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UVOLWETHU EXPRESS | THURSDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2014

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Port St Johns | Mbizana | Flagstaff | Lusikisiki | Mt Ayliff | Ntabankulu | Mount Frere

THURSDAY February 6, 2014 | 0 039 251 0834 | www.uvoexpress | uvoexpress.mobi | greg.nota@media24.com or express@media24.com | Previously known as the Uvo Lwethu Fever

EDITOR: BETTIE GILIOMEE

‘No electricity, no vote!’ T

GREG NOTA

< Angry community members carry placards that read ‘no electricty no vote’ during a service delivery march to the Mbizana Local Municipality last Friday. FOTO: GREG NOTA

HOUSANDS of angry community members from the Mbizana Local Municipality’s ward 19 demanded electricity and service delivery before they would vote in the upcoming elections.

This was their message during a march through Bizana’s main road to the municipal offices, where they handed a memorandum with their demands to the Municipal Speaker, Councillor Daniswa Mafumbatha, last Friday. The memorandum only listed demands regarding electricity, clinics, roads, RDP houses, toilets, water and the community hall. The community members of Ward 19, made up by the Xozelwa and Monti locations, gathered at the Bizana Sports ground at the entrance of town. Before starting their march, some members of the youth barricaded the road with a burning tyre. Traffic came to a standstill, but with the intervention of the Mbizana traffic police the situation was resolved. The people’s message was clear. According to them they hadn’t seen any service delivery in the past 20 years, since the dawn of democracy. Some of the messages were written on IEC posters reminding people to register on Febuary 8 and 9. Their blatant disinterest in the voter registration process was shown by protestors taking these posters down on their way to the municipal offices. Councillor Mafumbatha said some of the things the community were demanding in their petition were for the attention of other departments that didn’t resort under the municipality. Mafumbatha said they would call a meeting with other departments to see what could be done to resolve the issues. With regard to the electricity situation, she said they had already started the tender process for the electrification of the area. The deadline for tenders is February 14. After they had met with all the relevant people they would make sure to have a meeting with the community to give them feedback.

> Angry youth barricaded the main road in Bizana with a burning tyre whilst toi toying which caused traffic disruption before the start of the march to the municipal offices last Friday. FOTO: GREG NOTA

Community members from ward 19 of Mbizana Local Municipali­ ty took to the streets to voice their disatisfaction with the lack of service delivery in their ward. FOTO: GREG NOTA

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News

February 6, 2014 Uvolwethu Express

Last chance for voter registration YANDISA POPPY DLEMBULA ELECTION fever has hit again as different political parties have started canvassing to ensure people use their last chance to register on February 8 and 9. The Mbizana Local Municipal Manager, Luvuyo Mahlaka, said that they were working together with IEC officials in encouraging

people to use this last opportunity to register, in order for them to be eligible to vote. Mahlaka said posters were being put up and ward committees, together with ward councillors, were also encouraged to motivate people living in their wards to register to vote. “People should understand that sometimes when things are not done, it doesn’t mean that money is being misused. It just means that the people in power don’t have the means to reach

Concerns over blood test delays REPORTER THE IFP called on the Minister of Police to urgently address the national crisis of delays in the processing of blood tests for drunk drivers at Forensic Chemistry Laboratories across the country, especially in provinces like the Eastern Cape.“There are many toxicology, drunk driving and post mortem samples waiting to be processed at Forensic Chemistry Laboratories across the country. Too many tears are shed by grieving families while the culprits are getting away with murder. After parliament had passed the DNA Act, the IFP expected that there would be no backlog. The process to prosecute offenders should have been quicker by now,” said the IFP spokesperson on Police, MP Velaphi Ndlovu. Massive delays in blood tests of drunk driv-

ers in the Eastern Cape allowed them to escape the wrath of the law. “By not taking drastic steps to solve this problem, the minister has shown that our criminal justice system is failing crime victims and compromising road safety in general as culprits who are not taken off the road can re-offend. Dangerous drivers have no place on our roads and those responsible for the huge delay in processing these blood tests need to be fired,” said Ndlovu The IFP further called on Helen Sauls-August, the MEC for Safety and Liaison in the Eastern Cape, to ensure that there would be increased capacity and resources for the Forensic Science Laboratory to do their jobs faster. Express sent an email to the National Police Minister with questions regarding the delays, and another to the Eastern Cape Provincial spokesperson. No replies had been received at the time of going to print.

