Tag Archives: vacation

Parliament move mooted

Parliament’s future in Cape Town has again been called into question, with a new proposal for it to be moved to Gauteng.

During Tuesday’s debate on Parliament’s R1.763 billion budget, during which the institution came under severe criticism from opposition benches, a long-standing critic of its Cape Town location, ANC MP Vincent Smith, said it would work better if it was moved.

“South Africa is probably the only country worldwide where the seat of the legislature is more than 1 000km way from the seat of government,” he said.

Smith noted that MPs were frequently criticised for the expenses the current arrangement necessitated – such as flights, car-hire and accommodation.

Michael Bagraim, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in response on Wednesday he was “shocked to the core” that the issue had been raised again.

“It’s been debated repeatedly and proven, on every occasion, to be too costly and cumbersome.”

Bagraim warned that a host of highly qualified staff would have to be uprooted and there would be a “staggering” cost for new buildings.

Parliament’s seat in Cape Town has been challenged on a number of occasions in recent years – most recently last November, also by Smith.

Prior to that, in 2009, the issue was raised by President Kgalema Motlanthe, who said hosting itin Cape Town was an “expensive practice”.

Motlanthe said a ministerial task team looking to curb wasteful government spending was investigating its possible relocation and that its

report would go before the cabinet for consideration before any decision was taken.

No report followed, however, and no decision was taken


Cape Town Partnership’s Andrew Boraine said on Wednesday that Cape Town should never believe it had a right to host Parliament, but had continually to earn it. “Cape Town cannot be complacent,” he said. “It’s our job to make this an attractive city to everyone, including MPs and government.”

Boraine cautioned that a full analysis would need to be done to calculate precisely how much such a move could save, and its cost.

If ever Parliament did move, however, Boraine said there would be no shortage of takers for its properties.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Politics


Tags: , , , ,

Building, shacks burn in blazes across city

Firefighters spent hours battling a blaze that broke out in a Bree Street building in the city.

Fire department spokesman Theo Layne said the ground and first floors of the Imbuyambo Cultural Centre, near the corner of Bree and Prestwich streets, caught fire at about 12.40pm yesterday.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

“There was nobody inside when firefighters arrived on the scene,” Layne said.

The fire attracted the attention of hundreds of spectators throughout the afternoon, who stood watching the firefighters, and taking pictures and videos with their cellphones.

Big black clouds of smoke billowed from the building as a fireman on a crane blasted water over the top of the smouldering building.

Some roads in the area were closed.

By late yesterday afternoon, firefighters were still at the scene, but Layne said the fire was under control.

Two people died and another two were injured in shack fires across the city at the weekend.

On Friday night a Gugulethu man died from his burn wounds after a shack in NY6 caught fire about 8pm.

In an earlier fire in Site C, Khayelitsha, a man and woman sustained burn wounds when their shack caught fire.


Zonnebloem, a man died after a backyard shack burnt to the ground just before midnight on Friday.

Four people were displaced but unharmed when a fire in Monwabisi Park destroyed three shacks in the early hours of yesterday morning, disaster management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Have your Say


Tags: , , , , ,

Clean up your act, Mayor tells city

MAYOR Patricia de Lille has promised that poorer areas will be as clean as the city centre once she has whipped city officials into shape.

In an interview De Lille slammed the city and some officials for failure to monitor refuse collection and to keep poor areas clean, saying more developed areas like the city centre were being prioritised.

She said companies contracted by the city to clean some communities were not being monitored well enough by city officials and the efficiency of cleaning services and refuse collection in some reas was dropping drastically.

She said Cape Town received accolades for being a clean city, but this was not reflected in certain communities like Nyanga and Athlone.

“Part of the city’s policy is to get services from SMMEs where we go for smaller contractors. But the quality of the service… is dropping because there’s no monitoring from the city’s side. So we’re going to beef up monitoring in the areas so we get the same kind of cleanliness as in the city centre,” said De Lille.

Areas of concern included Nyanga, Gugulethu, Athlone, Manenberg, Bonteheuwel and Sir Lowry’s Pass Village where there were protests last week.

“It’s also the areas where there are a number of people in backyards. We can’t give one household one wheelie bin. This will be a budgetary issue because we will have to buy more wheelie bins. We will now be employing extra people,” said De Lille.

She said in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village she would encourage the community to help the city monitor the contractor.

