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Youth in Bloemfontein turn to waste dumps to make a living
5 June 2021, 8:55 PM

Some youths in Bloemfontein, who are struggling to make a living, have become waste collectors to survive. Many are from poor backgrounds, while others were orphaned early in life. They currently survive by collecting recyclable waste material to sell.

Young people in Bloemfontein collect waste to make ends meet:

Local dumping sites have become their home. The biggest dumpsites in Bloemfontein are now home to many, who live there to eke out a living.

It’s now a home away from home for the less privileged youngsters. From an early age, Eddie van Schalkwyk used to visit the dumpsite with his now late parents, to scavenge for a living.

Van Schalkwyk, a father of a six-year-old girl, says life has not been easy since losing his parents. He says everyone at the dumpsite is fighting for survival.

“They fed me with this dumping, so that’s why they couldn’t take me to school; that’s why they took me here to feed myself. That is why today I’m here. So I never knew government, only when I was 18 I knew that I must vote even though I didn’t know for what reason.”

Despite the squalor and unhygienic conditions on the dumpsite, Van Schalkwyk,  says there is no alternative but to continue scavenging for a living.

“I’m not safe at all. Everybody knows that nobody is safe but I cannot stay at home and eat nothing. I have a little girl, she must eat. I can suffer myself, but she must be safe. I can suffer, I don’t care about that. But my girl must go to crèche and eat and  that’s what I’m fighting for.”

The dumpsite helps many put food on the table. With no adherence to COVID-19 regulations, some say the place is their only solace to generate some income.

“I make a living by collecting bottles and selling them. And without these bottles, I wouldn’t be able to buy something to eat. Without the bottles, I would suffer. For me it’s safe here, there’s nothing bad here. We work, there’s nothing disturbing us.”

With the inclement weather conditions, they continue to battle to support themselves against all odds.

 

Condolences pour in for Motsweding FM presenter Tumi Moetsi
5 June 2021, 8:45 PM

Colleagues of acclaimed Motsweding FM producer and presenter, Tumi Moetsi, fondly known as Mamane Tumi, have expressed their condolences.

Her family confirmed that she passed away on Friday. Mmamane Tumi graced the airways on programmes such as Bana ba Motsweding and the Sunday School.

She worked as SABC Education children’s programs presenter and producer, including the well-known Motsweding FM Sunday School Program.

Family spokesperson Dede Letsoge confirmed her passing. “It is with sad greatness that we announce the passing of Boitumelo Moetsi, popularly known as Mamane Tumi to Motsweding FM listeners. The families are currently engaging and funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.”

Kesegofetse Koma, one of the presenters, who worked with Mamane Tumi, says she has left a great legacy.

“I worked with Mamane Tumi when I was very young and still in primary. It’s been many years working with Mamane Tumi now. I started working with her on the Takalane Show as Zuzu. She would tell me that this character suits my voice. Working with her was a privilege because she’ll always motivate us. May her soul rest in peace, we will carry her legacy.”

Mamane Tumi is described as humble and forever joyful as explained by one of the Motsweding FM presenters, TJH. “I know Tumi Moetsi as someone who was very humble. She’s one person who was always happy. You’ll always see that she had a vision. I will miss her and our empowering conversations.”

Her colleagues from SABC Education North West are also heartbroken by her untimely passing. “ Tumi your passing left us broken, in disbelief and out of words. You’re one of the people who held my hand in 2014 when I  joined this station as an intern. I learnt kids’ drama production from you. You never made me feel like I was an intern. Heaven has gained an angel. May your beautiful soul rest in peace!” says Mavis Modisaotsile.

Funeral arrangements for Mamane Tumi will be announced in due course.

SA still to finalise revised emission targets
5 June 2021, 6:40 PM

South Africa still has to finalise its revised emission targets in the National Determined Contributions Climate Plan (NDC) before the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26).

COP 26 is less than six months away.

More than 50 countries have already updated their climate plans to put them on a path of zero emissions in 2050.

The UK will host COP 26 in November this year. Acting British High Commissioner to South Africa, Adam Bye addressed a National Press Club briefing in Pretoria. He says solar and wind energy are already cheaper than new coal and gas power plants in two-thirds of countries in the world.

Bye says countries will have to commit at COP 26 to secure global net-zero emissions by mid-century in order to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees to avoid severe climate change.

“This matters because if we want to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, it’s these things we need to achieve both for our people and our nature. At two degrees of global warming, there will be severe impacts and widespread on people and nature. At 1.5 degrees the impact will be serious but less severe.”

Bye welcomes the establishment of South Africa’s presidential commission on climate change but says more needs to be done.

“We also welcome the work South Africa has done to deliver a revised National Determined Contribution. The current draft reduces the upper range of emissions and also brings forward to 2025 an absolute decline in emissions. At this stage, it does not reduce the lower range of emissions. As COP president off course, we will continue to encourage and support South Africa to bring to COP the most ambitious NDC it can.”

‘Hotspot of emissions in SA’

Mpumalanga is a hotspot of emissions in South Africa with 12 coal-fired power stations in the province. These stations must be transitioned to green energy if SA wants to meet its emissions targets. Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies’ Saul Levin says any transition must include the well-being of workers at the stations and mines in the province.

“If not everybody is going to be absorbed into the green electricity, because once you put up a solar park, there are fewer people employed. Initially, there is work but once it is set up it is not labour intensive, so we do need to look at other industries. And what is critical with the workforce and communities is that they recognise that and that they’ve done their own work.”