all areas at the same time,” said Mhlaka in response to the people from Bizana localities who were still refusing to register to vote over complaints of a lack of service delivery in their area. Mfundiso Sikhalane from Nkantolo village in Bizana said he still refuses to vote. “There is still a lot that the government needs to do and promises won’t make things happen. Taking action will.”

Sibusisile Mkhwanasi from Greenville in Bizana said she would register but her vote would not go in favour of the African National Congress (ANC) because it hadn’t done anything for the people. Zwelenkosi Ngidi, organiser of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Alfred Nzo District said they were hoping that people register so that more people could support the EFF.

Mthatha airport under construction THE 51% Black-owned construction company, Ruwacon, has been handed the construction site for the Mthatha airport terminal building by the MEC for Transport, Roads and Public works, Tandiswa Marawu. This airport, which aims to be the next urban node of Mthatha, will also have a new car rental building, parking bay and terminal perimeter fencing. The MEC said the terminal building is the second phase of the airport upgrade project which will cost R212 million and the department has made it clear to the main contractor that local SMME’s must also benefit as sub-contractors during this period, but without compromising standards and skills. “We have learnt our lesson with the previous contractor where some specifications were overlooked and we ended up losing. This time we are sure that Ruwacon is experienced and skilled enough to complete this

job,” said Marawu. The company will also build a new parallel security concrete road, upgrade some internal roads and complete the sewerage system. Ruwacon, having been involved in many big projects in the province and around the country, promised to do their best and to complete the project within 12 months. Mthatha Nafcoc member, Vuyisile Ntlabati, said they were happy that the upgrade of the airport was finally becoming a reality. “This spin-off will create business opportunities and more people will come to invest and spend their money here in Mthatha while waiting for their flights,” said Ntlabati. Department spokesperson, Ncedo Kumbaca, assured community members that no one would come from outside the area. He said the 300-500 jobs to be created by this project belong to the people.

– AYANDA MILLISA MADIKIZELA

Mbizana municipality aims for unqualified audit LAST week’s Council meeting of the Mbizana Local Municipality focused on attaining an unqualified audit report at the end of the 2012/13 financial year. They had an adverse audit opinion during the previous financial year. The MLM Mayor, Makhaya Twabu, said the challenges the municipality had encountered in the previous two financial years were due to funds being misused.

“We are working hard to get an unqualified audit at the end of this financial year which ends in June,” added Twabu. At the meeting, members of council tabled a municipal turnaround plan for management. A mid-term report was also tabled and the municipality’s progress to date was discussed. Another challenge for the municipality

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came after the Port St John’s municipal workers’ strike at the end last year. MLM employees then enquired about the annual 2.5% increment for people that have worked for the municipality for longer than a year. Mayor Twabu said it was a necessity that they calculate all those 2.5% increases for each employee who qualifies starting from 2009 and pay them out in full.

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This amount was last paid in December to the municipal staff when the municipality spent about R2.4 million. “We know that this amount of money is going to leave a big hole in our budget, as it was not budgeted for, but we will find a means of filling the gap to balance the books at the end of the financial year,” concluded Twabu. – YANDISA POPPY

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News

February 6, 2014 Uvolwethu Express

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Police reach out on National Police Day YANDISA POPPY DLEMBULA THE Bizana South African Police Services (SAPS) celebrated National Police Day at Elongweni village in Bizana, last week Monday. Elongweni village was specifically chosen to create crime awareness here. Residents of the village was recently involved in faction fighting with its neighbouring village. All over South Africa, the SAPS celebrated

their day with various activities. Bizana’s SAPS taught communities about police systems and, most importantly, about good communication. Lieutenant Colonel Mthuthuzeli Hintsa, who is the station commissioner at the Bizana police station, said the main aim of going to Elongweni locality was to interact with the community so that they would know that they could rely on the police and also join forces in making communities a safer place for all.

