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AMAPONDO CHILDREN’S PROJECT: VOLUNTEERS RECRUITED FROM OVERSEAS
NPO in partnership with German group SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE
HE Amapondo Children’s Project has forged a partnership with an organisation in Germany that will result in more young volunteers from there assisting in communityled programmes in Port St Johns.
The project manager of the Amapondo Children’s Project (ACP), Elizabeth Vanden Schrieck, says the deal with EOS Internationale Freiwilligendienste, which recruits young Germans to work on projects all over the world, is a significant boost for the ACP. The volunteers EOS sends would spend between six and 12 months in the town, enabling them to “really address the needs they encounter, and set up long-term initiatives”. EOS is funded by the German government. Their volunteer programmes are called “weltwaerts”, which translates roughly to “bringing well-being”. The ACP, based in Port St Johns, is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a non-profit organisation (NPO). Originally founded in 2001, it registered as an NPO in 2006, and has evolved into a reliable and sustainable organisation. Over the years the ACP has been involved in many community-led initiatives, and today their primary focus is supporting Mthumbane Pre-Primary School and Port St Johns Junior Secondary School. Speaking to the Express, Vanden Schrieck, a social worker from Belgium, said the collaboration between the ACP and EOS would create opportunities for both parties. “EOS now has the opportunity to offer a placement in South Africa, a country which has always been a very popular travel destination in Germany, and ACP is ensured of a minimum number of volunteers in a volunteer programme throughout the year,” she said.
German volunteers working at the Amapondo Children’s Project are, from left, Manuella Becker, Jasmin Modler, Till Krepele, Luca Wilke and Ulrich Reim. PHOTO:SUPPLIED “Volunteers who work with the local comShe said a separate volunteer programme teering in different countries. “Volunteers who are helping out for only munity for several months have the opporturun by the ACP attracted many foreign vola few weeks can only do so much in the limit- nity to really address the needs they encoununteers for short periods of service. ter, and set up long-term initiatives. “It (ACP’s own volunteer programme) is ed time they have. very popular but our volunteers mostly stay “Having long-term volunteers offers the “In general, I’m very grateful that we have for an average period of two to twelve weeks ACP the possibility to bring in more sustain- become a partner of EOS. I believe it will as they combine it [community work] with able support to the local community we work prove to be a success for both organisations.” travelling through South Africa or volun- with.
Abathembu chief to be laid to rest BUNTU GOTYWA THE late chief of Ngangelizwe royal house, Chief Daludumo Lennox Mtirara, will be laid to rest this Saturday. Chief Mtirara, a Brigadier General in the South African National Defence Force who acted as spokesman for the royal house, was found dead in his Pretoria home two weeks ago after apparently shooting himself. He will be buried near his home in Xhongora village just outside Mthatha. The Amadlomo clan expressed the need to use the funeral to unite the clan, which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since the incarceration of Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
One of the elders in the Amadlomo clan, Chief Zwelenqaba Mgudlwa, said the internal feud caused by disagreement over the rightful person to act as Abathembu king had to end. Chief Mgudlwa said despite the fighting they remained one family and would pay the necessary respect to their brother despite the differences a faction of the clan had with him while he was alive. Chief Mtirara was one of the royals strongly opposed to Prince Azenathi Dalindyebo taking over the reigns as acting king of Abathembu. He was the leader of the faction that supported King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s brother Prince Mthandeni Mankunku Dal-
Chief Daludumo Mtirara. PHOTO:YANGA SOJI
indyebo’s bid to take over as acting king while the king serves his jail term. His death was reported on the morning of the day of the coronation of Prince Azenathi as acting king. The enrobing went ahead following his death after his camp withdrew an urgent court interdict to stop the coronation. The third faction in the Abathembu royal family feud was in support of Queen Gowanda Dalindyebo taking over the throne. Royal houses are expected to converge at the home of Chief Mtirara to pay their last respects to the man who never beat around the bush about what he felt was right to say.
December 8, 2016 Isolomzi Express
Hawks launch campaign against human trafficking BABALWA NDLANYA YOUNG women cried uncontrollably when the Eastern Cape Hawks launched a campaign against human trafficking in Ngcobo last week. At the event, the women came forward and shared their horror stories of being victims of the crime and of ukuthwala, the practice of abducting girls and forcing them into marriage – a form of human trafficking. The aim of the Hawks’ Trafficking in Persons Awareness Campaign – running in parallel with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, which started on November 25 and ends on December 10 – is to educate community members about the misdeed and ukuthwala. Emotions also ran high among onlookers as the young women wept as they recounted the terrible suffering they had been forced to endure. Some of the women spoke about losing their virginity violently, and being drugged and raped repeatedly. One of them said she had met a foreign man at a club in East London. He promised her that he would do anything for her. “I trusted him, not knowing that he was going to turn me into a sex slave in one of the places in East London,” she said. “I missed my home so much but drugs controlled my life. In August a team from the Hawks came and saved me and other girls.” The woman said she had been sent to a rehabilitation centre for three months, and had received treatment for tuberculosis. The Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s (Hawks’) division combating organised crime in Mthatha, Colonel Loyiso Mdingi, urged parents to examine the websites frequented by their children. “We are here because of the bad behaviour
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Community members who attended a campaign against Human Trafficking. PHOTO:BABALWA NDLANYA.
of the people who are selling other people, especially children. Sometimes you find that a child is promised a job in a certain place (and then becomes a victim of human trafficking),” said Mdingi. “In other incidents parents also play a major role in this behaviour, because you find that a parent is selling his or her child with the aim of getting cows. If you are planning to do that, you must know it’s a serious crime.”
