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King William's Town Express |




‘I make motivating young girls my business’ SIYANDA NKONYENI


OTIVATIONAL speaker and the organiser of the first annual Generation Teen Camp, Sibulele Sibhaca, is a driven young lady whose mission is to guide future female leaders. Her journey of helping others reach their full potential has led her to invite young girls for a life-changing experience at a teen camp that will take place next month. “I am looking for children who say they want to learn the ropes to self-mastering and who say that they know that their purpose in life is great, but they just need help to get there. I also want a child who says she wants

Sibulele Sibhaca.



These days, women go through all sorts of abuse at home and at work they get overlooked when it comes to promotions; I want these girls to be prepared when the time comes.”

girls that there is no formula in making and sticking to the right decisions because there will always be challenges,” she said. She invited all the girls between the ages of 14 and 19 from around the country to submit proposals through her social media page,

so that they can be part of the camp that will provoke dreamers to dare to believe in the impossible. The chosen 30 will be able to witness testimonials, case studies of speakers and special guests.

- SIBULELE SIBHACA more in life. So, from April 3 to 6, I will be meeting young girls for inspiration and motivating them about education, entrepreneurship and self-esteem,” Sibhaca said. She highlighted the importance of grooming and guiding girls from a young age because it is easy for them to go astray as a result of pressures that come with the modern world. “It’s very critical to show them the way at a young age so that I can bring out a quality woman in them. Just imagine their power when they are grounded human beings like that. I try to prepare them to know who they are before they are older women and learn to stand up for themselves. These days, women go through all sorts of abuse at home and at work they get overlooked when it comes to promotions; I want these girls to be prepared when the time comes.” Sibhaca related her own story of the pain she went through and how that motivated her to reach for the best, which led her to be what she is today. “I am an Aids orphan and when I lost both my parents, I had to ask myself, ‘What do I want in life?’ I had to take a decision and turn my life around and not end up the way my parents did. So, I decided to make my life what I want it to be. I always say to the young

Foundation owner Sibulele Sibhaca is passionate about sharing her testimony of becoming a successful woman. PHOTO: SUPPLIED


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King William’s Town Express

14 March 2018

FOCUS ON: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: MARCH 8 Last Thursday, March 8, marked International Women’s Day, a day to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who do extraordinary things.King William’s Town Express correspondent, ZAVELA MAKWABE, reports on two initiatives that celebrate and uplift women and that are run by local women. She also spoke to a few readers about who their female role models are.

Project celebrates, uplifts women ZAVELA MAKWABE “We communicate the impact of young women in their communities and motivate innovative thinking,” said Siphokazi Tyiwani, communications and marketing coordinator for the Small Projects Foundation, the Bumb’ingomso project. Bumb’ingomso is a Xhosa phrase meaning “to mould the future”. The Bumb’ingomso project is a multifaceted programme that combines behavioural, biomedical, social and economic interventions. Its aim is to substantially reduce the incidences of HIV among young women and girls in the Buffalo City Metro area. The project aims to achieve a positive change for the youth through their initiatives, such as their Opportunity Hub, which is situated at the East London Central Library, and their youth lifestyle magazine, Yakha, which celebrates young people in the Buffalo City Metro who do

great things in their communities, despite their circumstances. The project also hosts leadership workshops, youth friendly clinics and leadership camps. “The message we were trying to send out to young people is that they are more than where they come from, more than where they see themselves and they can be anything they want to be through proper guidance and the proper tools,” Tyiwani explained. “Through this network, we envisage a platform that empowers young women to define and redefine their own paths and create change in their communities. “We want to communicate the impact of young women in their communities, motivate innovative thinking, active citizenship and create a sense of possibilities.” Young women and girls between the ages of 15 and 29 from the BCM area are welcome to join the programme. For more info, contact 043 743 9592 or go to Happiness Njobe, Inga Mthiya, Khanya Mankayi, Lisa Silwana, Luleka Gweje, Nandipha Buyana, Sinazo Maseti, Sisipho Nongqayi, Sive Jaji and Ayabulela Jezile of the Bumb’ingomsoproject.

Mbuku encourages girls to ‘embrace womanhood’ ZAVELA MAKWABE BABALWA Mbuku, the founder of MIA Eastern Cape, said, “Feel no fear or shame; embrace womanhood.” MIA Eastern Cape provides sanitary towels to underprivileged girls, especially those living in rural areas. Mbuku started a couple of initiatives that are changing the lives of children across the province. “I witnessed that some female learners stay at home and miss school during their periods simply because they cannot afford sanitary towels,” the passionate Mbuku told King William’s Town Express. “This didn’t sit well with me, so I staged an intervention. It is not their fault that they cannot afford sanitary towels and I tell them this.” Mbuku said she also found that in some communities, periods are taboo. No one wants to talk about them and the girls end up not knowing what to do when it’s that time of the month. “I talk to every young girl I can and educate them about the menstrual cycle period and how to use sanitary towels. I want girls to embrace womanhood and not fear their periods or feel ashamed. “I work with everyone who shares the burden of keeping a girl child at school during the menstrual cycle period. I would like to engage the community and involve

Babalwa Mbuku of MIA Eastern Cape. PHOTO:ZAVELA MAKWABE

everyone who would like to help. We need to work together to keep our girls at school.” Anyone willing to lend a hand or is looking for more info on the initiative can contact Mbuku on the Babalwa Mia Mbuku Facebook page.


