Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rising water table flooding Joburg


All eyes on government to see how they are going to solve this problem. My guess is they'll hold a summit at Sun City - which would cost the taxpayer about R60 000. They'll then realise that this problem does not really exist and is something the media cooked up to make them look incompetent. If however, it is proven that the problem is in fact a real one it will be blamed on Apartheid.

Johannesburg - Roads and properties in Johannesburg are becoming flooded from the rising water table, the Star reported on Wednesday.

Underground water was seeping through the roads and causing huge sinkholes and flooding neighbouring properties, according to the newspaper.

Residents were resorting to installing drainage systems at a cost of about R250 a running metre.

If they did not install them, water could get into the foundations of their houses and start eroding them, said Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) engineer Andre Nel.

He said the surface water was caused by rain water seeping into underground layers of soil.

It was trapped by a rocky layer, could not seep any deeper, and resulted in a rising of the water table.

The affected areas included Parkwood, Orange Grove and Houghton, Eldorado Park, Roodepoort, Randburg, Soweto and Lenasia.

The JRA would install drainage systems on roads, but did not work on private properties.

The summit at Sun City - which would cost the taxpayer about R2.600000 only followed by snacks off the bellies of naked women.

But wait, you forgot about the delegation that gets sent overseas -( 1st class air tickets/ 5 star hotels ) to find out how first world countries do it- Oh , and to catch up on some shopping and eating at the finest restaurants. I assume your R60,000 budget for Sun City is per head . the end of the summit it will be decided that the people owning / renting the properties must sort it out themselves. 

Actually, they will hold a summit, do nothing after a 600K sushi party and then publish their success story in the new states newspaper they are launching. The media says nothing because they are gagged by the information bill.

R12bn needed to fix N West roads


Johannesburg - About R12bn is needed to repair and upgrade roads in the North West over the next five years, the North West Business Forum said on Wednesday.

However, there would be an annual funding shortfall of about R1.8bn, it said.

The forum said in a statement: "The focus is to address the most critical roads in need of repair which will cost R1.4bn, which is additional to the existing budget over the next three years."

A solution had been identified by the Road Network Management System in the form of a loan application for critical projects.

"In total 32 projects have been identified... there are 1 622km of roads which need to be addressed and 18 200 full time jobs to be created," the forum said.

"There is no hiding from the fact that... the situation in our province does look bleak."

Gauteng Municipalities Under Spotlight

May 25 2011

Five Gauteng municipalities including the now-defunct Kungwini Municipality are being investigated for their role in the irregular allocation of municipal tenders and contracts worth R200-million

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane made the disclosure in the provincial legislature during a response to questions from provincial DA leader Janet Sample, who was not in the house. 

Sample’s questions came a few days after the May 18 local government elections.
In her reply, Mokonyane singled out the two big metros, the City of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni as well as West Rand District Municipality, Kungwini and Emfuleni Local Municipality. 

The City of Tshwane, had recorded an irregular allocation of tenders worth R165.5-million - the highest such expenditure among the five. 

Kungwini Local Municipality - which has since become part of the Greater Tshwane Municipality after May 18 elections - had irregularly awarded tenders worth R25.9-million. 

The West Rand District Municipality’s tender awards were R3.1-million

Ekurhuleni Metro Council had given out R2.2-million of tenders and Emfuleni Municipality’s R21 250 was the lowest award. 

Mokonyane said Kungwini municipality’s bid evaluation committee had deviated from the initial specification requirements but had not reported on time to the provincial treasury and the Auditor-General (A-G) its reasons for doing so. 

She said the irregularity had also been disclosed in the municipality’s annual financial report.
But, Mokonyane applauded all Gauteng municipalities for adhering to laws governing the use of municipal public funds. However, she added that the municipalities had not adhered to “certain prescripts of the Municipal Finance Management Act”. 

She singled out 14 municipalities including the DA-run Midvaal Local Municipality for not adhering with these requirements. 

Among the municipalities Mokonyane mentioned were Merafong Municipality, which forms part of Carletonville and Khutsong, which had irregular expenditure of R2.5-million

Emfuleni Local Municipality’s irregular expenditure was R105 573.74, but the money had been reduced to half after SARS had agreed to a waiver on interests and penalties. 

Westonaria Local Municipality’s irregular spending was R4.4-million while the City of Tshwane’s was at R2.2-million.
The Ekurhuleni metro showed R1-million in irregular expenditure, while the money recorded for Mogale City Municipality was R91 000 and that for West Rand District Municipality was R3-million. 

