Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Minister of Water and Sanitation provides update on water services

The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu briefed the media and stake holders on Tuesday, 23 August regarding the state of the provision of water in South Africa.

Mchunu was addressing the issue at Coega Vulindlela Village in Gqeberha to ensure the country is able to have sufficient water and that the provinces that are experiencing problems with water availability know what the minister plans to do help with the water crisis.

South Africa has been going through a water crisis as the country`s ageing infrastructure is not being maintained and this has lead to low water levels of supply in provinces like the Western Cape and Eastern Cape as municipalities have urged the public to use water sparingly.

To prevent the country from heading into day zero, Mchunu said the national water partnerships programme will be partnering with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and introduce the reconfiguration of water pots.

“The Water Partnership Office is in the process of being adequately capacitated with the necessary skills to ensure that both public and private sector are served well. This means that Government will benefit from this additional capacity to manage partnerships,” the minister said.


By Lulama Klassen

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Operations to rebuild Central Line halted after alleged gangsters threatened and intimidated workers

Operations to rebuild the Central Line has been halted after alleged gangsters threatened and intimidated workers, on Monday

Sub Council Chairperson, Angus Mckenzie, said the workers were met by, what he claims, extorting gangsters who violently insisted that workers from the area stop work and vacate the train line.

McKenzie blamed the lack of security or inability of security on the Central Line

He met with PRASA and SAPS officials on Tuesday morning, saying that a detailed security plan will be put in place

‘’Today [Tuesday] to ensure the safety of staff and the surrounding communities a decision was taken to halt operations. This step was taken not to appease gangsters and extortionist but to make sure that those staff members are safe.’’

‘’Over the next few hours a detailed updated security plan will be put in place, this plan will then be agreed upon by all including SAPS and work will restart later this week.’’

McKenzie emphasised that the operations have only stopped temporarily.

‘’We will not be held ransom by gangsters, neither will we allow gangsters to assume control of our projects and communities. This is not how we will operate and this is most certainly not what will accepted.’’

‘’The Central Line will be rebuilt, unemployed will be employed and opportunities will become accessible and nothing and no one will stop this!’’ he added.

 

Done by: Mitchum George

Workers upgrading Central Line threatened by ‘extortionists’

Sub Council Chairperson, Angus Mckenzie, is set to meet with PRASA and Transnet on Tuesday to discuss the lack of security or inability of security on the Central Line. This comes after workers were threatened and intimidated whilst rebuilding the Central Line.

“They were met by extorting gangsters who violently insisted that workers from the area stop work and vacate the train line. Workers were threatened and intimidated and eventually cleared the site to avoid any further problems,” said McKenzie.

The subcouncil chairperson condemned the incident, calling on the community to come forward with any information.

“After consultation with the Acting Station Commander, we will not tolerate extortion on this project neither will we allow the project to halted which has not only been beneficial for the numbers of local people employed but the full functioning of the Central Line service to those who need it most.”

“I have full faith in SAPS Bishop Lavis to deal with this matter but will appeal to the community at large to come forward with information to assist in ensuring that those responsible are arrested and that together we are able to get this line up and running and those folks earning a wage for first time continue to do so.”

“I will not accept extortion as normal behavior and will not allow projects that will benefit my people to suffer in the process thereof,” said McKenzie.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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Teenagers faces criminal charges after 7 dogs rescued in M/Plain following tip-off of dogfighting

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA and the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement: Animal Control Unit rescued 7 dogs from dog fighting in Mitchell's Plain on Friday.

PICTURE: Cape of Good Hope SPCA


The team received a tip-off about The dogfighting that took place behind the Swartklip Indoor Sports Centre in Tafelsig. The culprits, all teenagers between 15 and 17, are now facing charges of dogfighting, under the Animals Protection Act.

In a joint statement, it was revealed that all of the dogs were still young and in the process of being trained for fighting.

PICTURE: Cape of Good Hope SPCA


“Dogfighting cases always make my heart drop into my stomach. I cannot understand how any person can find pleasure in watching dogs rip each other apart. What is even scarier, these were minors! What is happening to our society?” said Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

 Dogfighting is illegal in South Africa. A person found guilty for any involvement in dogfighting is liable for a fine of R80,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 24 months with a criminal record. It is a crime to be involved in any way with the fighting of animals or to own, keep, train or breed animals used for fighting. It is also illegal to buy, sell or import these animals.

“Moreover, it is a criminal offence to incite, encourage or allow any animal to attack another animal or proceed to fight. It is a crime to promote animal fighting for monetary gain or entertainment,” read the statement.

