Category Archives: National News

“Let’s put our weapons down”

By Sidima Mfeku

“Let’s put our weapons down” – Those were the words uttered and directed to SMME owners by the Nelson Mandela Bay’s Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, outside City hall in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

“Let’s come down, let’s put our weapons down, let there be peace amongst ourselves” the mayor begged of the SMME owners to have each other’s backs following the tragic death of Black Business Caucus leader Baba Ningi on Monday.

Ningi died of numerous gun shots after an argument just outside Lifa and Mafa Butchery in Koyana Street Zwide. The 48-year old’s death has not been formally linked to anything as it stands, but people suspect that it might be related to a project that is believed to have earned Ningi Millions of rands which belonged to SMME owners.

“We don’t know the motive for the killing of our brothers, we can hear others saying they are suspecting the drains but the police have not yet come with a report to us”, Bobani said.

The mayor disregarded allegations that the drain cleaning project that was awarded to SMME’s in December last year might have been the cause for the death of Baba Ningi and his colleague Nkululeko Gcakasi who was gunned down six hours after Ningi’s death at Tshiwula street in New Brighton.

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Colleagues of the deceased gathered outside city hall to listen to the mayor.

The mayor stimulated that this incident is not going to hold the government back from awarding SMMEs businesses, He said “We as the government we are unapologetic for giving you the drain project”.

The bereaved crowd shed tears as the Mayor spoke fondly of Baba Ningi, his    principle and work ethic. Bobani said the support the colleagues have shown is proof that they appreciated Ningi’s work and that “the blood of Baba Ningi will nourish the business community and SMMEs to grow”.

South African Consumers must be prepared

By: Sisanda Ngongoma

Port Elizabeth – On the 4th of September Stats SA released the findings of the economic activity for the second quarter of 2018, and while it looks like the decline is not as weak as the first quarter, the two consecutive quarters of negative growth have plunged South Africa into a recession.

According to Stats SA, South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2018. Less growth generally creates a domino effect which results in an increase in unemployment due to a drop in consumer spending that affects businesses and the economy.

Dr Clement Mosa and Ms Kholisi of the Nelson Mandela University Economics department stated that the recession will impact foreign direct investment, as well as the portfolio investment because the rand has been volatile. They also said that the only way to monitor it was to increase productivity.

South Africa is suffering as a result of trade relations with other countries, because it does not control prices to the large extent. Consumers are not spending much on goods and services, therefore the recession might make it worse because of the increased financial pressure on consumers. This could result in citizens losing their jobs and some firms could be forced to cut down. Dr Mosa said, “It is a bit of a challenge for the government to act, especially the reserve bank. If they want to boost the economy they might increase the  interest rate and money supply making this worse because inflation will take place’’.

Describing the situation, Dr Clement said that the recession would negatively affect foreign investments and attracting foreign investment would be difficult, leading many to believe that government should work harder on maintaining political stability, domestic economy and keeping inflation constrained. Dr Mosa continued by saying that there should not be an increase in inflation when the GDP is low. Ms Kholisi also added, “The government cannot control droughts because it is a natural phenomena, however, measures should be put in the budget for an emergency like that. South Africans should also work on climate developing entities.”    

The only thing [that] the government can try to control and focus on is the land issue, since it could cause a lot of problems in the economy in terms of foreign investors. Ms Kolisi said that the government should be careful when making decisions such as introducing its policy if there is uncertainty towards issues of nationalisation of government excitation like the Reserve Bank that could also affect the economy.

Ms Kolisi also mentioned that the Government should use its policies and monetary policy control carefully, because this economic climate and political instability causing  the rand to be volatile, could utilize government expenditure in order to boost the GDP. “Government spending is very important in activities that will influence economic growth and adding to the domestic economy by boosting savings in investments level, so that we do not rely too much on foreign capital”, she added.

Dr Mosa said in closing that the government could also focus on other sectors that were performing well, since exports actually increased and contributed to the GDP in the second quarter positively.

Tourism in South Africa

By: Sisanda Ngongoma

Port Elizabeth- Tourism is the fastest growing sector in the world, but in south Africa it needs marketing and to be made more accessible .

Tourism CEO, Mr Sisa Ntshona gave  his lecture about the value of tourism in South Africa at the Nelson Mandela University on Second Avenue Campus on Monday. Mr Ntshona said that tourism is the fastest growing sector in the world and that statistics indicate it has grown by 7%. He also added that South Africa’s economy has been dominated by mining, but the world has been moving towards servicing industries that are much more sustainable and tourism is contributing  in every sector. Ntshonga mentioned that he wants to make tourism a Career of choice among young South Africans to make sure they increase the contribution of tourism to the GDP.

