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  • Johanna's recycling success story

    Johanna's recycling success story Johanna Leshabane, who launched Bophelo Recycling in 2007 after being retrenched. Johanna Leshabane, who launched Bophelo Recycling in 2007 after being retrenched. 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 8 December 2020 “I feel so blessed and very honoured,” said Bophelo owner, Johanna Leshabane, who attributed her success to PETCO, Safripol, her staff, and the community members, schools and companies which allowed Bophelo to collect their waste. When Johanna Leshabane launched Bophelo Recycling in 2007 after being retrenched, little did she know that her dream of fighting unemployment in her community would evolve into an award-winning business. Today, with 11 full-time staff and 20 part-time waste pickers, the waste buy-back centre collects 36 tonnes of recyclable PET plastic from informal settlements, households and schools in the Ermelo area. This equates to a 79% increase in total collection volumes since inception. Polymer producer Safripol and the national industry body for PET recycling (PETCO) have together provided Leshabane with supporting recycling infrastructure worth R500,000. The joint contribution included, among other things, a shipping container, electricity supply, trailer, roofing structure, trolleys, signage, fencing and branding, as well as training and mentoring support. The support has helped stimulate job creation, economic growth and development in the area, and, as a result, Bophelo has recently received national acclaim. The acclaim, in the form of the Responsible Care Initiative Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category, came from the Chemical and Allied Industries Association (CAIA). It recognises the impact the project has made on improving the lives and livelihoods of Ermelo community members while making a positive difference to the environment. “I feel so blessed and very honoured,” said Bophelo owner, Johanna Leshabane, who attributed her success to PETCO, Safripol, her staff, and the community members, schools and companies which allowed Bophelo to collect their waste. “I couldn’t have done it without all these people,” she said. Despite the business being negatively affected by COVID-19, Leshabane said she planned to grow Bophelo even more in 2021. “I’d like to branch out into another town so that we can create jobs in other rural settlements and teach more people how they can start their own recycling business,” she said. Avashnee Chetty, Safripol sustainability manager, said the project demonstrated that “real change is possible in the lives of the most vulnerable when it is driven at grassroots level, and when community members are engaged as both partners and leaders. “This project is embedded in the local community, and it is only through joint partnerships of this kind that real impact and sustainable social change can be achieved. Safripol is extremely proud to be associated with this project,” Chetty said. PETCO collections and training project manager Belinda Booker said the training and mentorship of waste pickers was “critical to improving their working conditions and that of their surrounding communities, while simultaneously keeping our environment clean. “The PET recycling sector has an important role to play in contributing to the transformation of the South African economy. Few issues are more important,” said Booker. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Bongo brothers out on bail

    Bongo brothers out on bail Bongo brothers out on bail Bongani Bongo, one of the Bongo brothers, amongst 11 arrested for fraud. Rietspruit Farm, just outside Ermelo. Bongani Bongo, one of the Bongo brothers, amongst 11 arrested for fraud. 1/2 Share GK CRONJE 29 October 2020 Rietspruit Farm was sold back to DOHS for R32 million. The farms fell out of the Spatial Development Plan for the municipality, and therefore not categorized for human settlement. To date it has not been proclaimed as township. Former Minister of State Security, Bongani Thomas Bongo, and ten others appeared briefly in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on charges of corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act. Robert Burwise, Patrick Donald Chirwa, Harrington Sizwakhendaba Dhlamini, Blessing Mduduzi Singwane, David Boy Dube, Sipho Joel Bongo, Vusi Willem Magagula, Bongani Louis Henry Sibiya, Elmon Lawrence Mdaka, and Sibongile Mercy Mdaka were reported to the DPCI investigating team and were charged earlier this morning together with four companies and face 69 counts. The companies implicated are The Little River Trading 156 (Pty) Ltd, Broad Market Trading 204 (Pty) Ltd, Bongiveli CC, and Pfuka Afrika CC. The allegations are in connection with the R37.5 million sale and purchase of a farm Naauwpoort at Emalahleni by the Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlement (DoHS) ostensibly on behalf of eMalahleni Municipality. Some of the accused, acting in common concert and with common purpose, exploited the normal phenomenon of purchase of land by government by misrepresenting facts to the DOHS regarding ownership and true sale price of the farm Naauwpoort. The real owner of the farm, Petrus Johannes Van Tonder, was paid only R15 million for the farm from the R37.5 million. The money was paid into the trust account of Singwane Attorneys, in their capacity as conveyancer appointed by the department. Van Tonder paid R1.5 million commission to Pam Golding as estate agents for the transaction. Singwane, not instructed by the department, paid R22.5 million to Little River Trading, which enabled the accused to successfully steal the money. In another transaction, Bongiveli entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Fremax Farms for a portion of Rietspruit Farm for an amount of R10.5 million. However, Msukaligwa Local Municipality's valuation of the portion of the Rietspruit farm was valued at R1.6 million. Little River paid R1.5 million as deposit for the farm, and Bongiveli had to deliver a guarantee issued by a bank or financial institution for payment of the balance of the purchase price on or before 31 May 2011. In turn, some of the accused, as members of Pfuka Afrika CC, received commission of R4.5 million. In March 2011 the DOHS, Msukaligwa Local Municipality and Bongiveli entered into a sale and purchase agreement for Rietspruit Farm. When the said sale and purchase agreement was signed, Bongiveli was not the owner of the farm, and there was no approval of the departmental to purchase the farm. Msukaligwa Local Municipality's valuation of the portion of the Rietspruit Farm was valued at R1.6 million. In March 2011, the DOHS paid an R52 884 384.00 to Singwane. Subsequently, the law firm furnished Freemax with a guarantee of R15 661 018.59. The property was then transferred to Bongiveli from Msugalikwa Local Municipality, and the company became the owner of the farm. The farm was sold back to DOHS for R32 million. The farms fell out of the Spatial Development Plan for the municipality, and therefore not categorized for human settlement. To date it has not been proclaimed as township. It is alleged that some of the accused received kickbacks of cash and cars, among others, from some of the entities involved in the transactions. The two Bongo brothers were released on R10 000 bail and they were warned to appear 4 March 2021. The court will resume shortly to hear the bail applications of the rest of the accused < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Hoërskool Ermelo belê in leierskap by leerders

