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Dukwana warns corrupt officials



Staff Reporter

The convenor of the ANC Free State Interim Provincial Committee (IPC), Mxolisi Dukwana, has sounded a strong warning against party and government officials involved in illicit activities saying they want to clean up the system and make it more efficient.

He said this when he addressed a media briefing on the first IPC meeting held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The time of doing things with impunity is over,” said Dukwana.

“It ends today. Moving forward, we will ensure that we do things right,” he added.

Dukwana said the IPC had taken this position because it wants to deal conclusively with corruption and other vices both in the party and in government.

He said people in most parts of the province have been deprived of basic services for some time because some of those charged with that responsibility were failing to deliver.

“Dealing with corruption demands commitment, political will and decisiveness and this is what we will be demonstrating moving forward . . . in dealing with all the rogue elements that will be found in our structures as well as in government, both in the provincial government as well as in municipalities,” said Dukwana.

“We will ensure that necessary processes that are efficient, time saving and taking decisions are followed to the letter and rid the public service of all the wrong elements.”

He implored residents of the province to rally behind the IPC as they “seek to build a stronger ANC that belongs to and serves the people”.

“We are aware of many other things that are happening in government, especially in our municipalities and it is our resolve as the IPC to ensure that we run a clean government in all the spheres where the ANC is in control,” said Dukwana.

He said the IPC also resolved to appeal the expulsion of some councillors in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality saying it is crucial for uniting the party.

Known as the Maluti-a-Phofung 16 or MAP16, the councillors were expelled from the party in 2019 after they were accused of working with the opposition in council.

The decision however soon backfired against the ANC as it went on to lose 10 wards in a by-election, leaving them with only five.

“We came to a conclusion as the IPC that it will be in the best interest of the process of uniting the organisation in the province as well as . . . the community of Maluti-a-Phofung for the ANC to engage the National Executive Committee in looking afresh into this matter,” he said.

“We are looking at inviting them to rejoin the ANC. We will be engaging them,” said Dukwana.

“We understand that all of them are members of the ANC, trained, developed and nurtured in the ANC.

“Their hope is the ANC that is serving the people, an ANC that is corruption-free.”

ANC provincial coordinator Paseka Nompondo said the IPC has a lifespan of nine months within which it is expected to prepare the province to go to an elective conference.

“The IPC will assess the state of branches whether they have proper valid membership and after a proper assessment . . . we will go to the provincial conference. Out of five regions, three are ready to hold their regional conferences,” he said.

Deputy convener Sisi Ntombela, who is also the premier, said it was time for the people of the Free State to heal and start working together for the good of the province.

“I am definitely sure . . . that our people in the Free State are really tired of divisions,” she said.

“We have realised that divisions are taking us nowhere. It’s about time that we come together and be united and serve our people.”


Parts of Free State may not have power for up to three weeks



PROLONGED BLACKOUT LOOMS . . . Eskom says consumers in some parts of the Free State may not have electricity for up to three weeks

Eskom has warned consumers in the south-eastern Free State that they may not have electricity for up to three weeks due to voltage constraints on the network feeding the Melkspruit Substation.

The power failure resulted in electricity users in Zastron, Rouxville and Smithfield as well as those fed directly by Eskom on the RVZ and RVS 22 kV lines experiencing outages over the past weekend.

Eskom’s spokesperson in the Free State, Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg, said the problem may persist until major work on a line from the Northern Cape is completed.

“The voltage constraint on the network will persist until construction of structures on the Ruigtevallei-Valleydora 132 kV line in the Northern Cape is completed,” said Van Rensburg as she urged consumers to remain patient while the supply challenge is addressed.

“Free State teams are currently assisting to speed up the process. It is however expected that work will take two to three weeks to complete.”

“In the meantime, electricity users are urged to use electricity sparingly, especially during the morning and evening peak hours, to prevent trips,” she added.

South Africa has been experiencing rolling blackouts in recent weeks due to what Eskom has described a “continued shortage of generation capacity”.

On Sunday, the national power utility said in a separate statement it had about 3 028 megawatts on planned maintenance, while another 14 992 megawatts of capacity were unavailable due to breakdowns.

While the loadshedding is meant to ease pressure on the national grid and avoid a total collapse of the system, the practice has reportedly caused damage on some lines when power is switched back on.

Eskom has always said loadshedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid and promised to limit the implementation of loadshedding to the evening peak in order to limit the impact of the capacity shortages on the public. – Staff Reporter

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Minister shuts down troubled Free State water supplier



MOVE GAZETTED . . . Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has disestablished Sedibeng Water

Staff and key assets from the embattled Sedibeng Water Board are set to be transferred to the Bloemwater and Magalies water boards following the gazetting of the move by Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu last week.

The department’s spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, said in a statement the development is in line with the minister’s commitment to review the country’s water boards to enable them to perform optimally while enhancing the delivery of water to municipalities and ultimately to households.

The decision to disestablish Sedibeng Water – which served Matjhabeng, Masilonyana and Nala local municipalities, among others – means its staff, assets and liabilities will be absorbed by Bloemwater in the Free State and Magalies in Gauteng.

The move, according to Ratau, was initiated by the minister following his working sessions with provincial governments, various water services authorities and water boards regarding issues of governance, financial viability as well as accountability and broader service delivery issues after taking office in August last year.

“The review is based on considerations of financial sustainability, servicing areas that are not currently serviced and is also intended to address institutional confusion caused by having multiple water boards serving the same area,” said Ratau.

“The disestablishment of Sedibeng Water is in accordance with section 28 of the Water Services Act of 1997 which affords Minister Mchunu the authority to disestablish a water board.

“The gazette was published on Friday, 20 May 2022 and will remain open to the public for a period of 40 days.

“Members of the public and all interested parties are invited to make comments in writing on the disestablishment of the board.”

The department said it will ensure there is smooth transition of the disestablishment and that water service provision to communities is not affected.

Based in Bothaville, Sedibeng Water was established to, among others, treat wastewater and supply potable water in a viabile and sustainable manner.

However, in recent years, some of the municipalities served by the water board have struggled over the years to pay on time for the bulk water supplies even though residents have argued that they pay their monthly bills on time.

At the end of March this year, Sedibeng reportedly owed its service providers over R5-billion as it was struggling to secure payment from several municipalities. – Staff Reporter

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Mangaung warns residents to brace for heavy rainfall



DISRUPTIVE DOWNPOUR LOOMING . . . Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has warned heavy rainfall is expected to pound the capital

The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has warned residents in and around the Free State capital to brace for heavy rainfall that could cause flooding this Friday.

The municipality is urging drivers to take extra caution by reducing speed and switching their headlights on, while pedestrians are being reminded to be careful when crossing the road and to avoid crossing rivers and streams where water is above the ankles.

“Residents of Mangaung Metro, particularly in the former Naledi region, are urged to be cautious on the road and in their homes as the South African Weather Service has issued an impact-based warning . . . for possible disruptive rainfall,” the metro said in a statement.

“This warning is valid for Friday, 20 May 2022 until Saturday, 21 May 2022.”

“Heavy rains are also predicted in Bloemfontein on Friday,” it added.

“Localised flooding can be expected in susceptible low-lying areas, roads, formal/informal settlements and bridges.” – Staff Reporter

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