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Students being registered to vote.
IEC registers students across SA
8 February 2019, 10:04 AM

The Electoral Commission has begun registering returning students and new first years at tertiary institutions across South Africa for the upcoming elections.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday night that the 2019 general elections will be held on May 8.

Ramaphosa says he has engaged with the Electoral Commission and the Premiers of all provinces on the matter.

Western Cape Electoral Officer, Courtney Sampson, says students will be able to register on campus until such time as the date has been proclaimed in the Government Gazette.

“It has already started in most of the tertiary institutions and where it hasn’t started yet, it’s in the final process of being put in place. We are hoping to create more opportunities for young people to register in particular, in their new habitat in the tertiary institutions in the towns where they find themselves. It’s an exciting project from the IEC and we’re hoping that the youth will make use of it.”

Meanwhile the Electoral Commission says eligible voters can still register to vote in the 8 May elections. The Voter’s roll will only close when the election date is proclaimed. Voter registration is available during office hours at all local IEC offices, usually located at municipal offices. A list of offices is available on the IEC website at www.elections.org.za or at the Contact Centre on 0800 11 8000

Register to vote in #SAelections2019 on 8 May until midnight on the day of proclamation. Voter registration is available during office hours at local IEC offices or, for citizens abroad, at all SA missions. List of offices at https://t.co/ZEwFoh0ZPq or call 0800 11 8000.— IEC South Africa (@IECSouthAfrica) February 8, 2019

Click on video below for 2019 election date: 

Fire-fighters battling a blaze.
Fire contained at Holy Cross Primary, C Town
8 February 2019, 9:33 AM

Fire-fighters have managed to extinguish the blaze at Holy Cross Primary School, and started with damping down operations as the Cape Town heat continues to persist.

About 600 learners at the school near District Six had a narrow escape when a fire broke out at the school on Thursday.

The cause is yet to be determined.

At least 30 fire-fighters battled the blaze in extreme heat. There have been no reports of injuries.

Emotional scenes played out at the School as tearful pupils watched on as part of their school become engulfed in flames.

Several classrooms have been  gutted including a library which was still in the construction stages.

Divisional Commander for Fire and Rescue Services, Simon Abrahams, says they managed to save parts of the building and houses adjacent to the school.

Circuit manager for the Holy Cross Primary School Junaid Daries says they now need to assess the extent of the damage before a decision can be made before teaching and learning can take place.

“We are plus, minus 600 leaners and the affected classrooms at this stage are only four, and so we need to assess that because I know parents are anxious. Do I send my kids to school? but I have learned the teachers have chat groups and they obviously need to communicate their information to parents.”

Click on video below:

Teacher sitting with pupils.
Teachers’ union hands memorandum of grievance to parliament
8 February 2019, 8:44 AM

Teachers union, Educators Union of South Africa (EUSA), has handed over a memorandum of grievances to parliament.

It coincided with the president’s delivery of the State of the Nation Address on Thursday night.

EUSA demands among others that the quality of education should not be compromised.

General Secretary, Siphiwe Mpongose says the education system is currently facing a crisis. He says they want an audience with the president to address some of the issues.

Mpongose says they have so far received no co-operation from the national Department of Education.

“We have a deteriorating education system, we have an unproductive curriculum as teachers – we are forced to teach our young people which are the future citizens of this country. So the curriculum is failing them, it’s unproductive. The pass mark of 30% is one of the things that we are saying the education system is failing our nation.”

The union has also weighed in on the San Succi Girls High School debacle in which a teacher slapped a learner in class during an argument.

A video of the incident went viral and has been severely criticized. 

CAUTION GRAPHIC IMAGERY:

Mpongose says the incident was unfortunate. “We regret what has happened because it involves one of our own as teachers. We always advise teachers to refrain from a direct engagement in conflict with learners. It is an unfortunate situation, we regret that, that happened and we wish to remain professional about the whole thing because really that was uncalled for.”

In memory of poster.
Two Hoërskool Driehoek learners laid to rest
8 February 2019, 7:44 AM

The funerals of the two learners, who died during the Hoërskool Driehoek tragedy in Vanderbijlpark in the Vaal, are expected to take place on Friday.

Marli Currie and Roydon Olckers died when a cement walkway collapsed at the school.

The incident led to the deaths of four pupils and injured more than 20 others.

On Thursday grade eight learner Jandre Steyn was laid to rest in Vanderbijl Park in the Vaal.

The Gauteng Education Department says some students have been discharged from hospitals.

Education department spokesperson Steve Mabona explains, “About twelve learners who were injured are still receiving medical attention at different hospitals. The remainder of the learners were discharged and we wish them well as they recuperate at home.”  

Teaching has been suspended at the school until Monday.

Oil exploration drill.
Gas discovery huge boost for SA economy: Analyst
8 February 2019, 7:03 AM

A leading oil and gas analyst says the gas condensate that has been discovered by Total would be a huge economic boost for South Africa.

It will also place the country on the forefront of new and emerging nations for oil and gas exploration.

French oil and gas company Total announced that it has made a significant gas condensate discovery on the Brulpadda prospects after drilling in deep sea waters, 175 kilometres off the southern coast of South Africa on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa also welcomed the discovery in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday night, saying government is extremely encouraged by the find and that it could be a game changer for the country’s energy sector.

Chirag Rathi a senior consultant at Frost and Sullivan oil and gas says, “It’s going to benefit in the longer term. This is a world class discovery. I think the estimates are close to a billion barrels of gas condensate and it’s an understanding that it will lead to a lot of downstream construction as well as construction of gas processing plants and so on, potentially even refineries in the future. I think it will take some time to know how the sector itself evolves as the new players come in but it certainly puts South Africa on the map of potentially new and emerging nations for oil and gas exploration and production.”

Click on video below

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