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The beautiful new Sishen Primary School building in Kathu. The school officially moved from Dingleton to Kathu on Monday 18 July 2016. 

 

Insert: Pumla Titus left an emergency box at Sishen Primary School for girls who get their period and cannot afford the necessary sanitary towels. It is her mission to ensure that no girl stays out of school for this reason.

 

http://www.kathugazette.co.za/index.php/schools/23-skole-nuus-school-news/906-sishen-laerskool-verskuif-na-kathu

The Democratic Alliance held a commemoration re-enactment of the horrific destruction of approximately 1200 shanties by the Red Ants on 01 July 2015 at Mapoteng in Kathu. Thousands of people were evicted and left destitute. Read the full story on page 3. Photograph : Judi Bolweg

 

A re-enactment scene of the eviction of illegal squatters on 01 July 2015 by the Red Ants as performed by members of the DA. As a result of the trauma suffered from the eviction, a pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage, one man was left permanently crippled and one aged woman died. Photograph : Judi Bolweg
The horrendous eviction of thousands of squatters by the Red Ants and the total destruction of their informal homes and all their belongings  were commemorated by the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Saturday 09 July 2016.
The squatters had illegally been occupying land belonging to the Gamagara municipality, earmarked for future development.
The municipality obtained an eviction order on 06 February 2015 for the illegal occupants to demolish their structures, however they remained defiant and filed an appeal.
On 01 July 2015, an army of approximately 1000 Red Ants descended on the land and destroyed each and every structure, leaving the occupants totally destitute.
The next day, however, a High Court ruling dated 01 July 2015, prohibiting the municipality from evicting the squatters, was doing the rounds - a copy of which was handed to the Kathu Gazette.
At the time, the municipality failed to comment on this ruling, insisting that the land had been occupied illegally and that the municipality needed to develop the land in terms of services, during which occupation poses a danger as the land needed to be totally unvacated.
Many of the illegal inhabitants had been fortune seekers hailing from elsewhere in the country who came to Kathu to seek profitable employment when the mines were at an all time high. Apparently there was a daily influx of these people and there was simply not sufficient accommodation available in Mapoteng or Sesheng to accommodate this number of people.
Since the eviction, hundreds of informal shanties have sprung up again, and yet no municipal services are being rendered.
It is rumoured that many of the current inhabitants are ex workers from contractors. The contractors left town when their contracts were terminated due to the down slump in the price of iron ore internationally which had a negative effect on the mines in the area. The contractors could not offer their workers jobs either locally or back where they came from, hence they simply abandoned their workers who were then forced to take up shelter in the informal settlement that had re-emerged on the land in question.
The Kathu Gazette approached the Gamagara municipality for clarification on the present situation regarding the land, but by our cut off time for printing, we have not received feedback as yet.

June started on a great high for the fifteen year old Reese Grey (middle front) from Kathu. Sandra Basson (right) and Santie Greenland (middle back) from the Reach For A Dream Foundation paid him a surprise visit on Wednesday 01 June 2016. His mother, Estelene van Wyk (left) had to keep the secret ! Reach For A Dream Foundation’s mission is to encourage children to use their dreams to fight life-threatening illnesses and inspire hope. Reach for a Dream believes in dreams, therefor they seek as far as possible to make dreams come true. They took Reese, his mother and two younger sisters out for lunch at Colorado Spur, where they handed a great gift over to Reese - a Playstation 4, a Mecer monitor and a new game ! It was a magical moment to see his face light up when his dream came true. Photograph: Hettie du Plessis

The leader of the EFF, Julius Malema, and his entourage visited Kuruman last week as part of their national electoral campaign. In the photograph appear (fltr) Oduetse Kolberg, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Shadreck Tlhaole, Julius Malema, George Nyakama and Phenyo Ohentswe. Photograph : Victor Mulangisi

 

The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema visited Dithakong village and later addressed hundreds of youthful supporters in Mothibistad sports ground on June 28, 2016.

