Sexual offences not a true reflection of rape reality

By Safiyia Stanfley, MPL, Democratic Alliance Women’s Network Provincial Chairperson:

The drop in the sexual offences in the province is not significant to the reality of many women who fall victim to rape.

Many women do not report rape because they fear second-hand victimization at the hands of police officials.

 

Some of the rape incidents are not reported because of fear and a lack of faith in the policing and the judicial systems.

Rape victims also fear being disbelieved by members of the police service and fear of knowing the offender and feeling ashamed.

In the Northern Cape a total of 1 587 sexual offences were reported, but many such crimes have gone unreported. These figures do indicate the reality on the ground.

DAWN is greatly concerned because rape statistics are not reported separately by the police, but fall under the sexual offences category, which includes rape and sexual assault (of men, women and children).

The assumption that all sexual offences were rapes is false and misleading, what compounds the matter even further is that the police subliminally assume that all the victims are women.

These statistics do not reflect the reality of rape in the province.

The lack of proper victim support and empowerment units at various police stations in the province is also a cause for great concern.

It is estimated that over 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime and that only 1 in 9 rapes are reported. It is also estimated that only 14% of perpetrators of rape are convicted in South Africa.

Many rape victims will not report the matter to the police because of fear to be judged and to be embarrassed with revealing the details of the ordeal.

Victims get judged that they wanted it because they were drunk or how they dressed.

When a woman wears a short skirt or a revealing top does not always mean that she is sending out a signal that she is available for sex. A woman always has the right to choose if, when and with whom she has sex.

It is a fable that it’s not rape if a woman wears revealing clothing, because then she wants sex, the truth is that both men and women sometimes get drunk – it is not a crime to drink but it is a crime to rape. Sex without consent is always rape, no matter what the circumstances.

DAWN in the Northern Cape believes its time that – 1) rape cases of women be reportedly separately, 2) special training be given to police officers to enable them to come up with a conclusive case that leads to the conviction of an offender and 3) victim support units occupied by trained counselors in private space be made available to all police stations.

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Tolls ruling saves Western Cape economy

By Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities:

I applaud the City of Cape Town for their victory over SANRAL at the Western Cape High Court today.

We have put a stop to the National Government’s proposed toll road scheme that would have had a crippling effect on our economy.

In the Western Cape, our goal is to create an enabling environment for business. The National Government’s toll roads would have served as a deterrent to growth and jobs. Our economy, including new and emerging businesses, has been saved from the additional costs these toll roads would have imposed.

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City and Province to launch expanded School Resource Officer programme

By Office of Minister Debbie Schafer and Office of the Executive Mayor,

Western Cape Government and City of Cape Town:

Tomorrow, 1st October 2015, Western Cape Minister of Education Debbie Schafer; City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia De Lille and City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith will officially launch the School Resource Officer (SRO) Unit together with United States Consul General Teddy Taylor.

This unit comprises 36 law enforcement officers who have been deployed to reduce and prevent school-related violence and crime through building effective partnerships between 18 identified schools. These officers have been deployed to schools in 12 different areas which include Nyanga, Gugulethu, Hanover Park, Bishop Lavis, Manenberg and Delft.

The SRO’s have received extensive training from the United States embassy in the use of fire-arms, pepper spray & radio procedures, as well as by-law training.

All 36 members of the unit will be in attendance at the launch event which will be taking place at Cedar High School, a beneficiary of the SRO Programme.

DETAILS:

Date:           Thursday, 1st October 2015

Time:           11:00 – 11:45

Venue:        Cedar High School, Cnr Spine & Weltevreden Road, Rocklands, Mitchell’s Plain

All media are invited to attend.  There will be opportunities for photographs

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DA reports MEC’s who fail to respond to Parliamentary Questions to the President

By Andrew Louw MPL, DA Provincial Leader:

The DA has reported errant MEC’s, who are consistently failing to reply to parliamentary questions, to President Jacob Zuma.

So far this year, the DA has submitted a total of 150 parliamentary questions to various government departments. To date, however, we have only received 31 replies, meaning that 119 questions remain unanswered. Last year, we submitted 101 questions, of which 79 remain unanswered.

Some MEC’s such as MEC of Agriculture Norman Shushu, MEC of Environment and Nature Conservation Tiny Chotelo, MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison Martha Bartlett, and MEC of Sport, Arts and Culture Lebogang Motlhaping, have not even submitted a single reply this entire year.

