Monthly Archives: September 2017

Hellkom prevails over Brits

In the last three months we have seen a lot of work on the sides of the roads in Brits. It is the placing of fiber optic cables. Placing of the cables has been done next to Telkom’s existing
cables. As we know copper is expensive and with the poor around here, it is a commodity that is easily sold on the illegal market. For the last eight years there has been a medium of three cable thefts. Each time interrupting businesses for about two weeks. That means for at least six weeks you do not have a working telephone. And with the unlucky accidents that occurred
during the excavation where the Telkom cables were cut, we have been without
Telkom telephone for about two months. The contractors did not feel it necessary
to inform the public of the reasons why it happened! We understand their business
comes first and the small business must not worry about the losses. “We can afford
not to make business. “Can’t we”. And now again the cables have been
stolen and we do not have telephone lines. As mentioned it is a common practice andthe only solution to it will be to place fiber optic cables. The interruption to the traffic department, the fire department, the mall and to the many businesses around the industrial area
means that millions of rands are lost; Telkom must change the copper to fiber!
Or this will go on forever.

Brown handling of R1.6 billion payment to Gupta-linked company not inspiring public confidence- SANCO

Public Enterprises Minister, Lyne Brown’s handling of Eskom’s R1.6- billion payment to Gupta-linked financial advisory firm Trillian and global business consultancy Mc Kinsey does not inspire public confidence, the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) said on Monday. “Overwhelming evidence of rampant looting of resources cannot simply be ignored nor the Eskom board and its senior executives allegedly implicated in irregular transactions running into billions be allowed to undermine public accountability by showing the public the middle finger.The Minister cannot keep on extending deadlines that they have missed to respond to her queries without taking the matter to its logical conclusion,” emphasised SANCO National Spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu reiterating the call for the board to be dissolved and criminals charges laid against those implicated in gross irregularities. Mahlangu stressed that institutionalised plunder at the power utilityundermines the objective of the National Development Plan (NDP) and the resolve to fight poverty, unemployment and inequality. He said that Minister Lyne Brown has not shown the political will to deal with serious
corruption allegations levelled against Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and Anoj Singh. “The delay in commissioning an investigation into allegations of state capture and Gupta-emails leak amidst allegations of money laundering and capital flight is harming South Africa’s reputation
and its economic recovery prospects,” he underscored.

SANCO calls for Hawks investigation into KMPG Scandal

It is disgraceful that for the past month the people of Naledi Local Municipality have had to suffer continuous interruptions to their electricity supply. A part of the municipality has been without electricity for 17 days now. The unreliable power supply in this municipality poses a tremendous challenge and risk to businesses and the low-hanging electricity cables
create sparks that cause field fires. In one case a stud from a farmer’s herd was electrocuted and died, which resulted in a R60 000 loss by the farmer. What is especially worrisome, is that children’s lives are endangered by these cables that hang close to the ground throughout the municipality. The MEC for Local Government and Human Settlements, Fenny Goaloalwe is thoroughly aware of the severe service delivery shortcomings in this municipality and the untenable conditions that residents are expected to live in, yet nothing has
been done to improve the situation. The ANC in Naledi simply do not care and both
the Mayor, Neo Skalk, and Municipal Manager, Tshepo Bloom, have until now completely ignored the pleas from the community to restore the electricity supply and to ensure hazardous areas are secured. Some of the many challenges that this municipality
face, includes:

• Naledi owes Eskom R254 million;
• Last Friday, 8 September 2017, a down-payment of R12 million was made to ensure the electricity would not be cut;

• By 23 September 2017, the current account (approximately R10 million) as well as 5.8% of the
arrears will have to be paid;

• In December another R10 million, of the total of R16 million of the equitable shares, will be used to pay the Eskom arrears;

• On 21 August 2017 the MM promised, during a community meeting, that all electricity poles that create sparks will be replaced on that same day but it hasn’t been done;

• Cable theft is not reported to the police, so there is no consequence management;
• It was confirmed to us that Naledi makes 121% profit on electricity; and
• Workers in the electricity department operate without safety gear nor the minimum resources

to fix electricity problems, resulting in no proper maintenance or repairs.
This confirms our concerns about the general governance of Naledi. The MEC is also aware of
the illegal appointment of the MM who does not have the minimum qualifications required to hold the position. This was brought to her intention, yet Bloom is still in Naledi, warming the chair while our communities suffer. The honourable thing will be to first get rid of this illegal, political appointment and to use her authority to intervene in Naledi. We asked before, and request her again, to take away the municipality’s electricity licence and give it back to Eskom. It is clear that the municipality has lost their capability to ensure reliable services to our
communities. This will also benefit the poorest of the poor who will be able to buy their electricity at a cheaper rate. The Mayor and MM are unreliable and do nothing to alleviate the plight of the people. It is high time that that the MEC uses her constitutional
mandate to intervene and ensure that service delivery in Naledi, good governance and proper
management is restored.

