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What Zuma said represents the highest form of hypocrisy, dishonesty and utter disregard of the people of South Africa and the African continent. On Libya – EFF

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STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, HONOURABLE DIPUO PETERS, ON THE OFFICIAL RELEASE OF THE FESTIVE SEASON STATISTICS AT IMBIZO MEDIA ROOM, OLD PARLIAMENT – DIPUO PETERS

DIPUO PETERSDeputy Minister Sindisiwe Lydia Chikunga
MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana (LP)
MEC Barbara Bartlett (NC)
MEC Butana Komphela (FS)
MEC Vusi Shongwe (MP)
MEC WeziweTikana (EC)
MEC Saliva Molapisi (NW)
DDG Responsible For Roads, Chris Hlabisa
RTMC Chairman Mr Zola Majavu and the Board Members
Adv. Makhosini Msibi, CEO of RTMC
Acting Director General Mawethu Vilana
CEOs of other Transport Agencies
Heads of Departments
Officials from the Department
Members of all media houses
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

Charles Dickens once remarked:
“It was the best of time; it was the worst of time, It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair We had everything before us, we have nothing before us.”

This characterizes 2014, the year that was, on our roads!

Ladies and gentlemen, this crucial year marked the end of the second decade of our democracy. As we ponder on twenty years of our hard earned freedom, road carnages is not one of the poignant social issues that we can rejoice about.

Road traffic injuries are a major global public challenge, requiring concerted efforts for effective and sustainable prevention.

Of all the systems that people have to deal with on a daily basis, road transport is the most complex and the most dangerous. Worldwide, the number of people killed in road traffic crashes each year is estimated at almost 1.2 million, while the number injured could be as high as 50 million – the combined population of five of the world’s large cities.

The majority of such deaths are currently among “vulnerable road users” – pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motor-cyclists.

In high-income countries, deaths among car occupants continue to be predominant, but the risks per capita that vulnerable road users face are high.

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is the contention of this report, first, to illustrate that the level of road deaths and injuries is unacceptable, and secondly, that it is to a larger extent avoidable.

Although our road deaths and injuries have stabilized, there is thus an urgent need to take appropriate action.

Road traffic carnage prevention and mitigation should be given the same attention and scale of resources that is currently paid to other prominent priorities if increasing human loss and injury on the roads, with their devastating human impact and large economic cost to society, are to be averted.

Road Safety continues to be an enormous challenge, as road crashes rob us of our loved ones and families each and every day. It impacts negatively on our economy placing an unbearable strain on our social budgetary allocations, thereby unreasonably increasing social dependency on government.

A culture of respecting the “right to life” together with embracing a culture of voluntary compliance is an ethos we still dream of. The pertinent question we should always ask ourselves is: when is that time for us- to respect the right of life for other road users, simply, that time is not tomorrow or the day after, that time is now.

We should decisively and uncompromisingly act against lawlessness and irresponsible usage of our roads whilst promoting a culture of good citizenry as a norm rather than an exception. Undeniably so, “As law abiding citizens we unequivocally admit and acknowledge that one death on our roads is one death too many”.

Ladies and gentlemen at this stage I find it prudent and befitting on behalf of the Government of South Africa and in particular the transport sector , to convey our deepest and heartfelt condolences, to the families of those that died on our roads and those families that are still in mourning due to the senseless killings of their loved ones. Those that are recuperating in hospitals we wish them a speedy recovery.

As Rodney Murphy remarked,
“Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow”.

We wish to assure you that the Department, its entities and its stakeholders as well as all partners will gallantly and relentlessly fight flagrant lawlessness and irresponsible usage of our roads that robs us of our loved ones.

We must however pay tribute to all law abiding road users that heeded our clarion call and partnered with us and conducted themselves in a responsible manner that says: “I’m responsible. Road Safety is my responsibility”.

May you continue to be road safety ambassadors
Together, let’s save lives and move South Africa forward.

