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  • COSATU throws weight behind NUMSA strike

    COSATU throws weight behind NUMSA strike 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 7 October 2021 Metalworkers union NUMSA had commenced its national strike on Tuesday, which will continue indefinitely until demands are met. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) stated that it will take part in the strike today to putpressure on the government and private sector to pay more attention to the working class. The strike has been slated as a "one day participation" by COSATU. “The federation is issuing a call to all workers and South Africans to join the strike. They can either join the planned activities across the country, or withdraw their labour by staying at home on the day,” said COSATU spokesperson, Sizwe Pamla. He said the union was demanding urgent action from policy makers in the government, as well as the private sector, to ensure that workers receive their dues. “Both the public and the private sector have been blatantly undermining collective bargaining. We want the reversal of budget cuts that have led to an unacceptable wage freeze in the public service, the disintegration of the CCMA, and retrenchments in state-owned companies,” Pamla said. Metalworkers union NUMSA had commenced its national strike on Tuesday, which will continue indefinitely until demands are met. The union demands an 8% wage increase for workers, and have accused employers of using the pandemic as an excuse to sidestep lawfully stipulated annual salary increases. An estimated 430 000 workers across 9 000 steel and engineering companies countrywide will down tools in solidarity. NUMSA spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, stated that all their members are fed up with the fact that the employers refuse to give them a meaningful increase. Therefore they are demanding an 8% wage increase across the board. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • NERSA rejects price hike application by Eskom

    NERSA rejects price hike application by Eskom 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 5 October 2021 Power plants are being constructed at exorbitant inflated costs of nearly 300%, and have a 60% surplus of staff at a cost of an estimated R10 billion per annum. In January, Nersa allowed Eskom to recoup an additional R6-billion after a court set aside several of its earlier decisions. It had rejected Eskom’s fifth multi-year price determination (MYPD5) revenue application for the financial years 2022/2023, 2023/2024 and 2024/2025 on the basis that it was based on an expired methodology. Eskom has also come under fire for their notorious fruitless en wasteful expenditure, which includes, amongst others, paying R300 per roll of toilet paper, coughing up a blistering R238 000 for a single floor mop, and purchasing kneepads at R80 000 each. This has been slated as cadre enrichment and gross corruption withing the struggling entity. In an effort to curb the corruption, and alleviate mounting pressure on consumers, NERSA has started its process to develop this new pricing methodology that will be applicable to the industry. The first step entails a consultation to determine the new pricing methodology. This will be followed by the development of the actual methodology. As is usual all stakeholders will be given an opportunity to influence the finalization of the new pricing methodology. Once this is finalized, utilities will be required to submit applications to NERSA for analysis to be undertaken before price increase decisions are made. According to Eskom, NERSA’s rejection of Eskom’s MYPD 5 application, has created a regulatory vacuum for the electricity supply industry in South Africa. Eskom is accordingly considering how to proceed, and is taking advice on its position following the NERSA decision. Eskom claims that the situation will create a legal liability for the company. Consumers and regulatory boards are having none of the wet dog attitude set forth by Eskom, stating that power plants being constructed at exorbitant inflated costs of nearly 300% and having a 60% surplus of staff at a cost of an estimated R10 billion per annum. Ultimately, consumers cannot, and should not pay for inefficiency in a state monopoly’s internal structural inflation. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Breast cancer is serious business

