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NEWS

6

NEWS

Gaza delegation visits city

An academic delegation from the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) visited Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, 9 September. In Pietermaritzburg, Mohamed Saeed and the local Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) played host to the delegation. The object of the visit to South Africa was to discuss and agree to the signing of Memoranda of Understanding between IUG and various universities in the country. From Left: Dr Asad Asad (Islamic University of Gaza), Maseehullah Saeed, Said Elnamrouti, Salim Goga, and Professor Mohammed Shabat (Islamic University of Gaza) outside the Old Main Hall on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZuluNatal during their visit at the weekend.

Public Eye September 14, 2012 - Page 6


NEWS

7

Market fire set to burn hole in consumer pockets Vegetable prices set to rocket as Hindus prepare for month-long Purtassi fast

P

ietermaritzburg residents may have to dig a little deeper into their pockets after a fire gutted parts of the Mkondeni municipal fruit and vegetable market in the early hours of Monday morning, causing R15 millions of rand in damages and potentially forcing traders as far afield as Durban or even Johannesburg to source supplies.With the price of petrol having gone shot to 93 cents a litre, there are already fears that traders, who may source their supplies out of town, will pass these costs on to the consumer. The expected price hikes are set to coincide with the customary increase in vegetable and soya product prices that occurs during the Hindu festival of Purtassi which starts on Monday. During the month-long festival, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, devotees abstain from eating meat, smoking and alcohol. Municipal spokesman Brian Zuma put the cost of damages at R15 million. He said 15 cold rooms were damaged. Those parts of the market untouched by the fire continue to operate. With fewer storage facilities, however, there are fears of a fresh produce shortage in the city, according to chairman of the Buyers Market, Ismail Dhoda, who confirmed that suppliers rely on the Msunduzi market for produce. “Most suppliers will have to explore the idea of sourcing produce from big cities to sell to the consumers as farmers cannot send their produce to Msunduzi in big supplies because there are not enough storage facilities. Most people would opt for Durban,” said Dhoda who owns the popular Mini Market in Langalibalele Street. Jiten Sewchuran, banana salesman for Nkosi Market agents which uses the market for storage, said his company lost R130 000 worth of bananas, oranges, beetroots and carrots in the blaze. Sewchuran, who was among those who tried to douse the flames before the arrival of the firefighters, said he suspected an electrical problem as the cause of the fire.Wiseman Mwelase of Newport Fruit and Veg in Langalibalele Street said his store would not be entirely affected by the fire as it received its supplies directly from the farmers. “But some of our fruits are supplied from the Msunduzi market. It is sad because it is the only big market near to us,” said Mwelase. Other fresh produce traders told Public Eye they believed a backlog of bananas – caused by the destruction of a large consignment during the blaze – would result in price increases. “We will continue to purchase our stock from the market in Mkondeni but due to [reduced]

supply and huge demand, the prices should increase,” said one trader. A representative of Garden Fresh Produce Market said it was unlikely that bananas could not be sourced from other suppliers and any price increase was likely to be small: “There are other places that sell this fruit so I doubt there would be much of a problem. The market is operating as normal. I am sure that the price of the fruit may be affected but I don’t think there will be any drastic increase” The municipal market attracted negative press coverage earlier this year when market agents described the market as dilapidated, badly run, short-staffed and lacking in security. They suggested traders were choosing to source supplies in Durban instead of locally. Zuma told Public Eye this week he was aware of concerns about the poor condition of the market before the fire. “As a response to this we were already preparing a budget for the upgrade of the market, but having said that it would be improper to sug-

gest that the facility was destroyed by the fire because the building was not in a good state. Fires destroy new buildings as well,” said Zuma. The municipality has called for cool heads saying official investigations should be allowed to take their course. Zuma said engineers are also assessing if the structure is safe after the fire. He said business was continuing in those parts which were not affected by the blaze. “Further information will be disclosed after the fire department has concluded its investigation,” said Zuma.