It is an incontrovertible fact that road safety is a collective effort and responsibility and wish to commend the role played by the traffic officers, police, SANDF, national, provincial and local Departments of Transport, officials, road safety activists and practitioners, EMS and health practitioners, all transport stakeholders, faith based organisations, freight industry, taxi association, NGO’s , CBO’s and Youth Formations in their gallant efforts to ensure that our roads were safe and unselfishly offered their services.

Our resilience, effervescent determination and commitment fortified our resolve to steadfastly roll out our road safety programmes, focusing on road safety education, road infrastructure engineering, law enforcement and evaluation of the impact of our intervention throughout the 3-6-5 days. This underpins our commitment as a country to the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.

Juxtaposed against the backdrop of the heightened and intensified law enforcement and road safety initiatives, the cavalier attitude and recalcitrant behaviour of some of our road users still remains a grave concern and warrants condemnation.

The Festive Season spanning from 1 December 2014 to 5 January 2015 depicts a gloomy picture of the state of road safety. During this period we registered 1118 fatal crashes with 1368 fatalities. Compared to the same reporting period last year we registered 1147 fatal crashes with 1376 fatalities. This indicates a slight reduction of 2,5% for fatal crashes and 0,6% for fatalities.

Though we half-heartedly acknowledged the decline, we have no cause to celebrate as our people continue to be killed on our roads due to irresponsible and murderous acts of fellow road users. These senseless killings could have been avoided if we all behaved as responsible law abiding citizens.

Very disturbing, is the revelation of the contributory trends to the road carnages and crashes, which indicates the following-:

Road User Type
– Passengers – 39%
– Pedestrians – 36%
– Drivers – 24%
– Cyclists – 1%

Percentage contribution per Gender Classification to the total number of fatalities and fatal road crashes
– Males’ contributed 75% to the total fatalities
– Females’ contributed 22% to the total fatalities
– Unclassified gender contributed 3% to the total fatalities

Interestingly the fatalities as per the top three most affected age groupings:

Driver age group
– 25 to 29 (12%)
– 30 to 34, (13%)
– 35 to 39 (9%)
Total 34%

Passengers age group
– 20 to 24 (6%)
– 25 to 29 (8%)
– 30 to 34 (7%)
Total 21%

Pedestrians age group
– 20 to 24 (6%)
– 25 to 29 (8%)
– 30 to 34 (7%)
Total 21%

High propensity of crashes occurred during the following times of the day and interestingly Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays being the days that are most affected (at night).

20h00 – 24h00 (25%)
24h00 – 04h00 (14%)
04h00 – 08h00 (12%)
Total 51%

It is quite evident that the wanting state of affairs elucidates the perennial paralyses besetting road safety in our country. The road carnage trends tell a consistent story of inconsiderate behavioral deficit, which warrants urgent and decisive interventions to respond and mitigate this prompting and undesirable state of affairs.

We are playing a pivotal role in the international space of Road Safety, in particular the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety. To this end, we are bound to learn from best models. We will soon be visiting Australia and Sweden and paramount to our visit will be the benchmarking of tried and tested road safety methodologies and practices.

Intensified Interventions will be robustly rolled out during this year and key to these initiatives will be the Alignment of Road Safety and Law Enforcement. The proliferation, duplication and unstructured management of road safety will receive urgent and undivided attention.

This includes amongst others the transfer of eNaTIS from the National Department of Transport to the RTMC and some improved coordination of Driver License Testing Centre’s and Computerized Learner License Testing. It should be noted that the Safe System approach adopted by the country to manage road safety and meet the Decade of Action commitments requires that all these systems be complimentary and integrated.

We will focus and intensify Road Safety Education, regular rigorous and visible Integrated law Enforcement and decisively deal with drunken driving, moving violations and related contraventions. Law Enforcement and joint operations will become a norm in residential and built environment and very specific during the hours when no one expects us.

