Tell them you are “tired of corruption…and serious neglect of the common good of our communities”.
That’s what the “warning message” the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference wants voters to send to political leaders when they cast their votes in the local government polls.
The message should put them on notice that “South Africa is tired of politicians who do not have genuine concern for the economic and other hardships that our citizens are enduring”‚ issued by Archbishop William Slattery said.
“These elections come at a time when many are struggling with unemployment‚ the rising cost of living‚ household debt‚ lack of basic resources‚ the slow pace of service delivery‚ and high levels of crime.
“In such a period of economic hardships‚ it is important to use the elections as an accountability mechanism to send a warning message to the political leaders that people in this country are tired of corruption‚ misuse of tax payers’ money‚ little or no service delivery‚ and serious neglect of the common good of our communities.”
The church leaders also “called on those who shall soon be elected councillors to view their position as an opportunity for service‚ and not for self-enrichment”‚ and to “exercise power with honesty and accountability to the poor and the most vulnerable”.
They reiterated their observation that “the rising levels of pre-election violence were a result of a culture of greed and patronage politics”
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The Banking Association of SA says the impact of the strike in the petroleum industry will be felt by banks if it is prolonged.
The Chemical‚ Energy‚ Paper‚ Printing‚ Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) began its strike in the petroleum industry on Thursday after wage negotiation with the employer failed to yield results.
Banks stand to be affected by the strike as companies contracted to move cash depend on fuel for their vehicles.
Ceppwawu is demanding a 9% wage increase while the employer‚ the National Petroleum Employers Association‚ is offering 7%. The union also wants a one-year agreement but the employers want a multi-year agreement.
The strike by 23 000 workers is expected to affect crude oil refineries and fuel depots.
The Automobile Association has already warned motorists to top up in anticipation of possible fuel shortages.
But the Banking Association of SA says its sector would only be affected by the strike if it went on indefinitely.
“Banks and other companies that received goods have fuel depots where they store fuel to help them when there are changes in supply. At the moment there is definitely no shortage which can affect services. Obviously‚ if the strike continues then the impact will start being felt‚” said Cas Coovadia‚ MD of the association.
The work stoppage could further damage the economy‚ which is forecast by the central bank to remain stagnant this year after expanding 1.3% in 2015.
SA is a net importer of refined petroleum products and a prolonged strike could lead to shortages ahead of municipal elections in August.
Shell and BP jointly operate the country’s largest refinery‚ the 190 000-barrel-a-day Sapref plant in Durban‚ with Chevron‚ Sasol and PetroSA also running refineries.
Employment levels have dropped in six of the nine provinces in the year to June‚ Statistics South Africa said on Thursday.
KwaZulu-Natal‚ Gauteng and North West recorded the largest decreases at 77‚000‚ 28‚000 and 25‚000 respectively.
Employment gains were recorded in Limpopo‚ Western Cape and Northern Cape (31‚000‚ 9‚000 and 6‚000 respectively) over the same period.
At city level‚ compared to a year ago‚ employment decreases were recorded in three metropolitan municipalities. These were: Ekurhuleni metropolitan which recorded the largest decrease at 29‚000‚ followed by Nelson Mandela Bay (23‚000) and Buffalo City (3‚000).
Annual employment gains were recorded in five metropolitans‚ with the largest increase in the City of Cape Town at 43‚000.
Overall‚ Stats SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey showed that employment declined in the second quarter of 2016 by 129‚000 to 15‚5 million.
The quarterly decline in total employment was driven by job losses in Services‚ Agriculture‚ Transport and Mining.
Quarterly employment gains were observed in Manufacturing‚ Private households and Construction. However‚ while Manufacturing created 67‚000 jobs quarter-to-quarter‚ Stats SA noted that the number of employed in this industry was lower compared to the same period last year (45‚000 or 2‚5%).
Formal sector employment declined for two successive quarters to 10‚9 million in Q2: 2016 but was still 0‚8% higher compared to the same period last year.
The informal sector contracted by 58‚000 or 2‚3% in Q2: 2016 – making it 5‚8% lower compared to the same period last year.
As to which jobs are shedding positions‚ Stats SA said that on a quarterly basis‚ employment decreased in six of the ten occupations in Q2: 2016.
The largest decreases were recorded in Sales & services (93‚000) and Plant & machine operator (70‚000) occupations. Over the same period‚ employment increased in four of the ten occupations; with the largest increases in Technician and Domestic worker occupations (56‚000 and 24‚000 respectively).
