top of page

1614 items found for ""

  • Armed robbers meet their match with ACSU

    Armed robbers meet their match with ACSU Armed robbers meet their match with ACSU 1/5 Share GK CRONJE 26 July 2022 “Well done, ACSU. You are always there when we need assistance." While the majority of focus was fixated on the ongoing court case at the Ermelo Magistrate’s Court, wily criminals took the opportunity to stage an armed robbery at Ackermans at the Wesselton Boxer Complex. While they thought it might be a clean getaway with valuable loot, the blistering fast armed reaction from ACSU utterly foiled their plans. According to available information, four armed suspects entered the establishment with the intent of an armed robbery. One of the suspects feigned interest in the displayed cellular phones, whereafter he drew a firearm and pointed it at the employee. He further demanded cash from the registers, and that all cellular phones be put in bag. The suspects ordered the store manager to the back of the store. After the store manager activated the panic button, ACSU arrived within a matter of minutes, at approximately 13:00. According to reaction officers, all seemed normal upon arrival, but when officers approached the store, one of the employees stated that armed suspects were present inside the store. Reaction carefully entered the store, whereafter the suspects panicked and opened fire on ACSU, who returned fire. According to Mr. De Jager from ACSU, an approximate 40 rounds were fired. ACSU reaction officers suffered no injuries, but two of the four suspects were severely injured. One suspect was brought down inside the store, while a second attempted to flee via the back of the shopping complex, but was also taken down by ACSU reaction. The suspects were transported to medical facilities by Provincial EMS, whereafter one of the wounded suspects succumbed to his injuries. SAPS investigators recovered two firearms used by the suspects on scene, as well as the loot they intended to make off with. Bystanders at the shopping complex jeered at the wounded suspects as thy were tended to by EMS, and lauded the swift and stern reaction by ACSU. “Well done, ACSU. You are always there when we need assistance. Your quick reaction and non-nonsense approach has saved the community and businesses thousands of Rands in damages. We feel safer knowing that you are always alert and willing to help. You truly are the best in the business,” one resident stated. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Heads of Department announced at NPSS

    Heads of Department announced at NPSS 1/1 Share SH HATTINGH 2 March 2021 Four staff members of NPSS have been announced as Heads of Department. Four staff members of NPSS have been announced as Heads of Department, (f.l.t.r) Ms Yolandi Bezuidenhout (Afrikaans and GET phase), Ms Anje Breedt (Computer Applications Technology), Mr Sudeep Surendran (Mathematics and Science) and Ms Polile Malaza (HOD of English and FET phase). “Congratulations, and good luck with the new journey.” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Erries spog trots met nog ‘n suksesvolle EHS-Gholfdag

    Erries spog trots met nog ‘n suksesvolle EHS-Gholfdag 1/4 Share SH HATTINGH 16 March 2021 Daar was ‘n groot verskeidenheid pryse vir die 160 spelers wat ingeskryf was vir die gholfdag. Op Saterdag, 6 Maart, het Hoërskool Ermelo hulle jaarlikse gholfdag met groot sukses aangebied. Dit is elke jaar ‘n projek wat deur die Errieraad se ouers aangebied word, en die gemeenskap se betrokkenheid spreek boekdele oor die positiewe gesindheid teenoor EHS. Daar was ‘n groot verskeidenheid pryse vir die 160 spelers wat ingeskryf was vir die gholfdag. Vir die individuele wenners was daar spesifieke pryse: Naaste aan die pen, putjie 4: André Croeser, Naaste aan die pen, putjie 6: Derek Bouwer, Naaste aan die pen, putjie 14: DC Swart, Naaste aan die pen, putjie 16: Mamba Dumezane. Langste dryf, putjie 9: Chanté Boonstra, Langste dryf, putjie 18: Chanté Boonstra, Hoeveelheid gholfballe in houer, nommer 12: Bossie Bosman. Omdat die formaat van die gholfdag ‘n twee-bal-beter-bal was, was die pryse in stelle van twee elk, waaruit die wenners self kon kies. Daar is 24 plekke aangekondig, dus het 48 van die spelers pryse gekry. Die wenners van die dag is as volg: W. Dreyer en A. Croeser wen die dag met 49 punte. In die tweedeplek is F. du Plooy en P. van der Merwe met 47 punte. Op hulle hakke volg T. Leibbrandt en P. Leibbrandt ook met 47 punte. In die vierde plek is J. Nkondo en V. Simelane en E. Neveling en L. Velleman neem die vyfde plek in. “Hoërskool Ermelo bedank elke speler en borg wat bygedra het tot die sukses van 2021 se EHS-Gholfdag. Al die ondersteuning wat EHS onophoudelik ontvang is wat die Erries van krag tot krag laat groei. Baie geluk en dankie aan die Errieraad, en hul ouers met ‘n puik gereëlde funksie. Julle is die toonbeeld van waar toe die Erries in staat is.” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Mayestra SA makes waves on local music scene | tribune-newspaper

