Category Archives: News

Minister Des Van Rooyen on ways to improve the running of Association ...

Minister urges everyone participating in the Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities to seek ways of improving the way business is running currently

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, (CoGTA) Mr Des Van Rooyen said that solid and liquid waste can be beneficial to municipalities and their towns. The Minister was speaking at the Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities (AMEU) 66th Convention held in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro yesterday (09 October 2017).

The Minister told delegates about the importance of living in the future and not neglecting the possibility of relevance as a brand, as keeping up with trends in order to stay relevant is key.

A large capital investment in power utilities by municipalities needs to be looked after through proper maintenance and care taken of these installations. Government acknowledges that municipalities are hampered by vacant positions for qualified technicians and engineers, hence the Capacity Development programme under MISA (Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent), which addresses this through training of artisans, technicians and engineers, said Minister.

Although much research has been undertaken in the provision of alternative energy sources, (i.e. solar PV panels etc.) leading to the development of reliable technology, the Minister cautioned delegates on the dynamics of power distribution in South Africa which is in a fast changing phase with major changes to the way distribution was done in the past. Minister emphasised that this will have to be implemented to keep up with the demand for technology driven systems and procedures.

A number of examples were cited by Minister, including retail industry, particularly the likes of Stuttaffords who became the casualty of a global shift to online retail and a domestic economic slump that had put brands beyond its customers' reach.

Minister also spoke of the impact that the rooftop installations (solar PV panels) will have in the near future when it comes to municipal revenue flow. He said that some form of regulation would have to be introduced to protect the national and municipal capital investments in power generation, transmission and distribution.

He also touched on the immense pressure that is on municipalities to develop a business model for generating, transmitting and distributing energy.

We hope that working with institutions like the South African Local Government Association (Salga) would be beneficial as they would advise on how to move the process forward. Pricing models are already changing and ESKOM is focusing on rationalizing the tariff models currently in use, said Minister.

Minister noted that the AMEU is actively playing a collaborative role in the electricity utility world and it is with expectation that the AMEU conventions of the future will assist further in directing the way this industry will be changing.

In conclusion, Minister indicated that it would be important for municipalities to be proactive and adjust the pricing models for distribution of energy to their consumers within their licensed area.

Source: Government of South Africa

Eskom refutes allegations against acting new group executive

Eskom has expressed concern at media reports on its newly appointed interim Group Chief Executive, Sean Maritz.

We have noted with concern recent media reports with unsubstantiated allegations against Mr Maritz. We plead that he be given a chance to lead Eskom, said the power utility on Sunday.

The media reports come after Eskom's announcement on Friday that it had appointed Maritz to the top post. The Eskom Board announced that it has decided to rotate the current executives for this role to ensure exposure.

Previously, Maritz was the utility's Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Group Executive for Information Technology.

The decision to rotate the interim Chief Executive position was taken with the approval of the shareholder [Department of Public Enterprises] to, inter alia, give exposure to another member of the executive team without compromising organisational stability, said Eskom on Sunday.

In June, it was announced that Johnny Dladla had been appointed to occupy the interim Group Chief Executive role. On Friday, the power utility announced that Dladla would resume his role as the Chief Executive Officer of Eskom Rotek Industries (ERI).

Source: South African Government News Agency

International Relations and Cooperation Minister to represent ...

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will tomorrow, 09 October 2017, represent President Jacob Zuma at the official opening of the 5th Ordinary Session of the 4th Pan African Parliament at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng Province.

The 5th Ordinary Session of the 4th Parliament is held from 06 - 20 October 2017 as delegates from all member States of the African Union deliberate on issues of continental interest.

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) facilitates the participation of all African Union members to fulfil an integrated development trajectory in all the economies of the continent. The PAP has ten (10) Permanent Committees which range from Rural Economy to Gender, Youth and People with Disability. The focus of the 5th Ordinary Session of Parliament will be on "Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments with the youth". There will also be a Women's Conference during the session of the Pan African Parliament.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Retired Judge Frans Kgomo announced as new Hawks watchdog

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has announced the appointment of retired Judge Frans Kgomo as the head of the Office of the Judge Complaints Unit for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI).

