Monday, September 30, 2013

Minister Pandor leads UN Dialogue on International Migration and Development

Loyiso Langeni
30 September 2013

Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandor will lead the South African Government delegation to the United Nations to the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. 

The theme of this year’s dialogue is identifying concrete measures to strengthen coherence and cooperation at all levels, with a view to enhancing the benefits of international migration for migrants and countries alike and its important links to development. 

Departmental Spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said they will focus on effects of international migration on sustainable development and identifying relevant priorities in view of the preparation on the post-2015 development framework.

Measures to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of all migrants, with particular reference to women and children, as well as to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons and to ensure orderly, regular and safe migration.

Strengthening partnerships and cooperation on international migration, mechanisms to effectively integrate migration into development policies and promoting coherence at all levels.


International and regional labour mobility and its impact on development.


DA approach court over Nkandla report

Loyiso Langeni
30 September 2013

The Democratic Alliance said it will be going to court to force the so called Nkandlagate report to be made public. 

DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said they tried twice to get a copy of the report. 

Mazibuko said the report was intended to shed light on the spending of more than R200 million of public money on President Jacob Zuma’s private residence. 

“We have decided that the only we can do now is to approach the Western Cape high court to ask for an order that will compel the Minister and the director general of the public works to make the reports public.

I’m also asking the court to rule that Minister Nxesi’s refusal to give the DA access to the report under PAIA was invalid and that if the rule in his decision was invalid that they order him to hand over the report within five days,” Mazibuko added.



Cosatu in KZN rejects labour brokers proposal

Loyiso Langeni
30 September 2013

The Congress of South African Trade Union in KwaZulu- Natal has expressed its disappointment that parliament seems to be dragging its feet on the issue of labour brokers and completely rejects the six-month proposal under a labour broker.

Cosatu Provincial Secretary Zet Luzipho said they remain adamant that, in no way a democratic state must regulate modern day slavery and human trafficking.

“The PEC agreed that they have intensified their campaign against labour brokers because there is no way that different works can co-exist side by side with labour brokers. They have also given all the unions and locals that are responsible to identify employers who continue to survivor by employing people through labour brokers,” Luzipho said

Meanwhile the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Committee said it rejects with all contempt it deserves the signing into law of the bill that seeks to grant Sanral the right to plough on with E-tolls all over the country.

President Jacob Zuma signed into law a bill which frees up the South African National Roads Agency Limited to launch the multibillion Rand project.  

Cosatu Provincial Secretary Zet Luzipho said they are disappointed that government signed the bill into law.

“We completely rejected this with all the contempt it deserves and we have said we commit ourselves to fight this until the last drop of our blood and we are convinced that there will never be e-tolls in KwaZulu-Natal,” Luzipho added.

Police hunting for six awaiting prisoners who escaped in Secunda

Lusanda Bill
30 September 2013

Mpumalanga police are hunting for six awaiting trail prisoners who escaped police custody in Secunda on Friday through a toilet.

Captain Leonard Hlathi said seven prisoners initially escaped but one was arrested after he was caught shoplifting. 

Hlathi said the prisoners escaped by digging a hole through the back of a toilet.  They then removed the toilet and broke the bricks and then they escaped.

“There were nine prisoners in the cell but two remained behind and did not escape Hlathi added.

An internal investigation to probe the incident is underway. 

WCED to help public school serving poorer communities

Lusanda Bill
30 September 2013

The Western Cape Education Department said it has made available about R35 million to help schools in the province that are battling financially. 

These schools have been identified by the department and the money will assist fee charging schools. 

Ministerial Spokesperson Bronagh Casey said this comes after MEC Donald Grant approved proposals by the WCED that would result in additional funding for public schools serving poorer communities. 

Casey said the WCED would make funding available as the budget allows to over 300 schools.  In 2014 the budget will be R35 million from R18 million. 

City of Cape Town’s liquor by-law revised again

Lusanda Bill
30 September 2013

The City of Cape Town’s liquor by-law has been revised yet again this is after pressure from liquor storeowners and the public at large. 

