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  • The King Team actively making a difference

    The King Team actively making a difference 1/4 Share GK CRONJE 1 February 2022 "At this time, we would also greatly appreciate reflective vests and clothing, as it is extremely cumbersome working in the hot sun with full overalls." An enterprising and caring resident of Ermelo, Surprise “King” Makutu, has assembled a team of dedicated volunteers to tackle the deteriorating roads in Ermelo and the surrounding areas. Making use of compacted building rubble and neatly chipped and packed bricks, the King Team make the lives of motorists much easier, one pothole at a time. Their excellent workmanship with the materials that they have is nothing to be scoffed at. Speaking to Surprise at Mandela Drive in Wesselton last week, he proudly showed off the stellar work that they are doing. “We are doing the best that we can with what we have. We do the work in our own capacity, and aim to make a difference on the roads that residents use every day. However, we request donations from the community to keep up the work.” The team is highly organized, and have poinstmen directing traffic around the sites they work at. “If any business or individual would like to make a donation or has material to supply, we will greatly appreciate it. At this time, we would also greatly appreciate reflective vests and clothing, as it is extremely cumbersome working in the hot sun with full overalls. Reflective vests will also add to the safety of our initiative, as to alert road users that there are works in progress,” Surprise told the Tribune. The team also requires equipment such as spades, wheelbarrows and pickaxes, and other construction tools that can be used for road repairs, as they make do with their own scrounged equipment. Any business or individual who would like to be involved with this brilliant initiative, be it with material, tools, or even just a hot meal or cold drink, may contact Surprise on 066 422 3811. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Trudi celebrated as Batho Pele winner

    Trudi celebrated as Batho Pele winner 1/2 Share SH HATTINGH 17 November 2020 Since 2015, Trudi has received a yearly award of service excellence. Trudi van der Bank, a well known resident in Ermelo, has been invited to the Batho Pele Excellence Awards Ceremony, and awarded as best operational employee of the year. The purpose of the National Batho Pele Excellence Awards is to entrench the professionalisation of the public service, to recognize, reward and acknowledge public servants who are performing beyond their call of duty, and to encourage excellence in the public service. The ceremony took place on 30 October at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg. Since 2015, Trudi has received a yearly award of service excellence. “Congratulations Trudi, we are very proud of you, and keep up the excellent work.” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • EHS learner excels in English Olympiad

    EHS learner excels in English Olympiad 1/1 Share SH HATTINGH 11 August 2020 This Olympiad is a 3 hour open book examination based on a yearly theme with a prescribed anthology, where candidates critically provide written responses to the English exam questions with references to the texts prescribed for the Olympiad. In early March 2020 Raees Tikly, a Grade 9 learner from EHS, participated in the De Beers English Olympiad. This Olympiad is a 3 hour open book examination based on a yearly theme with a prescribed anthology, where candidates critically provide written responses to the English exam questions with references to the texts prescribed for the Olympiad. Raees received a silver certificate for the Olympiad. This is an exceptional achievement. “Congratulations, Raees. The Erries are very proud of you!” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Nomsa makes great strides in Mrs. SA pageant

    Nomsa makes great strides in Mrs. SA pageant 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 4 May 2021 To vote for Nomsa, and help her to achieve her dreams in the pageant, you can send an SMS, with her name, Nomsa Mokoena to 35959. In a prestigious pageant, where only the best of the best advance, 49-year-old Standerton resident Nomsa Jennifer (Nkutha) Mokoena has secured a spot in the semi-finals of the competition, and has show no signs of slowing down. Being selected for the Mrs. South Africa pageant is an achievement of note, as only 100 women are selected to enter. Sponsors and sessions are hosted and presented at Emperor’s Palace in Gauteng, with the entrants and contestants of Mrs. SA focusing on charity work en empowerment. The event over the weekend was hosted and featured famous guests and delegates from across the country. Nomsa is a successful, self-employed business woman, and does not back down from any challenge. “My main motivation for entering the Mrs. SA pageant was to help the community, and to pave the way for me to fulfill my dreams in helping the needy. I am honored to fulfil my obligations set forth by the Mrs. SA pageant, and my own charity work includes a unique elderly day care that I established in collaboration with my mother.” Nomsa was in the fray, mingling with the influencers, and marking her space in the pageant. “I thank God that my journey in the Mrs. South Africa pageant continues, and I managed to secure one of four sponsors. I still require 3 confirmed sponsors, but believe that I will prevail, and I will never give up.” To vote for Nomsa, and help her to achieve her dreams in the pageant, you can send an SMS, with her name, Nomsa Mokoena to 35959. Appearing on the photo: Margaret Hirsch, the executive director of the mega appliance store, Hirsch’s, with a beaming Nomsa Mokoena, during the weekend’s event at Emperor’s Palace. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Eskom discourages building near power lines