“It is also considered a crime to allow any of these activities to take place on a property you own, live on or have control of.”

According to the City, it is a crime to watch dogfighting as is being on the same property where dogfighting is taking place.

The City's Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith has condemned the incident.

“Dogfighting is not a sport or entertainment. It’s cruel, illegal and those who participate are lacking in basic humanity. The law should punish those who inflict cruelty on any human or animal knowingly and willfully with the maximum penalty.”

Done By: Mitchum George

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Monday, August 29, 2022

More than 500 arrests made by LEAP officers in August

The Western Cape’s Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers made more than 500 arrests for the first 21 days in August 2022

LEAP officers work alongside other law enforcement agencies, such as City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Agencies, Metro police and SAPS.

LEAP officers stem from the Western Cape Government’s Safety Plan, which was initiated in September 2019, to address the high murder rate in the province. The Western Cape aims to reduce the murder rate by 50% by 2029.

Officers are deployed in crime hotspot areas in the metro, including, Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha (Site B policing precinct), Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel. Other high crime areas in which they are deployed are Atlantis, Bishop Lavis and Hanover Park, along with Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park.

Officers between the 1 – 21 August 2022, arrested 515 suspects for various crimes, whereby 7 were for the possession of an illegal firearm, 10 for the possession of illegal ammunition, 6 for the possession of an imitation firearm, 329 for the possession of drugs and 48 for the possession of dangerous weapons. Confiscations and all other arrests occurred in the various areas where LEAP is deployed.

In this same time period, LEAP officers have amongst others searched 47 480 persons and conducted 3 316 patrols in hotspot areas.

“By removing and confiscating these items, LEAP is ensuring that there are fewer causes of murder. LEAP is stepping up a lot more in their operations and functions, as National Government continues to fail SAPS officers on the ground. SAPS officers are constantly expressing their gratitude for LEAP, as it’s helping them to be more visible and effective in their crime fighting efforts. As a caring government, we want to ensure our residents live in safer environments and with dignity,” said Western Cape’s Police Oversight & Community Safety MEC, Reagen Allen.

Allen has again called for the devolution of police in the province.

“LEAP is operational proof why SAPS should immediately be devolved to a capable province and government such as ours. In fact, the 8,2% reduction in the murder rate for the 1st quarter of the 2022/23 financial year, at SAPS stations where LEAP is deployed, strengthens this. Our governance record at our schools, hospitals and so many other facilities under the governance of the Western Cape, speak for itself. Under us, SAPS will once again become a service that residents trust wholeheartedly.”

“LEAP would never be able to combat crime by themselves and besides working with SAPS and other law enforcement agencies including the City of Cape Town, the ears and eyes of the broader community are vital if we’re to create safer communities. I’d therefore like to urge all sectors of society to join us in the fight for a safer Western Cape,” added Allen.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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A 37 year old man was kidnapped in Mitchells Plain

Cape Town has been rocked by another kidnapping case after 37-year-old Aktar Pradhan was allegedly taken in Mitchells Plain. The incident of the Bangladeshi businessman, was caught on a video that has since gone viral online.

Western Cape police spokesperson, Joseph Swartbooi said three suspects were seen stopping Pradhan's car before bundling him into their vehicle.

"And when the victim got out of his vehicle the suspects forced him into their vehicle and fled the scene in an undisclosed direction. The suspects are yet to be arrested. We can confirm that no shots were fired. Mitchells Plain police are investigating a case of kidnapping and extortion."

In the recently released crime statics, 237 people were kidnapped in the Western Cape between April and June 2022. Last week Friday, six-year-old Shanawaaz Asghar was taken from his Kensington neighbourhood before he was later safely returned to his family.


by Everngelista Muza

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The broadcasting digital migration programme ramped

Communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, briefed the media on the progress of the broadcasting digital migration BDM programme, including the rollout and installation of set-top box (STB) decoders

She said the set back in the process have negatively affected the development of the ICT sector in the country. Ntshavheni expressed that this has further delayed broadband penetration across the country, in particular in rural and peri-urban areas.