According to Mdingi some parents had ‘sold’ their children to foreigners “with the aim of getting sugar for tea”. The Hawks had decided to bring the awareness campaign to Ngcobo because it was one of the areas where human trafficking was taking place. Advocate Nolitha Madiba from the National Prosecuting Authority said human trafficking and ukuthwala were modern forms of slavery. She pointed out that it was illegal to
marry a person under the age of 18. “If you help someone to kidnap a girl, you face 15 years in jail and up to a life sentence for being a ringleader,” she said. Madiba said perpetrators of human trafficking mostly targeted poor people in rural areas, and trapped them through offers of jobs, scholarships or other enticements. A lack of knowledge about the crime was a major factor behind its growing prevalence.
Woman murdered for walking near hut of initiates REPORTER A WOMAN who was found walking near the hut of initiates (ibhuma) around 2am in Morrison Location in Dutywa last week, was assaulted to death by three men, who are now facing a charge of murder. Ayanda Gcasamba (19), Izibele Bhidla (27) and Siyasanga Sangqu (36) were each granted bail of R1 000 by the Dutywa Magistrate’s Court and their case was postponed
until January 9, 2017, for further investigation. The deceased has not been identified. She was suspected of being a witch as women are not allowed to be close to the hut of the initiate,s according to Xhosa culture. Police Spokesperson, Captain Jackson Manatha confirmed this incident. Acting Butterworth Cluster Commander, Colonel Sipho Hokwana, condemned the actions of the suspects.
Anyone who is looking for his/her relative should contact Dutywa Police Station to identify the deceased. ) In Ngqamakhwe, police arrested a man for the possession of an unlicensed firearm. The suspect was arrested at Sidubela Location in Ngqamakhwe. Manatha confirmed that the firearm had been stolen at Stutterheim (Cumakala). He said that the suspect would appear at the Ngqamakhwe Magistrate’s Court soon.
Two men arrested for different rape cases BABALWA NDLANYA POLICE from Ngqamakhwe arrested a man for the alleged rape of a six-year-old girl at Mecca Location in Ngqamakhwe, on Tuesday. It is alleged that the victim was raped between November 16 and 24. Police Spokesperson Captain Jackson Manatha said it is alleged that the victim and her sisters used to watch television in the evenings at the home of the suspect. “The suspect is believed to have raped the
victim when she went to the homestead of the suspect alone. It is further alleged that the victim was threatened by the suspect not to inform anyone as he would kill her,” said Manatha. Manatha said the grandmother of the victim noticed that the victim was raped and she asked the victim about the perpetrators. The victim allegedly broke the silence and implicated the suspect. ) In another incident, Police from Butterworth arrested a man (27), for allegedly
raping a six-year-old boy. It is alleged that the victim was raped inside a pit toilet at Cegcuwana Village in Butterworth. Manatha confirmed the incident stating that the mother of the victim was tipped off about the rape in progress. “The crime was committed in the neighbour’s pit toilet. The mother of the victim alerted community members about the crime. The community caught the suspect and contacted Butterworth Police then who arrested the suspect.”
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December 8, 2016 Isolomzi Express
N2 WILD COAST TOLL ROAD:
SANRAL establishes independent environmental monitoring committee REPORTER THE South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) has established an independent environmental monitoring committee for oversight of environmental aspects of the construction of the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road (N2WCTR). The announcement was made following the committee’s inaugural meeting in Port Edward recently. “The environmental authorisation by the Department of Environmental Affairs for the construction of the N2WCTR was subject to conditions, including the establishment of a representative environmental monitoring committee (EMC), with an independent chairperson,” said Mpati Makoa, Environmental Manager of SANRAL. “With the developments relating to conventional engineering and construction of
the haul roads to construction sites and the construction of the two mega bridges progressing at a satisfactory pace, we are now pleased to announce the establishment of an oversight committee responsible for monitoring environmental compliance,” Makoa said. “The committee will perform watchdog, monitoring and auditing functions to ensure compliance with specific conditions of the environmental authorisation and the requirements for the approved environmental management programme (EMP) for the N2WCTR, as well as conditions of all other environmental permits issued for the project,” she continued. “The main agenda points at the first meeting were the confirmation of members and representatives, the administrative functioning, including the terms of reference, as well as the strategic role and future engagements of the committee.”
