Monday, August 02, 2021

Eskom Medupi’s last unit achieves commercial operation

Eskom announced that Unit 1, the last of six generation units at Medupi Power Station Project in Lephalale, Limpopo, has finally been completed.

In a statement, the parastatal said the completion of Unit 1 marks the completion of all building activities on the 4 764MW project, which commenced in May 2007.

The unit attained commercial operation status and was handed over to the generation division on Saturday.

“The commercial operation status means technical compliance to statutory; safety and legal requirements have all been met. The unit was officially declared commercial after the completion of the unit optimisation, control demonstration, as well as the 72-hour and 30-day reliability run, which have put all performance guarantees into effect. Unit 1 was first synchronised to the national grid on 27 August 2019 and reached the full load of 794MW on 05 December 2019,” says Eskom’s spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha

Eskom said the commercial operation status means technical compliance to statutory, safety, and legal requirements have all been met.

The utility has since applauded all the teams involved and its execution partners for working tirelessly to ensure the unit is handed over for commercial operation as planned by the end of July.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Cape police sought suspect facing a rape charge

Cape Town police are asking the public to help find a man believed to be in his 20s after raping a woman.

‘’On 29 June 2021 the suspect approached the 19-year-old victim in Delft Main Road and sexually assaulted her during an attempted robbery,’’ said police colonel Andrè Traut.

‘’The suspect is in his twenties with no front upper teeth, 1.67 m tall and of medium built. He was wearing a black hooded top, black tracksuit pants and running shoes and was carrying a brown backpack,’’ Traut added.

Anyone with information is kindly asked to contact Sergeant Christell Frieslaar of the Delft Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit on 082 522 1040 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111. You may remain anonymous when providing information to SAPS.  

 

PICTURE COURTESY: SAPS


Done By: Mitchum George

SARS seizes R6m worth of illicit cigarettes

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has seized illicit cigarettes from a number of Cape Town traders valued at R6 million.

The SARS Customs National Rapid Response Team, together with the South African Police Service (SAPS), seized the consignment on Thursday.

In a statement, the revenue collector said the raid saw 443 master cases, each containing 50 cartons of various brands of cigarettes, seized in the intelligence-driven operation.

SARS said the operation was part of its heightened focus on illicit trade in cigarettes and tobacco products to protect the local industry and broader economy.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said the import of illicit cigarettes and other goods such as clothing and textiles, counterfeit medicines or remedies, as well as second hand motor vehicles, amongst others, destroys local industry and contributes to job losses.

“These activities also rob the country of much needed revenue that enables government to deliver basic services to the poor and vulnerable, such as old age pensions, and offer relief to struggling businesses and their employees following the recent riots,” Kieswetter said in a statement.

Kieswetter said there were also health risks for consumers, as illegally imported cigarettes do not comply with South African health regulations and pose a serious health risk to smokers.

“SARS has a mandate to facilitate legitimate trade and will not tolerate illicit trade that harms our economy and our people, which is aligned with our strategic objective to make it hard and costly for those who do not comply with our tax and customs and excise legislation,” he added.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Over 110 W. Cape schools will operate at 100%; 38 schools vandalised, burgled

116 primary schools in the Western Cape will operate at full capacity, from Monday.

The Department of Basic Education announced that primary schools can operate fully, depending on various health and safety protocols, including a 1 metre physical distancing measure.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says 894 out of the 1 010 schools in the province cannot comply with the 1 metre physical distancing rule, and therefore have been approved to continue with rotational basis.

‘’The WCED has decided, in terms of the differentiated risk adjusted strategy and the health and safety requirements, to allow for schools who have indicated that they are unable to safely return to a traditional timetabling model, to continue with their revised timetables based on rotation,’’ says WCED spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond.

38 out of 72 special needs schools in the Western Cape will also return to 100% capacity.

‘’These figures do not surprise us, as it mirrors similar figures when schools could apply for 100% attendance earlier this year,’’ added Hammond.

At the same time, the WCED revealed that 38 Western Cape schools have reported incidents of vandalism, burglary, or attempted burglary, over the July school holidays.

Items stolen included sports equipment, gardening and maintenance equipment, fencing, building fixtures, lighting and electrical cables, IT equipment, stationery, kitchen equipment, and food for school meals.