May I make this clarion call to all South Africans to partner with government in uprooting and eliminating the scourge from our roads. Let Road Safety be our embodiment and epitome that we strive towards, to make” no fatalities a reality and not a dream”.

REMEMBER:
Let all of us not Drink and Drive
Do not Text while Driving
Do not Drink and Walk
Do not Speed
Please Buckle up
Restrain all children

Remember life is a journey, do not let your journey end your life….

TOGETHER LETS SAVE LIVES AND MOVE SOUTH AFRICA FORWARD.

I THANK YOU.

By DIPUO PETERS

Borrow wisely and avoid the dreaded debt trap – NCR

NCR LogoConsumers are advised to borrow money responsibly and wisely and for what is strictly necessary. They should plan in advance how they will repay the loan and ascertain whether they can afford it, says Mpho Ramapala, Acting Manager: Education and Communication at the National Credit Regulator (NCR).

She says it is typical that consumers spend a lot of money during the festive season, celebrating with family, going on holiday and other festive activities and forget to budget for the new year.

“Some consumers don’t usually plan for expenses that they will face in January such as education expenses for children and other important household expenses. It is at this time that consumers seek loans to cover these expenses.”

Ramapala points out that often, at this time, consumers are desperate for financial assistance and may take out loans recklessly. The NCR implores all South Africans who find themselves in this situation to borrow responsibly, and to avoid resorting to unregistered credit providers.

Sometimes the only solution for people who were unable to save for the new year is to take out credit to fund new year expenses. January can be a difficult month to get through as many people are paid earlier in December and then have to wait longer until their next pay cheque in January, which results in many consumers being financially strained over this period.

“We hope that consumers have avoided the trap of borrowing money to pay for their festive season celebrations, but if they did borrow money it is important to manage their repayments carefully,” said Ramapala.

The NCR also encourages consumers to understand their credit agreements. Before consumers sign a credit agreement, they need to understand the cost of credit and the terms and conditions of the credit agreement to ensure they will be able to make the repayments.

The Credit Bureau Monitor (CBM) has reported that, for the quarter ending September 2014, of the 22.50 million credit active consumers, 10.05 million (44.7%) have impaired records and are struggling to service their debt.

Ramapala urges consumers to consider all their existing debt, including store and credit cards as well as personal loans and other commitments before they take out a new loan. “Plan to pay off as much debt as possible before taking on more credit. Most importantly honour your credit agreement repayments.”

The message from the NCR for those consumers who find themselves short and unable to make monthly repayments is to contact their credit providers and make alternative payment arrangements. It is important to keep credit providers informed in order to avoid compromising your credit record.

Below are some tips to help consumers manage their debts more responsibly into the year:

* Borrow as little money as possible. Borrowing to fund your children’s education or a home loan can be a good thing, but borrowing for consumables, to pay off other debts or to fund luxuries such as holidays or designer clothing, can condemn you to a lifetime of debt. Only borrow for what you really need.

* Plan the repayments before you apply for a credit card, store card, overdraft, personal loan or any form of credit. Also take into consideration the interest and other charges as well as how this will affect your ability to save. Avoid paying over too many months as it will cost you more in the end.

* If there is credit insurance, familiarise yourself with the terms of the insurance to avoid surprises when you most need the insurance.

* Be honest – make sure that you honestly disclose all the information required by the credit provider. Dishonesty may cause you to lose the protection offered by the National Credit Act (NCA).

* Create a monthly budget and stick to it – work out how much income your family earns and what your total expenses are each month. Will you be able to pay for your new debt once you have covered all your expenses? You should also plan for unexpected costs such as if one of your family members is retrenched.

* Always keep receipts of your payments, as you might need these in the future.

* Save some of your income every month.

* Pay your debts on time. Paying late will adversely affect your credit rating and possibly your ability to take out credit in the future. If you think you cannot meet your monthly instalments, call your credit provider immediately and try to re-arrange payments. Do not wait until you skip payments.

