An act of solidarity

In a dramatic show of solidarity, Richards Bay residents were lining up to donate blood for attacked Hluhluwe farmer P J Hassard after his liver was badly injured. Doctors issued an urgent call for A-neg or O-neg blood after he would not stop bleeding. Many prayers are also being said for his survival, residents are reporting.

An act of solidarity


Peter-John Hassard shot, sustains liver-damage, farm attack Hluhluwe 5 black male gunmen

Hluhluwe, KZN – Peter-John Hassard, a young farmer of Silvasands Safaris near Khuhluwe, KZN – who is a son of ex-KZN rugby union president Peter Hassard – was
attacked on Tuesday morning May 20 2013 on his farm and shot.

He survived and fought back against the five black male attackers, reports a family friend.

Five black gunmen had held the workers on the farm at gunpoint – and PJ was attacked by the gunmen when he went to fetch the workers in his farm-vehicle.

They also shot him once through his body and surgery later showed that the bullet had damaged his liver – however he was still able to resist and fought back – managing to take away one of their firearms.

The thugs then fled.

The young farmer then drove himself to a doctor despite his injury and upon arrival there was taken to a Richards Bay Hospital for treatment.

His sister andra Hassard-Trethewey said her brother is in stable condition.

She wrote on Facebook: “PJ is out of theatre: his liver was damaged. Please keep him in your prayers he needs it.’

The local farming community have mounted a search party with the SAPS



Cape’s population by the numbers

The white and coloured populations of the Western Cape have shrunk, while the number of black Africans in the province has grown by nearly 7 percent over the past decade.

This was revealed on Wednesday in a presentation to the province’s social development standing committee.

According to the statistics, based on the 2011 Census, the Bitou and Overstrand municipalities were the fastest-growing regions of the Western Cape.

The population of the two municipalities grew by 160 percent and 120 percent respectively between 2001 and 2011. The growth has been mainly attributed to migration by jobseekers from the Eastern Cape.

The percentage of coloured people in the Western Cape dropped from 53.9 percent in 2001 to 49.6 percent in 2011 and the white population from 18.4 percent to 16 percent while the black population increased from 26.7 percent to 33.4 percent. The Indian population grew from 1 percent to 1.1 percent over the same period.

Gavin Miller, a chief director in the Social Development Department, told the committee that 16 percent (894 289) of the 5.8 million people living in the Western Cape were born in the Eastern Cape, 3 percent (167 524) in Gauteng and 1 percent (61 945) in KwaZulu-Natal. Four percent (260 952) of the province’s population was born outside South Africa.

“So only 71.9 percent of the Western Cape’s population was born in this province.”

On the subject of school attendance among children aged seven to 16, Miller said 94.8 percent of pupils in the Western Cape were in school.

“This is slightly below the national average of 95.4 percent,” he said.

Twenty-four percent of coloureds aged 20 and up in the province had completed matric, compared to blacks (28.5 percent), Indians (34.6 percent) and whites (39.6 percent).

“Looking at the labour market status among those aged 16 to 64 years in the province, two million people are employed, 552 733 are unemployed, 122 753 are discouraged workseekers (want to work, but do not look for work) and 1.3 million are economically inactive,” he said.

The statistics also showed that one in seven people in the Western Cape live in an informal dwelling.

Robert MacDonald, head of the province’s social development department, said the data was “very important” for provincial government departments.

“We will definitely be using this information for our forward planning,” MacDonald said.

By Clayton Barnes

Cape’s population by the numbers

Nkandla’s main contractor liquidated

THE main contractor, Bonelena Construction, upgrading President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence is being liquidated for owing R175 000 — despite earning a fortune from government contracts.

Nkandla's main contractor liquidated

Jacob Zuma’s homestead – Nkandla

Bonelena Construction, Enterprise and Projects secured two major deals worth R100 million in connection with the R240 million presidential security upgrade alone.

NKANDLAGATE: How R 248 Million (of YOUR Tax monies) was spent!

It is now being liquidated for failing to pay for the vans and trucks it rented from the Durban branch of Reebib Rentals. Reebib is part of the Avis Group.

