Certain sections of the M2 motorway in Johannesburg will be closed from the end of this month until October to allow for bridge rehabilitation.
It’s bound to affect thousands of motorists making their way from east to west and north to south of the city.
City of Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba and Thomas Chongo who is the Head of Department Planning from the Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) says that out of 900 bridges only 6% are in good condition.
The bridges were built in the early 70’s which are almost 50-years-old.
Head of planning at JRA, Thomas Chongo explains that they have became overwhelmed with the backlog of maintenance that needs to be done.
“The challenge could be the infrastructure funding required. If you look at the backlog in terms of numbers, we are talking about over 6-billion on the bridges alone.”
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Former Springbok wing to make first appearance since 2015
19 February 2019, 12:00 PM
Former Springbok wing, Cornal Hendricks, will make his first appearance in a Super Rugby match since 2015, when the Bulls take on the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
Hendricks who has played 11 test matches for South Africa, was included in the starting 15 for Saturday’s match, replacing right wing Johnny Kotze who is unavailable due to illness.
It’s the only change to the side that beat the Stormers 40-three at Loftus Versfeld last weekend.
The former Springbok overcame a serious heart condition that threatened to prematurely end his career after contracts with Western Province and the Stormers, as well as Toulon in 2016 and 2017, were cancelled due to his health.
But good performances by the 30-year-old in recent warm-up matches, convinced Bulls Head Coach, Pote Human, that the former test star is ready for the big stage again.
SOE’s to review operating models
19 February 2019, 10:59 AM
After much speculation about the unbundling of Eskom, President Ramaphosa in his response to parliament last week, said Eskom will not be privatised, but the three separate parts, – namely generation, transmission and distribution – will be 100% state owned.
On Tuesday, South African Airways (SAA) refuted claims that the company may be considering privatisation, saying that the message got lost in translation and that the changes relate to their operating model, and that they will remain a single entity with a reconfiguration of its resources.
Meanwhile, trade unions have vowed to fight any form of privatisation. Isaah Mhlanga, Executive Chief Economist at Alexander Forbes Investments explains that trade unions need to make a decision regarding job loss.
“Here is the decision which trade unions need to make. We lose 10 000 or 17 000 jobs at Eskom now and a couple more at SAA in order to set these institutions on a good financial sustainability path so that they can help the economy grow and create potentially 500 000 jobs over the next five years; or we protect the 17 000 jobs now which will imply that the state owned companies will continue to be a risk for the Fiscus which means it’s also a risk in terms of the credit rating downgrades and also a risk for the economy as a whole. Which means we are likely to lose much more jobs over the next couple of years.”
Mhlanga explains his perspective on whether State Owned Entities (SOE’s) are beginning to re-think their operating models to achieve maximum efficiency.
“Ordinarily if one talks about unbundling it means that there is going to be a sale of some aspect of that SOE or company some months or years later. So it’s just the first preparation for that sale. But if you listen to the messages that are coming, you would understand that it’s a political economy of SOE’s giving that we are ahead of an election and there are significant push backs from trade unions against privatisation.”
Mhlanga says separating SOE’s could isolate problem areas.
“If you look at SAA, their restructuring into three components, perhaps it’s going to help isolate where are the problem areas. If you distinguish local, from regional to international you can deal specifically with the ones that are non-profitable.”
Mhlanga believes that privatisation is the route to go.
“I do believe that is the route the state needs to go because it introduces another layer in terms of governance. If you have private players that are part owners of these SOE’s it means that they are going to enforce the right way of doing business, they are going to oversee how contracts are signed in terms of services which are provided to SOE’s and in that way it will help with some of the costs that SOE’s are incurring unnecessarily.”
Sadtu highlights matters of concern for learners and teachers
19 February 2019, 10:06 AM
Teachers’ union, South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has met with the Deputy Education Minister, Enver Surty in Cape Town, to highlight matters of abuse and violence affecting both teachers and learners.
The meeting looked at issues facing teachers in the Western Cape – particularly safety and protection.
Classrooms and schools have become violent and dangerous for both teachers and learners.
Sadtu Provincial Secretary Jonavon Rustin says teachers are suffering in such an environment.
“We just heard a testimony of a teacher who got shot at school in Khayelitsha after teaching extra classes and locking the class. We got an incident of a learner who assaulted an educator, the parents mobilized the community as the teacher was chased out of that community and can’t go back. We are saying this is not supposed to happen.”
Although Surty is concerned about the spate of violent attacks he has also condemned any corporal punishment at schools.
He has sympathised with teachers whom are left vulnerable to the violence.
He has called for a societal hands-on approach, calling on parents to also be hands-on in addressing this scourge of violence in schools.
“The law allows search and seizures, because children cannot come to school with weapons and drugs. Therefore they can be tested at school and the fourth element is the collaboration between the police and the schools. We do have protocol with SAPS and basic education, where police adopt a school and are available immediately. We must work on a closer synergy between SAPS and schools.”
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Wolfgat wins the Restaurant of the Year Award
19 February 2019, 9:50 AM
Cape West Coast based restaurant, Wolfgat, has scooped top honours at the World Restaurant Awards, in Paris. Wolfgat won the Restaurant of the Year Award.
Owner and Chef, Kobus van der Merwe accepted the award.
Van der Merwe’s restaurant “Wolfgat” is located in the popular tourist town of Paternoster on the West Coast.
The restaurant is situated in a 130-year-old fisherman’s cottage that was built on a historic cave called “Wolfgat”. Van der Merwe explains the uniqueness of his menu.
“There’s an element of wild food on the menu. We go picking succulents and wild herbs and seaweeds every morning and they all end up somewhere on the menu. Very seasonal ,we also try to represent the dramatic transformation in the landscape between summer and winter with what we collect and pick every morning.”