Department of Transport and Public Works approves abnormal load application for transportation of 37 ton yacht

By Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works:

Last week, the Department of Transport and Public Works approved an abnormal load application, from Teemane Crane (Pty) Ltd, for the transportation of a 31 meter, 37 ton yacht. The yacht was being transported from the Southern Wind Shipyard in Athlone to the Cape Town Harbour in the early hours of Saturday morning (27 June 2015). I was present as the yacht was being prepared for transportation, and was part of the convoy accompanying it to its destination at Cape Town Harbour.

The dimensions of the yacht are 31702mm (length), 6905mm (width) 4410mm (height) and weight is 37 284kg. The laden dimensions (including vehicles) was be 35514mm (length), 6905mm (width), 5390mm (height), 16375mm (wheelbase) and total mass 73 344kg. The yacht is valued at €9.5 million (Euros).

Certain vehicles and loads cannot be moved on public roads without exceeding the limitations in terms of the dimensions and/or mass as prescribed in the Regulations of the National Road Traffic Act (Act 93 of 1996). Where such a vehicle or load cannot be dismantled without disproportionate effort, expense or risk of damage, into units that can travel or be transported legally, it is classified as an abnormal load. When the movement of an abnormal load is considered to be in the economic and/or social interest of the country, a special permit may be issued to allow it to operate on a public road for a limited period. Permits are normally issued by the Provincial Road Authorities and, if necessary, input is obtained from local and metropolitan authorities.

A permit is then issued with certain conditions, which include a prescribed route for transportation as well as appropriate travel time restrictions as prescribed by the relevant municipality. In this instance four (4) City of Cape Town Traffic Services vehicles and personnel were deployed to escort the combination on a detailed route which was approved by Cape Town City Council. Abnormal loads transported within the City limits must travel within the restricted times for transportation, which exclude weekday exclude peak hours (05:30 – 09:30 and 15:00 – 19:00) and limited to before 06:00 on a weekend.

The abnormal load travelled on the prescribed route from Athlone Industrial area: Turfhall Road, to Jakes Gerwel Drive, Klipfontein Road, Duinefontein Road, Robert Sobukwe Road, 35th Avenue, Jan Van Riebeeck Drive, Giel Basson Drive, Bosmansdam Road, Plattekloof Road, Koeberg Road, Boundary Road, Marine Drive, Duncan Road,before ultimately arriving at the Port of Cape Town.

The yacht was officially launched on Sunday, 28 June 2015, and named Seawave.

As the roads authority for the Western Cape, the Department of Transport and Public Works is tasked with processing and issuing abnormal load permits. Every year thousands of applications are processed to assist entities with the transportation of loads that otherwise could not be transported under normal circumstances.

Abnormal Load Permits Issued 2014/2015 and first two months of 2015/2016

APRIL 2014-MARCH 2015  
ABNORMAL LOADS
MONTH NUMBER
APRIL 633
MAY 773
JUNE 831
JULY 955
AUGUST 921
SEPTEMBER 869
OCTOBER 1031
NOVEMBER 923
DECEMBER 627
JANUARY 641
FEBRUARY 743
MARCH 774
TOTAL: 9721

  APRIL 2015-MAY 2015

ABNORMAL LOADS
MONTH NUMBER
APRIL 569
MAY 620
TOTAL: 1189  
 
     

The management of the yacht manufacturing company, Southern Wind Shipyard, as well as the transportation company, Teemane Crane (Pty) Ltd, extended their gratitude at the levels of professionalism and efficiency exhibited by the departmental officials who processed their application, and ensured that the load could be transported without unnecessary delay. The positive impact of these on the economic well-being of the province and on job creation is significant. My department remains committed to ensuring that applications are processed timeously, and that loads are transported safely and with minimal disruption to other road users, to their various destinations.

