Friday, April 29, 2022

Defence lawyer in Senzo Meyiwa arrested after procedings

 The defence lawyer in the Senzo Meyiwa murder case was arrested in a dramatic fashion yesterday at the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria as he was representing the four men accused of murdering Senzo Meyiwa.

This is allegedly because he failed to make a court appearance in January on a trespassing charge, that was dropped. According to reports Advocate Malesela Teffo was taken into custody in the Pretoria High Court moments after proceedings were adjourned. Attorney Tshepo Thobane had told the court how Teffo was threatened and arrested when several men in blue and one in civilian clothing walked in to take him into custody.

This has prompted the National Police Commissioner, Fannie Masemola, to ask Gauteng Police Commissioner, Elias Mawela, to submit a report on the arrest of Teffo.



by Everngelista Muza

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

SASSA to answer for delays of SRD grant in the W.Cape

The DA’s Western Cape Spokesperson on Social Development, Dan Plato, says he will invite the South African Social Security agency (SASSA) to appear before the standing committee on Social Development to explain the delays in processing applications for the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants In the province.

‘’The last few weeks have brought to light disturbing reports of grant recipients struggling to access their funds, with SASSA policies forcing people to reapply under a new legislative framework. The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape considers it imperative to resolve this situation as quickly as possible,’’ said Plato.

The grant was initially introduced and distributed under the Disaster Management Act to provide relief to poor people and those left vulnerable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his State of the Nation address in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the R350 grant would be extended to the end of March 2023. More than 10 million people depend on this money.

“Many in our province rely on the SRD grant to alleviate the economic burden of the State of Disaster and its aftermath. However, it would appear that no provision has been made for the legislative challenges brought on by the ending of the State of Disaster, and that too many beneficiaries have been forced to struggle with red tape in order to access their money,’’ said Plato.

‘’Many have not yet received their payments for April, even as the next month looms. For this reason, the legislature will be inviting SASSA  to understand how this situation will be resolved and in order to explain their approach to these challenges,” added Plato.

 

PICTURE: SASSA

Done By: Mitchum George

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StatsSA extends deadline for the Census 2022 in the Western Cape

Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) has extended the deadline for the Census 2022 in the Western Cape by a further two weeks, until 14 May. The initial deadline was 30 April. Almost 1.1 million households in the province have completed the census questionnaire since data collection began in February. StatsSA says 600 000 households are yet to be visited in the Western Cape.

In a statement, StatsSA says the extension follows a strong response by residents of the province to the call to get counted. The data company says Stats SA data collectors will be visiting communities with low response rates across the province.

‘’Completing the questionnaire only takes 15 – 30 minutes. Stats SA assures respondents that all personal information collected for the purpose of the census is kept strictly confidential.’’

The online questionnaire is available on https://getcounted.statssa.gov.za (datafree) allowing residents to answer the questions at a time and place convenient to themselves. Households have until the close of counting on 14 May to complete the questionnaire online.

‘’Census information is essential for determining the funding allocation to provinces and municipalities. Census data will provide detailed information on where schools, clinics and houses should be built and where electricity, water and sewerage infrastructure is needed. Census has an impact on the life of every resident and everyone is encouraged to be counted,’’ said StatsSA.

Western Cape households are requested to cooperate with the data collectors by answering the questions accurately and completely.

The Census call centre is open to assist with any enquiries - 0800 110 248 or email census2022@statssa.gov.za.

 

PICTURE: StatsSA

Done By: Mitchum George

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CoCT council meeting - Mayor's Speech, April 2022

Words in bold were said by Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis

 The City of Cape Town held its monthly council meeting on Thursday.

The meeting began with a minute of silence for Terence Henry Stringer, a City of Cape Town electricity official, who succumbed to his injuries in hospital on the 16th of April, after vandalised cables exploded while he was attending to an outage in Gugulethu, on the 4th of April.

It was then followed by an interruption by a group of protesters, who wants the Cape Town Mayor to address the city of cape t unlawful occupation by-law, as well as addressing the basic services in informal dwellings.

Now addressing the council at the Cape town civic centre, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis thanked those who came forward with donations for those who lost their homes in the fire in Langa over the 260 structures were destroyed in the Joe Slovo informal settlement over the Easter Weekend, after a fire ravaged through the Langa area. 767 individuals were affected.

Our deepest condolences also go out to all those in KwaZulu-Natal who lost loved ones as a result of the flooding in that province. It is a human tragedy that has shocked the country. I’ve spoken to Mayor Kaunda of eThekwini regularly, and he has conveyed his sincere thanks for the search and rescue team that Cape Town sent immediately after the tragedy to help in the relief efforts.