During her last Briefing, she announced the 30th of September 2022 as the final date for applications of Government subsidized Set-Top Boxes. The broadcasting digital migration programme ramped up public awareness programmes to ensure the digital migration message reaches many South Africans wherever they are. This prompted them to adopted a multi-prong and multichannel approach to drive the message South Africa citizens regarding the broadcasting digital migration and the final date of applications on the 30th of September

This comes after the Department of Communications was subjected to months of court challenges and apprehension from its own entities about the government's readiness to switch off the analogue broadcast signal for good. The government has also undertaken to assist poor households that applied for STBs, which are required to convert digital broadcasting signals on analogue TV sets. Qualifying households − those with an income of R3 500 per month or less – are required to register for these devices at their nearest SA Post Office branch. The department has encouraged households to visit their nearest post offices to apply, or register online to receive the free government decoder and installation.


by Everngelista Muza

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Two City facilities robbed and burgled in two weeks

The City of Cape Town has condemned the burglary and theft of Masincedane Clinic in Nyanga as well as the Brown’s Farm Library. The Clinic was robbed two weeks ago and the library was burgled last week.

In the case of the Masincedane Clinic, security staff were robbed at gunpoint on Friday 19 August and the facility will be closed until Tuesday, 30 August. This means clients have to attend the neighbouring clinics of Gugulethu, Vuyani and Nyanga.

The Brown’s Farm Library meanwhile was burgled when thieves broke through a security gate and door.

Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross said the unknown suspects made off with a number of SmartCape and City of Cape Town computers, monitors, hand-held scanners, keyboards, first aid kit and multi-plugs. SmartCape is an Internet service designed to help citizens of Cape Town access the Internet, free of charge.

PICTURE: CoCT - The Brown’s Farm Library burgled


‘’Crime is an ongoing scourge in our communities and when it affects facilities residents depend on, it not only hampers service delivery but also puts lives at risk.’’

‘’Those with appointments have been contacted to reschedule their health visits, while chronic medication is being couriered to clients at the alternative clinics they are attending in the interim,’’ she added.

Van der Ross said the library remains open, but patrons who want to make use of the SmartCape facility will have to do so at the nearby Crossroads Library for the foreseeable future.

‘’The trauma on staff cannot be measured and this often leads to longer closures as they recover from these incidents’’

The cost to replace stolen items and the value of time and services lost, says the mayco member, is yet to be calculated.

 ‘’It’s a cost the communities and the directorate can ill afford.  The criminals, and the residents who protect them, must realise that the quality of the services they receive are negatively impacted by the extra money we have to spend on safeguarding facilities, repairing damages and replacing stolen resources,’’ said Mayco member for community services and health, Patricia van der Ross.

Residents can report crime and by-law offences anonymously, 24-hours a day, on 0800 110077.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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City contractors held at gunpoint and robbed of two generators in M/Plain

The City of Cape Town’s contractor’s staff were held at gunpoint and robbed of two generators in Mitchell’s Plain on Wednesday.

The team were working on the Highlands Drive bridge, repairing footways that were damaged as a result of cable theft, making the footways uneven and unsafe to walk on.  This incident happened just three days into the project.

Mayco member for urban mobility, Rob Quintas said no one was physically hurt, further condemning the incident.

“The ripple effect of this incident is huge- the contractor cannot operate without the generators, staff fear for their lives and need counselling which could result in the project being delayed.”

“This type of attack on City staff or contractors has become far too commonplace, and it has to stop, not only in the interest of the safety of the employees, but also in the interest of service delivery to our most vulnerable communities,” he added.

Quintas appealed to residents to come forward with any information relating to the incident.

“I call on residents to please share any information that could lead to the recovery of the stolen goods and finding those responsible at their nearest police station or subcouncil office. I also want to appeal to the residents to please work with us as they are the ultimate beneficiaries of this project.”

“I warn those that are hell-bent on undermining our efforts to bring services to our vulnerable residents, that we will do everything in our power to end this criminality,” added Quintas.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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Thursday, August 25, 2022

GABS suspends operations in Nyanga following torching of its buses

Four Golden Arrow buses, private and state vehicles, including a truck from the City of Cape Town were burned and stoned in Nyanga on Thursday morning following an impoundment operation targeted at illegal local Avanza taxis also known as Amaphela by Law Enforcement. One bus driver suffered head injuries.

PICTURE: SAPS


The police’s Joseph Swartbooi said law enforcement are keeping a close eye on the area.

‘’Public Order Police, supported by Nyanga Saps and Metro Police are currently monitoring a situation in Nyanga area where several busses and vehicles were set alight, by yet to be identified suspects.’’

PICTURE: SAPS


‘’The City of Cape Town Traffic Services assisted by Nyanga Saps and Law Enforcement conducted a compliance operation early this morning, Thursday 25 August that focused on illegal sedan taxis. SAPS deployment will remain in the area until calm has been restored,’’ added Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi.

