Daily Archives: May 28, 2017

Water department intensifies focus on unserved communities

Pretoria – Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says government will go all out to ensure that previously unserved communities get access to water and decent sanitation, whilst ensuring water security for all South Africans.

The Minister said this on Friday during her department’s Budget Vote Speech in Parliament in Cape Town.

She said to enhance water and service delivery to the nation, the empowerment of designated groups in society will be prioritised.

The 2017 Budget Vote is, amongst others, about serving the unserved, creating new industries in the water sector, promoting the participation of women, youth and blacks within the sector, and providing water and sanitation services as catalysts to economic development and growth opportunities in our country, said Minister Mokonyane.

She said the department’s R15.1 billion budget for the 2017/18 financial year will, amongst others, ensure water security through building, maintaining and refurbishing water and sanitation infrastructure.

Water storage for the present and the future remains critical for creating certainty for the economic and social development of our country. This then calls on us to build more infrastructure that will address unemployment, inequality and poverty, said Minister Mokonyane.

Some of the main infrastructure projects for this financial year include Mzimvubu Water Scheme, Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and the Vaal Gamagara Water Project.

In order to increase water supply, the following augmentation schemes will be undertaken: the continuation of raising the Clanwilliam Dam Wall, raising of Tzaneen Dam, Lower Thukela Regional Bulk Water Scheme and Hoxane Water Treatment Works, among others.

Sanitation

On sanitation, Minister Mokonyane announced that of the 52 300 buckets in the formal settlements that were to be eradicated, some 26 900 buckets have been eradicated and of the remaining 25 400 buckets, 14 000 are work in progress, with 11 000 remaining to be completed with alternative sanitation solutions.

This is done in partnership with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and the Water Research Commission.

The restoration of the dignity of our people is a commitment by this government. We can now confirm that the following provinces no longer have buckets in the formal areas namely Mpumalanga, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Northern Cape, said Minister Mokonyane.

Minister Mokonyane took the opportunity to mobilise South Africans to help fight the pollution of water sources. Key to water resources management is the protection of rivers from pollution and monitoring the water quality status.

Pollution by sewage is a big problem in our catchments countrywide. Enforcement of by-laws and compliance will be strengthened and the department will also increase capacity to ensure enforcement on a continuous basis. Compliance with the Blue Drop and Green Drop standards will also be strictly monitored, Minister Mokonyane said.

She thanked South Africans for helping with efforts to save water and encouraged the citizens to continue doing so, especially in the Western Cape where dam levels are critically low.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SOUTH AFRICA: ANC OFFICIALLY OPENS ITS SUCCESSION DEBATE

PRETORIA, May 28 (NNN-SABC)–The African National Congress (ANC) has officially opened its succession debate, but says nominations will only be accepted in September.

This comes amid concerns from some structures, that lobbyists are defying an NEC resolution that names only be discussed after the policy conference.

The party’s NEC is currently locked in a three-day meeting outside Pretoria, with expectations that there could be a motion that President Jacob Zuma is recalled as head of state.

It is apparent that the NEC is trailing behind its structures. About eight months ago some KwaZulu-Natal branches endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma.

This was then countered by the ANC Women’s League, which threw its weight behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The Eastern Cape’s Amathole region has its sights set on Lindiwe Sisulu and as it stands, Mathews Phosa is the only presidential hopeful, who has publicly accepted his endorsement from a Western Cape branch.

There is no doubt, that even though lobbying has been happening behind closed doors, the NEC opening the discussion on names will certainly intensify the race. However, the party could be facing debates on two fronts, a succession debate and a motion of no confidence debate in the incumbent.

“We are reading in the papers that there will be blood on the floor but we haven’t seen it yet. The discussions are about to unfold,” said ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe.

However, if the events of the last NEC in 2016 are anything to go by nothing stops the matter being raised from the floor and then there is also the open letter from stalwarts, who have called on the NEC to consider recalling the President Zuma.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Congo Militiamen Free One French, 3 Congolese Mine Workers

PARIS/KINSHASA � Militiamen have a freed French national and three Congolese who were kidnapped in March during an attack on Banro Corp’s Namoya gold mine in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

“The president of the republic welcomes the news of the liberation of our compatriot kidnapped on March 1 in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo,” said a statement from the office of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The militiamen had kidnapped five workers, including the French national, a Tanzanian and three Congolese.

The Tanzanian had already been freed. The remaining four hostages were all freed on Saturday, the Congolese Interior Ministry said in a statement.

New York and Toronto-listed Banro’s four gold mines in eastern Congo have faced hazards both from illegal miners squatting on site and by armed groups that are a legacy of a regional conflict which officially ended in 2003.

Armed robbers attacked Banro’s Twangiza gold mine in neighboring South Kivu province in February, killing three police officers.

Source: Voice of America