King William’s Town women have their say… IN keeping with the spirit of International Women’s Day, which took place on March 8 and is considered to be a focal point in the movement for women’s rights, King William’s Town Express correspondent, ZAVELA MAKWABE, asked a few readers who their female role model is. ) Lusanda Cele: The only woman who inspires me is my mom. We did not grow up rich, but I never experienced poverty. She is such a hard worker! She worked hard so that we could have what other children have.

I proudly look up to her. ) Abongile Vazi: It has to be Terry Pheto (a South African actress). She had a difficult upbringing and she comes from a poor background, but she never let that get in her way. She

worked hard to be where she is right now, but remains humble. She never backed down, even when she faced rejection after rejection in the entertainment industry. ) Zintle Vens: My mother is my role

model. She has a big, loving and forgiving heart. If I could be a quarter of the woman she is, I would be very grateful.

Lusanda Cele

Abongile Vazi.

Zintle Vens

Nomtha Dyeshana.

) Nomtha Dyeshana: Two words:

My mother! ) Xolelwa Dyeshana: I’m inspired by every woman who makes the most out of very little, who puts her children first and works tirelessly to uplift other women.

Xolelwa Dyeshana..

14 March 2018


King William’s Town Express


ECDEET disabled trainee drivers graduate SIYANDA NKONYENI

ECDEET driving training graduates receiving their certificates after the completion of the programme.

EXCITEMENT was in the air when the Eastern Cape Disability Economic Empowerment Trust (ECDEET) held a ceremony for its driving training programme graduation ceremony at the Regent Hotel in Easter London last Friday. The programme is the first in the province and the brainchild of ECDEET, in partnership with the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA), with the aim of improving the social and economic conditions of the people living with disability in the province. Speaking at the ceremony, ECDEET CEO, Thabiso Phethuka, said that despite the challenges they encountered with the programme, they were happy with the results because it had helped them identify how to strengthen the programme even further. “We started with 15 people in the driving programme and four of the learners who did not pass were given credits. We only had one person who dropped out. “This says a lot about the seriousness of the


programme and it’s not doom and gloom for those who did not make it as they now have an opportunity to find a way of completing the programme elsewhere. “Running the programme we have also realised that people are struggling with getting their learners’ licences, and so we started teaching learners’ licence formally. “Starting on April 19, we will be going to

B’Liscious finds a new home ZAVELA MAKWABE WHAT started out as an experiment is now a budding business which boasts a staff count of nine employees. Due to his business growing in leaps and bounds, Bhongolwethu Mahlungwana’s B’Liscious Juice Factory has found a new home in King William’s Town’s Alexandra Street. The warm reception and support from the community has resulted in the business moving into a bigger workshop last week. The passionate businessman started his business in 2015 after learning about the alarmingly high level of fizzy drink consumption and the lifestyle illnesses associated with too much consumption of these sugar-sweetened soft drinks. He then challenged himself to come up with a healthier and more affordable alternative – and he has never looked back. His brand, B’Liscious Juice, is now sold in

more than 200 stores around the province. He still has a lot of dreams for his brainchild though, like opening branches of his factory in other parts of the country as well. Mahlungwana says he vividly remembers playing outside the tiny back-room his domestic worker mother was given by her employers to live in, in Cathcart Street in King William’s Town – and as fate would have it, years later he is running his small juice factory in the same street. “This was an attempt at making juice a lifestyle and changing the perception that juice is expensive and I’m quite happy with the outcome,” added Mahlungwana. Khanyisa Bholi, one of the employees at the B’Liscious Juice Factory, said it is great being part of the B’Liscious family. “Mr B is a visionary with great business acumen. It is great being part of his team because he is inspirational and always goes out of his way to make us comfortable at work,” Bholi said. The 40% concentrate B’Liscious juice is available in four flavours, Mango-Orange, Tropical Punch, PeachApricot and Guava.

Chris Hani, followed by Joe Gqabi and then Nelson Mandela Bay, where we will be training 20 people in each municipalities,” he said. Graduate Nomazizi Matsha thanked ECDEET for the life-changing opportunity and said the graduates were going to put the training they had received to good use. “We are grateful to be offered this great opportunity because without ECDEET and TE-

TA we would not have had the opportunity to learn how to drive. “It’s also exciting to be the first recipients of this programme, it was not always easy for us but our trainers were patient throughout,” she said. TETA spokesperson Nomsa Sejake thanked ECDEET for giving them the opportunity to be part of such a venture to uplift marginalised people and they are looking forward to a further cooperation to try and redress inequalities. “Happy circumstances like these give us pleasure to celebrate the reward of hard work, commitment and dedication hence today we are having a graduation ceremony. Sometimes as government we want to be aligned to programmes like these just because we want to meet our targets, but beyond that we must strive to provide quality of life because it’s not all about numbers,” she said. The ECDEET was established in 2002 and in the past few years was more on economic empowerment of individual persons with disabilities and also providing support to other disabled peoples organisations.