Accompanied by some of his parliamentarians, provincial and regional leadership, the EFF president encouraged his followers to desist from violence and cast their votes wisely to end the ANC rule he described as a shame to the electorate. Mr Malema said that the government is robbing the elderly and the poor from the very little they are getting from pension and social grants. He gave many scenarios that impacted negatively in the development of communities and directly to the households. He said that it was ironic that university lecturers and its top administration has lucrative incentives that enable their children to go to the university for free or at greatly reduced fees but a mere cook at the same institution is forced to pay full fees for his child. He rebuffed the practice as unfair playing ground to uplift the standard of the underprivileged families in the country. Malema promised that his administration won’t steal from the poor; instead he is going to empower and give them breathing space to self sustenance. He was confident that Ga-Segonyana municipality will be under his administration come August 3, 2016 and will root out corruption that has seen the municipality confronted with lots of financial challenges. The EFF regional structures have confidence in that the party is going to harvest more votes in the coming local government elections and turn around the fortunes of the community.

There are serious allegations that five vehicles of the old fleet belonging to Joe Morolong municipality disappeared a day before the December 15, 2015 auction conducted by Root-X auctioneers from Johannesburg.

The alleged list of vehicles that escaped the bidding process are two Isuzu bakkies bearing registration numbers CMM 633 NC, CGG 757 NC two Toyota bakkies with registration numbers CCX 366 NC, CCX 361 NC and a Toyota Land Cruiser registration number CBN 452 NC.

Insiders allege that if the five vehicles ever went into the invoice book of the auctioneer then their prices had been horribly manipulated to meet the interests of certain top officials within the municipality.

There are suspicions that they were “sold” in absentia to escape the public bidding process or that they were a clandestine Christmas gift to certain officials.

It is alleged that a record book used by the then security company that recorded the going out and coming in of vehicles at the main entrance and exit of the municipality cannot be found that could reveal the exiting of the vehicles. It is alleged that the security company burned the books after the expiry of its contract, raising further eyebrows.  

In February this year, the Kathu Gazette met the mayor councillor Dorcas Moremi and questioned her about the alleged incident. She strongly denied the allegation though she concurred that the news was in circulation. She said that politics was behind these mere allegations destined to tarnish the image of the municipality.

Equally the municipal manager of the municipality Mr Tsepo Bloem was interrogated by the Kathu Gazette journalist on April 21, 2016 on the matter. He also concurred that rumours have been spread to that effect but he categorically said that these were malicious and baseless allegations laid against the municipal officials. He revealed the whole list of the intended disposable assets that was presented to council on October 28, 2015. However this was not the final invoice from the auctioneer that detailed the prices of assets that went through the bidding process and so could not be used as a barometer to determine the extent of transactional transparency contained.

The municipality bought 48 new fleet vehicles in October consisting of bakkies, trucks, graders and etc that allegedly overwhelmed the size of the rural-based municipality with the intention of disposing the old fleet.

There is a plethora of questions being raised in the corridors after the damning allegations. Most of the white fleet belong to the Toyota brand and the question is why the municipality opted for the third part dealer instead of going directly to the Toyota dealer.

The new big trucks and the yellow fleet are alleged to be under-utilised. The fleet is alleged to be more than drivers at the municipality creating an ambiguous planning or else there was an ulterior motive behind the transaction.

Asked why the municipality opted to appoint a Johannesburg-based auctioneer rather than locals, Mr Bloem said that choice of auctioneers was solely discretionary as long they were auctioneers in South Africa.  Asked whether there was fiscal prudence in the buying of this big fleet by the municipality that possibly surpasses the number of qualified operators employed, he said that this was a long term plan that will sustain the municipality for almost a decade from now. The fleet was bought on rent-to-own basis for the next thirty six months.

 

Part of the fleet vehicles on rent-to-own in Joe Morolong municipality.                           

Three private vehicles were burnt beyond repair in the village of Maruping deep in the night by the disgruntled residents in the same village over the alleged retention of sitting councillors and another enlisted candidate from Batlharos.

According to the convenor of the protest, residents chose their preferred candidates in wards nine and twelve but were astonished when Lebogang Motingwe and Rapelang Baepi emerged as candidates to take the second oath of office as councillors.

