Daily Archives: August 7, 2018

North West on Mebala Ya Rona Heritage Walk

Mebala Ya Rona Heritage Walk gains momentum

Mebala Ya Rona Heritage Walk brought over 100 walkers across Bokone Bophirima and neighbouring provinces together. This was a significant increase from the inaugural event last year and seen as a sanction for a vision turning reality.

The Walk which embraces and encourages citizens to celebrate their culture, diversity, beliefs and traditions held its second annual walk last week starting from Bakgatla Gate, Pilanesberg National Park, passing through Legkraal, Vlakplaas, Rampampa and Molatedi to Madikwe Game Reserve.

The 117km Walk presented an exciting and educational trail in accordance with the key strategic objectives of this initiative which mainly focuses on promoting the heritage corridor; increasing awareness and interest amongst local communities to appreciate preserve and protect their culture and heritage whilst they optimise on the economic value as well as to encourage the investor community towards the biodiversity economy and partnership opportunities with local communities within the node and to increase tourism footprint in the area.

MEC Manketsi Tlhape of the North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) applauded all individuals and environmental clubs that participated and completed the Walk for their perseverance and commitment to completing the challenging trail.

When we started the Walk, we were a certain number but I am happy with the number of participants that have completed. This shows commitment and the fact that the vision behind this initiative is worth consideration. Mebala Ya Rona Transformation project is growing and has drawn so much interest and we are assuring our participants that steadily we will reach the greater heights with it. It is our responsibility as the Department of READ together with our entities and Mebala to ensure that this Walk succeeds and becomes sustainable she said.

During the closing ceremony, Tlhape announced that the National Department of Tourism has pledged to invest in the refurbishing and development the Dwarsberg Hiking Trail that will be linked to the Molatedi Dam Resort. This, she said would increase biodiversity awareness and contribute to the economic development of the area.

Furthermore, she encouraged communities to be part of the Mebala Ya Rona brand, to improve and develop new community projects that are aligned with the objectives of the initiative.

Biodiversity Management Director within the Department of READ, Mr Jonathan Denga added that the Walk had cultivated some legacy projects within the local communities and that includes first level training in fire and first aid to assist walkers during the trail. These community members who are mainly youth will receive further training as part the Mebala legacy community development projects.

The Walk envisages attracting more walkers form other provinces as well as international in line with the Mebala Ya Rona Transformation initiative objectives. One of the walkers, Steve Moloko (54) from Johannesburg says that he enjoyed walking inside Madikwe Game Reserve where got to see wildlife. The experience has also taught me about different villages within Rusternburg area and the way people there live. I am from a city and I had little knowledge of the life in villages but this has given me a valuable lesson and some life experience to cherish, Moloko said.

All participants who completed the Walk were awarded medals to acknowledge their selfless efforts.

The 3rd Annual Mebala Ya Rona Heritage Walk will take place from 5 � 9 June 2019.

Source: Government of South Africa

Tsakane SAPS Women Information Session

Today at 09:00 Tsakane SAPS joined the Sithandizingane centre for woman for an information session. Different woman speakers including Tsakane SAPS communication officer motivated other woman.

Sgt Lerato Mngomezulu encourage the woman to break the silence when experiencing abuse in their relationships and took them through the process of applying for protection order, woman were also discouraged from withdrawing of cases of domestic violence as that give the perpetrators gain power over them because they know that they cannot stand firm on their decisions and of rape as the suspect get away with the habit and will carry on and on destroying life’s.

Above all woman, were taught to believe in the power that God gave to each and every woman, to start using it positive to change some of the struggles the society/nation is facing currently such as crime, drugs and other social problems.

Pamphlets on woman safety tips were distributed.

Source: South African Police Service

Mozambique Finalizes Block 5 Oil Deals with Multinational Firms

Mozambique’s government on Tuesday approved contracts giving exclusive rights to energy companies to act on concessions awarded to them to explore for oil following four years of negotiations and delays that threatened to derail the projects.

Cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana said the companies could now go ahead with mining operations to tap offshore oil reserves that experts say are enough to supply energy to Britain, France, Germany and Italy for over 20 years.

Mozambique is desperate to plug gaps in government revenue after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) canceled funding in 2016 citing concerns about how $2 billion in loans was spent.