Year on year changes reflect employment decreases in six occupations‚ the largest decrease being recorded in Plant & machine operator (153‚000) occupations. In Q2: 2016‚ annual employment gains were recorded in four occupations – Professional (107‚000)‚ Manager (68‚000)‚ Technician (16‚000) and Domestic worker (7‚000).
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Sibanye Gold‚ the largest producer of South African gold‚ will report a sharp increase in profit for the interim period‚ tempered by an R820-million impairment of its Cooke 4 mine.
Sibanye‚ which has gold and platinum mines‚ has reaped the benefits of a weak rand since the end of last year when President Jacob Zuma surprised the market and changed finance ministers twice in a space of days.
Sibanye‚ the company formed when Gold Fields unbundled three deep-level gold mines in 2013‚ said it would generate earnings per share in the six months to the end of this month that were up to 110% higher than the 20c reported in the same period a year earlier.
It gave a range of 14c and 22c for headline earnings. Basic earnings would be negatively affected by the Cooke 4 impairment.
Headline earnings per share‚ which strip out exceptional items‚ would rise by up to 611%‚ Sibanye said‚ giving a range of between 92c and 116c per share compared with 19c a year ago.
Sibanye said it had impaired Cooke 4‚ which is one of four Cooke shafts in a mining complex near Randfontein‚ because of continued under-performance.
The company has started talks on retrenchments at the mine.
Sibanye said its normalised earnings‚ which accounted for movements in foreign exchange and financial instruments‚ were forecast to be up to 848% higher‚ with a range of between 183c and 229c per share compared with 27c a year earlier.
Normalised earnings excluded the 120% increase in Sibanye’s share price during the interim period that resulted in a fair value loss of R1.18-billion for financial instruments related mainly to share-based payments. – BDlive
At least 58 dead, 20 missing in hard-hit neighbouring Nepal
SEVERE floods in India have affected more than 1.6 million people, buried hundreds of villages and almost submerged a national park, forcing wildlife to seek refuge on roads. With the weather office forecasting heavy rain for at least another 48 hours, the outlook is grim for the northeastern tea-growing state of Assam, which four years ago suffered its worst floods that killed 124 people and displaced six million.
In neighbouring Nepal, flash floods and landslides had swept through villages, killing at least 58 people over two days, home ministry official Yadav Koirala said yesterday.
Assam water resources minister Keshab Mahanta said: “The situation has turned from bad to worse since Tuesday and more than a million people have been shifted to relief camps.”
The Brahmaputra river and its tributaries have burst their banks, affecting more than half the region’s 32 districts.
Police and rescue workers said at least 12 people had drowned across the state of Assam in recent days.
Animals from the state’s national parks came out onto roads built up on banks and other high ground as the flood inundated forests.
The state has five national parks, including the Kaziranga National Park, which is home to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinoceroses.
“More than 80% of the park is under water,” Suvasis Das, a forestry official in the park, said.
Forest officials said they had rescued a three-month-old rhino that took shelter in a back yard in a village.
At least 20 hog deer were either washed away or drowned.
In Nepal, where 58 people were confirmed dead and 20 were still missing, the army is racing to evacuate hundreds more from flooded villages as the waters rise.
Images released by the army showed villagers waiting on rooftops to be evacuated in motorboats.
Floods and landslides are common in India and Nepal during the monsoon season and the death toll runs into the hundreds every year.
The situation this year is particularly desperate because millions of Nepalis are still living in tents or makeshift huts after an earthquake that killed nearly 9 000 people last year. – Reuters-AFP
Australia took command yesterday of a low-scoring test against Sri Lanka, building up an 86-run first innings lead before dismissing opener Kulsan Perera with the last ball of a rain-affected day in Pallekele.
Despite the heroics of Lakshan Sandakan, who took four wickets on debut, the hosts were staring down the barrel at stumps on the second day of the opening test after rain again forced an early end to proceedings.
Perera fell for just four when he was lbw to paceman Mitchell Starc, leaving Sri Lanka wobbling on 6/1 – still 80 runs short of having to make the visitors bat again.
Australia had earlier been bowled out for 203 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 117, with the rookie Sandakan and the veteran Rangana Herath both taking four wickets apiece.
Adam Voges top-scored for the Australians with 47, meaning no player from either side managed to score a half-century in the first innings.
And with the turning pitch showing few signs of respite, the Australians’ first innings lead could well prove decisive.
The 38-year-old Herath, who has hinted he may soon retire from test cricket, was the pick of the bowlers and unlucky not to record another five-wicket haul.
He dismissed both overnight batsmen – skipper Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja – in successive overs and had a third wicket in the morning session when Peter Nevill was caught at mid-on.
