Daily Archives: February 20, 2018

Day Zero estimate moves to July

Cape Town estimated Day Zero has been moved to 9 July 2018, due to a weekly drop of 0.5% in dam levels.

The Day Zero, which was initially planned for 16 April 2018 was moved out early this month to 11 May 2018, due to a decline in agricultural usage.

City’s Executive Deputy Mayor Alderman Ian Neilson said that this week’s lower rate of consumption can be attributed to the Groenland water reaching Steenbras Upper Dam last week and slightly increasing the dam level, as well as to a further reduction in Cape Town’s weekly average demand to 523 mega litres per day (MLD), compared to 1 130 MLD in 2014.

The Groenland water transfer and the reduction in our weekly average demand has had a dramatic impact on the Day Zero date, which is determined by assuming that the fortnightly trend of weekly dam storage change will continue unchanged.

This precautionary outlook assumes no further rainfall and that water demand may not reduce over the next few months. It has been adopted to allow sufficient lead time for implementation of temporary water collection points in the event that these may be required, Neilson said.

Neilson said they anticipate that Day Zero could move back into June again, once the Groenland transfer has been completed, unless they are able to meet the 450 MLD collective water usage target.

He urged the residents of Cape Town not to ease up on their water-saving efforts.

We cannot afford to slow down when the estimated Day Zero date moves out, simply because we cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come or when it will come. Last year, we had abnormally low winter rainfall, and we cannot assume that this year will be any different.

The only way we can stretch our water supplies is to adhere to the 50 litres per person per day water allocation. Our water saving efforts across the metro have thus far been our greatest defence against Day Zero. Now is definitely not the time to ease up, the Deputy Mayor said.

He also thanked the Groenland Water Users Farming Association for the water transfer, noting that it made a considerable difference, when they needed it most.

Preparations for Day Zero continue as planned

Meanwhile, Neilson said that the preparations for Day Zero continue as planned, along with the city’s aggressive roll-out of pressure management initiatives and the installation of water management devices at the properties of high users across the metro.

Enforcement blitzes will also continue to ensure that all water users adhere to the water restrictions. Level 6B restrictions make it compulsory for residents to use no more than 50 litres per person per day.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Marikana: President determined to help healing process

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Marikana tragedy stands out as the darkest moment in the life of South Africa’s young democracy.

We must be prepared, as government, to acknowledge where we have failed our people. Where we have made mistakes, we will correct them, said the President on Tuesday.

He was replying to the debate on his maiden State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly.

Addressing the role he played in his capacity as a Lonmin Director in the events of that tragic week, the President said: Notwithstanding the findings of the [Commission of Inquiry headed by retired Judge Ian Farlam] on my responsibility for the events that unfolded, I am determined to play whatever role I can play in the process of healing and atonement.

In this, I am guided by the needs and wishes of the families of the 44 workers who lost their lives.

The Farlam Commission was appointed in terms of section 84 (2) (f) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, to investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the events in Marikana in 2012 which led to the deaths of approximately 44 people. The injury of more than 70 persons and the arrest of more than 250 people was also probed.

Three broad areas were identified for action: compensation to those injured and the families of those who lost their lives, examining the procedures of public order policing and preparing valid cases for prosecution according to applicable laws.

Government is making progress in continuous engagement with the legal representatives of the victims, especially on the matter of reparations to families who lost their loved ones. This must be concluded in the coming months, said the President.

He said the incident also brought into sharp focus the distress felt by people living in mining communities.

It is for this reason that as government engages with mining companies, unions and communities on the finalisation of the Mining Charter, we need to ensure that these measures receive priority attention.

Alongside Marikana, the Life Esidemeni tragedy stands out as an instance of the most appalling dereliction by the state of its duty to the people.

We welcome the arbitration process led by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and are determined that we should never allow anything like this to happen again in our country, said President Ramaphosa.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Gauteng Health cuts ties with doctor accused of sexual assault

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa says her department has stopped the services of the doctor, who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a patient.

The department views this incident in a serious light and we have since stopped the services of the alleged perpetrator with immediate effect. This incident should not have happened in the first place, as doctors are trained to care for our patients and not abuse them in any form, said MEC Ramokgopa.

The MEC reacted with shock to the alleged incident by a sessional doctor based at Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital in Krugersdorp. The incident is alleged to have taken place on Monday morning.

I am saddened by these allegations and it’s difficult for me to comprehend how can a professional entrusted to look after our vulnerable patients commit such a heinous act, said MEC Ramokgopa.

Upon hearing about the matter, hospital management swiftly assisted the victim and alerted the specialist Family Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit of the South African Police Service where the sexual assault case was opened.

Although we are allowing the police to do their work, we should send a strong message to our employees and community members at large that sexual assaults are human rights violations and should be strongly condemned and the perpetrators should face the might of the law, said the MEC.

After the sexual assault case was opened, the victim was referred to Leratong Hospital’s crisis centre for clinical assessment, trauma counselling and collection of evidence.

The implicated doctor will also be reported to the Health Professions Council of South Africa for his alleged misconduct, said the MEC.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Transnet urged to report irregularities

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has instructed Transnet to report alleged irregularities on the R54 billion procurement process of 1064 locomotives in 2014 to the law enforcement authorities.

The irregularities were identified in an investigative report by a firm of attorneys.

Minister Brown has welcomed the Board’s decision to refer matters pertaining to the procurement process to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into state capture.

She said Transnet’s Board could not abrogate its responsibility to restore public and investor confidence in the company.

Overseeing the institution of investigations and disciplinary processes against allegedly errant staff members was the responsibility of the Board, the Ministry of Public Enterprises said.

“Eskom has been down this road of commissioning investigations only to claim they are indecisive or incomplete. It is an unsustainable strategy which adds to the weight of suspicion and negative sentiment about the company. Transnet must act on the Werksmans report,” Minister Brown said.

In January, Minister Brown told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts that if boards and executives of State-Owned Companies proved unable to do what’s necessary to restore company credibility then their rotation was inevitable.

Source: South African Government News Agency

R18m drug bust at OR Tambo Airport

Customs officials of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) have confiscated two large consignments of crystal meth at OR Tambo International Airport worth over R18 million.

SARS Customs officials seized the drugs on Saturday when they were conducting a baggage scan of a male passenger, who had arrived in South Africa from Nairobi, Kenya.

The officials noticed suspicious objects in the passenger’s three bags and conducted a further search, subsequently discovering 12 plastic bags containing a white powdery substance.

Drug tests confirmed that the substance was crystal methamphetamine valued at R17 202 000. The drugs and the passenger were handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for further investigation, SARS spokesperson Sandile Memela said.

In a separate incident on Friday, SARS Customs officials found a parcel, which was destined to Malaysia via courier.

The parcel was declared as gifts but on closer inspection, officials discovered sachets containing a white crystal substance.

A drug test confirmed it was crystal meth, valued at just under R1 million. The case was also handed over to the SAPS, Memela said.

Source: South African Government News Agency