“The contracts give the concessionaires exclusive rights to conduct oil operations with the aim to produce oil from the natural resources deposits underneath the areas,” Comoana said following a cabinet meeting.

Norwegian company Statoil, Italy’s Eni, Exxon Mobil, Delonex Energy, South Africa’s Sasol and Mozambique’s national oil and gas company ENH were awarded the exploration rights in the area of Mozambique’s Northern Zambezi basin, known as block 5, in 2015.

Statoil � now known as Equinor � quit negotiations in January, while Delonex this year withdrew from its concession over the deadlock with government.

More than $30 billion is expected to be invested in Mozambique’s natural gas sector to build capacity to produce 20 million tons per year of LNG, with the first exports due to start in 2021.

Source: Voice of America

RABS Bill Will Not Do Away with the Use of Lawyers in Road Accident ...

Parliament� The Portfolio Committee on Transport would like to correct the narrative that the draft Road Accident Benefit Scheme (Rabs) Bill seeks to do away with the use of lawyers when road accident victims submit claims for compensation.

What the Rabs Bill seeks to do is to give the victims of road accidents the option of claiming through a scheme administrator, rather than a lawyer. This will enable the public to avoid relying on lawyers.

The committee assures the public that the legislation is not going to outlaw the use of lawyers by road accident victims. It simply provides a choice for road accident victims to make direct claims or use lawyers.

The bill seeks to replace the Road Accident Fund Act; to improve the administration of benefits and payouts to accident victims; to provide for a social security scheme for the victims of road accidents; and to establish the Rabs Administrator to administer and implement the scheme.

Today, the committee held public hearings on the bill in Welkom in Free State, where the bill continued to receive mixed reactions from various sectors of society. The next public hearings will be held tomorrow in the Northern Cape.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Days numbered for devious traders

The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, says the net is fast closing on dishonest traders.

Zikalala on Tuesday said they are going after anyone who offers unsuspecting customers sub-standard products and services, and hikes prices beyond market related costs.

Zikalala and his team have recently traversed the province, conducting in loco inspections at various business sites, where they discovered that some errant enterprises were engaging in unfair business practices.

These bad practices include the selling of expired food products that pose health hazards to citizens, unregulated micro-lending (loan sharks), imposition of extremely high bank charges and reckless issuance of loans tagged with exorbitant interests to already heavily indebted applicants.

What we have discovered during our investigations is shocking, to say the least. Some businesses are taking advantage of our poor and vulnerable communities and we have decided to take drastic steps to stop it.

In the past few days, we found shops that sell perishable food that expired as far back as 2015. These included infant food products, Zikalala said.

Speaking in Hluhluwe where he and his team conducted inspection, Zikalala said he was aware of many unscrupulous micro-lenders, who illegally confiscated identity documents from their clients.

They keep these essential life documents to access and control the finances of their clients, which included instituting illegal and unlawful deductions of airtime and social grants.

Unlawfully deducting money from our vulnerable citizens who receive social grants is a serious crime and it should be exposed so that the culprits are harshly dealt with. These are serious violations that require serious intervention, Zikalala said.

Zikalala said his department had decided to change the way it enforced compliance and from now on, they would not hesitate to take stern action against businesses that cause suffering to people by flouting their consumer rights.

Direct in loco inspections in the form of unannounced blitzes would feature prominently in the new modus operandi to thwart the escalation of consumer rights abuses by greedy and heartless traders.

Offending enterprises would be hit with severe compliance notices and fines.

We are in the process of establishing a Consumer Court, which will conduct hearings when there are allegations and instances of contraventions of legal prescripts.

From now on, we want our officials not only to tell us how far they have gone in terms of consumer awareness but they should also report on actions they have taken against non-complying businesses, Zikalala said.

Even as he decried the number of businesses that flouted consumer rights, Zikalala was full of praise for businesses that embodied good business practices, stressing that errant business were a minority.

He said economic growth depended on harmonious and honest relations between traders and their customers, especially given that happy consumers means healthy business.

Zikalala said, however, that government’s approach to consumer protection was not punitive but based on promoting fair trading by businesses and helping consumers to make informed decisions.

This two-pronged approach has benefitted consumers and businesses who seek to serve their customers well. It has helped resolve disagreements between businesses and customers amicably, he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency