Monthly Archives: March 2017

Madibeng Local Municipality has pledged full support to the organisers of the Om Die Dam race which is taking place this weekend in Hartbeespoort Dam area. The race is officially opened for everyone in the municipality.

Earlier in the week, the  Executive Mayor of Madibeng Local Municipality Cllr. Jostina Mothibe, joined by Members of the mayoral Committee, Acting Municipal Manager and Departmental Directors met with the organisers of the race led by the race Organiser Johann Von Mollendorf. The Om die Dam race is the largest inland ultra-marathon in South Africa, offering a 50km ultra marathon, a 21km half-marathon, a 10km route and a 5km fun run. Due to the races scenic route via the Hartbeespoort Dam and family appeal, it attracts over 10 000 participants every year and is consistently voted as one of the top national races with the ultra being the flagship event. Races timed by ChampionChip include the 50km, 21km and the10km,, all runners will therefore be required to run with a ChampionChip in order to participate in the event and receive an official race time.  To ensure that your Race Results are accurately recorded  it is important that your ChampionChip is correctly registered in your name with the correct details.  The municipality is committed to addressing all issues related to general maintenance of the infrastructure in the area as well as services to ensure that the race becomes a success.

The meeting also agreed that there should be regular engagements between the municipality and the organisers of the race with the aim of growing the race, maintaining and increasing economic spin-offs that come with hosting the race and as well look at numerous avenues that market Hartbeespoort and neighbouring areas like Brits as tourism destination of choice locally and internationally. Executive Mayor, Cllr. Mothibe who is also expected to open the race on Saturday, said that: “The municipality is committed to supporting this event and ensure that it becomes a success. We  had a very fruitful meeting with the organisers of the wherein we made commitment to deliver on the requests put forward for this week to ensure the race becomes a success. We also agreed to maintain this partnership moving forward and play a key role as the municipality to ensure the maintains it status as one of the best organised races in the country. We all know what great impact the event is making in terms of tourism and general revenue in the area,” concluded the Executive Mayor.

Positive influence of foreigners in South Africa

Many young people believe foreigners are bad for the country.  They are most likely to believe foreigners living and working in South Africa had a negative impact on the country.  Which is why they wanted to drive away their businesses. Why it was believed that the South Africans wanted to drive foreign shop owners away?  Young people were most likely to think foreign nationals who owned shops were drawing customers away from other businesses which is why people wanted them to go. If the attitudes of all South Africans reflects to be correct, then the country has got a major problem.  That means Xenophobic attacks on shop owners are likely to continue, it is clear that a significant effort is needed from government to educate people about advantages that foreigners can bring to the country.

Xenophobic violence in the country is on the rise.  Do most foreign nationals in South Africa make a very positive contribution to our society and economy?  Foreign nationals must not be attacked because most contribute positively to the country. From the outset, it is more evident that most foreign nationals make very positive contributions to society.  The country had become more cosmopolitan and diverse as a result of immigrants.  The irrefutable fact is that it is wrong to claim that all immigrants are undocumented and therefore all illegal. It was also wrong to claim all foreign nationals committed crime.  We must all be very concerned about the repercussions of this criminality as it might spark diplomatic and retaliatory attacks against South Africans in other countries.

Firstly, immigrants contribute towards our country’s economic development by investing in the economy, supplying critical skills including in our health facilities, teaching our children and youth in schools and universities and thus transferring their knowledge and skills to them. Accordingly, these people pay tax which contributes towards expanding the national fiscus whilst many still have to send remittances back to their families in the countries of origin and yet still sustain themselves and their livelihoods in South Africa. Furthermore, many nationals of our neighbouring countries travel to South Africa daily, weekly or monthly to buy their groceries or purchase goods from our retail shops to go sell in their countries, paying toll fees on our roads and thus contributing towards revenue generation that has been so vital towards increased both social as well as economic expenditure to benefit South Africans.

We have not seen hordes of armed gangs chasing down the streets the many South Africans that evade tax. Secondly, by entering our country through our designated ports of entry as regular migrants, and by complying with both our immigration and other legislation, most foreign nationals contribute towards enhancing South Africa’s national security and ensure that we can manage the visitors in our midst, whilst we can protect both these visitors in our country as well as South Africans. Recently, we have enhanced our legislation and regulations in order to more effectively to protect South Africa by managing and minimising the risks to our country arising out of the processes and phenomenon of international migration.