‘’I am extremely disappointed that our schools have once again been targeted by ruthless criminals while closed for the holidays. Our schools are already operating in difficult circumstances, and the last thing they need is to be further disrupted by damages and theft. Even where nothing was stolen, the attempts by these criminals to gain access to a school property caused damage to infrastructure.’’ Said Education MEC, Debbie Schafer

The MEC urged the public to report any suspicious activity in the vicinity of schools to SAPS or the Safe Schools hotline on 0800 45 46 47

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Western Cape Premier receives COVID-19 jab

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Mitchells Plain Community Health Centre on Saturday.

‘’I chose to get vaccinated because I know that the vaccine is safe and highly effective, offering excellent protection against serious illness and death. I also know that by getting vaccinated I am playing my part in beating COVID-19, in saving lives, and in saving jobs in the Western Cape,’’ said Winde.

Mitchell’s Plain has the lowest rate of COVID-19 vaccine registrations.

‘’Today, I specifically chose to get vaccinated in the community of Mitchells Plain, using the special Saturday vaccination service offered by our Department of Health. This is because this community has had a lower rate of vaccine registration than the rest of the province.’’

Winde encouraged citizens to get the jab.

‘’I want to use this opportunity to encourage our residents to do proper research from reliable sources if they are unsure about getting vaccinated. Speak to a nurse at your local clinic or hospital and ask them to explain to you how it works. There is a lot of fake news on social media and being shared via WhatsApp, and so I know it can be confusing. But please check trusted sources so you can make an informed decision with accurate information.’’

‘’If you do so, you will see how vaccines are saving lives in countries around the world, keeping people out of the hospital, and allowing economies to open up and to grow again. We need the same in the Western Cape, and every person, from 18 years to 100 years old, has a role to play in making this happen. We are all in this together,’’ Winde added.

More than 2 000 people got the jab last week Saturday. The weekend vaccinations are encouraged to those who are unable to get inoculated during the week.

12 vaccination sites are open to the public on a Saturday.

The Western Cape Government says additional weekend public sites will be considered, on an ongoing basis, as this is dependent on vaccine supply.

 

On Saturday, 31 July the following sites will be open:

        Goodwood Hall

        Saxon Sea Hall, Atlantis

        Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre

        Gugulethu Community Health Centre

        Site B Community Day Centre

        Kleinvlei Recreational Hall

        Citrusdal Hospital

        Vredendal North Clinic

        Piketberg Clinic

        Darling Community Hall

        Saron Clinic

        Tankwa Farm stall (only for farm workers)


PHOTO: Facebook - Premier Alan Winde


Done By: Mitchum George


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

KZN Teen in need of a Transplant

 

13-year-old Zesuliwe Mazubane from Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal who was diagnosed with one of the most aggressive forms of leukaemia in January, is in need of a stem cell transplant.

Mazubane was meant to start High School at the time of her diagnosis

To date, attempts to get a Transplant both locally and internationally have not yielded any positive matches.

Since then, she has been in and out of hospital following chemotherapy for refractory T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia which is said to be one of the most aggressive forms of Leukaemia

The donor recruitment officer Siphokazi Dyasi, said they are looking for black donors and they call on coloured, Indians and blacks to come forward and sign up.

Done by Lizeka Tsotetsi


Capetonians to consider weekday burials

There’s been a week-on-week increase in burials at Cape Town cemeteries 

According to City figures, a total of 638 burials were completed at cemeteries in the past week. This is an increase from 488, the week before.

‘’What we are experiencing now is similar to the previous two waves of Covid-19 infections, when fatalities increased sharply. The City has sufficient capacity to accommodate burials, but if one considers the number of burials at Klip Road in the past week, that equates to an average of 30 a day, which means a lot of foot traffic in and out of the cemetery, increased risk of close contact and increased pressure on staff to manage the situation. We therefore need a collective effort to ensure that we are able to manage the situation effectively, and in the best interests of public health and safety,’’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

Badroodien said the availability of public graves has been impacted by a high water table, at the Maitland cemetery, brought about by heavy rainfall.

‘’In the last week, the Maitland Crematorium completed 84 cremations, while 32 others were transferred to private crematoria while maintenance work on one of the cremators at Maitland was being finalised,’’ added Badroodien.

Badroodien urged funeral organisers to consider weekday burials to help alleviate the pressure on cemeteries

 

Done By: Mitchum George

WCape EMS records 31 attacks for 2021, thus far

There’s been 31 reported attacks on EMS officials in the Western Cape since the start of 2021. The latest incident occurred on Saturday, where an ambulance crew was stoned in Elsies Rivier.

