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SA losing over R7 billion a year to water leaks
17 January 2020, 9:47 PM

South Africa is losing an average of R7.2 billion a year due to water leaks. This is according to the Department of Water and Sanitation which has vowed to give renewed impetus to the War-on-Leaks (WoL) programme.

The Department held a special Ministers and MECs, or MINMEC meeting, in Johannesburg, co-chaired by the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, and her CoGTA counterpart, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The meeting focused on relooking how the War on Leaks programme is rolling out. The Department of Water and Sanitation says part of the problem it faced was that it had not been properly budgeted for resulting in a lack of training.

However, the Department says there will now be a continuation of the training from the end of January.

The War on Leaks programme seeks to train youth in disciplines that will empower them to be able to assist local government to reduce the non-revenue water from malfunctioning infrastructure.

Both Ministers instructed officials of their departments to make sure that the programme is sufficiently funded up to the point of an exit strategy being properly executed.

The MinMEC meeting also decided to identify municipalities with high water losses where the trained youths would be deployed.

In tackling drought, the Department says it has prioritised R600 million of its budget towards drought relief.

A call for calm as IPID investigates fatal shooting of Alexandra woman
17 January 2020, 8:18 PM

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko has called on the community of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, to remain calm and allow Independent Police Investigative Directorate to investigate the fatal shooting of a woman on Wednesday.

Samantha Radebe was hit during crossfire between police and a hijacking suspect who is currently in police custody. Another bystander was critically wounded.

The community marched to the Alexandra Police Station to demand answers and the arrest of the officer they alleged to have killed Radebe.

“The MEC is requesting that the community exercise restraint while it is being established as to whose firearm shot and killed the deceased. The MEC would like to assure the community of Alexandra that if it is found that the bullet that killed Radebe was fired by the officer, the law will take its course without fear or favour, and appropriate action will be taken,” says Gauteng Community Safety spokesperson Pinkie Numa.


Thabane apologises for instability experienced in Lesotho
17 January 2020, 8:09 PM

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Tom Thabane has apologised to King Letsie the third for the instability the country has been experiencing due to internal politics in the ruling party, the ABC. He was delivering a speech in Maseru.

Thabane, who is expected to retire soon, conceded that divisions have affected service delivery in the tiny country.

The date for Thabane’s retirement is yet to be determined. The ruling party and opposition are in talks to decide when the appropriate time will be.

Thabane was coerced to leave his position after he and his wife, Maeisiah, were linked to the murder of his late estranged wife. A delegation from South Africa helped to facilitate the talks between Thabane and the coalition government.

The warily looking Thabane succumbed to pressure to reunite his party or face a split which might see him forced out of office earlier than expected.

He accepted his nemesis Nqosa Mohao as his new deputy. The newly elected NEC will now have the mandate to provide details leading to him ultimately retiring.

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IFP against Section 25 amendment
17 January 2020, 7:14 PM

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in Parliament says it will do everything possible to ensure that Section 25 of the Constitution is not amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

Briefing the media in Cape Town on its parliamentary programme for 2020, the party’s caucus says it will reject the position of the African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) that the Constitution be changed to allow for land to be taken without any compensation being paid.

“We can’t be half pregnant, as I say because the EFF is coming with a solid position and the ANC is also coming with a solid position, and we need a solid position as well which we will enforce into these discussions. This is a matter that must be treated with the highest level of sensitivity and also the highest level of responsibility because of the economy, for social cohesion, for stability and to make sure that there is no abuse of the process,” says IFP Member of Parliament and the party’s spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

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Gordhan’s future not on ANC NEC meeting agenda
17 January 2020, 5:10 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) says it will not be discussing the future of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan at its current National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Pretoria.

Congress of South African Trade Unions is among those calling for Gordhan’s resignation following the load shedding that took place before 13 January.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had said last year that load shedding would not occur before that date. Eskom Board Chairperson Jabu Mabuza quit following the resumption of load shedding this year.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe says State-Owned Enterprises are indeed being discussed and they will be getting a report from Minister Gordhan on the progress made.

“The National Executive Committee has never sat and discussed individual deployees, we don’t do that. It is the prerogative of the President to deploy members of the executive. We have got full confidence in all our comrades we deploy that serve in the NEC. We still believe in their ability to implement our resolutions as of the elective conference.”

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