The liquidator is Pietermaritzburg-based Berrange Incorporated.

Bonelena is owned by Pietermaritzburg resident Thandeka Nene.

The Witness has also learnt that the Independent Development Corporation (IDC), Bonelena’s largest funder, is also seeking its slice in the liquidation order as they no longer see the company as a profitable entity. Attempts to further question the IDC on this point proved unsuccessful.

A search revealed that Nene has secured contracts from the KZN Department of Education, Department of Transport and Department of Public Works from 2007 to build schools, roads and new facilities at hospitals.

Yesterday, The Witness revealed that a man claiming to be a relative of the president, Vincent Zuma, was also seeking money owed to him by Bonelena.

Zuma said he was awarded a R16 million sub-contract by Bonelena in June 2011 to complete the roads within the Nkandla security complex.

He claimed he only ever received R138 000 and never received his site establishment fee of R2 million, forcing him to leave the site in less than six months due to rising debt.

Zuma said yesterday he first met Nene in Inanda, Durban, where he did work for her at a primary school two years ago.

“Even on this contract I battled to get my money out of her.

“They only ever paid me in small amounts over a period of months,” said Zuma.

The Witness can confirm that in June a company called Incledon DPI, a subsidiary of DPI Plastics, which is a supplier of PVC piping, was awarded a sale in execution by the Pietermaritzburg high court against Bonelena.

Items that were to be auctioned included office furniture, computers, copy machines, and kitchen appliances. It is unclear if the auction took place however according to the firm representing Incledon, GDLK Attorneys, the file has been closed.

Nene has claimed through the press in recent weeks that her company’s financial problems stem from the fact that the department has yet to pay them.

Questions sent to Bonelena for Nene’s attention via email and sms yesterday asking for further clarity on just how much they had been paid for their work on Prestige Project A, clarification on whether the company is being liquidating, if they would seek legal action against DPW and whether they had completed their work at the Nkandla security complex were not responded too.

To seek clarity on liquidation consulting independent attorney, Yolanda Gielink said if a company cannot pay its debt, it may be liquidated of its own accord or by way of application by the creditors.

The process of an application for liquidation of a company appears to expedite the process of debt recovery,” said Getlink.

She said it is not uncommon for business person to keep their personal assets separate from the juristic entities their businesses operate under.

“This practice however does not however safeguard the personal assets 100%, as acquisition and dispossession of assets, if investigated, may still be attached if found to have been made in anticipation of liquidation,” said Getlink.

Public Works said it would not comment on whether Bonelena had been paid for work completed because the presidential compound was protected as a “National Key Point”.

Siboniso Soni, who identified himself as Nene’s spokesperson, failed to respond to several requests for comment.

By Jonathan Erasmus – 30 Nov 2012

Nkandla contractor liquidated owing R175 000

Transformasie in universiteite

‘n Oorsigkomitee wat sal fokus op transformasie in universiteite is aangestel, het Blade Nzimande, minister van hoër onderwys, Woensdag gesê.

Komitee bekyk transformasie in universiteite

“Ek het vandag die voorreg om die aanstelling van die ministeriële oorsigkomitee oor transformasie in die Suid-Afrikaanse openbare universiteite aan te kondig,” het hy aan joernaliste in Johannesburg gesê.

“Dit is ‘n lang naam, ons moet nog ‘n geskikte afkorting daarvoor soek.”

Nzimande het gesê die aanstelling van die komitee is een van die aanbevelings wat gemaak is ná ‘n ondersoek na diskriminasie in universiteite. Dít volg ná ‘n rassisme-saak by die Universiteit van die Vrystaat in 2008.

Die minister het gesê die oorsigkomitee sal die vordering van transformasie in universiteite monitor en raad gee oor beleid om rassisme, seksisme en ander vorme van diskriminasie uit te roei.

Lede van die komitee is vir drie jaar aangestel en kan heraangestel word deur die minister.

“Die aanstelling van die komitee is van krag vanaf die dag van publisering in die Staatskoerant, wat kort ná dié aankondiging sal plaasvind,” het Nzimande gesê.