* Prioritise your home loan.

* Check your credit report regularly. This way you will be able to identify any errors and correct them. Under the NCA you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report each year from each of the NCR registered credit bureaus.

Issued by NCR

Final preparations for the 103rd Anniversary Celebrations to be held on the 10th January 2015 – ANC

ANCThe African National Congress will host its January 8 103rd Anniversary Celebrations at the Cape Town Stadium on the 10th January 2015. South Africa, the Western Cape and the ANC is ready to host the celebrations which we are confident will be a resounding success.

The National Executive Committee met on the 7th January to consider and adopt the NEC January 8 Statement; the delivery of which is the primary purpose of the day. The January 8 Statement adopted continues the tradition of outlining a cogent programme of action for the year ahead – clearly setting out the key tasks for the year and rallying our structures and society in general behind our project of fundamental and radical socio-economic transformation.

It is all systems go. The Fundraising Gala Dinner will held be tonight, Friday 9th January 2015, and is expected to be attended by 1500 people drawn from ANC veterans and supporters, business, civil society and the diplomatic corps amongst others. The programme will start at 18h00. The President of the ANC, Comrade Jacob Zuma, will deliver the keynote address. Zahara, Sibonelo and Wonder, Chris Mampane (a stand up comedian) and DJs Segale Mogotsi are amongst the artists that will entertain the guests

The Cape Town Stadium, which holds 52 000 people, is expected to be filled to capacity. The overflow area at the Uitrek Cricket Field is expected to be filled to capacity. Gates will open at 06h00 and all busses are encouraged to arrive early. Security at the stadium will be extremely tight with the SAPS, ANC Marshalls, a private security company and a team of ANC protocol officers organized. Firearms and other dangerous items are prohibited as are offensive materials including posters or clothing items which feature insultive commentary. No alcohol and glass bottles will be allowed in.

To date, more than 66 000 people from the Western Cape Province alone have confirmed attendance at the rally. Coming from all corners of the province they are broken done as follows:

  • Boland: 13 000
  • Southern Cape: 5 000
  • Overberg: 3 500
  • Dullah Omar: 40 000
  • Central Karoo: 2 400
  • West Coast: 3 000

The following provinces – Eastern Cape (15 busses), Free State (3 trains), North West (4 busses), the Northern Cape (5 busses) and Gauteng (1 train which had to get an extra coach to accommodate demand) have also confirmed attendance to be part of the Celebrations. Formers ANC leaders, families of stalwarts of the ANC, Alliance Partners, Civil Society, members of the Diplomatic Corps amongst many others make up the 3000 invited guests. The Minstrels, Farmworkers, Churches and many other organized formations have also confirmed their attendance, which we warmly welcome. More than 800 busses, 1200 taxis and trains have been secured to ferry supporters to the Stadium.

All supporters wishing to gain access to the stadium will be granted such access to the stadium limit of 52 000. Tickets cannot be used as a dompas system to discourage our people’s access to the stadium. The ANC is dealing with this matter with the relevant structures in the City. No cars will be allowed within the Stadium Precinct. Park and Ride facilities have been set up around the City at Good Hope Centre, CTICC and Parliament. Members of the media are encouraged to use the public parking facilities at the Waterfront and will be shuttled to the Stadium.

The programme will start at 10h30 tomorrow and will include interfaith prayers and messages of support from the ANC Leagues and our Alliance. It is our intention that ANC President, Comrade Jacob Zuma, will deliver the NEC Statement promptly at 11h30. Several prominent artists have pledged to be part of the programme and include: Local and Provincial artists, Solly Moholo, Ihashi Elimhlophe, Zakes Bantwini, Arthur and Chomie, Oskido, Dr. Malinga, Lulo Café, LVovo, DJ Findzo, DJ Siyanda, DJ Naves and Spectacular, Vetkuk and Mahoota, Amon Mokeona and Zahara

Issued by ANC

IFP Calls for Stability in the KZN Department of Health – IFP

IFPThe IFP in KwaZulu-Natal is deeply concerned about allegations of mismanagement and corruption against the HOD of Health and the suspension of the CFO and the Supply Chain Manager, as this does not augur well for the Department in 2015.

