“Life Entabeni Hospital’s paid parking system is an accident waiting to happen.” This is the reaction of residents, patients and visitors to the hospital after they learned that a new paid parking system has been introduced by the hospital.
Entabeni introduced the paid parking system in December last year, after there was a daily struggle to find enough parking bays for patients and their visitors. The tariff for the first hour is R7 with an escalation of R1 per hour for up to four hours and there after a minimal escalation.
Explaining the reason to install the paid parking system, Lara Richards, Life Entabeni’s marketing and communication coordinator said that parking at the hospital had historically been free, but there was a daily struggle to find enough bays for patients and their visitors. She said that on further investigation into this, it was discovered that there were many cars parked on the premises that did not belong to visitors to the hospital. “The hospital also took vehicle security into account and pressure on the parking lot had been alleviated, “said Richards.
Commenting on the matter, Umbilo Community Policing Forum and Bulwer Safety and Urban Regeneration Forum’s chairperson, Heather Rorick said that the hospital could have sorted the illegal parking by upping its security. “The hospital could have also given a parking time limit, when a car is parked for more that that limit, have its wheels clamped and have the owner prove they were at the hospital,” said Rorick. She said that the paid parking system comes with a lot of traffic danger. “The entrance is right on the top, where cars speed up to get up that steep hill, now if cars are waiting in line or slowed in getting into that parking, there is a greater chance of an accident.”
She questioned whether any consultations were done before the system was introduced. “Were the residents on that road consulted by the hospital before hand, as this now impacts them as well. I don’t think so. Was a proper and thorough traffic assessment done on the impact of cars waiting in a queue to get into the hospital, and to having cars all parked outside now on the road due to people not willing to be charged extra when going to get services at the hospital, asked Rorick.”
Umbilo resident Arnold Bate said: “Hospitals have enough money and they do not need to charge visitors for parking,” Another resident Gloria Abrahams said: “When I recently visited the hospital, I had to pay R12 for parking, its unacceptable. My husband also went to the hospital for his good old fashioned tests. He said there was ample parking but still had to pay R7 for parking. It goes to show that the number of people who park there are not there to see doctors or patients they just park there illegally the entire day. I suggested that the hospital has its security officers control the parking instead of making visitors and patients pay. Residents suggested that visitors and patients be given stamped cards to display on their vehicle windscreen in this way, parking would be free and secure.
It was a painful start to the school year for an 11-year-old-girl who was left fighting for her life when she was knocked whilst crossing Stanley Copley Drive in Sydenham on Wednesday afternoon.
Rescue Care paramedics arrived on the scene to find the severely injured child in the roadway.
“Immediately Advanced Life Support paramedics were called to assist. Due to the severity of the child’s multiple injuries the patient was placed on a manual ventilator on the scene before being rushed to the Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital where a trauma team was awaiting paramedics arrival. The child was then handed over to the specialist doctors,” said spokesperson, Garrith Jamieson.
According to Jamieson, the driver of the vehicle which rammed the little girl, remained on scene. He added that police were on scene and will investigate further
KZN police officers have been collecting bodies from crime scenes and dropping them off at local mortuary offices in Magwaza Maphalala (former -Gale) Street Medico-Legal Mortuary due to an ongoing go-slow by officials from the Department of Health.
The officials have been embarking on the go slow since 2019, after MEC for Health Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu gave then an ultimatum to return to work, or risk the implementation of a court order that could lead to their dismissal.
One of the officials, who wished not to be named, said they understand that police have been doing their jobs but they too, need the Department of Health to do justice to them.
KZN Department of Health Spokesperson, Noluthando Nkosi said police must contact district management if there are any delays in picking up the deceased.”
Previously, SAPS was responsible for collecting corpses, until the department’s Forensic Pathology Services took over, said Nkosi. She further said that the department believes there is going to be significant improvements to the management and functioning of Forensic Pathology Services at eThekwini District once the issues in Magwaza Maphalala Street Medico-Legal Mortuary have been resolved.
Ethekwini Cluster Community policing forum Chairperson, Imtiaz, Syed said in 2018 he had seen police transporting bodies of crash victims in the back of police vans to mortuaries.
“We have heard of contingency plans being implemented but unaware of what those plans are.” He questions how a civilised society cannot even understand the impact of not giving dignity to the dead and that why is this even a discussion.
“The mortuary staff has had grievances since 2017 and our MEC’s have been ignorant about their issues. But the fact remains that the SAPS police officers are not trained to handle dead bodies or let alone package and transport these them,” Syed said.