City of Cape Town’s Garreth Bloor said the revised liquor by-law legislation looks at empowering communities when it comes to making decisions around extending trading hours. 

The initial by-law wanted to stop bottle stores from selling liquor after 6pm and also to implement a total ban on sales of liquor on Sundays. 

Bloor said so where within the regulation one can apply to extend for trading on a Sunday or after 6pm.  That decision will be made by the sub-council, with notification given to the community to add their input on what their views are in regards with extending those liquor hours.  

An accident has left two people died and three seriously injured

Lusanda Bill
30 September 2013

Two people died and three people sustained serious injuries this is after a head-on collision on the N2 between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown late last night. 

Netcare 911 Spokesperson Chris Botha said a group of tourists were traveling towards Grahamstown when a bakkie collided head-on into them.

Botha added that when they arrived on scene the two occupants from the bakkie had tragically died on scene due to the very serve injuries they sustained.  The two tourists as well as a friend sustained serious injuries; they were treated on scene and then transported to various hospitals for further care.

The exact details of the cause of the accident and preceding events will remain a subject for police investigation.  

17 drunk drivers arrested over weekend blitz in the Western Cape

Mluleki Mrwebi
30 September 2013

The Western Cape Traffic Authorities held 24 roadblocks over the weekend throughout the province.

Western Cape Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said they stopped and tested about 2 768 vehicles in these roadbolocks.

Africa said 1 333 drivers were tested for alcohol and 17 of them were arrested for drunk driving.

Africa said there was also one arrest for a stolen vehicle and one person for being in possession of mandrax. The total amount of fines issued was R 2 23 830-00. The highest speed reading was recorded im Paarl.

Meanwhile the number fatalities in the province over the weekend stand at five.

Five people died in separate accidents which occurred in various areas around the province.  

Africa said the roadblocks have helped to decrease the number of fatalities on the road. 

DA concerned about the safety of South Africa

Mluleki Mrwebi
30 September 2013

The DA said it will request that the Ministers in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster urgently brief the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence on the investigation into the so-called “White Widow”, Samantha Lewthwaite.

This follows media reports on Sunday that South Africa was placed on a high security alert last Sunday, after Lewthwaite was allegedly seen conducting surveillance of embassies in Pretoria, are cause for serious concern.

DA Shadow Minister of State Security Dirk Stubbe said Ministers Nathi Mthethwa, Siyabonga Cwele and Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula must brief the JSCI to reassure Parliament that everything is being done to protect South Africa from terror attacks.

Stubbe also said we need to be sure that South Africa is safe and that there were no intelligence failures in respect of Lewthwaite.

“We cannot sit back and allow South Africa to become a “destination of choice” for terrorists. South Africans must be assured that their public representatives are doing everything possible to ensure South Africa's security” added Stubbe.

HRC calls for Public Protector to step in Bonnytoun informal settlement in Wynberg

Loyiso Langeni
30 September 2013

The Human Rights Commission has reported the City of Cape Town to the Public Protector following complaints of complete lack of service delivery at the Bonnytoun informal settlement in Wynberg.

 The complaints are similar to the sanitation issues raised by the Social Justice Coalition and prove that the City is infringing upon the rights to dignity of our homeless people.

HRC’s Colin Arendse said there’s been an instance where the toilets are not clean up to five months, there are broken pipes that leak, there is water every time.

“Clearly this city has failed homeless people and that become the matter of a concern. The Public Protector needs to step in to ensure constitutional rights of these vulnerable members of our society are protected,” Arendse added.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hawks launch enquiry into Mbete deal with Gold Fields

Loyiso Langeni
29 September 2013

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Hawks, have confirmed that it is investigating allegations of criminal conduct surrounding the allocation of mining rights at the Gold Fields South Deep mine involving ANC Chairperson, Baleka Mbete.

This follows the DA’s request for an investigation under the Prevention and Combatting of corrupt Activities Act, Act 12 of 2004.

Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources James Lorimer said the DA welcomes the willingness of the Hawks to investigate the serious concerns about misconduct as well as the allegations of corruption and exertion of undue influence in awarding mining licenses.

“She tried to threatened Gold Fields Company that they would not get a mining license unless she gets huge a large number of shares in their empowerment scheme,” Lorimer added.



Three young men died in single vehicle roll over

Loyiso Langeni
29 September 2013

Three young men have been killed and another fourth has been left with critical injuries after the vehicle that they were travelling in on the N4 highway rolled.

ER24 Spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said Witbank paramedics were on their way to another medical emergency on Sunday when they witnessed the vehicle roll off the road between Witbank and Middelburg in the area of Cosmos.

“They quickly made their way to where the hatchback had rolled off the road and into the concrete fence at the side of the highway, but despite them being on scene immediately, there was no more that could be done for three of the young men as they had been ejected from the vehicle as it overturned, and their injuries were so severe that it had left them deceased.”

it's not understood what exactly took place leading to the driver to loosing control of the vehicle but the Police were at the scene and they will investigating all circumstances surrounding  this fatal crash.



Premier Modise calls for revival of domestic tourism

Loyiso Langeni
29 September 2013

North West Premier, Thandi Modise has urged the people of her province to work together in order to succeed in reviving the domestic tourism potential for their own benefit and the future generations.

Speaking at the Gala Dinner held n Klerksdorp on Thursday evening ahead of the 33rd World Tourism Day, Premier Modise highlighted that the North West has the potential to grow its economy through tourism.

Premier`s Spokesperson Lesiba Moses Kgwele said Premier Modise said North West province offers excellent opportunities and prospects in various industries, particularly within the fabricated metal, transport equipment, food and beverage industry.

Kgwele added that as they are joining the rest of the world in celebrating the 33rd year of the World Tourism Day, people must know that our province has a rich tourism heritage, she further acknowledged that until recently, the travel and tourism industry were not taken seriously.

A 22 year-old man drowned in Vaal River

Loyiso Langeni
29 September 2013

Paramedics responded to the Caravan Park on Frikkie Meyer Boulevard in Vanderbijlpark where there were reports of a drowning of a young man. 

ER24 Spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said when they arrived at the scene, they found around 200 people that appeared to have been having a party at the river side. According to witness reports, the 22 year old young man had gone into the water and he had not been able to climb out again.

 “It remains to be investigated as to why he could not get out of the river or as to how long he had been submerged before he was noticed to have been missing and in the river,” Jackson Added.

 The Police rescue divers were called to the scene and they removed the lifeless body of the young man from the river.

 Paramedics assessed him for any signs of life but sadly there was no more that could be done to revive him and he was declared dead. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Six died in an accident outside Krugersdorp

Loyiso Langeni
28 September 2013

ER24 paramedics rushed to an accident scene whereby two vehicles collided head on into one another on the N14 between Ventersdorp and Krugerdorp this afternoon.

ER24 Spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said it appears that a cause of the crash was as a result of zero visibility on the stretch of road due to a veld fire in the area.

Jackson added that when they arrived on scene they found that five people in the sedan had sustained severe injuries and sadly there was nothing they could do to save their lives and all five adult patients were declared dead on scene.

She said there had been two adults and a seven year old little girl travelling in the bakkie, and paramedics immediately initiated treatment on them due to severe injuries that they had sustained.

 "The woman was found trapped in the wreckage and she had sustained the most serious injuries of the three. While she was being removed from the wreckage,ER24 was called to the scene and she was airlifted to Life Fourways hospital in a critical condition. She died on hospital.

The little girl had suffered a broken leg and was transported by ambulance to Leratong hospital. The third patient who was travelling in the bakkie was in a stable condition and was also taken to hospital by ambulance," Jackson added.

The exact details of the cause of the accident and preceding events will remain a subject of police investigation.




A man died after being assaulted in Uitenhage

Loyiso Langeni
28 September 2013

A man in his thirties has tragically died after being stabbed and assaulted in his Dispatch house in the Eastern Cape early this morning.