Metro Communicators Forum seeks to strengthen communication with community ZAVELA MAKWABE THE Metro Communicators Forum (MCF) held a meeting at the Hemingways Guest House and Conference Centre on Friday. Communicators from government, the private sector and state-owned enterprises (SOE’s) came together for a meeting that was aimed at trying to revive the forum.

Spokesperson of the Buffalo City Metro Municipality, Samkelo Ngwenya, said, “We are open to ideas for short term interventions to the challenges the metro is faced with.” The forum discussed ways of improving the metro’s corporate identity and image. The forum is also looking at building solid relationships with the media in order to deliver timeous and accurate news about emergencies like power outages and water interruptions.

Members of the B’Liscious Juice team are, from left, Makhava Zava Ngxaza, Nakele Nosithembiso, Clarence Calverly, Mahlungwana Nandipha, Yengaphi Anelisa, Mxaka Anelisa and Bholi Khanyisa. PHOTO: ZAVELA MAKWABE


Pearl Thusi Loyiso Gola Kagiso Lediga Akin Omotoso and others

Dates : Friday 16 March @ 6pm AND Saturday 17 March @ 4pm Venue : Steve Biko Centre Cinema, One Zotshie Street, Ginsberg, KWT Admission : R25 Age Restriction : 16 DLNS Genre : Romantic Comedy Telephone : 043 605 6700

Steve Biko Centre & Aluta Restaurant



King William’s Town Express

14 March 2018


MEC Marawu pays tribute to Mandela in policy speech THE Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Public Works have taken heed of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcements in his State of the Nation Address that the government will concentrate on job creation and develop young people. This was said by the MEC for Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu, in her policy speech during the debate on the budget vote of the Department of Roads and Public Works. “The ANC government has created millions of jobs countrywide through a number of programmes

and will continue to do so even this current financial year,” said Marawu. “Allow me to borrow a quote from the late (former president Nelson) Mandela, ‘Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa. The tasks at hand will not be easy, but you have mandated us to change South Africa from a land in which the majority lived with little hope, to one in which they can live and work with dignity, with a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the future.’”

Marawu also quoted Mandela from his book, Long Walk to Freedom, “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. “I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. “But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.” Marawu said the Department of

Roads and Public Works was on a crusade to reclaim its mandate through ensuring efficient and effective delivery of services to its clients. “In pursuit of this mandate, the department has developed policies and programmes aimed at promoting SMME development. Furthermore, the department has established relations with key stakeholders of which one is the business sector. “These initiatives will increase the participation of SMMEs and cooperatives in the mainstream economy of the province,” she said.

Public Works MEC Thandiswa Marawu. PHOTO:CHARLES PULLEN

Big strides made in completion of several road projects in EC REPORTER DESPITE capacity constraints, such as unsuccessful attempts to recruit suitably qualified professionals and financial constraints, the Department of Roads and Public Works has managed to complete a number of projects. This was said by the MEC for Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu, in her policy speech during the debate on the budget vote for the Department of Roads and Public Works (DRPW). Among these were the practical completion of the R61 from Magusheni to Mzamba, phase two. The department would obtain practical completion for phase one during May and was currently engaging the Treasury with regards to financial commitment for the next two phases which would see the entire 80km from Maguseni to Mzamba upgraded to surface standard. According to Marawu, phase one had employed 558 local labourers with an expenditure of R52 million, while 48 SMMEs had been employed during the contract with and expenditure of R75 million. Phase two had employed 428 local labourers with an expenditure of R35 million, while 48 SMMEs had been employed during the contract with and expenditure of R66 million. According to Marawu, the

Road works are seen on the R61 from Magusheni to Mzamba. The road services one hospital, six clinics and 28 schools. The project is 95% complete and 428 job opportunities were created. PHOTO: SUPPLIED Nkantolo road would achieve practical completion by the end of this month as the project was speeded up for completion during the 100 years commemoration of OR Tambo. This project yielded 89 local labour jobs and 16 SMMEs benefited from this project. An amount of R10 million was spent on local labour and R3 million on SMMEs. The N2 to Siphethu Hospital, phase two road, was progressing well with practical completion expected this month, while the road is currently 96% complete. A total of 176 employment opportunities for local labourers were provided and 26 SMMEs benefited from this project to

Upgrading the R61 from Magusheni to Mzamba (phase one).