Tourism is another area which provides our country with incredible opportunities to shine and currently directly sustains 700 000 jobs and is performing better than any other sector at present . Tourists from all over the world are attracted to South Africa’s wildlife and stunning natural beauty.

Tourism is about marketing South Africa internationally and domestically as a destination. South Africa’s tourist industry is competing with the best destinations, and they must convince people to come to South Africa. Most economies around the world are building on very strong domestic tourism industries, saying there is also a need to faster a culture of travel. The majority of South Africa need passes to move from one city to the next among South Africans, due to our segregated past. There is also a need to create a platform to educate people around the world about South Africa . The aim is to keep the tourists in the country for a longer period; the longer they stay, the more money they spend, and this requires a strategy on how to deliver and put everything together in efficiency and precision .

In 2017 South African tourism had 1,3 billion international arrivals that is the size they want to improve and keep. Statistics indicated that Paris is the most visited destination in the market chain, and South Africa enjoys only 6 % of global tourists . Ntshona said, “we do not have enough to sell to people. In a global average of 7% South Africa’s performance only did 2,4%. We are on low numbers because of restrictions like visas and those barriers make South Africa unattractive. South Africa is shooting itself in the foot. We need free visas”. He also added by saying, “When South Africa aligned with Angola with no visas required, we saw a 50% increase between the two countries. We are aiming at growing tourism by introducing rural and township tourism”.

He concluded by saying that they need to deliver high services to make  sure they keep them and that each and every citizen in the sector needs to play a role. “The friendlier we are the more our economy grows. Integrity is important – what we say is what we do”, he said in closing.

R400 Million boost for small scale fishing

By: Sidima Mfeku

Port Elizabeth-The Department of Public Works (DPW) and Coega Development Corporation (CDC) have collaborated to enforce economic development in small harbours to boost small-scale fishing and tourism in the Western Cape.

R400 million worth of development projects in the marine and ocean economy are expected in the Western Cape. In a statement released yesterday, 28 May, the Department of Public Works and Coega have rolled out the first phase of their development plans to upgrade 13 harbours in the Western Cape. The development projects implemented by the CDC seek to boost the small-scale fishing industry and tourism in the Western Cape. The CDC is implementing the projects on behalf of the DPW and has been an agent of small harbours development programme for a long time. “Since the commencement of the project, we’ve had a great working relationship with the department. We have progressed at a rapid pace and hit all the right notes in supporting the DPW’s focus on developing the maritime economy,” said Themba Koza CDC Programme Director.

Mr Riyaadh Kara, DPW Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager said the development project is aimed at changing the lives of many fishing communities and tourism operators relying on the 13 smaller proclaimed harbours in the Western Cape. “The project forms part of our focus on the oceans economy and is a strategic fit to Operation Phakisa,” adds Kara. The thirteen harbours targeted in this development project include: Hout Bay, Kalk Bay, Saldanha Bay, Pepper Bay, Gordon’s Bay, Hermanus, Struisbaai, Gansbaai, Stilbaai, Arniston, Laaiplek, Lamberts and St. Helena Bay. To carry out the project the CDC has sourced and deployed necessary marine, civil and electrical engineers, as well as marine surveyors.

The CDC has been of great assistance and also the execution of the development projects of this nature. It has successfully concluded Marine Surveys and Reports for all 13 Harbours, as well as the testing of the sediment materials that need dredging in order to open up some of the harbours. Koza added ,”In many cases lives are put at risk and boats are damaged because the harbour basin and approach channel to the slipways have silted up and boats have to be launched off the beach, or only at high tide, which is why dredging is paramount to the longevity of these harbours,”

The tenders for repairs and upgrades to slipways and the replacement of shore cranes have been advertised and are in the process of selecting successful candidates. “We are speeding up the process as quickly as possible as we understand that the livelihoods of at least 13 coastal communities are dependent on the harbour, which is used by the fishing fleet and tourism operators,” Koza said.

He concluded by saying: “Work has started last year in harbours with the removal of all sunken vessels and on completion maintenance dredging will commence by June 2018″. 

Jobs have been created around the coastal regions of the Western Cape and up to 102 jobs in total have been recorded through the upgrading. One of the important objectives of the project is to ensure that emerging businesses benefit from the programme. As a result of this, a total of  11 Small Medium and Micro Enterprises to the amount of R3.5 million have benefited from the programme so far.


lwando picBy Lwando Nomoyi

Port Elizabeth- Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Mayor Athol Trollip has vowed to take legal action against the acts of sabotage and intimidation towards the municipality after an entire weekend of water shortages in more than five municipal wards, the Mayor addressed the media in a press briefing in Port Elizabeth City Hall on Tuesday. 

