Daily Archives: December 13, 2016

MEC Dan Plato on Western Cape Youth holiday programmes

Youth holiday programmes already in full swing

The Department of Community Safety’s youth holiday programmes are already in full swing, with a large majority of activities which started yesterday, 12 December 2016.

Over the weekend, I officially launched the Youth Safety and Religious Partnership (YSRP) programme in Chicago, Paarl East.

Too many children and youth have limited access to recreational opportunities particularly in high priority areas affected by crime and domestic violence and especially during school holiday periods.

Over the December 2016/January 2017 holiday period, the Department of Community Safety will partner with the religious fraternity in the province to operate 107 youth projects with the aim of reaching 10 880 youth during the school holidays.

I am pleased that, as a Department, we were able to extend our partnerships to the entire province for this festive period and thank all the faith based organisations who have come on board to help create educational and developmental alternatives for our youth during a period where they are often at risk of being exposed to negative social behaviours such as gangsterism and substance abuse.

Our joint commitment to the youth this festive season will see 85 projects implemented in identified priority areas such as Nyanga, Gugulethu, Drakenstein, Khayelitsha (Lingelethu & Harare) Villiersdorp, Saldanha Bay, Delft, Mfuleni, Kraaifontein, Mitchell’s Plain, Philippi East, Bishop Lavis, Manenberg, Imizamo Yethu and Masiphumelelel.

An additional 22 projects will be implemented in areas such as Beaufort West, Dysselsdorp, De Doorns, De Rust, Eerste River, Wellington, Elsies River, Fisantekraal, Frasnchoek, Hanover Park, Klapmuts, Langa, Lavender Hill, Macassar, Ravensmead and Grassy Park.

The programmes on offer focus on awareness and prevention of drug-abuse, gangsterism, gender-based violence, child trafficking, HIV/Aids, teenage pregnancy and provide our youth with life skills development and practical safety tips. The programme includes sporting activities, song, dance, drama and cultural activities, movie screenings and youth dialogues.

I urge parents and youth alike to contact the department for more information on the specific roll-out of programmes in your own area. For any further information re the YSRP programme and its rollout during the December/ January holidays, contact can be made with Mr. Mansour Lagkar, Deputy Director and Project Manager: Office � 021 483 5621, Cellular- 076 829 2919; Email – Mansour.Lagkar@westerncape.gov.za.

Source: Government of South Africa.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on 2016 Parliamentary overview

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Tuesday, 13 December 2016 in his 2016 Parliamentary overview hailed 2016 as a year of successful engagement between the Executive and the Legislature which underscores the growing strength and integrity of South Africa’s system of democratic governance.

Deputy President Ramaphosa cites constructive exchanges between the Executive and the Legislature, the sharp growth in Parliamentary Questions directed at members of the Executive and Parliament’s selection of a new Public Protector as evidence of the transparency and accountability which government responds to the hopes and aspirations of the electorate.

Reflecting on the year, Deputy President Ramaphosa said it was through Parliament that members of the Executive accounted individually and collectively to the people of South Africa on the pace of transformation to ensure a better quality of life for all.

Good relations between the Executive and Parliament were key to protecting South Africa’s democratic system while sound intergovernmental relations substantially enhanced responsiveness by the state to the needs of citizens.

Deputy President Ramaphosa noted a significant improvement in responses by members of the Executive to both oral and written questions as part of Cabinet’s collective commitment to ensure that members of the executive fulfil their responsibility to account to Parliament.

“Members of the Executive are acutely aware of the importance of Parliament’s oversight of the exercise of national executive authority and of any organ of State, and the role that tools such as Parliamentary Questions play in such oversight. This is a matter that is consistently raised and discussed in Cabinet meetings, said Deputy President Ramaphosa.

He added Ministers were encouraged to ensure that efficient systems and processes existed within their Departments to respond timeously and fully to matters raised in Parliament.

Parliamentary records show that in oral question sessions in 2016, for example, in 77% of cases the Minister was present to answer questions, in 22% of cases either the Deputy Minister or Acting Minister was present.

While the number of questions put to Ministers has increased significantly, the overall rate of reply has remained high. In 2009, over 2,000 written questions were put to Ministers, while by the end of 2015, the total number exceeded 4,000.

The proportion of written questions answered each year has exceeded 95%.

Responses to Parliamentary questions have gone beyond being an accountability mechanism and are increasingly used by the Executive to communicate government programmes to the people. Members of the Executive, including the President and the Deputy President avail themselves routinely to answer oral Questions in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said Government welcomed provisions in the new rules of the National Assembly to monitor replies to questions and take steps to attend to problems.

Should Parliament determine that Members of the Executive are not responding sufficiently promptly to matters raised in Parliament, Parliament may wish to consider taking appropriate action against Ministers.

