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Neyi Zimu laid to rest
11 December 2019, 9:23 PM

Mourners have paid emotional tribute to gospel artist Neyi Zimu at his funeral service at the House of Treasures Ministries Church in Rispark, Johannesburg.

The musician and pastor died last Wednesday at the age of 49 after battling a long illness.

Local musicians, the public, and politicians, including EFF leader Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu, attended the funeral.

Thami Skele, from All Nations Ministries, says they will continue to uphold Zimu’s teachings.

“He was loved and adored by adults and children alike. He was also able to engage with everybody at different levels. I would like to assure the family that we are still going to uphold the teachings that we were taught. God is able.”

Zimu has been described as a dedicated family man, who pursued his dreams and never gave up easily.

He began his music career singing gospel from the early 90s.

He was a member of Joyous Celebration and Family Factory before venturing out as a solo artist.

The “Jehova Retshepile Wena” hit-maker died from a rare illness.

His friends and colleagues in the industry have hailed Zimu as a singer who was always committed to his craft.

He was laid to rest at the Kromvlei cemetery in Alberton.

Parly receives letter from DA regarding Mkhwebane’s removal
11 December 2019, 5:50 PM

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has received a letter from the DA requesting proceedings to remove Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office.

The party’s Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone is requesting Modise to start the proceedings when Parliament resumes next year.

In December, Parliament adopted new rules concerning the removal of office bearers at institutions supporting democracy, including the Public Protector.

Parliament says the DA’s request will be considered in terms on these new rules.

Mkhwebane has been under attack from the DA and various other sectors following some questionable decisions and damning court findings against her.

Recently, the call was made by the party’s then Chief Whip and now interim leader, John Steenhuisen in the fifth Parliament. But, it was shelved after it transpired that Parliament doesn’t have rules in place to effect such a motion.

Last week, the National Assembly adopted new rules for this purpose.

The DA still maintains Mkhwebane is not fit to hold office. It relies on what it says are various damning court findings against her. The new rules, which were adopted by the National Assembly this week, entail the appointment of a panel which may consist of a judge, to determine if evidence exists against a head of a Chapter 9 institution, which warrants an investigation.

These rules were tabled by Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC, Doris Dlakude, “Parliament and the political environment are not static. And the rules should be understood as living instruments. The Rules Committee has been seized with looking at reforms to improve the functioning of the House. In particular, to look at members’ statements and procedure to remove office bearers in institutions supporting democracy.”

Energy Department commits to developing adequate generation capacity
10 December 2019, 9:18 PM

The Mineral Resources and Energy Department has committed to developing adequate generation capacity to meet the country’s electricity demand. It says this is an urgent and immediate task to ensure economic growth.

The department says, as part of efforts to ensure security of electricity, Minister Gwede Mantashe has considered short and medium-term interventions to the energy challenges that the country is facing.

They will allow capable municipalities and large electricity consumers to procure power directly from independent power producers.

Meanwhile, chief economist at the Centre for Risk Analysis, Ian Cruickshuncks, has warned that if the Department does not keep its word, the country will be pushed into a recession and a further rating downgrade.

“We’re probably heading towards a recession. The third quarter was negative 0.6%, the fourth quarter is heading towards another downswing. It’s going to mean we would have had two consecutive quarters of a shrinking in the economy. Then we get the official view, that is a recession. So, we shouldn’t be surprised if the last of the rating agencies say South Africa is going to be downgraded further.”

The DA says it welcomes Mantashe’s statement on government’s planned interventions to resolve the electricity crisis. However, the party’s Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources Kevin Mileham says the planned interventions are too little too late.

Mileham says the DA remains committed to working with government in finding solutions to the rolling blackouts that are affecting the economy.

 

N Cape NGO sets up emotional support helpline for drought-stricken farmers
10 December 2019, 6:24 PM

A Northern Cape non-profit organisation, Caritas, has launched a 24-four helpline to provide emotional support to farmers affected by the drought.

The organisation says the focus is always on dying animals and job losses in the sector and very little consideration is given to the emotional distress that farmers suffer.

The persistent drought has caused a headache for both farmers and authorities.

Unlike other provinces, the Northern Cape has not had much rain.

The NGOs Manager, Estie Botha says, they’ve decided to set up the helpline to assist those who feel overwhelmed.

“The farmers on the farm and all the farm workers, they are really struggling emotionally and the trauma that they experience with animals dying every day and the shortage of the money at this stage, they really stress about school fees, for their children and hostel fees.”

Farming communities across the country are urged to call 083 415 1484 for emotional support. They can either call, or SMS or Whatsapp on the same number.

Ramaphosa cuts Egypt trip short to attend to power crisis
10 December 2019, 3:54 PM

The Presidency has confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa will cut short his state visit to Egypt. It says he will return home to deal with the deepening power crisis that the country is facing.

Ramaphosa is expected to meet with Eskom’s leadership on Thursday.

The country has seen six straight days of nationwide load shedding. Earlier, Eskom conceded that there was no end to load shedding for the foreseeable future.

Load shedding in the country has led to the shutting down of mining operations across the country.

Mobile network operator, MTN, says it has put contingency plans in place to mitigate the impact of load shedding to its customers.

It says since 2018, it has invested R300 million in batteries for its towers as a back-up.

However, MTN says it’s concerned that the batteries do not last for long periods.

MTN Executive of Corporate Affairs, Jacqui O’Sullivan, says the company is spending R1 million in three days for fuel to power generators.

“The problem that we are facing is that once we move past Schedule 3 we start moving into the areas where it’s just not giving us enough time to reload our batteries. So, we’ve got the batteries that have a capacity for 6 to 12 hours, but we do need 12 hours to 18 hours to reload those batteries so that is where the complexity starts to get into it, so, we got batteries; we got generators. At the moment, we are fortunate; we don’t have many sites down.”

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