Die komitee bestaan uit prof. Malegapuru Makhoba, vise-kanselier van die Universiteit van KwaZulu-Natal, Mvuyo Tom, vise-kanselier van die Universiteit van Fort Hare, Nazeema Mohamed, transformasie-direkteur van die Universiteit van Witwatersrand en Zingiswa Losi, tweede adjunkpresident van Cosatu.

Proff. André Keet van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, Shirley Walters van die Universiteit van die Wes-Kaap en Joe Mpisi, eerste adjunkpresident van Nehawu, is ook deel van die komitee.

Komitee bekyk transformasie in universiteite

“And this thing that they are white it is not true” – Ten men arrested for ATM bombings in KZN

He denied the allegations that it was a white gang, as was reported in the media yesterday – “And this thing that they are white it is not true.

Ten men have been arrested for a spate of ATM bombings in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, the Hawks have said.

The Hawks were following up on information when they took the men, aged between 20 and 40, into custody yesterday.

They were linked to ATM bombings in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said.

The last ATM was bombed in Howick. They were found in a minibus taxi from Gauteng.

They are staying in some hostel in Soweto, but they are originally from KwaZulu-Natal,” said Ramaloko.

After being questioned, the gang took the Hawks to a house at eManguze, south of Kosi Bay, on the border between South Africa and Mozambique in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Hawks found firearms – an AK47 and a pistol – nine explosive cables and a stolen bakkie. The vehicle was reported stolen in Booysens, Gauteng, early January, he said.

He denied the allegations that it was a white gang, as was reported in the media yesterday.

And this thing that they are white it is not true.

Among those arrested was the son of a taxi owner in Gauteng.

They would appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates’ Court tomorrow on charges of armed robbery, the possession of firearms and explosives as well as a stolen vehicle.

– Sapa

Source – Ten men arrested for ATM bombings in KZN

Clouds gather over South Africa as 2013 dawns

Business optimism may be up but serious economic and labour challenges lie ahead for South Africa, writes Phillip de Wet.

In De Doorns, the tyres burned and the rocks flew – again. Outside Carletonville, at Harmony’s Kusasalethu mine, anger brewed among locked-out workers, with the threat of violence breaking out as uncertainty drags on. And both incidents showed the promise of more to come. Neither the mining industry, particularly the gold sector, nor agriculture, in the Western Cape at least, is likely to have an easy 2013 in terms of labour relations.

The impact of the trouble on each industry will be significant. More than 5 000 miners are likely to lose their jobs before the end of the first quarter of the year, and talk of reduced workforces, scaled-down operations and mechanisation on farms is again common. The wages of workers in both these sectors maintain a higher than average number of dependents, often in parts of the country here economic opportunities are scarce.

Such gloomy prospects are in keeping with the latter part of 2012 when it seemed there was nothing but bad news to be had. In August, the Marikana massacre and subsequent strike contagion raised the prospect of an entire class of workers in revolt. In September, Moody’s downgraded South Africa’s credit rating and, in October, fellow ratings agency Standard & Poor’s followed, shortly before The Economist published a front-page article declaring that “South Africa is sliding downhill”. In December, in an open letter to President Jacob Zuma, chief executives including the likes of Anglo-anointed Mark Cutifani and FirstRand’s Sizwe Nxasana warned that, “left unchecked, our country is in danger of unravelling”. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business confidence index sank to a low point in the last quarter of 2012, a year in which the confidence metric was the lowest in 12 years.

But not two weeks into the new year, despite De Doorns and Kusasa­lethu making headlines, the sentiment appears to have swung around and there is a remarkably positive outlook in at least some parts of South African business.

The most compelling evidence is anecdotal but numbers can be found, for those so inclined, in support of it. The JSE, perhaps a more effective driver of sentiment than a metric, remains at all-time record highs, with a resulting flush of wealth for anyone with pension money in play on the markets. Business confidence, if not a willingness to invest, is ticking up. Retailers and vehicle manufacturers are expecting a decent year, if only relatively; manufacturers overall are already saying the worst is probably behind them.