Yacht being launched into the water at Cape Town Harbour and named Seawave Yacht being escorted to the Cape town Harbour early Saturday morning Yacht leaving the Southern Wind Shipyard in Athlone en route to the Cape Town Harbour Yacht at the Southern Wind Shipyard before being transported to the Cape Town Harbour

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DA to conduct oversight at Kwa-Mhlanga Hospital

Media Advisory:

Tomorrow, 30 June 2015, DA Mpumalanga Provincial Chairperson and Spokesperson on Health, Jane Sithole MPL, will conduct an oversight visit to KwaMhlanga hospital in Thembisile Hani Municipality.

The DA will conduct this visit to assess progress made in addressing amongst other things, the severe water shortage and poor hygiene following our initial oversight visit earlier this month.

The Provincial Chairperson will be joined by the Political Head for Thembisile Hani Constituency, Henro Kruger MP.

The visit will take place as follows:

Date: Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Time: 13:00

Venue: KwaMhlanga Hospital, Thembisile Hani Municipality

There will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.

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Tragic tavern incident in Khayelithsa

By Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities:

Western Cape Liquor Authority members responded in the early hours of Sunday morning to reports of a serious incident at a tavern in Khayelitsha. The police were on the scene, and have subsequently opened a case. The Liquor Authority closed the establishment temporarily.

Pending the outcome of a report from SAPS’ Designated Liquor Officer, the Liquor Authority will take appropriate action, which can include sanctions such as revoking the licence if warranted.

We have also received reports that underage persons were inside the venue at the time of the incident. We are extremely concerned by this and will be investigating in terms of the liquor law.

I would like to send my condolences to the families of the victims of this tragedy. We will work actively with the SAPS to get to the bottom of this incident and ensure that appropriate action is taken.

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DA wants answers on school psychologists

By Safiyia Stanfley, MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education:

The Democratic Alliance will be submitting written questions to the department of Education to determine how this department will attract registered psychologists.

It was reported earlier that the department has had no registered psychologists in its service since 2013.

We want to know how the department will address this issue.

Approximately one in every five teenagers have made one or more suicide attempt. Without psychological support, teenagers remain at risk.

The Democratic Alliance believes that a good education is key to a great future. Part of a good educational environment is the psychological support and the services that a qualified psychologist can render. A psychologist can, for example, help to identify the early warning signs of depression and intervene with learners who need support. Suicide accounts for 9.5% of teenage deaths in South Africa.

Psychologists can also assist immensely with the health and wellbeing of educators.

Without psychologists, the department of Education cannot administer psychometric tests for learners. This limits the career guidance on offer. We need learners to be aware of all the exciting career opportunities that they can access.

We will be monitoring the situation continuously.

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Hammanskraal water: Residents facing a humanitarian crisis

By:

Janho Engelbrecht MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Environmental Affairs

Hannes Coetzee, DA Tshwane Ward 96 Councillor:

The Rooiwal water treatment plant, north of Tshwane, is again experiencing capacity problems, resulting in raw sewage sludge making its way into the Apies River endangering the lives of thousands of residents in Hammanskraal and surrounding areas.

The plant receives volumes far greater than it can handle, a temporary remedy to capacity problems has seen workers at the plant by-passing the system, pumping sewage sludge on to an open plane as the plant can no longer handle this load. If it were to function as it should, the plant would shut down completely.

Click here for video.

A tender for upgrading the plant is already 17 months late.

This sewage sludge build up has now overflown and is flowing into the Apies River which feeds the Themba Dam that provides Hammanskraal with drinking water. Apart from this, the water is also used for irrigation farmers bordering the river.

Vegetables irrigated with this water pose a future health hazard when consumed.

According to DA Tshwane Ward 96 Councillor Hannes Coetzee, this morning an E. coli count of water in the river was conducted with levels found to be dangerously high.

The community of Hammanskraal, surrounding plots and settlements have been placed in a situation akin to a humanitarian crisis by the City of Tshwane.