Thirdly, immigrants in our country contribute towards nation-building and enhance our social cohesion by bringing more diversity to our nation and creating more understanding of the diverse nature, not only of Africans of Africa but also of the peoples of the world. Today, for example, you have new entrants into the South African nation that are not rigidly part of an African majority, but who are part of both the African majority and the immigrant minority at the same time; whose home languages are none of those we have come to know over the centuries of the formation of our nation. Fourthly, immigrants have integrated South Africa into the global community and African immigrants in particular have made South Africa an integral part of the African continent that we rightfully are.

Roodekoppies Dam squatters protest for service delivery

It could be that the informal settlements are another way of making quick cash in our country.  Posing municipal officials are find it an easy way to make money out of the informal settlements in the whole country. Recently the informal settlement owned by the Department of Public Works in the Roodekoppies Dam on the 511 infront of Greens petrol station, scutters started protesting in the evening of the 14th of March 2017, and barricaded the road coming from Thabazimbi to Brits with burning tyre and trees. The motorists and farmers around the area had to deviate their trucks of from Bethanie, to Hartbeesfontein down to Beestekraal road until to the main road in an attempt to safe their vehicles from being burned down by the protestors. The aim of the protest is to burn down all the trucks and the vehicles passing from that road.  The reason this scutters protests is because they want services from government which are not due to them so that they can be allowed to stay and continue to steal and rob the people from that area.  It could be that this informal settlement near Greens petrol station was created by greedy people to exploit the poor and allowed the situation to happen.  Under no circumstances, the informal settlement has got many people from foreign countries who have no proper documentations to reside in South Africa.

The fact of the matter is that the truth came out after one of the scutters revealed the secret and told everyone that it is alleged that there is a person posing as the municipal official who is selling the stands at the cost of R500 for a small piece of land.   The police must take note of the situation and arrest the people selling pieces of grounds.  The municipality cannot allow for people to steal grounds and allowed the community to committee illegal acts. The municipality is in a financial constrains especially on issues to pay for electricity.  The municipality claims that some of the causes of the financial constrains derives from having too many informal settlements in the area. According to sources close to the municipality, the operation to remove illegal connections at the municipality was arranged for last year around November to December.  The operation was never materialised supposingly but still attending to find the solution. “We want the Mayor to act decisively in removing and stopping such corrupt posing officials before they bring down this municipality.  They constantly sell pieces of land to desperate people knowing for a fact that they wont tell anyone because they need a place to stay.”

“Now they assumed it will be viable if they cut the services from all the recent informal settlements, especially those informal settlements whereby the land is owned by a private owner.  Few informal settlements at the moment are facing a challenge on how they will survive without proper services.” “They had decided to cut the services especially those rendered by third parties in an attempt to reduce the cost and sustain the municipality.  The municipality will not be sustainable even if the costs are reduced from informal settlements,” said one of the scutters in Madibeng. What the municipality should focus on is to try and prevent more informal settlements to mushroom because they cannot deal with such a small number of informal settlements, so what will happen if more open spaces are forcefully taken by people for residential purposes and services needed?

Occupies must apply for pieces of land before occupying them according to the laws.  It is not the responsibility of the government to identify lands for the community. Is there a strategy by the human settlement in Madibeng to deal with such a problem;  the affected communities feels like they are being corned by the posing officials who sell open spaces for them and promise to prevent eviction.  (Before you buy a piece of ground find out if it belongs to the person selling). The only way to win this problem is to have representatives to engage with the communities to deal with the problem.  That is the only solution to deal with the situation.

Brits District Hospital reaches out to a village school

On the 8th of March 2017, Brits District Hospital as a leading authority in providing comprehensive health care services in Madibeng was at it again when its multi-disciplinary team comprising of Dietitians, Physiotherapists and Health Promoter descended upon Jethro Pelle Secondary School in the village called Rabokala near Letlhabile township to empower its learners during the National School Health Week.

