims to attract young individuals from disadvantaged communities into the flourishing tourism industry in the province.

Youth from areas such as Bishop Lavis, Gugulethu, Delft, Khayelitsha, Hanover Park and Phillipi made their voices heard about making their mark in the tourism industry and setting up their own small businesses.

“The reason for a seminar such as this is because young people have the drive, energy and motivation which can contribute and boost the economy and tourism,” says MEC for finance and tourism Lynne Brown.

The province has a high unemployment rate of more than 500 000 people, with the majority of those people being young adults.

“We know that tourism is a big economic driver and makes a lot of money and if it’s increasing so well economically, (then) those jobs (should go) to those (underprivelaged) areas,” says Brown.

“I’m defiantly going into the tourism industry next year and I think the conference is really good because I’m receiving a lot of information about the industry,” says youth participant Tanya Benjamin.

“The conference was very interesting. I would like to open my own business one day so that I can be my own boss,” says youth participant Jonathan Koopman.

“We plan to roll out more such seminar’s and take it to other areas such as the West Coast, the Boland and the Southern Cape,” says MEC Brown.

NUM not pleased about looming retrenchments

By Anele Siwa
26 February 2008

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has maintained its position that it will not discuss retrenchment with any particular company which argues power outages as their reason for cutting jobs.

“The NUM is aware of mining companies, Goldfields in particular, who are trying to come up with — and (we) would at all cost reject — any proposals that seek to render people unemployed,” says Lesiba Seshoka NUM national spokesperson.

According to Seshoka, NUM have frequently urged companies, Eskom and government to come into discussions to prevent job-shedding and companies argued that everything was going well.

“The NUM will take to the streets if companies carry out their retrenchment threats,” says Seshoka.

“During this month we have been receiving 90% of the usual (amount of electricity) and we have advised the market and the public that we could have to close certain shafts, with a possible risk of some jobs being lost,” says Andrew Davidson, Gold Fields spokesperson.

Yesterday Gold Fields gold mining group announced that the current electricity crisis puts 6 900 Gold Fields jobs at risk.

Davidson further elaborates that 4900 of these jobs would be at Kloof and Driefontein gold mines the other two thousand is at South Deep gold mine.

“We are still having talks with NUM and other unions about how we can minimize the impact on employees. We will look at early retirement, voluntary retrenchment and contractor replacement,” says Davidson.

The company says that gold production for the existing quarter is forecast to drop by between 20% and 25% against the December quarter.

According to Frans Baleni, NUM General Secretary the matter will be discussed at COSATU’s central executive committee meeting this week.

'Farmers need not be alarmed' - Agriculture MEC

By Rhodé Marshall
26 February 2008

Western Cape MEC for Agriculture, Cobus Dowry says that farmers need not worry about Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD), an infectious disease that affects sheep.

OJD, known as “sheep Aids”, is a chronic disease in sheep caused by a bacterium. It is contagious and found worldwide. Symptoms include persistent diarrhoea, weight loss and eventual death.

The disease is believed to be slowly spreading to hundreds of farms but the Western Cape Department of Agriculture says farmers in the province should remain calm.

“It is a problem for South Africa because the disease is hard to detect and can cause losses of up to 20 percent in badly affected flocks. An official count of sheep affected is not available yet,” says department spokesperson Alie van Jaarsveld.

van Jaarsveld says the Animal Disease Regulations states that animals with any infection should be isolated and slaughtered at a slaughterhouse or destroyed.

“Strict enforcement of the regulations will have a major negative impact on the sheep industry in this province. Workshops have been launched to formulate a policy to address the situation,” says van Jaarsveld.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Uys urges the province's residents to live healthy

By Anele Siwa
25 February 2008

The Western Cape Department of Health today hosted an open day in Delft to promote healthy lifestyles among South Africans.

“The goal of the Healthy Lifestyle Day is to encourage health and well-being between individuals,” says Pierre Uys, MEC for Health in the Western Cape.

According to Uys, the occurrence of non-communicable infections is more pronounced in the Western Cape than in other provinces and has higher levels of risky behaviour leading to these infections.

"Among youth in particular these factors correlate and overlap with other risk behaviours currently identified as reaching critical proportions in the province, specially substance abuse, crime and inter-personnel violence," the MEC says.

Uys says these non-communicable infections should no longer be taken as a problem confined to the cities and affluent segments of the society.

“These diseases are clearly emerging as major public health challenges in rural areas as well,” he added.

Relief row between the city and evictees

By Chanel September
25 February 2008

A dispute over tents and the provision of relief aid has resulted in a row between the Delft-Symphony evictees and the City of Cape Town.

The disagreement erupted on Sunday after residents refused to accept the relief aid provided by the city, but instead only wanted humanitarian aid provided by the Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), a non-governmental organisation.

According to the city’s mayoral committee member for housing, Dan Plato tents were erected by the IRW. He added that the IRW did not have permission to set up the tents.

“We asked them to remove the tents, they refused. As a result we decided to break down the tent, we cannot allow other agencies to come in to take over the city and government’s role,” says Plato.

However the anti-eviction campaign’s Ashraf Cassiem says that all aid is being refused to enter the area. “They are now isolating us from getting any aid unless it’s from the city,” Cassiem says.
“We are just trying to take control of the situation and one means is to prevent other agencies,” says Plato

“It’s extremely pathetic that NGO’s have been banned to enter the Delft area. People are living on the side of the road in windy conditions. One wonders what the motive and the agenda is,” says the IRW’s Achmat Kamalie.

