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Bapedi Kingdom, TUT to establish campus in Sekhukhune District
20 May 2021, 2:40 PM

The Bapedi Kingdom and Tswane University of Technology (TUT) have announced plans to establish a campus in the Sekhukhune District, in Limpopo.

The royal house and TUT have identified the old Sekhukhune Teaching College as the site where the campus will be based. The college’s building was no longer being used as it closed down.

The Department of Higher Education and Training has also approved the plans for a TUT campus in Sekhukhune.

The Bapedi Kingdom and TUT  have signed a memorandum of understanding, for the establishment of the Sekhukhune TUT Campus in the near future.

TUT says it is currently conducting a feasibility study, which is expected to take 18 months to be completed.

Deputy Vice Chancellor in Teaching, Learning and Technology, Professor Stanley Mukhola, says the Sekhukhune Campus will primarily focus on the fields of mining and agriculture.

“We are grateful to be accepted in the Sekhukhune area to start what I call, not a satellite, but a distant campus. So the idea is start a new campus here focusing mainly in mining and agriculture. We believe in taking education to the people. We realise that there is nothing dealing with mining, there is a very good infrastructure, the Sekhukhune training college, the old one, where we say now we can make use of that facility,” says Mukhola.

The Sekhukhune Royal House says before his passing at the age of 40 earlier this year, King Victor Thulare III, had envisioned establishing a university in Sekhukhune.

King Victor Thulare III also planned on harnessing the rich mineral resources of platinum metal groups, to help improve the livelihoods of the Bapedi people.

Spokesperson Ntoampe Mampuru says the acting Bapedi Queen, Manyaku Thulare, says this agreement between TUT and the Kingdom is part of realising the legacy of the late king.

“Our queen mother blessed this day, that we have to sign this memorandum of understanding and she was very happy that we continue looking at the visions of the late king Thulare and their programs, so they can continue,” says Mampuru.

Young people in the Sekhukhune District say the new campus will help improve access to education.

“I can say it is a good thing. These things are likely to come, but we are lucky to have Sekhukhune campus. I feel good because it will help us. Our parents are jobless and all the staff, so this university will help us.”

The date of the establishment of the university will be announced upon the conclusion of the feasibility study.

Police
Gauteng police condemn Zandspruit mob justice incident
19 May 2021, 9:30 PM

Gauteng police have condemned a mob justice incident that left four people dead in Zandspruit near Honeydew, north of Johannesburg.

Police Spokesperson Kay Makhubele says no arrests have been made.

He says police are investigating cases of murder and attempted murder. It’s understood a group of nine young men was taken to a local sports ground in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The young men were then beaten up by angry residents who accused them of terrorising the community. Makhubele says five others, who survived, are in a critical condition in hospital.

“We can confirm that there was mob justice and Gauteng police Commissioner Mawela has condemned the mob justice following the killing of four people,” says Makhubele.

Makhubele says five people were seriously injured in the attack and taken to hospital.

“Early this morning, a group of about 200 people went to search for the boys who allegedly robbed the community members in Zandspruit area. Nine of them were found and were beaten up and set alight. Four of them died on the scene. The intelligence people are on the ground to gather information so that those who were involved will be brought to book,” Makhubele said.

Summit pushes $100bn reserves for Africa’s recovery
19 May 2021, 9:05 PM

African and European leaders have agreed to push wealthier nations to reallocate $100 billion in International Monetary Fund(IMF) reserves to African states, planned for October. That was the outcome of a summit held in Paris on Tuesday.

A communique said a substantial financial package is needed so African countries are not left behind in an economic recovery from the global health crisis.

Key to the talks what’s called Special Drawing Rights (SDR), from the IMF reserves, and reallocating them from richer nations to the continent.

French President Emmanuel Macron said France and several European countries were aboard.

“Our work in the coming weeks will be to convince others to make the same effort as France, starting of course with the United States of America.”