date. The upgrade of DR08029 (Tombo to Isilimela Hospital) was currently 96% complete and practical completion was expected to be achieved this month. The road would then be fully surfaced from the R61 near Port St Johns to the Isilimela Hospital. During the project, a total of 225 employment opportunities were created for local labourers with an expenditure of R19 million. The project also employed 22 SMMEs with a total expenditure of R69 million. The SLA between the DRPW and Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality was currently implementing phase two of the contract. This involved the upgrade of 8.5km of internal streets in Tarkastad. This project is currently 85% completed and practical completion would be achieved by this week. This project created 106 employment opportunities for local labour. It has employed nine SMMEs with a current expenditure close to R6 million. The reconstruction and widening of four bridges on DR08032 from Mdumbi turnoff to Coffee Bay were completed at a cost of R29.9 million. The project created 91 employment opportunities for local labourers and employed nine SMMEs. “The reconstruction of Sandriver bridge is currently pro-

gressing well with practical completion to be achieved by May 15,” Marawu said. “The project is currently 70% completed. “This bridge is an integral link between the town of Cape St Francis through Humansdorp linking to the N2. The previous structure was totally inadequate and during heavy rain storms got flooded and completely cut Cape St Francis off from the outside world,” said Marawu. The project created 65 employment opportunities for local labourers and four SMMEs had benefited. The upgrade of DR18045 from Centane to Qholorah, phase two

A, was completed. The project created 78 employment opportunities for local labourers and nine SMMEs had benefited from the project. Marawu said the upgrade of DR08017 from the R56 to Mvenyane, phase one, had experienced major challenges during the 2017/2018 financial year. “The project is currently well behind schedule due to financial challenges experienced by the contractor relating to outstanding payments to SARS. “The project is currently 36% completed versus the projected 85% completion. The DRPW is currently seriously considering the termination of the project.” The project created 25 employment opportunities for local labourers with an expenditure of R849 275. No SMME has been employed to date. The Ugie Roads phase two project also experienced severe financial challenges and the department was busy with the termination of the project. The contractor on the project was the same contractor of the R56 to Mvenyane phase one project which was experiencing challenges with SARS. The project was currently 80% completed and created 63 employment opportunities for local labourers with an expenditure of R2 million. It employed nine SMMEs with a total expenditure of R6.8 million.

Backfilling and paving the streets in the Ugie Location to the tune of R45 million is 85% complete. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

) Information supplied by the Department of Roads and Public Works


14 March 2018

King William’s Town Express



Big investment in skills development of staff and youth SKILLS development of staff as well as the youth was one of the big focus areas of the Department of Roads and Public Works. According to the MEC for Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu, the department has identified developmental programmes for all the department’s staff as part of its commitment to transformation and skills development “A programme has been identified for senior managers to undergo an executive development programme that was facilitated by the National School of Government this financial year,” said Marawu. The Department of Roads and Public Works is finalising its professional development strategy that will be approved before the

end of the financial year. This strategy will assist in the development of a skilled and capable workforce to support the strategic goals of the department through the professional development of DRPW candidate engineers to become professional engineers. The department also has a memorandum of understanding with the Council for Built Environment (CBE) and will establish more partnerships with other stakeholders. Currently, the department has a total of 101 candidate engineers. The department provides financial assistance to the students from the Eastern Cape who are wishing to pursue studies that are in line with the preferable core function of the Department of Roads and Public Works.

The purpose of the Departmental Bursary scheme is: ) To address skills shortage in the department, offer financial assistance to the previously disadvantaged to acquire critical scarce skills that are needed in the department. ) To raise the quality of skills development throughout the province. ) To promote economic growth, employment and social development. ) To promote South Africa with high-calibre, motivated students who wish to make a career in scarce skills. Since 2010, the department has awarded bursaries to more than 320 students to the tune of more than R8.9 million. Currently, 133 bursary holders are sponsored by the department

across the province. From these students, 25 are projected to complete their studies this year. The department has an internship programme which is aimed at resolving the general shortage of qualified and skilled people in the workforce by means of attracting graduates to equip them with the necessary practical experience and assist with meeting the strategic staffing needs of the public service by providing a practical and accelerated work experience programme, which expose interns to specific occupations. The department was also recognised at national level where a gold award was conferred by the National Skills Authority, with the Department of Higher Education and Training, for the best implementation of the internship

and TVET programmes. In 2017/18, the department appointed 190 interns and will continue with the programme and appoint more interns for 2018/19. “With the approved provincial internship policy, the department will develop and align its policy with the provincial one. “The department will further extend the contracts of current interns by 12 months to make up the 24 months as per the provincial policy,” said Marawu. She added that several projects have been identified for in-house professional development, involving young graduates from the design to the completion of the projects. The move will ensure that funds, which would have been used on consultants, are used for developmental objectives.

Below inflation increase in Roads and Public Works budget THE total budget allocation of the Department of Roads and Public Works for the 2018/19 financial year is R2.249 billion. This represents a nominal increase of R93 million or 4.3% of the 2017/18 adjusted budget. This was said by the MEC for Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu, in her policy

speech during the debate on the budget vote of the Department of Roads and Public Works. “It is important to note that this percentage increase is below the assumed normal inflation of 6%. In 2019/20 and 2020/21 the budget increases to R2.382 billion and R2.522 billion respectively,” said Marawu. Marawu said the payment for

property rates and taxes continued to be under strain. This is a result of, among other things, the ever-increasing provincial property portfolio that was attracting new rates and taxes as well as disputed rates and taxes that are being resolved in favour of the municipalities. In 2018/19, an amount of R350 million was set aside for the

payment of property rates and taxes. According to Marawu, the department had allocated R244 million for the provincial infrastructure development mainly for the building infrastructure portfolio. The department would endeavour to intensify its employment creation initiatives and empowerment of communities, emerging

contractors and matching job seekers through the Amathuba jobs portal. A total of R3 million was allocated for the Amathuba jobs portal. Another R5 million was allocated for support to public bodies and R2 million for the contractor development programme.

