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All the single ladies, put your hands up!

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Single ladies, if you’re wondering why your man hasn’t proposed yet, perhaps he’s waiting to turn 37?

According to a report released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), “Marriages and Divorces, 2019”, the median age of bridegrooms increased from 36 years in 2015 to 37 years in 2019.

Similarly, the age of brides increased from 31 years to 33 years over the same period.

According to the report, the data suggests that men tend to marry younger women, as 98 714 (76.2 percent) of the 129 597 bridegrooms were older than their brides.

However, 20 730 (16.0 percent) bridegrooms were younger than their brides and 10 151 (7.8 percent) were of the same age as their brides.

This observed age pattern is the same irrespective of the marital status of the bridegroom at the time of marriage.

However, the magnitude differs by the marital status of the spouses at the time of marriage.

For example, 43.8 percent of never married men who married divorcees were younger than their brides and 10.6 percent of male divorcees who married widowed women were also younger than their brides.

A relatively smaller percentage (5.3 percent) was observed for male divorcees marrying never married women who were older than them.

The age at first marriage or union is of interest to population scientists because of the close link between marriage and the onset of pregnancy, childbearing and, ultimately, fertility.

This link tends to be weakened in populations where pre-marital fertility is widespread.

Nevertheless, age at first marriage or union continues to be a good proxy for measuring not only fertility but also other health and socio-economic indicators relating particularly to the role and status of women in society.

When it comes to those that were previously married, however, the report shows that median age for male divorcees ranged between 55 years in 2015 to 57 years in 2019, whereas the median age of female divorcees ranged between 48 years in 2015 and 50 years in 2019.

There was a seven-year age difference in the median ages between male and female divorcees who married in 2019.

Ladies, if your man is a divorcee, you may be interested to know what the chances of him marrying you are.

Data shows that 57.9 percent of male divorcees married single ladies.

Of all the divorcees that were married to single ladies, 92.6 percent of them were older than the ladies they married.

If your marriage did not end in a happily ever after, you may be one of the 23 710 completed divorce forms that Stats SA received and processed for the compilation of this report.

A decrease of 1 574 (6.2 percent) divorces from the 25 284 cases processed in 2018 was noted in 2019.

The report shows that about 174 divorces were granted to same-sex couples.

The median age at the time of divorce in 2019 was 45 years for males and 41 years for females, indicating that, generally, divorcing males were older than divorcing females, with a difference of about four years.

According to the report, there were fewer divorces among the younger (less than 25 years old) and the older (65 years and older) divorcees.

For black African males, divorces start later, mostly at 35-39 years of age, than for other population groups, where they start mostly from 30-34 years.

The peak age group of males for black African, coloured and Indian/Asian population groups was 40 to 44 years, whereas the peak for the white population group was 45 to 49 years.

In the case of females, the peak age group at divorce was 35 to 39 years for black African, coloured and white population groups and the peak age group at divorce was 40 to 44 years for the Indian/Asian population group.

Around the world, marriage ages vary widely for many underlying reasons.

The data indicates that the more developed the country, the higher the median ages tend to be.

In these countries, the age gap between men and women getting married was, more often than not, smaller.

When looking at developing countries, including many in Africa, on average, people got married at a younger age, with age gaps being a little wider at times.

Men, regardless of their marital status, still prefer to marry single ladies.

More marriages occur between single ladies and single men than with divorced men and widowed men.

In 2019, 93.9 percent of never married men wedded never married women, whereas 1.2 percent of those married divorcees and 0.4 percent married widows.

Irrespective of marital status, men prefer to marry younger single ladies.

It is important to note that with both divorcees and widowed men, only 7.4 percent and 9.5 percent respectively married single ladies older or the same age as themselves.

Go on ladies, get your man! – Stats SA

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Ngwathe pays Eskom to fix damaged line

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BLACKOUT . . . The Ngwathe electrical network tripped on Friday and damaged Eskom’s equipment due to overloading

Ngwathe Local Municipality in the northern Free State has paid R1.1-million to Eskom so it can repair damages to the power line in the area caused by overloading.

Eskom provincial spokesperson Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg said in a statement the payment was made on Monday morning and work to restore supplies to Parys and Vredefort has started.

“Repairs to the Eskom equipment will now commence,” said Van Rensburg.

“Based on the assessments of the damage, supply to Ngwathe should be restored by midnight tonight,” she added.

The spokesperson however said the initial repairs were focusing on the hot connections and will only be temporary to assist communities.

Another outage will be scheduled to repair the transformer bushings that were also damaged during the overloading incident.

The Ngwathe electrical network tripped on Friday and damaged Eskom’s equipment due to overloading.

“Since 2018, Eskom has warned Ngwathe that their continued exceedance of their Notified Maximum Demand (NMD) – the contracted amount of electricity supplied by Eskom to the Municipality – will eventually result in damage to the Eskom network and that the municipality needs to apply for an upgrade in their NMD.