“The Department of Health has a crucial role to play in the well-being of our citizens and effective leadership and forward planning is essential for the Department to provide services effectively. It is not in the best interests of our people and the Department for the HOD, Dr Sibongile Zungu whose contract ended in August 2014 to be on a month-to-month contract. It is taking the Department too long to finalise its investigations into allegations. It is very easy for people to make allegations but they must then come up with evidence to back up those claims. This department cannot go on functioning under a cloud of uncertainty that hangs over some of its senior managers”, said IFP Spokesperson on Health, Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana,MPL.

“The Department’s CFO and the Supply Chain Manager have also been suspended since last year. These are two crucial components that must be functioning effectively for the Department to deliver services to our people. We are concerned that the supply of medical resources will suffer if the supply chain and finance components are dysfunctional. These senior officials are sitting at home earning a salary while the Department drags its heels in finalising the investigations. Dr Zungu must be given some clarity as to her contract and her future role in the Department. For the HOD of such a huge department to be in limbo is unacceptable as it stifles her forward planning and compromises quality health care in our province”, concluded Mrs Nkwanyana.

Issued by IFP

Text of the letter from Hawks boss Anwar Dramat to Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko in response to his precautionary suspension

Anwar Dramat

(Mail & Guardian report by Sam Sole here)

To: The Honourable Minister of Police

NP NHLEKO

And to: The National Commissioner of Police

From: Lt-Gen A Dramat

Your letter of 23 December 2014 refers.

In RE: PRECAUTIONARY SUSPENSION WITH FULL PAY AND BENEFITS

1. I have for several months reflected very carefully on the issues that have unfolded in front of me.. I have consulted my legal representatives and I have been advised of my legal remedies.

2. I respectfully point out that the tactical “back peddling” from the initial notice and the current reliance on the Public Service Act and Public Service Regulations and SMS Handbook is a clear indication to me that no matter what steps I take to defend my position, a decision has already been made, from the outset, to remove me from my position.

3. As you will know Honourable Minister, at a very young age I took an informed decision to do whatever it takes to contribute towards the liberation of our country. I did this because I believe in our country, I believe in what was right and I wanted there to be a full democracy, as envisaged by our Honourable late President Nelson Mandela. I was young, idealistic and filled with energy.

4. Having seen our country enter into a democratic phase, I felt that I could contribute in a meaningful way and continued to develop the principles which I fought and for which I was imprisoned.

5. My appointment as the Head of the DPCI, I perceived at the time, was based on my credentials, my level of expertise and the fact that I respectfully believe that I have always acted with integrity in the manner in which I deal with people and investigations.

6. No doubtedly you are aware that I have recently called for certain case dockets involving very influential persons to be brought or alternatively centralised under one investigating arm and this has clearly caused massive resentment against me.

7. I can unequivocally point out that I am not willing to compromise the principles that I have always believed in. I am not willing to be “agreeable”, or “compliant” insofar as I would then be acting contrary to my own moral principles and, also, contrary to the position in which I was appointed.

8. I have been advised, and respectfully believe it to be true that from a purely legal point, I could immediately challenge the precautionary suspension and I would be reinstated. It does, with respect, then beg the question “what is next”? If it is clear that a decision has been made to remove me from office for reasons that I have recorded but need not ventilate in this letter, then I am left with hard choices.

9. The choices that I am left with are whether to fight, continue trying to operate within a system in order to effect meaningful change by investigating and root out corruption which has reached the level of epic proportions. On the contrary, I can take a decision that I have done all that I can for the struggle for my country and that my family’s interests are paramount.