We thank that professional team for the work they did, the Disaster Risk Management staff who worked on the Langa fire, and all Capetonians who donated for the truck of goods we sent to KZN.

The City of Cape Town has updated its Standard Operating Procedure on noise-related complaints, and it says that the ‘Noise Nuisances’ section of Cape Town’s Streets, Public Places, and Prevention of Noise Nuisances By-Law does not apply to Places of worship operating within an appropriate zoning.

Speaker, before I begin, we are just days away from the sighting of the moon and the end of Ramadaan. We have also celebrated Easter and Passover. This period in which all three of the Abrahamic faiths celebrated together, has demonstrated the very best of Cape Town’s cultural, religious and historical plurality.

Early in January, I instructed our policy team to begin work on a new document setting out a standard operating procedure that would resolve once and for all the issue of noise complaints relating to places of worship.

Our goal was clear: To give every faith community in Cape Town the peace of mind of knowing that this issue is now sorted, done, and resolved.

Our new standard operating procedure makes it clear that the by-law provisions on noise disturbances will not apply to correctly zoned places of worship.

This document provides surety and a guarantee of religious freedom for correctly zoned places of worship. It also balances these freedoms by not giving a blanket exemption for un-zoned premises, which is not reasonable or fair in a plural constitutional democracy.

 

We have now completed this new policy document, and have consulted with the Muslim Judicial Council about it. We are grateful for their statement of blessing and support.

 

Notwithstanding this, I expect that some will continue to try to foment religious division on this issue. I hope in this holy month, you will all join me in taking a very dim view indeed of those who would abuse religion for political gain.

 

I’m also grateful to other councillors who have drawn attention to this issue, one of whom has placed the matter on the order paper today for debate.

 

While we welcome their attention to this issue, I am sure they will share my pleasure in the news I have just announced – and the obvious implication of that announcement, that their motion is moot as the policy document we’ve prepared and which has been under preparation for months, is now finalised, and the matter is now well and truly dealt with.

Hill-Lewis says the City introduced multilingual billboards for road warnings

We are also looking for better ways to demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity in meaningful ways. In Kaapstad vier ons die diversiteit van ons stad se tale en kulture as ‘n bate eerder as ‘n las. Daarom is ek trots dat Kaapstad die eerste stad in die land is met digitale padtekens in Afrikaans en Xhosa. Saam is ons sterker!

E-Kapa sibhiyoza ukwa-hluka kwe-elwimi zesi sixeko njengo-kulu-lutho, hayi umthwalo. Somelele ngobambano!

The City of Cape Town’s administration will soon be six months in office.b Hill-Lewis reflected on work done thus far, and admits that more needs to be done

While there are still many challenges ahead, it gives me great pride to look back at what we have already achieved in this short period, and I hope that all those residents who joined in our many clean ups over the past months, who have joined our committees, and actively share their ideas for a better Cape Town with us, share in that pride. At the same time, I am filled with hope and excitement for what we are still going to achieve in the coming months and years.

As Mayor, I am committed to doing more, and I know that every one of our councillors and city officials shares that commitment.

In particular, I am dedicated to doing more in those policy areas where the national government is struggling to deliver.

This is not because we want to take power for its own sake; it is because we have an obligation to make sure that every Capetonian gets the services they deserve. I refuse to allow our residents to be vulnerable because of another government’s incapacity.

If a local or regional government is able to carry out functions that the national government is failing to fulfil, then those functions should be devolved to that local or regional authority. This is what I call ‘functional federalism’.

Thankfully, the Constitution backs me up on this point. Section 156(4) of the Constitution, states that a municipality MUST be assigned a function when there is agreement between the national and local governments; and where there is adequate capacity at the municipal level to perform the function.

Speaker, there are many people who say that South Africa is either a failed state or is fast becoming one.

It does not matter whether you agree with this assessment or not. What matters is that in Cape Town, we refuse to let it happen. What matters for South Africa is what we do here, to put our country on the correct path.

We need to show people that state failure does not need to be inevitable.

We need to show  people that there are places in South Africa where things work, where citizens are listened to and responded to and where services are delivered for everybody.

And so, in the City of Cape Town, we are doing all we can to effectively fulfil all the functions traditionally assigned to local governments. But, we are going further than that: we are starting to move into policy areas that have historically been out of our scope.