    Mayestra SA makes waves on local music scene 1/2 Share GK CRONJE 14 September 2021 "One of my biggest achievements thus far is getting interviews and air plays after a hit song of mine, Madumane, blasted over the airwaves. I made the track in collaboration with my producer, Thabang Nhlapho, or more well known as Jaded Gluck. He is a very gifted producer and very close friend, and we are working on a powerful album." 21-Year-old Njabulo Zwane, born and raised in Ermelo, and better known by his performer name Mayestra SA, has been making waves on the local scene after one of his tracks, Madumane, exploded on the radio charts. Njabulo started his school career at Ermelo Laerskool, and graduated at Netherland Park Secondary School. “Music came to me as a gift from God, and it came at the most emotional time of my life, after I was involved in a car accident in 2013. I was so in love with sports back then, but things changed when I lost the use of my left leg as a result of the accident. It was then when I started writing lyrics. I started saving money for studio sessions, which were expensive for me back then. It used to cost R300, and I recorded my music with the money I saved from my pocket money from school. I stopped eating at school because I had love and passion for music. In 2018, I decided to start my own studio, and helped other local artists to record at a very cheap price, because I knew how hard it was to save money just so you can record. I was already a businessman, because my studio made some money, even thought it wasn't a lot. When it comes to business, my father is my role model and mentor, and has helped me extensively. I started getting supporters from some classmates, and soon from the whole school. Before long, my music spread through Ermelo and the surrounding areas. Fast forward to 2021, as I moved to Johannesburg, and started grabbing the attention from people around Gauteng. I started getting bookings to open stages for one the biggest names in the South African music industry, and it really was a blessing! One of my biggest achievements thus far is getting interviews and air plays after a hit song of mine, Madumane, blasted over the airwaves. I made the track in collaboration with my producer, Thabang Nhlapho, or more well known as Jaded Gluck. He is a very gifted producer and very close friend, and we are working on a powerful album. I can't wait for it to be released! My biggest dream is to put Ermelo’s name on top of the world, and give hope to the hopeless kids in the streets of Ermelo, because I know exactly what it feels like to try your best, and still get rejected. Ultimately, I will use my success to create jobs in Ermelo, and help not just the youth, but also the less fortunate. I hope Ermelo continues to support not just me, but every talent in our town. It's a beautiful thing, and I love you all!” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Government backtracks on feeding scheme agreement | tribune-newspaper