10. After much introspection and having considered all the options available to me, I have decided that I will not engage on a level that has nothing to do with a “Zimbabwean rendition” but is pregnant with ulterior motives and hence my approach to this matter is as follows:

10.1 The so-called “Zimbabwean rendition investigation” is a smokescreen. There are no facts whatsoever that indicate that at any given time I have acted illegally or unlawfully. I verily believe that this investigation is already complete and handed to the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

It goes without saying that, had there been prima facie evidence against me, of any nature whatsoever, I would have been charged and prosecuted. I am acutely aware of the fact that the, with respect, allegation that “I have reason to believe that your presence in the workplace is likely to jeopardise the investigation and deter potential witnesses from coming forward”, has absolutely no probative value.

The Investigation was clearly badly conducted by the Investigator of IPID and the spurious allegations were made to tarnish my reputation. From the facts available to me and given my previous representations, which you have in your possession, it is self-evident that I asked for a transparent process and that the facts be evaluated by a suitably qualified legal practitioner who has no vested interest.

Most certainly there has never been any evidence whatsoever that I have, in any way, interfered with any potential witnesses or attempted to jeopardise the investigation against me during the past four years.

10.2 I wish to reserve my rights to fully vindicate myself against all those who have sought to tarnish my name and reputation. I do not wish to engage with those involved in this correspondence, insofar as that is reserved for another forum, if necessary.

11. I therefore deny, with respect that the Notice of Precautionary Suspension is legal, valid or regular. In fact it is totally irregular and constitutionally invalid.

12. I am also aware that in the next two months there will be a drive to remove certain investigations that fell under my “watch”, reallocate certain cases and that unfortunately, certain sensitive investigations may even be closed down. This is something I have to life with.

13. I also wish to point out that I have had to give very careful consideration to the message that I am sending to the other members of my Unit by capitulating or agreeing to precautionary suspension without challenging it in a court of law.

I do not what there to be a message that there is no hope and that members should just acquiesce or go away when they are targeted.

That having been said, I have spent 28 years of my life doing everything I can for the struggle of our country and I have been fully committed. The time as now come for me to consider my options very carefully and, quite clearly take an informed decision as to whether I can sustain my position while my hands are tied behind my back, or there are incremental acts to muzzle me.

14. I note with interest that a two month period has been set to hold an “enquiry” (sic!). I can honestly say that the investigation into the “Zimbabwean rendition” case, has run for a very lengthy period of time and till to date there has been no evidence whatsoever. It is clear that I am being pushed out.

15. I do, however, have to reserve all my rights insofar as this is the “first warning shot over the bow” and, if necessary, I would necessarily have to go to the relevant forum to deal with each and every allegation, including the current precautionary suspension.

16. Lastly I would repeatedly urge yourself, Honourable Minister, to proceed with extreme caution in making or allowing any persons under your authority to make vexatious, spurious or defamatory allegations against me or orchestrate campaigns to undermine my standing or my reputation.

This is because I am prepared to be totally transparent and I am a family man and any hurt which my children may suffer as a result will necessarily mean that I would be forced into taking a position.

17. It became clear to me during the past year that the intention is to get rid of me. You, as the Minister, with respect, should have engaged with me in terms of Section 17DA(4)(b) of the Amendment Act which I am willing to accept depending on the terms and conditions.

After due consideration, with specific reference to the background alluded to above. I am willing to submit a request to vacate office by applying to the National Commissioner to approve my early retirement in terms of Section 35 of the Act. Quite clearly there is a precondition that the unlawful precautionary suspension be uplifted without my having to approach the court to do so.

18. I therefore require that we should enter into a joint consensus seeking meeting as a matter of urgency to prevent any instability within the DPCI. Under the above circumstances you reply is eagerly anticipated by no later than 5th January 2015.

Yours sincerely

LT-GENERAL A DRAMAT

Original Letter here.

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