Grocott’s Mail is aware of a letter that on Tuesday 19 February ‘went viral’ on social media referring to a “circular relating to the toxicity of the present Makana Municipality water” – and attributing Grocott’s Mail as the source. Grocott’s Mail dissociates itself from the letter emailed to local schools.
Subsequent ‘damage control’ correspondence to parents and other stakeholders has suggested Grocott’s Mail had erred. This is not the case.
We believe that the intention of the email writer and the people who subsequently circulated it was well meaning, but the claims made about the water quality attributed to us in the letter do not match what we wrote and published. We pride ourselves on rigorously checking our information, and sources, and on imparting news with fairness and balance. We are the first to admit any mistakes of fact and make any corrections if needed. But this was not the case in terms of this reporting about water quality tests and about and slow reporting of results of water testing by the municipality.
Here is the link to the full article on our website. It is unaltered from the original except that information about more recent testing results for water drawn for testing in February, was relayed to Grocott’s Mail at 3.30pm on Tuesday 19 February. This has now been included as an update. The updated information is in blue. https://www.grocotts.co.za/2019/02/18/dirty-water-plagues-makana-again
As is clear from even the first line of the original text, the original article is about water tested late in 2018, and the article was highlighting not just the poor results from those tests, but as importantly, that this this information was not shared with the public until last week. We heard about these results in the middle of last week and we deliberately held this article back for a few days days because a) we’d been given a verbal assurance that the water supply in the municipality is currently safe and b) we wanted to make sure Makana had the opportunity to 100% confirm the information they published about the November and December results last week, and let us know why the results were not made available much sooner.
We were also informed that current water testing results would be available today (Wednesday 20 February) and anticipated updating the article today. We would like to think that the publication of our article on Monday, and our focus on the non-disclosure of previous poor results, prompted an earlier release of these results for water drawn for testing in February this year – but unfortunately it was more likely the social media activity around the letter. When we were informed about the current results, from the water samples tested early in February, we immediately updated the article to include these results.
So what was the point of the article?
For two months late last year, it is clear that some members of our community were exposed to types and levels of bacteria that according to the national standard for drinking water are unsafe. This has happened before (March and April 2018) and the issues that caused the breach of safety should never have been allowed to happen again.
More alarming that these tests were done November and December 2018, but these results, probably because they indicate poor water quality, were not shared with the public until mid-February 2019.
Grocott’s Mail will continue to do the work of seeking out and sharing information about issues that affect our community. We hope that the current water situation prompts you to do some or all of the following:
- Engage your elected public representative and get them to speak out loudly for your interests and well-being;
- Support a civic, business or professional organisation that will speak out for you on the issues that matter most to you;
- Get informed about the political parties that are running in the coming national election, and find out who their local representatives are and what their plans are to solve our water quality and supply issues (and other pressing local issues);
- Attend the meetings of your local government that are open to the public as observers. The next Municipal Community Safety and Social Services committee meeting is scheduled for 15 May. The Infrastructure committee has been rescheduled to Friday 22 February.
- Please support your local paper. Grocott’s Mail journalists work extremely hard to gather and share reliable information about issues affecting the community that we’re part of. This town is our home and we regard the work we do as a service and a duty.
- Sue Maclennan, Editor.
STATEMENT FROM MAKANA MUNICIPALITY ISSUED ON 19 FEBRUARY
There is currently a very alarming message doing the rounds on social media about the toxicity of Makana water.
The municipality has done several water quality tests starting from January 2019 and the results came back on 22 January 2019. Samples were collected and sent to the National Health Laboratory Services for its microbiological analysis as per SANS 24. The full final laboratory report indicated that in January, Riebeeck East and J Street results failed in terms of e.coli. The Extension 7, James Kleynhans WTW, Indoor Sport Centre and Makana Municipal Office all complied in terms of e.coli.
The February results, according to the National Health Laboratory Services report indicates failure in Riebeeck East only in terms of e.coli, with ALL other testing areas/sampling points complying meaning it is safe for human consumption.