He added that as much as the mortuary workers can justify their call but how does one disrespect the deceased by allowing them to lay on the roadside for hours .”Aside from forensics that need to be carried out and sometimes this even takes longer than expected. There is no political will to resolve this issue. The sad part is that citizens are the ones who are are suffering,”he said.
Syed further said that the government must call on the private funeral sector to assist in the transportation of bodies, because surely this will be far more appreciated by the affected families. Having SAPS police officers transporting mortal remains is uncalled for but I further admire the police for assisting but it has to stop,” said Sye
It is the beginning of the year and The Baby House Westville is appealing for donations. The Baby House is a safe home for abandoned babies, fully dependent on sponsors and donations, and are currently in need of items which include fresh milk, chicken, mince, maas, batteries spoons (adults) a grass broom, potatoes, onions, black bin bags and Lactogen baby milk.
Terri Wentzel from the home said that the babies come to them through a registered social worker and they stay with them until either they are reunited with biological family or are adopted into forever families which can be anything from 2 to 3 days to 2 years.
“The house needs anything a normal family, large family home would use.” Wentzel also encouraged members of the community to continue visiting the home and giving some love to the children. “The community and individuals who would like too volunteer their time at the house are always welcome, as it takes a little to make a big difference in the life of a vulnerable child,” she said.
For more information, please contact Terri Wentzel on 061 125 0887 or Nola Smoreburg on 083 247 1423 and by emailing [email protected]
The ward councillors role in partnering with local communities and organisations is key to improving services and quality of life for the citizens. The Westville Weekly Gazette spoke with DA Ward Councillor, Warren Burne who gave a review of Ward 30 for 2019, the challenges he experienced and plans for 2020.
“Given the composition and the nature of ward 30, I had many challenges during 2019. At least one half of the geographic area of Ward 30 is in Westville. But, only two of the eight voting districts in ward 30 are in Westville, and about one quarter of the voters in ward 30 are in the two Westville voting districts,” said Burne.
He explained that the residents in the other six voting districts in Sherwood (x2), Bonela (x2), Mayville and Cato Manor/Cato Crest, require more assistance from their councillor than Westville residents. According to Burne, about 85 percent of his time is spent in the non-Westville voting districts in ward 30.
Burne said that the main focus of his attention during 2019, was the impact of the M13/Essex Terrace Interchange Upgrade Project. The municipality tried to accommodate the business forums through the operation of a “Business Desk” but gave up and the main contractor, Martin and East, started dealing with sub-contractors directly.
The involvement of the business forums has delayed the project, because of the threats of the members of the business forums to the main contractor. The main contractor was affected by delays in the re-routing of services on the ground (stormwater pipes, electricity cables, Telkom cables, etc). Metro Police was visible on the site.
The management of the traffic during the construction period, and speeding on Devon Terrace, affected residents which Burne handled. He said that he attended ten project meetings during 2019, of the “Business Desk” and the “Project Steering Committee” and two community feedback meetings. The project completion date has been shifted to 2021.
Burne said that the municipal issues affecting Westville residents are grass and tree cutting, verge clearing, domestic refuse collection, the non-distribution and non-collection of orange bags, potholes, streetlight outages, electricity outages and water outages, the extended sewer leak into the river between Thames Place and Somerset Drive and also near Conway Park and issues with accounting problems on the metro bills. “I expect these issues to continue until the municipality puts in place an efficient, supply chain management system.” said Burne.
He said that his focus for 2020 is to ensure that municipal services are provided efficiently and optimally. He said that, residents in the formal housing in the other voting districts, include all the issues which affect Westville residents like grass cutting, verge clearing, dumping, potholes, electricity and water outages, streetlights not working and, in the Bonela, Sherwood and Cato Manor areas, the failure of the contractor in collecting the domestic refuse and land invasion issues and the expansion of the invasion of the land.
Burne said that he experiences time constraints in publicising his activities on Facebook which he is hoping to change and that his aim to ensure adequate provision of municipal services will become complicated by preparing for the Municipal elections in 2021. He said that he is unsure which voting districts will make up ward 30 in the future, due to a demarcation process which is underway. For more information, Burne may be contacted on 083-326-6633 or [email protected]
Makana Municipality has confirmed it will appeal the 14 January ruling for its council to be dissolved and the municipality put under administration. Meanwhile, the UPM has vowed to ensure the order is enacted immediately, saying an appeal could see urgently needed remedies delayed for up to a year.
