Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ANC defend showing Madiba images

Athenkosi Mvane
30 April 2013

The African National Congress said showing images of a frail former president Nelson Mandela was the right thing to do as the world needed to see him. 

There was an outcry after footage of Former President Nelson Mandela was shown on television in his house during a visit by President Jacob Zuma, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson Baleka Mbete and his medical team. 

ANC Spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said they are happy Mandela is well, and they had made a decision that the nation, Africa and the world should see him.

“Of course we are aware that Madiba is old and also frail, but that does not take away our love for him and the love of all South Africans and people of the world” Mthembu added.

Health Department launches polio and measles immunisation

Athenkosi Mvane
30 April 2013

The National Health Department has today launched the national polio and measles immunisation campaign to prevent childhood diseases and deaths. 

The first round of the campaign started on Monday 29 April to 17 May 2013, giving polio drops to children from birth to 59 months and measles vaccines to children from 9 to 59 months. 

The second round of the campaign will be from the 17th to the 28th of June, and children from birth to 59 months will get polio drops.

Departmental Spokesperson Popa Maja said the campaign is to protect the nation and young ones from being infected by polio and measles.

“We still have cases of polio in our country, which should have been eradicated; it can be eradicated completely if parents make sure that their children are immunised” Maja added.

Study reveals 1 in 5 children are on tik

Imogen Vollenhoven
30 April 2013

The Cape Town Drug Counseling Centre has disputed a recent study that has revealed that one in five children in the Western Cape are on tik.

A recent finding by the Medical Research Council claimed that 2 percent of South African children are using the drug. 

Director of the Cape Town Drug Counseling Centre Ashley Potts said the Cape Town drug counselling centre statistics that was indicating that they work with an average amount of people in schools within the Western Cape but its far less in terms of its numbers and that which the research deals with.

He added that they are in no way disagreeing or rubbishing as stated in the article, the medical research claim on took the centre South African children using drugs and that this was a factual survey done and they are in support of it.

Meanwhile the Western Cape Department of Social Development said everybody needs to work together in curbing drug abuse in the province. 

According to official figures, at least 250 000 people in the province are now addicted to tik.

A shocking 36 percent of these are teenagers.

MEC of the Department of Social Development Albert Fritz explains that they want to ask all role players specifically where substance abuse is prevalent to take the department’s hand in getting and becoming part of the solution of the problem and to please resist the temptation.

He added that sometimes people just site on the fence and make comments and it is a completely unscientific and irrelevant instead of helping each other in and around the communities.

A women shot and killed in Pretoria

Imogen Vollenhoven
30 April 2013

A woman was shot dead in Pretoria’s city.

The woman was killed when she and two men were involved in a shooting incident in front of the Latin coffee bar on the corner of Du Toit and Helen Joseph streets.

In another incident an unidentified man was also shot dead in Atterbury Road in Pretoria this morning.

Netcare 911 Santi Steinmann explains that Netcare 911 paramedics responded to a shooting incident on Atterbury road and the man was tragically declared dead on the scene due to the extensive injuries he sustained.

“Exact details of the cause of the incident and preceding events will remain the subject of a police investigation,” said Steinmann.

City to monitor chemical toilets service

Imogen Vollenhoven
30 April 2013

The City of Cape said it has always considered fitting microchips to portable toilets in informal settlements. 

The microchip would help the city in monitoring the toilets in regards with them being serviced or moved. 

This past weekend the Social Justice Coalition held public hearings to reveal its audit that it did regarding chemical toilets in Khayelitsha. 

The audit found that the toilets were not maintained and cleaned properly.  

Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services Ernest Sonnenberg said the first part the City is monitoring of chemical toilets, the City is thinking of putting micro-chips into the chemical toilets to help them monitor when the toilets are serviced.

Thabethe to lead an Outward Selling Mission Algeria and Tunisia

Loyiso Langeni
30 April 2013

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe is expected to lead a delegation of businesspeople on an Outward Selling Mission in Algeria and Tunisia.  

The department said the objective of the mission is to create market access of South African value added products and services into new markets and to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination.