    Government backtracks on feeding scheme agreement 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 16 June 2020 “The closure of the NSNP impacts not only on the health and education of learners, but has knock-on effects on entire families – in a context of heightened unemployment and loss of income due to the nationwide lockdown, many families are struggling to put food on the table. These families urgently require the NSNP to be reinstated in order to meet their children's basic nutritional needs and ensure that they are able to buy other desperately needed necessities in the home,” the bodies stated. Two Equal Education (EE) and the school governing bodies (SGBs) launched an urgent court application against the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and provincial education departments to compel the departments to provide meals for pupils. The organisations are challenging what they say is the “current failure to roll-out the National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP) to all learners”. “The NSNP normally provides meals to over nine million learners every day, but was halted when schools closed on 18 March 2020, jeopardizing the food security of these learners and exacerbating the severe hardship experienced within their households," Represented by the Equal Education Law Centre and Section27, the organisations have filed legal papers at the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria which argue that the failure of the DBE and provincial education departments to roll-out the NSNP to all qualifying pupils is a regressive measure that violates learners' rights to basic nutrition, basic education and equality. While schools had been closed under the national COVID-19 lockdown, children have not had access to the nutritious meals they would normally receive at school. “The closure of the NSNP impacts not only on the health and education of learners, but has knock-on effects on entire families – in a context of heightened unemployment and loss of income due to the nationwide lockdown, many families are struggling to put food on the table. These families urgently require the NSNP to be reinstated in order to meet their children's basic nutritional needs and ensure that they are able to buy other desperately needed necessities in the home,” the bodies stated. The programme is currently being rolled out only to pupils at school in Grades 7 and 12, while pupils who have not been permitted to return to school are not being fed, the organizations state. The organizations are seeking a declaratory order that there is a duty on government to ensure all qualifying pupils are entitled to a daily meal as provided for under the NSNP, regardless of whether or not they have resumed classes at their respective schools. “We are also seeking a structural order requiring the national and provincial departments, within five days of the court order, to each provide a plan or programme to ensure that all qualifying learners receive their daily meal from the NSNP. It is imperative that the DBE and provincial education departments continue to fulfil their constitutional obligation to deliver nutrition to all eligible learners. The constitutional rights of learners to basic nutrition, basic education and equality must be protected, even during the state of national disaster.” Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga allegedly backtracked on a promise to reinstate the National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP) to feed nine million pupils from this month, irrespective of whether or not they are back at school. In late May, with the announcement of the phased reopening of schools, the director-general of basic education undertook that the NSNP would, from 1 June, be rolled out to all pupils, including those not physically attending school. Four days later, Motshekga retracted this, saying it would only restart for Grade 7 and Grade 12 pupils "because we really need to find our feet in this new environment". However, organizations are having none of it. “The minister has given no legitimate reason for this failure. It's not a new programme. All that is new is the need to ensure that it is done in a manner that does not place providers and pupils at risk. All that is needed is planning and implementation. Funding is available to roll out the NSNP to all grades. It is a specific purpose grant. The total budget for this year is R7.6 billion and each province would have received its initial allocations by April 30 this year. With the lockdown, there has been R1.7 billion of potentially unspent funds,” the bodies argued. Equal Education is asking a judge to declare that all qualifying pupils, regardless of whether or not they have resumed classes, must receive a daily meal, and that the minister and the provincial MEC’s are in breach of their constitutional duties. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • EHS Musical benefits from expert voice coach

    EHS Musical benefits from expert voice coach 1/2 Share SM HATTINGH 1 June 2021 At the end of his Grade 9 year, Phila joined the South African Youth Choir (SAYC) in Cape Town, where he was a member of the choir for one year, before finally returning home to Ermelo to finish Grade 11 and 12 at Hoërskool Ermelo. Phila Dladla, music teacher at Hoërskool Ermelo, started his musical career in Grade 4 when his mother signed him up for piano and musical theory lessons at the EHS music centre. The next year, she had him audition for the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir and once accepted, was where he would spend the next five years falling in love with choral music and performance. During his time at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, he attended many international tours, including to the United States, Norway and South Korea. At the end of his Grade 9 year, Phila joined the South African Youth Choir (SAYC) in Cape Town, where he was a member of the choir for one year, before finally returning home to Ermelo to finish Grade 11 and 12 at Hoërskool Ermelo. He obtained a distinction for music as subject during his final matric exams. After matriculating, Phila returned to the Drakensberg Boys Choir School as a student (conductor) intern, and completed his Grade 7 UNISA grade in singing. In 2015, he became a member of the music staff at the Erries’ Music Centre, where he teaches classical singing and rock school drums. He also coaches the school's drumline, Marimba Band, and choir. He is currently busy completing an LLB degree through UNISA. Phila is extremely excited about the Rock musical that will be performed on DV 16 – 21 August. He is the proud musical director for this musical production. Hoërskool Ermelo is thankful and proud to have mr Dladla on the Errie-team. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • High water table proves problematic for MLM

