DA welcomes Prof Mbombo as new Western Cape Minister of Health

Anroux Marais MPP

DA Western Cape Spokesperson for Health:

On Monday, 26 January 2015, Prof Nomafrench Mbombo outlined her vision for public healthcare in the Western Cape.

I welcome Prof Mbombo as the new Provincial Minister for Health for the province. With her academic excellence in community healthcare and invaluable professional experience in healthcare provision, I am confident that wellness will continue to improve in the Western Cape.

I am heartened that Minister Mbombo has prioritised the person-centred approach to healthcare. She will also be focussing on creating awareness around healthy lifestyles and behavioural changes and strengthening the role of community workers. In agreement with Minister Mbombo, I support her objective to care for the carers. A cared for carer is more likely to provide high quality services to patients.

I look forward to establishing and maintaining a productive professional relationship with Minister Mbombo in which we collaboratively increase wellness and reduce the burden of disease in the Western Cape.

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Western Cape Government: End of 2014 school year

Minister Debbie Schafer

Western Cape Minister of Education

Note: the following statement includes Minister Schäfer’s highlights over the last six months, what to look forward to in 2015, security measures at schools over the holiday period, as well as holiday programmes for learners.

Today brings to a close the 2014 school year.

As the new Provincial Minister of Education, my first six months in office have been productive and exciting.

Highlights from my first six months in office include:

  • Announcing an unprecedented increase of 676 new teaching posts in the Western Cape. The additional  teaching posts for schools in 2015 is a testimony to how good management and planning can be applied to ensure that we achieve our overarching objective of providing a quality education to all the learners of the Western Cape, and a pleasant teaching environment for our teachers;
  • Celebrating excellence in teaching and honouring some of the outstanding educators who inspire and motivate our children every day at the fifteenth Annual Teaching Awards;
  • Launching the School Admissions Management Information (SAMI) which has and will assist the department, schools and parents in placing learners more effectively;
  • Launching the NGO database;
  • Launching the E catalogue inviting people with educational programmes to register so we can make available educational materials for our teachers and learners; and
  • Announcing that the 2014 NSC award criteria will include some new award categories that are in line with our strategic vision for the next five year period, categories that promote technical and IT skills.

I am looking forward to the many ‘first’ exciting and nerve-wracking experiences in 2015 that a new Minister can expect, such as my first release of matric results, the release of the systemic test results and the NSC Awards at the Premier’s residence in January.

Another important event that is taking place in 2015 is the national School Governing Body (SGB) elections. School Governing Bodies are essential partners in the combined effort in delivering quality education to the children of this province and it is therefore important that the WCED, as well as school communities, prepare well for the upcoming SGB elections, which are expected to take place in March 2015.

Parents, especially those with skills in financial management and law, should now start to consider making themselves available for their respective bodies if they feel they can contribute positively to their school.

In 2015, the WCED is committed to expanding e-learning and e-teaching as soon as possible and I am also looking forward to announcing a number of new exciting initiatives that the Western Cape Government have been working on to make education better, together in the Province.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all learners, educators, school administration staff, officials and their families a very happy, safe and well-deserved holiday.

I would also like to appeal to communities to be aware that the schools in their communities are vulnerable to burglary and vandalism during the holidays.

We remind all schools that have alarm systems to test their systems to ensure that they are in working order before they shut their schools.

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 some of our high risk identified schools.

448 schools will receive either overnight security or 24 hour security.

Schools are safest where local communities play an active role in helping to look after schools.

We also ask every community member to help their schools by participating in neighbourhood watches and reporting any suspicious behaviour in and around our schools immediately to the police.

The WCED Safe Schools has organised a holiday programme for all learners which will be launched on 11th December 2014 across all eight education districts in the Province.

Once again, a number of stakeholders have come on board to assist us with the various educational and fun activities. The programme includes various government departments, the City of Cape Town, Metro Police, SAPS, WECTAC; Help to Care SA, Imvume Yethu Trading CC, Working Ladies, African Skye, Pivotal and Catiza.