    Hoërskool Ermelo belê in leierskap by leerders 1/5 Share SH HATTINGH 6 April 2021 Met die nodige leiding, word die leerders blootgestel aan leierskap en die vermoë wat nodig is om ‘n voorbeeld te wees wat ander met vrymoedigheid kan volg. "Baie geluk aan elke leerder wat verkies is tot die Verteenwoordigende Raad van Leerlinge vir 2021." Hoërskool Ermelo pride ourselves in the development of leaders from a young age, therefore these chosen Representative Council of Learners have responsibilities as leaders of their classes. Met die nodige leiding, word die leerders blootgestel aan leierskap en die vermoë wat nodig is om ‘n voorbeeld te wees wat ander met vrymoedigheid kan volg. Die verkose leerders is: Graad 8A: Selma-Louise Janse van Rensburg en Wian Pretorius, Graad 8B: Elizma Swart en Kryn Romijn, Graad 8C: Wianke Cloete en Ulrich Badenhorst, Grade 8D: Sanele Mathebula and Buhle Lukhele, Grade 8E: Sbonga Madela and Siyabonga Makhanya, Grade 8F: Ziyanda Vilane and Nkosinathi Mathunjwa. Graad 9A: Hayley van der Walt en Carel Jacobsz, Graad 9B: Marice de Jager en Tredoux Ferreira, Graad 9C: Mia Davel en Tyrone Berning, Grade 9D: Sihle Mashinini and Siba Lamola, Grade 9E: Anathi Sanyo and Mpilwenle Mngonyama, Grade 9F: Reitsile Sebogodi and Lebohang Nkosi. Graad 10A: Ancois van der Berg en Altus Boshoff, Graad 10B: Nathalie Nel en Kyle Steynberg, Graad 10C: Nicole Meyer en Liam Wilkinson, Grade 10D: Andraya Macheyo and Sphe Mkhatswa, Grade 10E: Yoleka Manasoe and Thobani Zwane, Grade 10F: Bathabile Nkosi and Tabiso Mafokwane. Graad 11A: Zané de Wit en Lood Geldenhuys, Graad 11B: Caylin Loock en Riku van der Bank, Graad 11C: Ilandri Nel en Tiaan Grobler, Grade 11D: Snovuyo Ndinisa, Grade 11E: Nokwanda Nxumalo, Grade 11F: Sphesihle Msiza and Karabo Malatji. Graad 12A: Renita Moolman, Graad 12B: Helani Kruger, Graad 12C: Tumi Chwane, Grade 12D: Wandi Mndebele, Grade 12E: Siphesihle Mtsweni, Grade 12F: Khanyisile Nkosi. “May the year with all the challenges lead to personal growth and progress in leadership.” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Botsings neem drasties toe