The environmental monitoring committee for the N2WCTR comprises representation of South African conservation and wildlife organisations, environmental subject matter experts, and various government departments and/or state entities, local municipalities and representatives of the Traditional Authorities of Mpondoland. This is in line with the recommendations and requests of the Department of Environmental Affairs following the Record of Decision. The committee will also provide a forum for discussing and resolving environmental issues, promote the participation of stakeholders in environmental monitoring and provide the opportunity to reach common understanding between interested groups about the nature, scope and results of monitoring. It is also expected that the project will benefit from potential synergies with the project’s authorities coordination com-
mittee, which has already been established. “The route has been planned to minimise the impact on environmentally sensitive biomes and existing human communities and settlements, and in addition to the EMP, a number of measures have been put in place to ensure this, and where possible to enhance positive environmental outcomes. “These measures include a ‘Search and Rescue’ process through which rare, endangered and endemic species and species of conservation value will be translocated to suitable nurseries with the aim to both assist with the rehabilitation of disturbed areas after construction and to re-establish an existing conservation area where applicable. “The establishment of the environmental monitoring committee is another level of assurance to concerned groups or individuals that the environment of the Wild Coast is one of our key priorities,” he concluded.
New municipal offices in Flagstaff is currently being built and Mdingi assured that it will be completed next year. The offices are built at a budget of R50 million, with more than 50 local people employed by this project. “We have also managed to build a driving licence testing centre in Lusikisiki at a tune of R21 million to help our communities, especially the youth, to easily obtain their driver’s licence without having to spend more money
and time travelling to other municipalities. The facility has helped to create employment for 45 people,” said Mdingi. The 2015/2016 financial year also afforded Ingquza Hill, together with the Department of Rural development and Agrarian Reform, a chance to establish an Agri-Park in Lambasi to enable a market-driven combination and integration of various agricultural activities and rural services.
Ingquza Hill reports back to community AYANDA MILLISA MADIKIZELA
communities, while Section 152 (e) provides that the municipality should encourage the INGQUZA Hill Local Municipality, incorpo- involvement of the community and communirating Lusikisiki and Flagstaff, last week held ty organizations in its local government proits open council meeting in grammes,” he said. Flagstaff, encouraging the Mdingi went on to state that community’s involvement in Section 160 (7) requires municits programmes. ipal council to hold its busiCommunity members from ness in an open manner and both towns, local business closed when the nature of busipeople, religious fraternities, ness allows so. Thus the open municipal officials and councouncil was held to listen and cillors filled the tent which respond to the public’s conwas located just outside Flagcerns about service delivery. staff. The Mayor further outMayor Pat Mdingi said that lined completed projects within the municipality, the event was directly linked to the fulfilment of what is highlighting new roads of contained in the objects of the about 457 kilometers, comlocal government as it is enmunity halls in all the wards shrined in the constitution of Mayor Pat Mdingi.PHOTO: and construction of shopping the Republic of South Africa. AYANDA MILLISA MADIKIZELA malls in both towns where “Section 152 (a) provides more than 3 000 people were that local government must provide demo- employed during the construction and the cratic and accountable government for local operational phase.
Roadblock held in Dutywa over the weekend BABALWA NDLANYA THE Public Order Policing Unit and Mbhashe Traffic Department held a successful roadblock on Sunday along the N2 near Dutywa. Police Spokesperson Captain Jackson Manatha said a string of vehicles were searched and more than 200 people were also searched. “Summons to the value of R13 500 were issued and 10 non-roadworthy vehicles were impounded and kept at Mbhashe Local Municipality,” said Manatha. According to him an R5-rifle was recovered and an enquiry was opened for further investigation. He added that dangerous weapons were recovered during the operation. Manatha ensured that more roadblocks and police visibility will continue until early 2017 for the safety of the community.
In another incident, Police from Dutywa arrested a man for dealing in dagga. The suspect was arrested at GPO Informal Settlement in Dutywa. Manatha confirmed the incident, stating that the suspect was caught with 2.45 kg dagga, with a street value of R2 000. “He has been charged with dealing in dagga and will appear in the Dutywa Magistrate Court soon.”
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Constable Nobuntu Tungana from Dutywa Police Station showing the recovered dagga. PHOTO:SUPPLIED
December 8, 2016 Isolomzi Express
Bhisho passes Official Languages Bill SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE THE Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature has passed the Official Languages Bill, which is set to reshape the use of languages in government entities in the province. This follows extensive engagement with communities and relevant stakeholders across the province a few months ago. Opposition parties in the legislature supported the passing of the bill during a House sitting. Thando Mpulu, on behalf of United Democratic Movement, said the party backed the legislation.
“However, our view is that this bill can be realised only when all departments have established institutionalised language units,” said Mpulu. “This will have implications on human capital; [officials] must possess the requisite skill to roll out the bill.” Mpulu said on a political level the application of the bill would restore dignity to the people of the Eastern Cape through expressing their thoughts in a language with which they were comfortable. He stated that as part of a decolonisation programme the bill could serve as a catalyst to fast-track transformation.