DA lays criminal charges against contractor who walked away with R300 692 meant for school toilets

On Wednesday 13 September, the Democratic Alliance in the North West laid criminal charges against the Directors of JRB Trading and Enterprise for accepting a payment of R300 692 without delivering the services they were contracted to provide. During an oversight visit to the
Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, the DA learned that learners at Tswana-
Tsatsi are forced to use pit toilets due to the contractor’s failure to build and renovate
their toilets. Teachers at the school informed the DA that the contractor had never set
foot in the school, yet they were paid the full R300 692 for the job. The Directors of JRB Trading and Enterprise falsely stated that they had completed the work required by the Department of Education by issuing a certificate of completion. The DA strongly believes that JRB Trading and
Enterprises has committed fraud and must legally account for the money that was paid to
them. We will continue to closely monitor the investigation to ensure that the full amount of
R300 692 is recouped and that the learners at Tswana-Tsatsi finally receive functional toilets.
The DA will continue to put pressure on the MEC for Education, Sello Lehari, to account
as to why the Department of Education never bothered to follow up and ensure that the
renovations were indeed completed. We will also approach the Human Rights Commission
to lay a complaint against the Department of Education and the contractor for violating the
dignity of the learners.

DA wants audit on all ‘special’ and ‘emergency’ projects

The Democratic Alliance in North West will call for an audit of all projects in the province that have been awarded without tenders under the PFMA (Provincial Finance Management Act) section 16 A. Although there is a provision in the act for “emergency projects”
it seems as if this is abused as a loophole to award projects to specific, connected cadres. The act clearly states that projects under this subsection may not be more than 2% of the total amount appropriated in the annual national budget for the current financial year. Tender fraud is the root of most corruption in North West and now the ANC can give out tenders at their own discretion without following the correct supply management procedures. We are shocked to learn that a contractor from Gauteng recently received the allocation of a project on this basis to the amount of nearly R500 million. We need infrastructure to stimulate growth and development. Ironically it seems to be most of these infrastructure projects
that fall into the hands of companies without going through the tender procedure.
Certain departments are clearly trying to take over the duties and responsibilities of the
Department of Public Works. We will therefore direct questions to the MEC’s for Housing,
Education, Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development (FEED), Rural Environment and
Agricultural Development and Roads, enquiring on:

• The number of projects allocated during the past three years without tenders;
• The amounts of these projects;
• When and where the Department of Treasury was included and permitted such projects; and
• Reasons why the projects were regarded as “emergencies”.

The looting of our state coffers should stop and those who abuse the system should be brought
to justice. We need transparency in all projects that are supposed to better the lives of our people.

JB Marks: ANC throws in the towel

The Executive Mayor of the JB Marks Municipality, Kgotso Khumalo, has asked for provincial intervention into his own municipality. For the DA this is an acknowledgement by the ANC that they are not fit to govern the municipality. Khumalo asked the Local Government MEC, Fenny
Goaloalwe, for an intervention in terms of Section 154 of the Constitution and gave the following reasons for his request:

• Required intervention in financial and budget management;
• Required intervention in service delivery; and
• Required intervention with non-compliance in administration related to human relation
management. The DA is not surprised by any of the ANC’s reasons for the required intervention as we have been voicing our concern over the municipality’s failures and shortcomings for months, It is also clear that the amalgamation of Tlokwe with Ventersdorp was mere
gerrymandering ahead of the 2016 elections and no financial and/or human resources risks were ever considered, nor was the public participation process followed in terms of the regulations. We are on record in our objection to the Municipal Demarcation Board in 2015, which includes:

• The Ventersdorp Municipality has no stability, certainty and predictability within its Municipal
Tax Base. In fact, no reliance can be placed on the Municipal Tax Base of the aforementioned to
fund the Municipal Fiscal Framework of the new municipality. The Ventersdorp Municipality would in the first place become an intolerable institutional burden on the “New Municipality” and secondly on the Tlokwe Municipality;

• It must be noted that the Ventersdorp Municipality remains institutionally and otherwise dysfunctional, including being unable to function as a Going Concern and able to contribute to the “New Municipality”; and