Deputy President Ramaphosa expressed his appreciation to Members of the Executive who participated in the debate on National Women’s Day: Women united in moving South Africa forward, and in plenary, debating urgent matters of national public importance, such as on the local government elections of August 2016 and the student fees crisis.

Deputy President Ramaphosa also welcomed the new development in the National Assembly of mini-plenaries, which are essentially debating forums and platforms for dialogue and collaboration in keeping with our democratic traditions.

The period under review saw the implementation of the new Rules of the National Assembly. In this regard, officials and members of the Executive received training on the way in which the new Rules impact on the work of the Executive.

In 2016, the Executive introduced a number of Bills to Parliament dealing with matters such as indigenous knowledge systems, border management, immigration, refugees, national forests, national land transport and courts of law.

There are currently a total of 20 Executive Bills before Portfolio Committees in the National Assembly, including among others, the Liquor Products Amendment Bill, the Foreign Service Bill, the Broadcasting Amendment Bill, the Financial Sector Regulation Bill and the Border Management Authority Bill.

These Bills are in various stages of the legislative process and it is anticipated that a number of these Bills will be finalised in the first term of 2017. Ministers and officials regularly interact with Committees as they seek to advance not only the processing of legislation, but also scrutinising Executive actions.

Deputy President Ramaphosa commended Parliament on the innovative and transparent manner in which it nominated the new Public Protector, Ms Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Deputy President Ramaphosa wished Ms Mkhwebane well in her new role. He also assured the Public Protector of the Executive’s support in her work.

Deputy President Ramaphosa thanked all political parties for contributing to the constructive interaction between the Executive and Parliament.

He added that while robust engagement was welcome, parties and Members of Parliament had to remain mindful of their collective responsibility to serve the millions of South Africans who see Parliament as a vehicle for moving South Africa forward.

Source: Government of South Africa.

Police on arrest of Born To Kill gang members

A sting operation by the HAWKS in conjunction with Crime Intelligence, Detective Service, and Tactical Response Team (TRT) has led to the arrest of three Born To kill (BTK) gang members for murder in Bloemfontein in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

On 12 November 2016 at about 11H00, a group of suspects believed to be part of a gang called Born To Kill allegedly attacked a 22-year-old man at a shop in Freedom Square, Bloemfontein. They stabbed him with knives and other sharp objects and he died on the scene. The three suspects are joining Mosweu Samson (22), Tokelo George (24), Thabiso Martin (25) and Thabang Hige (20) who are still in custody following their arrest for the same matter.

The Acting Provincial Head of the Hawks in the Free State Brigadier Tsokolo Posholi commended all members who worked tirelessly to bring the suspects book. These arrests are a clear indication that the police will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that criminals are arrested and successfully imprisoned, concluded Brigadier Posholi.

The suspects will appear before Bloemfontein Magistrate Court tomorrow 14 November 2016 on charges of murder.

Source: Government of South Africa.

MEC Donald Grant: Launch of 2016/17 Western Cape Festive Season Traffic Operational Plan

#BOOZEFREEROADS use the roads responsibly over the festive season

I should like to begin by extending a sincere word of thanks to all of you for being here today. Your continued partnership with and support of our road safety activities and initiatives remains crucial to their success, and are a testament to the commitment we all share to improving safety on our roads during this special time of the year.

As many wind down the year, we enter into one of our really busy times, trying our best to make our roads safer for the thousands that will be using them over this holiday season. This time of year has become synonymous with increased traffic volumes which bring with them a higher incident and death rate. Our most urgent task is to do all we can to lessen the carnage that is caused each year by reckless and irresponsible behaviour on our roads. We must continue to encourage and promote safe and responsible road use as an imperative, and create a citizenry of law-abiders who exercise caution and care when taking to the roads – citizens that know that their conduct has a direct impact on the lives of others, and that their positive and safe actions keep others alive.

We remain painfully aware of the lives that are lost on our roads at this time of year, year-on-year. People have had their lives cut unnecessarily short, often through their own actions, or through the actions of others. We remember the 258 lives lost over the past festive season (1 December 2015 till 31 January 2016), each life representing lost potential, and an unimaginable pain for their loved ones. What is supposed to be a time of joy is too often marred by reckless behaviour and peaking fatalities.

Since we launched our Safely Home initiative back in 2009, great strides have been made not only to make our roads safer, but also to save more lives. Although the number of deaths over the holiday season remains far too high, we continue to see progress through our various initiatives which shows that we continue to move in the right direction in our fight against road carnage and in making our roads safer for all who use them.

We know that the cost of road deaths, both human and economic, demands our urgent intervention. The road death pandemic has reached alarming levels. Road injuries and death, in this province alone, cost the Western Cape economy an estimated R21 billion, with an even more staggering R143 billion cost to South Africa alone (according to a study conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the RTMC for 2015), due to the loss of some 17 000 people annually on our roads. The continued loss of life on our roads robs this country of resources that could be directed at improving the delivery of essential services to many that need it.