Take policing, for example. In terms of the Constitution, policing is primarily a national competency under the Minister of Police and the South African Police Service.

Local government police have traditionally been limited to policing bylaws and traffic violations. Through writing and passing new local and provincial legislation under DA administrations over the past decade, and ensuring the proper interpretation of national legislation, we have empowered our officers to go beyond these previously limited responsibilities.

Now the Western Cape will be receiving 1 118 new recruits during the course of the current financial year. This was confirmed by Western Cape’s police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thebisile PatekileHowever, this amount is 821 less than what was budgeted for

This is why the City of Cape and the Western Cape Government has worked together to deploy 1000 extra LEAP (law enforcement) officers to the 11 worst crime hotspots in our city.

And we have already seen what dedicated boots on the ground can achieve.

While crime in the rest of the country is on the increase, we have seen a marked decrease in our crime hotspots.

This is evident in the 40,5 percent reduction in crime in Kraaifontein, a 24,1 percent decrease in crime in Nyanga, a 21,1 percent drop in crime in Khayelitsha and a 14,5 percent cut in crime in Harare – all areas where we have deployed dedicated LEAP units.

Some of these hotspots have now dropped off the murder-capital lists that they have dominated for a decade.

While this progress is encouraging, it is too soon to celebrate. We must keep going until every man, woman and child in this city feels safer in their homes and in their neighbourhoods.

This is why we will continue to find more money in our budget to train and deploy additional police officers. In my address to Council on the tabling of the draft budget, last month, I announced that the City of Cape Town will be providing for 150 new officers and 80 new auxiliaries, for a total of 230 new officers in one year.

We have allocated R66m to expand our training college so we can produce more officers over three years, including staff, programme, and property improvements; R50m is allocated for the expansion of our CCTV and Licence plate recognition camera network in 2022, R36m on new Crime-fighting aerial technology, R7,6m on a new and innovative drone programme and

R78m on dashcams and bodycams.

We are also starting a new protection unit for frontline staff and community facilities.

We will continue with our plans to take more metro police officers out of their offices and onto the streets where they can take the fight to criminals.

Hill-Lewis says its not just police officers being deployed in hot spot areas, but itas also those that live in the community, such as neighbourhood watches

We want everyone who lives in a LEAP deployment area to know and feel the greater safety that this investment is delivering.

We want residents to know that they live in a LEAP area, and we want criminals to know it too. Don’t even try it, because you will be caught.

That is the whole point. Capetonians can feel safer because of this investment.

So we are not stopping at just boots on the ground. We want to develop those communities themselves, and build partnerships with active citizens.

We want to work more closely with neighbourhood watches in LEAP neighbourhoods.

We are going to dedicate millions more for neighbourhood watch equipment and training specifically in LEAP areas.

And our small business support teams will move in and give training and support to entrepreneurs in those communities.

And our sewage pipe replacement and infrastructure investments will improve basic services and dignity in those areas.

 

This is a whole of society approach to bringing violence down and making communities safer.

The Cape Town mayor also touched on electricity, and specifically load shedding. Hill_lewis says he met with Eskom members and discussed what can be done to transfer Eskom customers on to the City’s system.

Hill-Lewis is on a mission to make cape Town a load-shedding free city

I don’t need to spell out here how the national government has failed to manage the country’s power supply.

All of us feel the inconvenience of load-shedding on a regular basis, and we see the impact that load-shedding has on service delivery, on businesses and on jobs.

The City of Cape Town refuses to have our local economy bled dry, small businesses suffer and manufacturing jobs leave our shores because of the national government’s inability to ensure a reliable and stable supply of electricity.

We are already in a position to provide our customers with relief from one level of load-shedding. Last week, when Eskom customers were facing six hours of load-shedding a day on stage 4, City customers were on stage 2 and 3.

This is thanks to our Energy Directorate’s excellent maintenance of the Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme. Going forward, we will invest heavily in the refurbishment and upgrade of Steenbras to keep Capetonians protected from that extra stage of load-shedding.

This week, I met with Eskom and we discussed what can be done to transfer Eskom customers on to the City’s system, so that every Capetonian can be protected from a stage of load-shedding.

The City’s Energy team is doing a detailed analysis of Eskom supply areas, and Eskom has pledged their support and co-operation in providing the information necessary for this analysis, and in working together towards a transfer process after that.

 

Of course, ultimately, we want to go much further in protecting our residents. We want to go from protecting them from one stage of load-shedding to free them from load-shedding altogether over time.

