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Baitiredi Commercial and Technical High School in Mo-thibistad and Emang Mmogo Technical School in Kimberley were chosen to be the Northern Cape's launch-pad of a national skills de-velopment project initiated by the Department of Basic Education in conjunction with the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Au-thority (MerSETA).
Chief education specialist from Pretoria, Mr Abel Thabang Tlhakula, presenting the keynote address to  21 identified learners at the school, parents, members of the SGB and teaching staff, said that this was a brand new project by the depart-ment. The department and Mer-SETA had agreed on a memoran-dum of understanding to identify 210 learners throughout the country to
be trained in various trades. The learners must have passed grade eleven with Science and Mathema-tics to be trained though.
One school per province was se-lected, only in the Northern Cape two schools were selected due to the  vastness and deeply entrenched poverty levels. Close to R30-million was allocated and the project will be run in two phases.
Phase one trainee artisans will un-dergo a 26-week trade theory phase which will be class-based.
The second phase of training is a practical orientation for 18 months at a workplace to acquire the relevance of the trade being pursued. Upon completion, apprentices will write a competency trade test that qualifies them to be artisans.
During the two-year period of the project, these apprentices will be
paid a R3500 monthly stipend.
The client liaison officer of Mer-SETA André van Wyk encouraged all stakeholders involved in the pro-ject to offer support to the  students and confirmed that the agency would ensure that the project be-came a success.
The school principal of Baitiredi Mr Jacob Tsosane said that the initiative and innovation from the department was a great relief, not to ex-learners around, but to the entire collective of school leavers throughout the coun-try. He advised the identified learn-ers to take advantage of the opportu-nity granted to them.
Organiser of the event and staff member at the school Mr Kgomotso Comfort Assegaai said that the cho-sen apprentices are still learners and need guidance.
Emphasis was the clarion call for the business and the corporate community to offer attachment opportunities to the apprentices to ex-pedite attainment of the requisite expe-rience.


As streets were virtually depleted, churches were a hive of activity throughout the Easter holidays in Kuruman and that alone was reflective of the entire district, the country and world alike that Christianity remains part of the revered and sanctified religion. 

A survey carried out in the mining town proved beyond doubt that the Easter holiday is such a great day apart from commemorating the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. Believers that  inclu-ded visitors from other towns and cities stole some few hours of their visits from their esteemed families and friends just to listen to men of the collar reiterating the  whole story found in Matthew 27 (death) & 28 (resurrection).Many of these churches were identifiable by their emblematic inscriptions on their uniforms and their distinguishable choral singing. There are also other missions that need accom-plishing during the same period where saints and non-believers are brought together. Engagements, marriages and other social gatherings make the Easter holiday a befitting centre of merriment and conflict resolution. Though not openly declared, Easter holiday is also used as a conduit, one elder disclosed, to appease fallen heroes and heroines in many families. With clear conscience and convic-tion he said that naturally society is clustered where cults and norms tend to be a classification.” Christians must pray, preach and sing in pursuit of their faith while for those who believe in their ances-tral spirits Easter is their time too to brew, booze, sing and dance in hope to better their fortunes”

The revelations above are a true mani-festation of the broader term of religion where its confinement and definition is aptly understood better by the individual believer or grouping. It also revealed that in any religion hypocrisy thrives like weeds in a garden and therefore not all that frequent the church are real saints to the word.

World Health Day is commemorated annually on 07 April. On this day the whole world focuses attention on a specific health topic of concern to peo-ple all over the world. The focus for 2017 World Health Day is de-pression, the slogan being Depression : Let's talk. As the whole world places mental health under the spotlight on this World Health Day, the Department of Health recognises the fact that many people suffering from de-pression, suffer in silence for fear of being stigmatised and discriminated against if they say that they are depressed and if they seek treatment. This theme encourages all of us to talk op-enly about depression. Those of us who are feeling depressed are encouraged to talk to others about how we are feeling and to share our sadness or the difficulties we are having with others. Talking about one's pro-blems and feelings is an important way of re-lieving oneself of symptoms of depression. The department encourages all South Africans, including the public sector, civil so-ciety, communities, the media, religious groups, educational institutions, workpla-ces, households and other groups and indi-viduals to talk openly about depression. In doing so, we will all become far more aware of depression, the signs and symptoms and how common it is and together we will over-come the stigma and myths that are often associated with depression and other men-tal illnesses which often lead to people not coming forward and seeking help. Those who are already suffering from de-pression should be given the necessary support. We urge those that are feeling de-pressed to talk to others about their feelings and to seek help. We encourage family members and friends to listen very carefully, support the person who is depressed and assist him or her to get help if he or she needs more than you can give them. Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life and impacts on people's abili-ty to carry out even the simplest daily tasks with sometimes devastating consequences in family relations, child rearing, adherence to medication and other important aspects of life. Common signs of depression include per-sistent sadness and loss of interest in ac-tivities that you normally enjoy - for at least two weeks. In addition people with depres-sion have several of the following symptoms : loss of energy, change in appetite, sleeping more or less, reduced concentration, feeling anxious, feeling worthless, inability to take even simple decisions, guilt and hopeless-ness. At worst, depression can lead to sui-cide. While South Africa has a limited number of mental health professionals such as psy-chiatrists and psychologists, especially in the public sector, and this is something that needs to be improved together with increas-ing other health personnel, we do provide assistance to people with mental health pro-blems at all levels of the health system, in-cluding at primary health care level. At the same time, we appreciate the work that is done by non-governmental organisa-tions, in supporting people with depression and other mental health problems. As the world observes this important day under this important theme, the department pledges to continue to strengthen and in-crease access to quality mental health ser-vices and improve its efforts of educating the public about early signs of depression and other mental illness so that those affected could talk to others around them and seek help where required. Department of Health