According to the city’s structure policy the setting up all of structures including tents needs to be pre-approved by the disaster management services.

But Cassiem says that the residents rejected the relief because they feel the city participated in the eviction.

“The people’s mandate is that government and the city needs to provide people with houses and not tents,” says Cassiem.
Pictures: Anele Siwa

Petrol bombs found in Delft

By Tina George
25 February 2008

Yesterday afternoon three plastic crates containing 34 petrol bombs were discovered buried in a hole covered with a door in precinct 6 of the N2 Gateway housing area in Delft.

Police made the find during visible foot patrols.

Meanwhile Anti-eviction Campaign co-ordinator for the Delft area, Ashraf Casiem, said an old man was looking for wood to finish his shack when he came across the hidden bombs.

“The man was almost arrested by police but they later discovered the man was uncapable of such a deed as he was too old,” says Casiem.

Although there is no definite reason as to why the petrol bombs were placed there, Cassiem believes it to be a group of troublemakers on the site who want to create media hype around the housing situation.

“They want milage and want to exploit the situation about the problem of housing delivery but we don’t want any acts of violence,” says Cassiem.

Police spokesperson, Superintendent Billy Jones added that the motive and circumstances are being investigated. No arrests have been made nor have suspects been identified.

The Delft police have opened a case docket in terms of the Explosive Act for investigation.

Community Information Network

*Community Notice Board*
#The 57th annual Maynardville Community Chest is taking place from February 27 until Saturday 1 March. There will be plenty of entertainment, live music and themed jazz evenings. The event starts at 6pm and the entrance fee is between R5 and R25. For more information call 021 761 2082.

# St Luke’s Hospice needs volunteers to assist with their annual street collection on Saturday the 1st of March, for more information call Debbie Clark on 021 797 5335.

# The Central Hockey Club wishes to expand their Youth Division which caters for boys and girls aged 8 to 18 years. Anyone who meets the requirements, and who is interested in training under well qualified coaches is invited to the annual registration day which takes place at Vygieskraal Hockey Complex, Johnson Road, Athlone. Be there Saturday 1 March from 10am until 2pm. For more information call Lindsay De Kock on 082 772 7569 or visit

# The newly formed Mitchell’s Plain People’s Forum in partnership with the Premier’s office is inviting all organisations from all sectors to the official launch of structure on Saturday March 8 from 9:15am to 4pm. Organisations are requested to register for the launch by latest Saturday the 1 March. Registration can be done at 55 Viooltjie Street, Lentegeur, Mitchell's Plain. For more info contact Mrs Eva Appolis on 083 666 7578

#The Homeless People’s Sanctuary invites the unemployed and homeless to apply for sewing, candlemaking, soapmaking and lifeskills programmes. Apply at the Retreat Community Hall in Concert Boulevard, Retreat. They are also in need of volunteer management committee members, specifically a treasurer and people with expertise in secretarial services. Interested? Call 021 702 0462.

If you have any information for the CIN team regarding events happening in your community, please feel free to contact us on 021 448 5450 or fax us on 021 448 5451. Alternatively e-mail us to

Attempted robbery at a garage in the city centre

By Rhodé Marshall
25 February 2008

Early on Monday morning a group of men attempted to rob two security officials who had stopped at a garage in Upper Buitekant Street in Cape Town.

Police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn says that on arrival, one of the security guards got out of their car and a white Mercedes Benz with an unknown number of occupants stopped next to them.

“Several shots were fired at the security guard, who went to make the pick-up as well as the security vehicle, an Izuku bakkie. The official who sustained three gunshot wounds to his stomach returned fire with his official firearm,” says Steyn.

She says a firearm — of which the serial number had been filed off — was confiscated on the scene. The 35-year-old security guard was taken to a nearby hospital and is believed to be in a stable condition.

The suspects who fled the scene are still at large. The vehicle they used was found abandoned in Alexander Street, Oranjezicht.

“We are investigating the possibility that a second vehicle – a white BMW might have been involved and an attempted armed robbery case is being investigated,” says Steyn.

Woman killed for her handbag

By Celeste Ganga
25 February 2008

Mitchells Palin police are requesting the assistance of the public in tracing three suspects, who were allegedly involved in a murder and armed robbery that occurred on Friday afternoon.

“The 45 year-old victim (Gertie van Vuuren) who lives in Woodlands, Mitchells Plain (was with) her husband and son in-law, (they) were crossing a bridge on the corner of Eerste and Westpoort Avenue when a white Ford Bantam bakkie stopped nearby,” says police spokesperson, Inspector Bernadine Steyn.

Steyn adds that two of the three occupants in the bakkie approached them and allegedly grabbed van Vuuren’s handbag after which a struggle occurred.

“The victim sustained bullet wounds to her head and chest. She died on the scene. Her husband and son in-law sustained no injuries. The suspects grabbed her handbag and fled the scene,” explains Steyn.

The suspects are still at large. Police are investigating a case of murder and armed robbery.

Anyone with information is requested to call Inspector Christopher Delcarme at the Mitchell's Plain police station on 021 370 1600.

Atlantis road crash claims four lives

By Rhodé Marshall
25 February 2008

During the early hours of Sunday morning, four people died after a head-on collision between two cars in Atlantis.

Three women and a man died on the scene subsequent to the accident in Dassenburg Road along the Cape West Coast.