Educational Programmes on offer will cover important topics such as substance abuse, HIV/Aids, sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy seminars, workshops on conflict and drug abuse, peer pressure, leadership and communications courses, as well as debating and reading sessions. Fun and physical activities include swimming, indigenous games, dog shows, boat trips, soccer and rugby tournaments.

In 2015, teaching and learning will take place for 197 days – with the first school term beginning on the 21st of January and the last school day on the 9th of December 2015. Learners are expected to be at school for the full 197 days in accordance with the National Learner Attendance Policy, while educators are to be at school for 201 days of the year.

I would like to urge all parents who are travelling over the holiday period to ensure that their children are back in time and present on the first day of the school year.

In preparation for the new school year, we urge parents to note the following:

  • To consider uniform and stationery expenses for the 2015 school year.
  • Parents should buy return tickets in December for trips to areas far away from Cape Town. Learners are required to be at school on the first day of the school year.
  • Parents must plan ahead to pay school fees at schools that charge fees unless they intend applying for fee exemption.

In closing, I would like to wish all our educators, learners and staff a happy and safe holiday. Thank you for your support and dedication.

I look forward to what we can achieve in education 2015. I certainly look forward to my “first day of school” as Minister of Education on 21 January 2015.

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Western Cape Government to honour Sport Legends

Western Cape Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Sport

Tomorrow, 11 December 2014, Cultural Affairs and Sport Minister, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, will be honouring sportspeople in identified sport codes for the role they played in ensuring the promotion, growth, development and transformation of sport in their communities.

Those who will be honoured have become synonymous with sport in their communities, their province and their country. They are indeed our legends.

This year will be the 10th Sport Legends Awards and specific focus will made on the following sport codes: Athletics, Baseball, Boxing, Chess, Cricket, Deep Sea Angling/Ski Boat, Golf, Gymnastics, Judo, Kickboxing, Lawn Bowls, Masters Athletics, Masters swimming, Netball, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Tennis and Wrestling.

Minister Mbombo will acknowledge the contribution made by the Nominees and bestow upon them the title of ‘Sport Legend.’

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DoCS, SAPS leads Nyanga march commemorating official closing of 16 Days of Activism campaign

Minister Dan Plato

Western Cape Government, Ministry of Community Safety

Tomorrow, Wednesday 10 December 2014, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, and the South African Police Service (SAPS) will partner with the community of Nyanga to observe the final day of 16 Days of Activism campaign with a march for No Violence Against Women and Children.

The march through the community will be led by the SAPS “Men for Change”, will be followed by an awareness drive at the Nyanga taxi rank, as well as the official closing ceremony at the Zolani Centre in Nyanga.

Through meaningful partnerships, like the partnership between the SAPS, the Department of Community Safety in the Western Cape and the public, we are uniting behind the theme: “Safety starts in the family”.

We, as a collective, challenge every person in the province to ensure that Safety starts in the family and observe 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children towards 365 days of action to eradicate violence from our communities, Better Together.

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Western Cape traditional leaders to pledge support for Respect Campaign

Dr Nomafrench Mbombo

Western Cape Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Sport

Today, 9 December 2014, Cultural Affairs and Sport Minister, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, will be taking the recently launched Respect Campaign to Western Cape traditional and community leaders.

The Respect Campaign emanated from the Western Cape Government’s ‘Create a Culture of Respect’ theme for 16 Days of Activism.

At the launch, the Minister partnered with our sport stars, actors, comedians and radio personalities to make a plea to the people of the Western Cape to ‘Create a Culture of Respect’ and take a stand against the abuse of our most vulnerable people in society.

The traditional leaders will also be making a similar commitment and signing a pledge to Create a Culture of Respect in their respective communities.

As the 16 days of Activism draws to a close, the Minister, alongside these traditional leaders, will commit to fighting against the abuse of women and children far beyond the 16 days period.

The programme of the day will create an opportunity for the traditional leaders of the Western Cape to make their declarations and co-sign the pledge with the Minister.