Phase three of expanded public works programme implemented for job creation THE 2017/18 financial year marked the fourth year of implementing Phase 3 of the Expanded Public Works Programme by the Department of Roads and Public Works. MEC for Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu, said during the 2017/18 financial year, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), which was their flagship programme for job creation and poverty alleviation, committed itself to many interventions. The department undertook to create 49 150 work opportunities through its roads and building infrastructure programmes. At the end of the third quarter, the department surpassed this target and created 49 992 work op-

portunities. “The department planned to match 300 unemployed people to work opportunities through its Amathuba Jobs Portal. As at end December 2017, 253 work seekers were afforded work opportunities through the portal,” said Marawu. The department committed to support 150 emerging contractors through the Integrated Contractor Development Programme (ICDP). As at the end of December 2017, 121 emerging contractors were supported through the ICDP. “The department also committed to enrol and train 900 learners to be trained as artisans in the APTCoD programme. By the end of quarter three of the 2017/18 financial year, 819 learners were trained on our artisan develop-

ment programme,” she said. “The department undertook that 90 APTCoD learners would pass the trade test and become fully-fledged artisans. “By the end of the third quarter, 114 learners passed the trade test and qualified as artisans,” said Marawu. The department also undertook to enrol 500 young people, who were not employed, educated and trained into their National Youth Service Programme (NYS). As at the end of December 2017, 379 learners were enrolled into the NYS programme. “And last, my department, as the provincial coordinator of EPWP, committed to ensuring that 50 public bodies (these include provincial government departments and municipalities)

will submit their work opportunities on the EPWP reporting system. “I am happy to state that all 50 public bodies in the province are reporting on the EPWP reporting system,” said Marawu. Through the Integrated Contractor Development Programme (ICDP), the department has been able to identify projects for contractor development. The department has contracted 240 Grade 1 to Grade 6 companies into this programme for a period of three years. The Integrated Contractor Development Programme is a strategic intervention of the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Public Works to, among others, create a pool of capable contractors in the Eastern Cape, develop

critical construction skills in the Eastern Cape and upgrade contractors to higher CIDB levels. As at end December 2017, 93 contracts were awarded to SMME contractors to the value of over R320 million under the ICDP. A further R899 million has been awarded to 235 SMMEs in the province. As at end December 2017, the department alone created 49 992 work opportunities through the infrastructure interventions. The regional breakdown of work opportunities created is: Alfred Nzo: 9 505 Amathole 9 184 Chris Hani: 9 289 Joe Gqabi: 7 701 O.R. Tambo: 9 140 Sarah Baartman: 5 164 TOTAL: 49 992

Department aiming to achieve its second consecutive unqualified audit opinion THE Department of Roads and Public Works achieved an unqualified audit opinion on March 31, 2017 and is focusing on achieving the same for the year ending March 31 this year. This was said by the MEC for Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu, in her policy speech that took place during the debate on the budget vote of the Department of Roads and Public Works. According to Marawu, the department has appointed a permanent chief financial officer,

effective October 2017. The finance unit is actively involved in the roads function shift to the Department of Transport. “The department has applied for irregular expenditure condonements and if successful, will significantly reduce the historical imbalances. “These applications are based on completed investigations. Our efforts to arrest the snowball effect of cases of irregular expenditure from prior years are still continuing,” said Marawu. “In the last year, the department investigated 112 cases of ir-

regular expenditure to the value of R654 million and 57 cases of fruitless and wasteful expenditure to the value of R1,9 million,” she continued. “As a result of these investigations, no less than 10 officials will be subjected to disciplinary action for their roles in incurring irregular expenditure. “We are pleased to report that the internal capacity to undertake these investigations has been institutionalised through the establishment of a compliance unit within internal control, which will be responsible for undertak-

ing such investigations to ensure those responsible are held to account,” said Marawu. According to Marawu, the ICT also prides itself on the role it has played in the successful implementation of a PostBank payment interface to allow the payment of Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) beneficiaries through PostBank. “The full implementation of the project will see all (about 50 000) EPWP beneficiaries being migrated from the South African Post Office (SAPO) voucher system to PostBank’s full banking uMzansi

) Information supplied by the Department of Roads and Public Works

bank accounts. This will allow beneficiaries to have access to full banking services which the voucher system could not offer,” said Marawu. According to the MEC, the pilot migration of 3 650 beneficiaries was successfully implemented. PostBank is making preparations to migrate the rest of the accounts. The remaining 46 000 beneficiaries are expected to be migrated in several phases within the cause of the next few months.



King William’s Town Express

14 March 2018

‘Singing chef’ heating up airwaves SIYANDA NKONYENI

and worked hard to be recognised in the music industry.

PEARL Sonjica is a talented songbird who is willing to sacrifice everything to make it in the music industry and like many local aspiring musicians who are facing many hurdles, she knows all about its up and downs.

What do they think about you now, and what kind of music do you do?