Nomxolisi Mtitsha stressed that all the languages spoken in the province should be reflected in public life as they were all used in government communiqués and in the legislature. She urged the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture to take active steps to accommodate sign language and braille for the blind. The official languages in the Eastern Cape are isiXhosa, Afrikaans, English and Sesotho. The bill, among others, seeks to provide for regulating and monitoring the use of the official languages in government communication.
It further provides for the establishment of a provincial language unit and maps out its functions. In addition, it provides for the establishment of language units in provincial departments, provincial public entities and provincial public enterprises, also mapping out their functions. The bill states that every provincial department, provincial public entity and provincial government business enterprise must adopt a language policy regarding the use of official languages consistent with the provincial language policy and facilitates the coordination of the language units.
Get to Imbizo Emakhaya, Tsolo’s groovy awakening BUNTU GOTYWA IMBIZO Emakhaya is coming back to Tsolo, once again giving members of its community the opportunity to savour a city-style event. Busy Living Productions are bringing the youth development initiative to the town for the second time and plan to infuse it with the kind of vibe found at the renowned Macufe Festival this year. The production outfit have big dreams for Imbizo Emakhaya, which takes place on December 23. They aim to make it one of the main events on the Eastern Cape entertainment calendar. Ayanda Daweti, the founder and director
of Imbizo Emakhaya, said he decided to launch the event after attending numerous festivals, including Bloemfontein’s Macufe. He saw no reason why he could not bring similar entertainment to his people. Imbizo Emakhaya is, however, different from the Macufe Festival in many mays, most notably because people are not charged a cent for a full day of entertainment. The event includes sport, music, poetry and traditional dancing – and locals are invited to trade their wares, adding to the carnival atmosphere. “It’s now a yearly event for our people in the villages, and we are calling on all of them to come out in their numbers on the
23rd to have a chilled time, play sport and enjoy music,” said Daweti. “This is an event we want to grow because most of the villagers do not get such entertainment opportunities.” It is a festival for the community and it is fitting that it is hosted in Tsolo’s environs, as this allows villagers who are not well-off to attend the event with relative ease. This year, Mhlakulo village, a central settlement, will be hosting the event, and everyone is invited to bring camp chairs and cooler boxes – and be ready to have their breath taken away by the day’s activities. Local artists will be given the opportunity to perform and will share the stage with popular Mdantsane poet Simbone.
Difficulties facing lower income groups REPORTER THE second South African Citizen’s Bribery Survey, conducted by The Ethics Institute and sponsored by Massmart-Walmart, compared – among other things – how the different income groups experience bribery. The results show that 48% of the respondents who earn less than R100 000 per annum thought it was difficult to navigate daily life without paying a bribe, while only 27% of the higher income group (R500 000 and more per annum) believe the same. Professor Deon Rossouw, CEO of The Ethics Institute, said “Our survey respondents are typically from a wide socioeconomic range so this year we decided to focus specifically on the difference between the experience of bribery of South Africans in higher versus lower income groups. We found that South Africans with lower income find it significantly more difficult to get through everyday life without paying a bribe, particularly with respect to bribes to secure jobs.
“There is a certain injustice in the fact that those who have the least resources are most vulnerable to being targeted. It is a reflection of the desperation of many in our society and an uncomfortable reminder that the adage ‘bread first, morals later’ might hold true.” According to survey respondents the top five reasons for resorting to bribery are to avoid traffic offences (36%), to secure a job (18%), to obtain a driver’s licence (15%), to get a tender (7%), and to receive unauthorised discounts from business (4%). Of the five provinces surveyed, 32% of respondents in KwaZulu-Natal indicated that they knew someone who was approached for a bribe compared to 28% in Gauteng, 14% in The Free State, 14% in the Western Cape and 12% in Limpopo. Massmart Anti-Corruption Compliance Executive Johann Stander said “At Massmart we are committed to doing business the right way and have invested significantly in promoting a culture of integrity within our organisation. “We also believe that we should play a
broader anti-corruption role in our society because bribery increases the cost of living for all of us and undermines the rule of law and the values of our democracy. “It is not good for social cohesion nor is it good for business, hence our sponsorship of the South African Citizens’ Bribery Survey.” The survey results also show that lower income groups are 17% more vulnerable to paying bribes for jobs, while those with an income of more than R500 000 in turn experience 16% more tender bribery than the low income group. Bribery for driver’s licences was also 8% higher for the lower income respondents, which according to Prof Rossouw, could reflect the value that a driver’s licence has in relation to securing a job at this income level. Prof Rossouw said it is interesting to note that bribes for discounts/free goods were more prominent with the lower income respondents and completely absent from the higher income respondents. The survey findings were based on inter-
views with more than 4 553 South Africans from urban centres in Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Western Cape. The objective of the survey is to gain insight into the everyday experience of South Africans in relation to their perceptions of bribery, the extent of bribery in the country as well as the socioeconomic factors that influence it. Some of the questions asked included: “How frequently are people asked for bribes? What are these bribes for? How much do people pay for bribes? How willing are they to do something about bribery? What were the reasons for paying or refusing to pay a bribe?’’ Key findings include: . 33% of respondents know someone who was asked for a bribe in the past year. . The average bribe amount is R2 200, up by R195 from last year. . 18% of bribes are to secure employment. . 51% of the bribes were for traffic related offences.
