Weekly News Brief

Weekly News Brief
Soweto Towers - credits: sowetotour.co_.za

HEADLINES NEWS THIS WEEK

The week in which well-known Lesotho and Kimberley diamond mogul and socialite Eddie Poone died. Friends who were with him told that he reacted to a food allergy in Sandton on Thursday night. He was rushed to hospital but declared dead on arrival. Poone and 26 other diamond dealers made headlines when they were arrested by the Hawks and charged with illegal dealing in 2014.

President Cyril Ramaphosa would not say whether he supported the prescription of assets, a policy that could see local pension funds being invested in state companies, to help develop the economy. Members of Parliament grilled Ramaphosa on Thursday on a range of issues, from his CR17 campaign to land reform. DA leader Mmusi Maimane told Ramaphosa that the African National Congress (ANC) had stated previously that it supported the prescribing of assets and the use of people’s pensions by the state.

Deputy President David Mabuza said that adolescent girls and young women remained disproportionately affected by HIV. Mabuza on Friday chaired the first meeting in the sixth administration of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) inter-ministerial committee in Cape Town. Mabuza said that the inter-ministerial committee meeting was to deliberate on various aspects of South Africa’s response to the HIV and TB epidemics. He said that according to the latest UNAID Global Aids report, South Africa bore the highest burden of HIV globally, with almost eight million people infected. Of these, 4.4 million were on anti-retroviral treatment.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially withdrew South Africa’s signature from a protocol that prevents citizens from holding countries accountable at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal. The move was made official at the 39th SADC Summit that took place in Tanzania last weekend. Last year, the Constitutional Court ruled that former President Jacob Zuma’s signing of the protocol in 2014 was unconstitutional, unlawful, and irrational.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has said it will go to the Labour Court in a bid to set aside at least 28 irregular appointments at the public broadcaster. Lawyers were to file the application on Tuesday seeking to declare the appointments unlawful and invalid. This follows recommendations by the Public Protector and the parliamentary ad hoc committee as well as the broadcaster’s own internal investigation.

A Cape Town by-law that proposes a fine for swearing on beaches has some cursing the move, but the law is still just in draft form and residents can still comment on its proposals. The City of Cape Town’s draft coastal by-law is intended to provide for measures for protecting coastal zones and managing public access as well as social behaviour on beaches. Beachgoers will be liable to a fine if they threaten, obstruct, hinder or use abusive language to an authorised official or a person lawfully accompanying the authorised official.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

Veteran African National Congress (ANC) official and former United Democratic Front leader Cameron Dugmore believes the Rocklands Community Hall should be declared a national heritage site. On Tuesday, the Western Cape government declared it a provincial heritage site for the role it played in the anti-apartheid struggle. The hall was the birthplace of the UDF in the 1980s.

The City of Cape Town has to make temporary housing available to evicted Kraaifontein residents. Residents were removed from a piece of land earlier this week after an eviction order was granted by the High Court. The same court on Thursday ruled that the city had to step in to help the community. The city has to relocate and make emergency housing kits available to residents left homeless as a result of this week’s eviction.

A road in Cape Town well known as a gathering spot for protest marches in the CBD won’t be called Keizersgracht Street for much longer. Changing the name back to Hanover Street has been approved by the City of Cape Town. The name change was requested by the District Six Working Committee last June. The committee’s Shahied Ajam has welcomed the City of Cape Town’s support of the proposal to change the name of Keizersgracht Street. That’s the name it bore before apartheid-era police bulldozed District Six and shunted its residents out of town.

South Africa seems to be on the right path with regards to recycling plastic in efforts to save our planet. According to a study by Plastics South Africa, an umbrella body representing the South African plastics industry, more than 519,370 tons of plastic waste was collected for recycling in 2018. This was enough to save oil that could fuel 200,000 cars for a year, travelling 30,000 km/year. Plastic recycling grew by 6.7% in 2018 from 2017, saving 246,000 tons of carbon dioxide (the equivalent emissions of 51,200 cars in the same year).

The City of Johannesburg, together with labour unions, have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at reducing municipal strikes and putting more focus on effective service delivery. The South African Municipal Workers Union and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union are part of the agreement which will see protests being the last resort in addressing workers’ grievances. Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said this collaboration would ensure that employees were reskilled in order to protect jobs and enhance service delivery.

The trio known as the Krugersdorp Killers have been sentenced to life in prison. Cecilia Steyn was handed 13 life sentences, Zack Valentine received 8 life sentences and Marcel Steyn was given 7 life sentences. The sentences will run concurrently. The three had been convicted on 32 counts including murder, fraud and intimidation. The court found that the three, and at least 3 others, were behind the brutal murders of 11 people.

ICYMI

Sue Williamson: ‘That Particular Morning’

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

August 31 @ 08:00 – 17:00