Gavin Silber of the Social Justice Coalition agreed that monitoring contractors had been an issue in informal settlements. Last year the Social Justice Coalition and Ndifuna Ukwazi complained and called for service delivery agreements between the city and the contractors to be released so they could be held accountable.

“Refuse collection in informal settlements is all outsourced and private whereas in the city it isn’t.”

He said in the Taiwan informal settlement, for example, residents were being offered refuse removal bags once a week, but some residents hadn’t received anything in six months though they were being forced to pay for these bags.

“Refuse collection is far below par and it’s all linked to sanitation.

ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe said: “The City of Cape Town is only looking after affluent areas. The poor areas are in limbo. It is so filthy here I wonder how some people can live like this.”

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Politics


Tags: , , , , ,

Proteas Netball team set for camp

The Spar National Netball team will start preparations for the upcoming tour to Jamaica in earnest when they assemble at a training camp in Pretoria over the weekend.

After the camp head coach Elize Kotze will select the squad to travel to Jamaica for the three-Test series.

The Jamaica series is one of a number of international engagements for the Proteas this year, leading up to the next major international tournament at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

Jamaica are currently ranked fourth, and should provide stiff opposition for the fifth-ranked South African team.

Kotze said her charges had their work cut out for them against the tall and physical Jamaicans.

“They have a height advantage in the goal circle at both ends, with exceptionally tall goalshooters and defenders. It is easier to counter taller defence, with speed and accuracy, but it is very hard to out-jump a very tall goalshooter.”

She said it would be crucial for her players to dominate centre court as they could not only rely on turn-over ball.

“But I have great faith in players like Amanda Mynhardt and Vanes-Mari du Toit, who are both very experienced, to deal with the Jamaican attack,” she said.

Mynhardt is currently playing in New Zealand, but Kotze said she was returning to South Africa until after the national championships in August.

“She is gaining great experience in New Zealand, playing at the top level, week in and week out, but I would not like to be without her either as a captain or as a player,” the coach said.

Kotze said it was important to develop a core of experienced players ahead of the tour.

“Developing a winning side is not a short-term exercise, it takes time. I’m very happy that the only regular member of the team who will not be available is Claudia Basson, who has work commitments.

“We will miss her experience and her ability as a goalshooter, but this will open up opportunities for younger players to test themselves against very tough opposition.”

The team will participate in a Quad Series against the three top-ranked teams in the world, Australia, New Zealand and England, in Australasia in October

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Netball


Tags: , , , , ,

Hospital fire contained

A fire that broke out at the construction site of the Mitchells Plain Hospital on Wednesday morning was largely under control, Cape Town fire and rescue said. Spokesman Theo Layne said the fire broke out at 11am in an administration wing on the site, at the corner of the R300 and AZ Berman drive. “The main part of the fire is basically out, it’s just some inaccessible areas inside the building which firefighters are now attending to. They are busy dampening down as we speak,” he said. No construction workers were in the area at the time the blaze began. Lane said the damage to the area was significant. “Most of that (area) will have to be rebuilt. It was almost completed. The project manager was saying the floor area was the only thing that had to be done.” The hospital, with a project value of about R394 million, was due to be completed at the end of October this year. The cause of the fire was being investigated

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Have your Say


Tags: , , , , ,

Witnesses say victim was talking to shooter

A teenage boy has been arrested for the murder of a known Cape Flats gang figure gunned down metres from his home.

Those close to the victim say there was an attempt on his life a few weeks ago but he managed to escape death. But on Sunday, Ralph “Jakkals” Petersen was not so lucky.

Witnesses say Ralph was standing talking to his killer when the young man allegedly pulled out a gun and shot him in the head.

Police say the cold-blooded murder is definitely gang-related.

Petersen’s neighbours and friends gathered outside his home in Mahogany Street, Bonteheuwel, while his body lay on the pavement two houses away.

“I can’t believe that he is lying there dead,” said one friend.

“We grew up together and were friends since we were small.

“We even played soccer together but then you mos know how it goes.

“I joined the Americans and he became a Dixie Boy but we were still friends.”

The man tells the Daily Voice that Petersen had spent several years in jail for murder and came out a changed man.

“He was a 26 but he wasn’t still involved in that lifestyle,” adds the man.

“He was chilled and wanted for there to be peace in the area.”

Another friend says Petersen was shot at five times a few weeks ago but wasn’t interested in getting revenge.

“One of the bullets hit him in the leg and he had to walk with crutches, even lying there he still has the bullets in him,” says the young woman.

“He knew who it was that shot him but he didn’t go looking for revenge.