    High water table proves problematic for MLM 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 18 October 2022 Thulatsepo General Trading was appointed as contractor for the project, with a completion date of 30 June 2023. Residents in De Bruin Park have been left baffled, after contractors excavated an extended portion of the main sewerage line between Camden Avenue and Roberts Street, at the Pet Dam. Residents were told by the said contractor that they were appointed to upgrade the sewerage line to alleviate spillage issues. However, they have done more harm than good. In President Fouché Avenue, near the Roberts Street intersection, raw sewage has been flowing for months into the field. The trenches dug by the alleged contractor merely exacerbated the issue, with several more spillage points being noted following excavation. In Mauritz Read Street, towards Camden Avenue, trenches had been excavated months ago, and stood as a white elephant since. Building materials, including concrete and PVC sewerage infrastructure pipes have been put on display in the field, along with heaps of sand and gravel. Residents have now alerted the Tribune to the fact that the trenches dug in this area are being filled up. The main concern here being that there has seemingly been absolutely no work done on the sewerage network. The trenches are filled with raw sewage, and are now simply filled with soil. Storm drains have been trampled and destroyed by heavy machinery, and are left as is. In one of the trenches, a storm drainage pipe can be noted, which is also damaged. To the point of where the trenches are filled, no sign of upgraded or replaced pipes can be noted. In an official response, Msukaligwa Local Municipality stated that BTMN Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd were appointed to undertake the feasibility study and detailed designs for the Upgrading of Ermelo Extension 32, 33 & 34 outfall sewer pipeline. Thulatsepo General Trading was appointed as contractor for the project, with a completion date of 30 June 2023. “The excavated sewer line trench was barricaded by the contractor, pending the engineer’s instruction of working along the areas with excessive water table. The engineer’s representative has reported that the contractor has started with backfilling the trench, in order to re-excavate and follow the engineer’s site instruction,” the statement from the municipality reads. “It is untrue that the contractor has left the site and trenched unattended. The contractor has been procuring materials required for working under high water-table areas like this one. Materials such as crusher run stones, geofabric biddim blanket and perforated subsoil drain pipes are required in order to follow the engineer’s instruction.” However, several residents have brought the train of thought by MLM and appointed contractors in question. “Surely, they should have taken the constant sewage the flows into the field, which is actually wetland, into account. It is only logical that the water table would be high, but it surely isn’t water,” one resident stated. “So, in reality, the entire exercise of months of digging, damaging infrastructure, pipes and stormdrains, have all been for nought? The trenches have been left for months to fill with raw sewage, only to be closed again because of shoddy planning... That is beyond a joke,” another told the Tribune. Concern has been raised as the summer rain season approaches, and the trenches and surrounding work area left with heaps of loose soil, which will prove problematic, seen as this specific area floods annually, due to the non-existent stormwater drainage infrastructure. Residents in this area should be prepared for more trenching in the near future, as the engineer’s orders are implemented. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • TBCSA calls for opening up of borders | tribune-newspaper

