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Around SA (269)

Tribute to fallen heroes

Johannesburg - On Sunday Mayor Parks Tau led tributes in honour of South Africaís fallen heroes and heroines during the National Civic Remembrance Sunday service and wreath-laying ceremony, attended by about 300 guests.

Before laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in front of Beyers Naude Square in the Joburg CBD, Mayor Tau paid tribute to Don Krause, one of the Cityís oldest Holocaust survivors, along ìall South Africans who made the supreme sacrifice for freedom, democracy, unification, nation building and peaceî.

The ceremony also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2 and the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of more than 11 million people.

A total of 342 692 South African men and women of all races volunteered for service between September 1939 and September 1945. About 38 208 of them never made it back home, having paid the ultimate price.

Since 11 November 1918, when the Armistice ended all World War 1 hostilities, Remembrance Day ceremonies are held every year on the Sunday closest to the date. 

In 1996 the City of Johannesburg re-dedicated the Cenotaph, situated between the Gauteng Legislature and Johannesburg Library, in memory of all those who died in defence of freedom and liberty, including those who were killed in the struggle against apartheid.

Mayor Tau said the dignity of black soldiers was restored in 1994 after decades of being ìignored and insulted with bicycle and coat gratuitiesî.

 The gallant deeds of our war heroes will always be remembered. Their names have pride of place at the Freedom Park Monument in Tshwane,î Mayor Tau said.

One of the presiding clergy, Rabbi Yossy Goldman, said he lost his grandparents, uncles and cousins during the Holocaust. ìMy 90-year-old dad was the only survivor of his family from Poland. There was ongoing trauma as thousands like him tried to regain their sanity and faith in God. I remember as a 12-year-old hearing my dad screaming in his bedroom. It was not smooth sailing,î said Rabbi Goldman. 

Members of the SAPS Band, JMPD, Freedom Regiment of Johannesburg, Irish Regiment and the 21 SA Army Battalion marched around the square, followed by flag-carrying boy scouts, pathfinders and the girlsí brigade.

 

 

 

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City urges responsible water usage

Johannesburg - As the heat wave persists and dam levels continue to plummet as a result of the lack of rains, the City of Joburg has reiterated its plea to consumers to use water responsibly and sparingly.

Johannesburg Waterís Managing Director Lungile Dlamini has urged residents to refrain from watering their gardens between 6am and 6pm and filling their swimming pools as the drought continues to worsen.

Dlamini however insists that these are not water restrictions but ìmitigating measuresî against the drought. ìWater restrictions are austerity measures implemented under extreme drought conditions. In such situations, water is made available at certain times, with total interruption on the balance of the day or week,î he says.

Rand Water, from which Johannesburg Water receives its bulk water supply, has predicted that dam levels could drop to as low as 29.7 percent by January 2016 should the situation not improve.

We are closely monitoring the situation. If higher than normal temperatures persist and there is still no rainfall, we will, in consultation with both the Department of Water and Sanitation and Rand Water, announce austerity measures,î says Dlamini.

In the event of a strong El Nino worsening the drought, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane might issue a directive by decree to impose complete water restrictions.

Since April 2015, sea surface temperatures (SST) have been increasing in the Pacific Region, which might affect normal rainfall patterns globally, with flooding in some parts.

Water levels in the Vaal Dam, which was 67 percent full in August, have been dropping at an average of one percent a week, going down to 59 percent at the end of October.

Dlamini says the current situation is being mitigated, to a certain extent, by the release of water from the Sterkfontein Dam.

The City is in the process of tabling a revised by-law to restrict the watering of gardens to conserve water and manage demand in an already water-scarce city.

He says Johannesburg Water has, in partnership with the Borehole Water Association of Southern Africa, produced hydro-geological maps to promote responsible or registered borehole drilling. A public announcement on this will be made soon

In addition, the entity will embark on a drive to attend to plumbing leaks at more than 500 schools in the city under the Jozi@Work Programme.

This initiative will be underpinned by an educational and awareness campaign, he adds.

 ìIt must however be noted that these programmes are not necessarily reactive but are proactive. They have been in the pipeline for a while now,î says Dlamini.

  Johannesburg Water supplies its 4.4 million customers with a total of 1 574 megalitres of potable drinking a day, using a network of 11 896km of water pipes, 122 reservoirs and water towers and 35 water pump stations placed in strategic positions throughout the city. On average, it supplies 1 880 litres of water per property per day, the Joburg Water MD explains.

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Cops warn against mob justice

Jerusalem - Local police are pleading with the community not to take the law into their own hands as this could interfere with the investigation of cases.

