Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

The countdown to Johannes...

A Day in the Negev

A Day in the Negev

Imagine pineapples, viney...

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Joburg City Parks wins two internat…

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Accolades for City of Joburg’s coun…

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Microbreweries – Craft beer is art

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Minister visits mnyamandawo

Minister visits mnyamandawo

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Crime has no nationality – Makhura

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Moses Moyo

Moses Moyo

Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

The countdown to Johannesburg’s biggest and most popular walking event – the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 – has begun.
More than 50 000 people – from fitness fanatics to celebrities, and from seasoned athletes to politicians from all corners of the country – will throng into Marks Park Sports Club in Emmarentia on Sunday July 23 for the 16th edition of the event, hosted by the City of Johannesburg.

Three different walking categories with staggered starting times are on offer. The 15km category starts at 7am, followed by the 8km walk at 9am and the 5km race at 11am.
The event does not only promote a healthy lifestyle among residents, but it also helps to showcase some of the City’s infrastructure development projects, sweeping scenic views and landmarks. It will also demonstrate Johannesburg’s ability to stage events of this scale and magnitude.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba will be among high-profile personalities taking part in the event and walking for a variety of causes.

MMC Sifumba will participate in the 8km category to highlight the work of Let’s Talk Jozi, a community-based initiative aimed at tackling violence against women and children as well as drug and substance abuse.
“It is very important for the City of Johannesburg to be part of such an initiative because it helps to ensure that both the City and residents are at the same level in fighting the social ills engulfing our communities,” says Cllr Sifumba.
She says the City and its residents can work together in identifying and finding lasting solutions to the scourge of violence and drug abuse.

Sifumba says the event promotes thought-provoking conversations and helps empower citizens through constructive discussions and knowledge and learning from others.
In preparation for the event, Cllr Sifumba has of late been taking short walks and using staircases instead of lifts or escalators. “I would like to wish everyone who is taking part in the event all the best. Let’s forge partnerships and work together in finding lasting solutions to the challenges our communities are faced with. Let’s be open about these issues, let’s talk Jozi,” she says.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar says to ensure the safety of all walkers, residents and motorists, a number of roads will be closed to traffic.
“JMPD officers will man temporary road closures along the route. We ask residents to familiarise themselves with alternative routes and be patient during the duration of the event,” says Minnaar.
Entries for the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 are officially closed.




Joburg targeted by scamsters

Top private forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan has urged officials of the City of Joburg’s Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) unit to be always on the lookout for “high-profile” scams targeting the City and its entities.
O’Sullivan was one of the experts and top government officials who recently addressed the first day of the unit’s three-day breakaway strategic session being held in Centurion to look into how best to fight corruption using innovative and cost-effective methods.
Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba has declared corruption public enemy No 1.
The breakaway session, which ended on Friday July 7, was also looking at how the unit, headed by General Shadrack Sibiya, former Gauteng head of crime-busting unit the Hawks, could improve its work and sharpen its programmes in its mission to fight corruption within the City.
O’Sullivan said if city investigators were not adequately empowered to detect crime, the fight against organised crime would be “fruitless”. He said with the City’s budget running into several billions of rands, there would always be attempts by criminals to scam it.
“Corruption is everywhere. It is, therefore, important to understand the trends of crime so as to be in a position to decisively and adequately deal with it,” said O’Sullivan.
He added that it was important for the City to employ “the right people”, especially in high-risk units, and have systems in place to protect the integrity of the City’s systems.
Also speaking at the session was Vunatha Murugan, Director in the Office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura responsible for the Integrity Unit. Murugan said the provincial government was working closely with various government structures, including the City of Johannesburg, to fight crime.
She said it was critical to have open communication lines between all spheres of government and share best practices in dealing with crime and corruption. National Prosecuting Authority Senior Advocate Gideon Nkoana told delegates that his unit was always available to work with the GFIS in the fight against organised crime and corruption.


A Day in the Negev

Imagine pineapples, vineyards and a forest of millions of trees growing in the desert. And a million litres of water purified from a town’s effluent and factories, irrigating the crops of the future? These are a few of the wonders I saw in the Negev.
Deep concern about climate change and the current water crisis in the Western Cape drove me to arrange a day tour of the Negev to explore a few examples of Israel’s achievements in water, agriculture and forestry a few weeks ago. It was mind-blowing.

In a country where land, water, arable soil and fossil fuels are scarce, foresight and clever technology, based on sound research, have created models of sustainability that other countries strive for– enough resources to sustain healthy lifestyles and economies, and, in some instances, abundance.

I last visited Israel 26 years ago as Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) began, an organization started from a vision of a healthier, greener, more food secure and climate resilient South Africa. The Jewish National Fund of SA was the first to show interest.
They arranged a two-week study tour for our founding board members to meet scientists, academics, farmers and foresters, experts in trees and forestry, water management, agriculture and soil. The solutions driven innovation and implementation astounded us. We returned inspired to apply lessons learned from the unique Israeli experience of managing water, trees, food and energy, in South Africa.

Today this experience and knowledge could prove vital.
Israel now leads the world with 80% water reuse. Runners up Spain reuse 20%.
Water is successfully produced and harvested through desalination, biofilters and remarkably efficient management of waste water.
Quality water is delivered to all residents, farmers, industry and business and excess provided to Jordan and the Palestinian Authorities. The Sderot Reservoir built, under missile fire, from a pragmatic vision to address drought in the southern Negev, now purifies all effluent from the town, factories and farms for reuse on local agriculture.
Besor Research and Development Centre’s work with local farmers is resulting in better crops for export, and local use, in healthier soils, using minimal, even saline water. Charts around the old tower over the forest of Yatir show recorded rainfall rising annually, from the start of the plantings in the 1960’s and as more trees were planted and grew. An inspiration to FTFA’s initial greening and climate change work, today the view of this green forest of over 4 million trees, planted to combat desertification, is spectacular. Be-erSheva, amodel city, shows how nature should be embraced in urban development. It is an example of pioneering urban planning that integrates natural capital. Landscaping for aesthetics and resource management enhance attractive, well-designed suburbs. Trees line the streets providing much needed shade and recreation areas.
They help to slow and clean water runoff, as well as cleaning the air and absorbing greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. We have much to learn from Israel’s green tech and innovation and they are willing to share. Replicating projects like these few I was privileged to see could positively alter South African lives. The Western Cape, in drought and predicted to be facing a seriously dry future, would benefit greatly from these world water leaders.
We should have started to learn and implement decades ago but now is the next best time.


Burglar nabbed

A 33-year-old male has been arrested for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition at Polshof Flat corner Twist and Plein Street, recently. Acting on a tip-off from members of the public, Police received information about a suspect who committed house breaking and theft in Midrand and were shown the suspect along Nugget Street. Police apprehended the suspect; he then took the police to a flat his friend resided, where a firearm belonging to a police officer was recovered.
“A case of house breaking was opened at Midrand police station. It is alleged that burglars broke into a house of a police officer where they took a safe.
“They broke the safe and found two firearms. One of the firearms has been sold and police investigation is underway,” Captain Xoli Mbele said.

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