He said it was important for communities to know that South Africans live by the SA law which is something they should acknowledge. They were also warned not to take the law into their own hands. “We always encounter problems when going to far away locations as the roads often make reaching other places a challenge. But we have spoken to the municipality and they have co-operated,” added Hintsa. The Elongweni community was pleased to host Police Day, as they rejoiced with the po-

lice and played games that made it easier for them to see that police officers were also human. Nomathamsanqa Njube from Elongweni said that they listened and they would implement all they’d learnt to ensure that they stay on the right side of the law. Children from Elongweni Junior Secondary School entertained the crowd and showed their appreciation by singing and dancing.

Yandisa.Dlembula@media24.com

The Bizana Police officers/team during the National Police Day event that was held at Elongweni village in Bizana. PHOTO:YANDISA POPPY DLEMBULA

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Ntomboxolo and Sinentlahla Diya from Elongweni Junior Secondary school dancing at the National police day event that was held in Bizana. PHOTO: YANDISA POPPY DLEMBULA

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News

February 6, 2014 Uvolwethu Express

MEC visits Ntabankulu to see storm damage

REPORTER THE MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Mlibo Qoboshiyane visited Ntabankulu to see the damage caused by the recent storm in the area. Qoboshiyane called an emergency meeting following the loss of lives and extensive damage to infrastructure, after the storm. Some people were injured and hundreds were left homeless. He came especially to brainstorm with relevant stakeholders and share with them government’s relief strategy to lend help where needed as quickly as possible. In the meeting, Qoboshiyane said time wasn’t on the side of disaster management teams and he urged all teams to move with

which would then start with the process of making intervention funds available. The Mbizana Local Municipal mayor, Makhaya Twabu, said the disaster had hit Ntabankulu in a big way and that Bizana was also affected. He said the MEC will coordinate the operation to ensure that all affected people are helped. “The Department of Disaster and Social Development have started conducting visits in the affected wards in Bizana and more visits will be conducted until all affected families have received blankets and food,” added Twabu. Eskom was already on the ground tending to electrical infrastructure in the affected areas and other government departments, such as the Department of Education and the Department of Health, have committed in coming up with contingency plans.

speed to help the affected people. Among the people present were other affected municipalities’ officials and representatives from various government departments who gave input on how to fix problems and console the families involved. “I encourage all municipalities to consider giving jobs and training to help install lightning conductors, rather than frustrating the process with bureaucratic red tape,” added Qhoboshiyane. He said lightning conductors would need to be installed in all the areas that were affected by lightning to prevent future damage. Disaster managers of all affected municipalities were tasked to provide the cost of the damage while municipal councils were tasked to assess the damage and submit emergency reports to the provincial government

The MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Mlibo Qoboshiyane. PHOTO:SUPPLIED

Hundreds attend mass ,memorial service for storm victims YANDISA POPPY DLEMBULA A memorial service for the nine people who died in the recent storm, was held at the Ntabankulu Methodist church on Wednesday. The storm left many people injured and about 300 homeless. More than half of the people in the hall were families from across the Alfred Nzo and Umzimvubu District Municipalities who had came to mourn at the memorial The Ntabankulu Local Municipal Mayor, Vusi Mgoduka together with The Alfred Nzo District Municipal Mayor, Eunice Diko, at the Mass memorial in Ntabankulu. PHOTO:YANDISA POPPY DLEMBULA

service. The service was led by various denominations. The Ntabankulu Local Municipal Mayor, Vusi Mgoduka, quoted verses from the Bible to console the families and told them to put their trust in God, as he always knows how to care for his people, even in times of sorrow. “This day will always be remembered by the government officials and also by the grieving families as these fallen individuals meant a lot to all of us,” said Mgoduka. About nine families were present at the memorial, as nine people were declared dead after the incident. One person was still fighting for his life in the Sipetu Hospital in Ntabankulu. The Ntbabankulu Local Municipal speaker, Nophatheka Ndabeni, acknowledged all

