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Sylvia Lucas
Unemployment in N. Cape currently at its lowest: Lucas
21 February 2019, 8:56 PM

Successes in job creation and ensuring youth are educated were top of Premier Sylvia Lucas‘s State of the Province Address (Sopa) for the fifth administration. Lucas praised her team for its ability to increase investments.

However, opposition parties were not convinced.

The Northern Cape government says it has created work opportunities in the Expanded Public Works Programmes in government and the mining sector. That’s despite the province facing an unemployment rate of more than 40%.

Lucas says the unemployment in the province is currently at its lowest.

“Unemployment in the province is at its lowest currently; for the fact that it has declined and it was only at 25% excluding the discouraged job seekers.”

Premier Lucas also hailed TVET colleges in the province and the Sol Plaatje University as her government’s efforts to educate the youth.

“If you look at the money that we have spent on education for the past five years, just for the three years in our collaboration with the Mine managers Forum, we have already spent R4 million in terms of making sure our young people get access to post school education.”

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Andrew Louw says that youth unemployment is still a challenge in the province.

“Youth unemployment is still a big challenge, yet today the Premier said there is improvement; I beg to differ. There are way too many young people who are going day in and day out unemployed.”

Pakes Dikgetsi, Congress of the People (COPE) National Chairperson, says the Premier in her Sopa failed to account for the past five years.

“It failed to account for the period of five years. It failed to tell the people of the Northern Cape why for the five years she has not had a vision, she has not had a plan.”

Despite the opinions, Lucas and her party remain proud of her legacy.

Meanwhile, the countdown has started to see who will keep the job creation legacy alive.


Nomgcobo Jiba
Mokgoro Enquiry a liberating platform: Jiba
21 February 2019, 8:56 PM

Suspended National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Deputy NDPP, Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, has described the Mokgoro Enquiry as a liberating opportunity to give her side of the story. The enquiry is investigating her fitness to hold office.

Jiba is charged with misconduct and mishandling high profile cases. If found guilty, she could lose her job.

Taking the stand for the first time at the enquiry, Advocate Jiba started with a prepared speech. She says, for many years, she was unfairly vilified for doing her job and welcomes the opportunity to be judged by a fair panel.

Jiba has described the NPA as bigger than anyone. However, she says she was disappointed to hear testimonies from current to former colleagues who described her as unqualified for the job of Deputy NDPP.

Jiba told the enquiry she has a total of 27 years of experience within in the NPA.

Reflecting on her difficult times within the NPA, Advocate Jiba says she was deeply hurt when she faced perjury charges. This after she authorised racketeering charges against former KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysens.

“I have never felt so betrayed by my institution; when I was taken, paraded in court like a criminal for merely exercising my discretion. I was disappointed and hurt that the institution found it easy to turn tables and charge me for doing my and leave those that are supposed to answer.”


Barry Hendricks
SASCOC hopes to implement turnaround strategy
21 February 2019, 8:44 PM

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee says it’s hopeful that corruption and negligence are a thing of the past as it’s implementing a turnaround strategy.

The negative publicity it has received, has impacted on SASCOC’s revenue and money received from the Lottery has dropped from an estimated R100 million to R10 million in 2019.

SASCOC Vice president, Barry Hendricks, says that they are putting transparent systems in place.

“We are putting systems in place that are transparent and accountable; and that is why the introduction of independence onto the board is vital the production of unqualified statements are important and professionals that are qualified in sports law must be introduced to help run SASCOC.”

SASCOC CFO Ravi Govender says the committee has high hopes for its Operation Excellence program despite their financial challenges.

“If we can’t fund our athletes, we might as well go home and we are improving. For the six months ending December 2018, our OPEX program cost us R600 000 a month and from January to end of October; it’s up to one million. And as we get closer to Tokyo there would have to be a re-assessment and a possible increase.”

SASCOC will also review its policies on lavish expenses such as first class flights for employees.


A lion
Search still on for Karoo National Park lion
21 February 2019, 7:48 PM

A team of rangers, trackers and volunteers are still searching for a lion which escaped from the Karoo National Park near Beaufort West last week.

The animal is thought to have dug his way out from under a fence following the recent heavy rains in the area.

This is the second lion to have escaped from the park in recent years. In 2016, Sylvester made headlines when he got out twice.

On Tuesday, rangers found an eland carcass on a farm adjacent to the park.

Nico van der Walt from the Karoo National Park, says that trackers are getting closer to finding the lion. “Normally when there are kills, lions tend to eat quite a lot and they also lie down after that. So we have gained on the lion because he was quiet for a while. So the rangers and the trackers are on the spoor at the moment.”

Residents of Beaufort West are living in fear, especially due to the number of escapes.

“I feel very unsafe. I don’t even want to walk anywhere because this is not the first time this has happened. It’s the second time that a lion has escaped. You don’t know where he is. They say here and there, but at the end of the day, you find out he’s here in the somewhere around us where we live. My concern is especially about the park of Beaufort West. There’s also a new area there nearby the park and I’m very concerned about that. They must also make the park more secure.”

Park authorities say the lion is nowhere near the town as it is being tracked in rough, mountainous terrain. Van der Walt has urged residents to remain cautious.

“We ask of the public and the people of Beaufort West just to be aware of that and to take caution, specifically on the farms where there are workers in the veld. But we have also indicated to that specific land owner where the lion is at the moment to take special caution.”

Park officials are positive that they will track down the feline shortly.

Edenvale High School building
Two alleged robbers killed at Edenvale High School
21 February 2019, 3:21 PM

Two alleged robbers have been shot dead and a third wounded during a shootout at Edenvale High school. Police say the men allegedly wanted to rob the school.

There were two similar incidents recently at schools in the area. The police station is located very close to the school.

Gauteng Police spokesperson, Kay Makhubele, says that the other suspects managed to flee.

“The other suspects managed to flee with two cars. Three unlicenced firearms were recovered, one rifel AK47 as well as two pistols at the scene.  So far we are continuing with our investigations and calling to those suspects out there that they must know that the police are ready for them.”

The Gauteng Department of Education says all teachers and learners are accounted for. MEC Panyaza Lesufi has visited the school and confirmed that no teachers or learners are among the wounded or killed.

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