    TBCSA calls for opening up of borders 1/3 Share GK CRONJE 15 September 2020 An opening date is critical if tourism is to reignite South Africa’s economy, not only to ensure that international trade can plan ahead, but also so that airlines can retain South Africa on their schedules. If airlines take the decision to redeploy their aircrafts or reduce their schedules, this will have a direct impact not only on tourism, but also trade. One industry in particular, tourism, has the power and potential to reignite South Africa’s ailing economy, but to do so it’s going to need more than support from South Africans, and Government giving the green light for reopening borders. Therefore, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) suggested that, as a top export earner and high employment creator for low to semi-skilled workers, tourism has the best potential to reignite South Africa’s economy quickly. The TBCSA is the umbrella organization that represents the unified voice of business in the travel and tourism sector. The TBCSA was established in February 1996 by leading tourism businesses and associations, to form a unified platform to engage with the South African government around the development of the sector. International tourism can reopen safely, but it requires an enabling environment, which includes the reopening of international borders, an improved visa regime, air access and better safety for tourists. The indicated 51% decline in South Africa’s GDP during quarter 2, puts a spotlight on swift measures that will need to be put in place to aid South Africa’s ailing economy, which prior to COVID-19, was already in the doldrums. Tourism is known to have the ability to sustainably breathe new air into the sails of any economy, as touted by analysts and economists and this has been stated by the South African Government itself. According to PWC’s Public and Private Growth Initiative (PPGI) Report in 2019, tourism is the number one industry in South Africa, with the greatest potential to stimulate inclusive economic growth and employment, creating the greatest multiplier effect in terms of employemnt, growth and export potential. For this to happen, tourism requires targeted economic stimulation and favourable policy decisions for it to flourish and become the jobs multiplier and economic powerhouse it has the potential to become. Tourism’s contribution to employment is already estimated to be larger than the individual contribution of agriculture, automotive manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and mining, with an approximate 1.5 million individuals employed directly and indirectly through the sector. Tourism had also generated R120 billion in foreign exchange from visitor receipts in 2018, adding up to approximately 8.7% of South Africa’s exports, second only to mining. Further, as an apex sector, it has a long and deep supply chain into industries such as vehicle manufacturing, agriculture, fuel, and other manufacturing. For every R1 of direct GDP impact, R1,50 is spent on supply chain and capital, offering many SMME opportunities. “Tourism can be South Africa’s economic lifeline, but only if international borders are opened up soon,” says Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). “We are appealing to the Government to safely open our borders. Our industry is ready, our source markets are waiting to travel, so let's save jobs and the economy.” Tourism needs to reopen as quickly as possible, as safely as possible. The TBCSA’s Travel Safe-Eat Safe protocols and programme, endorsed by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), has been rolled out widely across the tourism sector to ensure the safe reopening of the industry. And while tourism stakeholders agree that the reprieve granted by domestic travel will provide a lifeline, it cannot be the industry’s lifeblood. An opening date is critical if tourism is to reignite South Africa’s economy, not only to ensure that international trade can plan ahead, but also so that airlines can retain South Africa on their schedules. If airlines take the decision to redeploy their aircrafts or reduce their schedules, this will have a direct impact not only on tourism, but also trade. “The safe reopening of South Africa’s borders is an essential step for tourism to contribute meaningfully to government’s tax revenues. Every day we remain closed to international travel, we lose R336 million of spend, and the government loses vital tax revenue. Opening up our tourism sector will have a direct and immediate positive impact on Government’s coffers at a time when it most needs it.” Tshivhengwa concludes. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Lawless taxi driver causes death of infant

    Lawless taxi driver causes death of infant Lawless taxi driver causes death of infant 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 20 April 2021 During the course of last week, Ermelo also saw its fair share of reckless driving and violence from taxi drivers towards individuals transporting passengers with private vehicles. According to the SAPS, taxi driver Sibonise Patrick Mathebula (31), allegedly ignored a stop sign in Amersfoort while chasing after a white Toyota Avanza, which was traveling from Ermelo on Tuesday, 15 April 2021. Mathebula collided with two pedestrians, a 20-year-old male and a 23-year-old female. They were accompanied by a five-month-old baby, who died on scene. The injured were transported to hospital for treatment. Mathebula was arrested and appeared before the Amersfoort magistrate’s court on Wednesday. He was charged with culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving, and was remanded in custody. He appeared before the court for formal bail application on Monday, 19 April 2021. According to the SAPS, the mother of the infant sustained several injuries and is still in hospital, while the second victim was discharged from hospital the next day. During the course of last week, Ermelo also saw its fair share of reckless driving and violence from taxi drivers towards individuals transporting passengers with private vehicles. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Liggie-slimkoppe beïndruk