    Breast cancer is serious business 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 5 October 2021 Studies have shown that time to a cancer diagnosis may be influenced by several factors, including women's knowledge and awareness of cancer symptoms. The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) has launched a campaign to highlight the important role that women can play in taking ownership of their personal health during breast cancer awareness month, and that getting checked regularly and early, is vital. “We encourage women to focus on their breast health by being aware of any changes or irregularities, get to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and go for regular breast screenings. It’s always good to practise self care which includes making personal health a priority,” says Lorraine Govender, CANSA’s National Manager for Health Promotion. With 1.7 million women diagnosed each year, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. In South Africa, according to the National Cancer Registry (2017), one in 26 women are at risk of developing breast cancer, and 16% of cancer deaths are attributed to it. There is growing concern that most women present with late stage cancers, which make for a difficult prognosis. “Studies have shown that time to a cancer diagnosis may be influenced by several factors, including women's knowledge and awareness of cancer symptoms, whether women see themselves as being at risk for breast cancer, barriers in the health system, knowledge and attitude of health providers, and psychological, and socio-cultural barriers to health care,” said Professor Jennifer Moodley, Director of the Cancer Research Initiative at UCT. If any women have breast cancer symptoms, it’s so important to present to health practitioners and get checked out sooner than later, as this can lead to an early-stage diagnosis that results in better breast cancer treatment and survival. So do those monthly breast self-examinations, annual medical check-ups and cancer screening for early detection, as symptoms don’t always present until cancer has spread. CANSA plays an active role in the promotion of early detection of breast cancer, and offers clinical breast examinations to detect breast lumps at CANSA Care Centres, with strict safety protocols in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Costs are kept to a minimum, and patients with medical aid benefits can claim from their medical aids once they have paid for the screening. Support for cancer patients is plentiful through support groups, online support resources, tele counselling and CANSA also supplies wigs and headwear, bras, and lymphoedema garments, in partnership with The M Store, at CANSA Care Centres. “We have our specialized online support programme called iSurvivor Metastatic Breast Cancer, which is aimed at assisting and helping mostly metastatic breast cancer patients with their experienced challenges. And we offer a variety of breast prostheses at affordable rates for those who had to undergo a mastectomy/lumpectomy and offer advice to help cope with the side effects of cancer treatment,” concludes Govender. In celebration of CANSA’s 90th birthday, Novartis is giving back and offering a total of 360 free Clinical Breast Examinations, until 8 October 2021, at selected CANSA Care Centres. Bookings must be made through info@cansa.org.za . Anyone can get involved and help CANSA during October, either by purchasing a ‘Doek with a Difference’ or a pair of earrings as part of the Pink Trees for Pauline campaign, or by hosting a virtual Cuppa For CANSA event with the CANSA SPAR Tea on 30 October 2021. Book a clinical breast screening, and encourage family and friends to do the same. You can also donate via CANSA’s secure, online platforms, and subscribe to the newsletter to stay informed about their various health campaigns and fundraising initiatives. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • “You can’t donate blood if not vaccinated”

    “You can’t donate blood if not vaccinated” 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 5 October 2021 That is a lie... Nothing more than a social media tall tale and a clickbait hoax. That is a lie... Nothing more than a social media tall tale and a clickbait hoax. The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is calling on all blood donors, particularly group AB donors, to visit their nearest blood bank or mobile clinic. The SANBS would like to assure all potential donors that all COVID-19 regulations are enforced at every donation site. The safety of the donors and staff is paramount to the SANBS. Another myth that is circulating on social media involves the tall tale that you cannot donate blood if you have not been vaccinated. This is categorically incorrect, and untrue. The SANBS confirmed that it does not defer vaccinated people from donating, nor does it record whether a donor has been vaccinated or not. “We urge all healthy donors to come forward and continue to donate much needed, life-saving blood. We follow international blood collection best practice, and act quickly if there is any concern regarding blood product safety or possible harm to our patients.” Regular donors may even receive a gift as a thank you from the SANBS, as well as a complimentary juice or coffee, accompanied by delicious biscuits. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Tomahawks trap Marble Hall Leopards vas met harde rugby

    Tomahawks trap Marble Hall Leopards vas met harde rugby 1/5 Share GK CRONJE 5 October 2021 “Die manne het implimenteer wat ons gedoen het tydens oefening, en die spelers het uitgeblink op hierdie reënerige dag. Baie dankie vir elkeen se puik spel!” Op Saterdag, 2 Oktober, het die Ermelo Tomahawks te staan gekom teen die Marble Hall Leopards in ‘n vriendskaplike wedstryd. Ten spyte van goor weer, het toeskouers hul gate uit geniet en die spanne ondersteun met lof. Die wedstryd was hard, met spelers aan beide kante wat hul beste spel gelewer het. Groot manne is van beide spanne is spoedig platgetrek deur opponente, en die ratse spelers het die ketels oopgemaak en laat wiel sodra hul ‘n opening gesien het. Na afloop van die wedstryd, klop die Ermelo Tomahawks die Marble Hall Leopards 54-24. Bennette Burger het laat hoor dat hy heel tevrede is met sy span se kwaliteit spel en taktiek. “Die manne het implimenteer wat ons gedoen het tydens oefening, en die spelers het uitgeblink op hierdie reënerige dag. Baie dankie vir elkeen se puik spel!” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Bringing hope and care for over 20 years