Masters and doctoral degree students to no longer pay tuition WALTER Sisulu University announced that the University Council resolved on November 25 that in future postgraduate research students (Masters by thesis and doctoral candidates) will no longer be charged
Kenny Mwange ACCOUNTS MANAGER
academic tuition fees. This decision does not apply to coursework Masters. Administration fees and where applicable, accommodation fees, will still be charged.
The University trust that this decision will assist supervisors to attract and retain research students and that the institution will soon see an improvement in its research reputation.
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December 8, 2016 Isolomzi Express
Government Officials attend Wellness Day BABALWA NDLANYA
ke said the company wanted to host the event again next year. The company had a scheme in which it ploughed back money to the community, making free financial contributions to projects. â€œOne of the things that we are doing as Old Mutual is that we fund projects that are already existing by giving out R20 000 to [each] project,â€? said Ntseke. On Wellness Day, officials took part in netball and soccer competitions, and participated in aerobics and a fun run and fun walk. In the final of the womenâ€™s netball contest the South African Police Service (SAPS) beat the Department of Education 12-9, and in the menâ€™s soccer final the Department of Public Works beat the SAPS 2-0. Both teams were handed new kit by Old Mutual, while officials who participated in the fun run and fun walk went home with body towels.
OFFICIALS from government departments in Elliotdale received health and financial advice, and raised their fitness levels when they took part in a Wellness Day hosted by Old Mutual and the Department of Correctional Services last week. The departmentâ€™s employee wellness practitioner, Feziwe Masango-Vaphi, said they were asked by Old Mutual to launch the event at Elliotdale Sport Ground. â€œWe had a financial wellness session that was hosted by Old Mutual, and we also received a special message from Doctor Siphesihle Nofuya, who advised government employees to ensure they have health check-ups regularly to avoid disease,â€? said Masango-Vaphi. She said the department and Old Mutual wanted Wellness Day to be a regular event. The event reduced stress among officials, helped them forge new friendships, and made them aware of where to go for help when they had health problems. Old Mutual sales manager Sindisiwe Ntse-
Officials from the Department of Public Works went home with a new soccer kit after beating the Department of Education officials. PHOTO: BABALWA NDLANYA
Youth visited needy children SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE IN an endeavour to keep young people in orphanages up to date with social developments and inform them of their rights, emerging leaders representing the organisation, Mthatha Youth Commitment, visited Mzomtsha Childrenâ€™s Home in Ngqeleni last week. The visit formed part of an outreach programme held during the 16 Days of Activism
for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. Mthatha Youth Commitment runs outreach programmes every quarter. Aspects of the visit to the children were inspired by the Children Radio Organisation, a non-profit organisation in Cape Town which brings young people between the ages of 13 and 20 to its radio station to discuss issues such as violence, HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy, among others.
The trainer in the programme taken to Mzomtsha Childrenâ€™s Home, Pamela Hlazo, who is a presenter on Unitra Community Radio, said, â€œWe donâ€™t have money, but we donate the information that we have. We want to ensure that even children in orphanages benefit in this programme.â€? â€˜Pemâ€™, as she is affectionately known on the airwaves, said they discussed substance abuse, the danger of being involved in such practices,
teenage pregnancy, violence and many more issues that affect the youth. The event was graced by the presence of former convicts and members of the South African Police Service. The children at Mzomtsha Childrenâ€™s Home welcomed the visit, stating it was of great benefit to them. They appealed to Mthatha Youth Commitment to keep on visiting them, so that they do not feel alone in society.
Prayer to ease road accidents during the festive season SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE OR Tambo District Municipality has embarked on a battle to reduce the incidents of carnage on roads this festive season. The municipality, in partnership with the Department of Transport, hosted an Arrive Alive prayer service and launched the Stray Animal Management campaign at Tsolo Junction last Thursday. The event was graced by the presence of leaders of various faith organisations, government officials and members of the community at large. They prayed as one, appealing to our Heavenly Father to send His holy angels to reduce the number of accidents that statistically take place in the province during this busy time. In the early hours of the day traffic officers, together with members of the South African Police Service, set up a
roadblock at Tsolo Junction. That was followed by the prayer service, which took place in the Tsolo Multipurpose Centre. OR Tambo executive mayor Nomakhosazana Meth said road accidents were a major contributor to unnatural deaths in the region. This had led to the Department of Transport, as a leading agency for road safety, developing a strategy to improve education regarding driversâ€™ poor road behaviour and law enforcement on roads. The Stray Animal Management campaign was launched with the aim of reducing the number of accidents caused by stray animals through promoting a sense of responsibility among stock owners and encouraging communities to take responsibility for their livestock. Meth urged the faith leaders to spread word of the campaign in their churches and to further pray for road safety there.