#BoozeFreeRoads alcohol and roads don’t mix

No road safety initiative can succeed, particularly over the festive season, without focussed drinking and driving (as well as drinking and walking) interventions forming the basis of the campaign. Alcohol and road use simply don’t mix, as is evidenced by the significant role that alcohol continues to play in a majority of crashes that we see on our roads. The consumption of alcohol, even in relatively small amounts, increases the risk of being involved in a crash for motorists and pedestrians. Not only does alcohol impair processes critical to safe road use, such as vision and reaction time, it is also associated with poor judgement and so is often linked to other high-risk road use behaviours such as speeding or not using seat-belts.

Our roads safety initiative, Safely Home, has recently launched the Ubuthakathi campaign which is part of our Alcohol and Roads Don’t Mix theme, focussing on pedestrians that are under the influence. Statistics have shown that more than 600 pedestrians are killed on Western Cape roads every year. This is 50 per month or about 11 per week. They represent 49% of the total fatalities, per the most recent figures for 2016. Most of these pedestrians are killed on weekend nights and are under the influence of alcohol (61% where Blood Alcohol Content is known). Too often the driver who hits them is too.

Through this campaign, we hope to achieve the same levels of awareness and behavioural change as we have with our successful and award-winning First Kiss campaign, which will mean fewer lives lost senselessly on our roads.

The advertisement is already garnering critical acclaim, having last week been selected by www.adforum.com as one of the TOP 5 best ads and advertising campaigns of the week worldwide, with more accolades likely to follow.

The campaign is currently live on the Safely Home website, www.safelyhome.westerncape.gov.za, twitter: @WCGovSafelyHome hashtag #BoozeFreeRoads, and is supported by radio advertisements on various leading radio stations, and VMS message board messages on busy highways. #BoozeFreeRoads was specifically targeted at both motorists and pedestrians, with drinking and driving, as well as drinking and walking as both are proving to be a deadly combination on our roads.

Festive Season Enforcement

The Western Cape Government has made every effort to ensure safe roads over the festive season. Despite resource constraints, our Provincial traffic officers remain the only traffic service to operate a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year traffic enforcement service. This will be intensified over the upcoming festive season. There will be more round-the-clock enforcement operations over this festive season focussed on:

Driving under the influence of alcohol

Excessive speed

Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD)

Driver Fatigue management, carried out later in the night when most fatigue-related crashes occur.

Driver/vehicle fitness

Distracted driving

Public transport

Pedestrian safety

Seatbelt compliance

Inter provincial operations

Licencing plates

Safe following distances

Transportation of illegal substances/elicit cigarettes

Just this morning, I joined the public transport vehicle inspections at Joe Gqabi Transport Interchange in Philippi East. These inspections form part of the Public Transport Sticker Project, which is a joint venture between the City of Cape Town, and the Department of Transport and Public Works, and is carried out during the busy Exodus periods of the year (Easter and Festive Season) when many public transport vehicles will be transporting passengers to their various holiday destinations.

During last year’s operation, a total of 2780 public transport vehicles were checked from 10 December 2015 to 24 December 2015. Of the checked vehicles, 1596 (57%) passed the inspections; with 1184 (43%) failing. 87 of those vehicles were impounded during the checks.

The checks seek to ensure that on public transport vehicles:

Lights, indicators and tyres are in proper working order. No parts of the tyres may be smooth, including the spare tyre.

Brakes and shock absorbers must be in good condition and replaced in good time.

Seatbelts must be in good working condition, and vehicles transporting children must have age-appropriate child seats and restraints.

Motorists must also exercise extreme caution when travelling on the roads this festive season, particularly at previously identified hotspots for incidents and crashes, namely; the R27 West Coast; the N1, N2, N7; as well as the R300. Enforcement activities will also be focussed on these locations.

Positive actions by all road users will continue to be the difference between life and death. In this regard, motorists themselves must carry the bulk of the burden, and are urged:

Not to speed

Not to drink and drive

To be extra mindful of pedestrians (who make up close to half of all the fatalities in the province)

Not to use cellphones while driving

To ensure that they buckle up, and most importantly that children in the vehicle are buckled up

I should like to take this opportunity to extend a word of thanks to our partners in the SAPS, Municipal traffic authorities and the Metro Police, the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town, Emergency Medical Services, the PRE, Disaster Management, SARS, the NPA, SANRAL, the RTMC, and SANTACO. Without your valued partnership and shared commitment, very little could be achieved in this very important endeavour. We truly are Better Together, and our collective efforts will continue to save lives on our roads.

Source: Government of South Africa.