Questions are based on very important issues including the Siyenza Group & Xigomve Business Enterprise, Disaster Management Centres, the Northern Cape Theatre, victim empowerment services, state owned farms, property leases, use of consultants, disciplinary cases of SAPS members and so on and so forth.

The DA last year reported the matter of unanswered questions to Northern Cape leader of Government Business, Mxolisi Sokatsha, as well as Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature (NCPL), Kenneth Mmoeimang, with no results.

At the end of August this year, the DA again reported our concerns regarding the failure by MEC’s to answer parliamentary questions to Premier Sylvia Lucas. It has been five weeks now and we have not even received a confirmation of receipt from her office.

This is not surprising, given that the Premier herself has five outstanding questions that are not yet responded to.

The attitude of provincial government leaders’ towards parliamentary questions is highly disturbing. This nonchalance was highlighted in August this year, when Social Development MEC, Mxolisi Sokatsha, told the portfolio committee that he had all the DA’s questions on his desk and that he had instructed officials not to reply to these questions.

The indifference of the Premier and her cabinet towards parliamentary questions is completely unacceptable.

South Africa is a country founded on democratic principles and parliamentary questions are one of the key tools used to hold government accountable. MECs therefore have a constitutional duty, not a choice, to respond to these parliamentary questions.

The DA has prepared a dossier detailing all unanswered questions, which has been sent to the Presidency.

It is clear that this issue requires analysis from a higher power, as internal provincial government processes have proved useless in this regard.

The Northern Cape government owes it to the people of this province to answer all questions, regardless of how awkward, embarrassing or telling the replies may be. We sincerely hope that an intervention by the President will elicit the answers that we are sorely searching for.

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Domestic worker rights need awareness campaign from Govt.

By Boitumelo Babuseng MPL, DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Finances:

The DA will today ask MEC John Block to execute his Department’s responsibility for creating awareness on the rights of domestic workers.

This comes after an online survey highlighting the low payment of domestic workers in the Northern Cape has brought to the fore a debate about domestic worker’s rights in the province.

According to the News24 survey the Western Cape came out tops when it came to paying house helpers over the course of one shift.

Earlier this year, the Commissioner of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), Boaz Seruwe, revealed that no more than 20% of domestic workers are covered by the UIF Fund. This means that the unemployment and maternity benefits of the UIF are not available to approximately 80% of domestic workers in South Africa.

In South Africa, it is estimated that around 1,1 million people are employed as domestic workers in private households. In 2012, the sector was the country’s third largest employer of women, employing approximately 15,5% of all women workers.

In this regard, the DA has written to MEC of Economic Development, John Block, asking that his department embarks on an awareness campaign to inform domestic workers and their employers of their rights, including the sectoral determination on minimum wages and the registration with UIF.

The DA will continue to fight for the legal rights of domestic workers as it appears government continues to do very little for these valuable but vulnerable workers.

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SANRAL loses bid to toll Western Cape highways: Time to scrap Gauteng’s e-tolls

By John Moodey MPL, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader:

The Western Cape High Court this morning ruled against SANRAL’s attempts to toll Western Cape highways, and the DA calls on Premier David Makhura and the ANC to finally scrap e-tolls in Gauteng.

What has happened in the Western Cape, must now happen here in Gauteng.

It is widely known, and accepted by the ANC, that e-tolls have been denying the poor access to jobs and have a detrimental effect on working class people, a fact which has now been recognised by the court.

The new e-toll dispensation is nothing but a red herring to force people to pay for an unjust and unfair system, and will continue to be met with public resistance in the years ahead.

Instead, the entire project could have been financed through a small ring-fenced increase in the fuel levy from 2008, and in the process building up reserves for future upgrades to Gauteng’s highways.

South Africa’s economic health depends on that of Gauteng, and e-tolls is a virus slowly eating away this province’s prospects for economic growth and job creation.

If Gauteng fails, South Africa fails, and e-tolls is one burden too many.

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Masipumelele violence: Deputy Minister Sotyu must set up satellite police station

By Mark Wiley MPP, DA Chief Whip in the WCPP:

It is blatantly obvious that the National Government is under-resourcing the SAPS in the Western Cape, who do not have the capacity to meet the policing needs in the province.

This is at the heart of the violence that has been tormenting the Masipumelele community. The community is plagued by mob-violence following the inability of the already under-resourced Ocean View police station, to adequately police the community.