After lunch, wicketkeeper Perera dropped a chance off Josh Hazlewood, denying Herath what would have been his 24th fivewicket haul.
Australia scored at less than two runs per over off Herath as his 25 overs went for only 49.
While Herath was providing captain Angelo Mathews with options both for attack and containment, Sandakan ran through the lower order to finish with impressive figures of 4/58.
His first wicket was that of allrounder Mitchell Marsh, who added 60 for the fifth wicket with Voges before being bowled for 31.
Seamer Nuwan Pradeep finished with two wickets, including that of the resolute Voges, who was brilliantly caught by Kusal Mendis at gully after facing 115 deliveries and hitting three fours.
Voges expressed frustration that the Australians had failed to put together any big partnerships.
He said he would have felt more comfortable had they managed to stretch the lead into three figures on a tricky pitch.
“We felt if we had one or two good partnerships and got a 100-plus run lead, we would be driving the game,” Voges said.
“A little bit of missed opportunity there. We know in these conditions you need to get bigger scores and big partnerships.”
The match has so far been badly hit by rain, with afternoon downpours in what is Sri Lanka’s rainy season forcing the umpires to call a premature end to play at tea on both days. – AFP
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Playing at home at Ellis Park will give the Lions an added boost in Saturday’s semifinal clash against Super Rugby defending champions‚ the Highlanders‚ coach Johan Ackermann says.
The Lions have enjoyed great success this season en route to the semifinals‚ a feat they achieved only twice before under coach Laurie Mains in 2000 and 2001 in the old Super 12 competition, when the team was known as the Cats.
This season, Ackermann’s side suffered defeat only four times in the pool stages of the competition‚ with just two defeats at Ellis Park.
The Lions hope their den will continue to be an imposing fortress and intimidate visiting sides in these crucial knockout stages of the competition.
“That is the reason why we were aiming to play at home‚” Ackermann said.
The side’s most recent defeat came in their last pool game when they faced the Jaguares in Buenos Aires‚ Argentina.
Unfamiliar surroundings and a demanding two-way voyage across the Atlantic Ocean‚ over and above frontline players being rested‚ played a role in the 22-34 defeat to the Jaguares.
Playing at home will return things to normality‚ making preparations all the more easier.
Ackermann believes this will aid his side when they take on the Highlanders on Saturday.
“The advantage is that the guys can stay in the same routine‚ stay in their homes and sit in a change room they are familiar with‚” the coach said.
The Lions hope that passionate support from the stands will help ease the pressure on the home side and push them towards a historic first appearance in a Super Rugby final.
The match will kick off at 3pm on Saturday.
1 500 runners expected for popular race
Top athlete Melikhaya Frans, who is taking part in the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Half Marathon on Saturday, said yesterday he was dedicating the race to late Eastern Province Athletics official Stan Gradwell.
The marathon will take place at Pollok Beach in Summerstrand for the third year running.
The 21.1km road race starts at 7.15am and the 5km fun run will start 15 minutes earlier.
Gradwell, who worked for EPA for 20 years, died of a stroke late on Sunday.
He was also involved in disabled sport in the metro.
Frans, a Kamva Athletics Club member, will run in EPA colours on Saturday.
The 26-year-old runner from Motherwell has set his sights on a top-10 finish this year, after finishing 26th last year.
He said reaching his target would mean a lot to him.
“I was recently told about the sad passing of Stan Gradwell,” Frans said.
“If I do reach my target, that top-10 finish, my race on Saturday will be dedicated to him.”
Despite heavy rains tampering with his training schedule, Frans said his preparations had gone very well.
“I don’t have any injuries. My body is in top condition for the race,” he said.
Veteran women’s runner Jane Barnardo, 41, who runs under Body Concept colours, is hoping for clear skies.
She returns to the race after taking a year off and expects to retain her third-place finish.
“I will try my best to finish in third place. The lady who is probably going to win the age group runs about two minutes faster than me,” she said.
“My preparations for the race have gone very well. I have been trying to run 60km to 70km a week.
“I have not done any speed work so hopefully my legs will do what they need to.
“I hope that we have good conditions because the last time I ran the race it was in a 90km gale-force wind.”
The main event follows a two-lap circuit along Marine Drive and has turnings at Kings Beach and just past the Humewood Golf Club.
The start and finish are at Pollok Beach.
The prizegiving is at 10.45am.
This year’s prize money has been increased from R35 000 to R50 000 for both male and female winners.
EPA sponsorship liaison officer Michael Mbambani said they were hoping to attract at least 1 500 entries for this year’s race.