Due to the high presence of e.coli in Riebeeck East water, the community is advised to boil the water before drinking.
Furthermore the Engineering and Infrastructural Services Department was informed to remedy the situation with immediate effect. The situation is currently being monitored for any possible waterborne diseases. Resampling is scheduled for 20 February 2019 and will be made available on the Makana website.
In addition, the municipality is verifying/collaborating the water quality report with the clinical data as part of monitoring any waterborne diseases during these months.
The municipality is doing all in its power to address this situation and even sourcing an independent specialist to do water sampling in all our water treatment plants.
Residents of Glenwood have raised concerns over an abandoned house which is alleged to be a contributing factor to criminal activities in the area.
The house has no number and is situated next to house 29 McDonald Avenue through Rodney Road. The residents allege that on a daily basis there are strange people coming into the house and there are children also living in the establishment.
One of the residents who spoke to The Glenwood Weekly Gazette under anonymity said it maybe possible that the people living or making use of the establishment are unknown to the owner. “The house has no water and electricity, walls have been vandalised inside and out and is not safe to house children. We urge the police and the CPF to intervene,” said the resident.
Umbilo SAPS station commander Colonel John Romer confirmed that he was aware of the house, however, more intervention is needed. According to sourced information, the house owner was contacted at some point in time by police and was not interested in taking responsibility for the property. The eThekwini Municipality spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela said, “The respective property is a private property, therefore the onus lies with the property owner to protect their property or surrender it to council should they find them difficult to maintain and/or protect. The municipality therefore, does not have the power to act in the absence of an official letter, preferably endorsed by the court of law asking for the city to intervene.”
Mayisela is urging residents to report any illegal activity to SAPS and Metro Police. “The 24-hour call centre number that they can contact is
031 361 0000 (Emergency Services, Metro Police, Fire and Disaster Management, ” said Mayisela.
The post Residents call for intervention on an abandoned house appeared first on Tabloid Newspapers.
Ward 33 Councillor Mmabatho Tembe is urging the community not to only post about faults in the community on Facebook but should report all faults to the municipality and to her. Tembe said this at a community meeting which was held recently at the Glenwood Community Church.
“Posting and complaining on social media will not resolve problems, however if you are reporting a faulty street light to the municipality you must make sure that the correct street address is given, a pole number of the street light and give as much detail possible for the fault to be captured accordingly,”said cllr Tembe.
She said there is a programme that is aimed at fixing all the faulty street light in the Glenwood area. “Light Up Ward 33 is the project that will ensure that every street and ally way in the ward has lights.”
Tembe said the project will be done soon and she looks forward to working with the new Umbilo Community Policing Forum executive in the project as well as the community members.
“We will try by all means to get the municipality on board even though at times getting them involved is like taking out a gun to shoot however the gun is jammed, ” said Tembe.
Ending her talk, Tembe emphasised for people to report faults in the area. “Report, report and report,”she said.
Umbilo station commander, Colonel John Romer encourages neighbourhood watches to come together to form community forums in the different sectors under Umbilo policing area.
Romer said Umbilo has been divided into three sectors and will soon have sub forum elections for each sector to have a committee as directed by the Constitution.
“The committee should be formed by all the neighbourhood watches, car guards and all the people who can be the eyes and ears of the community. It will also include those community groups within the communities of each sector, security officers and anyone else who wishes to be involved in community work and to help eradicate criminal activity in the various area’s,” he said.
Romer said, “The aim is to unify the community by coming together and a lot more can and will be done if we do so.”
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EThekwini Municipality Community Services Committee, chaired by Councillor Zama Sokhabase held its monthly sitting on Thursday, 14 February 2019, at the Durban City Hall. The following items were supported and recommended to the executive committee for approval.