    Botsings neem drasties toe Botsings neem drasties toe 1/0 Share SH HATTINGH 25 August 2020 Die nooddienste doen ‘n beroep op die gemeenskap om alle verkeersreëls te gehoorsaam, en nie te bestuur onder die invloed van alkohol nie. Die afgelope naweek was ‘n vreeslike besige naweek vir al die nooddienste, waar verskeie bostings op verskillende paaie plaasgevind het. Nadat die verbod op drank laat vaar is, het die ongeluk syfer skielik verhoog. Al die nooddienste, Van Wettens, ETS, All City, ER24, Provinsiale Ambulans Dienste, asook die Brandweer en SAPD was vinnig op die tonele. Die nooddienste doen ‘n beroep op die gemeenskap om alle verkeersreëls te gehoorsaam, en nie te bestuur onder die invloed van alkohol nie. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • MLM VOIP call centre up and running

    MLM VOIP call centre up and running 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 17 November 2020 MLM is establishing a 16-hour service for the clientele community of Msukaligwa who wishes to log in a service, or to get information from 06:00- 20:00. Media Statement - MLM is establishing a 16-hour service for the clientele community of Msukaligwa who wishes to log in a service, or to get information from 06:00- 20:00. MLM is now using a toll free number to make it easier for the customers to reach the municipality, which is 0800 0149 03. The municipality has installed a contact centre solution system, which includes, among others, the soft phones (it enables voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephone calls from computer devices, work in conjunction with headset. It records the interaction between agents and callers. The system has statistics wall board, which track important information, such as how long it takes agent to answer, how many calls they’ve taken, how many they’ve missed, average call time and who answers the most calls. The contact centre has a multichannel communication (USSD, e-mail, WhatsApp). The USSD works on all phones, across all cellular networks, and no internet connection or data needed. The USSD code is *134*3043#. The USSD will commenced on or before Monday, 23 November 2020. The SMS function will assist the municipality to send SMS’s out to residents or clients, informing them about planned maintenance or outages. The e-mail address is , you may send a WhatsApp message, voice note or video to 079 503 6729. The role of the community members and customer are to report and log in interruptions, to provide clear and concise information about the interruption area, and to make a follow-up using the reference number. The role of the contact centre agent entails answering the calls, logging of queries on the system, giving reference numbers and information to customers, and to dispatch queries out to technicians. The role of the technician is to attend to the query, report back to the contact centre agent on the progress, or lack thereof. The municipality is currently training the agents on new system. contactcentre@msukaligwa.gov.za < Previous Article Next Article >

  • SAPS warns against OTP fraud

    SAPS warns against OTP fraud SAPS warns against OTP fraud 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 6 April 2021 Should you be caught in a scam such as this, the bank will not be able to assist you in recovering your lost funds. Fraud cases are a crime of concern, as criminals are using another trend to defraud innocent persons of their hard earned savings. In the cases that have been reported thus far, the caller will identify himself as an individual working in the Banks Fraud Division. He states that a transaction has taken place on the victims account. The suspect has all personal particulars and profile of the victim, including details of bank accounts, linked accounts beneficiaries etc. The suspect then states that a transaction has appeared on an account which appears suspicious, and enquires from the victim if they have approved a transaction for a large amount of cash from their account, furnishing account details and when the victim replies in the negative, the caller informs the victim that he will reverse the charge if the victim can go onto their banking app. Once the victim has logged onto their banking app, the suspect tells the victim to supply One Time Password (OTP) that was sent via SMS to their cell phone, so that the transaction can be reversed. As soon as the OTP is given to the suspect, the suspect starts to transact on the account, increasing limits, adding beneficiaries and making payments and draining the account. Do not respond and do not supply the OTP, as this will grant the suspect full control of your account. Do not respond to these calls. Cut the call immediately, and contact your bank on their toll free numbers if you are uncertain. You can check your account privately. Do not give any OTP (One Time Password) over the phone to any individual. Your bank will not ask you for your passwords or an OTP. Losses amounting to nearly R70 000 have been reported from one victim alone. Should you be caught in a scam such as this, the bank will not be able to assist you in recovering your lost funds, as you have furnished your One Time Password (OTP) to the suspect and allowed permission to the suspect to transact on your account. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Agt Erries neem deel aan Oppie-Tong-Af se nasionale finaal