And so we are moving as quickly as possible to bring Independent Power Producers (IPPs) on board, adding more independently generated electricity to the grid, and further reducing our reliance on Eskom. This is a journey that will take time. That is why it is so important that we start as early as possible and move with real ambition to get this done.

I announced in my budget speech last month that embedded commercial generators will no longer be compelled to be net consumers of City-supplied power; in fact they will be incentivised to be net producers. This is a major policy shift that will see a huge contribution being made to our energy grid, and combined with the other interventions I have just mentioned we will make Cape Town the first load-shedding free city in South Africa.

Hill-Lewis announced steps to take over the rail network in the city. Treasury granted the city a feasibility study for the ailing PRASA system in Cape Town

it was revealed that In June 2019, Prasa was operating 444 train trips on a weekday in Cape Town, in early 2020, (pre-pandemic) this had dropped to 270 daily trips, and that this year there are no more than 153 train trips across the city on a weekday, a 66% reduction in availability of the service.

And so I am very pleased to announce here today that the City of Cape Town is now ready to proceed with a detailed feasibility study for the devolution of the metropolitan rail function to this metro.

Like with ending load-shedding, projects of this ambition take time, and so it is essential that we start immediately. We have already issued the tender and the work will begin as soon as the new financial year begins on 1 July this year.  I do not think this first part of the project needs to take a long time and I know that our Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Cllr Rob Quintas and his team will ensure not a second is wasted here. Let’s get it done as quickly as possible, so we can move on with getting the trains working.

In recent days there has been a sea-change in policy statements from the national government  – we are now seeing regular and substantive verbal commitments to privatization in South Africa, not from us (who have been calling for this for years), but from the national government itself. Their resistance to this has cost South Africa dearly, and has left all of these essential services in a state of advanced collapse. But we are greatly encouraged that they are now embracing the idea, and we want to make sure Cape Town is at the forefront.

The truth is this: government should not be in the business of running businesses. Government is there to regulate, set the rules of engagement, ensure competition and fairness, provide essential infrastructure, and uphold the rule of law.

We hope the recent statements are meaningful, and not just lip-service being paid to economic reform. We will certainly test the sincerity of these statements, and we intend to do it soon.

Early signs are very encouraging. A letter received from the Minister of Finance this week not only gives us a green light to conduct the passenger rail feasibility study, but fully endorses our intended policy direction in favour of devolution of this critical function.

In the letter, Minister Godongwana expresses the view on behalf of the National Treasury that a study of this kind is essential and should be carried out by the City. Furthermore, that a municipality should be assigned a function by agreement, and as long as there is adequate capacity at the municipal level to perform the function, which there no doubt is here.

The Minister further added that the policy intent in the White Paper on Transport Policy and the draft White Paper on Rail Policy, is for public transport to be devolved to the lowest level.

This is a big deal, because up until now, the national government had tried to block the feasibility study. There is a new wind blowing, we hope.

 I want to thank Minister Godongwana for the national government’s encouraging and supportive letter.

It seems that some sections of the national government agree with my analysis that functional federalism is the way to go. I hope that, in time, more of their colleagues will adopt the same stance and devolve more functions to us.

Our aim is to ensure that the trains run on time, that they are safe to travel on and that they are the preferred mode of transport for our citizens. This is essential if we are to connect our city and our residents to one another, to unlock economic opportunity, to relieve the congestion on our roads, and to unstitch the legacy of Group Areas.

Hill-Lewis concluded his speech by giving words of hope of how he aspires the City of Cape Town to be.

Speaker, I am a huge believer in this beautiful country of ours. I know that we face many challenges as a nation but I am convinced that, if we work hard, we can fix any problem.

It starts here at local level. I want Cape Town to become the standard-bearer for good government in South Africa, a place where things work and every citizen is given a fair chance to live a better life.

That does not mean we are in competition with other spheres of government.

We are all South Africans, and we should all want our country to succeed.

It is my hope that Cape Town is given the space and the resources to show South Africa what good governance looks like. We will do this by collaborating with our colleagues in national and provincial government, and sharing knowledge and expertise with other cities.

I fully intend for this City to take greater control of its own destiny as envisaged in the Constitution. Let us be a beacon of hope for every citizen of this magnificent country.

And if there is to be the sweeping economic reform in our country that revives the dry bones of our economy and sets South Africa finally on the path of prosperity, then let it start here in Cape Town, and let it start with us.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

 

 

 

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Water Disruptions for Hout Bay and Llandudno Residents

 

The City of Cape Town has advised that disruption to the water supply in Hout Bay and Llandudno will take place as the 300 mm diameter water main is currently leaking.