    Liggie-slimkoppe beïndruk 1/5 Share SM HATTINGH 24 August 2021 Die Top 10 akademiese presteerders in elke graad is aangewys na die afgelope Junie-eksamens. Dit verg baie insette en ekstra ure voor die lessenaar om hierdie prestasie te behaal. Die Top 10 akademiese presteerders in elke graad is aangewys na die afgelope Junie-eksamens. Dit verg baie insette en ekstra ure voor die lessenaar om hierdie prestasie te behaal. We are very proud to present the Top 10 academic achievers in each grade and would like to express our congratulations to each Liggie for their hard work and dedication. The Top 10 learners for Grade 12 are Nadine Brelage - 94.71%, Busisiwe Vemba, Hubert Terblanche, Prajna Bhika, Jenna Scott, Gerhard Botma, Marzé Wentzel, Kgomotso Maroga, Retha le Roux and Amandla Cele. Graad 11 Top 10 leerders is Danika Drotsky - 94.57%, Ané Roets, Danielle Venter, Almaas Saley, Huzefa Patel, Atiyyah Jassat, Lóhan Coetzee, Imaan Tayob, Adri van der Merwe, Prince Adebayo and Siphelele Msibi share number 10. Top 10 learners in Grade 10 are Fatimah Mogalia - 91.14%, Praise Ngubeni, Asiphesona Soyeye, Muriel Mugweni, Janneke de Villiers, Shawn Kobe, Zeara Maseko, Amirah Jassat, Natalie Kobe waar Jana du Plessis en Douglas Reyneke ‘n plek deel in die Top 10. Graad 9 Top 10 is Elandri Kleynhans - 96.00%, Ameen Tikly, Simoné Cloete, Amelia Brummer, Aqeelah Sarang, Jasmyn Archer, Shazia Vally, Brenda Kirsten, Anele Manana en Lungile Mthethwa. The Grade 8 Top 10 learners are Atharv Agre - 93.11%, Zahraa Tayob, Nicole Brelage, Ilne Grobler, Nabihah Jassat, Rumaanah Del Cueto Martinez, Zahra Del Cueto Martinez, Akua Mprah, Malebo Marutla and Lethabo Motlhabi. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • The Heart Of Middelburg celebrates 10 years in operation | tribune-newspaper

    The Heart Of Middelburg celebrates 10 years in operation Appearing on the photo (f.l.t.r): Jabu Mokwena, handyman, Allen Snyman, operations manager, Nelly Shabalala, receptionist, Mike Tammadge, general manager, Morgan-Lee van der Walt, marketing manager, and Dennis Mukoma, security manager. Appearing on the photo (f.l.t.r): Jabu Mokwena, handyman, Allen Snyman, operations manager, Nelly Shabalala, receptionist, Mike Tammadge, general manager, Morgan-Lee van der Walt, marketing manager, and Dennis Mukoma, security manager. 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 10 May 2022 Middelburg Mall offers a one-stop, family friendly shopping experience where convenience and safety are of utmost importance. Press release - 10 years of special Middelburg Moments shared with our shoppers, tenants, suppliers and contractors. When the Moolman Group and Flanagan & Gerard opened the mall in 2012, little did they know that it would evolve into a respected community landmark - a place of giving, coming together and creating countless memories. The heart of Middelburg! Creating countless job opportunities for the Middelburg community, the mall has become a valued asset in the Middelburg business community. More than 60 million shoppers have visited the mall since opening day, and hopes to see many, many more in the future. With over 140 retailers, free parking and a mini revamp in the pipeline, Middelburg Mall offers a one-stop, family friendly shopping experience where convenience and safety are of utmost importance. We would like to thank the community, our tenants & shoppers for their continued support. Here’s to the next 10 – may they be filled with countless Middelburg Mall Moments < Previous Article Next Article >

