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The Human Rights Commission attended the stakeholders’ meeting held at Ga-Segonyana municipality on January 20, 2017 in an effort to find a common solution to shelter the Bankara-Bodulong displaced foreign nationals.

Different government departments that include SAPS, COGHSTA, Health, Education, Home Affairs, Social Development and the local municipality attended the emergent meeting, aimed at normalising the dire situation confronted by the hapless foreign nationals.

While the gist of the matter was to find better accommodation in the interim, the long lasting solution was considered a necessity and topical in the meeting. For the past two weeks the foreigners were packed at the police canteen where hunger and bedding shortage took effect. It was agreed that the police structure was not conducive enough as a camp, where Moffat Mission was opted as another temporary alternative for just one week while the caravan park is to be equipped with the requisite resources to be habitable for a sustainable period.

Request for the provision of tents from the South African National Defence Force has been submitted to the authorities.

During all these arrangements, a committee involving the same representatives, including social workers, will consult the community of Bankara Bodulong in an endeavour to reach a common consensus towards reintegration of the two camps - an idea that was also consolidated by the premier. This comes after the tragic death of a local teenager who was stabbed on the eve of New Year by the foreign national following a scuffle. Consequent to his funeral, the local community went amok and looted twenty six shops owned by these foreign nationals as a vindictive act after ordering owners to close down the shops.

With the looming danger in sight, the foreigners left their businesses in a wink of an eye. Most of these foreigners had built structures as accommodation or used part of their shops as shelter.

The Human Rights Commission officials said that they will be involved in the rehabilitation process to ensure that sanity prevails in the restoration of human dignity.

Around thirty foreign nationals are trapped in this dilemma.   

A belated community meeting held in Bankara community hall aimed at bringing some semblance of tolerance between residents and foreign nationals hit a snag on January 17, 2017. This comes after the tragic death of a teenager in the village involving a foreign national.

The Northern Cape premier honourable Sylvia Lucas accompanied by her executives, provincial police commissioner Peter Shivuri and his deputy Phiwayinkosi Mnguni, departmental heads and local authorities led by Ga-Segonyana mayor Neo Masegela arrived around 13 hours to the beleaguered village destined to bring an olive branch between the warring parties.

It took a couple of minutes for the decisive meeting to take shape as the community seemed to have mixed issues outside the core business of the day. However the timely intervention of the police led by the provincial commissioner brought sanity in the nick of time.

Chaired by the MEC of Health, Lebogang Motlhaping, humbly acknowledged the tragedy that had befallen the community and the residual tension between the local and foreign communities. He said that as the leadership they had responded spontaneously to come and calm the tense situation through community participation.

Soon after that, the floor was given to Premier Sylvia Lucas who equally expressed her compassionate words to the community and exuded words of tolerance to the community.

A question and answer plenary session opened a Pandora’s Box about why the community was somehow adamant that the Asian foreigners must pack and go. They bemoaned the high level of under-age pregnancy by Asians, learners playing truancy from school due to solicitous affairs, hookah pipes sold by foreigners encourage drug use in the village, as well as exorbitant prices in some of their tuck-shops.

Also councillors had a share of the accusation coming from the community who are alleged to be giving more ears to the liquid foreigners than the community.

There was a voluminous chorus that the police was to blame - not only in this incident alone. It took, the community claimed, two hours for the police to attend the tragic scene hiding on one and the only obtuse excuse that there was inadequate transport or manpower.

The Premier threw the gauntlet to the present Police Commissioner Shivuri because that was his territory.

Winding up the meeting, the Premier called for tolerance between locals and foreigners. A group of community members are in custody - hand-picked in the looting - and the rest of the community wants unconditional release of their colleagues as a precursor to harmonising the relations once again.

In an interview with the Kathu Gazette, the Premier was bold enough to say that the locals were unhappy about the happenings around, but amicable ways have to be found in order to bring relations to a state of equilibrium. A committee, she continued, will be formed that involves different stakeholders to harmonise the standoff. She said South Africa is known for embracing all races with respect and dignity, including foreign nationals, therefore an olive branch ought to be reached through extensive consultations.

