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Political parties send messages of encouragement to matriculants
3 January 2018, 6:41 PM

As the matric class of 2017 in public schools anxiously wait for the release of their results, political parties in Parliament are sending messages of encouragement to them.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will release the results on Thursday evening.

Political parties in Parliament say they share the anxiety of 2017’s matriculants.

African People’s Convention (APC) leader Themba Godi says the whole class has to be congratulated for surviving 12 years of schooling.

“We firstly want to congratulate the students who were able to sustain their schooling from Grade 1 right up to matric. Reaching matric is, in itself, an achievement and we are hoping that they will all do well and they will either find entry at universities or TVET college to improve their qualifications or skills. We need educated young people in this country for the economic development of our country.”

Both the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) also congratulated matriculants who sat for 2017’s exams. They have urged those who failed, to get up, shake it off, and go back to school.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says, “ We have gone through that phase all of us and we hope that students will accept the results. Those who have done well will celebrate, but obviously there will be those who will be unlucky. But they must hang in there. There is hope.”

Democratic Alliance (DA) Spokesperson on Basic Education Nomsa Marchesi echoes these sentiments.

“It must be nerve-wrecking at this moment because in a couple of hours the results are going to be released and I believe that a lot of learners are going to be very anxious. But for those who did well we would like to congratulate and best wishes for the future; to those who did not there is another opportunity.”

Basic Education Chairperson Nomalungelo Gina has appealed to parents to be supportive of their children no matter what the outcome of the results.

Gina says this is a difficult period for learners and they need all the family support they can get.

“We know very well even the parents are anxious; everyone is anxious to hear about the results, but we really rely on the support that the parents will give to their learners. We know parents can contribute to pressure. We plead with parents to be supportive.”

Motshekga’s official announcement of the results will be broadcast live on SABC public broadcasting stations and on SABC 1 and SABC Channel 404 on Wednesday around 6pm at Radio Park in Johannesburg.

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Protea Glen storm victims blame shoddy workmanship by contractors
3 January 2018, 5:25 PM

Residents of the tornado-struck Protea Glen area in Soweto are adamant that their houses were destroyed by the hailstorm because of the shoddy workmanship by contractors.

More than 50 bonded houses in the area were destroyed by last week’s hail storm.

Perimeter walls have collapsed and cars badly damaged by the flying objects.

Residents are now sleeping in the open as they wait for assistance to rebuild their homes.

Homeowners are trying to rebuild roofs of their damaged houses. They say this is the only option they have to cover their heads while waiting for a permanent solution to their plight.

Father of four, Kgosi Papane, says he is forced to sleep in a six-meter square tent erected inside his yard with his wife while his children have been accommodated by family members.

“We sleep in a tent. We can’t sleep in this house. As you can see, it is dilapidated. This is a timebomb waiting to explode. The whole thing that is left here will just fall off. As you can see, the tent is underneath a tree and whenever there is wind blowing, the tent also does the same thing. Obviously, if it’s like this they will have to give me the whole money to build a new house. I’m not going to settle for them to come to me and say to me no we can fix this house. No, I’m not going take that.”

Happy Mabale was alone in his home when the hailstorm struck. He shares the experiences of which he says he remembers vividly.

“I thought I was going to die because, as I tried to run to this room, I could (hear) things started falling around me. I just thought this is it, I am going to die today and I was like, ‘so, God separated me from my family so that I can die alone?’ I was so terrified.”

Thamani Netshiongolwe says the shoddy construction work contributed to extensive damage to his house. He estimates it runs into hundreds of thousands.

“Here it can be more than R200 000 honestly speaking. The way I looked because when we check the house there are lots of cracks. I think they used material that is not strong because there are so many cracks on the house. It also indicates that the material they used is cheap. We just pray to God that maybe one of the good days we will get our house rebuilt.”

On Tuesday, residents barricaded roads including the R559 towards Randfontein, west of Johannesburg. It is believed the protest was sparked by government’s apparent slow response to assist those affected by the storm which left many homes destroyed.

“This morning (Wednesday) we are continuing with the monitoring of the area in Protea Glen Ext 16 where there was a protest yesterday (Tuesday). Today (Wednesday) it is clear the motorists are moving, but we will continue monitoring the situation,” says Gauteng Police Spokesperson Kay Makhubele.

The City of Joburg is compiling a report on damaged property and it is expected to be released on Friday.

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Operations delayed at Sebokeng Hospital due to water challenges
3 January 2018, 4:34 PM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng says operations are being delayed at the Sebokeng Hospital in the Vaal due to water pressure challenges. It says this emanates from an agreement reached between Rand Water and the Emfuleni Local Municipality, to reduce the amount of water it supplies to the municipality.

Emfuleni still owes Rand Water millions in outstanding debt for bulk water supply.

Gauteng DA Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom says the water challenges are affecting the efficiency of cooling units at the hospital’s theatres.

Sebokeng Hospital Chief Executive Officer Zolela Ngcwabe admits they are experiencing challenges, but it is nothing they cannot manage.

“We have a challenge of our cooler system due to chillers that are not getting enough pressure but as the hospital, in terms of clinical work, we do have alternative work. We work with Kopanong Hospital as a complex where our operations, especially long operations are being performed at Kopanong Hospital. So, the backlog that we have is the backlog we have due to high pressure of the Christmas season, we are working on it.”

Latoya’s mother seeks help with funeral costs
3 January 2018, 3:43 PM

The mother of a three-year-old girl who died allegedly at Pastor Mboro’s church on Christmas Eve has appealed to government for help with her child’s funeral costs.

Nontombi Gwam says they want to take Latoya’s body to the Eastern Cape for burial.

Gwam spoke publicly for the first time after her sickly child died while she had taken her to Mboro’s church in Katlehong on Gauteng’s Eastrand to be prayed for.

She maintains that had it not been for the negligence of the paramedics who attended to the child, her child’s life would have been spared.

Gwam says she is also concerned about the way the police are handling the matter.

“I laid a case of culpable homicide and assault against the paramedics. But so far, the female paramedic has not been arrested. I was failed by the paramedics and SAPS. The one man that tried to help me, Prophet Mboro was unfairly targeted.”

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Calls mounting for Zuma to clarify plans for free tertiary education
2 January 2018, 7:30 PM

There have been mounting calls for President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet to clarify plans for free tertiary education for students who cannot afford it. During the African National Congress’ National Elective Congress in December, President Zuma announced free tertiary education for poor and working-class first year students.

Minister of Higher Education and Training, Hlengiwe Mkhize, says she is confident that National Treasury will make an announcement soon. “We know that all that we are talking about has been budgeted for in the past. There is no new budget vote or item that has been introduced so far. That is the assurance we got from the technical team which worked for weeks on looking at where they can get the money from. When the budget allocations are announced there is a tradition whereby you assume those who have that mandate have done their work. We had no doubt that the minister of finance was satisfied with the matter.” Click below for more on the story: 




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