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Rest in Peace Lollie

Tributes pour in for our late founder and MD at Mapepeza Newspaper, Anatola Lolliepop Mofoka.

His untimely passing came from losing his battle with an illness on Wednesday morning, July 22.


Throughout his life, Lolliepop has been a charismatic and positive character.

He will be remembered for his leading role as a businessman, a friend to many and father.

His unforgettable presence will always live in the minds and hearts of all who have met him and worked with him.

“No words can describe how we feel about his passing. His name is forever cast in my heart as someone who is more than a partner, closer than a brother and loyal to the end. The man defined entrepreneurship without an education, just ideas and courage to make it happen.

Nothing and nobody has stood in his way to success, he just kept pushing when he was met with barriers. Chief, we miss your smile and all that you had to say. The hustle will always live on, even when I’m gone. Go well and rest assured that Mapepeza will stand the test of time…” said Stephen Seakgwe, editor and co-founder of Mapepeza.

We at the Mapepeza Media company and all its subsidiaries, employees and friends hereby send our condolences to the Mofoka family.

#RIPLollie

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Over 100 thousand healthcare workers vaccinated

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The number of health workers vaccinated against COVID-19 has risen to 107 054 as of 8 March, according to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

While healthcare workers are top priority in the Sisonke Vaccine Programme, other sectors of the population – including those with comorbidities and essential service workers – will be prioritised in subsequent phases of the programme.

Meanwhile, the Minister said South Africa recorded 638 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, representing a 5% positivity rate.

This takes the total of known cases to 1 521 706 since the outbreak.

Also, 125 more people succumbed to the respiratory disease, pushing the death toll to 50 803.

The North West recorded the highest number of fatalities after 46 patients lost their lives. That province is followed by the Free State which recorded 31 deaths, there were 18 in the Northern Cape, 10 in the Western Cape, eight in Gauteng, seven in KwaZulu-Natal and five in Mpumalanga.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated the deceased patients,” said Mkhize.

In addition, 1 442 045 people beat COVID-19, representing a recovery rate of 94.7%, while the country has 28 858 active cases.

“The cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 9 269 122 with 13 630 new tests recorded since the last report.”

Globally, there have been 116 521 281 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2 589 548 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to the WHO, 349 398 520 vaccine doses have been administered as of today.

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R350 grant lines cut short with Post Office new system

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The South African Post Office has introduced a system to reduce the waiting time for beneficiaries collecting the R350 social relief of distress grant.

The system, which has been introduced in the Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, will also make it easier for beneficiaries to comply with COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

In a statement, the Post Office said each day of the week is reserved for different beneficiaries, depending on the last three digits of their ID numbers. Monday is reserved for 083 and 088, Tuesday 084 and 089, Wednesday 080 and 089, Thursday 081 and 086, and Friday is reserved for the 082 and 087 last three numbers.

“The first week of the month is reserved for paying grants to the elderly, disability and child grants. The Post Office has introduced separate queues at its branches to reduce waiting time and to ensure social distancing.

“One queue is reserved for beneficiaries of the R350 grant, while the other queue is for all other transactions. There will be queue walkers, who will check ID numbers to ensure that the system is implemented,” the Post Office explained.

For more information, clients are encouraged to call South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) on 0800 60 10 11 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, they can visit the SASSA website on www.sassa.gov.za.

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Award winning poet Vusi Mabena publishes new book

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Dennilton-born Vusi Mabena has come a long way in his career as an author, actor motivational speaker and poet since his last interview with Mapepeza. The team caught up with him to see what progress he has made thus far.

“I’m currently working on my upcoming album and at the same time I’m doing my part-time course at the Joburg Theatre,” he explained.

He has been busy writing his book series and recording his poetry in a studio album. Apart from the life of being a author and artist, he is also an actor playing in popular TV series. Since his acting career started over two years ago, Vusi has appeared in shows like The Throne and Gomora.

Last year, Mabena was nominated with his second book titled Tears Of The Crawling Hustler & Dreamer Vol. 2 at the South African Poetry Awards. Fortunately, he won the prestigious award.

“I’m now so happy to announce that I’m now Award Winning Author,” he said.

Speaking on the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and how it has impacted his work, he admits that things have been hard.  

“This pandemic has affected me a lot, but not only me but everyone because most people are rejected from their works, while some of us we’ve lost our love ones,” he said.

Despite it all, he has persisted in doing his work and has released his new Novel, Book number four in his series called My Warrior Lord Is My Successor And Shepherd.