“Fortunately there were no injuries and no serious damages. EMS officials are placing their lives at risk and providing an essential service to communities in the Western Cape and we’re urging individuals to support EMS officials during these dire times,’’ says EMS Director, Dr Shaheem De Vries.

Furthermore, EMS officials responded to 4 469 incidents in the Western Cape over the past weekend.

There were 148 incidents in red zone areas and 96 transport-related incidents. Red zone areas are where ambulance crews are not allowed to enter areas without a police escort.

 



Done By: Mitchum George

Monday, July 26, 2021

Seven people in court for murders in recent unrest

Eight people have been arrested in connection with the killings that allegedly took place in Phoenix during the recent looting and unrest that took place in KwaZulu-Nata and Gauteng.

According to police Seven suspects are expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court, north of Durban on Monday. One of the suspects has already appeared in court and his case has been remanded to August 16.

Police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muri-dili says the seven also face a number of other charges.



by Lizeka Tsotetsi

Association denies City's plans for the homeless

The city’s plan to house homeless people in Strandfontein as part of its winter readiness plan was denied by the Ratepayers and Resident’s association. The association said the only learned of the plans on Tuesday as there was no consultations with the directly aaffected comunities

The association’s chairperson Mario Oostendurp in principle it was a good initiative; however, in its previous 2020 homeless camp initiative, there had been no transparent or truthful in its dealings with community organisations, the homeless people in that area where no accommodated.

Mayco member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien said the City wasn't opening a shelter but as part of the winter readiness programme approved an application for additional resource support by the Haven Night Shelter to open up additional temporary shelter space, making use of a church facility in the area.


by Danielle Mentoor

Mfuleni residents stunned by gruesome discovery of bodies

This weekend Mfuleni residents have been left stunned by the discovery of a decapitated body in the Covid informal settlement. On Saturday morning two unknown bodies were found dumped in an open field.

The victim, and another body alongside it with stab wounds, are believed to be from another area, as locals said they don’t know the victims.

Police spokesperson Andrea Traut said no arrests have yet to be made.

“At around 4.20pm the decapitated body of an unknown male was found at Old Faure Mfuleni. The circumstances surrounding the murder are being investigated,” said Traut.

Community leader Nonzwakazi Mngcitha has urged the police to make a swift arrest. Saying murdered people keep getting dumped in their area by outsider and this is tarnishing their image. He said their houses are next to the road therefore its easy for anyone to park and dump a body unnoticed especially during the night.

Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali has appealed to all sectors of society to play their part in helping to root out this scourge of violence.

As an organization that advocates for the rights of women and children for over 32 years we are deeply concerned by the spike in murders of women in the Western Cape, through our observations we have witnessed that the Western Cape leads the rest of the nation in femicide cases, and it dawns upon us to ask very fundamental questions about the state of Gender Based Violence in our country,” said Monakali.

Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop at 086 0010 111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211


by Everngelista Muza

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Family of five dies in a Mitchells plain fire

Five family members died in a fire in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain in the early hours on Saturday.

The City of Cape Town’s Fire & Rescue Services, Jermaine Carelse said that fire crews were called at 04:08 and was told that three girls were still trapped inside the Wendy house.

“When Mitchells plain fire station arrived at the scene at Buffelshoek Street, they found a wendy house engulfed in flames. A man, woman and three girls were declared deceased on scene and one boy was treated for burn wounds and transported to a nearby hospital,” said Jermaine Carelse.

He further added: Fire crews extinguished the blaze an hour later. The scene was handed over to the South African Police Services for further investigation.

 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Problems with pot-holes in Cape Town townships getting bigger

The City’s collapsed Transport Authority Management System, which underpinned the pothole repair service, has resulted in a 40-fold increase of the 900 threshold maintenance number set four years ago.

According to the Good Party secretary Brett Herron before the last few weeks of heavy rainfall there was already a backlog of 35 000 potholes in need of repair across the city. He said following recent rains, the situation would be exacerbated.

He said the majority of potholed and poorly maintained roads were in poor communities.

Nyanga policing forum chairperson Martin Makhasi said another reason that made the situation worse was car hijackings and smash-and-grabs incidents in the area. He also said there were incidents where residents partly contributed to this condition but said it was mostly caused by flooding and the unattended overflowing sewage draining system.

 

Western Cape government closes taxi route between Bellville and Paarl

Western Cape Transport Minister, Daylin Mitchell has decided to close thr route between Bellville and Paarl as clashes between rival groups CATA and CODETA continue.

Upto 20 people have been killed in the conflict over the past two weeks. He said the B 97 route is the main cause of the conflict with both organisations claiming that they have the right to operate on it.