The water main in the vicinity of Riverside Terraces in Hout Bay, is attended to by officials from the water and sanitation department.

The City said the maintenance would affect water supply to those in the vicinity of Park Avenue, Mount Rhodes and Ruyterplaats.

The main water supply was shut from 8am on Thursday until further notice

This will allow for the maintenance crew to safely attend to the leaking water main.

Mayoral committee member for water and sanitation,Zahid Badroodien said the maintenance crew would complete the repairs in the shortest time possible.

And that a water tanker and standpipe will be made available to residents in the affected areas.

The tanker will roam between Park Avenue and Ruyterplaats, and a standpipe will be placed outside 37 Mount Rhodes Drive to provide water for domestic consumption.


Done by Lizeka Tsotetsi


 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Western Cape residents urged to get counted

Statistics South Africa is calling on all households to ensure that they get counted in the 2022 Census, either online or by a fieldworker.

In a statement, the data company says that it has extended the deadline until 30 April.

It says that data collection challenges, particularly in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, which was heavily impacted by the recent extreme weather conditions, led to the decision to extend the census mop-up period

Stats SA has found that the national participation rate is 83,8%, with the Western Cape coming in at 49%.

Households have one final opportunity to complete the census questionnaire online before 30 April 2022. Households who have not been counted can go to the census website at getcounted.statsa.gov.za and fill in their name, surname and cellphone number. They will then get an OTP which will give them access to the census questionnaire.

Questionnaire completion is quick and easy, and an average household of 4 should be able to complete the questionnaire within 30 minutes.

Once the questionnaire is completed, households will get a reference number which they should keep in a safe place for when they are visited by a census fieldworker, or during the Post-Enumeration Survey, which is a quality check for the census project.

Project Director for Census in the Western Cape, Patrick Kelly, warned that households should not attempt to use the fact that online completion has reopened as an excuse for not completing the questionnaire with a fieldworker.

“Due to the short timeframe left to complete the census data collection process, fieldworkers have been instructed to count any household that is not able to produce proof that they have been counted online or telephonically as they come across them. Households who do not cooperate will be registered as having refused to participate, and the appropriate legal steps will be taken.”

Stats SA says the Statistics Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act, better known as the POPI Act, ensures that all data collected by Statistics SA remains confidential. StatsSA reassured the public that data on an individual cannot be shared with any other agency; any data released by Stats SA is aggregated and confidentialised to ensure being anonymous

Meanwhile, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis says getting counted means that the municipality can get a sense of what resources is needed in the metro

‘’If Census underreports the population of the Western Cape and by extension the City of Cape Town, national budget allocations will be misaligned to the real population figures, and insufficient to meet the needs of our residents in terms of access to basic services. It is therefore critical that we make every effort to ensure that as many Capetonians as possible are counted.

Hill-Lewis has called on all Capetonians to get counted.

‘’As the City of Cape Town, we have an important role to play in the census, and each Capetonian and their household must be accurately counted. I appeal to every Capetonian to ensure that they are counted.’’

Western Cape premier, Alan Winde, shared hill-Lewis’ sentiments.

‘’To put it simply, if we do not get an accurate census count for our province, we may have fewer resources available to deliver services in the future, which could impact each and every resident. This is a major risk, which we must avert’’

‘’I therefore urgently call on residents to play their part and get counted as soon as possible. If you have already been counted, please also ask your colleagues, friends and family whether they have been counted and encourage or help them to do so if they haven’t yet. This is absolutely critical and something that we must all prioritise as we approach the deadline,’’ added Winde.

 

PICTURE: StatsSA

Done By: Mitchum George

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CCTV thwarts ATM scammers in Woodstock

Cape Town authorities arrested four suspects, after the City’s CCTV operators spotted a group of males loitering near an ATM in Woodstock on Saturday.

Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, says the group were interacting with customers using the ATM, which raised a flag, and operators dispatched Woodstock SAPS to investigate.

‘’By the time officers arrived on scene, the suspects had  got into a silver Golf and driven off, but the CCTV operator was keeping an eye on them, and directed SAPS to their location. Officers managed to arrest four suspects who had in their possession various bank cards, Identity Documents and a wallet.’’

Smith added that one of the suspects, has an outstanding warrant for assault in Manenberg.