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A road block was held in Tsolo in an endeavour to fight road accidents on the road. PHOTO:SIM MDLEDLE
December 8, 2016 Isolomzi Express
Council of Churches hosted prayer for taxi industry
BABALWA NDLANYA THE Eastern Cape Council of Churches hosted a special prayer service at the Elliotdale taxi rank last week to pray for an end to taxi violence and for the protection of taxi drivers on the roads during the festive season.
Ongoing taxi violence in the region, especially in Mthatha, has led to members of the taxi industry losing their lives. Villagers and congregants from various churches gathered in Elliotdale under the umbrella of the council to give support to the members of Ncedo Taxi Association by pray-
ing for them, and with them. Chairperson of the Council of Churches in Elliotdale Reverend Nkululo Jonga of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa, said the service was hosted to thank God for protecting members of the taxi association throughout the year and to ask Him to watch
Reverends from different churches attended a prayer that was hosted by the Council of Churches.
over the group’s drivers during the busy December season. “We are also here to pray for an end to the taxi violence that is taking place in this industry because our brothers are dying because of it, and this does not only affect the drivers and owners, even passengers are affected,” Jonga said. According to him they hosted the prayer service every year on behalf of members of the Ncedo Taxi Association. Members of the association from all districts in the province attended. Jonga said the council hosted the service for members of the Ncedo Taxi Association because the asso-
ciation was the only taxi group operating in Elliotdale. He said the association supported the church council by giving donations for building new churches. It was the association’s way of giving back to the community. Chairperson of the Ncedo Taxi Association in Elliotdale Pumzile Raziya said they were happy about the prayers because God was able to control everything. “We are facing challenges in our industry because of the accidents that happen, especially during the festive season. Another obstacle is the violence that is taking place in our industry,” said Raziya.
Members of Ncedo Taxi Association in a prayer that was held in Elliotdale.
PHOTO: BABALWA NDLANYA
BT Ngebs City prepares for massive Festive Season homecoming REPORTER WHILE the annual holiday influx of families to the Eastern Cape is about to kick into gear, Mthatha – which is likely to see the largest influx of family members returning home for the holidays from around South Africa – is preparing for a bumper Festive Season. Mthatha’s largest mall, BT Ngebs City, is kicking off the homecoming festivities. General manager Lolo Sabisa said the Festive Season was a significant time of year for the region as residents prepared to welcome returning relatives who live and work in other major centres countrywide. “This is traditionally a time of family reunions and we want to help our shoppers celebrate the joy of being together. Our aim is to ease the burden of buying food to feed everyone. So for some lucky shoppers, your groceries are on us,” he said.
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Sabisa said the shopping centre would be giving away R24 000 worth of vouchers from anchor tenants Pick n Pay and Checkers over a six-week period, in the form of R4 000 in grocery vouchers every Saturday until Christmas Eve as part of the centre’s “Groceries are on us” promotion. To enter, shoppers must make a purchase of R300 at any BT Ngebs City retailer or food outlet. They then write their names and contact details on the till slip and either leave it at the counter or hand it in at one of two collection points near House & Home and in the Food Court. A weekly winner will be drawn every Saturday until December 24. From now until Christmas Eve, families would also be able to capture their special holiday memories with a photographic service at the Tiekams Court, said Sabisa. “We will have a professional photographer on hand to take a photo of you and your loved ones against a beautiful, themed backdrop. A portion of the proceeds from these photos will be donated to one of the local charities that we support.” In addition, he said, children could look forward to face painting fun and a visit from Santa between December 17 and 24. “He will be waiting in his big red chair to welcome little ones and listen to their Christmas wishes.” For more information, find BT Ngebs City on Facebook or visit www.btngebscity.co.za
Santa will once again be visiting BT Ngebs City in Mthatha from December 17 to 24. PHOTO:SUPPLIED
Disabled EC artists shine in SADMA music concert NCEBA DLADLA TALENTED Mthatha musicians, Sthembiso “Accordion” Shezi and Simbongile “Viva” Vava, performed in the Southern African Disabled Musicians Association (SADMA) Music Concert held at the Feathermarket Centre Auditorium in Port Elizabeth recently. SADMA president John Mothupeng said the concert proved just how talented some disabled individuals were and that it is a pity
they did not have more platforms to showcase their talent. The event was sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture. Musicians from across the country delivered music of high quality in different genres such as Traditional, Kwaito, Hip Hop, Soul, Ballad, Jazz and Gospel. Other Eastern Cape artists who performed at the concert included Cwenga “Gxarha” Nomnganga (from Komani) “Mr Genius” Nzenze (from Port Elizabeth), and Viwe
“Nkinge” Bonase (from King William’s Town), among others. SADMA, which carries the broad advocacy for disabled musicians throughout Southern Africa, also serves as a vehicle for providing education and training in the complex issues of copyright, royalties, publishing and recording contracts for disabled musicians. The association counts among its successes the establishment of a recording studio specifically designed to accommodate the needs of blind and physically disabled musicians.
