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SABC
SABC struggles to implement turnaround strategy without government funds
28 August 2019, 6:13 PM

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it is not able to fully implement its turnaround strategy because it has still not received the financial injection it requires from government.

Government however insists that the public broadcaster has to meet a stringent set of conditions before the money can be released.

These include identifying initiatives for revenue enhancement, producing separate financial reports for its public and commercial services as well as identifying non-core assets for sale.

The SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe says while they are going ahead with efforts to stabilise the organisation’s finances, it will take about two years after they receive the funds for the strategy to be fully implemented.

“Like any strong strategy, what is really needed is the capital injection for it to be successful. We had said earlier on that we developed and implemented the strategies starting last July. So far we’ve been able to ensure that we drive revenue, reduce costs and deal with the inefficiencies in the system. So I would say like any solid turnaround strategy would need at least between 18 to 24 months,” says Mxakwe.

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Mexico Fire
Mexico arson attack kills over 20 people
28 August 2019, 5:24 PM

At least 25 people were killed in an arson attack by suspected gang members on a bar in the south eastern Mexican port of Coatzacoalcos late on Tuesday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, in a fresh blow to his efforts to curb violence.

Calling the attack “horrendous,” Lopez Obrador told a regular morning news conference on Wednesday that the deaths occurred after the suspected gangsters closed the emergency exits of the bar in Coatzacoalcos and set fire to it.

The attorney general’s office of the state of Veracruz said overnight that eight women and 15 men died in the fire at the “Caballo Blanco” bar, and 13 people who were seriously wounded were hospitalised for treatment.

Lopez Obrador said 25 people had died so far and that initial investigations indicated that some suspects behind the attack had been in custody this year and were later released.

The attack was one of the worst mass killings since the veteran leftist Lopez Obrador took office in December pledging to pacify Mexico by battling corruption and inequality.

So far, however, the number of murders has continued to rise after hitting record levels in 2018.

The deaths follow an attack in April on another bar in Veracruz in the city of Minatitlan that killed 13 people.

While saying he did not want to blame previous governments, Lopez Obrador nevertheless pointed to past policies for laying the groundwork for the crime.

“This is the rotten fruit of the economic policy that was imposed, the policy of pillage,” the president said.

Veracruz state governor Cuitlahuac Garcia suggested in a post on Twitter that the attack was the result of a dispute between gangs.

The Gulf Coast state is a major transit point for drugs making their way north towards the United States border and has long been convulsed by violent turf wars between organized crime groups.

Some Mexican media reports said that gunmen had fired shots on the bar before setting it ablaze with Molotov cocktails.

Randall Carolissen
I found NSFAS in a state of collapse: Administrator
28 August 2019, 4:56 PM

The incumbent administrator of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Randall Carolissen has painted a bleak picture of the institution when he took over.

Carolissen says he found NSFAS in a state of collapse, coupled with the increase of “third party agents” with commercial interests responsible for the distribution of NSFAS funding on behalf of the entity.

NSFAS was put under administration last year after the dissolution of its board, due to poor governance among many other problems.

He says the previous management and its board implemented an ineffective and poorly designed IT system.

“There was complete uncertainty, and bursary guidelines with large scale discretion inherited in the system. There was no delegation of authority, no segregation of duties… and very poor if at all of financial controls. I keep on referring that-there is this one example where staff took their computers at home and disbursed monies from their kitchen tables, billions and millions of rand of monies. There was also no attention to TVET colleges. The system was completely unstable and collapsing every day,” says Carolissen.

Lion
Four paws SA concerned over decreasing number of lions
28 August 2019, 3:32 PM

The animal welfare organisation Four Paws South Africa says the KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife’s recent killing of escaped lions poses a threat to the survival of the animals, as the number of lions in the country is already decreasing.

Four Paws South Africa spokesperson, MJ Lourens, says contingency measures to prevent the escape of lions from the iMfolozi Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal should have been put in place a long time ago.

Lourens says the recent escape of two lions from the reserve is not the first to occur.

“In this instance you have to ask, was this the appropriate action to take? Surely other measures should have been taken before you reach the extent where you have to kill these lions. The number of lions in the wild in South Africa are decreasing very quickly, so one has to conserve the number of lions that we have in the country which are roaming wild and free. As we understand, the fence was damaged more than three years ago, and I think there was ample time to have put measures in place to repair that fence with the previous escapes – there should’ve been a contingency plan put in place to prevent something like this from happening,” says Lourens.

Abram Terreblanche
Terreblanche believes SA’s struggle stalwarts fought in vain
28 August 2019, 11:39 AM

Eighty two-year-old Abram Terreblanche says the sacrifices made by South African struggle stalwarts has been in vain. Terreblanche says corruption in government has collapsed what was fought for by freedom fighters during apartheid. He believes the only way South Africa can improve is by rooting out corruption.

Terreblanche says he never expected things to be like this in the democracy era.

“We thought that we would be living a better life in democracy but I haven’t seen any improvement, instead the situation is getting worse by the day.  For example, look where I stay… It’s dirty and nothing is being done. There’s no change here. At least during apartheid times it was better. Now it’s bad. There’s high crime rate and nothing is being done,” says Terreblanche.

Terreblanche says he sees no government in the country as there is unending fighting in government and believes that they loot the state’s money.

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