“Three others were taken to hospital and some of the passengers had to be extracted from the wreckage (with) the jaws of life,” says Cape Town traffic spokesperson Searle Johannes.

The cause of the accident has not yet been confirmed.

Meanwhile police say that the body of a 17-year-old boy was discovered in bushes by passers-by near Cedar and Siberian Road in Rocklands.

“Yustin Ryan from Bontehuewel had a single gunshot wound to his stomach and we are investigating a case of murder,” says Police spokesperson Inspector Bernadine Steyn.

Anyone with information regarding Ryan's death is asked to contact the Investigating Officer, Sergeant Tanya Wilson at the Mitchells Plain police station on 021 370 1600.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

City launches environmental education programme

By Rhodé Marshall
24 February 2008

The City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management and Sport and Recreation Departments, along with the International Fund for Animal Welfare is going to host an environmental education program for schools.

According to a statement released by the City of Cape Town, the event will be at the City’s Blue Flag beaches: Bikini, Mnandi and Clifton 4th beach and at five other pilot beaches namely Fish Hoek, Strandfontein, Muizenberg, Big Bay and Camps Bay from 25 until 28 February.

The Blue Flag Beach Environmental Program forms part of the City’s Youth Environmental School (YES) which is a youth capacity building, education and awareness programme which aims to provide projects, activities, resources and opportunities for schools in Cape Town.

The Blue Flag Programme aims to teach young people the importance of safety, cleanliness and looking after the environment at beaches.

According to the criteria set by the South African Blue Flag in 2006, the campaign is an environmental education programme which could improve the way in which the environment in South Africa is managed.

Delft political row continues

By Rhodé Marshall
24 February 2008

Premier of the Western Cape Ebrahim Rasool has allegedly threatened to sue the Democratic Alliance (DA) for supposedly encouraging people to illegally occupy houses in Delft.

At a press conference held on Friday by the Premier, MEC for Local Government and Housing, Richard Dyantyi, and MEC for Social Development and Poverty Kholeka Mqulwana, Rasool said vulnerable people were deliberately mislead to illegally occupy the houses in Delft Symphony.

DA leader Helen Zille responded in a statement, saying that they found it ‘bizarre’ that the Premier would hold an entire party accountable for the actions of one of its members.

“Rasool knows full well that the DA has never condoned illegal land invasions. This is a point I have made repeatedly,” said Zille.

The premier's spokesperson Shado Twala says that the premier has no intention of suing the DA: "There is a lot of confusion among people regarding claims that the Premier intends to sue the DA but there is no truth to this. What the premier is doing currently is looking into ways in which he can help Thubelisha homes claim the lost R20-million from (DA councillor) Frank Martin," says Twala.

In an earlier interview with ANC spokesperson Garth Strachan, he said that the City of Cape Town as well as the DA should hold Martin, who is accused of inciting the invasions, accountable for his actions.

"If an ANC councillor had led an occupation of white houses in Constantia, there would be an outcry against that and it would be a correct outcry. But because it’s been done by Frank Martin who is a DA councillor in a coloured area, nothing has happened at all," says Strachan.

Man arrested for 60-year-old's murder

By Rhodé Marshall
24 February 2008

Police say that a 25-year-old man has been arrested for a murder that occurred on Saturday at an apartment in Green Point.

The suspect, who is from Harare, is accused of killing 60-year-old Neil Gibbon, whose sister found his body on his bed with an open wound to the neck.

"No sign of forced entry was found and the deceased’s vehicle, a white Mercedes Benz was missing. The vehicle was later found parked at a hardware store in Mitchell's Plain, and when the suspect returned to the parked car he was arrested," says Inspector Bernadine Steyn.

The suspect is appearing in the Cape Town Magistrate’s court on Monday.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Phillipi station gets a huge makeover

By Tina George
23 February 2008

Up to R90 million has been set aside to upgrade the rundown Phillipi railway station, after ongoing talks between the Department of transport and Public Works, Metrorail and the Phillipi Development Forum.

According to the Phillipi Development Forum the station is in a very bad state along with the issue of criminals who plague the premises and are a menace to the estimated 8000 commuters.

“It will be a station that is friendly to the disabled as there will be two lifts operating from there with eight staircases leading to the platforms,” says Transport and Public works communication officer, Dougie Oaks.

“The fencing around the station will be replaced along with improved lighting and park-and-ride facilities for up to 30 motor vehicles will be built on each side,” says Oakes.

Oakes added that security personnel will be placed on the premises from 3:30 am to 12 at midnight every day in an effort to decrease crime.

Early evening shooting in Silvertown

By Rhodé Marshall
24 February 2008

The community of Silvertown were met with sounds of gunfire when a man died after being shot at 17:40 Saturday evening.

Police spokesperson Bernadine Steyn says 25-year-old Donovan Cupido and a friend were walking along Durant Road when a white Fiat with three people inside it stopped next to them.

“Two of the occupants got out of the vehicle and both fired several shots at the victim, wounding him in the stomach, back, both arms and right leg. He passed away on the scene,” says Steyn.

The suspects fled the scene of the murder and are being sought by the police.

“We are investigating all possibilities, including the possibility that the incident might have been gang related. We have opened a murder docket for investigation,” says Steyn.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Investigating Officer, Sergeant Mario Florence at the Athlone police station on 021 697 9200.

Proteas congratulates SA women’s squad

By Rhodé Marshall
23 February 2008

The South African cricket team has taken time to congratulate the women’s squad on qualifying for the Women’s World Cup which takes place next year.