• No amount of feedback that may have been received by the MDB to date can be considered as
the official position of the respective communities. At the only public meeting ever attended by the MDB in Ventersdorp, the views of those members of the public present decisively gave a clear message that the relevant community members protest at the top of their voice against the proposed amalgamation. The arrear municipal services debt at the end of March of the 2016/17 financial year is R 262 million and arrear payments to outstanding creditors as at
end of the 2016/17 financial year is reported at R75 million. The Auditor-General report, for which the Municipal Manager should be held accountable, highlights exorbitant fruitless and wasteful, irregular and unauthorised expenditure over the past financial year and, to date, no consequence management was implemented against officials who transgressed any law and/or regulation. Besides the Speaker’s total loss of control over the administration of this council and
his inability to ensure that the council’s rules of order are complied with, he allowed the functioning of the council to be reduced to a mere rubber stamping exercise. In our view, this behaviour a symptom of the total collapse of the municipality under the ANC leadership, which was confirmed by the Executive Mayor by throwing in the towel and requesting the
provincial government for an intervention before the motion of no confidence against him and the Speaker will be served at the next council meeting. The DA requested the Executive Mayor, in writing, on various occasions to provide a comprehensive report to explain the reasons why this municipality is falling behind and is in contravention of the laws that govern municipalities, and what immediate steps must be taken to ensure transparency and a turn-around
plan for our municipality. No reply was receivedThe DA is working night and day across South Africa to unseat corrupt ANC governments – also here in the North West province. We have set goals and targets for the Road to 2019, and we will work tirelessly to achieve them.

Pretoria North / Akasia Choir scoops gold and silver

16 choirs converged at The Rossetenville United Methodist Church for the annual choral music festival held on the 9th of September. Top four choirs from Gauteng, Tshwane, North West and Mpumalanga and one from Limpopo attended the glistering event in their quest for top honours. However it was the neatly dressed choir, Pretoria North / Akasia Choral group that stole the limelight. The Madibeng Times Newspaper caught up with the group UMC choir director Mr Lloyd Murenzvi and he had this to say,

“It really was like a clash of tyrants when 16 choirs converged to showcase their more than four months of preparation. However, the fact that it was a church – organised musical interlude, the competitive spirits were subdued under the “Glorifying the Lord” banner, so that for those that would have “lost” would have still glorified God. The competition was based on two sets of musical pieces:

* Own choice – which had not much restrictions as each choir would chose a song that they thought they would do best on their own. Set piece – which every choir had to perform – a song that was chosen from the United Methodist hymn book and put together by musical experts; It was exasperating and almost unbelievable that all choirs were singing from the same notation as displayed and presented at a coaching clinic when the set piece was introduced to all the choirs. However that can be forgiven as there is a rampant lack of people with relevant expertise in different local churches. As the choirs left the podium after their presentation, we could easily narrow down that the real competition was among about five choirs. The rest had done well in entertaining the audience My choir (Pretoria North / Akasia), which is a section of Tshwane United Methodist Church came first and second consecutively for the Own Choice and set piece, scoring very high marks based on the adjudication criteria, losing to the one that came first by just one point on the set piece. We did put up a sound solid performance, consistent with our past performance. It was not surprising that we had a remarkable achievement, considering the amount of time we had put in the practicing of the
songs. Despite the good performance we had challenges of our own, impending progress:

* Logistical nightmare of getting choristers together. Our people stay in a radius of 60km and assembling all these people to meet at least once a week for practice is very difficult, next to impossible. Not all people are mobile and they depend on those with cars for pick – ups. The ever increasing price of fuel has also created a big financial burden even for those that
are mobile. Hence to have those days for practising comes at a high cost.

* Number of people in the section – section is composed of a few families and for these
members to constitute a proper choir that can compete with others was not easy

* Lack of interest and commitment from other members

* These are some of the challenges we will go with into the next year’s competitions which we need to have devised amicable solutions.”

The group has vowed to come back stronger for next year’s event.

Facts about Heritage Day

The “rainbow nation” – South Africa has had a bloody history, but its cultural heritage and traditions date back far further. The 24th September is observed as Heritage Day, a celebration not only of the past, but of the contributions of the South African people in making the country what it is today. The legendary Zulu king Shaka played a huge role in uniting the disparate tribes of South Africa into a cohesive role, and 24th September was celebrated as Shaka Day in the KwaZulu-Natal area. When the South African parliament was considering the bill of public holiday, this day was not included, leading to protests by the Inkatha Freedom Party, which had large Zulu representation and support. In order to reach a compromise, the date was
renamed Heritage Day and included in the bill. Since then, it has evolved parallely into National
Braai Day, celebrating the joyful unifying South African tradition of backyard barbeques,
known as Braai. South Africa is a heterogeneous country with so many different tribes, histories, backgrounds and culture, there cannot and should not be a uniform celebration. Variety is defined as a national asset, and the government announces themes each year that guide official celebrations. South Africa defines its heritage as who they are, what they have and how they do things – choosing to embrace diversity, recognizing the rich natural resources and potential of the people, and the collaborative innovative peaceful approach that they bring to everything they do have marked their remarkable rebirth and transition from a pariah state to a stable prosperous growing democracy. Heritage Day was created to celebrate all of this as a unique South African identity, and to give the people a chance to reflect on themselves and their past, present and future. On this day there is a Presidential address to the nation, and statements are made by important ministers and officials as well. Different regions and tribes commemorate events and people important to them. People are encouraged to learn about their culture, their 5-language national anthem, their flag and other symbols of historic national importance. Various events are held all over the country promoting theatre, dance, comedy, food, wine, games, activities and wildlife. Braai adds another feather to the celebration on the Heritage Day. “Braai is a sociable gathering of five people around a fire cooking food in the healthiest way possible”, says the man who started it all, Jan Braai. South Africa has seen terrible struggles, and its reinvention of itself as a new nation rising from the ashes of a bitter past must be celebrated. Heritage Day gives every South African the chance to proudly display and revel in their achievements as a nation, and look forward to a peaceful and prosperous future.

