News

The ANC in Mpumalanga has fired four mayors in some of the province’s under-performing municipalities a few months before the local government elections. ANC provincial secretary, Lucky Ndinisa, told a media briefing this morning that Salome Sithole (Emalahleni mayor), Caroline Morajane (Lekwa in Standerton), Tiny Mthimunye (Dr JS Moroka in Siyabuswa) and Bafana Ncongwane (Thaba Chweu in Lydenburg) had been recalled.  Their replacements were Lindiwe Ntshalintshali (Emalahleni),...
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“Let’s chase the shit!” The statement comes with a wry chuckle on a weather-beaten face, attempting to downplay the seriousness of the situation. Peet Schabort is in search of the next sewage discharge in his hometown of Deneysville. Sitting on the bank of the Vaal Dam, next to its wall, the town is being overwhelmed by streams of human waste. The ordure is not hard to find. Flocks of birds congregate around lakes of sewage. The murky water is bordered by dark green grass...
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Mega human settlements are not a sophisticated repackaging of the state’s reconstruction and development programme (RDP) housing plan, a top Gauteng official said. "Mega human settlements", which had an estimated R5bn price tag attached to them, were the latest incarnation of Gauteng’s attempt at not only addressing the province’s housing backlog but also an avenue through which it would create employment. So said Gauteng human settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo, who was...
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An urgent investigation should be carried out to determine if the troubled Oudtshoorn municipality is in fact bankrupt, says the Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape. If this was the case, the party and coalition partner the Congress of the People (COPE) would request that their councillors take pay cuts, it said on Monday. The DA-Cope bloc emerged victorious on Friday to take control of Oudtshoorn following a council meeting at which African National Congress (ANC) mayor Gordon April and...
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The government’s disobedience to an order restraining it from allowing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to leave the country last month has rightly been criticised. But governmental failures to comply with court orders are often felt much more intensely by poor communities fighting to enforce their basic rights, and can have devastating consequences.These communities get little of the media attention given to the potential arrest of a head of state, and yet governmental failure at all...
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At a briefing on land-related legislation by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti earlier this month, traditional leaders claimed that a new planning law, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, undermines their authority to manage communal land. They said that by granting local government this power, the act strips traditional leadership institutions of their powers in relation to communal land. The act, which came into operation on July 1, aims to...
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Kannaland Mayor Jeffrey Donson says he is satisfied with the state of his municipality as officials on an oversight visit on Wednesday expressed "grave" concerns. Donson was not present at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and provincial parliament oversight visit in Ladismith because he was attending a by-election in Knysna. The Independent Civic Organisation of SA party head said he could not at present comment on issues raised there. “That NCOP meeting was postponed...
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People living, trading and working at the Newmarket Stables and lodge in Morningside are crying foul over eviction notices from the eThekwini Municipality which say they must vacate the area by September 1. The notices were issued on Monday, but residents and those running businesses in the precinct say they have never been consulted. Some of the older horses at the stables are likely to be put down if alternative homes cannot be found for them. Newmarket Riding School head coach Nadine Parker...
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The SA Local Government Association - representing 273 municipalities - is reviewing a policy that allows municipalities to provide 6000 litres of water to South Africans irrespective of their ability to pay. Salga is conducting a cost study on services provided by municipalities in general and the outcomes of that study will influence whether it continues to provide free basic water to all. It costs the five biggest municipalities R3.7-billion annually to provide free water, even to those who...
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There has been a drastic drop in the delivery of houses in the country, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told MPs on Tuesday. Delivering her budget vote in Parliament, Sisulu said housing delivery had fallen by an average of 25% over the past five years. “We have also been informed that the delivery of houses has dropped drastically across all provinces, some reaching lows of a 30% drop in delivery,” Sisulu said. “This, we have been informed, is due to a number of...
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