At times being non-selective when you want to penetrate the market is the most diplomatic route, to create good rapport with the broader clientele.

This is how precisely the owner of Venpos Consultancy won and still is winning the hearts of many people entering into business in the entire province of the Northern Cape. Very young and humble to the word, Mr Victor Mapimhidze at times spends the whole day without a meal but helping those who want to create better meals for their families in advising them how to run their businesses, registering new companies and how business etiquette is nurtured to garner competence in the end. He has become a beacon of hope to both established and emerging entities as his untarnished reputation has been spread not through normal advertising but clients who have kept no space in his office. Kuruman business gurus queue in his office, each one seeking for the very charm that keeps the fish alive out of water. The Kathu Gazette journalist happened to meet one of the famous business people in town and he did not mince his words by saying that, “If at all Mr Mapimhidze was a mechanic I would unequivocally describe him as a man who knows his spanners at a glance. When I heard about him, I visited his office, met him and I was the doubting Thomas up until the pudding was in the taste. He, in a nutshell, sees him as an entrepreneurial Messiah in the town of Kuruman because his business acumen if taken accordingly, leaves business pursuant with the necessary skill” Apart from his consultancy skills Mr Mapimhidze has spread his wings in business by establishing a printing house that incorporates graphic designs in marketing and signage where branding takes the centre stage. In an interview Mr Mapimhidze disclosed that he is a holder of an accounting diploma, trained in Zimbabwe, worked in the relevant sector and simply wants to impart knowledge to his peers.

 

Mr V Mapimhidze in his busy office in Kuruman            

Following an emphatic decision by the Ga-Segonyana local municipality to restore damaged infrastructure - especially the potholes - the Department of Roads & Public Works has consolidated the local authority’s determination.

The department released a modern machine used to patch potholes at a very fast pace, to the Ga-Segonyana municipality.

Speaking on behalf of the mayor, Mr David Mabhudi, the communications officer of the municipality, said that the machine is a great relief to the municipality and will reflect how determined the municipality is in repairing streets around town.

The machine, called the Jetpatcher 1000, mixes all the ingredients used in the patching of potholes, blows clean the targeted spots then squirts out the processed material to seal the potholes.

Testing the machine, were the officials from the department who demonstrated at length how the machine is used for optimum results by municipal workers. In turn workers expressed similar sentiments that the machine has come at the right time when roads are not in good shape and hence speedy repair is almost certain.

Most streets in town were giving the impression that authorities are oblivious of the dangers that could be caused by potholes. Three weeks ago the mayor Mr Neo George Masegela declared that potholes must fall to restore the town’s dignity. Since then, municipal workers in that section have heeded the clarion call and have done tremendous work towards restoring the state of the streets.        

The ward five councillor of Ga-Segonyana municipality is taking the bull by its horns in rooting out wrong elements in his ward. Intermittent deaths involving youths especially during the night had become a normal way of life in the ward during weekends. Councillor Neo Disipi then declared war by confronting the police commissioner Major General Risimati Shivuri during his recent visit in Kuruman. He also exposed the police of their lukewarm approach in some instances when summoned to intervene by members of the community in many a time, hiding on lack of transport. After briefing the commissioner of the challenges faced by his community, the delegation went to the troubled Magojaneng village to establish why lawlessness has taken the toll in the midst of the police. The very same night the councillor, his team and the police patrolled the village. It was during the patrol that the suspected gang that terrorised the village was arrested in one of the targeted taverns. This was also evident enough, according to the councillor, that the police had the authority to root out criminal elements if willing to do so. According to the councillor the accomplices, about eleven of them, disclosed how they were recruited by their notorious leader who later executed their heinous acts in the village. The group was taken to Kuruman Police Station for detention where they had to appear in Mothibistad magistrate court on September 16, 2016 for bail application but was postponed to September 19, 2016.