December 8, 2016 Isolomzi Express
Parenting campaign held in Butterworth BUNTU GOTYWA THE Cape Town based NGO, Ilifa labantwana, recently held a parenting campaign in Butterworth with a strong focus on early childhood development. #LovePlayTalk was the message that was delivered to expecting mothers and caregivers. The #LovePlayTalk theme recognises the first 1 000 days of a child’s life as the most important to healthy physical and mental development. The first 1 000 days is the period from conception until the age of two. Campaign manager Jabu Tungwana said the campaign helps parents in understanding the importance of the growth phase, taking simple steps and everyday actions in the home to encourage the best development possible. She said the series of dialogues by the campaign is a safe place for parents to share lessons and talk about opportunities and challenges they experienced in support of child development in their early years.
The #LovePlayTalk campaign took place in Butterworth. PHOTO:BUNTU GOTYWA “Research shows that 80%of the brain development of a child happens during the first 1 000 days of their lives, which means stimulation of a child is very important. “We make it easy for parents to under-
stand – you give your child the best start by loving, playing and talking every day for 1 000 days,” said Tungwana. The campaign is in its second year, but has started doing things differently from when
they first started. This includes community mobilisation – bringing the message directly to the communities, parents and expecting parents. Nosenior Mathokazi said this was a very important initiative to the young parents, especially those who raise their children without their fathers. She said such campaigns provide plenty of information to expecting parents. “I just wish young men would be also involved in such campaigns because at the end of the day this is about the development and the growth of the child,” said Mathokazi. Expecting mother Yonelisa Ngomana said the campaign has taught her a lot about connecting with her child even before giving birth. She added that lots of young people need to make use of such initiatives to understand every important aspect of their child’s development at early stages. The campaign has a range of specialists at each event, such as social workers and nurses who provide support during the parenting dialogues.
ECMAS cancelled after third time postponement BABALWA NDLANYA AFTER numerous postponements of the Eastern Cape Music Awards (ECMAS), organisers have decided to cancel the awards entirely. It has now been cancelled after it was postponed to December 10 due to the National
Council of Province (NCOP) that was going to be held in East London at the Abbotsford Christian Centre. The founder of the ECMAS, Koko Godlo, said after lots of consultations between the ECMAS team, sponsors, funders and some participants they all agreed that the timing of the awards was not right.
“Therefore, we decided to cancel it until further notice. The new date will be announced shortly. The date of the ECMAS was December 10,” said Godlo. He said all those people who have bought their tickets will be refunded, but the same tickets are still be valid for the new date for those who do not want a refund.
Godlo also confirmed that the nominees and votes are still valid for the new date, which will be announced soon. He said they apologise for any inconvenience caused. He said they postponed the event for the third time because they wanted to ensure they use the same venue, as it “is the best indoor venue in the Buffalo City Metro”.
Sweet home for the elderly SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE WHEN they set foot in the Ngangelizwe Old Age Day Care Centre, the elderly find refuge. The pain of those among them who suffer abuse or neglect at home is eased. It’s where they can enjoy themselves. A safe haven for telling golden oldie stories. The place they call “sweet home” from home. Ngangelizwe Old Age Day Care Centre is situated in the Thembelani Bible Training Centre at the corner of Gcaleka and Lizo streets in Ngangelizwe. It was founded by Ngangelizwe senior citizen Mrs Madyibi in 1998, and presently provides care for more than 20 elderly people from Ngangelizwe and Waterfall Park. They visit the centre on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, are given breakfast and lunch, and participate in physical exercise sessions. Keeping fit there has led to some of them winning gold medals at the national Golden Games. The Chairperson at the centre, Nonkosi Ndobeni, says their mission is to ensure the elderly there remain healthy in mind and body by participating in all the activities on
offer. “They go to the gym, do gardening, handwork and so forth, because we don’t want them to feel the stresses they have back at their homes,” she said. “We share the information about the conditions they live under back at home. We make them reveal abuse if there is any.” Staff at the centre worked hand in glove with social workers to help those who were experiencing problems at their homes. “We visit them and check the situation, and sometimes we meet at the centre to share everything in their lives,” said Ndobeni. She called on elderly people throughout the OR Tambo region to make use of the centre. “Actually we wish to get our own site, because we are renting here (Thembelani Bible Training Centre).” One of the elderly, Mildred Ngoma expressed her gratitude for the care she received. “It helps us a lot, especially healthwise. The gym makes us stay fresh,” said Ngoma. “Ever since I first came here I have not felt alone, because I’ve met people of the same age as me,” she said.