PICTURE: SAPS


Meanwhile, the Western Cape’s Mobility MEC, Daylin Mitchell, has condemned the incident

‘’These actions are completely unacceptable, purely criminal and will not be tolerated. We will not compromise on the safety of commuters and citizens. I thank SAPS for their swift response by deploying Public Order Police in the area to restore calm. I hope justice will prevail.’’

‘’The Western Cape Government will use all available regulatory measures and powers at its disposal to take strong action against anyone who makes themselves guilty of public violence, arson, intimidation, or any other criminal acts that impact on the safety and dignity of public transport users and citizens. We must defend the constitutional order and uphold the rights of commuters and other stakeholders,’’ added Mitchell

‘’I will not stand by and see this thuggery continue,’’ concluded the provincial MEC.

Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) sent out a notice saying that it will not operate in the Nyanga area and will be starting and terminating all Nyanga services from Borcherd's Quarry.

‘’The bus will stop at Borcherds Quarry to drop off Nyanga passengers and then proceed to Khayelitsha via freeway, adding that GABS are unable to operate along Eisleben,’’ said GABS Spokesperson, Bronwen Dyke-Beyer.

 

Done by: Mitchum George

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

South Africa’s Unemployment rate has declined by 33.9%

Stats SA has released its Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of the year, showing that the country’s unemployment rate decreased for the second consecutive quarter.

The country’s unemployment rate improved,marginally, by 0.6 of a percentage point from 34.5% in the first quarter to 33.9% in the second quarter.

The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment also decreased by 1.4 percentage points to 44.1 % in Quarter2 2022 compared to Quarter1:2022.

The biggest job gains were recorded in Community and Social Services (276,000), Trade (169,000), Finance (128,000) and Construction (104,000). However, there were job losses in Manufacturing (73,000) and Transport (54,000). The total number of persons employed was 15.6 million in the second quarter of 2022.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 132,000 to 8.0 million in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter. The number of discouraged work-seekers decreased by 183,000 (4.9%), and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 452,000 (3.3%) between the two quarters.


Done by Lizeka Tsotetsi

State Capture Whistleblower Vytjie Mentor has passed away

State capture whistleblower and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor has died after a long illness.

58-year-old Mentor was an anti-apartheid activist who served as an ANC member of the national assembly from 2002 to 2014 and as its caucus chairperson between 2004 and 2008. From 2009 she served as chairperson of the public enterprises portfolio committee.

Mentor resigned from parliament in 2014, ahead of the elections, but only left the ANC in 2019, when she joined the African Christian Democratic Party.

In 2020, Mentor joined ActionSA, becoming its Western Cape chairperson, a position she held until June 2022, when she resigned from the post because of ill health

 


Image supplied by Facebook


Done by Lizeka Tsotetsi

Monday, August 22, 2022

Weatern Cape Officials have released the Quarterly Crime Stats

The Police Ministry aswell as Western Cape Provincial Minister of Community Safety and Police Oversight Reagan Allen briefed the Media on the Quarterly Crime Stats in the WC from the Month of April till June this year where 994 lives were lost due to Criminal Activities and the figure for Grievous Bodily Harm at 3314 cases

Contact Crime which refers to crimes committed in the vicinity where Criminals are targeted at has seen Police Stations in Nyanga,Delft,Mfuleni Harare,Khayelitsha ,Mitchell’s Plain ,Kraaifontein,Cape Town Central and Philippi East in the top 9 of the most reported cases as opposed to other local Stations, the causative factors that were identified were Arguments, Road rage Gang related,Robbery,Mob Justice amongst others

Police Commissioners highlighted that unlicensed firearms that have been easily assessable to Criminals have been a contributing factor to the Crime Stats

Provincial Minister of Community Safety and Police Oversight in the WC Reagan Allen has said that they continue to be proactive, in ensuring that residents are able to live in safer communities. And that much more can be achieved when you have a capable government that is focused on addressing crime and not using it as a political tool. MEC Allen thanked the LEAP officers, SAPS and all other law enforcement agencies, along with neighborhood watches, CPF’s, and all relevant stakeholders for their continued commitment to combating crime

Done by Lizeka Tsotetsi 


17 year old girl rape at a police station in Eastern Cape

An Eastern Cape detective allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl inside the Kei Mouth police station, near East London. According to reports the 45-year-old man, made his first appearance in the East London Magistrate's Court on Monday.

This is after the accused went to pick up the teenager for an interview after she opened a case of assault against her boyfriend. According to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) the suspect raped the young girl inside an office at the police station.

IPID spokesperson Lizzy Suping said that the teen managed to escape after she put up a fight.