This concern surfaced when residents burnt a murder suspectís house after a 28-year-old man was found dead with his eyes gouged out near Come Duze shop. Police say the victim and the suspect were earlier involved in a scuffle when he tried to intervene when the suspect was beating up his wife.

According to a witness, the two had a fight and the victim was later found at the scene with a deep wound to the head and his eyes scraped out,î said Const Naniki Nonyane.

She added that the residents went to the suspectís house where they claimed to have found eyes believed to be those of the victim. ìUpon arrival, the angry mob set the suspectís house alight when they couldnít find him. He is still at large and we urge anyone with information to come forward.î 

She emphasised that tampering with evidence was a criminal offence. 

In this case, if there was some evidence that could assist in apprehending the suspect, it was all destroyed when they burnt down the house,î Nonyane explained. 

A murder case has been opened and the suspect is still at large. Mpumalanga News

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More killed in  hostel violence

Durban - Two Glebelands hostel dwellers were shot dead at the weekend, while a third is fighting for his life at a local hospital.

The hostelís ANC branch chairman Richard Mbona was shot at a shack just outside the hostel in Mlazi. On Saturday Danger Khuzwayo of Mkomaazi was shot in the head and a man from Bizana, Eastern Cape, who was on the same corridor was also shot in the head. Both men were rushed to hospital, but the Bizana man died.

Independent human rights activist Vanessa Burger said: ìUnder this climate of fear, no one is free, democracy is dead. The Freedom Charter may as well never have existed,î said Burger.î

Police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane, said he had heard that a man had been taken in for questioning.

Residents who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals said the police were ìuselessî, because they patrolled outside, sitting inside vehicles. We want soldiers to come to our rescue.î 

Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu said the killings were ìtotally abhorrentî and should be condemned by all. ìWe appeal to the hostel residents to observe restraint and let the police get to the bottom of this matter,î he said. Daily News

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Children drown in local dam

Bloemfontein - The bodies of two 11-year-old children have been recovered from a dam in the Free State, police reported on Monday.  Police spokesperson Sergeant Thabo Litabe said the bodies were retrieved from the dam in Meloding near Virginia by the Bloemfontein policeís diving unit at around midday on Sunday. 

Thomas Mbuyane and Puleng Agnes Motsoeneng from Meloding were playing with other children on Saturday when they decided to go for a swim in a dam between one of the old mines and Meloding township, where they drowned,î Litabe said.

Two inquest dockets were registered at Virginia police station for further investigation. Police said it was envisaged that incidents of this nature were likely to continue due to the current heat wave, especially where ìchildren are left alone, neglected or unsupervisedî.

Parents are warned to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of their children at all times. Children should also be advised not to play around dams, water streams and rivers,î Sgt Litabe said.   ANA

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Cable thieves keep NPA offline

Mthatha - The  National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been offline for two weeks after thieves allegedly stole copper cables near their premises in Fort Gale suburb.

NPA regional spokesman Luxolo Tyali confirmed that the institution had been rendered ìincommunicadoî as its telephone lines had not been working for two weeks.  ìThe person responsible for our maintenance told us that cables had been stolen Itís not  the first time we found ourselves in such a situation.

The spokesman said the situation affected their operations as they dealt with many people, some of who wanted to ask about the state of court cases. City bosses issued a plea to residents within King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality to stop buying stolen copper. KSD Mayor Nonkoliso Ngqongwa has assured local business they were working to address power problems in the city.

Meanwhile OR Tambo District Chamber of Business president Vuyisile Ntlabati said cable theft could force a lot of local businesses to close or relocate. 

In a statement Telkom said copper theft has becomea national problem. Daily Dispatch

 

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Ecomobility - a moral issue

Johannesburg - African cities need to change the way they move people, while saving the environment and protecting people’s health by reducing carbon emissions, City of Joburg Transport MMC Christine Walters said on Tuesday, the second day of the 2015 EcoMobility World Festival in Sandton.

MMC Walters was speaking in Sandton during a discussion titled: Reshaping Cities for EcoMobility: Strategies and Tactics, chaired by Professor Philip Harris of Wits University and moderated by Adrian Enthoven, chairman of Hollard.

“The EcoMobility issue is now a moral issue. It goes to the heart of individual choices. It’s about saving the planet. It’s about brave mayors such as Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau showing bold leadership and making difficult political decisions,” the MMC said.
She said the 2015 EcoMobility World Festival’s slogan, “Change the Way You Move”, was part of that paradigm shift.

“This is a global conversation. In South Africa we are redesigning apartheid spatial development, bringing people on board. We are using transport as the backbone of Mayor Tau’s Corridors of Freedom programme,” she said.