He made the decision following consultations with the police, premier Alan Winde and the national transport department.

The closure of the route will take effect on Monday next week. Earlier this week on Wednesday, the Western Cape government made an official request for the deployment of more soldiers to quell the ongoing taxi violence in the province.

The soldiers are assisting law enforcement officials to bring stability in the affected routes. Golden Arrow Bus Service is offering limited service after one of the drivers was shot in the face near Nyanga.

Law enforcement officials have conducted search operations in some taxi ranks and escorted some taxi and busses along affected routes to ensure safety. Winde said he envisages double the current number of soldiers to bolster the law enforcement.


by Everngelista Muza

Former health department employee and husband in court over fraudulent transactions

An Eastern Cape couple facing charges of fraud are expected to appear in the East London Magistrate’s Court today to formally bring forth a bail application.

According to spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Captain the couple were arrested yesterday after the allegations of fraud were reported to the East London Serious Corruption Investigation team for probing. it is alleged that on May 26, 2016, two fictitious payments that did not form part of the reported accruals were made by the department of health in the Amalahleni District.

She said that there were a number of other payments which were made to seven different companies without the appropriate approval of documentation. The couple made a brief court appearance yesterday but were remanded in custody until their next appearance.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Cold weather going as far as the weekend

The South African Weather Service is warning that cold temperatures are expected to persist across most provinces in the country over the next few days, with some areas in the eastern parts dropping to -8 degrees Celsius.

Cold weather swept across western on Monday bringing with it the rain but the next forecasted cold front is expected to bring disruptive rainfall, strong winds and very cold conditions.

According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), the cold temperatures are expected to last into the coming weekend. Forecaster Wayne Venter said Gauteng, is expected to have some cold temperatures for today into the weekend and also still expecting snowfall over the high-lying areas of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

by Everngelista Muza

Son allegedly stabbed mom to death in fight over cellphone not being charged

A Khayelitsha mother has allegedly died at the hands of her own son.

A neighbor says the woman was killed because she didn’t charge the suspect’s cellphone. Apparently they were in a fight the previous night before he threatened to kill his mom, before he suddenly attacked her as she was busy. Police stated they found the 48-year-old woman had sustained multiple stab wounds and was declared dead on scene.

According to the Makhaza residents the suspect had been staying with his father in Strand as the mother had declared the boy was getting out of hand. They said they were shocked with his changed behavior as he had always been a quit, obedient boy.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk says the suspect will appear in court once he has been charged.


by Everngelista Muza

Thousands of community health workers to wait another year for a possible permanent employment

Thousands of community health workers at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 may have to wait for another year before being absorbed as the government wants the agreement to consider permanently employing them extended.

the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA – are considering the government’s offer to extend the deal reached in 2018. However, the agreement had a clause making provision for the resolution to be extended for two consecutive terms.

According to the PSA, if the draft agreement enjoys majority support, its lifespan will be extended until July 10, 2022, which will mean the estimated 60 000 community health workers will be employed for another 12 months while their representatives try to resolve their permanent employment.

Community health workers are paid a non-service remuneration of R3 500 a month if they have completed matric or have experience and can benefit from recognition of prior learning.

Capetonians to experience Stage two load shedding this evening

Eskom stated Westerns Cape to experience stge two loadshedding from 16:00 to 21:00 toning. The utility has managed to avoid rolling blackouts in recent weeks but is now asking all users to cut back on electricity use where possible to preserve the system.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said: The system is currently severely constrained and it is anticipated that towards the evening peak, the system will come under additional pressure due to the high demand for electricity.

by Everngelista Muza

The Department of Correctional Services said there’ll strictly watch over the former president Jacob Zuma

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said that it would always monitor former President Jacob Zuma’s whereabouts while the convicted criminal was out of prison.

The former president was granted compassionate leave early morning to attend his younger brother Michael’s funeral. Zuma was now at his Nkandla homestead, with his family, and was getting ready to attend the service.

The department has not indicated how long Zuma will be out of jail for but said that it would follow strict protocols to ensure that he returned to his prison cell at the agreed upon time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Liquor industry asking for an agent meet up to lift ban

The liquor industry in South Africa has called for the alcohol ban to be lifted while calling on government to urgently meet with them and discuss the impact of last week's riots on the industry.

The liquor industry said over 160 liquor outlets and distribution centres were looted and damaged during violent and deadly riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week, as thousands of people looted shops and caused damage to infrastructure worth billions of rand.