Netacare 911 Spokepeson Chris Botha said paramedics arrived at the scene and found the man lying on the floor, tragically he had died on scene before our arrival.

“His children aged five and fourteen as well as his wife was found to be severely traumatized, Netcare 911 Paramedics stayed at the scene for some time to council the bereaved family”, Botha added.

Exact detail to the incident and preceding events will remain a subject for police investigation.

A woman died in a hit and run accident near Potchestroom

Loyiso Langeni
28 September 2013

A woman in her 30’s died when she was knocked down by an unknown vehicle. She is believed to have been walking with a group of friends along the R54, approximately 3 kilometres outside of Potchefstroom from Vereeniging side.

 ER24 Spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said when paramedics arrived on scene they found the woman badly injured, every attempt was made by advanced life support paramedics to revive the woman, sadly her condition did not change and she died on the scene a short while later.

“The woman's friends were not injured as a result of the incident.

Local authorities will be conducting all necessary investigations into the details surrounding the cause of this fatal collision” Jackson added.

Missing Child Alert:

EDD waste of tax payer’s money

Loyiso Langeni
28 September 2013

The Economic Development Department’s 2012/13 Annual Report tabled in Parliament reveals alarmingly high vacancy rates in key positions.

DA Shadow Minister of Economic Development Kenneth Mubu said it is no wonder the Department continues to fail to deliver any tangible outcomes.

 "At the moment it stands at 33.3% of Departments Vacancy, n Administrative vacancy rate of nearly 30%, a secretarial staff vacancy rate of 40%; and A staff turnover rate for senior managers of nearly 30%," Mubu added.

Mubu said an analysis of EDD’s past annual reports and budget for 2013/14 in 2013/14 reveals that it has received over R2.5 billion from National Treasury since its establishment in 2009. Apart from not being able to employ and manage staff, the Department also continues to fail to deliver any tangible output towards facilitating actual economic development and jobs.


ANC calls for Eden district municipality Mayor to resign

Mluleki Mrwebi
28 September 2013

The ANC in the Western Cape said Eden district municipality DA mayor Wessie van der Westhuizen and his whole mayoral committee must immediately resign after an effective motion of no confidence in him.

ANC`s Pierre Uys said the motion to have Van der Westhuizen removed as councillor was unanimously carried yesterday after a disciplinary committee found he breached the councillor’s code of conduct and should be removed as a councillor.

Uys also said various corruptive charges were brought against him and he was found guilty by a multiparty committee of irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure as well as that he attended a DA function, but the municipality had to pay the cost.

“Van der Westhuizen was found guilty on a number of serious charges and is not fit to hold public office at a local government anymore. He is a dysfunctional mayor and all decisions taken by him and his mayoral committee will be questionable and in effect wrong” Pierre Uys said.

He must resign now. The ANC will vigilantly watch if he is going to be offered a soft landing or the DA will deploy him elsewhere.”

Van der Westhuizen is a councillor in both Eden district municipality and Oudtshoorn.

“He breached the Municipal Finance Management Act, transgressed the code of conduct for councillors and should be removed as a councillor in both councils as he is unfit to hold such office. Further to this, criminal charges should be laid by DA speaker Doris Nayler as was recommended in a forensic report and all the other implicated parties (municipal manager Godfrey Louw and officials too) should also be charged accordingly. All the money lost should now be recovered soonest from Van der Westhuizen and all others implicated,” Uys says.





Friday, September 27, 2013

DA- Communications Department was mismanaged under Dina Pule

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 September 2013

Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Communications Marian Shinn said the Department of Communications 2012/13 Annual Report tabled in Parliament today reveals how under the leadership of the former Minister of Communications, Dina Pule, the department was grossly mismanaged.

Vacancies were not filled within 12 months as required by Public Service Regulations.

Shinn said 46% of total planned targets were not achieved; Vacancies were not filled within 12 months as required by Public Service Regulations; Payments to suppliers were not made within 30 days as required by National Treasury Regulations; Appointments were made in posts which were not approved or funded;

She also said employees were appointed without following processes to verify claims made in applications.