Yet another effort has been made to ensure that the multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) could be contained in the country.
New medication called Delamanid has been put on trial to some selected centres in the country.
The new medicine by a Japanese compa-ny called Otsuka, yet to be registered, has the potential to be the dependable regimen in the fight against the virulent disease.
South Africa continues to rank the highest in the world with patients suffering from drug resistant tuberculosis, a real challenge stemming from late diagnosis, adherence failure to taking drugs accordingly and err-atic control methods.
It is estimated that close to 20 000 people get infected by MDR-TB each year and the cure rate in South Africa is about 50%. This means one in two patients will die.
The new treatment will hopefully save more lives. Delamanid has fewer side-effects and is more effective than current medications. Current MDR-TB drugs are 50 years old and have terrible side-effects‚ including deafness.
The pharmaceutical company said that Delaminid works well in HIV-positive pa-tients and is fine for diabetics who are at a three-fold risk of getting tuberculosis. HIV-positive individuals are 10 times more likely to contract TB.
The term drug-resistant TB, or DR-TB is used to describe those strains of TB which show resistance to one or more of the com-mon first-line drugs. Patients infected with strains of TB that are resistant to (at least) the two most powerful first-line antibiotics used to treat TB, namely rifampicin and isoniazid, are said to have multidrug-resis-tant TB, or MDR-TB.
Patients who have MDR-TB and also show resistance to second-line drugs, including at least one from the class known as fluoroquinolones and one of the inject-able drugs, are described as suffering from extensively drug-resistant TB or XDR-TB.
All forms of resistance to more than one of the first-line antibiotics and which is neither MDR- nor XDR-TB are defined as polydrug-resistant TB, or PDR-T.

District Manager Mr Tebogo Tlhoaele, seeking satisfactory answers on the latest developments. Mr Tlhoaele received the memorandum and promised the protes-ters a comprehensive response will be available within fourteen days. Some practitioners have not been receiving their stipends since November last year without reasons given. 

As they approached the department for clarity, they were instead welcomed by new developments that expect all ECDs to be registered on the database - a mam-moth task for them that requires yet finan-cial resources to accomplish. They said that this further complicates their present situation.

A two-day conference was held at Thebephatswa Motel on the outskirts of Kuruman by the John Taolo Gaetsewe Business Forum on April 8 & 9, 2017. 

The fourth conference of the forum had a lot to digest in as far as ex-ploring ways to harness business opportunities that have arisen in the region with the advent of big projects brought about by the Kathu Solar Park and Kgalagadi Pipeline Joint Venture.  

In an interview with the forum's chairperson Mr Arthur Mosimane on sidelines of the meeting he said that there is a lot at stake for local entre-preneurs and what is important is to embrace one another in all spheres of business. 

“We are reorganising our forum, carrying a clear mandate to benefit not only members, but the entire lo-cal business people in the district. We came here to cluster ourselves according to our business interests so that everyone benefits in the economy of the district. 

“Apart from being a forum we still have an inclusive approach where non-members are brought into the mainstream dividends that exist in the district and we share these libe-rally with them. 

“In our struggles for empowerment we discourage possessiveness as a forum, because not all locals can become members for various rea-sons, but certainly these too need to survive like any member of society”. 

Since the forum was revitalised four years back, the chairperson ela-borated, remarkable strides have been achieved and continue in that direction. 

Different stakeholders had been invited that included mayors, munici-pal managers and local economic development managers to witness the recovery and the orderliness within the forum while exchanging ideas and strengthening relations for the benefit of local entrepreneurs. 

The final words from Mr Mosimane were, that while its membership has catapulted to about 250, the doors will remain open for new entrants to galvanise the intentions of the region and to share in the one voice of the plight of the forum to benefit from the resplendent business opportunities in the region.            

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is concerned about the Northern Cape Health Department's lack of urgency to operationalise 38 ambulances, 10 patient transporters and five obstetric ambulances that were bought and delivered in 2015.
According to Isak Fritz, Member of the Provincial Legislation and the DA Northern Cape Spokesperson on Health, the vehicles, that still need to be converted and fitted with the necessary medical equipment, have been gathering dust for the past two years, while Emergency Medical Services struggle to achieve adequate emergency response times due to a shortage of vehicles.
Quarterly reports have noted a decline in calls in urban areas within the required 15-minute time frame as a direct result of a decline in operational vehicles. This lack of operational vehicles has been further aggravated by the high accident rate of ambulances in the Northern Cape.
The lack of specialized obstetric ambulances further contributes to the high maternal and neonatal death rates in the province.
Following a briefing by the Health Department on Tuesday 28 March 2017, it came to light that the conversion process was delayed after corruption had been uncovered in the tender process. According to the department, a contract was entered into by the department for the conversion of ambulances, even though the conversion process had never been put out on tender.
The department indicated that they are now following proper processes and that progress is being made towards converting the vehicles.
The DA appreciates the department's honesty and the fact that they have regularized the contract. However, the DA remains concerned by the health department’s nonchalant attitude towards such high scale corruption that is literally robbing sick people of medical care.
The DA is of the view that the operationalisation of the stagnating emergency vehicles must be prioritized for the sake of all the people in the province who are dependent on ambulance services to receive life-saving health care.
The DA further believes that the corrupt officials, who tried to broker deals for the conversion of ambulances for their own benefit at the cost of service delivery, must be criminally dealt with.
The DA will continue to monitor the matter and probe the department regarding the disciplinary steps that have been taken against those whose selfish actions have inhibited the efficient functioning of emergency services in the Northern Cape.