    Eskom discourages building near power lines 1/2 Share GK CRONJE 15 September 2020 Eskom staff needs to remove or replace pieces of equipment when they maintain these lines, and these pieces of equipment, which are often heavy, could fall on the dwellings or people below the line. Eskom uses various types of heavy machinery to maintain its power lines, which require enough space to access the structure. Eskom has noted in a statement that it has seen an escalation in homes being built within power line servitudes, without Eskom approval. This is not only against Eskom regulations, but also poses a number of safety risks. Eskom appeals to the public to refrain from this illegal activity. The ground below and adjacent to a power line is called a servitude, and belongs to the relevant landowner in that area. However, Eskom has sole rights to this portion of land as they have to perform periodic maintenance or repairs. “The perception that power lines are harmless due to their size and overhead distance could not be more wrong. In order to ensure the safety of communities, residents are not allowed to live within power line servitudes, because it is almost impossible to ensure their safety,” says Miranda Moahlodi, Senior Manager for Occupational Health and Safety at Eskom. Electricity transmitted or distributed on power lines can be up to 765 000 volts. A fault anywhere on the power line may cause very high current to flow down to the ground. If somebody is close to the line, fault current can flow through the person and instantly kill. Also, a conductor may break due to strong winds or bad weather, and land on a shack, house or a person, which could kill or seriously hurt the inhabitants. There have been incidents where residents have been injured due to metal objects that have come into contact with live electricity. Metal is a conductor of electricity, and there is a possibility of an arc to a shack built within a power line servitude. If lightning hits the line, as it does in many cases due to the height of a line, a flash of electricity may occur to the homes in the servitude. “If Chiefs or traditional authorities want to give pieces of land to their people and these stands are in an Eskom servitude, they must speak to the local Eskom office. The traditional leaders and Eskom can then together make sure that all the people get pieces of land away from the power lines, ensuring their safety,” continues Moahlodi. At the same time, developers should make sure that the required clearance is maintained when access roads are built crossing servitudes. Beyond the direct safety issues this can cause, building close to power lines makes it difficult for Eskom to conduct infrastructure inspections, which can affect the supply of power in an area and hinder the early detection of issues that could cause major damage. In many cases, Eskom staff needs to remove or replace pieces of equipment when they maintain these lines, and these pieces of equipment, which are often heavy, could fall on the dwellings or people below the line. Eskom uses various types of heavy machinery to maintain its power lines, which require enough space to access the structure. Eskom also often uses helicopters to perform live line maintenance, and as such it becomes risky to the people living under the lines. “We hope that the public will heed this call and assist us by only building in designated areas that have been approved by the local municipality and government. We will continue to educate communities about electricity safety, ensuring that we all use electricity safely and responsibly, remains one of our central goals.” Moahlodi concludes. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • AfriForum rig watertenks op in Piet Retief

    AfriForum rig watertenks op in Piet Retief 1/2 Share GK CRONJE 29 September 2020 Die AfriForum-tak in Piet Retief het onlangs hul eerste ses noodwaterpunte op strategiese plekke in die dorp opgerig, sodat inwoners en gemeenskapslede in tye van nood toegang tot water sal hê. Die AfriForum-tak in Piet Retief het onlangs hul eerste ses noodwaterpunte op strategiese plekke in die dorp opgerig, sodat inwoners en gemeenskapslede in tye van nood toegang tot water sal hê. Deborah Straat, Jasmyne Straat, Magnolia Straat, Piet Retief-moskee en die AGS Kerk Fontana is almal voorsien met watertenks wat 5 kiloliter water kan hou. AfriForum bedank graag vir Build It, wat die tenks voorsien het. Inwoners word genooi om gebruik te maak van die waterpunte gedurende die twee-weke lang waterinperking soos bekendgestel. “Die projek se sukses en volhoubaarheid is afhanklik van die hele gemeenskap se samewerking en betrokkenheid. Ons wil gemeenskapslede wat daartoe in staat is, aanmoedig om tot dié projek by te dra, veral persone wat boorgate het en kan help om water te verskaf. Ons wil graag nóg waterpunte in die Piet Retief-omgewing oprig om meer water tydens onderbrekings beskikbaar te stel.” sê AfriForum se distrikskoördineerder vir die Hoëveld, Bronwen Pretorius. < 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 >

  • Beware of fuel tablet hoax

    Beware of fuel tablet hoax 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 2 August 2022 "So, really it's a pyramid scheme and a scam more than anything else, unfortunately." Social media has exploded with the new ‘miracle tablet’ that claims to reduce your fuel consumption by up to 25%, while apparently boosting your engine’s efficiency. The B-Eco fuel tablets are manufactured by a company called Pro-One. The brand was co-founded by South African businessman Lawrence Kahn, and claims to approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency. He said the pills save petrol by lowering the temperature at which the fuel burns. However, neither the brand, nor manufacturer can be located on the approval list of gasoline additives. The company’s ‘brand ambassadors’ are put to task selling the tablets, which are R100 per tablet. Research done by Sasol Fuels Application Centre has proven that the product is a waste of money, and may lead to the cancellation of your warranty due to the risks your engine is exposed to. Senior engineer and researcher, Adrian Velears, urges citizens to steer clear of this tablet, and knockoff tablets like these. “I don't think your manufacturer would approve it. They wouldn't honour your warranty if they knew you were putting such things in your car and something went wrong. So, from that point of view, it's not safe. It doesn't work at all. It's not only a matter of risk, it's a matter of they don't do anything. So, really it's a pyramid scheme and a scam more than anything else, unfortunately,” he stated. Mikel Mabasa, CEO of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, also released a statement regarding the tablet. “Besides the fact that local authorities have not tested these products as part of South Africa’s current emissions standards, they simply do not work. Consumers are advised to check with the manufacturers of their vehicles first before they inject any foreign properties into their tanks or engines. Vehicles are manufactured to specific standards, and they are supposed to use prescribed products approved by the manufacturer for the efficacy and longevity of the engine,” Mabasa said. “It is highly unlikely that the products South Africans are being sold can better fuel consumption. If they do, and do not contain the problematic ingredients mentioned, then South Africa has finally developed the product companies worldwide have been trying to develop for decades,” The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, concluded. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • Jumping back on the nuclear horse