Water tankers must be brought in to these areas as a matter of urgency to prevent E.coli infection. The area where the sludge is pumped to should have a lining installed to prevent contamination of ground water and furthermore, a retaining wall must be erected around the open plane immediately to prevent further raw sewage from contaminating the Apies River.

The DA will be opening a case against Tshwane City Manager, Jason Ngobeni, for violating section 151 (i)(j) of the National Water Act, we will also be pursuing this matter with the Blue Scorpions.

The Rooiwal water treatment plant must be upgraded and maintained so as to ensure resident’s lives are not placed in danger in the future.

The DA will continue to monitor the situation and ensure it is handled in a timeous and effective manner.

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State of mortuaries still a concern

By Andrew Louw MPL DA Provincial Leader:

The DA welcomes the closure of the file on the Kuruman Hospital by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) following reports last year that human blood was spilling from the facility’s mortuary. Nonetheless, we still have serious concerns regarding the general conditions of mortuaries in the Northern Cape.

The HRC responded swiftly to our request for an investigation into what eventually transpired to be a blocked drain at the state mortuary in Kuruman. We are satisfied with the HRC’s findings as well as the action that the Northern Cape Department of Health has taken in response to the specific incident that occurred in December last year.

This includes an ongoing intervention that was put in place for Kuruman autopsies to be conducted at a private undertaker’s firm until all the infrastructure challenges have been addressed.

What worries us, however, is that, to date, mortuary upgrades at Kuruman and other hospitals remain incomplete.

This is despite a cash injection into the Kuruman Hospital last financial year, which saw the department spend R1,9 million on plumbing, R680 909 on painting and R2,2 million on flooring.

Minimal interventions also took place at Kimberley mortuary and the department has conceded that a lot still needs to be done to address and contain the non-compliance issues and improve the working environment, as well as service delivery outputs as per demands.

In fact, according to the department’s 4th Quarter Performance Report for 2014/2015, the Health Department itself has indicated that “the current state of mortuaries, especially Kuruman, Kimberley and De Aar facilities, are still a huge concern, as they do not comply with health and safety requirements and also do not provide ideal working environments”.

Furthermore, mortuary facilities across the province are not disaster ready, soliciting urgent attention to plan and fund relevant projects.

The department has indicated that it will bid for additional funding to address budget issues affecting the completion of upgrades to provincial mortuaries.

The DA believes that the time for plotting and drawing up business plans is over and that the department needs to prioritize the mortuary situation right away.

It is unacceptable that there is still no dedicated capital budget to deal with mortuary infrastructure issues. The decline of our mortuaries did not happen overnight. Instead, the rot set in well over 10 years ago, when senior management failed to address the upkeep of the forensic pathology facilities and services. The resultant dangerous state of our mortuaries in turn had a snowball effect on staff capacity, not only causing an exodus of medical staff working in the  state mortuaries, but also hampering the department’s ability to recruit and retain forensic doctors.

The DA calls on MEC Mac Jack to urgently address the mortuary issue before the people of the Northern Cape experience a repeat of the bloody horror of 2014. The health of staff working at these facilities must be protected. At the same time, the deceased should be treated and kept in a dignified environment.

The DA has submitted parliamentary questions to the department to ascertain the degree of non-compliance of our mortuaries, as well as the estimated costs to complete required upgrades.

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Minister Winde tables status report on Red Tape Reduction interventions in Western Cape municipalities

By Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities:

In a bid to slash red tape, the Western Cape Government has partnered with municipalities to introduce a series of initiatives which have reduced approval times for building plans and shifted more applications processes online.

This morning (29 June 2015), Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, together with his Red Tape Reduction Unit, provided a status update on our quest to reduce red tape in municipalities.

The Municipal Red Tape Reduction Project was launched in the 2012/13 financial year.

Minister Winde explained: “Our first step was to conduct business surveys with local companies to identify their biggest red tape concerns. This was followed by the development of action plans to deal with the issues they raised. Workshops were held with municipal officials and local businesses to discuss the joint implementation of the proposed action plans.”