King William’s Town Express spoke to this muso to find out about her journey. How did you get involved in music and when did you start singing?

I started singing back at Sunday school when I was still young, and also I used to imitate music legends like Brenda Fassie and Rebecca Malope.

Now they support me but they still feel I am not serious about life. To them a normal life is having an 08:00 to 17:00 job and get paid at the end of the month. As for the genre of music, I am stuck between gospel and afro soul. Did you get any formal training or is it just a God-given talent?

No I did not get any training; singing for me is a God-given talent.

You chose to stay here in the Eastern Cape whereas many of those who want to make it in music go to Gauteng to realise their dream; why is that?

Choosing to stay in Eastern Cape was the hardest thing to do. I believe if you want to make it and survive in music Gauteng is the place to be. I am also planning on moving there sometime but what is keeping me at the moment is my job as a chef. Would you advise local talent to go to Gauteng or stay and make it here?

I would not advise anyone who wishes to

I knew there was something great about my singing because people used to applaud me every time I sang in front of a crowd. Sometimes they would even ask me to sing in exchange for sweets. That is when I started to enter many music competitions.

Yes, music has always been part of my family growing up but I am the only one who took it as a career, and I must mention that it was not easy.

Tell us about your future plans and your latest album?

Pearl Sonjica (front right) is a local artist who despite hardships in the music industry is determined to make it big. PHOTO:SUPPLIED

Gospel evening to unite local communities

Tru FM’s Zama Ntshona will be the host for the evening and King William’s Town’s very own alto saxophonist, Sanda Ncama, will keep the crowds entertained with his sensa-

Sanda Ncama, a King William’s Town saxophonist, will be performing live at the show on Saturday. PHOTO:SUPPLIED

Do you think there is a lot of talent here, and what can be done to harness and avoid losing local talent to other province like Gauteng?

Here in the Eastern Cape you will never survive on music alone; you must have a job to help support you on the side.

Why is that? Did you not get support at home or did your family see it as just a hobby?

THE community of King William’s Town is in for a treat this coming Saturday when the King William’s Town Methodist Church, Circuit 309, hosts a Youth Gospel Extravaganza at the church in Alexandra Road.

I get assistance and support from individuals like Zama Ntshona who works for TruFm and businesses like the Square Africa Boxing Lounge and SNH records from Mdantsane.

Can you say you survive on making music only or do you have to do an additional job to make ends meet?

Has music always been part of your family or you are the odd one who followed it?


There is always a cry of lack of support in this province. Tell me where do you get your support from since you started, if any?

There is a lot of talent and potential in our province; all that needs to be done is unity among us artists to work together and maybe government will come on board. There is a need for more art institutions which should offer training for free. In most cases young talent throws in the towel on their dreams and talent because of lack of funding and support.

How did you know you could sing?

I did not get the full support from my family as they thought I was just wasting my time. I did not let that stop me and I hustled, pushed

make music a career to be based here. Our province does not support artists at all. I am also still pushing on my own.

tional jazzy sound. Ncama said, “It is going to be great! We have also invited local schools to be part of this show. “The Kingsridge High School’s girls’ choir and the De Vos Malan High School choir have already confirmed attendance and performance and many more are joining in.” Ncama promised to bring his A-game and said people should expect a fun-filled evening of good music, dance and poetry. The Methodist Circuit 309 comprises the Breidbach and Schornville communities and because of the language barrier, services are conducted at different times to accommodate isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans speakers. “This event will see the community of King William’s Town unify in song and praise, break language barriers, cultural barriers and any other barrier there might be,” said Ncama, who also happens to be a devoted member of the congregation. A local resident, Amira Swartbooi, said she thought the event was a brilliant idea. “It is a superb idea. “It is 24 years into democracy and it is about time we stop talking about it and actually unite in Christ.” The show will take place on Saturday from 17:30 to 21:00. Entry is R60 per person. For more info contact Sanda Ncama on 079 632 1704.

I have a single called Ungowam (you are mine), which is getting a lot of airplay. I am also writing more songs and working on a brand called ‘The Singing Chef’.

Wedding bells for King’s lovebirds

Micah Mentor and Courtney Swartz exchanged their vows at the Assemblies of God Church in Breidbach recently. PHOTO:ELLSWORTH SWARTZ

On the social scene

Chirmonix Benjamin and her birthday boy, Geolin Benjamin, who celebrated his first birthday in Breidbach last week Saturday. PHOTOS:SHANE CHRISTIAN

Diana Bossr celebrated her 80th birthday with all her children, family and friends at the St Joseph’s Hall in King William’s Town last week Saturday.