The new Minister of Communications, Yunus Carrim, has undertaken to ensure that Departmental oversight is improved.

Shinn added that the DA will request that he appear in Parliament to present a turnaround plan for the Department for scrutiny.

A man and a wife injured in accident Harrismith

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 September 2013

A man and wife were injured in an accident when the bike they were traveling on had an accident en route to Harrismith from Richards Bay where they were attending an event for the weekend.

ER24 Spokesperson Vannessa Jackson said the man in his early 50's was unable to regain control of the bike and both of the riders came off. They had sustained severe injuries and paramedics were called out to the scene.

Jackson said upon arrival, it was found that the 47 year old woman had sustained multiple bumps and bruises as well as suspected back and neck injuries, and she was transported to St. Anne's hospital by ambulance for further care. ER24 paramedics rapidly initiated stabilising treatment on her husband who had sustained more severe injuries in the form of multiple broken bones and possible internal injuries. 

She added that while they continued to take care of the man, they called in the assistance of AER24 which would then rapidly transport the patient to St. Anne's hospital. The patient remains in a serious condition in hospital. 

The details surrounding what took place leading to this crash are still under investigation by local authorities. 

Two men died in an accident in Midlands

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 September 2013

Two people died after an accident on the R56 just before Thornville in the Natal Midlands this morning.

Reports indicate that the vehicle with two occupants veered off the road hitting a pedestrian before their vehicle overturned.

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

Netcare 911 Spokesperson Chris Botha said when paramedics got onto the scene the two people had died already.

ACDP calls on communities to comment on the liquor bylaw

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 September 2013

The African Christian Democratic Party in the Western Cape has called on community, NGO, and religious organisations to take note of the extended trading hours of the new liquor bylaw which includes allow licensees of liquor outlets to apply for trading hour extension.

ACDP Leader in the province Ferlon Christians said businesses who complained about the 2012 bylaw are now given an opportunity to comment.

Christians said this is the best opportunity for the community to make their vices heard with regards to this liquor bylaw.

He added that ACDP has said in the past that alcohol is a problem domestically and the communities need to stand up more especially on Sundays because that is where Christians find problems with the liquor being sold on Sundays. 

A man died in an accident in Hillcrest

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 September 2013

A man believed to be in his 30’s was seriously injured this morning after a head on collision on Old Main Road in Bothashill near Hillcrest in Kwazulu Natal.

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

ER24 Spokesperson Christo Venter said the man was trapped in the wreckage for a while and he sustained serious injuries as a result.

Venter added that the had to be airlifted to hospital for further care.  

Allan Winde Tours Cape’s Popular Tourism Sights Ahead of World Tourism Day

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 September 2013

In celebration of World Tourism Day today, Alan Winde, MEC of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, visited several of the province’s well-known tourist spots. Among others, Minister Winde had a family braai at Oudekraal and cycled the famous Chapman’s Peak route, stopping in at various pavement coffee shops throughout the day.

MEC Winde said the Western Cape Government plans to increase the contribution of tourism to the province’s GDP to 15% by 2015.

This will be done through various initiatives promoting leisure and business travel to the region.

Winde said these include spreading the benefit of tourism to rural areas through the development of tourism-based infrastructure products. There will be a focus on introducing more compelling winter tourism experiences to ensure the industry is sustainable year-round.

He added that following the retraction of SAA flights from Cape Town direct to Europe, the Western Cape Government is also engaging with other operators to secure additional direct routes. These discussions are proceeding well.

Min Pandor to lead the South African international Delegation Migration and Development

Loyiso Langeni
27 September 2013

Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandoor will be leading the South African delegation to the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, scheduled for 3rd- 4th October 2013 in New York.

“We have There are four plenary sessions based on interactive round-table discussions dealing with the effects of international migration and sustainable development, measures to protect migrant human rights with particular reference to human trafficking, strengthening partnerships and international cooperation on migration, regional labour mobility and development, Pandor added.