The Minister made the announcement at a media briefing at the Imbizo Centre in Cape Town on Friday following the passing of Judge Essa Moosa.

The Minister said after consultation with the Minister of Justice and the Chief Justice, Judge Kgomo was appointed to investigate complaints from any member of the public relating to any serious infringement of rights caused by the DPCI or complaints received from a member of the DPCI.

The DPCI, commonly referred to as the Hawks, is tasked with the legal responsibility of preventing, combating and investigating national priority offences and other offences, including selected offences referred to in the Prevention and Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 Act No 12 of 2004.

Judge Kgomo's role does not derogate the role of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the General of Intelligence but compliments these institutions and as such they will work together in the protection of our people and maintenance of integrity in our criminal justice system, Minister Mbalula said.

The Minister said Judge Kgomo, who was the Judge President of the Nothern Cape Division in Kimberly, has an impressive human rights background, having previously practised as an advocate at the North West Bar.

Judge Kgomo was also a member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) and the Lawyers for Human Rights.

The appointment of Judge Kgomo will contribute in ensuring that the DPCI executes its mandate in accordance with the spirit of the constitution.

I look forward to working with you Judge [Kgomo] and thank you for accepting my invitation in your retirement to serve your people once again, he said.

Judge Kgomo thanked the Minister for showing confidence in him, and said he looks forward to working in the company of the men in blue again after having interacted with police throughout his career.

Mr Minister, thank you very much for the confidence that you have bestowed upon me. Our Chief Justice is a person who wants people always to hit the ground running and he does not want excuses. I have known him and worked with him from 1986. When he intimated to me that the Minister wants someone to do this responsibility, I was a bit taken aback but I am looking forward to perform this function.

Source: South African Government News Agency

President Jacob Zuma awaits Parliament to finalise Mineral and ...

President Jacob Zuma awaiting MPRDA Bill from Parliament

President Jacob Zuma is still waiting for Parliament to finalise the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment (MPRDA) Bill.

In January 2015, the President referred the MPRDA Bill back to the National Assembly for reconsideration.

The Constitution requires that the President must assent to and sign the Bill referred to him by the National Assembly. However, in terms of section 79(1) of the Constitution, 1996, if the President has reservations about the constitutionality of the Bill, the President may refer it back to the National Assembly for reconsideration.

The Bill is currently before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for processing.

The Bill was passed by Parliament in 2014 and referred to the President for assent and signing into law.

After careful consideration of the Bill and the submissions received, the President was of the view that the Bill as it stands would not pass constitutional muster.

In terms of section 79(1) of the Constitution, the President referred the Bill to the National Assembly for reconsideration on the following basis:

a) The definition of This Act is likely unconstitutional in that the amended definition elevates the Codes of Good Practice for the South African Minerals Industry, the Housing and Living Condition Standards for the Minerals Industry and the Amended Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for South African Mining and Minerals Industry to the status of national legislation. In addition, in terms of section 74 of the Amended Act, the minister is given the power to amend or repeal these instruments as and when the need arises effectively by passing the constitutionally mandated procedures for the amendment of legislation;

b) As amended, Sections 26(2b) and 26(3) appear to be inconsistent with South Africa's obligations under the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) and the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) insofar as they appear to impose quantitative restrictions on exports in contravention of GATT and TDCA and in so doing render state vulnerable to challenges in international for a;

c) He is of the view that NCOP and Provincial Legislature did not sufficiently facilitate public participation when passing the Amendment Act as required by Section 72 AND 118 of the Constitution in that the consultative period was highly compressed and there appears to have been insufficient notice of the public hearings held by the Provincial Legislatures;

d) He is of the view that the Bill should have been referred to the National House of Traditional Leaders for its comments in terms of Section 18 of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act in that the Bill impacts upon customary law or the customs of traditional communities by:

i. Allowing persons to enter upon land to conduct investigation after notifying and consulting the owner, occupier or person in terms of Section 50 and in so doing ignores the consent principle in customary law;

ii. Amending the definition of community in Section 1 of the Amendment Act.