"It is alleged the victim cried and, while the suspect was raping her, she bit the suspect on his left shoulder, she picked up a bottle and hit the suspect on his head until the bottle broke," IPID said at the time.

The victim immediately reported the incident to the charge office following her escape. The detective has since resigned and the case postponed to 29 August 2022, for a formal bail application.


by Everngelista Muza

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60 year old solo sailor found dead below deck in Mossel Bay

 South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) announced that a body of a sailor was found on a yacht off Mossel Bay on the south coast.

The body was discovered after massive search operation was launched on Friday, following a missing report on the 60-year-old solo sailor who left Cape Town harbour headed for Mossel Bay. 

The search ended on Saturday afternoon after his yacht was located by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI). Samsa spokesperson Tebogo Ramatjie said that operations had stopped that morning after rescue service were3 searching for almost 10 hours under very difficult sea conditions with nearly no visibility.

 An NSRI rescue swimmer boarded the yacht where he found the sailor deceased below decks. 


by Everngelista Muza

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Saturday, August 20, 2022

Eskom warns of possible load shedding

Eskom has warned that it might have to implement stage 2 load shedding at short notice during the evening peak over the weekend.

The ailing power utility suspended rolling power cuts on Thursday evening, although the generation system remains constrained.

In a statement, Eskom said this is due to a shortage of generation capacity owing to breakdowns and delays in returning some generating units to service.

‘’The cold front expected during the weekend is also anticipated to result in increased demand for electricity, adding to the capacity constraints. We therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly. Eskom will promptly communicate should there be any significant changes,’’ said spokesperson, Sikonathi Manthsantsha.

The spokesperson said unit 2 at Koeberg was shut down on Friday morning as part of operating procedures, which has increased the possibility of loadshedding.

‘’During routine testing of the control rod mechanism on the unit, one of the control rods developed a mechanical problem… It has not yet been determined how long the repairs will take, but it could be up to five days, whereafter the unit will ramp up over three days. During this period the probability of loadshedding has increased.’’

He added that the breakdown of two generation units at Hendrina Power Station and the delay in returning a generating unit each at Kendal, Komati, Kusile and Tutuka power stations during the last 24 hours have put a severe strain on the power generation system.

‘’During the same period, Eskom teams have returned to service a generating unit each at Kriel and Matla power stations. Eight generating units are expected to return to service by Monday evening.’’

 

PICTURE: Pixabay

Done By: Mitchum George

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Trojan Horse massacre declared as a Provincial Heritage Site

The Trojan Horse Massacre site on Thornton Road in Athlone has been declared as a provincial heritage site.

The area bordered by Klipfontein Road, Belgravia Road, Thornton Road and Alexander Sinton High School became a gathering place for anti-apartheid protests, particularly by students. In October 1985, members of the security forces shot and killed three young people who were part of anti-government demonstrations. On the day of the incident, Security and Railway police worked together to crush a gathering of youth who were protesting against the apartheid government.

This incident became known as the Trojan Horse Massacre.

The Western Cape’s Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC, Anroux Marais yesterday unveiled the plaque to declare a portion of Thornton road in Athlone as a Provincial Heritage Site (PHS) Marais said this site will continue to be a source of learning and appreciation for the local communities.

“The declaration of this site as a Provincial Heritage Site demonstrates the understanding of the historical and heritage importance of this site and that it must be preserved and protected for many years to come. It is sites such as this one that preserve the narratives of the past and that will continue to be a source of learning and appreciation for the local communities. In preserving our heritage, we can also preserve the history and stories of the communities where they are situated.”

 ‘’The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, together with Heritage Western Cape, continues to preserve the histories of all our communities, so that they can be shared with future generations,’’ added Marais.

 

PICTURE - SA history -  Trojan Horse Massacre.

Done By: Mitchum George

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6-year-old Kensington boy reunited with family

Western Cape police have confirmed the safe return of a 6-year-old Kensington boy who was kidnapped on Wednesday.

Shanawaaz Asghar was reunited with his family on Thursday night after he was kidnapped outside his home in Cape Town the previous day.

He was taken by unknown men while on his way to school.

‘’Our investigation is still underway and arrests are yet to be made. It is on this basis that further information regarding the case cannot be disclosed at this stage,’’ said Colonel Andrè Traut, Western Cape’s Provincial Commander: Media Communication.

Hidayatul Islam Primary School governing body member and family spokesperson Dawood Esack says Asghar returned home in good spirits.

"I saw him this morning, I was at the family home earlier this morning but even last night when he came home, he was in good spirits. We must just say that he is fine and unharmed and even this morning he was in good spirits, calm and collected and I gave him a little hug.’’