The learners ranging from grade 8 to grade 9 were exposed to the importance of healthy eating, physical exercise activities and personal hygiene. Two Hospital’s Dietitians (Genna Uren and Maryam Ismail) gave a presentation on eating healthy and highlighted how food plays an important role in the mental development and concentration levels in class.  They further created a platform for learners to ask questions related to their daily eating habits such as an excessive consumption of a township burger (bunny chow / sephatlho / kota) by their peers.

Dietitians made them aware of the health risks of consuming excessive processed food and salt like viennas, Russians, French and fatty chips. Health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

The Hospital’s Health Promoter Ntebaleng Mawela interacted with the learners on issues of personal hygiene for both male and female learners. He also encouraged male learners to utilize government’s free Male Medical Circumcision services available at Letlhabile Community Health Centre and at Bapong Community Health Centre as part of personal hygiene. In the same vein, hospital’s chief physiotherapist Tebello Masala together with her mentees from Sefako Makgatho University educated learners about the benefits of physical exercise which are good for strong and healthy body. This initiative was not just a talk shop; a number of learners were taken through their paces as part of physical exercises demonstrations.  Moreover Learners were also encouraged to pursue careers in health fields as South Africa is currently experiencing a massive shortage of professionals in health.

The School Management’s representative Mme Thipe thanked Brits Hospital’s officials for their concerted efforts in opening the eyes of Jethro Pelle Secondary School’s learners.

Land Audit must ensure no ownership of land by foreign nationals

The land audit must precede the land reform to ensure that there is no ownership of land by foreign nationals. It was also said that the current ownership should be converted into long term lease after the auditing process has been finalised.Land is a fundamental feature of ownership and control. Persisting racial, gender and class concentration of ownership of land including the setting up of institutions to regulate land use, standardize land valuations and normalise land use and distribution must be prioritised.

It is critical for the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill of 2014 which provides for the state to take custodianship of all agricultural land and then issue farmers with licences to farm including the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill which among others imposes ceilings on the sizes of farms, of which any excess is to be expropriated to be expedite land reform.

Radical socio-economic transformation will be undermined if ownership of land and the means of production are not shared to pave the way for an inclusive economy. Adoption of the Expropriation Bill in terms and the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill will empower the state to avoid having to pay compensation which might run into billions that it cannot afford by simply taking the claimed land into state ‘custodianship’ and then leasing it back either to the original landowners or to over 128 000 land claimants.

The land must be recognised in the constitution as a socio-economic right for indigent households to be allocated minimum landholdings. He added that allocation of customary land must be democratised in a manner which empowers rural women and supports the building of democratic community structures at village level, capable of driving and coordinating local development processes.

Beer stew turned horrible

Joe Sindane was arrested after he was accused of shooting one of his friends on the stomach.  The four friends left their homes in the early hours of the weekend to help themselves with beer in one of the local liqour stores near Mmakau. As usual, the four friends entered into an agreement that they will split into two groups and share equal contribution to buy alcohol.  Joe who agreed to share with Thabo Steenkamp while on the other hand Amos Nkwale decided to share the equal contribution with Malombo Molope.

It could be that in the process of that, Thabo did not honour the agreement and allowed Joe to be the only one to participate on the contribution.  When Joe requested his share from Thabo, he did not want to comply and promised to fight him if he persist. According to the information in court, Malombo and Amos tried to stop the argument knowing for a fact that the two friends will end up fighting.  Suddenly, they both shove each other and started punching one another. Feeling the pressure, Thabo rushed to a house nearby to fetch for a knife.  Upon his arrival he scratched  Joe on his left arm while he was sitting next to the counter.  With his arm bleeding, Joe rushed to his car and came back with his 9mm pistol.

Everybody was screaming inside the tavern when Joe was ordering everyone including Thabo to come out of the tavern.  As brave as he was and maybe hoping that Joe would not shoot him, Thabo came out of the tavern and start swearing at Joe. Several time, Joe warned him to stay away from him as he will use the pistol in his hands.  The other two friends also tried to intervene, to calm down both of them in particular Joe who was furious and bleeding.