EThekwini Municipality acting head of communication, Mandla Nsele said, “In order to successfully transform the Heritage Landscape of eThekwini Municipality and to play a leading role in shaping and safeguarding the city’s heritage resources both in the public and in private hands, the committee recommended that project authority be granted to Parks Recreation and Culture Unit in consultation with Real Estate Unit to finalise engagements with the Mazisi Kunene Foundation.
“For the Mazisi Kunene Museum in Glenwood and its collection to be incorporated into the municipality’s Local History Museum Department and be part of the existing Liberation Heritage Route. Project.”Nsele said the Mazisi Kunene Museum was founded in 2007 by the Mazisi Kunene Foundation. It was the home of the late Imbongi, poet, writer, academic and creative genius Professor Mazisi Kunene.
The chairperson of the committee Councillor Zama Sokhabase said, “After the city was approached by the Mazisi Kunene Foundation and his family, the municipality realised that the literary legacy of Professor Kunene was in danger and the municipality needed to make sure that his legacy is safeguarded.”
“We have granted project authority Parks, Recreation and Culture
Unit which will work with Real Estate Unit to conclude engagements with the Mazisi Kunene family and their stakeholders in order to ensure that the legacy of Professor Kunene is preserved,” said Sokhabase.
The committee believes that this move would further enhance economic development since Professor Kunene was an international icon.
The post Mazisi Kunene Museum to be incorporated under municipality appeared first on Tabloid Newspapers.
Traditionally, love has always been associated with one being close to the one they love. However, the introduction of online dating has provided people with forming relationships locally and across continents. Valentine’s Day was celebrated last week and with February being the month of love, Tabloid Newspapers took to the streets to find out the public’s outlook regarding online dating.
I can’t rule out whether it is a good or bad practice because I have never been involve in it, but I think it depends on the person’s interest. You see, for some people this online dating thing makes no sense and their reasons for that outlook are different. On the other hand some welcome it. For me the traditional way is the right one because I was born to it. I think it is generational, in a sense that these kinds of relationships work well for those who were born during the technology era.
I used to engage in online dating in the past but decided to stop it, because of many issues. I dated a guy who lives abroad whom I never met physically. We chatted via Facebook. He said during our Facebook chats that he travelled to South Africa on regular basis. He never turned up for the appointments we made and made excuses for failing to honour them. I therefore realized that the online kind of relationship did not suit me.
I can’t understand how this thing works. Even if I understood it I would never engage in it because it seems ridiculous. I mean, how can you fall in love with a person that you do not know? However, I do not have a problem with those who are involved in such affairs as long as it works for them.
The world is changing, and as people we have to accept everything useful that comes with the changing world as long as it does not affect any one in a bad way. I had never tried online dating but that does not mean that I will never engage in it.
I do not think it is my type of thing. I would never date anyone I have never met in person, especially with the high rate of human trafficking. What if he wants to meet me and never allows me to return home? It is a definite no from me.
Alice Fernandez, celebrated her 100th birthday, arranged as a surprise by her family on 11 February at Isibaya Casino
Fernandez lives in her own flatlet on her daughter’s property in Newlands East. She still prepares all of her own meals and reads the newspaper daily without needing eye glasses. Fernandez attributes her excellent vision to heeding the advice of her father who told her to never use hair dye or nail polish as doing so would affect her eyesight.
“I am very grateful to have lived this long. There is no secret, I wake up every day, thank the Lord for keeping me another day, and I read the paper,” she said. Fernandez’s father came to live in South Africa from the United Kingdom. He met her mother, a beautiful lady from Durban, where Alice was later born. She and her late husband, who was of Portuguese descent, raised five children; three daughters and two sons in KwaZulu-Natal.
Fernandez is a proud grandmother to 19 grand children, 50 great-grand children and 10 great-great- grand children. Some of them were amongst the guests who joined her celebratory dinner.