Source: Government of South Africa

Alleged cop killer remanded in custody

NELSPRUIT � A 23 year old man suspected of having killed a police Sergeant on 13 July 2017 and fled the scene, has been remanded in custody. The suspect, Mduduzi Ndlovu is alleged to have fatally knocked the victim by car while he (victim) was jogging with his wife who is also a police Sergeant, had been in hiding ever since up until last Thursday, 28 September 2017, where he handed himself to the police.

A preliminary police probe, at the time of the incident revealed that the vehicle used in the killing of the member belonged to his wife and how Ndlovu got possession of the vehicle remains a subject of a wide police investigation.

He appeared at the Tonga Magistrate's Court on Monday, was remanded in custody and will appear at the same court on Thursday, 12 October 2017.

Source: South African Police Service

MASS SHOOTINGS SEND SHOCK WAVES IN SOUTH AFRICAN HOUSING SETTLEMENT

CAPE TOWN--As it was a Friday night, and like most of his peers, 25-year-old Jokazi then told his cousin Amanda Tshangela that he was going to play pool and would be back later.

That was the last time Tshangela saw him, and was later to hear that he had been shot.

Jokazi was one of the 10 people killed by unknown assailants in Marikana informal settlement in Philipi East, Cape Town, on Friday night.

The killings have since sent shockwaves in the community while provincial police have stepped up their visibility in the area to prevent further killings.

Yesterday, Tshangela said of her cousin: He died on the spot. He was not a bad person and he didn't have any bad friends.

"I can't believe up until now that he is dead. We are not safe here, we are moving out.

Police have called for reinforcement to police the informal settlement for fear that more violence could break as community leaders were meeting in secret locations about the Friday night mass killings.

Earlier yesterday, police were prevented from entering the settlement as residents complained that they have lost faith in the police to protect them.

At the Philipi East police station, community leaders told cops that residents had lost hope in the police and that they were very upset following Friday night's mass shootings.

Ward 35 councillor Mboniswa Chitha provided a detailed account of the shootings, claiming that the suspects had forced their entry into some homes and in some cases forced parents to perform oral sex in front of their children.

Joseph Makeleni, a community leader in Marikana, said a gang of about 30 men, some dressed neatly, jumped out of the vehicles and split into groups, making their way to different sections of the area around 19:00 on Friday.

Makeleni said the gang shot four revellers at Emaweleni shebeen.

Another four young men were killed in Rholihlahla section. The gang, Makeleni said, proceeded on the shooting spree and fatally wounded a security guard found hitch-hiking on the road.

There was blood all over the shebeen. One parent was crying uncontrollably. One family member is a twin to a brother shot dead in the shebeen. The twin brother [the one alive] is heartbroken and devastated, said Makeleni.

Western Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa confirmed that a 10th person who was injured during the attacks died in hospital later.

Police were yesterday executing search operations, while further units � including the tactical response team � were being called to come and assist.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Petrol price to rise in October

The petrol price will rise by between 25 and 29 cents this week, the Energy Department announced on Monday.

A litre of 93 (ULP and LRP) will rise by 25 cents, while a litre of 95 (ULP and LRP) will rise by 29 cents.

This means that consumers, who in September paid R13.72 for a litre of 95 (ULP and LRP) in Gauteng will now pay R14.01. Consumers in the coast will now pay R13.52 a litre.

Both grades of diesel (0.05% sulphur) and 0.005% sulphur will increase by 42 cents a litre, while the price of illuminating paraffin (wholesale) will go up by 39 cents a litre.

The prices will be effective on Wednesday.

The cost of illuminating paraffin (SMNRP) will increase by 52 cents, while the maximum retail price of LPGas will go up by 39 cents.

The department said the average international product prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin increased during the period under review.

In September, the price of petrol rose by 67 cents.

Source: South African Government News Agency