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.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Dikeledi Magadzi, has donated 179 bicycles to pupils at the Northam Comprehensive School in Thabazimbi, Limpopo. The donation is part of the department’s Shova Kalula Scholar Transport Programme aimed at solving mobility problems for learners walking more than three kilometers to school.
The department has been able to deliver more than 100 000 bicycles to deserving schools in the nine provinces since 2001 when the programme commenced. “The Shova Kalula Programme, looks at helping pupils who walk up to five kilometers to school. The bicycles are given to them, so that they can reach schools on time,” Magadzi says.
The Deputy Minister says they are also working with the education department to assist pupils who don’t qualify for scholar transport. “Scholar Transport is given to pupils who walk from 5 kilometers and more hence, those who walk up to 5 kilometers are given bicycles” Magadzi explains.
Magadzi added that the Transport Department, after donating the bicycles, conduct an impact assessment to monitor how the donations have assisted learners.
The Deputy Minister was accompanied by amongst others, the MEC for Education in Limpopo, Polly Boshielo, MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, and Dickson Masemola, who is the MEC for Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure.
A 19-year-old woman was killed on Tuesday evening in Shongoane 2, Limpopo, allegedly by her boyfriend.
According to the police, the boyfriend reportedly approached the deceased soon after he returned from Burgersfort and confronted her about her pregnancy.
He later left with the deceased and her 18-month-old child.
Later that evening, the suspected confessed to have killed the young mother when he was asked about her whereabouts.
He, however, did not say where he left her body.
A search began on Wednesday morning where the hysterical cries of the baby caught the attention of the search party. The child was found next to the deceased’s body in an open yard in Marikana Village in Shongoane 2.
The 32-year-old suspect has been arrested and is due in court soon.
In 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared GBV as a second pandemic as it rages on amid the fight against COVID-19.
On Thursday, he launched a private sector-led, multi-sectoral GBV and Femicide Fund. It is aimed at supporting the implementation of the National Strategic Plan and wider GBVF response in the country. Report from Waterberg FM news
Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga residents are bracing themselves for Tropical Storm Eloise, which is expected to hit the local shores on Sunday.
Heavy rains and floods are expected to lash the Mopani and Vhembe districts, among other parts of the country.
The two municipalities say they are prepared for any disaster that may occur and are working closely with the national disaster management team.
Mopani District Spokesperson, Odas Ngobeni, says they have roped in the health, and environmental health practitioners to make sure that the municipality observes lockdown regulations such as social distancing, in cases where individuals may be required to be evacuated to community halls.
The Vhembe District Municipality Spokesperson, Matodzi Ralushai, is urging community members to remain vigilant at all times.
In KwaZulu-Natal, meteorologist Mkhushulwa Msimango says the cyclone could wreak havoc in parts of the province.
Msimango is also warning people to be extra careful on Sunday and Monday.
Meanwhile, power utility, Eskom, says it has made contingency plans to mitigate any risks and the possible impact on infrastructure and the provision of electricity.
Mpumalanga, where most of the power utility’s power stations are situated, is one of the areas expected to be hard hit by the storm. Eskom Spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, says the power stations will implement wet coal contingency plans should the need arise.
“Typically, heavy rainfall for four or less days does not pose a significant threat to power station operations, but continuous heavy rainfall for more than four days does hamper coal handling at the power stations and the mines supplying them. There are some power stations in the Mpumalanga area that have been experiencing ash dam constraints. Continuous heavy rainfall over these power stations could hamper operations and recovery efforts already under way,” says Mantshantsha.
Disaster management authorities in Mpumalanga are also on high alert.
The cyclone is currently lashing parts of Mozambique. – Additional reporting by Maputuland FM News Editor, Philani Zulu.
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in Limpopo has expressed concern over the shortage of nurses to fight the surge in COVID-19.
The nurses’ union says the Capricorn, and Vhembe districts are hit the hardest.
“We further take note of Limpopo Health Department’s efforts to strengthen capacity in the fight against the pandemic by establishing additional COVID-19 beds to accommodate many patients who need in-patient care. We believe that these additional beds will not save the lives of community members due to shortage of nurses who are required to take care of patients admitted in the hospitals. The available nurses are already overstretched, exhausted and frustrated due to the overwhelmed health system in the province,” says provincial secretary, Jacob Molepo.