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Public Eye

Public Eye September 14, 2012 - Page 7


NEWS

8

NEWS

Rates forum meets to discuss litany of problems

T

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Public Eye

September 14, 2012 - Page 8

he Msunduzi Rates Forum (MRF) last night held an urgent public meeting at Truro Hall to discuss service delivery – or the lack thereof – and rates and billing in the city. “Services at municipal offices at 333 Church Street leave much to be desired,” said MRF Chairperson Babs Sithapersad ahead of the meeting. Issues on last night’s agenda included rates, refuse collection, grass-cutting, street lights and cemeteries and crematoriums. “Whether refuse is removed or not, ratepayers are charged the full amount. Litter not collected in time and scattered by animals is left for the residents to clear,” said Sithapersad, adding that grass-cutting and street cleaning is a rare occurrence. “Some street corners have not been cleaned for years. Unclean and overgrown foot paths mean

where one’s relatives are buried. “The Msunduzi Crematorium and Cemeteries Concerned Citizens’ Committee (MCCCCC) has been meeting with officials of the municipality in an effort to rectify the problems surrounding the crematorium and maintenance of the cemeteries. The Committee believes that nobody should be taken out of the city for cremation and when cremators fail, bereaved families should be compensated,” he said. The MRF has said that the call centre logging municipal complaints did not seem to be working. “The phone service leaves MRF Chairperson Babs Sithapersad you holding on forever, and it’s worse if you don’t like the music,” children walk on the tarmac”, he said Sithapersad. said.Cemeteries and crematori“The latest sad news is that our ums have been placed high on municipality is being directed by the forum’s list of priorities, with the National Treasury as to what Sithapersad describing them as a it should charge or not charge the “frightful sight with overgrown ratepayers and indigent citizens,” grass and wild plants and weeds”. he said. He said it isn’t an easy task to find

Public Eye


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13

NEWS

Golden Horse turns 11 T

he Golden Horse Casino will be celebrating its 11th birthday for the entire month of September with events and promotions that promise to amaze the city. It is the mission of the casino to provide

its customers with a premier entertainment experience in Pietermaritzburg, with superior customer service and innovative products in a safe and exciting environment, hosted by a well-trained and passionate team.

We have 65 x NOKIA 5130 XpressMusic phones and AIRTIME to give away!!! Spend R100 or more @ any store at Greater Edendale Mall. Take your receipt to the Info Kiosk to stand a chance of winning airtime & cell phones.

For more info go to gem.mcmp.mobi terms & conditions apply

!!!TAXI JUNCTION NOW OPERATIONAL!!!

LAST WEEKS WINNERS

Feeling the magic of the Golden Horse Casino’s 11th birthday bash are (back L-R): Kavelin Reddy, Merlyn Taylor, Maureen Kivits, Bongani Nkosi and Sipho Ngcobo; (front L-R): Nkululeko Kheswa, Sikhulile Dlamini, Prabashni Reddy, Nazley Mullah, Simon Dlamini, Desigan Govender, Kenwyn Josiah and Kasavan Moonsamy. Gugu Shezi receiving her prize from Lindani Shange

Njabulo Gumede receiving his prize from Lindani Shange

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Winners selected by random draws. Winners will be announced at draws or by telephone (if applicable). Earn tickets by playing Slot or Table games. Prizes can be claimed from the casino. Competition rules available at www.goldenhorse.co.za or at the Clubdesk. TSOGO SUN PROUDLY SUPPORTS THE NATIONAL RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING PROGRAMME. WINNERS KNOW WHEN TO STOP. ONLY PERSONS OVER 18 ARE PERMITTED TO GAMBLE. NATIONAL PROBLEM GAMBLING COUNSELLING TOLL FREE HELPLINE 0800 006 008.

Public Eye

September 14, 2012 - Page 13


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Publiceye 14-09-12