The interventions resulting from this initiative include:

City of Cape Town

Research commissioned by the unit in 2011 identified delays in building plan approval as a key concern for businesses. Coupled with the city’s own initiatives, the electronic building plan system was introduced. Close to half of all building plans received in the city are now being submitted electronically.

Stellenbosch Municipality

The municipality embarked on a drive to streamline applications for business licences and building plans.

As a result, business licence approval was reduced from three weeks to five days.

The waiting time for building plan approval was cut from 30 days to 12 days.

Breede Valley

In response to red-tape concerns from suppliers, the municipality implemented an electronic system for suppliers of municipal goods and services.

To improve processes in development planning, the municipality developed a bulk infrastructure levy policy.

Drakenstein 

The municipality improved its internal systems, reducing building plan approvals from 20 days to 12 days.

Langeberg 

The Red Tape Unit facilitated an agreement between the municipality and the Small Enterprise Development Agency. This agreement will see SEDA visiting the town to provide business support services to residents when needed, a service which had previously not been available.

Cape Agulhas 

The municipality elevated its Client Services Division to the Municipal Manager’s office, which has streamlined queries and complaints from residents. There are also plans to develop a citizen service charter, another recommendation which came from the Municipal Red Tape project.

Overstrand

The municipality committed to improving property development application processes. This included giving access to a database of Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning officials.

Mossel Bay

Businesses stated that SARS visited the town twice a month and that they would have to travel to George for assistance with tax matters in between.

The municipality engaged with SARS to conduct ad hoc visits to the town, if demand is proven. Discussions include the possibility of instituting a local SARS office in the Thusong centre within two years.

Hessequa 

The municipality is working towards implementing systems to reduce red tape in the property development process.

George 

Interventions in George included the establishment of a dedicated red tape desk for businesses.

Knysna

Blockages in the procurement process were highlighted and the municipality committed to investigate the possibility of regular bid specification meetings.

The municipality also implemented an electronic informal trade permit application process. This system provides a trader history and links renewals to trader profiles. Traders are also able to track the status of their applications.

Bitou

The red tape reduction projects in Bitou included the implementation of regular meetings with businesses to discuss matters relating to commercial property rates and procurement opportunities.

The municipality and the Red Tape unit also agreed on a new, improved system for commenting on liquor licence applications.

Saldanha 

The municipality is committed to improving its supply chain process and is investigating using external databases, such as the Western Cape Supplier Database.

Matzikama

The municipality is working towards piloting an improved system for building plan approvals. In addition, officials in Matzikama will host annual meetings with the local business chamber to include business feedback into new systems.

Minister Winde said the interventions were an excellent example of the municipalities’ commitment to reducing red tape to grow the local economy.

In addition, Minister Winde also provided feedback on the Red Tape Unit’s Biz Challenge.

The Biz Challenge is a special programme which seeks to remove blockages in the issuing of licences and permits for events, an important contributor to our economy.

“Many of the comments asked for the development of a ‘how to’ booklet to be placed on the relevant municipality’s website. The City of Cape Town already has this in place. There were also several requests for electronic submissions of applications and a tracking system to monitor the status of an application. Businesses also suggested a dedicated helpline to deal with enquiries.”

Minister Winde said the Red Tape team is reviewing all comments and will design solutions to resolve blockages in the systems.

“My number one priority is to make it easier to do business in our province by reducing red tape. Businesses have capital and are eager to invest. My job, working with national and local spheres, is to get them to stop sitting on their cash by making the Western Cape an investor-friendly environment”.

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DA: Share blacklisted supplier list for safer public purse

By Adriana Randall MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance:

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID), while maintaining an internal record of blacklisted contractors, does not share this information with National Treasury, in turn placing the entire Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) at risk.