The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) chief executive Patricia Pillay said it was calling on government to lift the alcohol ban, saying a continued ban worth threaten the livelihoods of over a million people who are supported by the industry.

The alcohol industry said the ban had caused jobs to bleed, such as at Aegir Brewery, which had initially been able to employ up to 60 people and open a restaurant but was forced to retrench 12 people as a direct consequence of the ban.

Those who remained on the companies’ books were now on short time and short pay.  The industry said it had chosen to go public after making numerous failed attempts to meet with the minister.


by Everngelista Muza

More soldiers to be deployed to quell Western cape ongoing taxi violence

 Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says he will officially request for the deployment of more soldiers to quell ongoing taxi violence in the province.

More than 20 people have been killed in the recent conflict between rival groups – the Cape Amal-gamated Taxi Association (CATA) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (CODETA).

On Monday, services were disrupted after a bus driver was shot and wounded near Nyanga. The bus company says there have been several threats of intimidation on social media against the service.

Meanwhile the Mayco member for safety and security JP smith gave a feedback from the City’s safety and security morning meeting, and reported so far there has been no taxi violence reported this morning. Very few taxis are currently operating and public transport interchanges (PTIs) and ranks are quite.

City enforcement services are maintaining a presence in all affected areas. There are also conducting vehicle checks, looking for firearms and ensuring the taxis operating are doing so legally.

He also pleaded with the public to stray from sharing unverified voice notes and messages.

by Evermgelista Muza

Five years imprisonment for mom who gave daughter up following child negligence

The Parow Regional Court has sentenced a mother to five years’ imprisonment, put her daughter up for adoption, banned her from working with children and declared her unfit to own a firearm.

This follows her conviction on charges of child neglect and child abuse, Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said in a statement on Wednesday.

The incidents of neglect and abuse took place in 2019. The prosecutor, Colleen de Louw, said the child had bite marks on her body as well as bruises, abrasions and burn marks.

They were initially charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and rape, but they were acquitted on those charges as there was no direct evidence linking them to those charges.


by Everngelista Muza

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Golden arrow bus driver shot through the mouth

A Golden Arrow bus driver was struck by a bullet through the mouth at the Borcherds Quarry drive this Monday morning.

Police spokesperson warrant officer Joseph Swartbooi said police found the driver had sustained injuries to his mouth. Swartbooi said the gunmen fled the scene and were yet to be arrested.

Golden Arrow bus services (Gabs) spokesperson John Dammert confirmed the incident. He said the incident has been reported to police and the driver was receiving medical attention and no passengers were injured.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has cautioned taxi industry players to desist from violence, adding that lawlessness was unacceptable.

Mbalula said that while they remained concerned about the state of the taxi industry and were attentive to the grievances of operators and drivers, acts of criminality in the industry would not be tolerated.


 by Everngelista Muza

Two life sentences for "Please call me rapist"

A North West man has been handed two life sentences for rape after he was caught visiting one of his victims and proposing his love for her. North West police spokesperson Colonel Amanda Funani said Kabelo Motlangwane, targeted women who lived alone.

She said that in February 2015, he raped two women, aged 26 and 36, on two separate occasions

After raping the second woman, Funani said, he took the victim’s phone then sent himself a Please Call Me, so that he could have her number on his phone.

A few days after opening a rape case against him, the victim got a call from the rapist, saying he heard that she had opened a case against him and asked her why she would do that when he was in love with her.

This resulted in her devising a plan with her neighbours and the police. The police asked her to agree to the meeting, so they could arrest the man when he showed up. He was also charged with theft and house breaking with the intention to commit theft. The police and the National Prosecuting Authority had successfully opposed bail.


by Everngelista Muza

Khayelitsha woman arrested after body of baby found burried beside her shack

A Khayelitsha woman has been arrested after the body of her infant was found buried in a shallow grave next to her shack.

Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said police had been in the are when they heard about 22-year-old boy who allegedly stabbed his mother. Upon their arrival they found the body of a 48-year-old woman declare dead on the scene.

Residents said police were led to their next discovery by the smell resulting in the discovery of an infant in a hole wrapped with plastic bags and blankets. The child’s body was discovered next to a shack

According to a witness the woman had been previodsly seen digging a hole, which neighbours assumed she was trying to prevent water from coming into her house.

Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi confirmed the arrests and said the 29 year old mother is expected in court today, meanwhile 22 year old has been detained for tabbing his mother to death.


by Evermgelista Muza


Ilmainen www-laskuri