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Vusi Mabena has released his fourth book novel titled My Warrior Lord Is My Successor And Shepherd

“On this new Novel Book, I’ve dedicated it to my fans and Almighty God because I’ve managed to sold more than 500 copies in less than two years and I also won my first biggest award In my writing journey” said Mabena.

Concluding his interview with advice to aspiring people who want to follow in his footsteps,  he says that discipline is the key to success.

To get more from Vusi, visit his social media platforms: on Facebook Vusi Author, on whatspp: 0792445754, on Instagram: @VusiThePoet on Twitter: Vusi Poet Mabena.

“And they are free to call me regarding of buying any of my books or for any advice about writing,” he said.

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Land Court Bill to address land claims issues

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola says the Land Court Bill will ensure stronger judicial oversight over claims.

“The bill seeks to ensure stronger judicial oversight over claims, and this must lead to better settlements, reduce the scope for corruption and avert the bundling of claims into dysfunctional mega-claims that lead to conflict,” Lamola said on Monday, March 1.

Lamola and Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Thoko Didiza, briefed the media on Monday in Tshwane following Cabinet’s approval for submission of the Land Court Bill to Parliament for processing.

Lamola said the efficacy of the procedures and arrangements proposed in the bill will help to develop land jurisprudence in the country.

“The bill also seeks to address the systemic hurdles that make it difficult for land claimants to obtain land restitution.

“For instance, the bill allows for hearsay evidence for most families, who have to rely on oral history and the existence of elders with knowledge of description, location, and extent of land which their descendants previously occupied,” Lamola explained.

The bill also allows for expert evidence regarding historical and anthropological facts relevant to any particular land claim.

“This bill gives effect to the mandate of the sixth administration, namely, to ensure our approach to land reform is based on three elements – increased security of tenure, land restitution and land redistribution. This bill is a concrete intervention to improve the functioning of all three elements of land reform.

“It creates a policy frame to ensure that land reform is guided by sound legal and economic principles and contributes to the country’s investment objectives and job creation initiatives,” said Lamola.

The Land Court Bill is the outcome of the work done by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform, which is chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.

The IMC has been seized with implementing the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.

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The panel proposed the following:

  • The Land Claims Court be conferred into a new Land Court to adjudicate on all land related matters, and not only restitution.
  • The court must be given additional responsibilities, both judicial and extra functions, such as conflict resolution and mediation.
  • The court must have a functional approach that is modelled on negotiation before litigation on matters such as Expropriation Without Compensation, which is proposed to Parliament in the Expropriation Bill.
  • The panel recommended that the Land Court include the appointment of a permanent judge president and four permanent judges.
  • The Land Court should also be required to check that settlement agreements give just and equitable compensation to landowners, in line with Section 25 and the new Expropriation Act, when enacted.

Lamola said the IMC has accepted all the recommendations and has effected them in the Land Court Bill.

Speedy resolution on land matters 

Didiza said the financial capacitation and expansion of the mandate of the Legal Aid Board to resolve land related disputes will ensure a speedy resolution of land related disputes by using the mediation and arbitration approach.

“While there is a firm intention of redirecting the expenditure of the Land Rights Management Facility to ensure that the Legal Aid Board resolves land related matters speedily, I have no doubt that the introduction of the Land Court Bill will promote access to land on an equitable basis and contribute to a speedy resolution of land related matters, and contribute to nation building and restoration of the dignity of our people,” Didiza said. 

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Gun-wielding suspect arrested after robbing spaza shop

Katlehong Police received a complaint on Monday morning, March 1, that there has been a robbery committed by unknown man at a spaza shop in Moleleki Extension 2.

The 32 year old complainant was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight in his store. An amount of R2000, three cellphones and six bath soaps were taken. According to the victim, the suspect fled on foot in an unknown direction.

“Police on arrival at the said address, interviewed the complainant in trying to find out the description of the suspect. Then later on the same day, when Crime Prevention members were busy with their patrols around the same area, they noticed the same suspect fitting the description given by the complainant. The suspect was cornered and arrested on the spot, it was discovered that he still has the firearm in his possession that he possibly used to commit crime,” said Katlehong police in a statement.

The suspect is now charged with three charges; business robbery being the initial charge, including additional charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and live ammunition.

“The suspect will soon face the music at Palm Ridge Magistrate court and the firearm recovered will be taken to ballistic to have it checked if it was not used to commit other crimes,” said Constable Sivenkosi Mthwa (Katlehong SAPS spokesperson).

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Fuel prices rise again this March

The price of petrol is set to increase by 65 cents a litre as of Wednesday (March 3), the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy said.

