AN increase in illegal dumping and litter in the suburbs has prompted ward councillors Mmabatho Tembe and Chris Papps to get together to devise a plan to deal with the problem. The duo met on Monday to discuss ways in which they could launch a cleanliness campaign in their respective wards.
“The general lack of cleanliness in my ward has become a health hazard. Just driving around the ward this week, I am shocked by the mess and litter,” said Tembe.
The councillors said foot traffic in their wards had increased and DSW was not servicing the area more than once a week. Tembe said a more aggressive response was needed to tackle the issue of grime in ward 33, as well as other municipal wards.
Papps raised the issue of money and resources being allocated to clean up the inner city CBD, but despite 100 workers having been assigned to clean up the city, it was still a mess.
“Metro Police are moving vagrants out of the CBD and into the outer city, which adds to the increase in litter. Money and resources stay in the CBD but I believe the area from the Umbilo River to Umgeni River should be included as part of the inner city as these are densely populated areas,” he said.
The councillors said they were considering taking a two-pronged approach in their wards. The first was to address the issue of habitual dumpers and to take a ‘name and shame’ approach on social media where possible.
“People need to be educated on when their refuse collection days are, as well as on the impact that dumping household refuse in foot traffic bins has on the area. It’s time to nail people for illegal dumping as this is a serious offence. The fine is a maximum of R5 000. Offenders need to know they will be prosecuted. Residents who are aware of who the illegal dumpers are must report them. The community and DSW need to work together,” said Tembe.
Pappas said the campaign would include general education, to ensure people know when their collection days are, what the different coloured bags are for, where to take excess rubbish such as garden refuse and building rubble and to educate people on what DSW would collect.
“DSW are efficient in a lot of cases, but when residents dump items such as garden refuse and building rubble, this is out of DSW’s mandate and it becomes difficult,” he said.
The second approach of the campaign would be to increase the oversite role with DSW to ensure contracts are in place.
“Contracts are an issue. I have observed some areas which are in such a mess, only to find out that there are currently no contracts in place. There is no communication with ward councillors. These contracts should be planned in advance, as this happens too often,” said Tembe.
Pappas said there was a perception that the northern areas received better service as the areas were generally cleaner, however this was not the case.
“DSW offers the same weekly collection service in all areas, however in some areas residents take pride in their areas and play a role as active citizens. Residents in the Oakley Park area previously got together to pay for a clean up as they are proud of their area,” he said.
The councillors said they would launch the campaign by putting together leaflets to distribute to residents, and would work with DSW on improving service delivery.
Residents can report illegal dumping to 031 311 8804.
Suspended Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh signed a secret deal binding the cash-strapped utility to pay a R400m "signature fee" to an obscure offshore entity for raising a $2bn loan from China to build or refurbish power stations.
Correspondence seen by Business Day suggests that officials in Eskom’s finance and legal divisions suspected the fee might be a disguised kickback.
Eskom was invoiced for a portion of the fee‚ but it has not been disbursed.
In entering into this transaction with Huarong Energy Africa in March 2017‚ Singh ignored legal advice by an independent law firm and other officials in the power utility‚ who said the terms were onerous and "ambiguous at best".
Documents‚ including a "term sheet"‚ signed by Singh‚ a legal opinion from law firm White & Case and correspondence among Eskom officials — all seen by Business Day — suggest proper supply chain and approval processes were not followed and that the transaction could be deemed unlawful‚ raising the spectre of a rerun of the Trillian and McKinsey debacle.
Cape Town water ration to be slashed as drought bites
Mayor Patricia de Lille has warned that if rains do not materialise and drastic consumption reductions are not achieved the normal water supply will be shut off.
Instead residents will have to queue at standpipes for daily water rations of 25 litres (6.6 US gallons).
“We have reached a point of no return… We can no longer ask people to stop wasting water — we must force them,” De Lille said as she announced a raft of tough new measures to fend-off the so-called “Day Zero” standpipe scenario, currently forecast for April 21.
A typical shower uses 15 litres per minute while a standard toilet consumes 15 litres per flush, according to WaterWise, a South African water usage awareness campaign.