‘’The City’s CCTV cameras once again showed to be a valuable asset as operators could use the real time footage to identify and track suspects to the scene. Information gathered on the CCTV network enabled our enforcement agencies as well as SAPS  to act swiftly and execute successful arrests. With the roll out of additional CCTV cameras throughout the metropole we will hopefully see an increase in crime detection and arrests,’’ said Smith.

In a separate incident, authorities arrested a man for cable theft, on the same day.

‘’A few hours before, CCTV operators in the CBD spotted a man pulling a large cable along the elevated freeway outgoing – he was arrested for cable theft and detained at Cape Town Central SAPS,’’ added Smith.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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Daylin Mitchell 'honoured' to be appointed WC Mobility MEC

Daylin Mitchell was appointed the Western Cape’s MEC of Mobility by Premier Alan Winde. The portfolio was previously known as the Department Transport & Public Works.

Mitchell says he will prioritise, together with key partners, to ensure a safe, reliable and affordable public transport for our residents.

‘’This is essential if we are to deliver on the priorities of the Western Cape Government, namely, job creation, safety and dignity. This Department will include responsibilities such as financial support for transport services, our traffic operations, and transport regulation.’’

‘’I want to specifically focus on new, specific and innovative strategies that will improve mobility in the Western Cape, especially given the many challenges we experience with transport infrastructure. This cannot be done on our own, and we need to bring together the private sector, NGOs, local and national government and entities,’’ added Mitchell.

Team work makes the dream work, and Mitchell says he will engage with  key stakeholders, including existing transport structures and entities, to unpack the vision and implementation of this department.

‘’I give our residents my word that I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that we deliver on this important priority of the Western Cape Government, so that people can move around our province safely, and in a reliable, affordable way so that they can access opportunities and have dignity,’’ said Mitchell.

 

PICTURED: MEC of mobility, Daylinn Mitchell

Done By: Mitchum George

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Reagen Allen officially sworn in as the Western Cape’s Community Safety and Police Oversight MEC

Reagen Ivan Allen was officially sworn in as the Western Cape’s Community Safety and Police Oversight MEC by Judge Mantame on Tuesday, following his appointment by Premier Alan Winde on Friday.

37-year-old, Allen, previously served as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee of Community Safety and Cultural Affairs and Sport since June 2019 and a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament from December 2018.

Allen says he will continue to pursue the Western Cape’s Safety Plan, which aims to halve the murder rate in the province by 2029.

“I am indeed honoured to have been entrusted with the appointment of the Provincial Minister of Community Safety and Police Oversight and I have hit the ground running so that we can continue to realise the Western Cape Safety Plan, which aims to halve the murder rate in our province by 2029. Every person in our province deserves to feel safe in their communities and on their streets, no matter where they live. We are determined to work with all stakeholders, including the SAPS, local government and communities, to ensure that this important objective is realised.”

In the first 100 days in office, Allen says he will focus on creating safer communities across the Western Cape and will:

·        Visit 30 police stations

·        Join 30 Neighbourhood Watch walkabouts

·        Participate in a number of Joint Crime Prevention Operations conducted by reaction units supported by the Department, inclusive of the K9 units and LEAP Programme

·        Strengthen the already established relationship with the SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant- General Patekile and station commanders in the province

·        Engage various safety partners and political parties to ascertain how best we can collaboratively combat crime and violence.

 

Allen says he will push for more policing resources in the province, especially in the poorer communities.

‘’It is not fair that the worst-affected areas have unacceptable police-to-population ratios. With this said, I know that the SAPS is working to address this, and I will work with them and their leadership so that this can be achieved as soon as possible.’’

‘’For our part, we will continue to ensure additional resources in our crime hotspots through our LEAP programme, which has already seen over 1000 officers deployed. I also want to upskill my department in terms of its data and evidence capabilities so that we can add exponential value to our pioneering LEAP programme. We will also focus on violence prevention initiatives, in partnership with the Department of Health and Wellness, because we need to prevent violence from taking place in the first place, and not just respond to it,” he added.

Allen says combatting gangsterism is also on his agenda.

“I particularly want to stop gang violence in our province. My family and I are no stranger to the terror that gangs cause in some of our communities. We need an all-of-society response that stops this violence in its tracks.”

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, congratulated Allen.

“To be the Provincial Minister of Community Safety and Police Oversight is a challenging, but important role. In his duties, Minister Allen will need to hit the ground running – focusing on improving policing oversight so that we can ensure that residents in this province get the best possible service from our men and women in blue.’’

‘’Going forward, the department will significantly expand its monitoring of police stations across the province, with a focus on GBV and domestic violence responses, police conduct, visible policing, and crime investigation efficiency,’’ added Winde.