Mayor Mzukisi Mpahlwa this week described as unfortunate Judge Igna Stretch’s ruling handed down in the high court in Makhanda last week. The Judge declared Makana Municipality non-functional in terms of administrative functioning and service delivery and therefore invalid. Mpahlwa says the municipality would appeal because the judgment hadn’t acknowledged significant improvements to service delivery and administration over the past five years. In addition, Makana’s dissolution would set a precedent that could affect every municipality in South Africa.
The Judge’s two-page order – the conclusion of a 117-page judgment – said Makana had failed to provide services to the community in a sustainable manner, promote a safe and healthy environment, structure and manage its administration, budgeting and planning processes, prioritise the community’s needs and promote its social and economic development. Makana Municipality had breached sections 152(1) and 153(a) of the Constitution and was therefore declared invalid.
Judge Stretch ordered the Eastern Cape Executive to immediately implement a recovery plan to make sure the municipality provides basic services and meets its financial commitments. She ordered the Provincial Executive to immediately dissolve the Council, appoint an administrator until a new Council is elected and approve a temporary budget to keep Makana Municipality functional.
The Unemployed People’s Movement were the successful applicants in a victory celebrated by residents across the town.Turned a corner
However, in a media briefing on Wednesday 22 January, the institution’s political and administrative leadership insisted that the city is in fact on an upward trajectory.
“We have turned a corner,” Mpahlwa said. “The court’s decision was based on the circumstances of 2014.”
He said they were investigating why important information had not been put to the court. This included that an updated version of the financial recovery plan was in operation, and that there was a visible improvement in service delivery.
“We are confident because we believe if we put across the things that we’ve done, a different court will come to a different decision,” Mpahlwa said.
Makana’s dissolution would have a domino effect across the country. Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane last week indicated that while he welcomed the judgment as a wake-up call for local government, the precedent it would set meant the Province was likely to oppose it.
“I agree with the Premier – it would set a very serious precedent,” Mpahlwa said. “If this judgment compels us to be dissolved, every municipality, without exception, will be dissolved.
“Because all the municipalities are in the same situation, where they’re not able to recover 100% from the residents for the services they are expected to provide. It’s on this basis that this will create a very difficult situation for municipalities across the country.”
“Any municipality can deliver services only to the extent of the funds available,” he said. “As a municipality, we are owed more than R500 million by residents, businesses and some government departments. We owe our creditors less than R200 million. So if we were to get all of that money we would be able to pay all our creditors and still have money to deliver services.”
Monitoring and good communication were key to keeping Makana on its trajectory of recovery. It was also partnering with NGOs and businesses to tackle the area’s challenges and keep the municipality sustainable.Monitored
Acting Municipal Manager Riana Meiring said the reviewed financial recovery plan would be monitored on a monthly basis by the senior management and a report would be provided to Council.
A capital investment programme in terms of the municipality’s spatial development framework would also be monitored by senior management on a monthly basis. And the Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) – Council’s implementation plan based on the IDP – would be monitored to make sure plans were implemented.
“We will work very closely with the stakeholder forum established last year to understand, first, what the community needs and, second, to make sure we communicate.
Hindering its financial viability was that residents who can’t afford to pay for services were ignoring calls for them to register as indigent. This would mean as bigger subsidy from national Treasury for service delivery.
“For the past year we’ve pleaded without success for residents to apply to be registered as indigents,” the Mayor said.
This week’s press conference had been called, the Mayor said, to tell their side of the story. He specifically countered claims made by the South African Municipal Workers Union’s national secretariat. In a media statement last week, SAMWU said staff at Makana had not been paid.
“There is not one month when staff have not been paid,” Mpahlwa countered.
SAMWU also said the last payment of Makana’s equitable share (the portion of national taxes that municipalities receive quarterly from Treasury) had been withheld. This was false, Mpahlwa said. SAMWU in Makana last week distanced itself from its national office’s statement.Drought
The Mayor said ongoing water outages were as a result of the worst drought in 200 years, rather than a failure to manage the supply.
Meiring responded to a question about new delays to the upgrade of James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works.; The upgrade is set to increase Makhanda’s supply to 20 megalitres, an addition of 7ML from the current supply, which in total would cater adequately for Makhanda’s population, Meiring said.
There had been legal challenges by companies tendering for both the first and second phases of the upgrade. Both had been resolved and the upgrade was on track for completion in 2021.
The Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) will oppose the government’s likely bid to stall the dissolution of Makana Council, the organisation told Grocott’s Mail last week.
Attorney representing the UPM Brin Brody said the respondents – who include the Premier, the Co-operative Governance MEC and the President – have 21 days to apply to the Judge for leave to appeal. Should the Judge refuse leave to appeal, they can then apply to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Commenting on Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s assertion that the process of an appeal effectively suspended the Judge’s order, Brody told Grocott’s Mail on Friday 17 January, three days after the judgment was handed down, “We are not going to allow that to happen. We are going to apply to court on the basis that the order must operate despite their appeal because of the very serious allegations of urgency in the papers – the environmental crises etc.
“The matter has already been delayed by a year and we can’t wait another year. Those are my instructions from the UPM.”
Spokesperson for the Premier Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha on Monday 20 January confirmed that the Province’s position remained the same as announced last week – i.e. that they were consulting with their lawyers and that the judgment’s effect would be suspended until the provincial government had decided how to respond to it.
“We are still at that point. There is nothing new to share with you,” Sicwetsha told Grocott’s Mail on Monday. Attempts on Thursday 23 January to contact him were unsuccessful.
Judge Stretch’s ruling is the first of its kind in South Africa. It sets a precedent that could have far-reaching effects for dysfunctional municipalities across South Africa.
READ MAKANA MUNICIPALITY’S FULL STATEMENT HERE: http://www.makana.gov.za/makana-council-to-appeal-the-court-judgement-on-dissolution/
READ LAST WEEK’S JUDGMENT HERE (click on each of the images below to access parts 1, 2 and 3 of the judgment):
A special Celebration Concert for the late Steve Fataar is to be held at the UKZN Centre for Jazz, at Howard campus on Sunday, 26 January, from 2pm to 5pm.
Durban’s much loved music legend, Fataar, died on Saturday morning, 18 January. This is a first of a joint family and friends event celebrating the life of Fataar.
The family said that the celebrations will kick off in true Steve Fataar style, as he lived his life. An all inclusive programme, curated by Steve’s family, his musical family and circle of friends will be a moment of celebration and reflection, with invited persons participating.
Friends and fans are requested to join the Fataar family with precious memories and allow this moment of healing to settle in. This is one of many initiatives evolving with many friends celebrating the legend and the music of The Flames, in weeks and months to come.
On Sunday, parking will be available at the university premises. Light snacks will be served. The event is free and all people are welcome. For more information contact Dane Fataar or Danny Chetty on 082 565 8732.
Two weeks later, electricity issue still remain unresolved for fuming Ward 27, 31 and 33 residents. After sitting in darkness for more than five days, residents are blaming councillors and eThekwini municipality for not doing their job properly.
One resident commented on Everything Musgrave page: “Does anyone know where the exact sight or location of the problemis? Are they really fixing the problem or waiting till the evening to work for overtime pay? Sorry to be rude but it’s just ridiculous. At work, there is no power and now again in the area where I live.”
Another resident said: “This is disgusting and inhumane to say the least. What the hell is going on? Not even a single person can say whats going on, unless they just don’t want to.” Ward 31 Councillor Charmaine Clayton said that the city’s Electricity Unit has been inundated with network faults due to extremely hot and humid weather conditions that caused the substations to blow up, leaving residents in darkness. Clayton said that they cannot blame the municipality or even themselves as councillors because this was beyond their control.
“On Friday morning, eThekwini Municipally restored the cables that were damaged. The problem that we are facing is not knowing when they will blow up again as the weather is still hot.” EThekwini Municipality’s spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela supported her statement saying that in some instances, there are repeated faults on the same network, such as the cable fault between Glenwood Major and Hunt Road, that has failed yet again.
”We currently have 20 mini substations in Musgrave covering the Botanic, Ritson, Mansfield, and all the way towards Curry Road. We further have an additional 23 mini substations in Glenwood extending from Bulwer towards Lancers Road,” said Mayisela. Clayton said herself along with ward 27 councillor Ernest Smith and ward 33’s Mmabatho Tembe worked hand in hand with the department.
“The infrastructure is faulting at different points across the city, at weak points and substations. The problem is the system is more than 50 years old. We are sitting with some of the oldest infrastructure in the country. The system is not designed to be turned on and off all the time. I believe the municipality is not able to keep up with the faults. I question whether the procurement process is working fast enough to provide technicians on the ground with parts when needed. Technicians are doing the best they can with what they have,” said councillor Ernest Smith.
