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Five-year-old found dead in pit latrine in Durban
5 September 2021, 7:03 PM

A five-year-old boy was found dead in a pit latrine last Tuesday at an early childhood development centre at Mariannhill West of Durban.

It’s alleged that the child, Elihle Nyembe, was reported missing last Tuesday after children were taken to an ablution facility during the day.

The teacher did not notice that the child had not returned to the classroom, but only realised during the counting.

The boy’s body was found two days later by social workers who visited the ECD.

KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza, has condemned the incident saying that the operation of unregistered early childhood development (ECD) centres put children’s lives at risk.

Department’s Spokesperson Mhlabunzima Memela says it was found that the centre was not registered to operate.

“It’s one of the horrible incidents. As the social workers were assigned there they found out that that institution has enrolled about 47 children but the institution is not registered which then creates a problem in terms of the Children’s Act.”

Pit Latrines | Reaction Basic Education’s projection of eradication by 2023: Hendrick Makaneta

More than 25 000 hectares of agriculture destroyed due to veld fires in the Free State
5 September 2021, 6:07 PM
Raging veld fires in Ventersburg, Virginia, and some parts of Winburg and Bloemfontein have gutted about 40 farms. More than 25 000 hectares of agricultural land have been destroyed.
This follows runaway veld fires that started on Friday.
The assessment of the exact impact of the fires is still under way. Authorities say the fire has now been put off but windy conditions are still threatening re-ignitions.
Free State Umbrella Fire Protection Association says statistics show that more than 80% of all veld fires are caused by human negligence. Six chalets at Aldam Nature Resort have gone up in flames. The fire has left a trail of destruction.
Aldam nature resort manager, Rudy Smit says, “We have obviously, like a lot of farmers in the area, lost a lot of feeding ground. We have lost six of our units that burned down, but we are feeling lucky with the support of everyone in the vicinity. At least we can still operate normal.”

Farmers have been hard hit.

Livestock, game, grazing land and some infrastructure has been destroyed.

Doors Kruger is one of the affected farmers.

“I have lost about 1ooo hectares of my farm that is 2100 hectares which about 50% of the grazing that I have lost. It is bad because grazing is more important as cattle farmers we are grazing farmers. But that is part of life. We must be positive in going forward. At least I still have some grazing left.”

Fire fighters remain on high alert.

Provincial Operations Manager of the Free State Umbrella Fire Protection Association, Jan de Villiers has warned that the peak of the fire season has commenced.

“The affected areas is about 25 000 hectares. We will calculate the exact areas that have been affected until now. There’s a report of substantial stock losses and also assets that have been damaged like fences, water pipe lines and buildings on farms. And then also damage in Aldam Holiday Resort and the fire went to the William Pritorious Game Reserve.”

Spokesperson for the Department of Tourism and Economic Development, Kgotso Tau says runaway fires have set back an already ailling tourism industry.

“Now that we are in the middle of tourism month where we believe that we can re-ignite and revive tourism, where we can ensure that travellers and visitors alike are receiving  and getting the best that the Free State can offer in the form of its open skies, tranquility, nature, heritage as well as leisure and adventure.”

Road signs along the N1 have also been gutted by the raging veld fires.

Veld fires leave a devastating trail of damage in the Free State:
Eastern Cape Health Department lauds response to the province’s vaccination drive
5 September 2021, 5:01 PM

The Eastern Cape Health Department says the response to its vaccination drive-through model, has been satisfying. The province launched the Drive Through Vaccination Services last week in East London.

This weekend the drive-through vaccination service was extended to Mthatha.

The Health Department says the aim of the weekend pop-up drive-through vaccination sites, is to make vaccination convenient and accessible.

Health MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth, says the response has been overwhelming.

“Whoever comes when he or she goes back, he or she makes sure he brings other people because they think it’s a very phenomenal experience. And the numbers also, as we started yesterday here in Mthatha we had about 225. It was the first drive-through of its kind but the other weekend pop-up sites, not just here at OR Tambo but across the province, even in Chris Hani, we’ve got malls in Port St Johns. There are shops that we are at trying to bring our services to the people and it’s quite exciting to see that they are taking up that challenge.”

COVID-19 Vaccine | Eastern Cape government embarks on vaccination drive:

Free State ANC seeks to correct ‘manipulated’ candidate lists
4 September 2021, 9:55 PM

The Free State ANC’s Interim Provincial Committee says they will correct the results of candidates listing processes that were manipulated ahead of the local government elections.

This, after ANC members in the Lejweleputswa District called for the removal of names of people who were fraudulently placed to top the candidate list.

Free State IPC member, Oupa Khoabane says, “People should not say that finally the process has been completed until the disputes have been resolved. It, therefore, says that you may expect at some point that in the future in some wards they will have to have people resigning if the ANC wins those wards.”

Meanwhile, residents of Johannesburg have expressed mixed feelings about the Constitutional Court’s ruling against the postponement of local government elections.

On Friday, the land’s highest court ruled against the Electoral Commission’s application to delay the elections due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some residents say they feel safe enough to join the queues while others refuse to take the risk of contracting COVID-19.

“I do feel safe enough to go and vote because I did have the second dose of my vaccine. But whether the electoral committee will have the other checks and balances in place is something to be desired,” says one resident.

“I will not be participating in the local government election because I do not feel safe at all. Given what we know about the delta variant, it is clear that it takes a couple of minutes to pass from one person to another. I will not put myself at risk of exposure. I don’t think the ConCourt ruling is fair.”

The DA’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, has welcomed the Constitutional Court’s decision that the October 27th local government elections will go ahead as scheduled.

Hill-Lewis says they are ready for the elections.

“Cape Town works and now it’s our opportunity to do so much more; to get more done for our residents so that everyone can live a life of dignity; to get more done so that more people can get into work because Cape Town is the easiest place on the continent to do business. To fight for the ending of load shedding and (for)safer communities for everyone.”

Discussion on ConCourt ruling on IEC matter with Levy Ndou: 

Two injured as motorists are re-routed from N1 in the Free State due to raging veld fires
4 September 2021, 8:38 PM

A firefighter and one other person have been injured in wildfires that have raged through the Aldam Nature Resort in the Free State. The fire that started on Friday has damaged several parts of the resort including chalets.

The injured have been transported to hospitals in Welkom and Winburg.

The Free State Fire Protection Association (FSUFPS) says houses and holiday homes at the resort have been evacuated as firefighters continued to fight off the flames.

More than 13 000 hectares of farm land have been destroyed.

Motorists are being re-routed away from the N1 between Ventersburg and Winburg in the Free State where raging veld fires are causing heavy smoke and poor visibility.

Spokesperson for Emergency Services in the province, Sipho Towa, says two people have been treated for minor injures after a head-on collision on the N1 due to to the heavy smoke.

The fire that started on Friday has already destroyed 13 000 hectares of agricultural land and is threatening several areas including the Aldam Holiday Resort and several game and commercial farms.

Fire fighting teams have been deployed to control the fire that is currently running on the hills next to the Willem Pretorius Game Reserve.

Veld fires leave a devastating trail of damage in the Free State:



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