Elsubie Verlinden has earned her stripes as the South African Agent for The New York Film Academy and the South African Director for the ARTS International Expo (Orlando, Florida). She has helped facilitate local models and artists to obtain international education and degrees. Her models has booked top brands and walked the runways of New York Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week, SA Fashion Week and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Tabloid Newspapers had an opportunity to chat to the lovely Elsubie about her life and passion.
Tabloid Newspaper (TN):
Where did Elsubie grow up?
Elsubie Verlinden (EV):
I was born in KwaZulu-Natal, Empangeni to be specific, and have lived in Eastern Cape, from there I relocated to Johannesburg to start my modelling career. There, I worked as a commercial actress, where I performed as Nancy in Mr Bones 2, also had a role in Binnelanders a SA soap, I have done 21 local commercials, and 17 international commercials.
TN: What is your role in the International
Arts Talent Showcase?
EV: I am a producer, I do all the work (giggling), I do the national auditions with our director of admissions. We go from province to province to conduct auditions. I personally present a workshop to the talents.
TN: Tell us a little bit more about it?
EV: Those that get selected to come to our ninth annual showcase this year will get the opportunity to perform in front of Kim Myers whose the director of the Arts Convention in America, as well as independent casting director of Tyler Perry’s Studios, Rhavynn Drummer. We will also have the New York’s Film Academy, Blaze Johnson, from Voice America, and Nate Butler a junior casting director for the Steve Harvey Show. The whole team comes to our South African Showcase. I produce and ensure that all the talent is granted with international career and casting opportunities. I also assist them in getting local representation with our local agencies so they can start working in their local communities, gaining experience in casting. We currently have ITS alumnus models auditioning for SA Fashion Week. We also have about 45 shoots for models in international brands.
TN: What you are looking for in the competition?
EV: It is a showcase of talent, no one is being crashed or judged. Opportunities are created, and its a platform for actors, singers, dancers and all performers to come and show us what they have. If we see that they have potential to be represented at national level, we invite them to our national showcase that takes place on 27 and 28 September at the Silver Star Casino. Each contestant will then come to Johannesburg to audition in front of our international industry professionals. We have had many success stories. I am looking for someone who is honest about their dreams.
TN: What inspires you most with your work?
EV: Being able to give opportunities to individuals with amazing talent and big dreams. I have made it my own goal to make nobodies somebodies and I enjoy helping them became great and bigger. That inspires me a lot. I met a car guard one day and gave him my card, and to cut a story short, eight months later he is no longer a car guard, he signed a voice over for SAA, he is booked for national brands. He is now an actual working actor in the industry. I believe that my purpose is to give what I never had. In life, my children and all the artists that became my children inspires me to live, and be a better person.
TN: Describe yourself in three words?
EV: A go getter
TN: What has been your greatest achievement?
EV: It is not what I have achieved as an artist, it is being able to create a bridge between America and South Africa, and to fill that gap. To connect SA artists with the world and the American dream and to make it a reality. Being able to give career and casting opportunities for artists from SA in America, and giving international education. I want them to know that international is possible. We shot a Disney film in South Africa called ” Queen of Katwe”, and the first Netflix film in December. That is my greatest achievement.
TN: Have you won any awards? Or which award you would like to win one day?
EV: No. My awards are based on the success that my models have achieved. The SA fashion models I have trained for the past eight years, have taken overall of top fashion model for the past seven out of eight in USA.
TN: What is the best advice according to you?
EV: Where the mind goes, the man follows, whatever you see and envision for yourself, you will attract and achieve. Have bigger dreams, and set your standards. Challenge yourself everyday,the industry is very competitive, but if you know what makes you stand out and use it to shine. Be confident to win everything you want.
TN: Are you currently reading any book?
EV: I read a lot of books, one of my favourite authors is Napoleon Hill, and Joyce Meyer whom I have started reading her books again this year.
TN: Your favourite TV show is?
EV: The secret , it speaks a lot about the performing arts .
TN: A best performer for you is?
EV: The one who gives their all when performing.
Following an increased number of land invasion incidents taking place across the city recently, eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede urged all ward councillors to be accessible to members of their community if land invasion was taking place, in order to deal with it effectively.
She was speaking at an Executive Committee meeting held on Tuesday. Mayor Gumede said she believes the land invasion incidents are politically motivated. She said in some cases, private property and not municipal land was being invaded, but the city would intervene regardless of this fact.“I urge all councillors to assist residents regarding land invasion. This issue of land invasion is escalating.
There are also allegations that there are some councillors encouraging people to claim land. We are taking these allegations seriously and will deal with those councillors who are found to have encouraged land invasion,” she said.
Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer encouraged the community to remain vigilant and report land invasion incidents to the relevant law enforcement agencies.
“The city’s Land Invasion unit, daily, has its hands full in its endeavour to clamp down on this illicit behaviour. In 2018, the Unit responded to 95 complaints in October, 97 in November 2018 and 43 in December. To date, the city allocates millions every financial year for this unit to discharge its duties religiously. Had it not been for these worrying incidents, this revenue would have been used to carry out other service delivery programmes” said Cllr Peer.
In her conclusion, Mayor Gumede said she was raising the issue at the Executive Committee meeting as it was escalating. She urged land invaders to follow proper processes to get housing while also urging private land owners to engage with the Department of Human Settlements to develop their vacant land or fence it off.
To report incidents, the city has a dedicated telephone number, 031 311 4699, which the public must call and which is manned 24/7.
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Rampant student protests in KwaZulu-Natal have rocked several of the academic tertiary institutions with stoning, torching and unequivocal violence becoming the norm, leaving students in limbo as classes remain suspended and protest action continues unabated.Students at the Hospital Road residence in South Beach set their matresses and bed frames alight and flung them from their windows
In a shocking display of dissent on Sunday night, incensed students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) flung matresses, bed frames, and other items from windows at the Hospital Road residence in South Beach, after university management failed to accede to student demands for better beds and improved living conditions at their residence.
According to media reports, UKZN spokesperson Normah Zondo stated that university management was cognizant of the protest action at the South Beach residence in Hospital Road and added that students had not conveyed their grievances as yet. Zondo intimated that critical housing challenges are being addressed with a plan of action being implemented by a residence inspection team which also comprises SRC members.
Meanwhile on Monday, more than 800 Durban University of Technology (DUT) students took to the streets and marched to City Hall bearing a list of demands which they handed over in a memorandum to eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede’s advisor, Mlungisi Ntombela, escorted by more than 100 police officers. Reports indicate that DUT SRC president, Sesiyanda Godlimpi stated the students would allow the academic programme to resume once the issue of student accommodation was resolved and the more than 3500 students blocked from DUT’s systems be allowed to register.
On Monday night, DUT issued a statement suspending the academic programmes at all five DUT campuses in Durban until further notice, as decided by the Executive Committee of the university’s senate. According to them, the decision was prompted by the renewed student protests, however, SRC and DUT management will continue to engage in discussions. DUT vice chancellor, Professor Thandwa Mthembu, called the suspension of the academic programme ‘disappointing’ but said in his statement that the institution was not willing to jeopardise the safety and security of staff and students.
According to the university, the protesters ‘disrupted classes, intimidated staff and students, and the protesters violated the rights of others by publicly issuing threats against members of the DUT community.’ Lectures have also been suspended indefinitely at the University of Zululand (UniZul) and Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) since outbreaks of violence at both campuses since Sunday.
On Sunday night, an institution owned vehicle was set alight in the parking lot at the University of Zululand. On Monday, UniZul shared a post on their official Facebook page that owing to violent activities on and off campus in the past two days, students were required to vacate the university campuses in KwaDlangezwa and Richards Bay by 3pm this past Monday. At MUT, protesting students gathered outside the campus, with burning tyres leading to nine arrests by police at the Umlazi institution. Inside the campus, students began rioting and targeted police with rocks and bricks. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, however, the situation remained volatile.