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North West Fire
Lack of proper firefighting equipment blamed for extensive damage to Mahikeng complex
18 November 2019, 4:00 PM

The extent of damage due to the fire which ravaged part of a shopping complex in Mahikeng Monday morning could have been reduced had adequate resources been provided to firefighters. This is according to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) which maintains that their members are exposed to dangers of fire due to poor resources.

The fire station in Mahikeng under the district municipality of Ngaka Modiri Molema had to fight the raging fire on shops along the Station Road with dysfunctional resources.

A water pump fitted to the main truck could not suck the water out due to the failure of a generator. Back up trucks were then summoned from neighbouring local municipalities of Ditsobotla and Ratlou which took some time to arrive.

It is believed the fire broke in one of the shops and extended to other shops.

Samwu’s provincial chairperson Joe Qelesile says, more could have been done to contain the fire.

“Our members, the workers arrived here on time. The problem is that the equipment that they are using has got problems. It does not have power to pump water and they struggled also with the fire hydrants because the nearby fire hydrants do not have water. They have been damaged by members of the community,” says Qelesile.

WATCH | Shops looted, some on fire


Some of the customers were concerned about lay-bye agreements they have signed with some of the clothing outlets as they prepare for the festive season. At least eight shops have been gutted. They include furniture and clothing outlets.

The exact cause of the fire is still not known at this stage – but an electrical fault is suspected.

However, Jacob Mmane a store manager in one of the shops says they only started operating a few weeks ago. Mmane says they have hoped to make good sales this festive.

While the firefighters were trying to stop the blaze, some residents attempted to loot some of the shops with police having their hands full to stop the people.

The Mahikeng Local Municipality has meantime established a task team that will assist the police authorities with the investigations.

WATCH | SAA addresses union claims on flight safety
17 November 2019, 5:55 PM

South African Airways (SAA) addresses members of the media  on allegations by unions that it is unsafe to fly the airline.

Watch the livestream below:

Legal counsel cautions on Section 25 amendment
13 November 2019, 6:24 PM

Parliament’s Senior Legal Adviser Charmaine Van Der Merwe has cautioned against taking away the powers of the court when it comes to expropriation of land without compensation.

Van Der Merwe presented the various proposals that were made by different stakeholders during last week’s constitutional dialogue with the Ad Hoc Committee to amend Section 25 of the Constitution.

During the talks, Cosatu said the courts should not be given the function to determine how much compensation should be granted when land is expropriated.

It wants that function to rest with the Office of the Valuer General.

Van Der Merwe, advising the Ad Hoc Committee, says, “The one thing that we must just be cautious about – and I did not get the impression from the persons who proposed this that they had in mind to totally oust the powers of the court – that is just the one thing that we must have in mind. We cannot oust the powers of the court to review or to consider on appeal. So, we can provide for a first body of instance as long as it can go to the courts. But other than that there is not something really that we can say in law about this. In the end, it is a policy decision whether it should be included or not.”

Buffalo City evicts illegal occupiers of RDP houses
13 November 2019, 3:44 PM

The Buffalo City Municipality in the Eastern Cape is evicting people who illegally occupied RDP houses at Fynbos in East London.

They began the evictions on Monday and the process is expected to be concluded on Wednesday.

In June, the municipality tried to evict occupants but it was unsuccessful as people moved in overnight.

Buffalo City Municipality spokesperson, Samkelo Ngwenya says this time they will make sure that the evictions are concluded.

“This time around we are with law enforcement agencies and we are also putting in the due beneficiaries onto the houses as soon as we evict those that have been occupying the houses illegally. We’ve provided trucks for those that are being evicted so that we can store their furniture.  We know that the issue of housing is a very sensitive issue however we cannot tolerate the issue of illegal invasion of homes.”

Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo
Dlodlo highlights challenges to her authority at SSA
11 November 2019, 1:17 PM

Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo has spoken out on the fierce opposition she is getting within the State Security Agency (SSA) in her efforts to bring change in the running of the organisation.

According to a report in Sunday newspaper, people have made up claims that she was planning to assassinate certain people.

The Minister says there are seven Deputy-Directors general who are earning salaries, but not doing the work that people in that position should be doing.

Dlodlo says she is facing lies, gossip, and challenges to her authority in trying to restructure the SSA.

“When people resist leaving positions of acting, positions that they’re not entitled to, for me it raises red flags. I am inundated with messages and calls from members in the organisations who are saying when are you implementing what you had committed yourself to implement? What will they think of me as a Minister if I cannot be firm on stances and decisions that are taken in the organisation?” says Dlodlo.

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