Daily News Brief

Daily News Brief
Ladysmith, Kwazulu Natal - photo credit: SafariNow

Relief For Motorists As Fuel Prices Drop

There’s a little relief for cash-strapped consumers with the price of fuel going down substantially at midnight. Petrol has dropped by 96 cents a litre while diesel now costs up to 75 cents less. Illuminating paraffin has also come down by 57 cents a litre. Economist Sanisha Packrisamy said that the latest fuel adjustments were welcome.

Lamola: Npa Gets R37 Million To Ease Budget Constraints

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said about R37 million in immediate funding has been found to ease the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) budget constraints as it geared up to act against state capture and corruption. Lamola was speaking at his debut meeting on Wednesday with Parliament’s justice committee.

Lamola Vows No Mercy For Those Involved In Illegal Activities In Prisons

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has called for greater accountability and serious consequences against prisoners and officials who engage in illegal activity. Lamola said the number of irregular and unacceptable episodes of security breaches in prisons have attracted negative publicity for the department. The minister has now called for serious consequences for officials and inmates.

Motshekga: TALIS Findings A Useful Benchmark For Improving Education Sector

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that an education study that reveals serious shortcomings in the education system will be a useful benchmark for improvement. The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) canvassed around 260,000 teachers in 48 countries.  Despite the many challenges facing the country’s education sector, Motshekga believed it was improving.

Gauteng Health Dept To Probe Nurses After Woman Gives Birth Outside Clinic

The Gauteng Health Department said that the behaviour of nurses at a clinic in Pretoria where a woman was forced to give birth outside was shocking and unacceptable. Elina Maseko (45) was in labour when she was turned away by staff at the Stanza Bopape Clinic in Mamelodi on Sunday night.  Nurses allegedly scolded her and told her to rather go to a hospital because she had a high-risk pregnancy because of her age. But Maseko, who had no means to get to the hospital, gave birth outside the clinic with the help of a family member.

HRC Takes COCT To Task For Issuing Fines To Homeless People

The Human Rights Commission has taken the City of Cape Town to task over its policy on the homeless. City officials have reportedly issued 199 fines to homeless people for various by-law infractions. The clampdown came as winter reached its peak and cold and rainy conditions looked set to continue. The city has defended its policy, saying it was not being heartless.

SANCO Calls For Red Ants To Be De-Registered

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in Greater Joburg wants the Red Ants to be de-registered from operating as a security company. On Tuesday, the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA) suspended the notorious Red Ants pending an investigation into their conduct. This after PSIRA received numerous complaints alleging improper conduct during evictions. The controversial security company made headlines after it helped to destroy 80 structures in Alexandra last month.

Agrizzi Regrets Not Collecting More Evidence On Bosasa

Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi said that he regrets not collecting more evidence from his former company when he decided to expose its corrupt dealings.  Agrizzi told the commission of inquiry into state capture three months ago that Bosasa had made large donations to government officials, including some African National Congress (ANC) heavyweights. The wealthy businessman has labelled his former boss CEO Gavin Watson as the mastermind who used him and other employees to carry out illegal activities. Agrizzi said he doesn’t regret blowing the whistle on Bosasa’s corruption.

Eskom Ready To Enter Talks With Zesa To Recover Money

Eskom said that it would now work towards a mutually beneficial solution regarding money still owed by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa). Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube had assured Eskom last Friday that a payment had been made. But Eskom then denied receiving any money. The power utility finally confirmed receiving payment from Zesa on Tuesday after a number of promises were made to pay about R140 million.

What To Look Out For

Project To Increase Black Rhino Population On The Roll

A World Wide Fund for Nature project geared towards increasing the population growth of black rhinos is gaining momentum. Conservationists said that through the WWF’ Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, 11 new rhinoceros populations have been established in the country.  This initiative swung into action after poaching rendered the species critically endangered, leaving only around 2,000 of the animals in South Africa.

Treasury Weighs New Support Measures For Struggling Eskom

South Africa is weighing extra options to support Eskom, including swapping the financially troubled state power firm’s debt for government bonds or ring-fencing it in a special account, a senior Treasury official said. Discussions are at an early stage, and it is not yet clear which option will be chosen to help Eskom, which has this year been forced into implementing rolling power cuts across the country that have hurt local businesses.