    Jumping back on the nuclear horse 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 16 June 2020 The renewed vigor for nuclear energy comes as a surprise, as government dropped controversial plans to build eight nuclear power stations. These dubious deals had been initiated by former president Jacob Zuma, and has come under extreme scrutiny amidst serious allegations of corruption. According to statements from the energy ministry, South Africa is planning a 2 500 megawatt civil nuclear programme in an attempt to solve the country's electricity supply problem. “Given the long lead-time of building additional new nuclear capacity, upfront planning is necessary for security of energy supply to society into the future,” the ministry stated. South Africa is the only country in Africa to have a civil nuclear programme. The two reactors at the Koeberg power plant have been in service for more than 30 years, producing 4 percent of the country's total energy. At this time, 90 percent of the country's electricity is generated from coal-fired stations that are dilapidated due to poor maintenance, vandalism and aging. The renewed vigor for nuclear energy comes as a surprise, as government dropped controversial plans to build eight nuclear power stations. These dubious deals had been initiated by former president Jacob Zuma, and has come under extreme scrutiny amidst serious allegations of corruption. < Previous Article Next Article >

  • 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 >

  • Refineries bogged down by demand

    Refineries bogged down by demand 1/1 Share GK CRONJE 16 June 2020 Although production had ramped up at the refineries, and product imports had arrived in South African ports, the challenges remain. Neither Mantashe, nor parliament's portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy chairperson, Sahlulele Luzipo, had responded to the DA's request for an urgent briefing on what was being done to mitigate this crisis. The DA remains extremely concerned at the lack of response from mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, regarding the ongoing diesel shortages being experienced around South Africa. Numerous wholesalers and retailers experiences difficulty in obtaining resupply. Although production had ramped up at the refineries, and product imports had arrived in South African ports, the challenges remain. Neither Mantashe, nor parliament's portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy chairperson, Sahlulele Luzipo, had responded to the DA's request for an urgent briefing on what was being done to mitigate this crisis. Deputy director-general for petroleum and petroleum products regulation, Tseliso Maqubela, had confirmed that diesel was currently being rationed. “Minimal refining capacity is online, and there is very limited imported stock arriving on our shores. According to reports, three of South Africa’s six refineries are yet to restart operations, two are in limited production, and the PetroSA facility had halted production temporarily due to product contamination and pipeline failures. This means that diesel is likely to be rationed for the foreseeable future. Given the lengthy lead time to procure, ship, offload and distribute fuel stock, it makes sense to hold sufficient reserves in the country to offset any potential supply chain interruptions.” < Previous Article Next Article >

  • TLU demands clarity on hunting regulations

    TLU demands clarity on hunting regulations 1/0 Share GK CRONJE 4 August 2020 “We urge the department and government to explain why these regulations were revised,” says Mr. Meintjes. “Farmers are already fed up with the impact of the lockdown while government depends on them to continue with food production. The day will come when farmers cannot supply the demand anymore.” Media Statement - TLU SA demands an explanation about the revised regulations published in the Government Gazette on Tuesday which prohibits interprovincial travel for hunting. The department of environment, forestry and fisheries also put an end to accommodation for hunters with the regulations. “It is utterly reckless and irrational to publish these types of regulations,” says Mr. Louis Meintjes, the president of TLU SA. “This is another economic blow for game farmers who’ve had massive losses because of the regulations during the first week of the lockdown. Our members already accepted deposits and made arrangements for hunters from other provinces who would have hunted with them. The risk for the spread of COVID-19 in remote areas, where people have little contact with each other, is minimal.” Game farmers had to forfeit the income from international hunters this year and depended on local hunters to have at least some form of revenue during the hunting season. Now they have minimal opportunity to earn an income and keep their farms running. It will have an impact on employment as well. In April Wildlife Ranching South Africa reported that the limitations had negatively impacted 67% of all employers in the game industry. In many rural areas, the local economy depends on hunters and game farmers spending money in the town or district. It keeps the local community alive. “We urge the department and government to explain why these regulations were revised,” says Mr. Meintjes. “Farmers are already fed up with the impact of the lockdown while government depends on them to continue with food production. The day will come when farmers cannot supply the demand anymore.” < Previous Article Next Article >

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