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Mokonyane guarantees water supply to defaulting municipalities
13 December 2017, 4:00 PM

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has guaranteed the continuation of running water in households who qualify for the basic daily water supply of 35 litres per person to 30 municipalities that still owe more than R10 billion for bulk water supply.

Briefing the media in Pretoria, Mokonyane says the decision to continue with the water supply to defaulting municipalities was taken after the department engaged with stakeholders, including Treasury, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and South African Local Government Association (Salga).

However, Mokonyane named and shamed eight of the 30 municipalities who still owe both the department and water boards. These municipalities will be affected by bulk water restrictions.

She says since the departments started with its engagements with the defaulting municipalities it has recovered and received about R300 million of outstanding debt and commitment to pay by some municipalities.

“Municipalities that are the main culprits now that we do believe a lot of engagement should actually be pursued with them and they are the ones who would be affected by the reduction of the pressure going forward, that is the Masuka-Lekoa Local Municipality; the Madibeng Local Municipality; Mafube Local Municipality; Maluti A Phofung Municipality, Dikgatlong Local Municipality; Tsantabane Local Municipality, Ditsobotla Local Municipality and Ngaka Modiri- Molema.”

Mokonyane says government plans to establish a multi-million rand desalination plant in the Western Cape and are at an advanced stage. Water levels in dams in the province have been dropping due to the drought. Mokonyane says all indications are that the province, which depends on winter rain, will still experience dry conditions until next winter.

The minister says they are currently working with the Umgeni Water Board to create water desalination plants in Cape Town.

“We are deploying the Umgeni Water Board to provide the support to City of Cape Town with the desalination options. Umgeni Water have initiated procurement process to source a 10 mega litres per day modular desalination plant similar to the plant installed in KZN in Richards Bay. The estimate cost to install such plant is between R440 to R500 million.”

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‘ANC leaders must take responsibility for divisions:’ Duarte
12 December 2017, 9:16 PM

African National Congress (ANC) Deputy Secretary-General Jesse Duarte says leaders in the ruling party must take responsibility for divisions in the organisation. She was speaking four days before the ANC National Elective Conference kicks off in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

The favourites to succeed President Jacob Zuma are ANC MP Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

There are fears that serious divisions within the ANC could plunge the elective conference into chaos.

“The division in the ANC is something that we must all take responsibility for and the bulk of this division started in 2005 and eroded the ANC’s core to such an extent that people with good values, who are now disgruntled, left the ANC. We appointed people who had other interests. In my humble view, I think we failed there. We failed to grasp what we were given as young people – solid political education, solid values and we allowed accusations to be put forward as facts around people. The ANC cadres on the ground have put out who is corrupt and who isn’t,” says Duarte.

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Johannesburg residents warned of heavy rains
12 December 2017, 9:15 PM

Johannesburg residents have been warned to avoid crossing flooded bridges and those living in low lying areas to move to higher ground to avoid getting swept away. The South African Weather Service has warned of heavy down pours throughout the city and surrounding metros.

“We just want to encourage our residents who are living in the river banks, areas like Stwetla in Alexandra and Kliptown in Soweto to make sure that they monitor the water levels and move to higher ground,” says City of Joburg Emergency Services Spokesperson, Robert Mulaudzi.

Meanwhile, Johannesburg Metro Police Department Spokesperson Wayne Minnaar has also urged motorists to be extra vigilant on the road.

“There have been accidents reported this afternoon (Friday) at Northcliff, Soweto, in the CBD where there are injuries as well as on the N1. Motorists are reminded to drive with extra caution in the rain and it is necessary to keep a safe following distance.”



Ethekwini launches festive season safety campaign
12 December 2017, 8:48 PM

The Ethekwini Metropolitan Municipality has launched the festive season safety campaign in style in Durban. The day kicked off with the Metro Police motorcade along Oliver Tambo road near uShaka Marine World and ended at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Police held mock demonstrations and active combat displays celebrating the first Metro Police Day in the country.

The Ethekwini Municipality believes the Metro Police officers’ demonstrations display the city’s readiness for the festive season, promising visitors a hassle free holiday.

The national anthem marked the launch of the first Metro Police Day in Durban and the country, respectively.

The day coincides with the launch of the festive season safety campaign.

Ethekwini Municipal Mayor Zandile Gumede has called on police to discharge their work without doubt to ensure they keep Durban safe.

“We are proud of our own women and men in uniform. And we are confident that they will continue to make us proud. We are also delighted to be here with the Metro office and to establish the Metro Police in this country. We have a constitutional mandate as Metro Police which goes beyond issuing of tickets. This is one of the reasons we have built Metro Police station in the townships.”

Delivering the key note address, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda has assured citizens that not only Durban but the rest of the KwaZulu-Natal will be safe and a place to be this festive season.

Kaunda says police will mount roadblocks and do random searches at the malls, in communities and crime hotspots.

He reiterated his instruction to practice their primary mandate which is to protect the citizens.

“You will be performing your primary task of protecting the law-abiding citizens from heavily armed criminals who are always prepared to discharge merciless and maximum brutality in our society. In KZN, we have declared zero tolerance to acts of criminality, but also honour roads networks and in communities. To this end, we have developed a comprehensive festive season safety plan, which will ensure increased police visibility and sustainable in all corners of this province.”

Kaunda warned that police will not tolerate any criminal element throughout the festive season. He says police have a responsibility to ensure that all citizens are safe.

“We must make lawbreakers feel the presence and the might of the law. The people shall govern not the other way round. People must determine their lives because your lives are important. You must value your lives by defending our society. Therefore, police officers are charged with that responsibility to defend people. We are calling for that, police officers.”

Officials believe such safety campaigns are essential in helping to curb crime in communities.

From now on, police will be deployed to all corners of the province to ensure people have a safe festive season.

Tax growth rate decreases
12 December 2017, 6:24 PM

Pay as you earn income tax growth rate has slowed down in 2017 due to low business confidence and the impact of a technical recession experienced in this year. This emerged during the release of the National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (Sars) 10th annual edition of the Tax Statistics report in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The report shows an overview of tax revenue collections since the 2012 tax year until now. The tax growth rate for 2017 has decreased to 6% from 6,9% last year.

Sars says the impact of a technical recession, low business confidence and fewer bonuses contributed to this.

Revenue collected from import taxes, import VAT and custom duties also declined by 1,0% and 1,5%, respectively.

“While business confidence remains low, businesses are not hiring people. Pay as you earn used to grow by 12%. Now, it’s growing at 8% and the slow consumer confidence … they now prefer to buy food and clothes only,” says Head of Research at Sars Randall Carolissen.

However, Sars says the total tax collection for 2017 reached over R1.2 trillion despite the difficulties it faced.

The total revenue collected over the last 10 years amounted to R8.3 trillion.

The report also highlighted that corporate income tax had been the third largest contributor to total tax revenue for the past decade.

“To collect over R1.2 trillion with all the difficulties we faced shows the resilience of our staff.”

There are currently about 20 million registered taxpayers. This is because Sars now requires all employers to register their employees even though they fall below the tax threshold and are exempt from paying tax.

With the GDP number having increased to 2% in the third quarter of this year, Sars expects a slight improvement in consumption and an improved business confidence in the near future.



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