The city has spent billions of rands on bus rapid transit (BRT) system projects, cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways. Millions more will be spent on similar projects over the next three years, she added.
“My hope is that people will buy into the Mayor’s Corridors of Freedom vision,” MMC Walters said.

The discussions on the challenges African cities are grappling with, in their quest to incorporate ecomobility into their urban planning and development strategies,  were led by experts including those from  South Africa, Uganda, Brazil, Britain and the United States.

Yolande Silimela, the City of Joburg Executive Director of Development Planning said Johannesburg was in a “perfect storm” because there was political will, resources and civil society backing of all the ecomobility projects.
 Amanda Ngabirano Aziidah, of Makerere University in Uganda, said though it was important to learn from European and American cities, it was time the cities on the continent used African benchmarks for their ecomobility projects.



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Joshco hosts health and safety workshops for small businesses

Johannesburg - Representatives of hundreds of small businesses and co-operatives recently attended a health and safety programme organised by the Johannesburg Housing Company (JOSHCO) to help them handle potential hazards and ensure compliance with health and safety regulations in their business environments.

The training was conducted under Jozi@Work, a R3-billion City of Johannesburg’s community empowerment and job creation programme seeking to help residents to become professional and reliable service providers and turn job-seekers into job-creators. The programme’s main focus was on health and safety standards and procedures. After the training, the participants said they found the programme useful and empowering. Dorothy Mncube, whose Durban Deep Residents Co-operative manufactures personal protective safety clothing for the mines, said her 12-member group had immensely benefited from the programme.

The primary co-operative, which consists of men and women as well as people with disabilities, supplies a number of mining companies on the West Rand with various protective clothing items. “We have to test our products by going through what miners go through daily,” said Mncube. “Working in potentially dangerous situations is no longer the preserve of men only. Women these days are also found in these working environments. We aim to take everyone on board in this empowering journey.”

Housing MMC Dan Bovu told the participants that JOSHCO had awarded work packages totalling R1.5-million to co-operatives in and around Soweto.
“The City of Johannesburg wishes to see all the small, medium and micro enterprises and co-operatives contracted through the Jozi@Work programme competing with established service providers on skills, knowledge, service quality and delivery on set targets,” Bovu said.
The MMC added that JOSHCO has awarded a further R2.8-million in cleaning packages to small businesses in order to
expedite socio-economic transformation.



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Woman stabs and kills man

Staff Reporter
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Johannesburg Central police arrested a 26 year-old woman for alleged murder at the Moth building at corner Loveday and De Villiers streets on Saturday.

Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele says the woman allegedly assaulted and stabbed a 33-year-old man at Moth building. “It is said that resulted from an argument while enjoying some drinks. The victim was certified dead on the scene by the paramedics, and the motive for the murder is not yet known.”

Warrant Officer Mbele adds that police also arrested a 21-year-old suspect for rape at a flat at corner Polly and Albertina Sisulu streets on Tuesday morning. “It is alleged that the suspect raped a 25 year-old female. He went to her room, choked and raped her. After that he continued drinking with his friends in the same building; police were called and he was arrested.”

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Residents welcome ecomobility

Johannesburg - Most commuters, motorists, cyclists and businesspeople, are warming up to the EcoMobility World Festival currently under way in Sandton.

The festival officially kicked off on Monday October 5 when thousands of people heeded Mayor Parks Tau’s call for residents to leave their cars at home and either walk or cycle to work or use public transport. Several streets in Sandton were closed off to vehicular traffic in a bid to get as many people as possible to be ecomobile.

Ecomobility is an environmentally friendly way of mobility that aims at decongesting cities and reducing their carbon footprint.
Most people in the Sandton CBD on the second day of the festival welcomed the festival, but also proposed ways of resolving some of the teething problems experienced. Kamohelo Maphike, a student, welcomed the ecomobility festival, saying it had brought a whole new world to Sandton.  Angel Mackenzie welcomed it with both hands, describing it as “great”. Mohammed Makoda, who was gliding in his drifter, said the idea was good but expressed concern at the lack of places where he could park his scooter.

Soraya Kola said the festival was a good initiative but added that it did not go very far, as it did not cater for “people coming from the south of Johannesburg, who get stuck in traffic on the M1 highway”.
Jonathan Novotny said the festival could be better if commuters were not “restricted to one area”.

There were also some rumblings of discontent. Patricia Amor of Woodmead said the festival caused a lot of discomfort to commuters, who also had to pay double for transport. Amor said she was not happy because she now had to spend more time hopping from one bus to another at extra cost. Onke Mgobhozi also said it took longer than usual to get to his workplace.



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