Among the delegates addressing the media were MMC of Human Settlements Cllr Nqaba Bhanga and MMC of Infrastructure, Engineering, Electricity and Energy Cllr Annette Lovemore. According to the Mayor, the motive behind the water shortages was a deliberate motive to mobilise against the municipality as valves of the water taps were turned off with the intentions of citizens brewing anger against the Municipality.

“What transpired this past weekend is that systematically one ward after another, in predominantly the township areas ran out of water and we discovered that a number of water valves have been turned off deliberately without any authorisation” said Mayor Trollip.

The water valves were discovered to be turned off from Friday the 6th of October to Monday 9th, Cllr Nqaba Bhanga alluded that these valves were turned off by individuals or collectives trying to revolt residents against the municipality, further stating that these people have to be brought to book as they have infringed the constitutional rights of citizens within the Metro.

 “This is alarming and heightens the suspicion of sabotage and intimidation against the municipality.” Described Bhanga.

 Cllr Annette Lovemore has assured that the incident that transpired over the weekend will not happen again as they will be utilising every available water tank contractor in terms of emergency water cuts.

The matter will be reported to the police for further investigations.

ANC likened to Nokia 3310, Nqaba Bhanga


Port Elizabeth – The Democratic Alliance (DA) launched its #Data4All campaign at the Jebe Nangoza Centenary Hall in New Brighton yesterday (Monday 9th).  The full hall had youth that came as far as Fort Hare University to attend the launch.

Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, spoke at the launch saying that cell phones have changed in the last couple of years as they were used primarily for voice.

“[Cell phones] they have changed dramatically in the past 20 years, these instruments [cell phones] are now more focused on data because without data usemnyameni – left in the dark.  The cell phone companies hardly make money out of selling airtime to voice charges.  Their big income is data and data is too expensive for poor people.”

He further said that if poor people have no access to data they will remain poor and that he is making an appeal to government to ensure that the youth have access to data.

“We want to use the innovation and the minds of young people that are able to absorb information and those that are able to make these work, we want to empower them with accessibility to data. Lack of data must fall.”

The roll out of the 500 megabytes of data will be aimed at poor missing middle university students, matric learners and jobseekers that are on the jobseeker’s database. Addressing the packed hall – DA Youth National Chairperson, Yusuf Cassim, questioned how South Africa can be deemed as free when half of the country has no access to the internet.

“Internet access is more than just a fundamental right, it is an economic necessity. People with no internet access by definition have less economic power in the 21st century, they won’t have access to jobs and other opportunities. “

Cassim further said that this campaign did not stem from the #DataMustFall online campaign as the DA had already raised the matter in parliament in 2013.  He said that he demands that the government release mobile spectrum and that it must achieve digital migration.

Human Settlements MMC Councillor Nqaba Bhanga also took a swipe at the ANC saying that the DA youth promises a new future.

“Years back, we had the telephone called the 3310, 3310 is like the African National Congress. It has no data, no internet like the ANC. The DA youth promises a new begging for the future, a new mobile phone that will enable young people in this country to have a new beginning, a new future and a new model for #Data4All.”

Cllr further said that he wants mobile phones and data that will create jobs and employment for youth to grow the economy and freedom.

The launch had entertainment from National Acts such as Richard Saunders, NaakMusiq and local dancers.

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IPTS to roll out this month

DSC_0175Port Elizabeth-The Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) launched transport month in Cleary Park this Monday, which will possibly see the roll out of the Libhongolethu Integrated Public Transport Service (IPTS) bus system.

The scandal marred IPTS system promises to bring about safe and reliable public transport to people in the Bay. NMB Roads and Transport Councilor Rano Kayser said that it was the mandate of the administration within a year to bring safe and reliable transport system to the people.

“We want to bring an inclusive [system] where the people of the Northern Areas, the people of Nobuhle and the people of Njoli square will benefit out of the integrated transport system.”

Cllr Kayser further said that transport is in the center of any economy to grow and that it important to invest in the transport sector.

 A local taxi driver, Faried Schovell, disagreed vehemently with Cllr Kayser saying that the new system is not inclusive as only a few drivers were given the formal training that will allow them to be integrated into the system.  He added that this system will only benefit the owners of the cars and not the current taxi drivers.

NMB Executive Mayor Athol Trollip then said that they cannot provide public transport without the collaboration with the taxi associations, the forums and organizations that represent people who provide daily transport to the public.

“We all have to use the roads, they all belong to us and don’t only belong to the people that own cars.  We must therefore use the roads with respect. “

He added that we as South Africa have an apartheid legacy where black and colored people lived at the peripheries of the city, which are far away from opportunities such as education facilities and hospitals. This meant that poor people use more money on transport than affluent people.

Trollip further said that the IPTS system will be affordable and hoped that residents of the NMB will make use of this transport system.

Naziziphiwo Buso