Proteas captain Graeme Smith said in a statement that the team would like to wish the team well calling them their “lady counterparts.”

“We have been following their progress with keen interest and we are thrilled that they have won all their matches by such convincing margins,” said Smith.

The Women’s Cricket World Cup will take place in Australia next year. The Proteas are currently in Bangladesh.

Metro police officers arrested for murder

By Rhodé Marshall
23 February 2008

City of Cape Town spokesperson Pieter Cronje says five Metro police constables were on patrol Lavender Hill at 1AM Friday morning when a shooting took place - which has led to their arrest.

“They left the scene and returned and were subsequently arrested by members of the South African Police Services in Steenberg and four of them are in custody,” says Cronje.

He says the fifth constable, 28-year-old Jason February was later discovered dead with a bullet wound to his head in bushes at Eagle Park before he could be arrested. It is believed he was also physically assaulted.

“The four members who are now in custody will be suspended from the Metro Police while this investigation is in progress,” says Cronje.

Police spokesperson Bernadine Steyn says a 9mm pistol was confiscated at the scene but the serial number on the firearm had been scratched off.

“Foul play cannot be excluded, hence a murder investigation was launched,” says Steyn.

Steyn adds that the suspects aged between 26 and 32 are appearing in the Wynberg Magistrates court on Monday on charges of murder.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Local government meets to discuss relief for evictees

By Anele Siwa
22 February 2008

Premier of the Western Cape Ebrahim Rasool held a media briefing on Friday morning with MEC of housing and local government Richard Dyantyi and MEC for Social Development and Poverty Kholeka Mqulwana, to discuss the package of relief measures.

“We are of the view that there’s been deliberate misleading of very vulnerable people who desperately and justifiable want houses and who have been misled into doing illegal action by occupying houses which were not meant for them," says Rasool.

According to Rasool there are plans in place for Delft-Symphony residents those plans include accommodation and relief measures.

“This is not about being Coloured or African as many claim. Fairness and transparent are the only weapons we are going to use in dealing with any situation,” he explains.

Rasool further elaborates that the method that has been applied in Delft-Symphony residents is the same they will apply next week when evicting Joe Slovo residents to further develop the area.

“The city has got to provide trucks to be able to take back people to where they were before they illegally occupied the houses,” says Dyantyi.

According to Dyantyi six halls are going to be used as alternative accommodation by residents.

‘We have feed five thousand people 250 were children, two babies were born. We know that general the nation is dealing with HIV/Aids and among those we might find that we do have women who are not breast feeding and, we are looking into those babies,” says Mqulwana.

“All that we need from provincial government is houses, if they can not do that they should not come and disrupt other relief organizations which are helping us about food, water and clothing.
They even asked traffic officers not to allow other relief organizations in the area," says Delft-Smphony residents’ legal coordinator Ashraf Cassiem.

Community Information Network

By Tina George
22 February 2008

# Retreat Rugby Football Club, which celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, welcomes all its members and new members to practices on Tuesdays and Thursday from 6pm to 8:80pm, at the Allenby Drive Sportsfield in Retreat. For more details call Anthony Almacin at 083 765 6634.

# The Central Hockey Club is looking to expand its Youth Division which caters for boys and girls aged 8 to 18 years. If interested in being part of this dynamic set up at a first class hockey facility with well qualified coaches in attendance, look no further. All is welcome to attend the Annual Registration Day at Vygieskraal Hockey Complex, Johnson Road, Athlone on Saturday 1 March 2008 from 10h00 to 14h00. Contact Lindsay De Kock 082 772 7569 or e-mail For more info about Central Hockey Club, visit the website:

# The newly formed Mitchell’s Plain People’s Forum in partnership with the Premier’s office invite all organisations from all sectors to the official launch of structure on Saturday, 8th March 2008 from 9:15 am to 4pm. Organisations are requested to register for the launch by Saturday 1st march 2008 for the latest. Registration can be done at 55 Viooltjie Street, Lentegeur, Mitchell’s Plain between 9am and 4pm. For more information please contact Mrs Eva Appollis on 083 6667578 or Dannie Rass on 082 3060171.

# Friends of Central Library holds a book sale at the library in the City Hall, Darling Street every Saturday from 9am to 2pm. Donations are welcome. Contact Pauline on 073 343 6481.

# Harmony Primary School will host a karaoke at the Cafda community hall on Friday February 22 from 7.30pm to 12:30am. Entry is R20. Call 021 701 3322 for details.

Contact us if you have any information for the CIN team regarding events happening in you community, :

Tel: 021 4485450

Fax: 021 448 5451.


New schools pledge will not be imposed on learners - Pandor

By Chanel September
22 February 2008

Education Minister Naledi Pandor says that government has no intention of imposing a school pledge on learners.

Pandor addressed the National Assembly on the proposed pledge on Thursday, where she apologised for the impression created that the pledge was not up for public comment.

This comes after concerns were raised around the proposed implementation of the pledge.

Despite the new schools pledge receiving mixed reactions, teacher unions such as The South African Democratic Teacher Union and The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa have come out in full support for the implementation of the pledge, but they have also raised some concerns.

“Loyalty towards the country won’t be achieved by a pledge alone. It may however be an indication that we are going into the right direction,” says SADTU provincial secretary Jonovan Rustin.

