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Nine killed in JHB crash
18 August 2019, 4:11 PM

Nine people have been killed in a crash on the N1 South in Johannesburg. The crash involved a minibus taxi which occurred at the Buccleuch Interchange.

Traffic is heavily backed up in both directions heading towards the scene. Authorities have cautioned motorists to exercise extreme caution when approaching the area.

Three people have been injured.

The exact cause of the crash and number of vehicles involved is not yet clear.

We’ll have more details as police and emergency services arrive on the scene.

KZN Environmental Affairs awaiting report regarding oil spill
17 August 2019, 9:00 PM

The Environmental Affairs Department in KwaZulu-Natal says they will await a report regarding the cause of a major oil spill in the province before deciding on the action to be taken against the company behind the environmental disaster.

Water is being distributed to the communities around the Msunduzi and Umgeni Rivers in Pietermaritzburg and Durban. The spill emanated from the Willowton Group’s Oil factory.

Willowton Oil is working to contain the environmental damage and to ascertain the cause of the spillage.

The Department’s Chief Director, Siphumelele Nowele says: “The company is working, they’ve actually contracted three companies to deal with this. They’ve put some containment bands along the stream and some absorbents to absorb the oil. They’ve also hired some specialists to ascertain the amount or the extent of this damage. When that report is completed it shall be forwarded to us and we then from that report are going to ascertain whether there is any kind of wrongdoing or some negligence from the side of the company and whether there is any criminal proceedings that have to be made against the company.”

The spillage has killed fish and led to warnings for people to avoid the river.

Nowele says the only deaths recorded so far are those of fish.

“We are not aware of any persons directly affected by this fish and aquatic have been severely affected. It had been alleged that a number of cattle had been killed but no cattle have been confirmed to be dead. We are actually communicating quite extensively warning people not to use this water. The company Willowton Oil is working with some NGOs, including Gift of the Givers,  distributing potable water to the communities affected as well as for the livestock.”


Two die after small plane crashes near Hartbeespoort Dam
17 August 2019, 8:39 PM

Two people have been killed after a small plane crashed near the Hartbeespoort Dam, west of Akasia, north of Pretoria.

ER24 says emergency authorities and police are at the scene and a probe into the cause of the crash is underway.

The bodies of two men were found in the wreckage. Both men were declared dead on the scene.




Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Winnie’s Brandfort house to be restored
17 August 2019, 6:53 PM

The house to which Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was banished to by the apartheid government in the 70s will soon put the sleepy town of Brandfort in the Free State on the tourism map.

This as the house is finally being restored.

Allegations of monies gone missing after having been allocated for restoration by the province have dogged the project for years.

Madikizela-Mandela’s Brandfort house was declared a National Heritage site in 2005 and finally after years of empty promises to restore the house, it’s finally being done.

Director General of the Department of Arts and Culture Vusimuzi Mkhize says: “It must look exactly the way it was when she lived there. It’s not just about restoring the house it’s also about creating what we call a proper museum with the restoration of the bombed clinic as well as creating the interpretive centre and also an internet hub so that people who live in Brandfort can go and use it for internet purposes, students for research and their study work.”

This has sparked renewed hope among the residents.

“I’m so excited and very happy about the project because it has been long so it is going to benefit especially our kids and also the community of Brandfort. We will be very happy about the project,” says a resident.

“As a resident in Brandfort I’m very happy because our children are going to see tourists coming here. Our children will learn a lot about what was happening here when Winnie was living here,” adds another resident.

About R3 million has been budgeted for the restoration.

Nelson Mandela Museum to be upgraded
17 August 2019, 6:45 PM

A steering committee has been established to effect a turnaround at Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

In the past, locals have complained about ineffectiveness and failure by the museum to improve the socio-economic standing of the area.

The museum was meant to offer youth programmes, accommodation and economic spin offs to the community of Qunu.

The embattled museum has been officially handed over to Public Works and is set to receive a much-needed upgrade worth over R35 million.

The museum has been standing idle since 2014 pending renovations. It was becoming a white elephant, a far cry from what Nelson Mandela espoused.

A month ago the local chief vented the frustration of the community.

“When tata Nelson Mandela wanted the museum to be built he wanted the adventure sites at the museum to attract tourists and used by our children. He wanted employment to be created and create a conducive environment for local entrepreneurs,” says local chief Inkosi Nokwanele Balizulu.

The museum says it has been a frustrating period and welcomes the renovations.

Nelson Madela Museum acting CEO Nontlahla Thandwa says: “It has been very difficult period for us. As you know the museum has a mandate to attract tourists here and teach people about the legacy of Mandela. It is also meant to help the community and effect youth programmes. All of that has been standing still. We are now relieved that the museum will be renovated and adhere to its mandate.”

The Department of Public Works has confirmed the upgrades are worth over R30 million.



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