Sasekani Manzini tops Mpumalanga legislature nominations

She is ahead of Premier Refilwe Mtshweni who has the second highest number of branch nominations.

Mpumalanga ANC spokeswoman Sasekani Manzini has the highest number of branch nominations to go to the 30-seat legislature.

Premier Refilwe Mtshweni is behind her by only two branch votes.

Of the 288 Mpumalanga branches that sat for their BGMs to nominate members who should go fill the seats at the legislature after the 2019’s general elections, Manzini was nominated by 206 with 204 nominating Mtshweni.

The list was released by acting provincial secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali ahead of a provincial list conference scheduled for 7 December 2018 at the Nutting House in Mbombela.

ANCWL provincial chairwoman Busi Shiba has the third largest votes – with 188 branches nominating her to come serve as a legislature member, followed by Nkangala ANC regional leader Speedy Mashilo with 183 and PEC member Pat Ngomane who received 180 branch nominations.

The provincial list has 58 nominees, which includes current legislature members like Vusi Shongwe, David Dube, Bonakele Majuba, Sibusiso Malaza, Gillion Mashego, Fidel Mlombo, Gabisile Shabalala, JJ Skhosana, Thandi Shongwe and Violet Siwela.

Others in the list include ANC contender Peter Nyoni, Lucky Ndinisa, Sarel Mtshweni, Mandla Msibi, Charles Makola as well as Nkangala ANCYL leader Bobo Mtshweni, eHlanzeni ANCYL leader Bheki Lubisi and league deputy president Desmond Moela as well as others like Gert Sibande ANC leader Muzi Chirwa and eHlanzeni’s Jesta Sidel.

In a statement this week, the ANC said that it was pleased by the “tolerance and maturity” displayed during the nomination process.

It said of the 400 branches the province has a total of 341 that were able to pass audits and 288 were able to conduct BGMs.

Anyone who has objections regarding the list should direct them to party provincial headquarters in Mbombela no later than Thursday 6 December 2018, it said.

(edited by ZK)

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R50 million set to renovate falling Mpumalanga hospitals

Most of hospitals in the province are in a very bad state, with patients forced to come seek help from the dilapidating buildings.

Health MEC Sasekani Manzini has said that an amount of R50 million has been made available by the Mpumalanga government to renovate the falling hospitals.

The government has started rebuilding the Middelburg hospital but it’s not clear when construction will be completed but a lot of hospitals in the province look abandoned by officials.

Manzini said the problems faced in the province were dilapidating hospitals and “some which no longer need to be renovated but to construct a new facility”.

Manzini was in eMalahleni last week Friday to announce the construction of a hospital in the area.

The people of eMalahleni have been left without a hospital after the Witbank Hospital began being used as a referral hospital, forcing the locals to drive all the way to Impungwe Hospital.

But now the government together with mining giant Anglo American will build a new hospital in the space where the TB Hospital in Ackerville is located and will then turn the Impungwe Hospital into a TB hospital.

R50 million set to renovate falling Mpumalanga hospitals

Health MEC Sasekani Manzini (L), eMalahleni mayor Linah Malatjie (C) and Anglo American Coal CEO July Ndlovu (R) as the sod-turning ceremony marking the begin of construction of a new hospital in eMalahleni. PICTURE BY 013NEWS/MLM.

Anglo American and another Germany company will fund the construction of the Ackerville hospital.

“The honourable Premier [Refilwe Mtshweni] gave us another R50 million to ensure that we maintain existing infrastructures,” she said when she spoke to journalists.

She said the provincial government has taken a decision to reconstruct the Mapulaneng Hospital in Bushbuckridge, Mmamethlake Hospital in Dr JS Moroka, the Bethal Hospital and Middelburg Hospital.

She said the construction of new hospitals does not mean they should abandon the existing ones, “so that is why the issue of maintenance becomes important”.

“Maintaining is an on-going thing. We are maintaining on a daily basis, and the R50 million that we got from the Premier is not enough hence we are excited when we get such sponsorship from Anglo American in assisting us either building a clinic or hospital,” she said.

(edited by MLM)

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DA blames Gupta’s troubled Optimum mine for load-shedding

Workers protested, burning tyres at the mine’s gate a week ago over unpaid wages stretching over months.

The Democratic Alliance says the State Capture by the Gupta family which got the Optimum Mine in Middelburg to the hands of the Guptas has really impacted on Eskom’s capacity to generate electricity.

The party on Friday described the mine as the “face of State Capture” and said had it not been for it Eskom wouldn’t be struggling with coal supply.

Eskom is reportedly having a serious coal shortage, with a number of power plants having few days of coal left.

The trouble faced by the Gupta mine are a result of the closure of their bank accounts by the four major banks after being accused of corruption, money-laundering and capturing the state, leading to them being unable to run their businesses, including the Optimum Coal Mine.

Leaders of the party including Mpumalanga Premier candidate Jane Sithole, Parliamentarian Natasha Mazzone and Geordin Hill-Lewis visited the mine last week Friday where workers had burnt tyres, protesting over unpaid wages which they said stretched over a period of several months.