Alfred Nzo District Municipality donates to families after disaster YANDISA POPPY DLEMBULA THE Alfred Nzo District Municipality (ANDM) donated food parcels to victims of the storm that left eight dead, many wounded and about 211 homeless. Municipal officials visited the area recently to console the victims at a local community hall. About one thousand people were affected by the storm which left some with only the clothes on their backs and all their posessions damaged. The Alfred Nzo District Mayor, Eunice Diko, and her team visited these areas to console the victims and to bring back lost hope to those who were left with nothing after the storm. Mayor Diko said the disaster also struck areas of Bizana and Umzimvubu where people

were left homeless and distraught. People in Bizana and Umzimvubu were moved to neighbours or relatives and some were sent to nearby community halls for the time being. “Roads and bridges were also washed away by the storm and as many as 25 school buildings were damaged or destroyed,” said Mayor Diko. Diko said they gave victims the assurance that they would seek assistance from both the provincial and national governments. People who wish to make a donation in assistance of storm victims, should call 0860003781. ; The Alfred Nzo District Municipal Mayor, Eunice Diko, handing over some of the food parcels to families that lost their homes after a storm hit Ntabankulu. PHOTO:SUPPLIED

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families at the service while the Alfred Nzo District Municipal Mayor, Eunice Diko, comforted the families and assured them that government would be there for all families till the bitter end. “I would like to thank all ward councillors who made it a priority to wake up and leave their families to help those in need on the night of the storm,” said Diko. She said there was still a lot that needed to be done in terms of burial preparations but the government was prepared to help all the families involved with the preparations. Some of the deceased were buried last weekend while other funeral arrangements were still to be announced. . Three more people were killed by lightning at Ntabankulu soon after the memorial service.


News

February 6, 2014 Uvolwethu Express

Want to train in our newsroom? REPORTER ALWAYS wondered what it would be like to work in a newsroom? Or, are you a school pupil wanting to find out if journalism could be the career for you? Now you may win the opportunity to do just that and spend time training in our newsroom, simply by showing us your reporting skills through our Citizen Journalism initiative on our website www.uvoexpress.co.za. We are looking for volunteer citizen journalists to tell us about events happening in your area. We also want to know about the issues facing your community. And don’t forget about the good news stories – we are always interested in those. You may have a story to share; you may want to write reviews for our website or offer traffic reports on your way to work. You could be a keen gardener with lots of top tips to offer or simply have a fascinating, local story to tell. As long as it is local, we are interested! School newspapers Reporters from school newspapers stand a chance of winning three subediting training sessions by PE Express editor Bettie Giliomee. Editing the news, writing headlines and captions and page layout will be dealt with. The editor and two reporters for Grey High School’s “Grey Matter” received subediting training last year and subsequently took the third spot in the prestige national competition for school newspapers run by Die Burger.

Plans for voter registration weekend REPORTER THE Independent Electoral Commission has set aside the weekend of 8 and 9 February as the second voter registration weekend, ahead of the national elections scheduled for later this year. Accordingly, the Minister of Home Affairs, Naledi Pandor, has directed the department to develop plans in support of the IEC during the voter registration weekend. The Department’s support for the IEC arises from its mandate to deliver enabling documents such as ID’s to those citizens that may require them for voter registration purposes ahead of the national and provincial elections. ID’s are an important element that enables the citizenry to ex-

ercise its democratic right to vote. In a statement the Department of Home Affairs said they are ready to issue ID’s, including delivery of uncollected ID’s and Temporary Identity Certificates to those in need. As part of the overall plan of the department for the voter registration weekend and in keeping with past practices, the department has directed managers in all Home Affairs offices across the country to ensure the following: ) All Home Affairs offices to be opened from 08h00-17h00 on both days (8 and 9 February) ) That all Home Affairs offices operate to full capacity during the two-day voter registration weekend. Both the green bar-coded IDs and the smart ID cards will be acceptable as legal forms of