Some of the gogos who visit Ngangelizwe Old Age Day Care Centre busy knitting. PHOTO:SIM MDLEDLE
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December 8, 2016 Isolomzi Express
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Nontso foundation raises R100 000 for charity BUNTU GOTYWA THE Andile Nontso foundation raised R100 000 during a golf day charity event. These funds will be used to support needy charities around Mthatha. The tournament is in its fourth year with no less than R100 000 raised in each of those years. Apart from the fundraising event, the golf day is also aimed at developing golf to underprivileged children. Children as young as nine years old take part in this sport, which they don’t usually find in rural communities. Andile Nontso said they are trying to do away with the stigma that golf is only for people in
Patrick Ngalo takes a swing during the Andile Nontso charity golf day. PHOTO:BUNTU GOTYWA
better-off communities, hence the decision to raise funds through this sport. “We are fundraising for organisations around Mthatha, such as the Tembelitsha Drug and Rehabilitation Centre, the Temba HIV/Aids and old age home and the Mthatha Hospice. “The funds raised are also supporting underprivileged kids with school uniforms,” said Nontso. Everyone who participated in the golf day went home with a prize, which included a sheep for the lucky winner. The day also included other sporting codes such as tennis and wheelchair tennis. Nontso said the tournament went very well and all the money raised goes straight to the beneficiaries as soon as possible.
iDutywa horses excel in Berlin November Traditional Horse Racing Handicap SANELE JAMES TWO iDutywa horses, that walked in as the dark horses of the Berlin November Traditional Horse Racing Handicap recently, surprised everyone when they galloped away with top honours and R100 000 in prize money, leaving all the others to eat dust.
1 400m. All the winners of the Umphalo
races won themselves a spot to participate in a winner’s race, the
Galaxy Bingo Special, for a prize money of R50 000.
The jockey of the winning horse, Yamkela Chintso, shed tears of joy as he held the R50 000 cheque he received in prize money. PHOTO:SANELE JAMES
The anchor event of the Berlin November festival is the traditional horse racing handicap with a total prize money of R500 000 that was up for grabs in 18 races. The event attracted horse racing enthusiasts from as far afield as Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal. The horse racing event consisted of Umphalo (galloping races) by thoroughbreds, Umhambo (tripling races) by traditional horses and 3km races of Umkhwelo (endurance races). The indigenous horses competed in two categories including Umphalo (galloping races) and Umhambo (trippling races). Umphalo featured four fixtures – 800m, 1 000m, 1 200m and
No joy for EC runners in Heroes Marathon BUNTU GOTYWA SOWETAN Jonas Makhele shrugged off early wobbles and cramps to cross the line first in the 2016 Heroes Marathon. It was his second time taking part in the 42.2 km marathon. By crossing the finish line first he pocketed R50 000 and set himself nicely for next year’s Two Oceans Marathon. The 17th installment of the Heroes Marathon was a tribute to the late icon, Nelson Mandela. The race started at the Mthatha airport with the
finish line at the Qunu Museum. Makhele said he knew the race was his from the beginning with the level of commitment he showed in his work routine for this year’s race. He said the race was a special one and he wanted to engrave his name among the heroes just like Madiba did. “You are not just born a hero, heroes are made, just like Madiba. So participating in this race in honour of Madiba, I also want to have my name written among the heroes as the race name suggests,” said Makhele.
He said his competitors never really gave him a challenge, but rather the cramps he experienced early in the race. He decided to pace himself, instead of working with a team, The Zimbabwean Tabitha Tsatsa came first in the woman’s race, beating Ethiopian Alemtshay Kakissa by a couple of seconds to the finish line. She echoed Makhele’s sentiments and said running a race in honour of Mandela pushed her further in giving all she could. The 44-year-old said even though she has been training for a very long time, she was still surprised by
crossing the line first. “I am very happy! This is a special race, even though I didn’t think I was going to win,” said Tsatsa. It was a disappointing show for the Eastern Cape runners in a race in their own backyard where last year’s winner, Ntsindiso Mphakathi, managed to take fourth place. He was the only local who managed a top five finish.
Jonas Makhele celebrates after his win. PHOTO: BUNTU GOTYWA
The Umphalo race has no rules regarding the style of riding. It is a simple galloping race based on speed where the first horse to cross the finish line wins. Thoroughbreds had three races over 1 000m, 1 200m and 1 400m. All the winners of the thoroughbreds races won a spot to participate in a winners’ race, the MTN Special, for a prize money of R50 000. In the thoroughbreds’ race, iDutywa’s Andazi narrowly beat King William’s Town’s Chillies who had dominated in this category. Mhabangulo, also from iDutywa, won the indigenous galloping race. Each horse bagged a sum of R50 000. Ndoday’ibuzwa from Tsolo, a small town between Mthatha and Qumbu, was the cream of the Umhambo race and won R4 000 in prize money. The winners of the 15 other races that took place earlier in the day in preparation of the main races, did not go home empty handed and also received prize money.