One of the measures, which the council will vote on Friday, is a punitive tariff for the city’s thirstiest consumers.
“Despite our urging for months, 60 percent of Capetonians are callously using more than 87 litres per day,” said De Lille, referring to the current daily water consumption limit.
“At this point, we must assume that they will not change their behaviour,” she said.
The city has rolled out a string of projects in recent months to increase its water reserves, including efforts to drill into aquifers and the construction of desalination plants.
But De Lille said those measures “will simply not be enough” and that the chance of reaching “Day Zero” was now “very likely”.
“The crisis has reached a new severity necessitating a series of new emergency measures,” she said.
The city, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has enforced strict waste controls including splash bans at municipal pools and hauling wasteful homeowners before the courts.
Water consumption in Cape Town has nearly halved since early 2016, but has remained stubbornly high at around 620 million litres per day — 120 million litres above the city’s target. “Day Zero” has crept forward by a week since the beginning of the year.
Mayor De Lille said the city would unveil 200 water collection points across the city next week “so that communities can begin preparing for that eventuality”.
Strong summer rains saw much of southern Africa recover from a drought brought on by the El Nino weather phenomenon.
But Mediterranean-like Cape Town receives most of its rain in the southern hemisphere’s winter — and scientists warn there is no guarantee of a good rainy season.
Top 10 tips for a Muslim in an open office environment
In today’s day and age, it is difficult for a Muslim to find a halal job, one that is ethical, clean, but most importantly that offers a halal environment. Most of us, especially those who live in the west, are caught up in open office environments, which are mostly mixed environments with no clear code of interaction between the two sexes. These environments are seldom safe from social dramas, love stories, tensions, and what is now known as “office politics”.
The question is, as a Muslim, one who wants to be productive and representative of their religion, how should you face such a situation? The classical answer is to get out of there! And find a halal job with a halal environment, but one can imagine, the repercussions of such an answer on the wider spectrum of the Muslim community.
This question has been on my mind as I was recently thrust into an office environment, and realised that things are ‘slightly’ different there than in my usual ‘All-Muslim’ work environment. I turned for advice to a couple of very experienced friends of mine, and I’ve put their answer below plus a bit on my take about this whole issue in the following top 10 tips:
1. Make sure the job you’re working at is at least halal (from an ethical and religious point of view), it’s bad enough you having to face work with a non-halal environment, at least make sure the income you earn is halal.
2. Set your religious parameters as soon as you start work: Prayer times, Friday Prayer breaks, not shaking hands with those of the opposite sex, whatever it is, make sure it becomes clear as soon as you join. The way to do it, is not to announce these actions, but simply go about and do them, as if expecting the other person to understand. If they raise any questions, then you explain briefly about your religious customs and duties, otherwise you may go into more detail if they show more interest. If you’ve had a bad start to the job, and now suddenly you want prayer breaks/friday break.. etc, expect some resistance, and people saying “well, he didn’t used to pray before!?” Best thing here is to speak to your manager about your new demands and explain its importance.
3. Smile, talk, and be polite to everyone. Don’t form mini-groups within the office, you don’t want to be associated with ‘them lots’ or ‘those over there’, be neutral, and you’ll avoid 99% of office politics. This is especially true if they are a group of Muslims/Non-Muslims in your office, be pleasant to both sides.
4. Never ever gossip/backbite. It’s forbidden in our religion, and will only lead you to trouble. I remind you here of the dangerous repercussions of backbiting, simple read Chapter 49, Verse 12, where Allah says: “O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it… But fear Allah. For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” Moreover, regarding gossip, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said in a simple hadeeth that a person who leaves what’s none of his/her business is a sign of their good Islam. If other people start gossiping, attempt to change the subject, or simply ignore it, never ever add fuel to the fire!
5. If a person starts regaling you with their sexual exploits, night out stories or chat up thoughts about another member of staff, a half smile is needed and either a polite withdrawal or excuse to leave, just mentally thank Allah he made you who you are and a wish he brings the other person to guidance. Do not stand listening unless you can’t get away, in which case, if you have to stand or sit there, just mentally make a list of the things you need to do so you look disinterested but not rude, you don’t have to join in the laughter at dirty jokes, just the half smile and leave, when possible. If you can change the subject then do so if not withdraw. If someone asks ‘don’t you find it funny?’, just say ‘its not really my humour’ or a big smile and ‘not really’. Don’t forget to smile, that way you are not insulting.