Mazzone said the Gupta family through Tegeta Exploration and Resources which bought the mine from Glencore in 2016 “pillaged” the mine and “caused great havoc”.

“Workers have not been paid and the country is experiencing load-shedding because coal is not being mined. So we are here because Optimum Coal Mine is the very face of state capture,” Mazzone told the media.

She said what needed to happen now was for public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan and mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe to come together and “sort out this problem”.

“It is also of utmost importance that these rich fat cats are brought to book – they have been earning money while workers who have done their jobs diligently have not been paid,” she said.

“We cannot have poor families starving while these fat-cats prosper at their expense,” Mazzone said.

She said her party would raise the issue in Parliament.

She added the workers were bearing the brunt of state capture, something they have nothing to do with.

“We cannot allow those implicated in corruption get off scot free, whilst the victims of their crimes suffer in silence. We will absolutely raise this in Parliament, the DA is the voice of the people and we will represent those who are suffering as a result of state capture,” she said.

(edited by ZK)

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Africa Check: Greenpeace report not fair 

The report had also been criticised by NUM as a campaign to have Eskom privatised through the back door of the Independent Power Producers.

Fact-checking organisation Africa Check has questioned how Greenpeace came to rank Mpumalanga’s air the dirtiest in the world, suggesting the methods used were unfair.

Africa Check released its article this week following one by Greenpeace in October 2018.

It said the Greenpeace finding were flawed and the methods used to come to the conclusion that Mpumalanga air was the world’s dirtiest made “unsound comparisons”.

The environmental group Greenpeace based its report on satellite data that showed the province had the largest air pollution hotspot when compared to other countries, such as China, India and the US.

It said it produced the largest quantity of nitrogen dioxide emissions – which comes from combustion such as in car engines or when coal and gas are burned for energy and heavy coal use by Eskom’s 12 coal-powered plants was blamed for this.

Melita Steele of Greenpeace told Africa Check that the information on Mpumalanga’s air being dirtiest was from a satellite operated by the Dutch government and the European Space Agency launched in 2017.

She said Greenpeace’s finding was based on a data that covered the period 1 June to 31 August 2018.

These satellites monitor the quantity of dirty air “from a powerful eye in the sky”, Steele said.

Africa Check found that the satellite used by Greenpeace could not show at what height the nitrogen dioxide was situated.

Instead the satellite only showed that there was a certain amount of the gas in the entire column of the atmosphere.

Africa Check also found the nitrogen dioxide produced by these power stations were generally emitted at levels higher than where people breathe.

RELATED: Come, let us engage on renewable energy, Greenpeace hits back at NUM

If anybody needed to find out how much pollution is in the air that people breathe, other methods such as ground-based and aircraft measurements should be used with satellite measurements, experts told the facts-checker.

“A significant fault with Greenpeace’s analysis was that they jump from the concentration in the aerial density and emissions to say that the high number is equivalent to a high concentration at the ground level,” one expert told Africa Check.

The department of environmental affairs said the air we breathe was still below the national air standards, which should not be higher than 21 microgrammes per litre.

Last month Professor Rebecca Garland from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research told a Parliamentary committee that although Mpumalanga’s air was dirty it’s unfair to say it’s the dirtiest worldwide in comparison with other countries.

There were a number of reasons for this, she told Parliamentarians.

These included the seasons. Greenpeace’s data spanned South Africa’s winter months.

Therefore in winter the emissions would be most visible to satellites due to low dispersion. In eastern China, the eastern US and much of Europe, this peak occurs in January.

“This is comparing our peak almost to one of their lower periods. So it’s not quite fair. We would need more long-term measurements to say that,” Garland said. This would be at least a year’s worth of data, she told Africa Check.

Mpumalanga’s highveld was at a higher altitude, also making emissions more visible to the satellite, she said.

(edited by MLM)

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Bushbuckridge police woman and her husband are gunned down

The incident happened on the early hours of Saturday while they were asleep in their rented house.

The police in Mpumalanga are appealing to anybody with information to help them find the men who gunned down a female police sergeant and her husband while they were asleep in their home of Angin Court near Bushbuckridge.

The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday when their home was broken into.

Police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the three unknown men gained entry through a window and shot dead 42-year-old Sergeant Thembisile Ndlovu and her 40-year-old husband Jabulani Khoza.

Ndlovu was stationed at the Calcutta police station near Bushbuckridge.

“Once inside, a shoot-out ensued and Ndlovu managed to shoot one of the attackers who died at the scene,” Hlathi said.

“The other two suspects are reported to have fired at the couple, instantly killing the sergeant,” he said.

Ndlovu’s husband was rushed to hospital by neighbours who responded after hearing the gunshots but then later on died.

The two remaining men disappeared from the scene using the couple’s Chevrolet Spark – which later was discovered abandoned near the Bushbuckridge road.

Hlathi said police boss Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma has activated a “72-hour plan, thereby mobilising all necessary resources to ensure that the suspects were arrested as soon as possible”.

“Zuma is asking the community to volunteer information that may assist in the investigation of the matter and a speedy arrest of the suspects,” Hlathi said.

Anyone with information should call the cops on 082 469 1250 or 08600 10111.

(edited by ZK)

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