"Last night when he returned home, he said, 'Tell the principal that I am very happy that I do not need to go to school tomorrow', and that was the spirit of this young man."

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Three arrested for illegal guns and ammunition near Intercape bus depot

Police have arrested three men with illegal guns and ammunition near the Intercape bus depot at Airport Industria.

This comes after recent calls to protect the long-distance bus industry after it came under attacks from unknown gunmen that led to the death of one bus driver and the attempted killing of others.

three days after the arrest of 28-year-old Unathi Sitsili, who was arrested on Saturday for alleged attacks on several Intercape buses between March and April this year.

Sitsili is accused of fatally shooting 35-year-old Intercape bus driver Bangikhaya Machana.

Following his arrest, Sitsili appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of murder and attempted murder. His case was postponed to 22 August

 

Done By: Lizeka Tsotetsi

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New changes to the R350 social relief distress

 The Department of Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said that more people now qualify for the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant after the means test threshold was increased to R624, which is the food poverty line set by Stats SA in September 2021.

This means anyone with a monthly income of more than R624 a month will not qualify for the grant. The reduction was made after the grant was moved to the Social Assistance Act when the national state of disaster was lifted.

According to department deputy director-general Brenda Sibeko, all applicants will thoroughly checked:

The criteria stated that a proxy means test consists of checks against databases that may indicate income or alternative financial assistance and verification of insufficient means with banks.

“If the results from bank verification contradict results from data checks referred to in the sub-regulation, the results from the bank verification must be used to make the final determination.

If a person has more than one bank account, the criteria for insufficient means are deemed to have been met if all the bank accounts, assessed individually, are below the income threshold.

Sibeko said approved applicants do not need to reapply every month, but checks will be made monthly to determine if they still qualify.

Zulu's department was allocated a R44bn budget that can only accommodate 10.5-million SRD beneficiaries until the end of March next year.  Meanwhile the Social development minister also announced that the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) is working on a plan to help those receiving the R350 social relief distress grant (SRD) find work.


by Everngelista Muza

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DA makes changes to its caucus

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has made changes to the party’s National Whippery and Shadow Cabinet.

Siviwe Gwarube takes over from Natasha Mazzone, as the Democratic Alliance’s new Chief Whip in the National Assembly. Gwarube was previously the Spokesperson of the Official Opposition. Solly Malatsi alongside Cilliers Brink will now be the DA’s National Spokesperson.

DA leader John Steenhuisen announced the change to his caucus at a DA federal executive meeting on Thursday morning.

Mazzone, will now represent the DA in the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, with a specific focus on overhauling the oversight model of the state security apparatus. She will also serve as the National Security Advisor to DA leader, John Steenhuisen.

Noko Masipa is the party’s new Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. Masipa is no stranger to this portfolio as he previously headed the Portfolio Committee in this department.

The former DA Shadow Minister of State Security, Dianne Kohler-Barnard is the DA’s new Shadow Minister for Communications.

The DA’s newest Member of Parliament, Marina Van Zyl, is the additional member on the Committee on Basic Education.

 

PICTURE: DA

Done By: Mitchum George

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Suspicious package left unattended at Parliament

Parliament says normal operations have resumed on Wednesday after the legislature building had to halt proceedings following a bomb scare in the morning.

VIDEO SUPPLIED


Spokesperson, Moloto Mathapo said the South African Police Service (SAPS) noticed a suspicious package that was left unattended at the Parliamentary precincts whereby the engaged in safety protocols by its bomb disposal specialists, including cordoning off the immediate vicinity

‘’While the police remain at the precincts and are undertaking necessary precautionary measures, parliament confirms there is no immediate danger posed to the Parliamentary community, and there was no evacuation conducted.’’

‘’Parliament apologises for any inconvenience this may have caused to the MPs, staff and guests,’’ added Mothapo.

 

PICTURE: Parliament

Done By: Mitchum George

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Eskom implements Stage 2 load shedding for Wednesday & Thursday

Eskom announced that Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented at 16:00 – 00:00 on Wednesday evening. The ailing parastatal implemented stage 2 load shedding on Tuesday at the same times

The power utility said the reason behind Wednesday’s load shedding is due to the breakdowns of a generation unit each at Duvha, Kendal and Kriel power stations during the last 24 hours, as well as the delays in returning units to service at Arnot, Kusile and Tutuka power stations, which it says, have put a severe strain on the power generation system.

Eskom said due to the shortage of generation capacity, loadshedding will be implemented during the same time on Thursday.