He said yesterday said they had exceeded 700 entries and were also awaiting a group of international athletes.
“A group of athletes from Ethiopia is coming. We are also expecting all the provincial runners to be in the city by Friday,” he said.
Registration and late entries will be from 2pm until 8pm today and from 5am on race day at the Summerstrand Surf Life Saving Club.
Roads will be closed from 5.30am, from Driftsands along Marine Drive through to the back gate of NMMU.
Athletes will gain access at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Beach Road (Pick n Pay centre).
The parking area on the sea side of Beach Road will be closed at 6.45am and remain so until after the race.
A man has stepped forward to claim the country’s massive R87-million Powerball lottery jackpot.
eNCA reported on Thursday that Lottery operator Ithuba had validated the ticket held by the man from Limpopo.
The winning ticket‚ purchased for R20 at a filling station in Mokopane‚ is reported to be the fourth-biggest cash prize in the history of the lottery.
Businessman John Mphosi‚ the national lottery retailer who sold the winning ticket mere hours before the draw‚ told The Times newspaper that he and his staff had fielded dozens of phone calls from people who believed they were the jackpot winner.
Counsellor Vaughn Grantham cautioned that winning a lump sum of money could be traumatic and encouraged jackpot winners to seek counselling.
Counselling is offered to jackpot winners to help them cope with the stress that comes with their newfound celebrity status – but history has shown that not all winners live happily ever after.
South Africa’s first mega-jackpot lottery winner 16 years ago‚ who pocketed almost R14-million‚ ran up a string of debt five years ago.
Batsirayi Mupfawi‚ who worked for 15 years as a chauffeur for golfer Ernie Els’ manager Nick Frangos‚ won a fortune on April 8‚ 2000 after spending R5 on a lottery ticket‚ reported the Sunday Times. He bought himself a R1.6-million home and treated his family to a holiday in Disneyland.
While running his own cross-border trucking company five years ago‚ he accumulated a string of debt and one of his flats was auctioned. But‚ he said at the time‚ he was better off than some lottery winners whose windfall ended in tears.
“I have read so many stories about Lotto winners who died early‚” he said.
Lottery winners famous for their misfortune‚ reported the Sunday Times‚ have included:
• Jason Canterbury‚ from the Cape Flats‚ who won R6.7-million in the lottery in 2003 at the age of 18. Three years ago‚ he was sentenced to 28 years in jail for murder after turning to drugs and crime to support his lifestyle after his winnings evaporated;
• William Post‚ who won more than R780-million in a US draw in 1998‚ only to end up living on a social grant after relatives siphoned away his windfall‚ hired a hit man to kill him and then sued him; and
• Jeffrey Dampier‚ who died after his 1986 US win of R134-million. His sister-in-law‚ who had hoped to inherit his windfall‚ was sentenced to life in prison for his murder.
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Mayor tells pupils to follow in footsteps of illustrious alumni
At a function to celebrate Cowan High School’s 70th anniversary, pupils were encouraged to follow in the footsteps of the school’s alumni – among them prominent anti-apartheid activists, Port Elizabeth’s first black mayor, sporting legends and members of parliament.
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan also told pupils that the metro was depending on them to one day grow the economy, create jobs and end poverty and unemployment.
Jordaan delivered a motivational talk to Cowan pupils on Tuesday, telling them the school had produced national stalwarts such as Khusta Jack, Nceba Faku, Zola Yeye and other prominent South Africans.
“Not only has Cowan shaped education in New Brighton, but in the entire metro and in this country. That is the tradition you must walk in,” he said.
He said Cowan High had been established in 1946 – a year after the end of World War 2.
“The world had just come together to defeat the Nazis, who brought their ideologies and policies of racism . . .
“Two years later, the white government of this country adopted all the ideologies of the Nazis by introducing apartheid,” Jordaan said.
“This school was forced to abide by those policies and conform to the belief that because you are black, you are inferior.
“That is why the school had people like Khusta Jack, who led consumer boycotts and rent boycotts . . . He and others believed that every human being is equal.”
Jack, who was head boy at Cowan in 1978 and is now chairman of the Friends of Cowan, said: “I love this school and I am proud to be here on this special day.
“I believe this school has the right principal, teachers, parents and pupils to get it to the same level as former Model C schools.”
Jordaan also sponsored the school to the tune of R67 000 on behalf of the municipality and its 67 Minutes for Mandela programme.
Principal Trevor Dolley said the school would use it to upgrade its security systems and update interactive white boards in classrooms.
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