“We believe that it has an enormous amount of potential, but it can’t merely be something children are required to recite it has to be meaning full to the child, school and the parent,” says Naptosa spokesperson Dave Balt.

School principal at Queenspark High School in Woodstock, Paul Roman says that at Queenspark in particular there children are coming to school from different social and economic backgrounds. “Schools should create time to say the pledge every morning,” says Roman.

The pledge is based on the preamble of the South African Constitution. The pledge is open for public comment for a period of 30 days. The department hopes to formally introduce it in schools around the country on March 21, Human Rights Day.

The pledge reads as follows:

We the youth of South Africa,
recognising the injustices of our past,
honour those who suffered and
sacrificed for justice and freedom,
We will respect and protect
the dignity of each person, and stand up for justice
We sincerely declare that we shall uphold the rights and values of our constitution and promise to act in accordance with the duties and responsibilities that flow from these rights.

!ke e:/ xarra //ke (diverse people unite)
Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika

12 year-old Delft girl found

The 12 year-old girl who went missing after going to an outside toilet on Thursday night in Leiden Delft, has been found. It’s been reported that a resident saw Abenath Vanela in the area and called the police.

Original Article
By Celeste Ganga
22 February 2008

Delft police are requesting the assistance of the public in their search for 12 year-old girl, Abenath Vanela who went missing from her home in Jan Diesel Street, Leiden, Dleft on Thursday night.

“The girl allegedly went outside their backyard dwelling to relief herself and never returned. She was reported missing at the Delft police station by her mother at about 22h00 last night (Thursday night),” says police spokesperson, Billy Jones.

Abenath is dark of complexion, slender built, 1.3 meters tall, weighs about 30kg, has brown eyes and black braided hair. She was last seen wearing an orange skirt, white blouse, red and white stripe jacket, white takkies and silver earings.

Anyone with information should contact the Delft police on 021 954 9000 or 082 469 6403. Alternatively Crime Stop on 08600 10111

Bus and police vehicle collide on Vanguard Drive

By Celeste Ganga
22 February 2008

On Friday morning an accident occurred on the corner of Oliver Tambo and Vanguard Drive, Samora Machel; between a bus and a police bakkie. According to police spokesperson Bernadine Steyn, both vehicles were damaged in the front.

“The two police members; a constable and a student constable stationed at Nyanga police station were injured during the incident,” says Steyn.

She adds that they were both taken to a nearby hospital and seem to be in a serious condition. No other serious injuries were reported.

“It is unclear at this stage how the accident occurred. We are investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving,” explains Steyn.

Claremont thief on the run

By Tina George
22 February 2008

Claremont police are seeking the assistance of the public in the search for 25 year-old Vutela Amon who is wanted on a charge of armed robbery.

This comes after two armed suspects approached a building contractor in Riverside Road Claremont on February 2 robbing him of a large amount of money and then fleeing the scene.

“They were pursued by staff members of the contractor, upon which the suspects fired several shots at them however no one was injured,” says police superintendent Andre Traut.

Vutela is believed to be a previous casual employee at the same building site.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Vutela Amon can contact Investigating Officer, Constable Lucian Matthys on 021 657 2266 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

People’s Budget Coalition disappointed in 2008 Budget

By Celeste Ganga
21 February 2008

The People’s Budget Coalition; that comprises of COSATU, SANCO and the Council of churches, are disappointed in the 2008 budget speech that was delivered by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on Wednesday.

“We feel that after being promised ‘business unusual’ by the President, we’ve been offered ‘business as usual’ by the Minister of Finance,” says COSATU’s Patrick Craven.

Craven adds that although the Minister recognised the key problems to be the same as the Coalition -being poverty, unemployment and slow economic growth - they believe that the measures he took were not strong enough to face up to the enormity of the challenge being faced.

“While we welcome the small improvements in welfare payments and job creation schemes- we will be campaigning for much stronger measures. In particular we will continue to campaign for a basic income grant and at the very least the extension of the child support grants to the age of 18,” explains Craven.

They will also be campaigning for a reduction of VAT (value added tax), something they believe could’ve been done.

“We certainly aren’t happy with the continuation of a budget surplus, at a time where we have such pressing problems and people in such desperate need,” says Craven.

He adds that every available cent should be used to try and resolve these problems and not left sitting in a bank account.

Seniors march against low pension

By Tina George
21 February 2008

Today senior citizens in the Western Cape will be marching to Provincial Government in a bid to express their unhappiness against the low pension rate.

This comes after Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel’s address of the budget stated that old age grants will increase by R70 a month.

“The seniors feel that with the increase in food prices, the R70 increase won’t help much and are now more determined than ever to protest,” says Provincial Administrator of Cosatu in the Western Cape, Elma Geswindt.

Elma added that another issue that will be brought forward is the abuse that seniors experience at the various institutions they reside in.

A memorandum will be handed over to provincial government at 1pm.

ANC says DA councillor should be held accountable

By Rhodé Marshall
21 February 2008

The African National Congress (ANC) says Democratic Alliance councillor Frank Martin should be held accountable for the Delft Symphony homes that was illegally occupied since December last year by over a thousand families.

The alleged enticement of Martin for people to occupy the unfinished houses has led to a political row where the liability of the Delft councillor is continuously questioned by the ANC.

It is alleged Martin told those who are on the waiting list to occupy the houses before black people are given permission to move into the homes.

