Daily Archives: August 8, 2018

Driving environmental awareness in Mauritania

Proving small initiatives can have great impact

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wanting to raise awareness about the unhealthy and unsanitary conditions in her home country, now 26-year-old Aminetou Bilal launched the “Selfie Mbalite” campaign in February 2017. She was inspired by the “Selfie Déchets” campaign run by blogger Fatoumata Cherif in Conakry, Guinea.

Bilal is the president of Selfie Mbalite, an NGO that focuses on awareness campaigns against unsanitary conditions and promotes ecological development in Mauritania. She is also part of the first class of 200 Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme.

Born and raised in Mauritania, Bilal completed her Bachelor’s degree in Geosciences and is currently busy with her Master’s degree in ‘Territorial management of the effects of climate change and environmental risks’ at Sup Management University in Nouakchott.

Bilal decided she wanted to make herself useful after completing her studies and integrated into the NOG ‘Rim Youth Climate Movement’ fighting climate change. Even though she is no longer a member, she is grateful for her learnings.

“When I launched Selfie Mbalite, I did not expect such quick reactions. Everyone was taking selfies near waste on the national territory and posted them on Facebook with the Hashtag #SelfieMbalite,” says Bilal. Thanks to this initiative, authorities in Mauritania have reduced the contracts of companies that manage waste and have started to review their strategies.

Bilal also went to be an AU-EU Youth Ambassador. “Being part of the AU-EU Youth Plug-In initiative is one of the most beautiful things that happened to me and is the result of my civic commitment,” says Bilal. This lead to her being chosen by the African Union Commission to represent and deliver the speech on behalf of the African Youth at the “Women in Power” Conference on the sidelines of the 31st African Union Summit.

On being chosen to be part of the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme, Bilal said that it was more than a pride and honour. She added that “President Obama is an inspiration to the whole world.”

Bilal sees herself as a business leader in the environmental sector in the future. She’s made a promise after her pare in the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme to pass on her knowledge and skills to the young people of her country through a mentorship program that she will launch shortly.

beverley.bradley@mslgroup.com Laura Lucas Magnuson llucasmagnuson@obama.org

Eskom launches National Electricity Safety Month

Electricity related injuries and deaths will come under the spotlight as Eskom has embarked on its National Electricity Safety Month.

During the course of August, Eskom officials will visit various communities and schools around the country to educate South Africans about using electricity safely and responsibly.

The aim of the campaign, said the power utility on Wednesday, is to ensure that people don’t suffer serious or fatal injuries due to the unsafe use of electricity.

One person losing their life or getting injured because of the unsafe use of electricity is simply one too many, especially because these are avoidable incidents. We as Eskom want to eliminate all injuries and fatalities caused by electricity and ask communities to help us in this continuous battle.

We know what the biggest causes of these dangerous incidents are and therefore appeal to all South Africans to assist us by not connecting illegally and making sure that all electrical cables and appliances in the home are safe and in a good condition.

We place more emphasis on electricity safety in August every year, but our campaigns and community education sessions run throughout the year, said Corporate Occupational Health and Safety Senior Manager at Eskom, Miranda Moahlodi.

Last year, a number of members of the public passed away and many suffered serious injuries due to unsafe or illegal uses of electricity, and other electricity-related issues.

The main cause was illegal connections, which are extremely dangerous since these are made with no or poor insulation, or that the wires touch other metal objects such as shacks or fences, which then become energised and could electrocute people.

While issues like illegal connections, vandalism, electricity/cable theft, meter tampering and bypassing are national problems, there are some areas with a high prevalence. These hot spot areas are in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Eskom officials will be shining the spotlight on these areas during this week and bringing members of the public important messages on how to stay safe from harm, said Moahlodi.

Eskom is looking to use this intensive month-long campaign to also encourage all community members to report any unsafe conditions or connections they come across by calling 08600 ESKOM (37566).

These include exposed electrical wiring, low-hanging cables, illegal connections and cable theft.

Our major concern in the case of illegal connections is that danger is posed not only to the people who make the connections but also to the rest of their community, particularly children. These connections unfairly inconvenience law-abiding and paying customers, as they often cause power failures due to overloading of the network, said Moahlodi.

The power utility has urged South Africans to always get qualified electricians to do any electrical connections or repairs.

Source: South African Government News Agency

MEC Sihle Zikalala visits site of fatal boat accident in Richards Bay, 08 Aug

MEC Zikalala to pay urgent visit to site of fatal boat accident in Richards Bay

The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala and the CEO of KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Mr Mthokozisi Radebe will today pay an urgent visit to the Newark Beach in Richards Bay where a boat carrying officials responsible for serving shark safety gear capsized early today.

While details of the incident still remain sketchy, a boat allegedly capsized while carrying five Sharks Board employees. Rescue operation is currently taking place.

Source: Government of South Africa

Hijacked family saved by police

Yesterday, 07 August 2018, swift response by Bergville police led to the arrest of three suspects and the recovery of a firearm, stolen vehicle and dagga. A couple and their three-year-old child were travelling in Gelucksburg area in their VW Polo vehicle when they were hijacked by armed suspects. The suspects allegedly put the victims into their vehicle and drove with them in a convoy. The quick-thinking couple managed to contact police. The suspects were immediately intercepted by the police and a shootout ensued. One suspect was injured and taken to hospital under police guard.

Police recovered a pistol, the victim’s vehicle, the suspects’ vehicle that is suspected to be stolen and, dagga. Three suspects were taken into custody and will appear in the Bergville Magistrates Court soon. They are facing charges of carjacking, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearm, possession of suspected stolen property and possession of dagga. None of the police officers were injured during the shootout and the recovered firearm will be subjected to ballistic testing to ascertain whether it was used in any other crime.

Source: South African Police Service

Eastern Cape police lost two members in vehicle accident

It is with profound sadness I announce the untimely deaths of two of our colleagues who passed away tragically in a car accident in the early hours of Monday morning the 6 August 2018. My deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Late Sergeant Xegwana and Late Constable Ntenteni, said the Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga.

Both the members were attached to the Protection and Security Services in the Eastern Cape and were off- duty when the incident happened at Middeldrift. Sergeant Zuko Alfred Xegwana aged 43 died at the scene whilst Constable Tandile Ntenteni aged 38 succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.

As the management of Eastern Cape Province we will provide all the necessary support to the family of our colleagues, said Lt Gen Ntshinga.

Still reeling from shock, Brigadier Thami Ngobese, their commander said, We are deeply saddened by this incident. They were two young gallant men who will be sorely missed, he added

Source: South African Police Service