    Bringing hope and care for over 20 years 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 5 October 2021 The two Phelophepa trains are designed to provide comprehensive primary healthcare to communities. With great excitement, the community flocked to the rail station on Monday, 27 September, to welcome the Phelophepa train from Transnet. The trains spend 35 weeks each year on the rails, and visits 70 stations annually to provide healthcare at the bare minimum of costs. The staff members on board, ranging from 20-30 highly qualified individuals, provides health, oral and vision screening, as well as laying out the groundwork for basic health education. Each year, an approximate 360 000 residents within its route receive the utmost care. Phelophepa, pronounced as pay-lo-pe-pa, means good, clean health. Brought to life in 1994 as a three-coach eye clinic project, the train has grown to reach 375 000 people every year. The two Phelophepa trains are designed to provide comprehensive primary healthcare to communities. The programme also covers sanitary and life skills support to both boys and girls. In conjunction with Transnet’s outreach programmes, they have reached over 20 million people since inception. All services are offered in the coaches are on a first-come, first-served basis. It offers healthcare education, a complete physical assessment, cancer treatments, pap smears, prostate cancer testing, eye care clinic services, a dental clinic, dental screening, and extracting and cleaning of teeth. This includes counseling and psychology clinic services. The train also features a fully equipped pharmacy. Coming from the previous stops, Mbombela and Carolina, it now stands in Ermelo until 8 October 2021, and will lastly stop at Bethal to provide much needed care. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Erries skitter met skryfwerk

    Erries skitter met skryfwerk 1/2 Share SM HATTINGH 28 September 2021 Twee Erries se skryf stukke is ingesluit in die “Poort”-bundel. Dit is ‘n publikasie van die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie en Kuns. Twee Erries se skryf stukke is ingesluit in die “Poort”-bundel. Dit is ‘n publikasie van die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie en Kuns. Leerders kon inskryf vir ‘n kompetisie, vir die geleentheid om hul werk te publiseer. Zara Büchling, ‘n Graad 12-leerder in 2020, se opstel “Die dag toe ek gewaag het”, en Isabelle Burgers, tans ‘n Graad 10-leerder, se opstel “Dawid Hellebaard” is in die bundel vervat. “Baie geluk aan elkeen van die leerders wat op die verskeie platforms presteer het. Die Erries hou julle skryf talent met afwagting dop! Baie dankie aan die Afrikaanse Departement van EHS, wat ‘n passie het en liefde kweek vir die taal en vir die vak.” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • MLA bied Hoëveld SA Vleismerino Klub skou aan

    MLA bied Hoëveld SA Vleismerino Klub skou aan 1/24 Share GK CRONJE 28 September 2021 Top diere van hoogstaande gehalte het die beoordelaars lelik laat kop krap in ‘n paar klasse. Die Hoëveld se SAVM- Klub se jaarlikse skou en veiling het vanaf 16 -18 September 2021 by Morgenzon Landbou Akademie plaasgevind. Ongeveer 15 boere het die room van hul kudde Donderdagoggend ingeskryf. Die wolbeoordeling het vanaf 14:00-17:00 plaasgevind, met ‘n kort onderbreking toe wind en reën die groot tent in duie laat stort het. Gelukkig is geen mens of dier beseer tydens die voorval nie. Die nuwe aankomeling het Vrydag oggend almal se aandag getrek. Mamma ooi moes soms bontstaan om haar jong lam teen nuuskierige agies te beskerm. Vanaf 08:00-17:00 is bouvorm beoordeel. Top diere van hoogstaande gehalte het die beoordelaars lelik laat kop krap in ‘n paar klasse. Die hoogtepunt van die skou was die spitbraai en optrede van Neil Somers. Saterdag is die skou afgesluit met ‘n ramveiling wat om 11:00 begin het. Talle boere het het daarna met ‘n warm gevoel in die hart, en ‘n leë beursie huistoe gegaan. MLA bedank graag al die organiseerders, ondersteuners en borge wat van die skou en veiling ‘n groot sukses gemaak het. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • MLM classified as dysfunctional