“As far as we are concerned Frank Martin led a group of people to illegally occupy houses and he did so on the basis of hate speech and racists statements that houses are given to only Africans,” says ANC spokesperson Garth Strachan.

Strachan says the ANC has sympathy for homeless people but that they (the homeless) should be careful not to be used by people such as Councillor Martin who needs to be taken to court.

“When the judge ruled that the occupations were illegal, he said that the rule of law needs to be upheld and if its not upheld there would be anarchy in this country,” explains Strachan.

When Fank Martin was asked to respond to the statements that have been made by the ANC, he said: “Tell them Frank Martin is not interested in their slander.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"To continue with the Springboks is a challenge I would never refuse"

By Anele Siwa
20 February 2008

The 25-year-old John Smit will continue as Springbok captain in 2008, that has been announced today.

“Springbok coach Peter de Villiers confirmed Smit’s appointment today; this is after he met with the player in South Africa and more recently in France,” says Rayaan Adriaanse, SA Rugby Media Manager.

“I was very impressed with John and have enormous respect for what he has achieved with the Springboks in the past four years. He is the World Cup-winning captain. He has global respect and he has the desire to add to what was achieved in France last year, says De Villiers.

According to De Villiers Springboks is turning to a new chapter, but he believe that they must build on the success of the World Cup and it made sense to him to further invest in John’s excellent leadership and his capability as a player.

According to Adriaanse, Smit, who is currently contracted to Cleremont Auvergne French rugby club, says he is delighted to be a part of the De Villiers era.

“When we met in Cape Town I was encouraged by the coach’s desire for success and his passion for South African rugby. To be offered the chance to continue with the Springboks is a challenge I would never refuse. I feel honoured to be given further opportunities to lead the Springboks,” added Smit.

According to Adriaanse De Villiers wants Smit to continue his domestic rugby in South Africa and Smit has agreed to do so provided that SA Rugby and his French club Clermont Auvergne can agree on terms and conditions.

“The Springboks will always be my priority but it is important that any move back to South Africa to play domestic rugby, is done in a professional and mature way.
According to Smit the French club have been good to him and they value his wish to play for the Springboks.

“For now my focus is on getting back to match fitness and making a contribution to Clermont’s season,” he added.

‘Hard work ahead’ - Manuel’s 2008 Budget message

By Nadia Samie
20 February 2008

“...there are storm clouds ahead.” This is how Finance Minister Trevor Manuel began his 12th budget speech to the nation on Wednesday. The overall tone of the speech was one alluding to hard work ahead, something he referred to repeatedly in the speech.

The minister reported 5 percent GDP growth in 2007. While the address yielded few surprises, it did unveil R60 billion of new spending to Eskom over 5 years, to support the straining power utility’s capital financing requirements over the next five years.

The budget announced steps to extend social security:

  • The maximum values of the disability and old-age grants will increase by R70 per month from R870 to R940 in April 2008;
  • The child support grant will increase by R10 in April this year, and by a further R10 in October, taking it up to R220 per month and as of January 2009 will be extended to include children up to their 15th birthday;
  • Foster care grants grow from R620 to R650 per month.
    South Africa has a total number of 12.4 million social grant beneficiaries. Next year the government will spend R75.3 billion in social assistance. As announced by President Thabo Mbeki in his State of the Nation Address earlier this month, the pensionable age for men will be reduced from 65 to 60 years. This year it will come down from 65 to 63 years, it will go to 61 in 2009, and 60 years by 2010.

    “What we present today is an incredibly strong budget,” Manuel told journalists in a briefing before the speech.

  • According to Manuel, growth to the economy has averaged 5 per cent per year since 2003, the longest period of constant growth on record. On the downside, he conceded that food prices had increased by over 10 percent in 2007, using mealie meal, the staple food of many in the country, as an example, he said that in the price of a 12.5kg bag had gone up from R37 to R49 within the space of just one year. While he recognized that inflated food and petrol prices hit the poor hardest, he did not promise any reprieve on this in the near future.

    While he said that, “during the past five years, employment has increased at a faster pace than at any point in the past 20 years, adding over 1.5 million jobs,” he accepted that the high rate of unemployment remained South Africa’s greatest economic challenge and is central to the battle on poverty. The minister says that efforts to increase employment of youth must be intensified and skills development better-focused. He introduced tax measures to broaden the internship allowance and to include longer-term apprenticeships targeted at technical skills and support for small businesses will also focus on encouraging job creation.

    Causes of the “storm clouds ahead” that the minister alluded to include: turbulence in the North American economy, inflation and South Africans’ general lack of savings that increase vulnerability to financial turbulence. Despite this, Manuel says that the economy’s longer term outlook remains favourable.

    Pic source:

    What’s in store for you from the Taxman?

    By Nadia Samie
    20 February 2008

    Many tuned in to Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s budget speech, delivered in Parliament on Wednesday, to hear what they would have to cough up this year in taxes.

    There is slight relief for individuals. The minister announced adjustments to the personal income tax schedules that will see relief of R7.2 billion, which compensates for the effects of inflation. A third of the benefits goes to those with a taxable income of below R150 000 per year. It will further benefit those in the R150 000 to R250 000 annual income bracket. People earning less than R46 000 per year are exempt from paying tax.