14 March 2018

King William’s Town Express


Lovedale College’s newcomer aims high ELETHU MTIKI COMING from the rural town of Libode to King William’s Town, Lovedale TVET College’s newcomer, Phakama Makoka, is hoping to find herself a place on the institution’s netball team. The versatile player, who can play either as a goal-shooter or goal-attacker, said she wanted to make a mark at the college. “My ambitions for this year are to play net-

ball and travel with the team to a number of places. “I hope to become one of the best players in the team and gain popularity here in the college,” she stated. Having parted ways with her old teammates from high school, the soft-spoken Makoka is confident that she will not struggle to adjust among her new teammates, should she make it onto the team. In fact, she is confident that she will be part of the team in the next few weeks as she has

already spoken to those involved. “I’ve spoken to one of the guys who are involved in sports. He told me that the team will assemble very soon and I can join the team,” she revealed. Makhokha’s arrival will bolster Lovedale’s formidable squad, which boasts with the likes of Silindokuhle Madoda, who was the best netball player in the college last year. Although she was excited about her new move, Makhokha’s concern was the slow pace at which netball is growing in Libode. She

said there were no local teams and they only had the chance to play netball at school. “The reason that there are no local teams in Libode is that people who can play and are passionate about netball stay in different areas, far from each other. “The only time that we got together was at school. I have a vision of going back to where I come from and develop netball outside the school premises. I had started doing that but then struggled with the kit and other equipment,” she concluded.

Patrons enjoy 10th CANSA Relay LIAM WEIMERS ANOTHER successful CANSA Relay For Life was held at Jan Smuts stadium last Saturday.

King residents came out in numbers to participate in the relay including, back from left, Lucretchia Appel, Joshua Louw and Erroline Williams. Seated is Jeff Meyers.

This year’s relay was even more special and fun-filled as it marked its 10th anniversary since its inception in 2008. The overnight relay is a unique event which offers the community the opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. The event also represents the hope that all of those lost to cancer will never be forgotten; it provides support to those fighting the disease and most importantly, it emphasises the fact that it can be beaten. There is no age restriction at this event as the event embraces entire communities, from young to old. The 10-member participating teams raised funds before and during the relay, which will be dedicated to funding CANSA’s unique, integrated service within the community.

Teams were fired up and fulfilled their 12hour duties around the track in the favourable weather conditions. The participants also enjoyed camping out, entertainment, good food, games and community camaraderie. Among the highlights was when the stadium’s lights were completely shut down to remember loved ones who lost the fight against cancer. The only light came from candles placed around the track. A first-time relay goer representing the Charteris and Barnes team, Marcia Thys, said, “As a team, we went to support people living with cancer, as well as cancer survivors, together with the families of those who have passed on. It is important for them to know that they are not alone in the fight against cancer.” A member of the King William’s Town Assemblies of God team named Warriors, Josie Cloete, said, “I have been attending this event for the past four years and I enjoy every moment.”

Landi Strydom (left) and Synovia Williams had a blast at the CANSA Relay held last week Saturday. PHOTOS:SUPPLIED

Star Motors

The Imiqhayi Senior Secondary School learners were delighted to receive their new school uniform. PHOTOS:ELETHU MTIKI

New uniform for needy learners ELETHU MTIKI IT was all excitement at Imiqhayi Senior Secondary School in Mount Coke near King William’s Town on Monday during the handover of school uniform to needy learners. A total of 77 learners benefited from the donation, which was led by the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Thokozile Xasa, together with the China Chamber of Commerce in South Africa, who also injected an amount of R25 000 to the dilapidated school. The donation included school jerseys, shirts, pairs of shoes and ties. The school falls under Xasa’s radius in her mandatory visits to the communities. It was not the first time that she visited the school; she visited a few years back during her tenure as the Deputy Minister of Tourism. “This is part of my ANC parliamentary constituency. Every year we visit schools. Imiqhayi Senior Secondary School is one of the schools that fall under my constituency. “They performed very well in last year’s matric results; they got about 74% in the matric results,” Xasa said. “Our visit also seeks to encourage the learners. This school was not even built by government, it was built by the community, but you can see the passion from the teachers, parents and the learners who come from the childheaded households.

“They’re experiencing a lot of problems in the community. So it’s also a societal responsibility to support them in their education,” she added. One of the learners who benefited from the donation was a Grade 12 learner Thandolwethu Liwani (18). He said he was grateful he finally owned a matric tie, which his parents could not afford to buy. “I’m so grateful for this matric tie. This will make me feel comfortable and look good among other matriculants. “It was difficult because my parents could not afford to buy me this tie because they’re unemployed,” Liwani said. The school’s principal Luvuyo Bakana said he was grateful for the minister’s visit and that they had always poured out their challenges whenever she visited them over the years. Bakana said this year’s visit was different as it will improve the appearance of the learners who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. “The minister saw it necessary that she help the disadvantaged learners in order to boost their confidence. Hopefully this will also help them improve in their studies,” Bakana said. In 2015 the school obtained a 63% matric pass rate, 64% and 74% in 2016 and 2017 respectively. This year the aim is obtain 100% and Bakana said he is confident that the class of 2018 will reach that target. Xasa and the China Chamber of Commerce promised to return to the school in the near future to look into the infrastructure.