 

PICTURE: WCG - 
Reagen Ivan Allen being sworn in as the Western Cape’s Community Safety and Police Oversight MEC by Judge Mantame 

Done By: Mitchum George

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South Africans to reapply for the R350 grant as rules have been updated

South Africans will need to reapply for the R350 Social relief of distress grant after the Department of Social Development announced new regulations.

According to the department this is as the government moves away from the national state of disaster framework.

The grant was initially introduced and distributed under the Disaster Management Act to provide relief to those affected by Covid pandemic. Regulations have bow been revised and re-issued under the Social Assistance Act.

Civil society organisations have slammed the Department of Social Development (DSD) for its updated rules, narrowing the number of people who are now eligible to receive the relief.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his State of the Nation address that the grant would be extended until end of March 2023. As more than 10 million people depend on state money.

The new income threshold has been lowered to R350 from the previous R624 was. The entire application process is still being done online on the SASSA website, where further communication will be issued.

by Everngelista Muza

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Discarded police material and paper found on open field in Steenberg

Western Cape police says the dumping of discarded police documents and other materials at a site near the Steenberg police station have revealed that none of the discarded waste is from police dockets.

SUPPLIED: Subcouncil chairperson, Angus McKenzie 



‘’The investigation led by a senior detective from the provincial office continues, with a sworn statement yet to be obtained from the councillor who made the discovery,’’ said Brigadier Novela Potelwa.

The discovery was made by ward councilor, Marita Pietersen. Pietersen, who alerted SAPS about the incident was allegedly, according to Subcouncil chairperson, Angus McKenzie, ‘’told to get screwed by the Station Commander.’’

SUPPLIED: Subcouncil chairperson, Angus McKenzie 


Bush Radio reached out for comment to Pietersen about the incident, who said it was ‘’partially affirmative.’’ According to SAPS, a sworn statement is yet to be obtained from Pietersen.

Pietersen made the discovery last week, but SAPS says a plastic bag containing the discarded paper and other materials was seized on Monday afternoon (25 April 2022) by the investigator in line with investigation protocols. The lot comprised unused gloves from state-issued investigation kits, hazardous waste material disposal bags, torn and crumbled paper as well as old documents.

SUPPLIED: Subcouncil chairperson, Angus McKenzie 



‘’Part of what the investigation will look into, will be whether any SAPS directives on the disposal of waste material have been flouted. Further statements will be obtained from the Steenberg SAPS management and personnel,’’ said Brigadier Novela Potelwa.

SUPPLIED: Subcouncil chairperson, Angus McKenzie 


The Western Cape’s police commissioner, Lt. General Thembisile Patekile, says that if anyone is found to have flouted any SAPS protocols on the disposal of waste material, they will face the full might of the law

‘’Once the investigation is finalised, Lt General Patekile assures the community of Steenberg that the outcome will be made public,’’ added Potelwa.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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Monday, April 25, 2022

Eskom is urging consumers to use electricity sparingly

Eskom is urging consumers to use electricity sparingly, ‘’as the power system is severely constrained due to the delay in returning units to service and the loss of multiple generation units.’’

‘’While no loadshedding is currently being implemented, Eskom requests to the public to reduce the consumption of electricity as any further losses of generation capacity would force the implementation of loadshedding at very short notice,’’ it said in a statement.

‘’The loss of multiple generators over the weekend, as well as delays in returning some generation units to service, has made for a very constrained power system this afternoon,’’ it added.

The ailing parastatal says it is working on returning a generation unit each at Matimba, Duvha and Arnot power stations to service before the evening peak.

‘’Today a generation unit each at Arnot, Kendal, Matla and Tutuka power stations have been returned to service. However, we will still be heavily reliant on emergency reserves to meet demand tonight.  Emergency reserves are healthy to assist in reducing the supply deficit,’’ it said.

 

PICTURE: Pixabay

Done By: Mitchum George

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1 dead, 2 injured in drive-by shooting in Tafelsig, Mitchell’s Plain

Western Cape Police have launched are seeking suspects, after a man was gunned down while a mother and her young son were wounded in a drive-by shooting in Tafelsig, Mitchell’s Plain, on Saturday.

Spokesperson, Sergeant Wesley Twigg, says a grey Hyundai SUV with male occupants opened fire at the three victims, and fled the scene, and are yet to be arrested.