Denosa says the health department was ill prepared for the resurgence of coronavirus infections.
“(The) shortage of healthcare workers is mainly caused by failure to fill vacant nursing posts left by nurses who went on pension, transferred or lost their lives. The situation is exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19, which confined more than hundred nurses either on self- quarantine or isolation.”
The union has also expressed worry over the department’s decision to dismiss more than 350 newly qualified professional nurses, who are due to complete their community service on the 31st of this month.
“Limpopo Department of Health is now serving as a training agent for other provinces such as Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and private healthcare institutions which are benefiting from professional nurses trained and dumped on the streets despite severe shortage in the public hospitals and clinics. The Limpopo Health Department trained and dumped about 700 professional nurses who were recruited by other provinces and private healthcare institutions, Denosa Limpopo.
The union is urging the Department of Health to resolve shortage of nurses and other Healthcare Workers through:
Absorption of 368 professional nurses who were issued with letters to terminate their contract at the end of January 2021.
Location and appointment of Post-Community Service Professional Nurses who were trained and dumped by Limpopo Department of Health in 2019 and 2020.
Implementation of Circular 39 of 2020 by appointing 1362 Professional nurses, 167 Staff Nurses and 102 Nursing Assistants as advertised.
We believe that additional beds are required to strengthen the province’s capacity to deal with the resurgence.
During his address to the nation on Monday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said they are filling vacant posts at the country’s healthcare facilities.
Limpopo has more than 38 878 COVID-19 infections and 677 deaths.
The provincial government has said hospitals will sent patients who refuse to be transferred to hospitals in other parts of the province back home.
Police union, POPCRU, has reiterated its call for the amendment of the criminal laws to impose heftier measures and penalties for attackers of police officers or any law enforcement officials in the country.
The renewed call comes after some community members in Greenside extension 44 outside Polokwane, in Limpopo, attacked police officers who had arrested undocumented immigrants on January 2.
The community assaulted the officers, pelted their vehicles with stones and released the suspects from the police vans.
POPCRU spokesperson, Richard Mamabolo, has described the incident as unacceptable and believes it was an attack on the state.
“This brazen attack can be viewed as an unscrupulous means not only to undermine law enforcement, but to also generate lawlessness within the community. We call upon law abiding citizens to frown upon and reject such regressive acts.”
POPCRU says the country’s high crime rate highlights the need for greater community involvement in the fight against crime.
He says POPCRU will continue working with Safer South Africa Foundation (SSAF) to encourage public participation in policing matters.
“Among others, we aim to benefit society by way of introducing a better understanding of the functioning of the criminal justice system, lay the foundation for improved relationships between law enforcement agencies and communities and bring access to justice stemming from exposure to various laws enforcement agencies.”
The Department of Transport and Community Safety in Limpopo is urging motorists to drive with caution.
This is after 15 lives were lost due to road accidents in the province over the weekend amid the intensified 36-Days Arrive Alive Road Safety Campaign that was launched by National Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, last week.
The Department Media Liaison Officer, Mike Maringa, says since the country moved to lockdown level 1 the province has seen an escalating number of road fatalities and most of them are caused by speeding.
Maringa says the department’s mandate from Mbalula is to reduce fatalities by 20% this season, but the situation currently doesn’t seem promising.
In the latest incident, four people were killed and one critically injured when the Dawoo Sedan they were travelling in lost control, overturned and caught fire on the R36 road near Merensky outside Tzaneen.
All the occupants in the vehicles were flung out of the car before it caught fire.
Three were certified dead on the scene and the fourth passenger died upon arrival at the hospital.
Mopani and Waterberg districts have the highest number of reported accidents. – Report by Radio Turf’s Tshepo Maeko
The Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola, has opened a new R300 million Tzaneen Correctional Centre in Limpopo.
The prison occupies 44 hectares of land on a farm, 5km outside Tzaneen, in the Greater Tzaneen Municipality. The centre is classified as a medium centre, housing offenders serving sentences up to 15 years within the Mopani District Municipality. It is one the three centres in Limpopo under the Polokwane Management Area.