What has changed? In a word, Man­gaung – and it did not even require a shift in policy. The business community in general is not enamoured of the Zuma administration but it seems to prefer a strong Jacob Zuma to a new party president beholden to whatever coalition of the disaffected that installed him – in other words, a repeat of Zuma’s first term, with a different cast of characters.

Sympathetic to business

The effective end of the debate on nationalisation at Mangaung, even for the mining industry, has heartened many, as has the rather resounding defeat of the forces of economic change. The election of Cyril Ramaphosa, for some an avatar of the national development plan and for others a man who should by rights be sympathetic to business while also holding union credentials, is an important factor.

But, to a large extent, the absence of change in ANC policy points to the kind of political stability many in charge of large corporates and investments crave – even a bad government is better than an unpredictable government, and a government inching towards being business-friendly is second only to a business-friendly government.

But the ANC’s moderately anti-populist stance should be near the top of a list of structural issues that, in the long term, should more than outweigh the flush of January optimism.

By not taking demands for nationalisation seriously, the ANC is opening up space for the likes of the new Workers and Socialist Party. Those seeking economic revolution will have to look outside the broad church of the ANC and, although the new party may not necessarily be their vehicle, something of its ilk is required.

The same remains true of Cosa­tu, where the clearest illustration is the rise of the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at the expense of the established National Union of Mineworkers, which is struggling to remain credible.

The business community and middle class may welcome that the leaders of the trade union federation have been co-opted into the ANC’s leadership and will be forced to tone down their rhetoric, but we have seen the consequences when workers lose trust in those nominally representing their interests.

Workers, on average, are in for a tough year. The global economy remains sluggish and the best hope for exporters is that the rand will remain weak, or will weaken further. Manufacturers do not expect to hire more workers, agriculture is unlikely to expand and both the gold and platinum mines will reduce their workforces, shutting down shafts or even mines.

Those who keep their jobs will have a tough time negotiating increases significantly above inflation. For once, that may be true of the public service too. Social spending will cushion the blow for those who do not keep their jobs but social grants have not been keeping up with inflation, and will not do so in the near future, and countercyclical government spending will be funded by debt even as the sources of taxable revenue shrink.

Cyril: From missing in action to everywhere

Prior to the ANC’s national conference in Mangaung last month, Cyril Ramaphosa was, as he had been for years, essentially missing in action. After leaving ANC management during the era of Nelson Mandela, he had granted interviews about his business interests sparingly. In December, his representatives said the ongoing Farlam inquiry into the Marikana massacre meant that Ramaphosa would rather not speak in public.

But in the past week, the ANC’s new deputy president was every-where. He broke his silence on Marikana in an interview with CNN, flighted on Tuesday, before again speaking about it at an ANC rally in KwaZulu-Natal. On Wednesday, he addressed businesspeople in the province. Similar events and similar high-profile speaking roles are apparently on the cards for Ramaphosa.

Several analysts and commentators had expected him to remain firmly in the background, either because of his tangential involvement in Marikana by way of mining company Lonmin or because speculation remains rife about whether he will find a role in the government executive.

NEC crème de la crème

Although a higher profile could pressure the ANC into finding Ramaphosa a government role, that may be unintentional, one analyst says. “There is this perception, especially in the media, that shifting people is a purge,” said political commentator Sipho Seepe. “That’s what elections are supposed to do – to usher in new blood and new ideas. [Ramaphosa’s] job is to represent the ANC now.”

But there are suspicions that the popular Ramaphosa is being used to polish the ANC’s image and make it accessible to the black middle class and the business sector, both of which could adopt him as their favourite politician.

“With the Malemas taking centre stage for so long, there was a fear that portions of society would be alienated from the party,” said Seepe. “The ANC is trying to revise that image, to show it has some of the best minds in the country there.”

Ramaphosa told the KwaZulu-Natal rally that Zuma is surrounded by the “crème de la crème” in the ANC’s national executive committee.

By Phillip de Wet

SourceClouds gather over South Africa as 2013 dawns

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