Levin adds that they hope SA will commit to a date at COP 26 to start with the decarbonisation in Mpumalanga within the next 20 years.

Nquthu municipality to take KZN Cogta to court after it’s placed under administration
5 June 2021, 6:21 PM

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) led Nquthu Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal is taking the provincial Cooperative Governance Department to court for placing it under administration.

The decision was announced by COGTA MEC, Sipho Hlomuka on Thursday. He cited a recent audit outcome and a high court ruling that the appointment of certain acting senior managers was irregular.

The Nquthu council has argued that the  MEC has no basis to place the municipality under administration.

The decision to challenge Hlomuka’s action was taken during a council meeting on Thursday, a day after the provincial Cooperative Governance Department announced that it is placing the municipality under administration.

In February, the provincial government placed the municipality under administration. But the decision was overturned by the National Minister of Co-operative Governance Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She argued that there was no substantial reason to place the municipality under administration.

“I think this intervention is not genuine, but a political ploy by MEC because in March Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma turned down an earlier decision by Cogta in the province to place the municipality under administration. Dlamini- Zuma instead recommended that the provincial government intervene with Section 139 1A which means they could monitor, guide, and assist the municipality. But Cogta in KZN did not do that. Yes, we did get a disclaimer audit outcome, but the reasons for that, the previous senior managers,  when they left they deliberately took with them crucial information which was required for auditing purposes,” says Mayor Lindokuhle Shabalala.

Nquthu municipality threatens to take COGTA to court: 

The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal has accused Hlomuka of helping the African National Congress (ANC) to run the municipality through the back door by placing it under administration.

Provincial party chairperson, Thamsanqa Ntuli says the ANC is hell-bent on running the Nquthu Municipality even though they lost elections in the area.

“We are all quite aware that the IFP and the ANC are working well in the City of Johannesburg but here in KZN it’s a different story. Hence you see the agenda against all our municipalities in the province of KZN. We are quite very concerned with the behaviour of COGTA and MEC for COGTA who actually is allowing the narrow agenda of ANC councillors in Nquthu to be guiding the activities of COGTA, it’s quite very unfortunate.”

The IFP is also unhappy with the ANC after it named one of its regional structures in the far north of the province after its late freedom fighter, Nobleman ‘Mzala’ Nxumalo. It also says the move would regress reconciliatory talks between the two parties spearheaded by leaders of both parties at the national level.

SA’s biodiversity being threatened by mining: Njenga
5 June 2021, 5:38 PM

South African climate catastrophes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has come under the spotlight during World Environmental Day on Saturday.

This year’s theme is “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore”. The global host for the day to highlight the importance of ecosystem restoration is Pakistan.

In South Africa, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment held an event in Pretoria to commemorate the country’s 25-year relationship with the United Nations Development Programme.

On  5 June every year, nature empaths across the globe celebrate World Environment Day. It is commemorated annually to encourage the preservation of the planet.

Since 1974, World Environment Day has been a catalyst to engage governments, businesses and citizens to address pressing environmental challenges.

This year’s theme focuses on healthy ecosystems that can counteract climate change and stop the collapse of biodiversity. It supports the UN’s Decade on Ecosystem Restoration which aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent.

SA’s environment 

SA’s environmental champions say the country’s ecosystem is being destroyed by large conglomerates, but little is done to reverse the deadly impact on the environment.

“Climate catastrophes threaten to derail all the work that is being done in terms of biodiversity, preservation and conservation. I think the SA government and corporations should use this time to reflect on how we have threatened our ecosystem over the past couple of years. Looking at the past year, we have had the oil leak into the Umbilo River, accessive amounts of medical waste that has accumulated as a result of the pandemic. It’s so important that our government recognises the biodiversity in this area, especially the fynbos region and understands that they’re under threat and work towards protecting our resources before it’s too late,” says Climate and Energy campaigner at Greenpeace Africa Thandile Chinavanu.

Regional Programme Coordinator for Southern Africa at the United Nations Environmental Programme, Cecilia Njenga says South Africa’s biodiversity is being threatened by mining and industrial development.

Speaking at the official Environment Day event organised by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment held in Pretoria,  Njenga says the world needs to stop exploiting nature and begin to restore it before it is too late.

“There is an increasing recognition that healing from his pandemic is directly linked to healing our planet. We face a triple emergency, biodiversity loss, climate disruption and escalating pollution. The degradation of the natural world is already undermining the bell being of 3.2 billion people. SA is home to over 95 000 known species making it the third most biodiverse culture in the world, yet its natural resources are greatly threatened by human actions, including, mining, farming and industrial development.”

SA joins the world in celebrating World Environment Day:

SA’s relationship with UNDP 

Meanwhile, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy has paid tribute to South Africa’s 25-year relationship with the United Nations Development Programme. Over the years, they teamed up on over 26 projects to address critical issues that relate to the protection of the natural environment, with a focus on climate change. Creecy says this year’s theme is pertinent to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

“World Environment Day comes as the global community, under the leadership of the United Nations, seeks to focus our attention on the urgent need to restore and reset the relationship between people and nature. This year’s World Environment Day theme, re-imagine, re-create, restore, is extremely appropriate to continue building on the foundation we have already established and as entry to the UN decade of ecosystem restoration.”

Minister Creecy also highlighted the importance of restoring the ecosystem: 

 

Weather

 

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