Daily Archives: June 22, 2017

MEC Dan Plato on Villiersdorp drug bust

Villiersdorp drug bust � full investigation needed to apprehend all involved

I congratulate the South African Police Service (SAPS) under the command of Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Gen Jula, for their sterling work in Villersdorp in what is believed to be the biggest single drug bust in the Western Cape, if not in South Africa.

Some of the information confirmed to me by the provincial police management, however raises serious questions which would need to be answered through a full investigation. This is necessary to ensure that everyone involved faces the full might of the law.

The arrests of three suspects are welcomed but the sophistication of the operation can questionably not only include three people.

This is why I have today officially requested the Provincial Commissioner in writing to consider all possibilities, investigate every detail and ensure that not a single person involved is able to escape without being held accountable.

The full investigation needs to include:

Where the drugs were manufactured, by whom and working under instruction of which financier;

Where the drugs were intended to be delivered, through which transportation systems, on whose authorisation and with whose involvement;

Who would have taken delivery of the drugs, who would have paid for it, by which method of payment and who would have received the payment; and

Details for every component involved into this operation � suspects’ phones and who they have been communicating with; owners, lessors or companies involved in the farm, transportation, boxing, branded items or paperwork.

I have been informed that the Villiersdorp farm’s drugs, mostly cocaine and mandrax, have an estimated value of close to R400 million, that it was packed and concealed and intended for exportation, as well as alleged information that the drugs originates from a wine farm in the Boland.

The biggest and furthest reaching investigation possible is required to uncover the scourge of drugs in communities in the Western Cape, the gangs which peddle them, the gun-wielding gangsters running around with total disregard for the life of others, as well as the kingpins orchestrating these criminal acts, murders as well as manufacturing, selling and seemingly exportation of drugs.

The biggest drug bust in the province, if not the country will certainly rattle the kingpins who continuously operate as if they are above the law. The police’s intelligence-led investigation will have to connect all these dots to see that all involved do not go unpunished.

Our streets can only be drug free if we all play our part in exposing the criminals in our midst � especially the shadow figures, mafioso’s, kingpins and underworld bosses who blatantly violate the rule of law.

Source: Government of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DAM LEVELS CONTINUE TO FALL

PRETORIA, The Department of Water and Sanitation has again urged South Africans to use water wisely as national dam levels continue to decline, now that the (Southern hemisphere) winter season is in full swing.

According to an assessment conducted by the department on Monday, dam levels are currently sitting on an average of 71.6 per cent of capacity, down from 71.9 per cent the previous week. At the same time last year, the national water storage level was at 53.8.2 per cent.

There has been a fall-off in average dam levels in all provinces. The Algoa System, which consists of five dams serving the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Eastern Cape Province is at 35.7 per cent this week, compared with 36.4 per cent last week.” the department said Wednesday.

The Amatola system, entailing six dams serving Buffalo City, also in Eastern Cape, saw a drop to 57.1 per cent from 67.9 per cent last week while the Cape Town Dams system, serving mainly the City of Cape Town, is currently sitting at 22.7 per cent, a slight increase from the previous week.

However, the department warned that the city is still a long way off from breaking the ongoing drought which has gripped the country’s second biggest city for two years.

The Vaal River system serving mainly Gauteng Provinces and its major urban conurbation around Johannesburg and Pretoreia, as well as national power utility Eskom’s power plants and integrated energy and chemical company Sasol’s operations in Gauteng, is at 83.3 per cent, compared with 83.5 per cent last week.

Water restrictions will remain in all the provinces, with the exception of Gauteng. Residents are urged to continue using water sparingly, the department said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Department prioritises transformation in construction unit

Pretoria � Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says transformation in the Construction Management Unit of the department will be prioritised.

Minister Mokonyane made the remarks when she was presenting an overview on the Construction Management Unit within the department to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation.

The Construction Management Unit was established to construct, rehabilitate, refurbish and maintain new and existing National Water Resources Infrastructure.

The intention is to meet industrial, agricultural and social (domestic) bulk water supply requirements and to facilitate economic growth and development, including the rehabilitation and upgrading of existing water supply infrastructure to comply with international dam safety standards.

The Minister told the committee that while the unit has in the past undertaken various infrastructure projects to ensure that communities have access to clean water supply, it is, however, plagued with slow transformation.

She said transformation within the department should be taken seriously by everyone.

The department’s drive is to ensure that there is a difference between what used to be and what is expected today. The intention to ensure transformation in the department should be in line with our guiding document, the National Development Plan which envisions a water sector that is reflects all the demographics of the country, said Minister Mokonyane.

Minister Mokonyane also emphasised that transformation should not just mean colour and gender specifics, but it should also show in how procurement is done.

Everything we do should be in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act to ensure that we do things by the book. A lot must also be done to ensure that the previously disadvantaged communities and companies also benefit in the water sector but we must guarantee compliance, Minister Mokonyane said.

A Joint Transformation Committee was established by the department in 2015 to ensure that transformation is an inclusive project within the department, with specific focus on creating new opportunities for the previously disadvantaged, as well as the youth, women and people with disabilities.

Source: South African Government News Agency

MEC Dan Plato raises awareness on responsible alcohol consumption in Atlantis, 23 Jun

Minister Plato join Liquor Authority on alcohol awareness drive in Atlantis

Tomorrow, Friday, 23 June 2017, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, will join the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) in Atlantis in raising awareness around responsible alcohol consumption and alcohol harms.

The Be Conscious campaign of the WCLA in Atlantis tomorrow will see Minister Plato together with representatives of the Liquor Authority as well as the local municipal councillor embark on an educational outreach programme – going door-to-door and engaging the community on responsible alcohol consumption and how to report irresponsible liquor trading.

The outreach forms part of the Western Cape Government’s Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer which focusses on enforcing compliance with the Liquor Act, creating safer environments in and around the taverns as well as the broader community, offering recreational alternatives as well as providing alcohol harms related social services in targeted areas .

With the amended liquor regulations coming into effect on 1 July 2017 in the province, the WCLA liquor inspectors will be able to target illegal liquor outlets and report non-compliance to the police and the Department of Community Safety, monitored through the Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer.

The Western Cape Government is committed to going beyond compliance and monitoring towards the active disruption of the status quo. Alcohol related harms are destroying lives and hampering socio-economic development in many of our communities.

Most importantly, we want communities to become active participants in stopping alcohol abuse and making their neighbourhoods safer.

The message is clear: We can crack down on illegal and irresponsible liquor traders in our communities. We are enabling this through effective liquor regulation, a beefed-up Western Cape Liquor Authority supported by law enforcement agencies, and upcoming changes to the Western Cape Liquor Act.

We encourage citizens to play their part by reporting any illegal and irresponsible trading in their neighbourhoods to the Western Cape Liquor Authority.

Source: Government of South Africa

Minister Joe Maswanganyi briefs media on quarterly performance of State Owned Enterprises under Department of Transport, 23 Jun

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi to brief media about the quarterly state of performance of the agencies of the Department of Transport

The Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi, will brief members of the media about the quarterly performance of the twelve (12) State Owned Enterprises (SEOs) under the National Department of Transport.

The performance report will cover the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL), Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), Road Accident Fund (RAF), Railway Safety Regulator (RSR), Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS), Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA), South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) and Ports Regulator of South Africa.

Minister Maswanganyi will be joined by the Acting-Director General of the Department of Transport, Mr Mathabatha Mokonyama and the Deputy-Directors General in the Department.

Source: Government of South Africa