‘’Anti-Gang Unit detectives are probing the circumstances which led to the death of a 45 year old male and the attempted murder of a 30 year old female and her four year old son on Saturday morning at around 11:15 in Langeberg Street Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain.  The mother and child were admitted to hospital for treatment.’’

Anyone with information is requested to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.  

 

PICTURE: SAPS

By: Danielle Mentoor

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36 learners suspended after the 'dagga day' viral video

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi will be present at the disciplinary hearing of suspended Leondale High School learners on Monday.

Thirty-six pupils have been suspended after taking part in a 'Dagga Day', shown in a videos that has since gone viral on social media of the learners consuming dagga.

Gauteng Education Department spokesperson, Steve Mabona: "We then acknowledged that that investigation will continue and as soon as we are ready with the outcome, we will then give to the parents. We also appeal to parents to support the school in all activities and make sure that they talk to their children to uphold discipline so that when they come to school, they know that they are there to be educated.

Following the incident the learners were suspended on Friday.

Earlier this month, a grade 12 learner was suspended after he sold dagga-infused muffins or space cakes at the Ekurhuleni's Randfontein High School. At the time, Mabona said around 11 learners felt sick and were rushed to medical facilities while two others were sent home.

COURTESY: Twitter - @Lesufi


by Everngelista Muza

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World's oldest person dies in Japan at 119

A Japanese woman certified the world's oldest person has died at the age of 119. She passed away on 19 April.

Kane Tanaka was born January 2, 1903, in the southwestern Fukuoka region of Japan, the same year the Wright brothers flew for the first time and Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Tanaka was in relatively good health until recently and lived at a nursing home, where she enjoyed board games, solving maths problems, soda and chocolate.

In her younger years, Tanaka ran various businesses including a noodle shop and a rice cake store. She married Hideo Tanaka a century ago in 1922, giving birth to four children and adopting a fifth.

She had planned to use a wheelchair to take part in the torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, but the pandemic prevented her from doing so.

When the Guinness World Records recognised her as the oldest person alive in 2019, she was asked what moment she was the most happy in life. Her answer: "Now."

Her daily routine was described at the time as including a 6:00 am wake-up, and afternoons spent studying mathematics and practising calligraphy.

"One of Kane's favourite pastimes is a game of Othello and she's become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff," Guinness said.

Japan has the world's most elderly population, according to World Bank data, with around 28 percent aged 65 or over.

The oldest-ever living person verified by Guinness was Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment, who died aged 122 years and 164 days in 1997.

Guinness World Records says the titles of oldest person living and oldest person living (female) are currently being investigated.

 


REPORT BY AFP // Guinness World Records

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Fifth wave of the coronavirus for the winter season

 The Health Department stated that it was closely observing COVID-19 cases, as there had been a recent rise of cases both provincially and national. Experts predict that by winter a fifth wave is likely to coincide as early as May.

Western Cape, as of April 23 reported 4 560 active cases of the virus the province since the start of the pandemic recorded 21 930 Covid-19-related deaths. Hospital admissions, remain low at 165 across public and private hospitals.

Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said that they are seeing increases in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, driven by the new Omicron sublineages identified (BA.4 and BA.5).

“There is a very small number of specimens with BA.4 in the Western Cape and work is under way to understand virus phenotype and potential impact.”

“Should the need arise, the department would be able to reopen quarantine and isolation facilities, said Van der Heever.

National Health Department spokesperson Foster Mohale said the department has noted with concern the current spike of Covid-19 infections in some parts of the country, and urged people to take extra measures to protect themselves.



by Everngelista Muza

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Cannabis cultivating farm discovered in Paarl

The Western Cape’s flying Squad arrested 25 suspects on Friday, after they discovered a cannabis cultivating farm in Paarl. The police’s Andre Traut says officers discovered and seized cannabis plants and a large quantity of prepared cannabis ready for the market.

SUPPLIED: SAPS


The suspects, aged between 18 and 55, are set to appear in the Paarl magistrates Court on Monday.

SUPPLIED: SAPS


‘’Due to the substantial quantities, the estimated value of the drugs is yet to be determined. While the suspects are awaiting their court appearance scheduled for Monday in Paarl to face a charge of dealing in drugs, members of our Provincial Detectives are probing the circumstances surrounding the matter. More arrests could be made as our investigation unfolds,’’ said Colonel Andrè Traut.

SUPPLIED: SAPS



The Western Cape Police Commissioner, Lt Gen Thembisile Patekile commended the units responsible for the operation and issued a stern warning to drug dealers that their illegal trade will remain high on our policing priority list.   

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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