DID, responsible for crucial infrastructure projects across the province is often the target of fly-by-night contractors who, aided by poor internal controls and vetting processes, contribute heavily to this departments notoriously bloated expenditure and delayed projects.

In a written reply from DID MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, it was established that the department is taking steps to blacklist defaulting contractors.
While this is a much needed and welcomed step, the MEC has indicated this information – as required by treasury regulations, is not shared with National Treasury.

Ultimately, another GPG department, unaware of the unscrupulous nature of a contractor who has been blacklisted by DID will be caught unaware as this information will not appear on the National Treasury’s blacklist.

This places the limited public purse under immense threat, not only from wasteful expenditure, but it also short changes Gauteng residents of crucial government services. It also excludes legitimate contractors from entering the market.

The DA insists that MEC Mayathula-Khoza provides National Treasury with her department’s record of blacklisted suppliers. I will bring this matter up with Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy to ensure that corruption is rooted out in all GPG departments

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Broken toilets at leading Joburg hospital

By Jack Bloom  MPL DA Gauteng Shadow MEC: Health:

Dirty and broken toilets are causing major distress for patients at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.

Conditions at this leading hospital are declining, as shown by the latest National Health Department survey where it scored only 68% on six core standards, including cleanliness, down from 70% previously.

I am receiving increasing complaints about shocking toilet conditions at the hospital.

Here is one description of the ladies toilets by former nurse Colleen King:

“I went to the toilets at area 457 by the outpatients. One toilet was taped up and clearly out of use. The other was horribly blocked and the stench was apparent in the passage. I then tried the ones next to the hairdresser … The lights were missing. All three toilets were without seats and paper. I went all the way to area 557 where the toilets were also in poor condition seats missing, no paper etc.”

Another visitor to the hospital wrote to me as follows:
“Having been at the hospital all day, I needed to use the public toilets a few times, and quite honestly they are beyond disgusting. One would imagine this would be the first area where hygiene and infection control is implemented. Light bulbs are missing leaving many in total darkness. The toilet seats are cracked – wonderful for collecting germs!  No soap. No toilet paper.”

I have written to hospital CEO Gladys Bogoshe to attend to this appalling situation as soon as possible.

This flagship hospital can surely do better in providing decent toilet facilities.

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Dire state of road jeopardizes patients’ health

By Vicky Knoetze (MPL), Shadow MEC for Roads and Public Works:

To listen to a voice clip in English, please click here.

To listen to a voice clip in Afrikaans, please click here.

The Democratic Alliance calls on the MEC for Roads and Public Works to expedite the upgrade and resurfacing of the road to Isilimela Hospital situated in the Port St Johns Municipality as a matter of urgency.

The premier stated in his state of the province address, on 20 February that:

“With respect to rural roads infrastructure delivery, we are going to spend over R 1.3 billion on construction, maintenance and repairs to a number of our roads, including … the road to Isilimela Hospital…”

The MEC for Finance further stated in the Budget Speech that roads leading to hospitals would be prioritised.

The Portfolio Committee on Health recently carried out oversight visits and Isilimela Hospital was one of the hospitals where oversight was conducted.

Isilimela Hospital serves a catchment area of approximately 100 000 people. It is only accessible after traveling on a gravel road that is in a deplorable state for 17 kilometres. It took the committee members close to an hour to travel to the hospital.

The road further has an adverse effect on emergency medical services (EMS) accessing the hospital, as the ambulance for this area is a normal ambulance and is not equipped with 4 X 4 capability as is needed especially in the rural areas.

We were told that the condition of this road and the time it took to travel to the hospital has had a direct detrimental effect on the condition of patients who travel 17 kilometres in order to receive medical care, especially in the case of pregnant woman, children and babies.

Hospital staff noted that many fatalities and aggravation of serious injuries could have been avoided if this road had not been an obstacle in community members’ pursuit of much needed medical attention.

In a free and fair society, community members’ freedom to access basic healthcare is not compromised by the dire state of roads. The MEC must prioritize this issue.

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