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Western Cape Government: final 2014 Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) consultation meeting in Gugulethu

Minister Dan Plato

Western Cape Government, Community Safety

Today, 9 December 2014, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, will conclude the Provincial Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) consultation process when he hosts the final meeting for the Nyanga police cluster in Gugulethu.

During this meeting, the suburbs of Athlone, Gugulethu, Landsdowne, Manenberg, Nyanga, Philippi and Philippi East will have the opportunity to identify, discuss and confirm the specific needs and priorities facing their communities. They will also have an opportunity to engage the Minister of Community Safety, Community Policing Forum (CPF) and Cluster CPF Chairpersons, their respective Neighbourhood Watch structures, and South African Police Services (SAPS) station commanders.

This meeting will be the last public engagement opportunity as part of the Department of Community Safety’s five month consultation process across the province to gather information from communities on their specific policing needs and priorities.

It is important that all communities use the consultation process as an opportunity to have their say on their safety concerns.

The inputs from all 25 meetings held in the province will be complied into the PNP report to be submitted to the National Minister of Police for his consideration when determining where different policing resources are needed.

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Western Cape Government: fight against HIV/AIDS

Anroux Marais MPP

DA Spokesperson for Community Development

Since the detection of the first case in 1978 a lot has been done to disarm the scourge of HIV/ AIDS.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic has been around for the last 34 years and should no longer be a stranger to us.

The danger that we may face is that of familiarity which brings contempt.

1 December, marked world Aids day 2014.

The global theme for the campaign is:

Getting to zero,   zero new HIV infections

zero discrimination

zero AIDS related deaths.

I take this opportunity to commend the Western Cape Department of Health in their efforts to provide a space and assistance in creating wellness in the province.

In terms of working towards the goal of zero AIDS related deaths the department has made major strides in attaining this goal.

HIV prevalence among the reproductive age population, which is 15-49 years, in the Western Cape has increased from 5.3% to 7.8%.

People living with HIV/AIDS are living longer with their disease and this is attributed to the successful progress the Western Cape Department of Health has made with improved access to antiretroviral treatments and therapy.

This is a feat in our fight against HIV/AIDS.

As Leaders who are striving to achieve zero, scientists ranging from medical to social scientist, doing their best to getting to zero, efforts will not yield much if individuals do not see themselves as responsible for at least their own health.

Personal responsibility in this sense is the determination by each one of us to do what is needed to get to zero.

I thank you.

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Setting the record straight: ANC continues to obstruct WC Parliament

Mark Wiley MPP

DA Chief Whip

Earlier today proceedings in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) had to be suspended due to continuous refusal by the African National Congress (ANC) to obey rulings by the Deputy Speaker.

After consultation with the ruling party and members of the Opposition and the Deputy Speaker an agreement was reached to suspend portions of the ruling referring to racism with the agreement that the matter would be referred to the Western Cape Judge President for a Judge to review.

The order for the Honourable Fransman to withdraw, as well as the order for the Honourable Davids to leave the House are also suspended.

This follows the obstructionist antics displayed by the Honourable Fransman and his fellow Members of the Opposition. The ANC in the House have refused to adhere to rulings made by the Honourable Deputy Speaker, Piet Pretorius.

The ANC in the Western Cape is now fuelling rumours that the DA in the WCPP will be calling the South African Police Service (SAPS) to remove the leader of the Opposition in the WCPP, Marius Fransman, from the House.

The Democratic Alliance categorically rejects these allegations. ANC Members who left the House today, did this on their own free will.

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Minister Schäfer “Withholding report cards will not be tolerated”

Minister Debbie Schafer

Western Cape Government, Education

In the coming days, schools will begin to issue to learners their end of year report cards.

I am however aware that in previous years, the WCED has received a number of complaints from parents where the school has refused to release their child’s report cards due to non-payment of school fees.

This is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Schools are not allowed to withhold learner results for any reason whatsoever.

Learners and their parents have every right to obtain their official results at the end of the school year.