“He didn’t want to live that life because he didn’t want to go back to prison,” she adds.

Police spokeswoman Marie Louw says cops arrested a 17-year-old boy hours after the shooting.

“It is unclear when he will appear in court because he is a minor but we can confirm that the shooting was gang-related,” says Louw.

“The deceased was also shot over the Easter weekend but he didn’t make a case

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Discussions


Tags: , , , , ,

42 live in a little shack of horrors

Forty-two people staying in a 4mx5m shack in Mfuleni have the weekend to find a new home.

If they don’t, they will be evicted from their barely enclosed home made of zinc, broken cupboards and plastic.

Daniswa Matiso, 28, and her five-year-old son share the room with 18 other adults and 23 children. They have until Monday to find alternative accommodation or face eviction.

“We don’t know where we’ll go. We’ve been to city officials and they just send us back and forth between themselves, telling us they can’t help us,” Matiso said.

The group consists of eight men, 11 women, 15 boys and eight girls. One of the women was pregnant and gave birth to a girl on Thursday.

Matiso said: “We all have to live together, we have no choice.”

The shack has no windows. Zinc and broken cupboards serve as walls, and the roof is made largely of plastic.

“As you can see, water is coming in right now. When it rains we don’t sleep at all. We stand on our feet, and we take the children and put them under whichever sheltered spot we can find.”

The group was evicted from the backyards of homes in Phase One, Mfuleni, in January. They ended up in the tiny shack in March.

Matiso said: “We were living in backyards in phase One, in Bhadeni. Our landlords said they needed us out in January because their houses had been earmarked for renovations.”

She said not even their ward councillor, Themba Honono, could assist.

“He told us he’s not ward councillor for shack dwellers. He said he doesn’t even know us,” she said.

Honono said: “They know very well that they aren’t supposed to be on that land. They occupy the land, then law enforcement demolishes their homes, and then only do they come to me.”

The small structure does not have electricity, water, or toilets. The group makes a fire on the sandy floor to keep warm and boil water for tea.

“We go to the surrounding houses to ask for water to drink, cook, and bath. We go to the same houses during the day to use the toilet.

“We can’t do that at night so we use the grass patch behind the shack as a toilet and clean it up the next day,” said Thumeka Sitawuti, 24.

The unemployed mother said their living conditions made it difficult for people like her to go job hunting.


Nolubabalo Boso, 30, a mother of two, said it was tough to raise her children like this.

“We can’t live like this. We can’t even wash properly here. We have to ask the men to go to the neighbours or the nearest tavern when we want to wash,” Boso said.


“We sleep with one eye open, anything could happen. Everything we do is done looking over our shoulders. Thugs eavesdrop when we’re washing.”

Matiso said: “We can’t even control the children properly, there are too many of them. It’s often very difficult to keep tabs on who’s home and who isn’t.”

Sitawuti said their property was also under threat. “We get trouble from drunk people from shebeens stumbling into our space, and we have to deal with that too. The children are always getting sick. We also have to deal with theft. A plastic sail, which cost R300, was given to us on loan. We hadn’t even finished paying it off, and it was stripped down.”

Bongisisa Maqungo, 22, worries about the children. “Some of these children don’t go to school. They stay here the whole time and see everything that goes on here. We don’t have a door or gate to lock. Anyone can come in here. These children have seen their moms scream in horror when thugs accost them,” he said.

“When thieves come here they don’t do it politely, they are violent. This is what these children grow up watching almost every day.”

Bruce Oom, spokesman for Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, said the department was aware of the backyarders’ plight.

“There are many families who are in a desperate situation but unfortunately we don’t have resources or legislation to accommodate them,” Oom said. “There are hundreds and thousands of people waiting for housing opportunities in the Western Cape. We cannot provide temporary housing. We can only build about 13 000 houses a year, and about 12 000 service sites (a piece of property with basic services) where people can build their own structures on the site.”

Ernest Sonnenberg, the city’s human settlements mayoral committee (Mayco) member, suggested that the group contact Social Development.

“We cannot prioritise illegal land invaders over those who are on the housing database. There are 350 000 people on the city’s housing database and some have been waiting on it for many years.

“It would be highly prejudicial and procedurally unfair to prioritise the needs of illegal land invaders over those of legitimate beneficiaries.”

Sonnenberg said if they were evicted without a court order they should approach one of the legal aid clinics at Stellenbosch University, UWC or UCT.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Have your Say


Tags: , , , , ,