Departmental Spokesperson Sidwell Medupe said South Africa and Algeria signed an Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement on the 24th September 2000.

Medupe added the DTI and the Algerian authorities agreed to establish a Joint Trade and Investment as a means to impalement the signed.  

15 men in court for attempted casino theft

Loyiso Langeni
30 April 2013

15 men who were arrested following the attempted robbery of Emperors Palace Casino on Sunday are expected to appear in court today. 

They were arrested on Sunday after police at the casino received a tip-off that 19 men were planning to rob the venue.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said these arrests will send a strong message to criminals that police would not hesitate to protect citizens.

Three AK-47 assault rifles, four pistols and one revolver were recovered at the scene.

Gauteng Police Spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said all the 15 suspects will appear in Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court.

Right2Know Campaign remains opposed to the Info Bill

Mluleki Mrwebi
30 April 2013

Opposition parties and civil organisations including Right2Know have called on President Jacob Zuma to take the Protection of State Information Bill to the Constitutional Court. 

Right2Know said some of the aspects of the Bill need to be questioned. 

Right2Know’s Murry Hunter said the problem with the bill is that once the information is classified then anybody who finds information that is classified whether its in the public interest they could be facing jail if they publish that information.

Hunter added that journalist and whistleblowers will be hardest hit by this bill.

The bill was passed in the National Assembly on Thursday last week.

15 Casino suspects to appear in court today

Mluleki Mrwebi
30 April 2013

The 15 men who were arrested following the attempted robbery of Emperors Palace Casino on Sunday are expected to appear in court today. 

They were arrested on Sunday after police at the casino received a tip-off that 19 men were planning to rob the venue. 

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said these arrests will send a strong message to criminals that police would not hesitate to protect citizens. 

Gauteng Police Spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said these suspects will appear in Kempton Park Magistrate Court.

A 5 year-old girl was shot and wounded when a shootout ensued between the robbers and the police.

It is reported that she is recovering well in hospital.

Golden Arrow apologises to commuters

Athenkosi Mvane
30 April 2013

Golden Arrow Bus Services on Monday apologised to its commuters for the on going nation wide strike, that has caused major disruptions. 

In a statement it said unfortunately Golden Arrow is not in a position to unlock the current situation as the South African Road Passengers Bargaining Council comprises two employer associations and two unions representing the entire South African bus industry. 

Golden Arrow’s Human Resources Executive Bronwen Dyke said there are no winners in the situation as passengers are inconvenienced, staff members are not receiving wages, the company is not operating and the entire economy is suffering.

“Any wage increase must be inline with the current economic climate; we can not accommodate the demands made at the moment.

“We are hopeful that the unions involved will return to the bargaining table in a spirit that safeguards their employment and the future of the South African bus industry” Dyke added.

Dyke also said Golden Arrow would do its best to inform its customers informed at all times.

Monday, April 29, 2013

DENOSA: Regular exercise could reduce amount of non-communicable diseases

Athenkosi Mvane
29 April 2013

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa today said the buying power and lack of regular exercise by many professionals are the two main reasons the country is among the countries with the high burden of non-communicable diseases. 

Denosa said this threatens the potential of the country’s socio-economic growth. 

Denosa’s Communications Manager Sibongiseni Delihlazo said with South Africa’s economic status improving gradually, this brings with it various problems, which are witnesses at the country’s health department outpatient outlets.

“Most people at many hospitals are there to collect medication for non-communicable diseases treatment, but regular exercise would solve this bigger problem that has besieged the country” Delihlazo added.

Swartz:Metrorail trains not striking yet

Athenkosi Mvane
29 April 2013

Metrorail in the Western Cape has today reassured its commuters that despite the on going nation wide strike with bus divers, there is no talk about train drivers joining the strike. 

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union’s Vincent Masoga last week said they will try and get the train and truck drivers to join the strike if no resolution if found.  

Metrorail Regional Manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz said they have not received notice of a strike by Metrorail employees therefore they will continue to assist bus commuters where possible. 

Swartz also said there has not been a talk of a strike by the train drivers.