Pic: Councillor Neo Disipi stands firm against terror gang in his ward               

Happiness is getting thinner each day among livestock thieves in the villages surrounding Kuruman. A determined group of farmers have intensified their scope of operations in each and every village as rustlers have created a very big market in the North West and the surrounding areas. On September 30, 2016 more than thirty sheep were recovered and brought to Kuruman police station after being discovered in the hands of thieves from different corners of Kuruman villages. Twenty-two sheep were discovered in Ncweng village, 10 in Barbatons between Red Sands and Kathu with one slaughtered, two were found in a vehicle destined for a wedding party around Batlharos. According to the chairperson of the farmers union, Mr David Wonder Sewedi the thieves were caught red-handed and handed over to the police in Kuruman. The perpetrators are from Promised Land outside Kuruman and Camden village. Over a hundred sheep skins were discovered in Ncweng village. Locals are involved in illicit deals of selling stolen livestock to individuals hosting parties in the broader areas of the region. It appears the police in conjunction with, Kgomo Modimo Wagae, a vibrant farmers’ union in the area have broken the jinx and now understand the thieves’ modus operandi. Kuruman has been the soft spot in all forms of theft and the so called tsotsis just come to take the roost and loot with minimal aggression.

An organisation that seeks to close the gap between the mines, various employers and the unemployed people in the district is receiving tremendous welcome from the John Taolo Gaetsewe community in its data capturing activities.

The organisation called Hiyer has international reputation that specialises in the capturing of data for individuals seeking employment in any industry through its cyber technology that links employment seekers with various employers. The process is entirely free to these job seekers.

The employer accesses the database to find all details of the preferred candidate from a cleaner to an engineer. The system allows the prospective employer to access the curriculum vitae of the individuals, connecting candidate details with the relevant departments in the verification process of documents such as the identity card and school certificates. As a result, a number of companies, including mines, have been lured to use the system that shortens employment processes worldwide.

However the organisation came to the region at a time when mines and a concerned group are at each other’s throats.

The concerned group has in its collective mind a similar, though manual, idea where local job-seekers could be registered by the local mines so that when a vacancy arises they simply phone up this group and request skills. Not undermining its scope, the group currently has no resources nor a scintilla (trace) of such sophisticated skill used to perform this exercise rendering its plans Utopian.

Arguably so, the very mines being targeted by the group have limited skills to execute the cyber system in contention which is already established. The exercise being performed by Hiyer has had requests from over 130 villages with over 7200 people in the area, predominantly the youths, and long queues have become the order of the day in its kiosks.

The company has employed 15 locals to capture the all-important data for individuals. Those who registered earlier have started receiving calls from different employers.

While members of the community have expressed total gratitude, a local group is vehemently lobbying for the mines to provide them with equipped offices, pay them salaries and pay rentals. This is perceived as hidden labour broking aimed at swindling the impoverished communities.

While there is genuine need for the capacitating of locals; the demands on the table are seemingly Herculean and therefore hard for the mines to neither decipher nor conform to with such high speed. The ideal route for the concerned group is to acquire the requisite skills in the same direction before disrupting other entities’ genuine operations.

Hiyer is not an affiliate to the mines. It is an independent and professional entity whose portfolio is not an impediment to the aspirations and objectives of the concerned group and therefore needs its space without prejudice. Speaking to the chief executive officer of Hiyer, Mr Denis Fourie, said that his company wants to make life easier for all stakeholders involved and is prepared to share his expertise with locals.

 

Hiyer & Hiyer 2: At Gamopedi village Hiyer staff inundated with applicants who need their services desperately for employment opportunities.                         

The Ga-Segonyana municipality is in a glaring vehicle shortage and as a result has come up with a decisive proposal that seeks to normalise the situation. If endorsed by the treasury department at both provincial and central offices, an application has been submitted to these offices to give the municipality a go-ahead to procure a substantial number of the vehicles and the yellow fleet. The supplier has been identified through the legal procurement processes and has given the local authority options that best suit the municipality. Option one is the full maintenance rental of the fleet by the supplier. Option two is straight lease or in abridged terms, higher purchase where the user owns the property after full payment over a stipulated period (36-60 months) while maintaining it. The municipality has, according to the officials, indicated that option two has more advantages than option one. The municipality is using section 46(3) (a) of the Municipal Financial Management Act No. 53 of 2003 to enter into long term debt agreement for the acquisition of both the vehicles and the yellow fleet. In a direct interview with the municipal manager Mr Edward Ntefang over the issue he said that arrangements are at an advanced stage,   only left is the ultimate authorisation from the treasury. A fleet of twenty-two vehicles that include various Ford Ranger models (10), Chevrolet 1.4 utility (5), Toyota Etios (6) Toyota minibus (1) and six of the yellow fleet that include grader, water tanker 1000L, grabber truck, crane truck, LDV-Long wheel base H/R 4X4 and the cherry picker 12 metres-tailer mounted platform. The vehicle crisis is more visible in the traffic officers who have been reduced to mere pedestrians without voice to motorists. The traffic section is one of the revenue generating arms of the municipality hence needs to be strategically capacitated and resourced to maintain income fluidity.                 

