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Vhembe District councillor due in court on Monday
8 June 2020, 7:21 AM

A 38-year-old member of the Vhembe District Municipal Council in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, is expected to appear in the local  Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The suspect was arrested for allegedly intimidating two Mayors. He allegedly sent an intimidatory video clip to the Executive Mayor of the Vhembe District Municipal Council, Dowelani Nenguda, and to the Mayor of the Thulamela Local Municipality, Avhashoni Tshifhango.

The suspect is one of the members of the mayoral committee who was reshuffled during a council sitting a week ago.

He was chairperson of the mayoral committee of finance at the Vhembe district municipality. He was arrested at his house in Polokwane on Saturday.

Mbalula urges taxi associations to be mindful of the poor when hiking fares
8 June 2020, 6:26 AM

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has urged taxi associations to be mindful of the poor when increasing taxi fares.

He was reacting to reports that the Alexandra Taxi Association, in Johannesburg, will hike its prices from R11 to R30.

More than 50 other taxi organisations in Johannesburg also say they will be hiking fares.

Mbalula has reminded the industry that the current regulations prevent illegal profiteering. He says he will refer this matter to the Competition Commission to assess if the fare increases are both fair and justifiable.

Taxi associations say they have made a loss in revenue after government implemented national lockdown regulations amid the coronavirus pandemic. These include carrying a maximum of seven passengers in a minibus licensed to carry 10 passengers and carrying 10 passengers in a minibus licensed to carry 15 passengers.

“While Minister Mbalula empathises with the taxi sector, he has urged the associations and the operators to be mindful of the poor when they re-determine these fares especially in light of the financial relief that the Government is finalising to assist this industry,” says Transport spokesperson Ayanda Allie-Payne.

 

The Alexandra Taxi Association has urged government to give the taxi industry its long-awaited subsidy in order to support their business.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has on the other hand promised to engage with taxi associations on their proposed fare increases. Spokesperson Thabiso Molelekwa says they will meet with taxi associations this week.

“Whilst we understand the predicament that the associations find themselves in, we wish to inform the public that Santaco will be having a national leadership meeting this week which, among other issues for discussion will be the taxi fare increase to look at the whole COVID-19 impact and other related issues that have impacted the operations of the taxi increase to try and understand how they could have arrived at that increase,” Molelekwa says.

Mpumalanga records its first COVID-19 death as national death tally rises to 998
7 June 2020, 10:33 PM

The Western Cape remains the country’s COVID-19 epicentre. The province has reported 45 more deaths, bringing the number of fatalities in the Western Cape to 774. Mpumalanga has on the other hand reported its first fatality.

So far 998 South Africans have succumbed to the virus.

The Eastern Cape has the second highest number of infections and is followed by Gauteng.

Active cases are up by 2 160 to 22 923 while 24 364 South Africans have survived the disease.

97.6% of public schools are ready to receive learners from Monday: Motshekga
7 June 2020, 4:38 PM

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says 97.6% of public schools are ready to receive learners from Monday.  Motshekga was addressing a media conference from Pretoria.

Motshekga says she has received reports that confirm the readiness for classes to resume for grades 7 and 12 across the country tomorrow.

The Minister had to postpone the scheduled resumption of classes last Monday to this Monday amid delays in sanitation procedures and the delivery of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

The Western Cape was the only province to resume schooling under level three lockdown regulations on June first.

Motshekga says vandalism of schools is one of the reasons for the delay in opening across the country. She says a total of 1 672 schools were vandalised – including a number in the past week.

Below is the live stream of the Minister’s address:

Earlier on Sunday, teacher unions and governing bodies cautiously welcomed the report on the progress the Department of Basic Education has made to ensure that all schools are ready to reopen and have the necessary personal protective equipment needed for teaching and learning.

Langa teens use pedal power to earn pocket money
2 June 2020, 9:04 PM

Young people in Langa Township, in Cape Town, are putting their free time to good use and earning a little bit of money.

The 13 youngsters are helping the elderly by collecting and delivering their goods. The service allows customers to enlist their help via phone. The group of youngsters are using bicycles for the delivery of their service.

The concept was hatched in 2019, with many using their savings to buy their gear. By the time the country went on lockdown, the service was up and running and is now gaining further traction.

22- year-old UWC law student, Colin Mkosi, says the idea was born from a need in the community and innovative thinking.

“Cloudy deliveries has helped a lot of old people, people who take some time to go to shops so we catered for those people, and in Black townships with all the poverty some pocket money, which is something that’s big. We have helped these boys to be able to get some pocket money to do some stuff which they need to do so it has helped us in that way.”

When most of their own second-hand bicycles were damaged, a local businessman stepped in and brought them new ones.

Most of the youngsters are high school learners, who say they will continue doing their rounds after school and on weekends when they are back in class.

“When we started in my side, I was proud because this business I thought, it will keep me out of bad things and I try most of the time, I’m at work,” says Iviwe Ntshewula.

Members of the community have lauded the group’s efforts and say they are trustworthy young people with hearts in the right place.

“This is a very good thing and they are useful because they just give you their numbers and another thing, these kids when they come back they bring your groceries and you pay them, and I love these kids,” says one of their customers, Nontuthuzelo Mchunu.

For a nominal fee of R9 per delivery, the service is a win-win for all.

“These guys they help us a lot, because mostly the old people if you can’t go to the shop you phone them, they have a cell number on their bicycles and if you phone them, they come quickly and they will buy anything you want,” says another happy customer, Patrick Maji.

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