The summit is part of Macron’s efforts to recast France’s engagement in Africa, where it was once a colonial power.

It also comes at a time when the continent faces a near $300 billion deficit by the end of 2023.

The African Development Bank has forecast that 39 million people could fall into poverty in 2021.

Senegal’s President Macky Sall welcomed the plans, describing it as a change of paradigm.

“Africa has been used to see projects and programs conceived for it and imposed on it. Today, we are building what we need for us together. I think that is what is new and that is why there is hope.”

The International Monetary Fund’s chief, Kristalina Georgieva, said Africa’s economic output would increase by only 3.2% in 2021, compared with 6% in the rest of the world.

“Revenues are down, expenditures are up and debt is high.”

Georgieva pledged to come up with a new allocation proposal by August.

North West Housing Corporation to dispose of immovable assets
19 May 2021, 8:00 PM

The North West Housing Corporation (NWHC), a state-owned entity of the North West Government, will dispose of its portfolio of non-core and non-strategic immovable assets to lower its operating costs and raise capital to fund more essential service delivery initiatives.

These non-core and non-strategic immovable assets consist of more than 1800 properties including vacant land, farms, and business properties situated outside the jurisdiction of the North West Province.

The North West provincial government is the owner of a large portfolio of assets in Gauteng, Free State and the Northern Cape which used to belong to the Bophuthatswana government.

North West Housing Corporation Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sello Mogodiri, says they have properties in several areas.

“We do have properties in Mabopane, Garankuwa, Winterweld and Kudube in Hamanskraal. We also have properties in Kuruman, Mothibistad, Northern Cape. We also have a number of properties in the areas of Thabanchu in the Free State.

Mogodiri says these assets will now be auctioned to fund provincial housing service delivery initiatives.

“We have previously communicated a decision to focus on building mixed mega human settlements. Now for us to do all that we are going to need to raise funds from assets that are really not generating income.”

Assets are collectively estimated at around half a billion rand. Mogodiri elaborates.

“Our estimation of these properties is half a billion rand. I am sure half a billion rand should be able to assist the North West province to be developed at the combined speed of Singapore and Hong Kong.”

Dr Tirhani Mabunda of Tirhani Auctions says the auction will be held virtually.

The properties earmarked for disposal are approximately 1800 in the areas where the CEO announced.

“Primarily we’ll be using online auctions to do the disposals. Online auctions are very transparent and auditable you can track a bid from the time it starts even in seconds until it closes,” says Mabunda.

Outgoing SANDF chief warns against budget cuts
19 May 2021, 7:01 PM

Outgoing Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) General Solly Shoke has warned of the dangers of budget cuts for the army.

Shoke delivered his farewell address to the army at the Young’s Field and Simon’s Town Military Bases in Cape Town.

Estimates put the budget cuts for the SANDF at over R15 billion in the medium-term expenditure framework.

Shoke says the country cannot grow its economy if there’s no security.

In a last salute for the outgoing general, he says he’s leaving behind an army with personnel who are highly committed to the protection of the country.

However, he says the dwindling resources allocation poses a serious risk to security.

“South Africans should have to begin to start to have an appreciation for security because you cannot grow the economy without an environment that is secured, and I think we need to take a step backwards and ask ourselves whether we really prioritise security because it will be too late when people start putting money when there’s already danger.”

Shoke has lamented criminality among officers saying their conduct brings the army into disrepute. He has mentioned the stealing of arms and ammunition and rampant use of drugs.

“Once you have a problem, it’s important to acknowledge that there’s a problem. We’ve arrested a number of people and that’s a demonstration that wrongdoing is not tolerated within the National Defence Force.”

He has praised the Defence Force for successful operations, including the deployment in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, assisting police to fight gangs on the Cape Flats and putting out the recent fires in Cape Town.

Shoke retires at the end of the month. His replacement, Lieutenant General Rudzani Maphanya, was recently announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

A handing over parade will take place in Pretoria on 28 May.

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