In a statement on Tuesday, March 2, the department said the prices of 93 (ULP and LRP) and 95 (ULP and LRP) will rise by 65 cents a litre.

A litre of 95 ULP in Gauteng, which currently costs R15.67, will increase to R16.32 a litre.

This is the third fuel price increase this year.

Meanwhile, diesel (0.05% Sulphur) will increase by 54 cents a litre, while the price of diesel (0.005% Sulphur) will increase by 56 cents a litre.

The price of illuminating paraffin (wholesale) will increase by 47 cents.

The price of illuminating paraffin (SMNRP) will increase by 63 cents, while the Maximum Retail Price for LPGAS will increase by 87 cents per kilogram.

“The rand appreciated, on average, against the US dollar during the period under review, when compared to the previous one. This led to lower contributions to the Basic Fuel Prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by around 14 cents a litre,” said the department. 

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Vacancy: Vopak Chemical Operations Practical Trainees

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X8 CHEMICAL OPERATIONS PRACTICAL TRAINEES (DURBAN)

X4 CHEMICAL OPERATIONS PRACTICAL TRAINEES (LESEDI)

Purpose of Position

Vopak Terminals Durban & Lesedi invites applications for the Chemical Operations Practical Training program which seeks to provide TVET college students with practical experience whilst giving them basic knowledge and skill of operating in a Petrochemical/Tank Storage industry.

The duration of the Program is 12 months and the training involves both Chemical Tank Storage theory and its practical component at various Vopak Terminal sites in Durban or Lesedi. There is no guaranteed employment after the program is completed.

Key Performance Areas

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Attendance of mandatory theoretical classes at Vopak Training Centres {Durban or Lesedi)
  • Undertake Plant Operator experiential training within a Chemical Plant environment {Durban Trainees will be based in Durban and Lesedi Trainees will be based in Lesedi}
  • Achieve competency in all Tank Storage modules and compile a Portfolio of Evidence in support of this qualification.

Qualifications & Experience

  • N6 Engineering qualification e.g. N6 in Mechanical/ Chemical Engineering
  • Basic computer literacy
  • Must be residing within Durban or Lesedi area

Skills, Knowledge & Competencies

Competencies

  • Team Work.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Time keeping.

Closing Date: 05th March 2021

If you meet the requirements please complete forward your CV to : hr.sa@vopak.com

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Mzansi moves to lockdown level 1

Addressing the nation on developments in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Cabinet had taken this decision on Sunday, February 28.

Under Level 1 of the lockdown, the country’s curfew will move from 11 pm to 4am, to midnight to 4 am.

The move will also result in gatherings-including religious, social, political and cultural gatherings-being permitted, subject to limitations on size, adherence to social distancing and other health protocols.

Restrictions on gatherings, sale of alcohol eased

The maximum number of people allowed at any gathering is 100 people indoors or 250 people outdoors.

However, where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used.

Under the new regulations, night vigils or other gatherings before or after funerals are still not permitted while the doors of nightclubs will remain shut.

The sale of alcohol will be permitted, according to normal licence provisions.

In addition, no alcohol may be sold during the hours of curfew.

Rules on facemasks, border posts

President Ramaphosa stressed that the wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory, with the failure to wear one remaining as an offence.

As the country prepares for a new week, the President said the 33 land border posts that have been closed throughout this period will remain closed, while the other 20 will remain open.

For those travelling, only five airports will be open for international travel with standard infection control measures. Namely these are: OR Tambo, Cape Town, King Shaka, Kruger Mpumalanga and Lanseria airports.

President calls for vigilance

President Ramaphosa warned that the easing of restrictions does not mean that the public should let their guard down.

“As we ease restrictions, we cannot let our guard down. The few remaining restrictions under Alert Level 1 are meant to maintain low levels of infections and, in particular, to prevent super-spreading events.”

The President’s comments come as South Africa emerged from the second wave of infections that caused a greater loss of life than the first wave.

“The country has now clearly emerged from the second wave. New infections, admissions to hospital and deaths have fallen significantly and continue to decline steadily.

“In the week that has just passed, the country recorded just under 10,000 new infections,” he said adding that in the last week of January, the country recorded over 40,000 new cases.

He attributed the decline in infections to a combination of public health measures introduced, changes in behaviour and accumulating immunity in those who became infected in our communities.

The President said the new virus variant known as 501Y.v2,is now the dominant variant in the country which is transmitted more easily.

The variant has the potential to infect more people, place a greater strain on the health system and lead to a greater loss of life.