“In August 2021 and in April 2022, Eskom informed the municipality that any damage to the Eskom network that is caused by the municipality’s negligence, will be at the municipality’s cost.

“The municipality agreed to this condition and, although they were well informed and aware of the risks, they did not take the necessary precautions or made sufficient efforts to upgrade their NMD,” Van Rensburg explained.

Following the incident, Eskom insisted on the municipality making an upfront payment as it is one of the municipalities in the province sitting with a huge debt to the national power utility.

As at end June, Ngwathe’s overdue debt to Eskom totalled R1.89 billion.

Eskom says this debt continues to grow as current accounts are not paid in full.

“Ngwathe’s non-adherence to payment conditions and negligence in protecting the power system, jeopardises Eskom’s financial sustainability as well as the security of supply to the residents of towns such as Parys and Vredefort.

“Supply to Ngwathe will be restored to the capacity as per the contracted NMD.

“Risks of overloading and consequent damage remain, and it is imperative that the municipality invests in upgrading its supply,” according to the power company. – Staff Reporter

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Mangaung electricity tariffs up

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POWER TARIFFS UP . . . Local power distributor Centlec has hiked electricity charges

Electricity tariffs in Mangaung have gone up by 7.47 percent.

In a statement released on Thursday night, local power distributor Centlec said the increase was due to come into effect at midnight on July 1 following approval by the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa.

The increase will cover the period July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.

“A guideline increase of 7.47 percent on electricity tariffs for Centlec was therefore approved with effect from the 1st of July 2022 for the 2022/23 financial year,” read part of the brief statement.

It said a more detailed outline of the increases will be announced soon. – Staff Reporter

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CUT students arrested for protesting against exams

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DISTURBANCE AT CAMPUS . . . Five students protesting against exams at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein have been arrested

Police have arrested five students from the Central University of Technology (CUT) for public violence after they embarked on an unsanctioned protest against the institution’s decision to have the mid-year exams conducted in person at its two campuses in Bloemfontein and Welkom starting this Thursday.

The exams are set to run until July 20.

The fracas follows an announcement by CUT acting vice-chancellor and principal Professor Alfred Ngowi on Wednesday in which he stated the exams would take place physically at the two campuses as scheduled.

Ngowi said a detailed discussion about online exams at the Welkom campus concluded that it would not be feasible to conduct online exams because circumstances have changed regarding the COVID-19 restrictions and that it was also against the policy of the university.

“CUT is a full-contact institution and not a distance learning institution and therefore does not have the authority to accredit examinations that are not done under CUT’s status as a full-contact institution,” said Ngowin in a recorded video.

Ngowi told the students that academic assessment is one of the important building blocks of their qualifications.

He warned the students against disrupting the exams saying they would face disciplinary action as such action will be illegal.

“The unreliability of the power supply may have unintended disruptive effects,” he said.

“The COVID-19 restrictions which necessitated virtual classes and virtual assessments have all been suspended and the various accrediting bodies to which CUT is affiliated may not accredit online assessments.

“Therefore, we will proceed with physical assessments.

“Management has made all necessary preparations for the smooth running of the mid-year assessments, which have been communicated to all students.

“Therefore, any student who plans to disrupt the physical examinations on our campuses must be aware of the legal and disciplinary consequences.

“In addition, the CUT management has put several measures in place to protect the constitutional rights of all our students who are prepared for and prefer to sit for physical assessments.

“Students must be aware that any disruptions of the planned and scheduled assessments are illegal and unlawful, and students who act outside the law will have to face the consequences of their actions.

“Students further need to note that failing the upcoming academic assessments will directly impact their NSFAS funding status.

“No further funding will be available to NSFAS-funded students who fail the assessments or fail to take the upcoming assessments.”

But, in a statement, members of the South African Student Congress (SASCO) at the university argued that since all assessments had taken place online due to the COVID-19 restrictions, “it is only normal that the exams take place online as well”.

SASCO also argued that some students had not received their allowances from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and it would therefore be impossible for them to write their exams in a physical setting.

But Ngowi addressed the matter earlier in the same video: “As previously communicated through the Student Representative Council, NSFAS-funded students who still have unresolved challenges with their accommodation are encouraged to make written submissions to the relevant faculty deans in that regard.”

Park Road police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thabo Covane said members of Public Order Police Unit arrested five male students for public violence at the CUT’s Bloemfontein campus on Thursday morning.

He said the group of protesting students was warned by the operational commander to disperse within a given time as they were contravening the conditions stipulated in an issued court order but refused to do so.

“The protesting students became violent and started throwing stones and bottles at the police and the security officers,” said Covane.

“The police used stun grenades to disperse the crowd. The other group ran into King Edward Street and blocked traffic by placing stones on the road.

“Police then arrested the five students with ages ranging from 18 to 22 years.”

The arrested students are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Monday facing charges of public violence and contravening a court order. – Staff Reporter

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