    Agt Erries neem deel aan Oppie-Tong-Af se nasionale finaal Raees Tikly vaar besonder goed, en behaal ‘n lands wye tweede plek in sy afdeling. Raees Tikly vaar besonder goed, en behaal ‘n lands wye tweede plek in sy afdeling. 1/1 Share SH HATTINGH 20 October 2020 Raees Tikly vaar besonder goed, en behaal ‘n lands wye tweede plek in sy afdeling. “Raees, die Erries is geweldig trots op jou! Hartlik geluk aan elke leerder wat deelgeneem en hul Godgegewe talente nog fyner kom slyp het. Hoërskool Ermelo is trots op ons agt Erries wat gewis nie op hul bekke geval is nie!” Verskeie Erries het die afgelope week aanlyn aan die nasionale finaal van die Oppie-Tong-Af-redenaars kompetisie deelgeneem. Caylin Loock, Carla Ferreira, Danielle Koçaj en Jenna Oosthuizen het in die Afrikaanse voorbereide span redenaars afdeling meegeding. Die individuele redenaars het in die volgende kategorieë meegeding: LeandriViviers (Afrikaanse voorbereide toespraak), Johnke Prinsloo (Engelse voorbereide toespraak), RaeesTikly (Engelse motiveringstoespraak) en Mienke Cloete (Goue Tong). In die Goue Tong-afdeling ontvang leerders ‘n onderwerp, en slegs 5 minute voorbereidingstyd, waarna hul ‘n toespraak van 5-7 minute moet lewer. Raees Tikly vaar besonder goed, en behaal ‘n lands wye tweede plek in sy afdeling. “Raees, die Erries is geweldig trots op jou! Hartlik geluk aan elke leerder wat deelgeneem en hul Godgegewe talente nog fyner kom slyp het. Hoërskool Ermelo is trots op ons agt Erries wat gewis nie op hul bekke geval is nie!” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Jansen Street drug den causes unease

    Jansen Street drug den causes unease 1/2 Share GK CRONJE 12 January 2021 “I have phoned the SAPS on several occasions, as looters carry away stolen items from the property. On one specific day a looter brought his own wheelbarrow, and casually loaded the geyser looted from the property. I phoned the SAPS, but they took over an hour to arrive." What once was a beautifully maintained residence, has now regressed to a source of disconcertment to surrounding residents, most notably for its infamy as a known drug haven for addicts and all manner of vagrants. Reports of blatant prostitution within the husk of the residence has also surfaced, with no heed paid by authorities. The house, which is being systematically looted of all valuable items, which includes pipes, fittings, taps, window frames and doors, is now a source of concern, as well as a threat to the safety of surrounding residents. “We can not even leave our residence for more than a day, because the vagrants that squat in the abandoned house keeps and eye on our movements. I have resorted to adding extra security gates and burglar bars to our house, because the squatters steal items from our yard. I have caught several of them red-handed, where they carry items out of our yard during broad daylight. I don’t feel safe in my own home, and the constant stream of devious characters visiting this abandoned property gives me the shivers. They deal drugs in the open, and couldn’t care less about who sees them. Many of the vagrants who visit the property to get their fix, can barely walk straight when the exit the property. It is unacceptable, but nobody cares.” a nearby resident lamented. “I have phoned the SAPS on several occasions, as looters carry away stolen items from the property. On one specific day a looter brought his own wheelbarrow, and casually loaded the geyser looted from the property. I phoned the SAPS, but they took over an hour to arrive, and when they finally arrived, they just looked at the house and drove away without investigating. I am also very concerned about the long grass and shrubbery on this abandoned property, as it is an extreme fire hazard, especially during winter time. I just wish someone would take action, or the owner of the property would sell or demolish the house. I really stresses me out.” the resident concluded. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • EHS bedank Smet Jet

    EHS bedank Smet Jet 1/1 Share SH HATTINGH 16 February 2021 Die Erries is reg vir die jaar en met samewerking soos dié vanaf die gemeenskap, kan Hoërskool Ermelo baie groot hoogtes bereik. Hoërskool Ermelo se dank gaan uit aan Smet Jet wat EHS se geboue – koshuise ingesluit, gesaniteer het en so bygedra het tot die voorbereiding vir 2021 se skooljaar. Die Erries is reg vir die jaar en met samewerking soos dié vanaf die gemeenskap, kan Hoërskool Ermelo baie groot hoogtes bereik. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Liggies neem deel by die Sizwe ASA Senior Kampioenskappe

    Liggies neem deel by die Sizwe ASA Senior Kampioenskappe 1/2 Share SH HATTINGH 27 April 2021 In die semi-finaal het Kwanele die voorreg gehad om in dieselfde lopie as die bekende Wayde van Niekerk te hardloop. Kwanele Nkambule het die afgelope naweek 15-18 April aan die Sizwe ASA Senior Kampioenskappe in Pretoria by Tuks se High Performance Centre deelgeneem. Hy het die 200m van die uitdunrondte in 21.66 sekondes voltooi, en gekwalifiseer vir die semi-finale. In die semi-finaal het Kwanele die voorreg gehad om in dieselfde lopie as die bekende Wayde van Niekerk te hardloop. Kwanele het 8ste plek in sy uitdun behaal, met ‘n tyd van 21.82 sekondes. “Die Liggies is saam met sy afrigters, Me Le Roux en Adrian Wallace, baie trots op die mooi prestasie!” < Previous Article Next Article >