    MLM classified as dysfunctional 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 28 September 2021 MLM forms part of the 31% of municipalities countrywide that are classified as dysfunctional. Municipalities are tasked by the Constitution to structure and manage their administration, budgeting and planning processes to be able to carry out service delivery in a timely, acceptable, efficient and fitting manner. This is not the case for many targeted municipalities in Mpumalanga, which includes the floundering Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM). MLM has been fingered in governance performance reports as being classified as dysfunctional. This means that MLM, along with 3 other municipalities, are viewed as high risk in light of service delivery and management failure. In total, seven municipalities are under scrutiny by the National Department of Cooperative Governance (COGTA). This entity has announced Municipal Intervention Plans, which is focused on underperforming and distressed municipalities within the Gert Sibande District Municipality’s area of governance. The lack of capacity in local government is a recurring theme as is the lack of impact on the current initiatives. The Department plans to put in place priority interventions jointly with SALGA and LGSETA for coordinating support, capacity building and training initiatives to ensure that the necessary impact is realized. During the stabilization phase, the Department will engage with National Treasury to facilitate the reprioritisation of the capacity building grants to implement immediate priorities. The Department will also deploy financial technical capacity in targeted districts to improve financial management. Technical support will be provided in several areas, including the roads and storm water drainage, energy, water and sanitation, solid waste, revenue enhancement as well as the construction of roads. However, the continued failure to effect turnarounds in several municipalities requires further more intensive, dedicated and radical interventions. Several of these municipalities, including MLM, either misuse or fail to implement and manage the MIG funds, and implement the infrastructure projects that will improve the lives of the people. The report also states that the overall performance of these municipalities is below expectations. MLM forms part of the 31% of municipalities countrywide that are classified as dysfunctional. The report also states that the situation within these municipalities indicate that there is limited inhouse experience for managing infrastructure projects, handling tender documents and meaningfully interacting with contractors. There is also limited scheduled maintenance of infrastructure taking place. These challenges make it difficult for municipalities to spend the funds they obtain from national government to assist them with infrastructure development. It has been advised that the dysfunctional, high risk municipalities, namely Msukaligwa, Lekwa, Govan Mbeki and Dipaliseng Local Municipalities all be placed under administration. This advisory is still under consideration by the MEC. Mkhondo and Dr Pixley ka Seme Local Municipalities have been classified as medium risk, while Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality has been touted as low risk. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Rondloper beeste steek inwoners dwars in die krop

    Rondloper beeste steek inwoners dwars in die krop 1/2 Share GK CRONJE 28 September 2021 Alhoewel dit 'n dringende kwessie in Ermelo is, wag almal in spanning dat MLM -amptenare nog beslissend optree. Die kwessie van verdwaalde en rondloper vee in Ermelo woongebiede, omliggende areas en die buitewyke is al jare aan die gang, sonder enige optrede van die Msukaligwa Plaaslike Munisipaliteit (MLM) en die relevante departemente. In hierdie geval word verordeninge heeltemal geïgnoreer, en die wette word nie deur die owerhede afgedwing nie, wat 'n bose kringloop van frustrasie, saakbeskadiging en gevaar vir motoriste veroorsaak. Verskeie inwoners het gerapporteer dat hul honde onbeheerbaar opgewerk word deur die rondloper vee wat ronddwaal in die woongebied, veral in die De Bruin Park omgewing. Klagtes vanaf inwoners beweer dat dié rondlopers so gewoond geraak het aan verkeer en gevloek van frustreerde motoriste en inwoners, dan die diere hul geensins steur aan die kwaad wat hul stook nie. Inwoners het ook klagtes ingedien van die rondlopers wat hul kom tuismaak in erwe, en ook vullissakke oopskeur op soek na peuselhappies. Verskeie motoriste het nouliks vermy om met hierdie diere te bots, wat ‘n veer voel vir aankomende verkeer. Motoriste wat moet uitswaai, skielik remme aanslaan, en aan die teenoorgestelde kant van die pad ry om hierdie diere te vermy, is teen die tyd al keelvol vir MLM, wat Gods water oor Gods akker laat loop. Hierdie kwessie is egter nie net tot diewoongebiede beperk nie, aangesien inwoners verskeie klagtes ingedien het oor beeste wat in die begraafplase wei, en kosbare herinneringe vertrap, blomme opvreet en vase beskadig, en ander gedenkwaardighede verniel. Alhoewel dit 'n dringende kwessie in Ermelo is, wag almal in spanning dat MLM -amptenare nog beslissend optree. Op hierdie tydstip draai beide MLM en die SAPD in Ermelo ‘n blinde oog na die groeiende kwessie, wat al telkens ernstige beserings en lewensverlies tot gevolg gehad het. Navrae rakende die kwessie was op 9 September 2021 gerig aan die MLM woordvoerder, Mandla Zwane. Dié het egter die navraag doodluiters ignoreer, en het tot hede geen terugvoer gegee nie. < Previous Article Next Article >