NWU heroically bows out of 2017 Varsity Football tournament

The North-West University’s (NWU’s) varsity football team took the fight to the log leaders, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), in their televised semi-final encounter on 7 September 2017 at the TUT Stadium. Defying the cynics’ unfavourable score predictions, the NWU was determined to give TUT all they have got and prove they are no push overs. TUT was first to find the back of the net thanks to their team captain, Themba Ndlovu. The NWU responded with a swift and decisive easy tap-in equalizer in the 30th minute by Cameron Chweu, jersey
number 10. Determined to take the fight to their hosts and leading the charge from the
front, Sandile Mbatha, NWU team captain and jersey number 6, fired a scorching penalty past TUT’s goal, placing the NWU in the lead and leaving TUT scrambling. As the game got heated well into the second half of the game, both teams began making simple mistakes that would
inevitably cost either side’s mission to walk out with a decisive win. The NWU soon came to realise this in the 72nd minute when TUT forced a goal from the NWU’s Gift Mogorosi, taking TUT and the NWU to a frustrating 2-2 tie. Even after the four minutes additional time thrown into the match, the game ended in a draw. Dumisani Koyana, 2017 Varsity Football tournament writer was spot on when he wrote that in football you don’t lose, you learn. The NWU and TUT walked out of last night’s encounter equal in their game of play. The NWU learned that skill on
the pitch must be met with an undying determination and will to excel at all costs. The NWU did not lose, they learned the importance of team work in making the dream a reality. And that is the most valuable lesson than any loss could ever teach.

Chinese Dagga farmers smiling size of the plot varies with market demand but over

While China has made cannabis free supporting the market and are growing and
producing cannabis on large farms, using it for industrial purposes, clothing, ointments, drinks
and food, medicinal purposes. For some reasons unknown cannabis is still illegal in South Africa. The Apartheid legislation: the system of racial segregation in South Africa known as apartheid was implemented and enforced by a large number of acts and other laws and using these laws to in-prison black people with no reason just for having a plant on them using the law to hurt the people. For many individuals who want to grow the plant for industrial and personal purposes, this law has put them under pressure and does not give them the
power to create wealth for the economy of this country. This leaves the public of South Africa with the impression that government is hiding the truth about the cannabis and giving unfair advantages to these producers. One of the biggest farmers of cannabis is Jiang’s a farmer who is in China’s forestry and is one of the country’s major centers for the crop. It has been proven that the plant is not a drug and can treat traumatic stress disorder and research shows that cannabis can be useful in different ways besides just recreational use. Every year in April, Jiang Xingquan sets aside a part of his farm in northern China to grow cannabis. The size of the plot varies with market demand but over the last few years it has been about 600 hectares.
Hemp and dagga is one and the same plant of the Cannabis sativa plant, which also includes names better known as marijuana. The difference between the two is the way it is planted, with hemp varieties planted like wheat and when planted for seed it is planted like corn. Both the hemp and marijuana strains of the plant also contain cannabidiol, or CBD, THC, CBN a compound that has been used to treat a wide range of conditions such as epilepsy
and Parkinson’s disease. Authorities in the province turned a blind eye to its production before depenalization and regulating it last year. Another major growing area is in Yunnan
province where the plant’s production has been regulated since 2003.Together, these areas account for about half of the world’s largest commercial cropland under hemp cannabis cultivation, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Thanks to government support and a long tradition, China has quietly become a superpower in the plant’s production and research. For the farmers, the crop is green gold – hemp brings in more than 10,0000 yuan (US$1,5000) per hectare, compared to just a few thousand yuan for more common crops like corn. It also has few natural enemies so there’s little need for expensive pesticides. South African farmers are in the stone age as we are speaking Switzerland , France , Germany, Canada, Swaziland, Australia , Holland etc., have made cannabis farming free. The USA at this time has made millions of rands on taxing the sale!