Thabo proceeded to provoke Joe until he shot him in the stomach, the police were called to the scene and Joe was arrested immediately.  His pistol was seized and kept away,  Joe appeared in the Brits Magistrates Court for bail application.

Land Audit must ensure no ownership of land by foreign nationals

The land audit must precede the land reform to ensure that there is no ownership of land by foreign nationals. It was also said that the current ownership should be converted into long term lease after the auditing process has been finalised.Land is a fundamental feature of ownership and control. Persisting racial, gender and class concentration of ownership of land including the setting up of institutions to regulate land use, standardize land valuations and normalise land use and distribution must be prioritised.

It is critical for the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill of 2014 which provides for the state to take custodianship of all agricultural land and then issue farmers with licences to farm including the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill which among others imposes ceilings on the sizes of farms, of which any excess is to be expropriated to be expedite land reform.

Radical socio-economic transformation will be undermined if ownership of land and the means of production are not shared to pave the way for an inclusive economy. Adoption of the Expropriation Bill in terms and the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill will empower the state to avoid having to pay compensation which might run into billions that it cannot afford by simply taking the claimed land into state ‘custodianship’ and then leasing it back either to the original landowners or to over 128 000 land claimants.

The land must be recognised in the constitution as a socio-economic right for indigent households to be allocated minimum landholdings. He added that allocation of customary land must be democratised in a manner which empowers rural women and supports the building of democratic community structures at village level, capable of driving and coordinating local development processes.

Farmworker’s shooting as an act of irresponsible gun ownership a disgrace

The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) on Wednesday the 8th of March 2017, condemned the shooting of a 55-year-old farmworker at Novengilla farm near Letsietele in Limpopo by a farmer who allegedly mistaken the employees who was riding a bicycle for a monkey.

“We are extremely concerned about the increase in incidents of this nature which suggest that gun owners are shooting indiscriminately at moving objects without ascertaining what they are shooting at,” said SANCO National Spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu calling for the arrest and no bail for the farmer. Mahlangu said that justice must be seen to be done for victims of irresponsible gun ownership to restore the confidence of the public in the criminal justice system.  “The cases before our courts must serve as deterrent for farmers to exercise responsible gun ownership and discourage what is widely believed to be racist target practices,” he stressed. According to Limpopo Police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Ishmael Mathanene was carrying out his duties when his foreman sent him to go and fetch a pick from the storeroom.

“On his way back and riding his bicycle, he was allegedly shot in the head by his employer and fell down. The suspect who allegedly used a pellet gun to shoot the victim claimed he mistook him for a monkey,” Mojapelo said.  Mahlangu wished Mathanene, from Mariveni village outside Tzaneen admitted in hospital with head injuries a speedy recovery. The incident follows the recent fatal shooting of a 23-year-old Jan Railwe,who was a farmworker at Meisiesvlei farm, Tuinplaas, in Limpopo by Stefan Hepburn who had allegedly mistaken him for a warthog.

Armed robbers nabbed after a police tip-off

Three suspects appeared in the Brits Magistrates Court for armed robbery.  The suspects were nabbed after a police tip-off was made by community members. According to the information provided in court, the suspects allegedly robbed one of the supermarkets in Klipgat and escaped with undisclosed amounts of cash, groceries and other important items in the store. The incident happened in the last week of February 2017, and the suspects were arrested after the police received a tip-off from the community members.  The suspects were found in possession of 2 unlicensed firearms, ammunition, groceries suspected to have been found in the store and 6 knives. One of the robbers pointed a firearm at the victims and the two accomplices share the moment by searching the victims and remove cash, cellphones and jewelery from them.  The store was vandalised, the suspects took the money from the safe box and from the till including the groceries in the store.

The two South Africans, Emmanuel Sithole (34) and Katleho Moholo (39) and a Mozambican citizen, Sambo Sindane (28) were arrested and charged with armed robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition and in possession of dangerous weapons. Supposingly, two of the suspects were previously working in the store and were able to be identified by the victims even if they were wearing balaclavas and trying to disguise their voices. They had appeared in the Brits Magistrates Court for at least three times and will soon appear in court for further investigations.  They were denied bail and remained in custody.