I reiterate the call I made on the Deputy Minister of Police, Maggie Sotyu, during her recent visit to the area, to set up a dedicated satellite police station for the Masipumelele community.

The City of Cape Town has made land available to the SAPS to set up a satellite police station. The land is adjacent to the Masipumelele community. As such, the SAPS can be in close range to deliver the much needed policing service.

Three people have been killed during the vigilante attacks. The victims of these attacks were accused of rape, drug dealing and of theft. The mob-killings are in response to the killing of death and rape of 14-year-old Amani Pula.

Thus far, 34 people have been arrested due to mob-violence. The SAPS must be congratulated for the manner in which they have responded to the serious state of affairs.

It is unfortunate that innocent civilians must be exposed to violence as a result of this wanton vigilantism. The violence has also meant that many of those living in Masipumelele cannot get to work to feed their families.

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The Western Cape Government is investing into the Kannaland

By Beverly Schäfer MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture:

The Western Cape Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development and Tourism have spent more than R32 million on the Kannaland municipality between 2011 and 2014.

The Department of Agriculture put in place initiatives that are aimed at improving access to opportunity, amounting to R31,589,322.

These initiatives include:

  • Distributing learnership and HET application forms to students at Ladismith Secondary
  • Distributing learnership and HET application and bursary forms at Kentland Municipality
  • Farm worker development where Life skills  and substance abuse awareness and prevention for farm worker took place
  • R50 000 Donation towards farm worker initiatives during the Calitzdorp Port and Wine Festival
  • R72,239 donation to Child and family Welfare in Ladismith for Life skills development

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism also has initiatives in place, which include business retention and expansion training, tools to measure economic potential and develop action plans as well as Local Economic Development Maturity assessments. The Department of Economic Development committed a total of R1,600,690.

These are only some of the initiatives that are run by the Western Cape Government in its dedicated effort to ensure that not only basic services are supplied to the Kannaland region, but providing opportunities to the communities.

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Debt to Eskom rising in Mpumalanga

By James Masango MPL, DA Mpumalanga Spokesperson on CoGTA:

Mpumalanga’s Eskom debt is on the rise, as of March 2015 municipalities in arrears owed the utility an amount of R 1.847 billion, while the total national figure for all municipalities is R4.9 billion. This is according to the Accountant General.

In March 2014, just one year earlier, Mpumalanga municipalities owed Eskom R852 million. It is shocking that in just 12 months Mpumalanga municipalities have added about a Billion rand to their debt accounts.

During the first quarter of 2015, Eskom notified Govan Mbeki, Lekwa, Msukaligwa, Thaba Chweu and eMalahleni that their bulk electricity supply would be cut by 5 June 2015 for their massive outstanding electricity debt, but they narrowly escaped cut-offs by making payment arrangements.

Poor planning and reckless spending of public funds, has become the ANC governance blueprint, which hampers service delivery. This enormous financial debt to Eskom cements the DA view that Mpumalanga’s governance is sorely lacking, as a direct result of the ANC government’s insistence on appointing officials as a reward for political loyalty and not according to their skills.

The Accountant General’s report, indicates that only 5% of Mpumalanga municipalities had an action plan to prepare their 2013/2014 Annual Financial Statements (AFS). The provincial government issued a standard audit action plan template that led to 95% of municipalities having Audit Action Plans for the 2014/2015 financial year.

It is a cause for great concern that the report reveals that 43% of municipalities used consultants to prepare their AFS. The report mentions that: “Over-reliance on the utilisation of consultants continues to be the modus operandi in many municipalities signifying poor internal capacity”.

It was also found that even though 76% of municipalities have Asset management units, only 5% submitted their Asset registers to the AG. It is very important that municipalities have an up to date assets register, as these assets are used by municipalities in the delivery of services.

What is also of concern is that the vacancy rate in municipalities is sitting at 22% as of September 2014. MEC for CoGTA, Refilwe Mtshweni, must ensure that municipalities pay their debt to Eskom.

Corruption and patronage are not only depriving South Africans of service delivery‚ but in fact steering the country’s economy away from prosperity.

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WCED announces Spring School Holiday Plans

By Minister Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Minister of Education:

On Friday, learners and educators across the Western Cape will be celebrating the end of the third term and the start of the October “Spring” holidays.