Due to insufficient rains and to avoid a water shortage in the Vaal and Orange River System, it has, therefore, become necessary to limit the abstraction of water for urban and irrigation purposes in the catchment areas of the dams supplying the Vaal River and Orange River systems.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has therefore, issued the necessary gazette to reduce such abstraction for the purposes of domestic and irrigation uses (Notice 910 in Gazette 40203).

The DWS hereby limits the abstraction of water from the Orange River system by all users by ten percent (10%) for domestic and industrial water use and a further fifteen percent (15%) restriction on water used for irrigation purposes by water users of the Orange River system.

In the Vaal River System, the limit includes 15% of curtailment on urban water use and 20% of curtailment on irrigation water use.

In exercising these powers, the DWS has given preference to the maintenance of the reserves, has treated all water users on a basis that is fair and reasonable, and considered the extent of the water shortages and its likely effects on water users.

The Minister of Water and Sanitation may, according to the National Water Act of 1998 in terms of Item 6(1) of schedule 3, limit the use of water if the Minister believes on reasonable grounds that a water shortage exists within a certain area. Department of Water & Sanitation

 

 

The Deputy Minister of Minerals honourable Godfrey Olifant held a consultative meeting with ex-miners at Thabo-Moorosi multi-purpose centre on September 19, 2016.

Mining activities are at the heart of the Kuruman community and as a result, a good number of these people have once been mine workers. This also translates to the many socio-economic challenges met and still being confronted in the region that the minister, on behalf of the department, feels obliged to address in consultation with other relevant stakeholders.

The ex-mineworkers lack sufficient information on the broader spectrum of issues, causing instability in one form or another. The group lacks information about provident funds entitled to them, rehabilitation services, unemployment provident funds, compensation and developmental issues that government and mine houses ought to address them.

He said that apart from challenges, there are good avenues that ex-miners can explore to ensure they remain productive. He said skills development remains an integral component that promotes self-sustainability.

A number of people who were bussed from different villages attended the Imbizo and fired a barrage of questions that the deputy minister also needed to make researched answers.

Another big question that keeps on lingering yet remains unanswered is about the mining portal based in the region where business entrepreneurs can access business contracts with ease within the local mines. The portal currently used in the region is based in Kimberley. Locals have to travel to Kimberley for submissions for business contracts that exist within the local mines.                 

The department of Trade and Industry’s Lotteries wing has embarked on a countrywide campaign to educate masses, individuals and community-based organisations on how to access funding from the lotteries board. A workshop conducted by Ms Tebogo Chotetsi a director in the Lotteries Policy & Law, referred to as Consumer & Corporate Regulatory Division (CCRD) was held on September 6, 2016 in Kuruman’s town hall attracted many people who wanted to understand better who has access and how to get funds from the board. In an interview with the Kathu Gazette the director said after receiving an outcry from applicants nationwide as to why they cannot get responses from their applications the minister deemed it necessary to review the coining of the legislative piece of paper (Amendment Act, Number 32 of 2013) so that it suits the interests of the consumers and certain industries particularly those in the gambling sector (Amendment Act 2015). In her simplified lingua franca Ms Chotetsi said that the lotteries have a special fund allocated to each and every province for funding in the arts, charities, sports and in special cases like disaster interventions. A five percent is up for grabs but applications must meet the criteria to access the fund. She said that the Northern Cape has the least applications of all the provinces and this has necessitated the department to roll out educational campaigns.              

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