The group, led by their convenor Mr Samuel Zolani Maqwebu, said that up until the ANC General Secretary Mr Gwede Mantashe comes to resolve the dispute, more disruptions and destructions will continue unabated.

This segment of this community claims that they had chosen Ms Lebo Matlole, but to their surprise Tema Makoke has been enlisted as the candidate in the area.

They claim that the son of former Ga-Segonyana mayor, Victor Makoke from Batlharos, cannot be the candidate of Maruping hence the protest is taking an ugly direction where vehicles and other infrastructural properties have been torched down as a means of showing utter disapproval.

The protests are mainly conducted Nichodemously (during the night) hence motorists are caught unawares.

They have vehemently threatened that if the leadership cannot reverse the decision, they must be assured that Maruping votes are on the other side of the floor on August 3, 2016.

Again the community is against the transfer of Itereleng section to Vergenoeg section and want Maruping to have its own ward. They also said that they want Maruping detached from Dikgweng, Gantatelang and Severn miles because service delivery is greatly compromised.

 

This Avanza belonging to MK Tholo Security was one of the vehicles set ablaze by the disgruntled group in Maruping village on June 23, 2016 in the middle of the night.                  

Second project: Vice president Ramaposa at the Waste management & Greening site at Wrenchville landfill under Ga-Segonyana municipality. Next to him is councillor Modise, councillor Benjamin Gaobusiwe, Chris Thato Oor direct beneficiary from the project and the district mayor councillor Sofia Mosikatsi        

 

The Vice President honourable Cyril Ramaposa, his top ministerial delegation, the Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas, the provincial and regional executives visited project sites in Kuruman on April 22, 2016 to evaluate progress achieved so far in the Expanded Public Works Programme aimed at creating employment. The programme called Public Employment Programme Inter ministerial Committee (PEP-IMC) is chaired by the vice president and his visit was to measure whether the purported strategy was bearing fruits or not in the Northern Cape. The programme is pioneered by the department of Roads & Public Works in Mothibistad. The vice president visited the brick-making project under the department where “Root out the dust” in partnership with municipalities in the Northern Cape Province has shown great strides. While the gist of the programme is to do away with dust and dirt roads, it simultaneously aims at stimulating intensive employment opportunities in the province. The bricks produced are used for paving roads within the municipal areas and are a launch-pad in which external roads can benefit using the skills obtained through this initial training. At the site of the project the vice president led by the district manager of the department Ms Modise exchanged views with the bricklayers. He emphasised the imperatives of obtaining skills as the main thrust behind (PEP) enlivening the Japanese idiom, “Teach him how to catch fish not how to eat it”. Communities will be engaged in the projects for six months to one year to obtain skills and be discharged to give others similar skills training chances. He advised them that after such training people must not sit on their laurels expecting to be employed again but create sustainable cooperatives. The vice president later visited another project dealing with Waste Management and Greening under Ga-Segonyana municipality that focuses on the rehabilitation and upgrading the existing landfill site in Wrenchville. The project is in partnership between the Department of Environmental Affairs and Ga-Segonyana municipality. In the same vein the project directly targets community participation and has absorbed close to 290 since it started in 2014 as it is also involved in street cleaning and greening of public open spaces. The vice president made a similar clarion call that government remains determined to empower its people through skills training programmes to create a pyramidal scheme of entrepreneurs that will expand the economy.

 

First project: The vice president Cyril Ramaposa with his entourage at the bricklaying site getting a brief lecture from Thabo Rammile, a direct beneficiary from the project, in Mothibistad’s Road & Public Works premises. Next to him is the district director of Roads & Public Works Ms Nomatyala Modise.

 

                         

 

The chilly morning of Saturday 11 June 2016 could not prevent thousands of youth from all over Upington and other parts of the Northern Cape province from attending the provincial Youth Summit and the Career Expo hosted by the Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, at the Mxolisi Dicky Jacobs stadium in Upington. This was the fifth province that the Deputy President visited to host the expo.

