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Eskom rules out acts of sabotage at Medupi power station due to lack of sufficient evidence
10 August 2021, 3:16 PM

Trade Union Solidarity says that it doesn’t believe that the explosion at Medupi power station was due to sabotage. Eskom says that its preliminary investigation has found that there was an incorrect mixture of carbon dioxide when hydrogen was removed from the generator.

The union says this was a deviation from the normal procedure by the employees working at the time.

Eskom has suspended 6 employees and is currently investigating the hydrogen explosion. It says at this stage it cannot tell the extent of the damage, how much it would cost and how long it will take to effect repairs.

The power utility says that a disciplinary process is likely to follow depending on the results of the investigation and more people could be suspended.

It’s ruled out the possibility of sabotage due to a lack of sufficient evidence.

Eskom spokesperson  Sikonathi Mantshantsha says, “This is a human error and a mistake on the part of a human being as preliminary investigation show to us. To make allegations that this was sabotage we will need evidence which at this stage we do not have.”

Solidarity has confirmed that its members are among those that have been suspended but have not been presented with any charges.

The labour union also believes that this was a human error.

 

Unit 4 generator, which has been damaged, produced 720 megawatts of electricity. But Eskom says this will not lead to power shortages and load shedding.

Solidarity estimates that it would cost billions of rands to repair the unit and more than a year to carry out the repairs.

Residents recovering from shock

Residents of Lephalale and surrounding areas still recovering from the shock they experienced following the explosion at the fourth largest coal-powered station in the world – Medubi in Limpopo.

Its completion was announced just last month.

Although no structural damages are visible, the unit is said to have been extensively damaged on the inside.

Residents say they thought the explosion was a bomb blast or an earthquake.

“People were shocked they didn’t know what was going on they thought maybe it was a matter of criminality still people are shocked,” says one resident.

Medupi Power station explosion worrisome for Lephalale residents and surrounding:


Another one says, “We heard the sound, around pass 11. So we were afraid and shocked because we did not know what happened.”

“The whole place was vibrating and we were frightened and we only knew in the morning that the was an explosion at the station,” laments another resident.

Seven people were treated for shock during the explosion.

Eskom suspends staff over Medupi blast:

‘Irreparable’

Energy expert, Chris Yelland earlier indicated that damaged unit four will have to be replaced as it is irreparable and it might take a year to replace it.

Mantshantsha explains, “Eskom forensic audits team together with the insurance companies who have inured the unit will come to the infrastructure. What we can say is that the damage to the generation unit is quite extensive and it will be out for a while. We are at this stage able to quantify how long that will be.”

-Additional reporting by Lutendo Bobodi  

SA reports 6 783 new COVID-19 cases and 199 new deaths
9 August 2021, 8:56 PM

South Africa has reported 6 783 new cases of coronavirus infections, recording a cumulative total of 2 540 222 confirmed cases on Monday.

With a further 199 COVID-19 related deaths, the death toll rises to 75 012.

The Western Cape has recorded 1 967  new coronavirus cases followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 1 442 and Gauteng with 1 039 new cases.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, 31 242 tests were conducted in the last 24 hrs. The country’s positivity rate is at 21.7%.

Latest stats on Monday: 

 

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Vaccinations administered

The Health Ministry says 16 104 vaccinations were administered in the latest reporting period – way below government’s target of 300 000 vaccines.

The number of vaccines administered over weekends is still much lower than during the week – when more than 200 000 vaccines are administered daily.

More than 8 621 000 shots have been given in total. Close to 3.6 million adults are now fully vaccinated in South Africa – having received either their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine or one jab of the single dose J and J vaccine.

Health journalist Mia Malan says 9% of the adult population is now fully vaccinated.

Ramaphosa encourages women to defeat patriarchy
9 August 2021, 7:35 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has encouraged the current generation of women to continue to lead the struggle for a society that is free of social ills, including patriarchy.

He says this must be done in honour of the 1956 generation of women.

Exactly 65 years ago today, more than 20 000 women made history and marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, protesting against the extension of Pass Laws.

Ramaphosa says today, women face a different struggle.

“The present generation of women must lead the struggle for a society that is free of these ills and particularly the patriarchal relation that cause them. Such a society is both possible and absolutely necessary. By working together, by refusing to submit, we will achieve true gender equality in our lifetime.”

 

Video: National Women’s Day Celebrations

Mpumalanga government commits to empower women
9 August 2021, 7:08 PM

Fighting gender-based violence (GBV) and promoting women’s economic empowerment is at the top of the agenda for the Mpumalanga Government. This is the view of Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane.

She was addressing a Women’s Day commemoration event in Middelburg. The Premier raised concern with the increasing number of women abuse incidents.

Betty Tsie is a mother of two, who served a 10-year prison sentence for the murder of her husband, was one of the speakers during the Women’s Day event.

She has urged women to leave abusive relationships. Tsie says she killed her husband in self-defence, after she suffered emotional and physical abuse, for a long time. She says the incident also affected the children – who grew up without parents.

“My husband was abusing me until I said it’s enough and I acted in a wrong way whereby I ended up behind bars. To me, it’s like a pandemic, two weeks ago my boyfriend strangled me. I said this thing is following me it must come to an end so that why if the relationship is toxic just leave it, you will end up behind bars just like me, what about your kids?”

Businesswoman Mpumelelo Ledwaba is a digital entrepreneur and creates digital content.

She has urged young women to take advantage of available opportunities.

“I create content. I have a You tube channel. I have Instagram, where brands come to me to create content for them. What is interesting is that this is an industry-led by women and it’s easy to get to into it.”

Premier Refilwa Mtsweni-Tsipane says government is to embark on a number of initiatives aimed at empowering women. She has urged women to report any form of abuse to the police.

“We have noted with concern the rising figures of gender-based violence cases in the past year, with Emalahleni, Mbalenhle, Pienaar, Vosman, and Kabokweni, recording the highest reported cases.”

This year’s Women’s Month is celebrated under the theme: “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Realising Women’s Rights.”

Mpumalanga Provincial Women’s Day celebration in video below:

LGBTIQ+ call for inclusivity in commemorating Women’s Day
9 August 2021, 6:23 PM

The LGBTIQ+ community has come under the spotlight as the country commemorates Women’s Day today.

In Mahikeng in the North West, transgender women believe if you talk about women, transgender women must be part of the discussion. 26-year old fashion designer, Keabetswe Makhotla,  shares her journey of self-discovery as a transgender woman in a world full of limitations for women.

I had to live my life, all my life, identifying as a gay man. Not accepting myself resulted in having low self-esteem. But since 1 June, that was my first day taking my hormones. And it has been the best day of my life till today,” says Makhotla.

While accepting oneself is vital, 33-year old Anele Xhati, a transgender activist says acceptance by society is also vital.

“I find that for society it was easier to understand gays,  lesbians and when a transgender person comes in, whether it be a transgender man or woman, it’s another case that; “No but o batla go itira mosadi/you want to make yourself a woman and it is not the case you are a woman,” says Xhati.

Xhati says as the nation celebrates Women’s Month with the values of equality and inclusivity transgender women should not be left behind.

“I am here. I am a voice to be reckoned with. I am here for you to acknowledge, to include in your boardrooms. When you talk about women, you will carry me along and you will identify me along with those women. In churches, in the workplace when you talk about women you will talk about transgender women because they are women in their own right.”

In the video below is more on transgender women:

 

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