Smith said that he understands resident’s frustrations, but appeal to them to be patient and mindful of the fact that the infrastructure is old and not being maintained. Earlier this week on Facebook, chairperson of the Berea Sector, Des Moodley posted that it had come to their attention that several sub-stations are being blown all over Durban. Once it is repaired it is being sabotaged yet again, according to Moodley.
“The municipality has been told to ignore calls and they refuse to give reference numbers. Certain areas have had no electricity since Monday, 14 January. The municipality is doing their utmost best to hide it from main stream media. “We urge all to come forward and demand that this matter be taken seriously. One of the activists will be on east coast radio this afternoon to address this issue. We need to show our support and demand media attention. Kindly forward this msg and make our voices heard.
“Reporters need to investigate and extreme measures need to be taken to bring those responsible forward so justice can be served and the community saved. The government must act fast,” he posted.
Mayisela denied rumours of sabotage saying there were no acts of sabotage under investigation. He said power had been restored to most areas and asked residents to be patient while units responded to call-outs. To report outages contact 076 791 2449 or email [email protected]
“I would look at people on the street – homeless whose only aim was to find the next meal – and I would say to myself, ‘In ten years time… that’s not going to be me.’”
Setting targets, establishing a routine, mentorship from the Gadra Education/ Rhodes University 9/10ths programme alongside the school’s own dedicated teachers, saw Cameron Edwards emerge as top matric at Mary Waters Secondary School. This was despite enduring one of the toughest years of his life.
Proud mom Carol Edwards recounts what was definitely one of the toughest years of her life – not least because she wasn’t at home to support her son during his exams.
“During Cameron’s September trial exams I was in hospital for a week,” she said.
Then, on 7 November as Cameron’s final exams were about to start, Carol experienced excruciating pain in her abdomen. She was diagnosed with a perforated ulcer, a medical emergency, and rushed to Liivingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth.
“It was terrible,” she said. “The time I most wanted to be there to support Cameron, I was incapable. I couldn’t even be there for him.
“I was so worried – but I also knew he would make it because he’s very hard working.”
Cameron was naturally worried about his mom’s health. An older cousin was around to keep an eye on him at home and the family also had support from the congregation of the Grahamstown Baptist Church.
“I came out of hospital on the day of Cameron’s last exam,” Carol said.
Perhaps a frightening experience five months earlier had reminded Cameron and his mom how resilient he was.
He’d gone to town to draw cash that Carol gave him for his matric ball. On his way back, at the station end of High Street, robbers took the cash, along with his cellphone, watch and wallet.
So he didn’t go to his ball.
“I didn’t have more money to give him,” Carol said.
Cameron not only made it against all odds: he made top of the 2019 class at Mary Waters. His recipe involved quite a lot of discipline.
“From the beginning of the year, I set myself study targets and I put them up on my wall,” he said. “Every day I reminded myself that every day was another chance to reach my dream.
“Focus on your goals and know what you want,” is Cameron’s advice to this year’s matrics.
Cameron plans to register for a degree at Rhodes University to become a teacher.
We think he’s going to be an inspiring one.
A 62-year-old Phoenix man’s wife, domestic helper and two other women were arrested and will appear in court after they attempted to suffocate and strangle him in his home, yesterday.
The four women, aged between 38 and 53, have been arrested for attempted murder and conspiracy to murder. They will appear at Verulam Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.
Phoenix SAPS communications officer, Cpt L Naidoo, said, “It’s alleged that at about 17.30 on Wednesday, the complainant (62) was seated in the lounge at his residence on Wheatbrook Avenue, in Brookdale, and he was watching TV when the ordeal unfolded.
The complainant was approached by three women who covered his head with a bin bag and two of the women began throttling him with a scarf. When he managed to remove the bag, he discovered that one of his assailants was his maid.”
Cpt Naidoo added, “They began to struggle with one another until they got to his bedroom where the struggle to throttle and suffocate him continued. The suspects were then joined by the victim’s wife. She also tried to suffocate him with a bin bag. He managed to activate the panic button. The neighbour came to his rescue and all the suspects were arrested. The wife made an admission to the police that she and her husband are separated but occupy the same house. She claimed that they have plenty of personal differences. She further claimed that she planned the entire incident with the maid for a reward of R4, 000.”
Naidoo said an arrest was effected immediately by the neighbour who was duly assisted by members from a security company.