identity for purposes of registration and voting during the elections. As in the previous voter registration weekend, the DG, Chief Operating Officer and all other Deputy Directors-General will visit all provinces in accordance with internal deployment processes to help co-ordinate and oversee the work of the provinces during the weekend According to the statement the department joins the call by the IEC for those South Africans who are eligible to vote to take advantage of the voter registration weekend and to approach Home Affairs offices across the country for assistance in acquiring these enabling documents to exercise their democratic right to vote in this year that marks the 20 years since the dawn of peace, freedom and democracy.

WE’RE REGISTERED TO VOTE. ARE YOU?

Student reporters Citizen journalism is also the ideal opportunity for journalism students to get their work published in print. In addition, by submitting their stories, they do not only stand a chance of having their stories printed, but also shadowing the our journalists for a week during the university holidays. Testimonial: I’ve been wanting to write news my whole life, but no-one ever took me seriously when I posted on Facebook, Twitter or online forums. So I turned to www.uvoexpress.co.za, the site has the same credibility as it’s print counterpart, meaning my stories will be taken seriously, and by posting online I not only have professional journalists look at my work, but I also get published – which looks good on my CV. Seriously, try this

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This is how it will work: All the stories or events must be submitted through our website, at www.uvoexpress.co.za. On the home page you will see a section on the right “Become a Citizen Journalist”. You will need to login/register, but this is now also a quicker and easier process, because you can log in with your Facebook account, if you have one. Then, simply upload your story, photo or event and click on submit. And you’re done . . . it’s that easy.

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School News

February 6, 2014 Uvolwethu Express


Motoring

February 6, 2014 Uvolwethu Express

7

EXPRESS ON WHEELS: FORD ECOSPORT

Ecosport puts power and economy into SUV driving FORD’S take on the very popular SUV market made quite an impression when I had the opportunity to spend a week with their new Kuga last year. Needless to say, I was quite curious about what the weeklong road test would be like with their “baby” SUV, the Ecosport, which as the name suggests is a combination of Economical Eco.friendly and Sporty. Compact SUV’s, like the Nissan Juke, Renault Duster and Renault Sandero Stepway are becoming increasingly popular as people start to realise that bigger SUVs can be quite costly to buy, maintain and fill with fuel, especially when only used for the city commute with its offroad paraphernalia only (very) expensive decorations. So what do these compact SUVs offer? The high ride, ground clearance and look of a SUV combined with the space to fit all the family’s luggage on a long weekend away, yet compact enough for the city and its tight parking spaces. Not to mention the fuel economy in an engine that is powerful enough to be taken comfortably and safely on the open road. Exterior The EcoSport is built on the Fiesta platform. As the engines are small a lot of effort has gone into clever design elements to enhance the performance. And according to Ford one of the ways in which this was done, was to look at the aerodynamics for a smaller drag coefficient, and lowering fuel consumption. With a 200 mm ground clearance for those potholes, speedhumps and pavements that are in your way in the concrete jungle, the Ecosport is also capable of driving in 550 mm

depth of water on adventurous off-road family outings in the real jungle. The spare-wheel is placed, uncovered, on the back door, and while tastes differ about this, I thought the uncovered spare-wheel added to the sporty look. Plus it could be useful for a bit of cushioning should I reverse into something, by accident. Best of all - the back door opens sideways - which I regard as much more practical than the traditional upwards way. Despite the heaviness of the door (due to the spare wheel on it) it opens easily by pushing a small black button situated in the brakelight. Simply press the button; it unhatches and is easy to open with one hand. Talking about heavy doors since my children were old The Ford Ecosport takes SUV enough to open level. PHOTO:QUICKPIC and close car doors they have been taught not to slam the doors. This backfired a bit in the Ecosport. We didn’t manage to have one ride without having to stop, right after pulling away, to allow someone to close their door properly. Interior Its Fiesta roots are also very evident in the interior with controls similar to those of the Fiesta. Here again, although a question of personal taste, I would have preferred a different layout of the audio-system controls - it looks