Mr Ramaphosa was accompanied by the Premier of the Northern Cape province Sylvia Lucas, the Minister of Energy Tina Joematt-Pettersson, the Minister of Women Susan Shabangu, the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela and the Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The Youth Expo is a platform where national, provincial and local government, together with private sector partners, showcase opportunities available to young people in education, training and entrepreneurship.

Private-sector partners at the expo included, amongst others, Microsoft SA, Kelloggs SA, Coca Cola SA, Vodacom SA, MTN, De Beers, SENTECH, SAB Miller and the Information Technology Association (ITA), whilst state-owned companies and different government departments also showcased their services and opportunities to the youth that were in attendance.

The expo took place with the theme Youth moving South Africa forward which is the theme for Youth Month 2016, and serves as a call for young people to determine their destiny and seize the opportunities provided by government and the private sector. Furthermore, it is a call for young people to contribute towards building a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa.

Some of the learners who attended, where given an opportunity to interact with the leadership and asked questions to the Deputy President and his entourage. From this interaction and in response to some of the matters raised by the learners, the Minister of Energy pledged R1-million each to Upington College’s Student Representative Council (SRC) and another R1-million towards the Northern Cape Premier Education Trust Fund.

Two learners from Paballelo High School received tablets from the Deputy Minister of Communications.

The government leaders also promised to attend to other matters raised by the youth, including dysfunctional libraries, safety at schools, gangsterism and lack of technological support in some of the schools.

Addressing the youth, Mr Ramaphosa said that government took the issues raised by the youth seriously and had thus embarked on this national expo to all the provinces since late last year.

He said that the youth of today must grab all opportunities presented by government. Mr Ramaphosa said that because the current government takes education seriously, they have increased the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allocation to R9.5-billion rand to assist poorer students.

Mr Ramaphosa said “We will continue to mobilise the private sector, the donor community and even foreign governments that are friendly towards us, to get them to support our efforts to rid our country of the legacy of apartheid”. He urged the youth to respect their bodies and to not subject these to drugs and alcohol.

Mr Ramaphosa was also handed the declarations from the Provincial Youth Summit hosted by the provincial government in Upington from 09 to 10 June 2016. He committed that all issues raised in the declaration will be attended to and a proper response will be forwarded to the provincial government and all youth structures.

The youth development and expo was welcomed by pupils, teachers and parents who attended it, with most saying that the youth must now know that there are a whole range of opportunities for the youth of today and that these are the advances that the youth of 1976 will be proud of and that there are no excuses for failure in this democratic dispensation.

Agter vlnr: Juf Lindie Vries, Lené Jacobs, Carli Kruger, Inke Nel, Cati Basson, McKayla Liebenberg, Anneri du Plessis en Juf Karin van Neel. Voor: SJ van Vuuren, Dirk-Uys Coetzer, Marno Coetzee, Rique Slabbert en Estiaan Davel. Afwesig: Caitlin Adamson. Foto: Hettie du Plessis

 

Op Vrydag, 8 April 2016, het die Intermediêre Fase Spreekkoor van Laerskool Kathu aan die kwarteindrondte van die Nasionale Eisteddfod, te Roodepoort deelgeneem. Hul weergawe van Muskietejag deur AD Keet, het die beoordelaars gaande gehad. Bertha le Roux (Emma van 7de Laan) en Henriëtta Greyffenberg was 2 van die bekende beoordelaars. Laerskool Kathu was een van die enigste plattelandse skole wat genooi was om in hierdie afdeling deel te neem. Die kompetisie was baie sterk en van hoogstaande gehalte.

Slegs inskrywings wat ‘n diploma verwerf in die eerste rondte, dring deur na die 2de rondte. Vir die 2de rondte het die skool ‘n DVD opname ingestuur van die spreekkoor. Uit ‘n totale groep inskrywings van 1300 deelnemers, was hierdie groepie een van die minder as 300 inskrywings wat genooi was om tydens die kwarteindrondte deel te neem.