The other two centres are Polokwane Correctional Centre and Capricorn District and Modimolle Correctional Centre, in the Waterberg District.
Minister Lamola defended the money spent on the construction of the new facility. “We are accused that we are building hotels for these people, we are not, but trying to change lives,” he said.
Public Works Deputy Minister Noxolo Kiviet, Limpopo MEC for Transport and Community Safety Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, Greater Tzaneen Municipality Mayor Maripe Mangena, Mopani District Municipality Chiefs led by Chairperson of Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders Council Kgoshi Dikgale, Tzaneen Cluster Police Major General Maggy Mathebula and former Greater Tzaneen Municipality (GTM) Mayor currently the Speaker of GTM Council Cllr Dikeledi Mmetle also attended the unveiling of the prison.
The centre replaces an old one, which had 68 beds. The newly built facility has 501 beds and is one of 16 New Generation Centres in South Africa.
“No country has a fully built infrastructure, am glad the Public Works Deputy Minister is here and committing herself to help us build, hope it won’t take another 10 years to build the employees accommodation,” the Minister remarked.
Mayor Maripe Mangena said: “Centres like this will enable our Municipality and district to limit criminal activities; I welcome all of you.”
Public Servants Association’s Limpopo Provincial Manager, John Teffo, welcomed the government’s efforts.
“We are excited about the extension because it will reduce overcrowding; hopefully the building will be maintained; the issue of understaffed hopefully the vacant posts will be filled by qualified personnel soon,” he said.
The Correctional Services Department reported a 38% overpopulation across the country’s prisons during the 2017/2018 financial year.
Public Works Deputy Minister Noxolo Kiviet acknowledged the newly conferred Dr Chief N’wamitwa, saying “we need leaders of her calibre.”
Chief N’wamitwa was conferred with the doctorate by the University of South Africa (Unisa) under the division of Law on the 13th of November 2020.
“I must go back to the office and fight vigorously to build and improve infrastructure as we enable Madiba’s wishes to care for our people; When you give dignity you have the potential to receive dignity in return,” Kiviet concluded.
Limpopo MEC for Transport and Community safety, Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, said: “We really appreciate a facility of this nature as a province; this facility will challenge the inmates to change their ways; we are willing to work with you Minister.”
Minister Lamola emphasised the importance of accepting the inmates back into communities.
“We give them all sorts of training and skills development here but we don’t pay their university fees, their families should pay if they wish to study further, hopefully they will use this skills when they are released,” he said.
Chairperson of Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders Council, Kgoshi Dikgale, urged authorities to facilitate the reintegration of inmates.
“When you release these people you should introduce them to our chiefs, so we will know who they are and where to bury them.”
The furniture for the newly built centre was manufactured by inmates from Boksburg Correctional Centre’ Production workshop, Gauteng.
“The mask I am wearing was made by inmates, at least 32 000 masks had been made to date. Please give them work opportunities if you can. If we keep them busy here all day by the end of the day they will be too tired to plot anything even to think,” Lamola said.
Twenty awards were also designed from the same workshop which the Minister handed out to the dignitaries. BACKGROUND FACTS ABOUT THE CENTRE:
– Head: Mr Nelson Nkhwashu
* The numbers:– Original Contract to build: 22 December 2009, 32 months
– The project stopped on the 03 rd December 2014, reason: the contractor was liquidated. Progress was 92% complete
– Resumed, 2nd contract: 10 th January 2017. – Initial completion deadline: 10 September 2017, – Actual completion date: 21 July 2020
– The inmates moved to the new facility on the 20 August 2020
– By the 18th November 2020 the inmates were 262, with 179 officials out of 260 required
– The new facility has 501 beds – The cost is R335 851 768
* The Education:
– AET level 1-4 (GET); Skills Development – TVET College Programmes – Engineering Studies N1 – N3 – Skills Training Programmes – Woodwork – Electrical – Basic Computer Skills – Fruit Production – Vegetable Production – Motor and Diesel Mechanics – Farm Management – Greenhouse Farming Project * The Building– K-1 and K-2 housing units – Kitchen and the dining hall – Hospital – Skills – Formal Education: classes and library – Laundry – Maintenance – Transport – Administration – Admission and Release block – Visiting area – Sports field