like the Fiesta’s winglike game control styling which I have never really liked. But that’s where the negative stops for me. This vehicle is filled with Ford’s latest technology like its famous “Sync” communication device and all the latest voice-activated systems. There are 20 intelligent packing spaces which include a cubbyhole that doubles as an air-conditioned beverage cooler, as well as a slide-out drawer under the front seat. This five-seater is quite spacious despite it being a compact vehicle and the boot was surprisingly accommodating too. We took the family out on a daytrip to Grahamstown for a primary school cricket match and managed to fit everything styling to a whole new we needed for a picnic. The seats can fold down and the backseats can be folded away to increase the space. Features The Ecosport comes in three styling packages, from the basic Ambiente to the mid-level Trend and high spec Titanium. Some of the higher spec features in the Trend and Titanium include steering-wheel controls for the audio system and a USB connector as part of the Ford SYNC system. The Titanium has leather seats, cruise control, auto headlamps and

rainsensing wipers. Ride The Ecosport is available in three types of engines: the 1.0 litre turbo-charged 3-cylinder petrol engine and the 1.5 litre turbo-diesel and petrol. The vehicle test driver was the turbocharged 1.0 litre and on our trip to Grahamstown it did not take long to realise why this small engine, won the coveted Engine of the Year title for two-years in a row. Apart from the powerful performance this engine also has cleaner emissions and is more fuel efficient (given as 5.7liter/100km for a combined cycle). The power from this engine is quite unbelievable and will easily give bigger engines a run for their money on the open road. One needs to gear down on uphills and when overtaking, but changing the gears of the fivespeed transmission was effortless and precise - I never struggled to find the right gear while concentrating on the road or traffic ahead. The ride felt a bit floaty at first, but it is something one would expect due to the high ground clearance. It provided a comfortable and pleasure-filled ride in a vehicle every style-sensitive teenager would be more than happy to be seen in. Price and specifications EcoSport 1.5 TiVCT (Petrol) Ambiente: R199 000 Petrol EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost (Petrol) Trend R224 000 EcoSport 1.5 TDCi (Diesel) Trend R 229 000 EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost (Petrol) Titanium R 244 000 EcoSport 1.5 TiVCT Titanium (Petrol) PowerShift Auto R244 000 EcoSport 1.5 TDCi (Diesel) Titanium R249 000

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8

Sport

February 6, 2014 Uvolwethu Express

IMiganu prepares for Easter Tournament BABALWA NDLANYA THE Imiganu Traditional Council in Elliotdale has made some changes to their Annual Easter Tournament this year. The Organiser of this tournament, Melinkqubo Ndabokutya, said this tournament would be hosted on April 19 at Mkhathazazo Sport ground in Elliotdale.

He said they had invited King Zwelonke Sigcau, King Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase, Chief Phathekile Holomisa, Chief Dalisizwe Dudumayo and Chief Xolile Ndevu. “Two weeks before the tournament all the teams who are participating in this tournament will play matches to select players who will play in one team representing each area,” he said. The teams from Elliotdale that are expect-

ed to participate and become one squad to represent Chief Ndevu are Mkhathazo Football Club, Thafalehashe Football Club, Mbetshe Football Club, Ndwaka Football Club, Nkwame Football Club, Mqhele Football Club, Xhora Mouth Football Club and Imbutye Football Club. He said all the Kings and Chiefs who are invited will come with the teams who will be representing them in this tournament.

Mr Ndabokutya also said they had invited Mthatha legends and Premier Soccer League players with the intention of motivating the youth who were not interested in sport. “In fact we are still negotiating with them and we believe that they will give us a positive response.”

Babalwa.Ndlanya@media24.com

Try Again is one of the teams that will participate in the preliminary games to select the squad that will play in IMiganu Tournament.PHOTO:BABALWA NDLANYA

Uvo Lwethu Express 20140205  

Uvo Lwethu Express 20140205

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