6 Fleet Street King William's Town 5600

Tel: 043 642 3595

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King William’s Town Express

14 March 2018

School’s rugby season kicks off with a bang at Selborne LIAM WEIMERS THE school rugby season is set to kick off with a bang this weekend with some mouth-watering fixtures at the Selborne College field in East London on Saturday. The annual Border Day is a traditional

event hosted in mid-March and is used as a measure to select players to represent the Border region at the annual Craven Week in July during the school holidays. This is the 10th year that this rugby day is being celebrated and it has provided players of a high calibre over the years. A total of 26 schools will be locking horns

on the day and matches will be played on the A and B fields. Border Rugby secretary, Nongezi Mncono said, “The reason for the Border Day is to support and nurture our school boy rugby talent, from both urban and rural areas. We urge the Border community to come and enjoy a great day of rugby.”

Matches kick off at 09:00 and will be live streamed on YouTube. Fixtures include: De Vos Malan High School vs Lilyfonein High School, Dale College vs Hudson Park High School, Queen’s College vs Grens High School and Selborne College vs Stirling High School.

Sports minister on a mission to revive schools’ sports ELETHU MTIKI THE new Minister of Sport and Recreation, Thokozile Xasa, said she has prioritised schools’ sport to the top of her agenda with the hope of reviving sport at grassroots level. Xasa, who is the first female sports minister since 1994, told King William’s Town Express, during her recent visit to Mount Coke near King William’s Town, that she had already started discussions about the matter of improving the standard of sport in schools, espe-

cially those in rural areas. There had been calls over the years to bring back Sports Wednesdays, a programme which was dedicated to giving learners more opportunity to showcase their skills in the field of play, to schools. “It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been in the new office, but there are exciting things already that are coming. “One of them, which is going to be our flagship, is the schools’ sports. “We’ve finalised (discussion on the matter) and are just waiting for the signing. We re-

cently held a joint MINMEC (minister and members of the executive council) meeting with the Department of Basic Education on schools’ sports,” she said. Xasa’s visit to Mount Coke, where there was a handover of school uniforms to Imiqhayi Senior Secondary School, was her first visit to the Eastern Cape since she was appointed to the new portfolio just over three weeks ago. She said the schools’ sports initiative will play a huge role in unearthing a lot of talent. “My excitement in it (schools’ sports pro-

gramme) is that it is going to unleash the talent that we have in our schools because our young people have not had an opportunity of being identified early in life and be assisted early in life in order to be part of the professional sportsmen and sportswomen,” said Xasa. “And in rural areas that entails bringing in the much-needed infrastructure. It also brings in support in order to develop the administrators. And also on top of it, (the programme it is aimed at) making schools to work together.”

Tigers’ title ambitions blown away ELETHU MTIKI FUTURE Tigers are officially out of the ABC Motsepe League title chase after suffering a 4-1 loss against runaway log leaders Tornado FC in Ginsberg this past weekend. The Ginsberg-based outfit remain on 35 points, 26 points behind Tornado who now have 61 points. With only eight matches remaining and 24 points to play for, the result meant that Tigers’ hopes of catching up came to an end. Despite recording their third consecutive loss in the ABC Motsepe League, Tigers remain sixth on the log standing – a position they have been occupying for the last three weeks. This was their second heavy defeat against Tornado this season after the 5-2 loss in the first round. The game against Tornado was their chance to regain trust from their support-

ers and confidence after losing 3-1 against City Lads and 1-0 against Butterworth FC prior to Saturday’s match. There is no doubt that Tigers will look to redeem themselves when they visit Mthatha City at Rotary Stadium in Mthatha this coming weekend. They might find the going tough though, as City are unpredictable and higher on the log in the fifth spot. Tornado, on the other hand, will welcome third-placed Eastern Cape Bees in another highly anticipated encounter. The Mdantsane-based side has been deemed as the champions-in-waiting as they are 15 ahead of PE Stars who are in second. Other ABC Motsepe League results: Highbury 0-1 Swartkops Valley United Brothers Spears 2-0 Sibanye City Lads 2-0 PE Stars Matta Milan 3-1 Bizana Pondo Chiefs

UFH Blues salvage nail-biting victory ELETHU MTIKI THE University of Fort Hare Blues returned to their winning ways with a hard-fought 1817 triumph against Cape Peninsula University of Technology in a tightly contested Varsity Shield battle at Davidson Stadium in Alice on Monday evening. The men from Alice went into the clash still licking their wounds following last week’s 20-16 defeat against arch-rivals Walter Sisulu University in East London. However, playing in front of their supporters, UFH would not be whipped for the second time in a row. Despite the victory, Fort Hare remained outside the play-offs spot as they are currently in fifth place with 11 points from four matches. Fresh from Monday’s win, UFH will need

to be at their best when they travel to the log leaders, University of Western Cape (UWC), in tomorrow’s game at the UWC Sports Stadium in Cape Town. UWC, who are also the defending champions of the competition, have not lost a single game in their four matches this season and have won all of their matches convincingly. Meanwhile, WSU moved to the second spot with 18 points from five matches following their 12-8 win away to University for KwaZulu-Natal in Durban on Monday. The WSU All Blacks are now two points behind UWC and closer to confirming their place into the semi-finals. Tomorrow they will be welcoming Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) at BCM Stadium in East London, and a win could well be enough to making it through to the last four. Tomorrow’s game will kick-off at 18:30. X1UDW545-KX140318

King William's Town Express 14 March 2018  
King William's Town Express 14 March 2018