    Further tax proposals included:
  • Petrol and diesel taxes will increase by 11 cents from 2 April 2008;
  • Cigarettes will cost 66cents more per pack of 20;
  • A litre of wine will cost 12 cents more;
  • A 340ml can of beer will cost 7.2 cents more;
  • A bottle of liquor (spirits) will cost R2,17 more;
  • A simplified tax regime for small businesses;
  • Measures to encourage employers to provide bursaries for the children of middle and low income employees;
  • A reduction in the corporate income tax rate from 29 percent to 28 percent;
  • An electricity levy of 2 cents per kilowatt hour;
  • R5 billion in tax subsidies over the next three years for labour-intensive industries and industrial policy

    Director-General in the Department of the Treasury Lesetja Kganyago says that in this period of global volatility, the economy must remain resilient, adding that more fiscal resources must go into investment that in consumption.

    Documents pertaining to the 2008 Budget can be found on the web at

  • Social grants to increase by R12.5 billion

    By Celeste Ganga
    20 February 2008

    Several steps in extending social security over the period ahead were announced in the 2008 Budget, tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on Wednesday. According to the minister, the social grant increase will match or exceed inflation, and take into account the disproportionate impact of price increases on the poor.

    “The maximum values of the disability and old age grants will increase by R70 a month to R940 in April this year, while the child support grant will increase by R10 in April and by a further R10 in October, to R220 a month,” Manuel announced.

    The total number of grant beneficiaries is 12.4 billion, and expenditure on social assistance will be R75.3 billion next year.

    “The qualifying household income threshold for the child support grant will be raised and the means test formula that applies to the old age grant and disability grant will be revised, contributing both to easier administration of these restrictions and broader access of the poor to income support,” explains Manuel.

    Meanwhile the child support grant will be extended to include children up to the age of 15, which will take effect from January 2009. Also the age of eligibility of men to receive old age pension has been reduced to 60.

    'Health Services growth to increase by 10%'

    With regard to the Health sector, improved remuneration and training have contributed to an increase in health personnel of 39 600 over the past four years. In addition to this, 25 000 posts will be filled by 2010, South Africans were told.

    “The hospital revitalisation programme is targeted for additional allocations, the conditional grants for HIV and Aids will increase and tertiary health services are prioritised,” explains Manuel.

    The Minister added that, together with additional resources for multi-drug resistant and extreme drug resistant tuberculosis and for higher pay for nurses, spending on health services is projected to grow by over 10% a year over the next three years.


    The budget makes allowances for the building of schools, early childhood education, school books and educator remuneration.

    According to the budget, over the next three years provinces have budgeted to spend over R18 billion on school infrastructure and equipment, so that unsafe schools can be eradicated.

    On the issue of safety, R2.7 billion will go towards information technology infrastructure, police forensic laboratories and additional police personnel as well as R2 billion for correctional facilities.
    “The expansion of early childhood education to about 60 000 more children will put basic pre-school education within reach of even the poorest of households,” says Manuel.

    R1.4 billion will go towards higher education, research and knowledge development.

    He adds that in addition, the school nutrition programme will increase by over 30% next year in order to feed more children, in more schools, more days of the year.

    In the 2007/08 financial year, total education spending exceeded R105 billion. This being something that the Minister says rightly signifies that investing in the capabilities on which dignity, self-reliance and social progress are built; is at the center of their development strategy.
    “Education is central to our objective of broadening opportunity and fighting poverty,” says Manuel.

    Energy: ‘Up to R60 billion provided for Eskom’

    The minister has proposed that R60 billion should be provided to support the financing of Eskom’s investment programme, on terms, structured to assist in meeting cash flow requirements. This comes after the utility’s balance sheet is predicted to undergo some “stress”.

    Manuel was adamant in saying that this is not a grant. “The return on an investment in power generation is very long term, and the repayment of debt must be similarly deferred,” he said.

    He adds that the government would not be supporting these investments if they were not confident that they are economically and financially viable.

    Over the next five years the utility’s capital expansion plans will amount to R343 billion, with about 73% earmarked for power generation projects.

    An amount of R2 billion will be set aside over the next three years to support programmes aimed at encouraging more efficient use of electricity, generation from renewable sources, installation of electricity-saving devices and co-generation projects.

    According to Manuel, “the return-to-service of previously mothballed power stations, Camden, Grootvlei and Komati, will add a combined 3 677MW of generating capacity by 2011 and other smaller projects produce about 2 000MW,” explains Manuel.

    Two big new coal-fired plants, Medupi in Lephalale and Bravo near Witbank, each costing an excess of R80 billion will produce about 4 500MW each. To improve transmission capacity, Eskom is strengthening the Cape grid, and building new lines from Majuba to KwaZulu-Natal.

    With regard to the general fuel (petrol and diesel) taxes, this will increase by 11cents per litre, as of 2 April 2008.

    Police search for three missing persons

    By Rhodé Marshall
    20 February 2008

    Police are requesting the assistance of the public in the search for three people who have been reported missing by their families.

    Hambiwe Chirua, a 32-year-old woman from Malawi arrived in Cape Town on 15 February 2008. Superintendent André Traut says Chirua left the home of her employee on the 17th in Wynberg but failed to return to her residence.

    “She was last seen in a white top and a black skirt, she is a foreigner and not familiar with Cape Town at all. The last news on her whereabouts is that she made a telephone call to her husband in Malawi from a pay phone that was traced to an address in Bellville,” says Traut.

    51-year-old Christopher Cupido who is mentally challenged disappeared on February 16, after he left his Elsies River home. Cupido was wearing a blue shirt and a brown corduroy trouser.