Op Vrydag, 15 April 2016, het die NEA op hul webtuiste aangekondig dat hierdie groepie leerders, deurgedring het na die semifinaal van die NEA se Young Achiever Awards wat sal plaasvind op Woensdag, 11 Mei 2016, weer te Roodepoort. Slegs ‘n handjievol deelnemers dring deur na die semifinale rondte.

Die skool is besonders trots op hierdie leerders en hul uitmuntende prestasie. ‘n Eerste vir Laerskool Kathu! Hul afrigters, juf Lindi Vries en juf Karin van Neel, wens graag hul spannetjie geluk met die groot eer wat hulle te beurt geval het en wens hulle voorspoed toe vir hul deelname aan die semifinaal. Die skool kan met reg trots wees op hierdie groepie toegewyde leerders wat help om kultuur, nie net op hul skool en dorp nie, maar op nasionale vlak, lewend te hou. Die skoolhoof van Laerskool Kathu, mnr Hammies van Niekerk, het sy waardering en trots teenoor hierdie leerders uitgespreek, en weereens die skool se toewyding tot die uitbreiding van kultuur in ons gemeenskap, bevestig.

Baie geluk aan hierdie groepie! Ons is voorwaar trots op julle.

Heavy police presence at the handing over of the memorandum by the EFF at the besieged municipality

 

As the EFF party has taken a rigid stance towards outright disclosure over the alleged missing five to six vehicles at Joe Morolong municipality. Yet another protest took place on June 02, 2016.

A good number of supporters thronged the municipality premises escorted by the police to demand verification of ownership of the vehicles and the final invoice from the auctioneer, Root-X.

Presenting their memorandum, the EFF regional chairperson, Phenyo Ohentswe, said that the cat has been let out of the bag and those who took these vehicles must come out openly.

While workers have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, they candidly first want to see how their authorities respond, before shooting the javelin to the target for the benefit of the municipality and the community at large.

Anonymous and concerned workers who spoke to the Kathu Gazette on the day, said that it was too early for them to spill the beans and only hinted that there is no smoke without fire.

The memorandum was received by a junior official, Eugene Khokong, as authorities were understood to have escaped mysteriously out of the municipality just before protesters descended on the premises.

Among the demands entailed in the memorandum, is the final list of all auctioned municipal assets and the final invoice list, verification of vehicle ownership, the cause of the delay in the change of ownership, to verify whether or not these vehicles were on the municipal expenditure card (for fuel and repairs) from December 16, 2015 to date.

The EFF has given the municipal authorities yet another seven days to respond or else another protest is to take place.

Officials concerned with the facilitation of change of ownership at the municipality are alleged to have distanced themselves form the matter, after having been persuaded by superiors to put their signatures on blank pages to fast-track suspicious new ownership process. The reluctant officials are allegedly saying that they can only put down their signatures after all papers regarding the change of ownership have been brought forward to them by the “buyers”.

 

EFF members march towards Joe Morolong to handover a memorandum demanding the return of the alleged missing vehicles.

Friday 8 April 2016 was the launch of the Khumani Youth Development Project, where 14 girls from different schools in the region and their parents signed Memorandums of Understanding with Assmang Khumani Mine for bursaries. Khumani also surprised the girls with a tablet each! Math Centre will provide them with extra Math classes on Saturdays. Front fltr, the girls: Maxcean Danster, Kutlo Khabae, Kiana McLoughlin, Elaene Rooiland, Mphatli Kekana, Olorato Sebekedi, Mihle Fono, Gasekatswe Reamogetswe, Bokamoso Motsemme, Kgomoco Thipe, Maduo Thamage, Thato Sima, Phatsimo Rebang and Denistancia Dennis. Back: Siya Onyima (Transformation Superintendent), Parent to a learner, Parent to a learner, Edward Monoketsi (IR Manager), David Selemo (General Mine Manager, Assmang Khumani), Parent to a learner, Jan Lottering (Maths Centre Manager), Joseph Ngcobo (Union Representative), Lazarus Kaotsane (Union Representative) and Thembeka Makhoba (MQA). Photograph: Hettie du Plessis

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