“We have not yet gotten to a stage where the talks have either broken down or talked about a strike; there is no strike as yet” Swartz pledged.

Employees becoming aware of their rights

Athenkosi Mvane
29 April 2013

As Wednesday the 1st of May marks Workers Day Labour analyst Loane Sharp says workers in South Africa are becoming increasingly aware of their rights in the work place. 

Sharp said workers are insisting on individual appraisals rather than collective bargaining, this is a generational change in attitude. 

Sharp said workers are increasingly knowledgeable leading to declining union numbers in the private sector.

“Trade unions for a long time were the agent of employee rights; employees are taking their grievances to management directly without the use of a union” Sharp added.

Polio and measles campaign kicked off in Worchester

Imogen Vollenhoven
29 April 2013

The Western Cape Department of Health’s mass Polio and Measles Campaign has kicked off in Worcester. 

The department said its objective for this campaign is to given children booster doses that will provide them with additional protection against polio and measles. 

Provincial Department of Health’s Nadia Ferreira said that children attending crèche will be immunised at their crèches and therefore they are urging parents to complete and return consent forms.

NEASA files second application at the labour court

Imogen Vollenhoven
29 April 2013

The National Employer’s Association of South Africa has filed another application in the Labour Court. 

The application seeks to review and set aside the decision by the Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant to extend the terms of a collective agreement to non-profit that fall within the scope of the Metal industry. 

National Employer’s Association of South Africa Spokesperson Sya van der Walt explains that NEASA has on various occasions cautioned the Minister that she could not extend this agreement.

“We believe that she did so because of pressure from especially the trade union, we as NEASA review and see this extension by the Minister as unlawful, unreasonable and also unfair,” added Van De Walt.

Social Justice Coalition held public hearings regarding public toilets

Imogen Vollenhoven
29 April 2013

The Social Justice Coalition on Saturday held a Social Order public hearing on an audit the SJC did regarding portable toilets. 

The audit revealed that of the 346 toilets supplied, only 256 were found and 170 of them were damaged. 

Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille’s Spokesperson Zak Mbhele attended the hearing and said the audit done by SJC was very helpful. 

Mbele explains that it was quite clear that there was frustration and anger amongst many residents, who felt their expectations were not being met.

He added that he thought the social audit was a good exercise in active citizens taking responsibility and working towards solving their problems.

“Everything that was said and commented on, over the weekend I will be relaying to Premier Zille so that she can take it up with Mayor De Lille, in their meetings where they coordinate between province and City,” Said Mbele.

Thirteen injured in an a head-on collision in Robertville near Johannesburg

Loyiso Langeni
29 April 2013

An accident in Robertville, Main Reef Gold, and Johannesburg left thirteen people injured this morning.

The exact details of events leading to the accident are not known at this stage and the police are investigating.

Netcare 911 Spokesperson Santie Steinmann upon their arrival on scene they found that a minibus and light delivery motor vehicle collided resulting in thirteen people.

Steinmann added that the injured were all treated on scene before being transported to various hospitals in the area for further medical care.

A search continues for a missing man in Betty’s Bay

 Loyiso Langeni
29 April 2013

The National Sea Rescue Institute is searching for a man who reportedly fell overboard while fishing in Betty’s Bay.

NSRI were called following reports that a boat had been found under power going around in circles. 

The two men who were reportedly on board were found alive floating in the sea for almost five hours.

NSRI later discovered that there were three men on board and not two. 

NSRI’s Craig Lambinon both man were taken to hospital they were in serious conditions they are recovering well and a search is continuing for the missing man.

NW: Turn around strategy starts at Chris Hani Secondary

Loyiso Langeni
29 April 2013

In the next few weeks R1.27 million schools infrastructure project will commence at the Chris Hani Secondary in Jouberton.

 This is in line with the North West Premier Thandi Modise’s integrated service delivery turn around strategy.

 Modise’s Spokesperson Lesiba Kgwele said the strategy aims to improve academic performance, good governance and extramural activities at schools.  