    “58-year-old John Rozana also a mentally challenged person disappeared on Friday 15 February. He left his residence dressed in a light grey jersey, an orange cap, a black jacket and a grey and tracksuit pants,” says Traut.

    Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hambiwe Chirua can contact the Wynberg Police station on 021 799 1300. Information on where Christopher Cupido and John Rozana is, call the Elsies River police on 021 933 0304. Alternatively call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

    Right to Food Campaign to protest during budget speech

    By Tina George
    20 February 2008

    Today organisations in the Western Cape, supportive of the Right to Food Campaign will protest in front of parliament in a bid to bring the deterioration of food insecurity of the country to the Finance Minister, Trevor Manual’s attention while he gives the budget speech.

    The RTFC argues that the constitutional right protects the right of all people to have access to sufficient healthy food and portable water.

    They believe that issues of food security are permanently related to the policy fundamentals that have not prioritised the needs of poor people.

    A meeting will be held before the protest at the Minor Hall, St George’s Cathedral at 11am to address Community based organisations in discussing how they will co-operate in the predicament that people in the province are faced with.

    The campaign was initiated by the Economic Justice Unit and supported by the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

    Department of Public Works says it will spearhead Government’s Energy Saving Initiatives

    By Rhodé Marshall
    20 February 2008

    The National Department of Public Works says that their Department is going to spearhead the efforts to apply the Energy Efficiency programme in all government owned and leased buildings.

    “The Department of Public Works as part of its mandate is to manage all the fixed assets of government.

    One of the duties we’ve got as a department towards the country is to implement the decisions that have been taken by cabinet,” says the department’s spokesperson Lucky Mochalibane.

    Mochalibane says that government departments are going to promote the efficient individual use of air conditioners and heaters as to centralized systems.

    “We have spoken about the instillation of energy efficient (light) bulbs; we also spoke about using cut controlled devices which will regulate the amount of power or energy which is being used.

    Meanwhile Eskom says that no loadshedding is currently expected but that consumers should continue to use electricity sparingly.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    Delft evictions turn violent

    By Anele Siwa, Rhode Marshall, Celeste Ganga,
    Chanel September & Nadia Samie
    19 February 2008

    Evictions carried out by the sherrif of the court in the Delft area turned violent on Tuesday. It is believed that six people were hit by police rubber bullets, after they allegedly threw stones at the police, refusing to vacate the incomplete dwellings that they currently occupy illegally.

    The shooting occurred after a truck loaded the goods of the backyward dwellers, who are adamant that they are not going anywhere.

    The police’s Superintendent Andre Traut says that police were forced to take action, using stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

    “At this stage we have six casualties and the injured are being treated on the scene,” Traut says.

    Anti-Eviction Campaign co-ordinator Ashraf Cassiem says that the police started shooting after people refused to move. He alleges that the people were quietly sitting down at the time of the shooting, a claim contradicted by police on the scene.

    “They’ve arrested a co-ordinator in the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, as well as a co-ordinator from the Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign,” Cassiem says.

    The evictions come after Judge Deon van Zyl on Monday dismissed the application for leave to appeal an eviction order in the Cape High Court. The community have indicated that they will launch an appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. The backyard dwellers have been illegally occupying unfinished homes in the area since December last year.

    A media release from the Anti-Eviction Campaign reads: "Following yesterday's ruling in the High Court which uphold's Thubelisha Homes and the state's eviction order against the community, the residents decided to appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein."

    The Anti-Eviction Campaign says if government succeeds in evicting the residents, more than six thousand people could become homeless.

    Meanwhile, the ANC has supported the recommendation of the MEC for Local Government and Housing Richard Dyantyi, for action to be taken against the DA councillor who is alleged to have encouraged the backyard dwellers to invade the unfinished houses.

    Divers continue the search for missing people

    By Chanel September
    19 February 2008

    Police divers have continued the search for three people on Tuesday morning, who are presumed to have drowned in two separate incidents.

    NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon says that divers are currently engage in two separate search dramas.

    “At 18h45, an eye-witness reported 2 people in distress in the surf at Logies Bay on the Cape Town side of Llandudno,” says Lambinon.

    On arrival rescue services began a search for the two men eye-witnesses had seen disappear into the sea.

    “It appears that three men and a female were on the shore together when two of the men went into the surf and got into difficulties. The third man reportedly went into the surf to try and assist,” says Lambinon.

    But on arrival the remaining two men had already disappeared beneath the sea surface.

    The rescued man and woman were taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia and shock. They are both in a stable condition.

    Meanwhile in a separate incident

    A 21-year-old man form Phillipi disappeared beneath the surface of the sea at Pebble Beach.

    Both incidents are being investigated by police.

    Man faces attempted murder charges after shooting thief

    By Celeste Ganga
    19 January 2008

    On Monday morning a Claremont resident reported to police that when he came out of his home he noticed an unknown man coming out of his car. According to police spokesperson Elliot Sinyangana, the owner of the vehicle screamed at the man and instead of fleeing, the alleged thief came running towards him with a sharp object.

    “He (the owner) then fired two shots in the air to scare him; instead the man closed the gap between them. The alleged thief came closer with the sharp object, the owner then fired a shot to the man’s right leg,” says Sinyngana.

    Sinyangana adds that the complainant phoned the police and other emergency units. The wounded man was placed under police arrest and taken to hospital under police guard.

    A case of theft of the motor vehicle is being investigated. Also a case of attempted murder against the complainant has been opened.

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