City of Joburg passes pro-development budget

City of Joburg passes pro-development budget

The Johannesburg City Council has approved the budget for the 2020/21 financial year, which seeks to prioritise the city’s economic revival and maintain uninterrupted service delivery.

The Adjustment Budget includes the allocation of R12.8 million for the operation of the Alexandra Automotive Hub, which includes a component shop, tyre fitment & alignment, panel beating, auto electrical work as well as services and maintenance workshops.

MMC for Finance, Jolidee Matongo, says the prioritised items are in a bid to stimulate the local economy and boost socio-economic development amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matongo says the adjusted budget comes at a time when there has been a prolonged deterioration of metropolitan economies, which have contracted by at least  8% in 2020.

“We have also increased expenditure for social development by R18.1 million, which includes R15 million for the purchase and provision of vegetable packs for indigent communities.

Furthermore, under Pikitup, an additional R10 million has been allocated for personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that staff members are provided with sufficient PPEs,” he said.

The local government has further allocated R9 million under City Power for Enterprise Supplier Development to stimulate the SETA entities and to boost enterprise development.

Matongo added that the City has also extensively invested resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw health employee-related costs increased by R92 million.

The budget also allocated R53.5 million to the revival of the City’s roads by the Joburg Roads Agency.

 A further R9 million has been allocated to City Power to cater for the Technical Strategy for Network Health Assessment to keep the lights on in the City.

Matongo says  the allocation for the New Basic Water and Sewer Services increased by R11.8 million to complete the project, and the Orange Farm Turnkey Project has also been allocated R128 million.

“Also included under the housing allocations is the formalisation of informal settlements across the City, and the renewal of bulk infrastructure City wide increased by R14.3 million.

Furthermore, under housing, up to R24.7 million has been allocated for the preventative maintenance of facilities and the planned maintenance of retirement homes and flats,” he adds.

17 new schools to be built in Limpopo, says Premier

17 new schools to be built in Limpopo, says Premier

The Limpopo government plans to build 17 new schools across the province during the next two financial year.

Limpopo Premier, Chupu Mathabatha, revealed this during his State of the Province Adsress (Sopa) on Thursday.

Shedding light on the progress made in improving education, Mathabatha said the province has improved matric result performance from 26.8% Bachelor Passes to 29.1% in 2020.

He added that the province has registered performance increase in seven of the 10 gateway subjects. The premier also promised that 45 new classrooms will be built for Grade R.

“During the next two financial years, we will provide additional 40 schools with adequate water infrastructure. We will provide 100 additional schools with proper sanitation facilities. We will build 17 brand new schools across the province” Mathabatha says.

He has also announced that preparations are underway to roll-out e-learning in the province, which he said MEC for Education, Polly Boshielo, will give details on.

The Democratic Allience (DA) In the province was not impressed with the Premier’s announcement.

The party says the Premier has reneged on his previously promise of building 40 schools with adequate water infrastructure over two years.

“He failed to shed any light on plans to address the infrastructure backlog in the Education Department that amounts to over R20 billion in infrastructure and maintenance backlog,” says DA Limpopo Provincial leader, Jacques Smalle.

Smalle says the Education MEC’s pledge to Boshielo eradicate pit toilets in 2020 has also failed dismally.

Njokweni family in dire straits following house collapse, loss of life

Njokweni family in dire straits following house collapse, loss of life

The Njokweni family in Mboza, KwaZulu-Natal, has been dealt a double blow following the collapse of the wall of the house, which claimed gogo Agrennet Gumede (80).

Heavy rains, fanned by strong winds, caused the collapse.

Speaking to Matubaland FM news, gogo Gumede’s grandson Xolani Dlamini says the 80-year-old passed away in hospital after the incident.

He says gogo’s son, who had been sick for a while, also lost his battle with life on the same day his mother passed on.

Gogo Gumede was sitting with her daughter Perret Njokweni (58) when the wall of the house collapsed on them.

Njokweni is in a critical condition at Ngwelezane Hospital.

“While my aunt managed to escape – gogo couldn’t. Neighbours came out to assist the family and we called an ambulance which came and took them to hospital,” says Dlamini.

Ward 13 councillor, where the incident occurred, John Gwala has warned the community to be careful when it rains.

He says no other incidents have been reported in the area, other than the Njokweni tragedy.

Limpopo company director nabbed for R3.2 million COVID-19 relief funds fraud

Limpopo company director nabbed for R3.2 million COVID-19 relief funds fraud

A 47-year-old company director in Limpopo has been arrested for COVID-19 social relief funds fraud.

The suspect from Mtititi, outside Malamulele, is alleged to have stolen R3.2 million from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

The Mtititi Drop in Centre director had allegedly claimed the UIF money on behalf of her 242 former workers of the Malamulele-based Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Upon investigations following a complaint on the matter, the Hawks investigators found that the workers’ contract was terminated before President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a lockdown.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation alleges that the money claimed never made it to the pockets of the former workers.

The 47-year-old woman will appear in the Malamulele Magistrate’s Court on Monday.