Kgwele added that the department of Public works and roads and transport has provided with the graders and tractors for the Letsema cleanup campaigns

Kgwele further added that the department of Education has deployed experts to strengthen the Senior Management Team.

 “Provided text books and furniture and has fast track implementation of the National School Nutrition Programme at the school.” Kgwele added.

An accident claim four lives in Johannesburg

Mluleki Mrwebi
29 April 2013

Two adults and two children were killed in a motorbike accident in Gauteng. 

Three people were left injured.  It is believed that the driver lost control and crashed. 

ER24’s Werner Vermaak said the exact circumstance surrounding the incident is not known at this stage but police are investigating.

Vermaak also said one of the children was ejected as it overturned and rolled several times.

Community Safety department partners with a college to fight crime

Mluleki Mrwebi
29 April 2013

The MEC of Community Safety Dan Plato on Sunday announced first round enrolment figures for the Northlink College and Department of Community Safety Partnership.

The partnership is for unemployed youth in crime affected communities who want opportunities and to get educated.

Atleast 126 learners have enrolled for post matric studies.

Minister of Community Safety Dan Plato’s Spokesperson Greg Wagner said last year the MEC started the partnership with the college as a way to fight crime.

Wagner added that the learners were given bursary application and the MEC is mostly impressed by out of the learners into this initiative. 

DA: Department of Public Works unresponsive to PAIA

Athenkosi Mvane
29 April 2013

The Democratic Alliance said that the Department of Public Works has failed to respond to the Promotion of Access to Information Act regarding information to the Auditor General’s audit findings on the construction of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

According to the PAIA, the failure to respond to PAIA application amounts to rejecting it.

The DA launched an appeal to have the request considered.

DA MP Anchen Dreyer said tax payer’s money that could be used for service delivery is being used for a private residence of the President in Nkandla.

“More than R200 million, that’s wrong; we believe voters needs to know how the money is used that is why we are demanding accountability from the government” Dreyer added.

Dreyer further said that the DA was taking this step on account of the public of South Africa.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

FAWU to launch listening to Members campaign

Athenkosi Mvane
28 April 2013

The Food and Allied Workers Union will be launching the Listening to Members Campaign. 

Fawu’s members have raised concerns regarding programs, policies and positions. 

Fawu added that it believes that the ANC is the only party that can deliver socio-economic progress for workers and the poor and create decent jobs. 

Fawu’s General Secretary Katishi Masemola said they would also be using these to listen to what concern Fawu members.

“Even on Fawu with regards to the political situation in the country, including performance by the agency” Masemola added.

PetroSA accused of spending R1 billion on foreign businesses

Athenkosi MVane
28 April 2013

Media organizations on Friday reported that PetroSA under its former CEO Yekani Tenza had spent about R1 billion in foreign businesses.

It is alleged that PetroSA spent R200 million in a Company in Ghana that had liabilities which amounted to R800 million.

The Democratic Alliance has called on the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela to investigate the allegations.

A Member of Parliament Jacques Smalle said the Democratic Alliance will be approaching the standing committee standing Chairperson Themba Godi, Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters and PetroSA management to appear before the Scopa potfolio.

“This is to deal with questions regarding to acquisitions and PetroSA’s dealings in foreign countries such as Ghana” Smalle added.

WC traffic department roadblock statistics

Athenkosi Mvane
28 April 2013

The Western Cape Traffic Department held 12 roadblocks on Friday night throughout the province on the main and national routes.

1 448 drivers were tested for alcohol, from which 7 were arrested.

A total of R110 200 was written in fines.

Western Cape Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said that 12 751 vehicles were tested for speed and of that 1 021 drivers were arrested for exceeding the speed limit.

“The highest speed recorded was 188 km/h in a 120 km/h zone near Brackenfell, and there were two fatalities on the roads thus far; two pedestrians were knocked down in separate incidents” Africa added.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

3 die in accident in Polokwane

Athenkosi Mvane
27 April 2013

Police are investigating the circumstances of an accident that lead to the death of three people.

Six cars were involved in an accident on the N3 near Polokwane on Friday night.

13 people were injured in the incident.

