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Aircraft
Teenagers to fly in new plane they built themselves from Cape to Cairo
29 May 2019, 6:23 PM

A group of teenagers is set to make history when they embark on a journey from Cape Town to Cairo in June in an airplane which they built themselves. The group consists of two teams, aged between 13 and 19.

Twenty teens in the one team built the aircraft in less than three weeks. The other team consists of six teenage pilots. One of the pilots, 17-year-old Megan Werner, says they will be stopping over at numerous towns and cities in Namibia, Malawi and Tanzania.

She says they are now appealing for funding on back-a-buddy to assist with fuel costs so that they can offer first time plane rides to people from impoverished communities they visit.

“Our plan is to go to rural areas and people who have never even seen a plane can get their first flight in a plane ever. We won’t be able to do that if we don’t have additional funds for fuel. We’ll be stopping in different countries and doing inspirational speaking and showing people that if 20 teenagers built a plane, and flying it across Africa, what is stopping you?” says Werner.

Zandile Gumede
KZN mayor delivers R50 billion budget
29 May 2019, 6:18 PM

Embattled eThekwini Metro Mayor in KwaZulu-Natal, Mayor Zandile Gumede has delivered the city’s R50 billion budget.

The African National Congress’s (ANC) Gumede remains defiant in the face of a chorus of calls for her to step down, after appearing in court on fraud and corruption charges last week.

The matter relates to a R208 million solid waste tender in which Gumede and 11 others were charged.

She says some of the budget will address infrastructure and safety issues.

“It’s largely going to look at issues of the poorest of the poor, because they are going to be exempted from paying rates. Also, we are going to be looking at the issues of safety and security because we are going to be recruiting 400 Metro Police officers and try and deal with issues of crime. We are also going to be looking at infrastructure upgrades because we felt it’s very important to upgrade the infrastructure that we have,” says Gumede.

SAA
SAA announces reduction in flights between JHB and East London
29 May 2019, 4:13 PM

SAA has announced a reduction in flights between Johannesburg and East London due to low seasonal demand. The airline has been receiving financial bailouts from the government to settle its debt that runs into billions of rands.

SAA Spokesperson Tlali Tlali says the flight reduction is a cost-saving measure to help make the carrier financially sustainable.

“SAA has not been profitable. We have to re-organize ourselves to put a strategy in place to put a reason why we have not been profitable. We are trying to become financially self-sustainable and not bother government. So based on what we have at the moment, we are adjusting the capacity we have deployed in East London to match the demand. It doesn’t matter if we have too many flights a day to East London when there is not too much demand because we are going to operate at a loss,” says Tlali.

Local businesses say this will hit them hard, as director of the Border-Kei Chamber of Business, Les Holbrook explains, “We have a problem with the decision taken. Bring those costs down. Don’t tell us East London is not a profitable route. It can be profitable if your structure was right. If they want to attract business they must actually meet and work with business,” explains Holbrook.

HIV Testing
Pakistani man kills HIV positive wife
29 May 2019, 3:57 PM

A Pakistani man killed his HIV positive wife Wednesday in Southern Pakistan, where hundreds of people have tested positive for the virus in recent weeks, stirring panic and casting a light on the country’s dismal public health standards.

Police said the murder took place in a village near the epicentre of the outbreak on the outskirts of Larkana city in Pakistan’s Sindh province, where thousands have been screened in the last month.

The victim, a 32-year-old mother of four, tested positive in recent days, according to a local police officer, with her husband accusing her of having an extramarital affair.

“This morning the husband strangled (the victim) with a rope and then hung her from a tree outside his home,” Roshan Ali, a police officer in Shikarpur told AFP, adding that the suspect was now in custody.

Shikarpur District Police Chief Sajid Sadozai confirmed the incident, saying an investigation into the killing was ongoing and the suspect had been booked on murder charges.

Anger and fear continue to swell in the desperately poor villages and suburbs near Larkana affected by the epidemic, which authorities say could be linked to either gross negligence or malicious intent by a local doctor using tainted syringes.

In rural Sindh, long bridled by harsh poverty and illiteracy access to information about HIV and other diseases has kept the large swathes of the population in the dark about how the virus is transmitted.

Health officials say nearly 700 people, many of them children, have tested positive in recent weeks as experts warn of a surge in infection rates across Pakistan due to the use of unsanitary equipment and rampant malpractice often at the hands of quack doctors.

Pakistan was long considered a low prevalence country for HIV but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate, particularly among intravenous drug users and sex workers.

With about 20,000 new HIV infections reported in 2017 alone, Pakistan currently has the second fastest growing HIV rates across Asia, according to the United Nations.

Protest
Case against men accused of kidnapping Mthatha businessman postponed
29 May 2019, 3:48 PM

The case of two men accused of kidnapping an Mthatha businessman has been postponed to the 7th of June in the Libode Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape.

One Zimbabwean national and a man from Libode were arrested over a week ago for allegedly kidnapping a 24-year-old Mthatha businessman and demanding a ransom of R1-million from his family.

The victim was rescued by police after being locked and allegedly tortured at Tyumbu village outside Mthatha.

A Zimbabwean man died during a shootout with the police.

Scores of locals and business fraternity picketed outside the court, calling for denial of bail.

Business woman Thembi Nkubungu says they have submitted a petition.

“As they have remanded the case up until 7 June, we have submitted a petition to the magistrate. He should note that foreign nationals do not stand trials and also this kidnapping is undermining the democracy of our beautiful land,” says Nkubungu.

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