Mokonyane said Sedibeng District Council had incurred irregular expenditure of R322 000 they had spent on hired vehicles. 

She said the problem had been compounded by the slow purchase of fleet vehicles. The policy gap and fleet problems had since been resolved. 

Mokonyane said Sedibeng had also reported overexpenditure on salaries to meet the minimum wages agreement set by the South African Local Government Association. 

She said the government’s Department of Local Government and Housing was on track to give to give support to these municipalities and improve their financial management. 

Mokonyane was unable to respond on the state of the City of Joburg because the A-G’s report has still not been finalised. 

Rape victim Vows to Sue Cops

May 25 2011

With police “reneging” on a substantial financial out-of-court settlement, a Pretoria mother, allegedly raped by a policeman in the toilets of a police station, is determined to continue her fight for justice. 

Denied a chance to face her alleged rapist, battling apparent cover-ups and the alleged sabotaging of identity parades, and threatened with death, the woman, 31, is now going to the civil courts. 

With the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) recommending that those responsible for the alleged attack be “disciplined internally”, the woman and her attorney hope to bring her 18-month battle for justice to a successful end. 

She aims to ensure that the Rustenburg policeman who allegedly raped her, his colleagues who allegedly refused to assist her, and the Ministry of Police, which she will now take to court in October, are held accountable. 

The primary school receptionist’s nightmare began in September, 2009 when she was allegedly raped in a Rustenburg police station’s bathroom soon after she was arrested on theft charges.
The charges, laid by her ex-fiancĂ©, were dismissed by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) the day after her alleged assault. 

First she was turned away from the Tlhabane police station where she tried to open a rape case. Then she was allegedly refused assistance by a Pretoria district surgeon.
When faced with the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision not to prosecute, the woman finally believed her battle for justice was over when the North West police legal office made her a settlement offer. 

E-mails between the woman’s attorney, Delia de Vries, and the North West police legal services litigation section show that the SAPS approached the woman, through her attorney, in April last year, for an out-of-court settlement. 

Copies of the e-mails, which are in the possession of the Pretoria News, show that a Colonel Olifant, from the legal services litigation section, contacted De Vries.
The e-mail read: “This office is considering settlement …
“Kindly indicate if you will be prepared to accept an offer to the maximum of R500 000 as full and final settlement of this claim.” 

De Vries replied: “The client is prepared to accept … R1.2 million together with an offer to pay her costs to date to dispose of this matter.” 

Olifant responded: “We hereby tender an adjusted proposal.”
Replying to the “adjusted proposal”, which De Vries asked not to be revealed for legal purposes, she indicated her client “is willing to accept your offer”.
Thinking the matter was finally over, De Vries and the woman learnt a month later that the offer was being withdrawn. 

The withdrawal e-mail, which referred all further queries to the state attorney’s office, stated: “After having requested your opinion without prejudice on possibility of settlement, the writer has had an opportunity to look into the rape case and scrutinise all statements … made by the plaintiff. 

“Be informed that the writer is of the opinion that pleadings should be exchanged while waiting for the counsel’s opinion … as to whether we should settle or not.” 

Replying to Ben Minnaar, the attorney handling the matter for the SAPS, De Vries said: “We are of the opinion that an offer was made … (and) was accepted by our client … this concludes a valid contract. 

“This offer cannot be withdrawn … as this will amount to a breach of contract.”
The woman, who cannot be named, said she was determined to carry on with her fight for justice.
“It is difficult, but I have to carry on so that these policemen can never hurt another woman again.
“When they made the offer I thought this nightmare was finally over, that I could have my life back …” 

De Vries said as far they were concerned the state was reneging on its offer. “They made an offer which we accepted. Despite numerous requests for information no one has come back to us as to why there was no prosecution, why the financial offer was reneged on or why these policemen should only face an internal disciplinary process. 

“How do you just think away something like this? How do you think away a rape?” she asked.
ICD spokesman Moses Dlamini said: “Our investigation was completed. The docket, including statements and an identikit, was sent to the DPP for a decision. 

“We recommended the suspects be disciplined internally. The outcome of this, which is determined by the SAPS, is still outstanding.” 

Asked why there was no prosecution, North West NPA spokesman Frank Lesenyego said: “Part of the reason was that DNA tests came back negative and the woman failed to point out the alleged police official during the identification parade.” 

Asked why the settlement offer was withdrawn, Minnaar declined to comment and North West police said they would comment today.