Netcare 911 Spokesperson Santi Steinmann said when paramedics arrived on the scene they found the deceased and the thirteen injured varying from moderate to serious.

“After the injured were treated on the scene, they were transported to various hospitals for further care” Steinmann added.

WC Agriculture embraces FARE process

Athenkosi Mvane
27 April 2013

The Western Cape Agriculture Sector has embraced the Future of Agriculture and the Rural Economy Process. 

FARE said the recent wage strike and conflicts in several farming areas have brought to the fore the challenges facing the agriculture sector and production in particular. 

The FARE process was launched on Friday. 

Co-Chair of the FARE steering committee Andrew Boraine said the process that will bring all the stakeholders together at provincial and local level to find ways to build a common agenda and a common action plan.

“We are going to do this with the help of an independent panel” Boraine added.

Cape Fisherman presumed dead

Athenkosi Mvane
27 April 2013

A fisherman who fell off a crayfish boat on Friday is presumed to have died, the National Sea Rescue Institute said today.

After long search for the missing Lucas van Wyk, rescue workers say the search is still continuing.

The incident took place near the Cape Point Nature Reserve.

NSRI’s Craig Lambinon said there is still no sign of the man, although the NSRI, Department of Fisheries and police on the scene.

“We have a shore patrol searching along the shoreline to see if there have been any changes overnight” Lambinon added.

Lambinon said they are in touch with the boat’s owners and the man’s family keeping them informed about the latest developments.

SADTU condemns sexist attack towards Angie Motshekga

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 April 2013

The South African Democratic Teachers Union has hailed its two marches a resounding success. 

Sadtu held a march in Cape Town and Pretoria in defence of collective bargaining and calling for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her Director Bobby Soobrayn to resign. 

Sadtu has given government 21 days to respond to their demand. 

Sadtu Deputy General Secretary Nkosana Dolopi said the support given by the Sadtu members and all other unions it is very encouraging and they will continue to fight for what they believe in.

Dolopi also said the Union has noted with concern, cries about the portrayal of Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga during the march to Pretoria.

Dolopi added that SADTU is a non-sexist organisation that seeks to promote equity and equality.

“We therefore cannot condone such an act. Posters and pamphlets sanctioned by SADTU all had the union’s logo. Our march was in defence of collective bargaining collective and the promotion of quality public education.  As we condemn this act, we would urge government not to shift its focus from the real issues” added Dolopi.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Satawu determined on their demands

Mluleki Mrwebi
26 April 2013
The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union today said the nationwide bus strike will continue next week. 
Employers are offering a 9 percent hike while the employees are demanding a 13 percent increase.
Satawu’ Vincent Masoga said they will try and get the train and truck drivers to join the strike next week. 
Masoga said members remain resolute and determined up until they get what they want.
He pleaded with employers to come to the negotiation table and discuss workers` demands.
Meanwhile media reports reported that the Gautrain bus drivers` have accepted the 9% offered by the employers.

Government departments called to act against corruption

Mluleki Mrwebi
26 April 2013
The National Public Service Commission on Thursday revealed that 22 000 public servants were charged with misconduct for corrupt activities. 
Public Service Commissioner James Madau called on departments to improve coordination of investigation of cases for their speedy resolution. 
Madau was speaking at the National Anti-Corruption Hotline workshop in Potchefstroom. 
Premier Thandi Modise Spokesperson Lesiba Kgwele said the Premier has consistently called for corruption to be uprooted as it has a negative impact on development, democracy and human rights.
Kgwele added that four officials are attending a workshop for empowerment on investigation of white collar crime including strategies on how to deal with corruption. 

WCED to introduce breakfast for learners at school

Mluleki Mrwebi
26 April 2013
The Western Cape Department of Education will from Monday be giving learners breakfast as part of the provincial school feeding scheme. 
This comes after a pilot was done in 2012; learners are already receiving lunch at school.
MEC of Education Donald Grant said providing breakfast as well will provide more nutrition. 
Ministerial Spokesperson Bronagh Casey said currently over 430 learners are already receiving lunch meal each day at their schools and now this year the department has decided to add an additional breakfast.
Casey further said this will not only provide nutrition for learners but will also encourage learners to arrive early at school.  