  • No clarity on rotational load shedding

    No clarity on rotational load shedding 1/3 Share GK CRONJE 1 September 2020 “The municipality expects that before residents go to work, they switch off unused appliances. Why should they switch on appliances like geysers, televisions, etc. when they are not at home?” MLM stated. Since March 2020, residents of Ermelo and surroundings have had to bite the bullet with daily rotational load shedding implemented by Msukaligwa Local Municipality. The load shedding occurs mainly during peak times, much to the frustration of residents who arrive home, to find that there is no electricity supply. Mundane chores such as cooking, bathing and laundry have become a struggle, and many students who make use of online education portals are left with no means to progress. The supply is more often than not interrupted for extended periods, with Mlm blaming the infamous 88kVA line for the majority of supply woes. Other reasons are alleged illegal connections, cable theft and a myriad of other, more feeble excuses. The Tribune directed an several enquiries at MLM regarding the ongoing municipal load shedding. In light of submissions by various political parties regarding the poor performance of municipalities in Mpumalanga, especially regarding the servicing of the Eskom accounts, it was enquired if the Eskom account is actually serviced per agreement, and if any arrears in payment are present. The outstanding amount owed my MLM is high, but relatively low in comparison with other municipalities in the province. The Tribune also enquired if, and how the amount owed to Eskom has impacted the notified maximum demand (NMD). The NMD is the contracted notified maximum demand, expressed in kVA, and the NMD should, and can not be exceeded unless agreed to by Eskom. An excess network access charge will be levied for exceeding the NMD. MLM has previously stated that the infrastructure is allegedly overloaded during times of municipal load shedding, and that the demand indeed exceeds the supply. The NMD comes into play noticeably of late, seen as Ermelo has been experiencing a disproportionate amount of electrical issues compared to previous years. Upon enquiry, MLM responded as follows: “The current account with Eskom is up to date. MLM is required to adhere to the agreed NMD and should not exceed it unless Eskom has agreed to the exceedance in writing and in advance. An exceedance of the NMD is a breach of Eskom’s electricity supply agreement and/or connection and use of system agreement. Eskom request the municipality to remain within the contractual NMD. If the municipality fails to heed the request above, remedies may be implemented by Eskom to correct such breach, including the right to limit the capacity. The municipality, in order to comply with the request, implemented load reduction in order to be within the NMD. Renegotiation with Eskom are ongoing in order to come up with mutual beneficial agreement of the NMD. Before an upgrade is implemented, Eskom conducts a feasibility study, among others, to check whether the capacity of the Eskom network is adequate to make supply available at a higher level on a continuous basis, etc.” MLM wholly ignored the enquiries as to when the load reduction will end, and what actionable plan MLM is employing to service the community. Residents and businesses in Ermelo are slowly but surely getting fed up with MLM’s tomfoolery and silence on the matter, as there are no honest, direct and palpable feedback from municipal authorities. If enquiries are responded to, elaborate statements which employ evasion tactics are submitted, often leaving more questions than answers. A Facebook group, which contains a substantial following of disgruntled residents, is evidence of the dismay regarding MLM’s ineptitude. Talks of a march against the municipality has surfaced, and another group of dismayed residents and businesses are considering legal action against MLM, much like the steps taken against Lekwa Local Municipality (LMM). LMM residents will feel some relief, as the high court has recently placed an interdict against the municipality, preventing them from implementing rotational load shedding permitted on a limitation linked to the shockingly reduced NMD. AfriForum has also locked horns with Eskom and LMM, as the extended periods of rotational load shedding, caused by the municipality, is considered and stated as unconstitutional. If MLM doesn’t shape up, the same fate awaits them, as many residents and businesses are negatively impacted by the rotational load shedding. The majority of residents and businesses in Ermelo are up to date with their utility bills. MLM has, themselves, stated that Ermelo has the highest utility payment rate from residents, with Chrissiesmeer and Breyten having amongst the poorest paying residents, with a shockingly high non-payment rate. Damage to appliances and equipment is also a cause of great concern, with MLM failing to elaborate on who will be held liable for damages caused by the fluctuation of electricity supply from the municipality. They have, however, added to their weekly load shedding schedule the wording “please switch off appliances to avoid damage from surges”. This statement is of nonsensical value, as many residents are at work during the constant fluctuations, and more often than not at home during these times. “The municipality expects that before residents go to work, they switch off unused appliances. Why should they switch on appliances like geysers, televisions, etc. when they are not at home?” MLM stated. Ultimately, MLM cannot expect to place the onus of damage to appliances on the residents, when the fluctuation of the feed is, to be frank, the doing of the municipality. At this time, residents and businesses can do little but to grin and bear the outages, which were stated as “temporary” when implemented by MLM seven months ago, along with the damages it brings. < Previous Article Next Article >

bottom of page