While our schools are officially closed for the holidays, the work continues for many of our learners, educators and the Western Cape Government.

The Western Cape Education Department has put together a number of programmes to ensure that our learners have safe places to go during the holidays. These programmes aim to keep our youth positively engaged, entertained and safeguarded.

During the holidays there are a number of spring holiday programmes for Grade 12 learners, as well as various workshops and development programmes for our educators.

GRADE 12 SPRING SCHOOLS

Providing curriculum support to our Grade 12 learners is always a priority, particularly in schools where learners are struggling in specific subjects and subject areas.

During the upcoming holidays, the WCED  has organised holiday tutoring programmes at various high schools across the Province called “Spring Schools”.

The “Spring Schools” aim to assist learners in subject areas that have been identified by the districts and schools as areas that need further support ahead of the 2015 National Senior Certificate, particularly in our underperforming schools.

With only 18 days to go, our matriculants need all the support they can get, specifically in subjects that they are struggling in.

One of our main objectives is to ensure that as many learners as possible pass their NSC, therefore this period is critical in ensuring that we identify weak subject areas and target support according to individual needs.

The “Spring Schools” offer learners the opportunity to question expert tutors in subject areas that they do not fully grasp. These tutors are selected by the WCED and are experts in their relevant fields. At other schools, curriculum advisors from the WCED are supporting and assisting individual school programmes.

The WCED will also provide additional resource materials to complement the lessons being presented.

The dates of each school’s programme differ. Some schools have offered programmes on specific days, while others, throughout the holiday period.

We do, however, encourage all our Grade 12 learners to make use of any available time to revise and learn. The WCED has made available matric support resources for candidates on the WCED website –

http://wced.school.za/documents/Matric/matric-n/index.html

Candidates are also encouraged to make use of resources available on the new ePortal – http://wcedeportal.co.za/

 

HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES FOR LEARNERS

As far as possible, it is important that we keep our children safe and occupied during the school holiday period. Our Safe Schools holiday programmes and MOD Centres aim to provide a safe, fun and educational environment for learners during the day.

At our Safe Schools holiday programme, offerings include important topics such as substance abuse, HIV/Aids, sexual abuse and gender violence.

The WCED, together with various organisations and other Western Cape Government departments, will be offering workshops at various schools on conflict and drug abuse, peer pressure, leadership and communications courses, as well as debating and reading sessions.

Fun and physical activities include theory and practical sessions on first aid, kayaking and rock climbing, hiking and swimming, as well as general team building activities.

For more information on the Safe Schools Holiday Programme, please contact the Safe Schools call centre on 0800 45 46 47.

Most of our MOD centres will also remain functional during the school holidays and in instances where centres are grouped together under one school, learners will be informed. The centres will be open between 09:00 and 14:00 from Monday to Fridays, in place of the normal schooling hours.

Activities on offer at the schools will include: the different sport codes, art and culture activities and indigenous games.

Learners are encouraged to attend the Western Cape Government MOD centres during the holiday. Learners will not be required to attend MOD centres at their respective schools. They are more than welcome to attend MOD centres nearest to their homes.

This opportunity will allow learners in our province to keep safe, active and learning during this time.

TEACHER DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING

This holiday, courses will be on offer for educators at the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute to help develop our educators teaching and leadership skills.

The Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute is an in-service Teacher Training Unit of the WCED.

This spring holiday, the WCED IS offering two interventions, namely:

  • School Management Team – follow-up course running from 06 – 09 October 2015
  • Languages Solutions Conference  – running from  6 and 7 October 2015

The programmes take place during the school holiday period so as to not disrupt teaching and learning during the school term.

 

SCHOOL SAFETY

School Safety during the holiday period is always a concern.

In order to protect our schools, as far as possible, from burglary and vandalism over the holiday period, the WCED’s Safe Schools directorate has arranged increased security at identified schools.

Over 400 schools will receive either 12 or 24 hour security or will benefit from cluster patrols this spring holiday. The WCED is also working with various agencies to mobilise community support for schools.

We ask every community member to help their schools by reporting any suspicious behaviour in and around our schools immediately to the police. The best protected schools are those where parents and local communities help to look after schools.

In conclusion, I would like to wish everyone a happy, safe and productive holiday.

For our Grade 12’s, nothing is ever achieved without hard work, and I encourage you to use this time wisely. I have every confidence that you will make yourselves and the Western Cape proud.

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