‘’During the same period, Eskom teams have returned a unit each at Arnot and Tutuka power stations to service. While a generation unit each at Kriel, Majuba and Tutuka power stations are expected to return to service over the next 24 hours, this will still be insufficient to stave off loadshedding for Thursday afternoon,’’ said spokesperson, Sikonathi Manthantsha.

‘’We currently have 4 550MW on planned maintenance, while another 14 637MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns. We therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town announced that its customers will only load shed on Stage 1 between 16:00-19:00. The municipality will thereafter suspend load shedding for the rest of the evening.

 

PICTURE: Pixabay

Done By: Mitchum George

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Fidelity report a rise in smash and grabs incidents

 Fidelity Services Group has once again called onto motorists to be alert when in unknown areas. According to the association this is as the country is still being marking hotspot areas for unsuspecting motorists.

Charnel Hattingh, Head of Marketing and Communications at Fidelity Services Group said that motorist can prevent themselves from being victims of snatchers. Law enforcement authorities often issue warnings of areas where ‘smash-and-grabs’ may have become prevalent.

Some of the recommendations given by Fidelity include the following:

Avoid opening your windows when in a traffic.

Do not take pamphlets from or get into discussions with vendors at intersections.

Always be conscious of your surroundings and remain alert when coming to an intersection or stopping your vehicle.

Be wary of people standing at intersections. They may be innocent, but perpetrators mix with these people while waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

If you encounter obstacles such as rocks or tires do not get out of your vehicle to remove them. Reverse and drive off in the opposite direction.


Mayoral committee member for safety and security Alderman JP Smith stated late at night motorist should slow down well in advance so that the light changes green by the time you reach the intersection. Leave a gap between you and the car in front of you to give you room to escape if anything should happen.

The City of Cape Town urged motorist to also report in any incidents of smash and grabs to their nearest police station or the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre. Or contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.


by Everngelista Muza

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Man accused of killing minor to testify

 The murder case of 8-year-old Tazne van Wyk, from Elsies River will continue in the High Court in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Moyhdian Pangkaeker is expected to continue with his testimony, on Tuesday he once again denied the murder charges against him this is after he had previously pleaded not guilty to 27 charges.

Tazne’s body was found in a stormwater drain in Boland a few days after she was reported missing in February 2020. She was last seen alive walking to a tuck shop near her Connaught Estate home before police arrested her alleged killer in Cradock in the Eastern Cape. Pangkaeker led detectives to the child's body in a stormwater pipe along the N1 highway near Worcester.


by Everngelista Muza

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6-year-old boy snatched not far from school in Kensington

 A 6-year-old Cape Town boy has been kidnapped in Kensington.

According to reports Shahnawaz Asghar, 6, was snatched in front of his 9th Street home before 8am on Wednesday morning.

Two suspicious vehicles were spotted near the boy's school, Police said that six suspects fled the area and that no one's been arrested as yet.

The motive is also unknown. Provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the kidnapping and said police are currently investigating the matter.


by Everngelista Muza

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Western Cape Clinics integrate with 9 Cape town facilities

The Provincial Parliaments Standing Committee on Health recently held a briefing on The Western Cape Government Health and Wellness (WCGH&W) officially integrate healthcare services of the City of Cape Town healthcare clinics in Cape Town’s Northern Tygerberg, Klipfontein, and Khayelitsha areas, that was in effect from July 2022.

They will provide a more holistic and integrated healthcare package in line with the Provincial Department’s Healthcare 2030 plan which aims to streamline the patient journey, create a person-centre approach, and improve the quality of healthcare.

Western Cape, Chief of Operations Dr Saadiq Kariem said that the City of Cape Town currently provides primary care services in 105 facilities in the Cape Metropole, specifically in 9 clinics. He further elaborated that those 9 clinics have been integrated with a tenth facility, into the department of health and wellness.

The Chief of Operations said that the 10 city clinics were taken over on the first of July by the provincial government, therefore the funding is generally split between the City of Cape town and the health committee.

The facilities now under the Western Cape heath government along with Cape town include services from Bellville South, Goodwood, Parow, Ravensmead, Durbanville, Scottsdene, Nyanga, Heideveld, and Nolungile City Clinics and the 10th being fisantekraal.

 Dr Kariem said that the City of Cape Town was committed to a smooth handover of the facilities and its services. City Health staff have been appointed in other City facilities with existing shortages, while non-clinical staff are in the process of being appointed. Dr Kariem said that they only had resolvable challenged picked up in the intergration process.


by Everngelista Muza

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Several injured in Hanover Park shooting

Cape Town police are probing a shooting incident that occurred in Hanover Park on Tuesday morning. The incident left numerous people wounded, including a Metro Police officer.

Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said Metro Police officers were on patrol in the area just before 08:00, when they heard shots fired.

‘’Community members pointed them in the direction of the incident, where they found an unknown man who had been shot and wounded. Officers were given a description of the shooter, and set off – they found him nearby, but he opened fire on them, wounding one of the officers in the foot.’’

The officer returned fire, and wounded the suspect. The suspect was arrested and officers recovered a 9mm firearm with 10 hollow point rounds of ammunition. All those wounded have been taken to various medical facilities for treatment.

‘’This is an active, ongoing incident and investigation, and the City will provide more information relevant to its role in the matter, as it becomes available. I wish all concerned a speedy recovery, and commend the members of the public who assisted officers in tracking down the suspect in this case.’’

‘’However, it is also very disheartening to hear that some within the community opted to pelt officers with stones while they were awaiting the arrival of EMS services,’’ added Smith.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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Western Cape’s Mobility MEC pleads with motorists to obey the speed limit

The Western Cape’s Mobility MEC, Daylin Mitchell has urged motorists to obey the speed limit.

The call comes after traffic officials recorded 271 speeding offences across the province within a space of a week.

 The highest speeds recorded were:

·        168 km/h in a 120 km/h zone

·        147 km/h in a 100 km/h zone

·        104 km/h in a 90 km/h zone

·        125 km/h in an 80 km/h zone

·        94 km/h in a 60 km/h zone

·        64 km/h in a 40 km/h zone


‘’Speeding is irresponsible and dangerous. Driving under the influence increases the likelihood and the severity of a crash. The faster you drive, the less time you have to respond to an emergency and the more space you need to stop to avoid a crash. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your judgement and lead to a crash. Any kind of crash can be a life-changing event for you and for everyone else who is involved,’’ said Mitchell.

The MEC pleaded with all motorists to slow down when they see pedestrians on the road.

Furthermore, officials arrested a total of 50 suspects for various traffic violations, with the bulk of these (34) for driving under the influence of alcohol. Twenty-one people lost their lives on the provinces roads - 11 of these were drivers, 8 pedestrians, and two were passengers.

 

PICTURE: Pixabay

Done By: Mitchum George

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SASSA in Khayelitsha now houses at Kuyasa Sub-council office.

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in Khayelitsha will temporarily be located at the Kuyasa Sub-council office. 

The agency in Khayelitsha reopened on 3 August, after there was a temporary service interruption as SASSA had to seek alternate premises in the area. SASSA does not own any sites in Khayelitsha

The City of Cape Town announced that it has reached an agreement with SASSA to a three-year lease of two floors in the Kuyasa office from 1 September 2022.

Mayco member for Economic Growth, James Vos, says under the lease agreement, a refurbishment of the space is planned.

‘’This was in response to an appeal from Sassa for the use of premises to provide its services to some of Cape Town's most vulnerable residents. In July, the agency suddenly closed its office next to the Khayelitsha Mall, leaving beneficiaries in the area unclear as to when or how they would access grants.’’

‘’Following the closure, officials from the City's Property Management Department met with representatives from Sassa to come up with a solution. The future expansion of the Sassa office at the Kuyasa facility is also being investigated,’’ added Vos.

 

PICTURE: SASSA

Done by: Mitchum George

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Monday, August 15, 2022

Fourth case of monkeypox in SA confirmed

The Department of Health has confirmed a fourth case of monkeypox in South Africa.

In a statement released on Monday, spokesperson Foster Mohale says the patient is a 28-year-old male from the Western Cape.

He travelled to Spain and returned to South Africa in the second week of August.

"A polymerase chain reaction test was performed in a private pathology laboratory and the samples were submitted to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases for sequencing analysis. Public health response measures to prevent the spread of the infection, including contact tracing have been instituted," says Mohale.

This brings the country's laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases to four.

The three previous cases were reported in Gauteng, Western Cape and Limpopo. All the cases were reported in males aged 30, 32 and 42 years. Mohale says the three have since completed the self-isolation and monitoring period without reporting further symptoms and health complications.

Monkeypox is usually a mild disease manifesting as blisters on the skin, it is usually mild and self-limiting with a fatality rate of 1%.

‘’Minister Phaahla will, on Friday this week provide more details on the government`s response to Monkeypox during the planned media briefing,’’ he added.

 

PICTURE: Twitter - @GovernmentZA

Done By: Mitchum George

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