Search continues for a fisherman in Cape Point

Mluleki Mrwebi
26 April 2013
The National Sea Rescue Institute in Kommetjie is searching for a fisherman who went missing near Cape Point. 
It is believed that the 30-year-old man from Steenberg was trying to retrieve crayfish when his boat capsized. 
NSRI Spokesperson Craig Lambinon said an extensive search is continuing in the Cape Point nature reserve.
Lambinon said the other three crew members were not harmed when their boat was swept into the water.

President Zuma not ready to comment on the info bill

Imogen Vollenhoven
26 April 2013

Presidential Spokesperson Mac Maharaj today said President Jacob Zuma will not comment on the Protection of Information Bill until he has been advised by the legislature. 

This follows the passing of the bill by the National Assembly on Thursday.

Opposition parties and civil society have called for the bill to go to the Constitutional Court.

Maharaj the legislature and judiciary and executive are three arms of government and it would be premature and inappropriate for president to comment on the matter, until he has been formally advised by the legislature of the bill and called upon to enact it into law.
Furthermore Maharaj explained that, that is when the matter will receive his attention.

Meanwhile the Ministry of State Security has welcomed the latest developments on the Protection of State Information Bill. 

The ministry said it believes the bill now creates a better balance between the constitutional provisions of access to information and the limitation of that access in the interest of advancing national security.

Ministry of State Security Spokesperson Brian Dube said at this stage this is a very much improved bill and it takes into account most of the concerns raised in relation to the limited public interest defended offers issues around corruption and criminal activities and it also gives added protection to whistle blowers.

He added that all these things make it a much better bill, a bill that all of us should be able to find a way of working around and ensuring that it keeps our country safe and expose corruption.

Sactwu investigates stolen funds

Imogen Vollenhoven
26 April 2013

The South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union will be heading to court over stolen funds. 

Investigation has been underway since 2010 of millions of rands that went missing from provident funds due to fraudulent, negligent and criminal conduct. 

Over 25 000 Sactwu members have been affected. 

Sactwu’s General Secretary Andre Kriel said following mandate that was given to him that he must leave no stone unturned to discover what had gone wrong.

Kriel added that secondly anyone that is found guilty of wrongdoing during the investigation must be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

“And finally that every single cent of the lost monies should be restored,” said Kriel. 

Furthermore Kriel said that their investigation showed that about R400 million has either been mismanaged has been misappropriated or just simply had been abused.

My Citi bus service suspended until further notice

Imogen Vollenhoven
26 April 2013

The MyCiTi bus has today suspended all its services this is due to the on going nationwide bus strike.

Negations between employers and unions have been unsuccessful. 

Bus drivers are demanding a 13 percent increase while employers are only offering 9 percent.

City of Cape Town’s Spokesperson Kylie Hatton explains that the decision was made after they received a number of threats of violence and intimidation towards their staff.

Hatton added that they will monitor the developments throughout the course of the day and if customers would like to use the service they are encouraged to call the transport information centre on 0800 656463.

“This number can be used to get updates on the service and as soon as we are able to we will start running the service again,” said Hatton.

Dexter: glad the youth believes that DA would bring back apartheid

Loyiso Langeni
26 April 2013

The African National Congress in the Western Cape has responded to the recent survey by Pondering Panda about the Democratic Alliance. 

The survey reveals that half of the youth of today believes the DA will bring back apartheid if elected to govern.

 ANC’s Phillip Dexter said they have for a long time pointed out this fact and now they are glad that the youth sees it too. 

Dexter added that it really concerns our view that the DA policies and what it’s implementing remind people of the policies of old National party.
“I think coming in the face of attempt by DA to re-brand itself as a struggle history party, its something that gets light to that fact,” added Dexter.

Steady progress being made on Cape Flats water maintenance - CoCT

The City of Cape Town says steady progress has been made across the five sites where the municipality’s 72-hour water shutdown on the Cape ...