The theme of this year’s Dialogue is migration and development.

Meanwhile Home Affairs has undertaken to adjudicate permanent residence permits within eight months.

Minister of Home of Affairs Naledi Pandor said 20 full time staff to focus solely on adjudicating permanent residence.

This team is currently undergoing training and is expected to assume their duties from the 1 November 2013.

“We have also established a permanent residence backlog project whose purpose is to clear the current backlog of 23 945 applications for permanent residence by 15 December this year,” Pandor added.

She said this backlog dates back to 2009. At the moment, the focus of the team is on 2009/2010 applications. They will then deal with 2011 applications and will conclude with 2012/2013 applications.

A search for two teenagers continues in Camps Bay Beach

Loyiso Langeni
27 September 2013

Camps Bay Police and a Police Dive Unit headed an ongoing search operation for two missing male teenagers, both 16, who went missing on Wednesday while trying to rescue their friend, who had been swept out to sea by rip currents.

The two 16 year olds were also caught in rip currents and disappeared beneath the surface of the water.

The 15 year old who was rescued by a bystander has since been released from hospital.

NSRI Spokesperson Craig Lambinon total of 18 divers, made up from Police divers, Metro EMS rescue divers and Fire and Rescue Services rescue divers, formed a sweeping line search to sweep the Camps Bay surf from one end to the other, assisted by a Police boat and Police jet-ski's.

Training programmes for Western Cape teachers

Loyiso Langeni
27 September 2013

Every year, the Western Cape Education Department makes available for educators various training programmes that will contribute to their development as quality educators.

Provincial Education Ministry Spokesperson Bronagh Casey said these programmes include courses on ICT proficiency, special needs education, training for aspiring school principals and subject-specific training for various grades.

Casey added that literacy school should not be underestimated and that is why they have so many courses through the year that looks at how to improve the reading and writing skills of learners through teaching development.

“The aim of the conference which is a two day, The aim of the conference is to share ideas and best practice on how to improve the reading and writing skills of learners, focusing on the different approaches adopted by educators when teaching reading and writing in their schools.” Casey said.

ANC accuses DA of undermining police and senior staff

Mluleki Mrwebi
27 September 2013

The ANC in the Western Cape has said the DA must immediately stop to vilify and destabilise the police who are working under extremely difficult conditions where they have to also continuously deal with hardened criminals like murderers, drug lords and gangsters.
ANC Chief Whip Pierre Uys said the DA campaign to undermine the South African Police Service includes the Zille commission of inquiry aimed at feeding the obsession of dissatisfaction with service by SAPS, abusing the legislature to batter generals and even be rude to senior police staff.

Uys said in his attacks DA MPL Mark Wiley speaks down at Lamoer in a condescending manner tantamount to belittling or scolding him in public. Lamoer is accused of various things and Wiley stoops to even unethically pre-empting an appearance of Lamoer before the standing committee of the legislature later in October.

Uys also said this attack in the past week again spilled over in newspapers.

He added that by using all sorts of tactics to cast a bad light on Lamoer and his staff, the DA members of the legislature are in breach of the constitutional imperative to promote good relations between the police and communities’ by overstepping the line of oversight to engage in police bashing.



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cosatu welcomes the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling

Mluleki Mrwebi
26 September 2013

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has welcomed the judgement of the Supreme Court of Appeal in the case of CCMA v Law Society of the Northern Provinces.

The SCA upheld an appeal by the CCMA against a judgement of the North Gauteng High Court, which had ruled as unconstitutional the CCMA’s exclusion of lawyers from its proceedings, under its Sub-Rule 25.

Cosatu Spokesperson Patrick Craven said this judgement would have forced the CCMA to allow lawyers to appear in misconduct and incapacity dispute hearings, from which they are currently excluded.

Craven said COSATU agrees, and strongly urges the lawyers to accept this ruling and not appeal to the Constitutional Court, so that the CCMA can continue with its important work.


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 ...