While I understand and sympathise with many schools who battle to collect school fees from parents, especially when some parents can clearly afford them, discriminating against a learner for the financial decisions or position of a parent will not be tolerated.

I therefore appeal to all parents to report such a practice to their nearest district office should this be happening in their child’s school. I also urge all principals to release to learners’ reports cards on the date specified.

Should the Department receive any complaints of this nature we will investigate them and will take further action, as required.

I would however, like to appeal to parents to try and settle their outstanding fees, if they are in the position to do so.

They are reminded that schools can take legal action parents who owe fees and who do not qualify for exemption or partial exemption. School fees remain an important source of additional funds in public schools and the SGB have every right to take legal steps to recover those fees.

Parents can however, qualify for exemption if the school fees are more than 10% of the parents’ combined annual salary. 

A successful application for fee exemption ultimately means that the parent is exempted from paying school fees. In 2013, 105 124 learners claimed exemption from school fees. This resulted in the WCED paying out to schools over R44 million in fee compensation.

Therefore, there are processes in place to assist parents that genuinely cannot afford their school fees. We are also cognisant of the fact that some parents financial positions can change overnight.

Regardless of the parent’s financial position – our principals cannot discriminate against our learners.

Parents are requested to contact the District Office to lodge complaints.

DISTRICT OFFICE CONTACT DETAILS

Location Postal Address Telephone Fax
WCED Head Office Private Bag 9114, Cape Town, 8000 021 467 2000 021 467 2996
Metro Central Education District Private Bag X4, Athlone, 7760 021 514 6700 021 514 6953
Metro East Education District Private Bag X23, Kuilsriver, 7579 021 900 7000 021 903 9484
Metro North Education District Private Bag X45, Parow, 7500 021 938 3000 021 938 3180
Metro South Education District Private Bag X2, Mitchell’s Plain, 7785 021 370 2000 021 372 1856
Cape Winelands Education District Private Bag X3102, Worcester, 6849 023 347 6000 023 342 4138
Eden & Central Karoo Education District Private Bag X6510, George, 6530 044 803 8300 044 873 2253
Overberg Education District PO Box 588, Swellendam, 6740 028 214 7300 028 214 7400
West Coast Education District Private Bag X3026, Paarl, 7620 021 860 1200 021 860 1231
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Police Ombudsman Regulations gazetted for public comment

Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety

The draft regulations pertaining to the work of the Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman was published in the provincial gazette for comments (Provincial Gazette 7337) on 2 December 2014.

The Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman is a South African first, made possible through the Western Cape Community Safety Act, which is aimed at improved policing service delivery. The Provincial Police Ombudsman is legally mandated to investigate complaints from the public about police inefficiency and/or the breakdown in relationship between the police and the community.

The Provincial Police Ombudsman will provide members of the public with an impartial and independent opportunity to lodge complaints for investigation and it is necessary that the regulations uphold both the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and of the Western Cape Community Safety Act.

The regulations pertain to the functioning of the Police Ombudsman’s office are open for public comment until 31 January 2015 and stipulate, among others:

  • How and where complaints can be submitted;
  • How complaints received must be processed by the Ombudsman;
  • How the Ombudsman must notify both the complainant and any other organs of state involved of the investigation;
  • How investigations must be conducted and recorded; and
  • The method of resolving complaints.

Furthermore, the regulations compel the Police Ombudsman to monitor the implementation of any recommendations made, in terms of Section 17(9) of the Western Cape Community Safety Act.

Through constructive inputs on the published regulations, the Department of Community Safety can ensure that this vital service, available to the public, is supported with the proper procedures and measures to allow the office of the Provincial Police Ombudsman to effectively do its job.

Any submissions on the regulations can be sent for the attention of Adv JC Gerber by:

  • Posting it to:
    • The Head of the Department of Community Safety,

PO Box 5346

Cape Town

8000

  • Delivering it to:
    • Room 2.18

2nde Floor

35 Wale Street

Cape Town

8000

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