He stressed the importance of social distancing, the wearing of masks and avoiding of crowds.

Vaccines he said of which the country has already taken delivery of, should be seen as one of the measures available in the Coronavirus toolkit.

Economic activity in full swing

The President who last addressed the nation on 1 February, spoke of the importance to grow the economy and get people back into work.

The importance of economic reforms, the rollout of the employment stimulus and infrastructure investment programmes came to the fore.

“Many people still do not have their jobs back and many households are still feeling the effect of having lost much of their income. As I announced in the State of the Nation Address, we have therefore extended the period for the Special COVID-19 grant by a further three months, until the end of April.”

The move to Alert Level 1 means that most of the remaining restrictions on economic activity have been removed.

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Social grant increases from April 1

Following the budget speech delivered by the Minister of Finance Mr Tito Mboweni on Wednesday, February 24, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) hereby wishes to inform beneficiaries on the increased amounts for social grants.

The new amounts to increase from 1st April 2021 as follows:

·       R30 increase for the Old Age, Disability and Care Dependency Grants to R1 890.00

·       R10 increase in the Child Support Grant to R 460.00

·       R10 increase for the Foster Care Grant to R1 050.00

·       A R30 increase in the War Veterans grant to R1 910.00

Beneficiaries are requested to protect their current SASSSA cards and not to panic as their card will still be valid beyond 31 March 2021.

Beneficiaries are further advised that they have the right to choose their payment method but there is nothing that forces those who are currently being paid through the Post Office to change to their method of payment. Recipients’ will still be paid using the current SASSA card.

Social grant payment in March will start from 03 March 2021 with older persons grant and attached grants, which will be followed by Disability grant on the 04 March 2021 and Children grants from 05 March 2021. SRD R350 recipients are requested to not present themselves for payments during these days.

Protect your card, protect your pin to protect your grant.

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Electricity prices to increase by 15%

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The North Gauteng High Court has ordered that an amount of R10 billion be added to Eskom’s allowable revenue to be recovered from tariff customers in the 2021/22 financial year.

“This consent order follows Eskom’s application in terms of section 18(3) of the Superior Courts Act, 2013, that Eskom should be permitted to recover R23billion in the financial year 2021/22 as per the 28 July 2020 Court judgement,” the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) said on Tuesday, February 16.

The above consent court order follows discussions and an agreement between NERSA and Eskom.

“The agreement was informed by the fact that NERSA has already taken decisions on other Eskom applications that will be implemented in the 2021/22 financial year, which had a direct impact on the application Eskom has made to the court.

“However, this order does not stop NERSA from proceeding with the appeal that has commenced at the Supreme Court of Appeal against the High Court’s judgement of 28 July 2020, which substituted the Energy Regulator’s decision on Eskom’s fourth Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD4) with its own,” NERSA said.

The energy regulator has also approved that Eskom’s Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) applications for year 2 (2014/15), year 3 (2015/16) and year 4 (2016/17) of the third Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD3) period and Eskom’s supplementary tariff application for the 2018/19 financial year of R4 749m and R1 288m respectively, be recovered in the 2021/22 financial year.

This will result in an average tariff percentage increase of 15.63% in the 2021/22 financial year.

Recovering costs

Meanwhile, Eskom has taken note of the court order.

“This order will result in an average price increase of approximately 15% in the electricity tariff for standard tariff customers starting on 1 April 2021. This court decision allows Eskom to recover efficiently incurred costs for the production of electricity,” said the power utility in a statement.

The power utility said the order contributes to the “user pay” principle and is likely to lessen the financial burden of “supporting Eskom on the government, releasing the government to focus on other priorities.”

Eskom said the implementation of the order will allow it to move towards addressing some of the revenue shortfalls and enable it to recover prudently incurred costs for the production of electricity, which will help to improve Eskom’s financial sustainability.”

The utility’s Chief Financial Officer Calib Cassim welcomed the decision, and stressed that poor residential customers will continue to be supported through the free basic electricity programme, as well as affordability subsidies provided for in the NERSA tariff decision.

Identified vulnerable industrial sectors will be considered by NERSA in terms of the short-term and long-term negotiated pricing agreements promulgated recently by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.

The court order is in response to Eskom requesting the execution of a High Court decision that allowed the recovery of incorrectly deducted Government equity support for the financial year 2021/22.

“Since Eskom made this urgent application to the High Court, the NERSA had made additional decisions related to recovery of efficient costs from previous years. The high court order allows a further 5.44c/kWh increase,” said Eskom

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