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Fireworks
South Africans urged to practice fireworks safety
29 December 2018, 12:49 PM

New Year is just days away and in the midst of the jolliness, South Africans have been reminded that while fireworks are spectacular, safety is paramount.

In efforts to mitigate potential injuries caused by fireworks to users the Johannesburg Emergency Services is targeting those who supply them, to ensure they comply with by-laws.

Authorities look to educate the public on how to avoid injuries and fires.

This shop owner Pregasan Rama says they’re doing their best to promote basic fireworks safety tips.  “We try to guide, we try our best to guide after taking it home then when not sure how they do it.  We show them how to put on the ground, make sure there are bricks around. Make sure it’s away from people; make sure there are no trees around so that when you blow the fireworks it doesn’t come back down falling on the floor then backfires.”

Parents need to make sure their children are aware of dangers of using fireworks. With the festivities in full swing children are always excited to be part of it.

Some safety tips to handling fireworks correctly are to :

  • Obeying all rules on the packaging as well as local rules in your area
  • Have knowledge about the type of fireworks you intend on using,
  • Adult supervision is imperative,
  • refrain from drink and operating fireworks,
  • always keep a safe standing distance,
  • keep water around in case of emergency
  • never keep fireworks on your person.

Click on video below: 

shark
Port Alfred Beach closed after sighting of great white shark
29 December 2018, 11:34 AM

All beaches in Port Alfred in the Ndlambe Municipality in the Eastern Cape remain closed after the sighting of a Great White shark. The apex marine predator was spotted by fisherman late on Friday.

Port Alfred’s East and Kelly’s beaches are off limits to swimmers until further notice.

The municipality’s director of community protection services, Nombulelo Booysen-Willy, says shark experts will be deployed to monitor the situation.

“We have made communication with Port Elizabeth with the shark experts in that area to give indications of how long that specific shark will be in that specific area. The communication will come through to us today, and we will inform the public. So from yesterday up until today we have not received any confirmation from PE, but we will make sure within the next hour we do receive feedback in order for our beaches to open again.”

People running for shelter in a thunderstorm.
Bushiri’s church members hospitalised after thunderstorm
29 December 2018, 10:58 AM

Three people who were left unconscious have been taken to hospital and 10 others slightly injured when congregants rushed into the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church of Prophet Shepard Bushiri in Pretoria on Friday.

The legal representative of the church, Terence Baloyi says an unexpected thunderstorm caught church congregants off guard and they had to seek shelter inside the church at the Tshwane Events Centre.

Baloyi says people started to panic which led to injuries.

”Unfortunately as people were walking into the church the rain started. It was heavy and people ran for shelter into the church premises as they were running to the church somehow pushed each other and others fell down and got injured. We learn that three of them are hospitalised and we’re still following up to check their condition. We also learnt that there were around five to ten people or so who were injured and taken to hospital right now.”

Eskom with light bulb in the background.
Mazzone calls for heads to roll at Eskom
29 December 2018, 6:33 AM

There have been 1067 disciplinary cases and 64 dismissals at power utility, Eskom. A further 288 personnel have been suspended without pay, 321 received written warnings, 69 were found not to be guilty, while two are receiving counselling.

The DA’s Natasha Mazzone says they’re calling for heads to roll over the massive corrupt practices.

“What we require as parliament is a full tale from the Eskom board of the names, charges and where they have been found guilty. What’s the guilt charges were against Eskom and we also require what levels of management and what position they hold within Eskom and then if any of these places prove to be criminal in nature if that re theft, or involved in corruption. We need to know that Eskom has taken one step further for full accountability and reported it to police so that the national prosecuting authority can certainly hold these people to book. Simply losing your job or resigning doesn’t send a strong enough message to those who want to steal from RSA fiscals.”

Mazzone says those who are found to be looting Eskom must pay back the money.

“Absolutely every single cent that was taken from Eskom needs to be paid. In fact we need to remember as South Africans that Eskom belongs to each and every one of us so if money has been looted and stolen. That’s theft of every South African’s money. The money must be paid back and people must be held criminally liable where necessary.”

Parliament’s Ad Hoc committee probing corruption at Eskom has recommended criminal charges against some of the former board and executive members of the parastatal.

Parliament’s inquiry into corruption at Eskom

The power utility has been embroiled in controversy with allegations that it’s one of the institutions that were targeted by individuals, who were central in state capture.

The organisation, which has asked for bailouts from the government, has been responsible for what has become known as load shedding. These are rolling blackouts to avert a total collapse of the power grid.

While these are ironically meant to help keep the lights on, the blackouts have a negative impact on the economy.

Parliament had its own inquiry about mismanagement and corruption at Eskom. The inquiry recommended that 10 witnesses, all former senior employees at the power utility, who presented conflicting evidence before Parliament, be called by the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Parliament wants the witnesses to shed more light on state capture allegations at Eskom during their tenure. They include former board chairpersons Zola Tsotsi and Ben Ngubane, former interim chairperson, Zethembe Khoza, former CEO Brian Molefe, former acting CEOs – Sean Maritz and Matshela Koko – former CFO Anoj Singh, as well as other former board members.

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Ramaphosa to expedite processing of remaining Bills
27 December 2018, 12:37 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to expedite the processing of the remaining six of the eight bills that came before him in 2018.

He only signed two bills into law during the year. These were the Public Audit Amendment Bill, which gives the Auditor General more powers to act against officials who misspend taxpayers’ money, and the National Minimum Wage Bill, which allows low paid workers to earn not less than R20 per hour.

Other Bills that are still to be signed into law include the Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.

Lobby groups like Right2Know and My Vote Counts want the president to assent to the Political Party Funding Bill to ensure transparency about private donations to political parties before the May elections.

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