6. If anyone starts teasing you or making jokes about your behaviour, such as reading the Quran, then a chuckle and ‘well its the best book I’ve ever read’ will work wonders. I find a half laugh, half smile, shrug and ‘well that’s how I am’ works wonders. Offer a religious explanation if someone asks straight out and not during teasing.
7. If the office is mixed (which will most probably be the case) and any woman or man starts hitting on you just refuse to be drawn and make certain your behaviour is exemplary. Never allow a woman or man to stand too close to you or walk you into a corner. Invites trouble. If they do, reverse quietly. If you find anyone starts getting too personal, buys you gifts, food or hangs about by your desk, then be polite but slightly preoccupied.
8. If you find yourself getting attracted to a member of staff in the office (it happens, we’re only human! & Shaytaan is working hard) ask Allah for guidance & strength, and start doing voluntary fasts, it’ll push these thoughts away and set your mind straight.
9. Most important people in the building are the support staff, e.g. post room, reception, cleaners. Always give them a polite greeting and a smile and if they empty your bin whilst you are there thank them, but keep the smile muted if they are from the opposite sex.
10. Finally, every morning make sure you pray the 2 rak’ah of Duha (minimum 2, you can pray up to 8 rak’ah if you want) before you go to work, it’ll help put barakah/blessing in whatever you do. Constant remembrance of Allah at all times, and dua dua dua! You’ll be fully equipped inshaAllah to face any situation that comes up at in any office.
The Homeless man sitting at a bus stop outside the Morningside Primary School. MORNINGSIDE resident, Cheryl McGladdery, is appealing for help for a homeless man whom she believes may suffer from epilepsy and who has made a bus shelter outside Morningside Primary School in Trematon Drive, his makeshift home.
The Berea Mail visited the man and found him wearing no pants and sitting in a dirty blanket. The the area around him was strewn with papers, old food and bottles.
According to McGladdery the man just sits all day. She said residents had never seen him walking around albeit sometimes he is on the other side of the bus stop.
“What concerns me is that I think he is epileptic, as we see him quite often hitting his head on the side of the bus stop or on the pavement, which I am sure is causing him injury as he is quite violent when doing this. I see some people drop off food and drinks for him, but he seems to ignore them and does not take it. I have tried on numerous occasions but he won’t take it and if I put it down for him to have at a later stage, he pushes it away with his hand so I have stopped doing so,” she said.
Ward councillor Martin Meyer said the general advice to residents was not to give money to vagrants and beggars directly.
“Best is to rather donate to NGOs like I Care. It is a big concern that there is no government run shelter for people in the city to go to. The municipality has been promising such a facility for a long time but it has not yet got off the ground. It is a complex social problem and a new and fresh approach is needed to deal with this matter,” he said.
McGladdery said the shelter was not a healthy area for children to be standing around waiting for the bus or taxi which stops right outside the homeless man’s home.
“How can we help this man and move him to a place of safety or mental facility where he will get the help he needs? He cannot live like this on the streets, he has been here for over four months now and it is not good for him or anyone else,” she said.
1. Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating
It's better not to brush your teeth immediately after meals and drinks, especially if they contained a lot of acid. Examples are citrus fruits, tomatoes and fizzy drinks. The abrasive action of brushing can cause the acid to attack the tooth enamel and the layer underneath. It is best to wait at least half an hour before brushing.
2. Build muscle to fit into a smaller size
A kilogram of muscle weighs the same as a kilo of fat, but muscle is more compact and takes up less space than fat. This explains why a muscular person who weighs the same as a chubbier one will likely fit into a smaller pair of jeans.
3. Eat more calories to lose weight
Carbohydrates on their own may do nothing but spike your blood sugar, leaving you even hungrier than before. Adding proteins and fats like peanut butter and cheese will increase the calorie count of your meal, but will help you get full more quickly and stay satisfied for longer, which will lead to ingesting fewer calories in the long run.
4. Drink a hot beverage to help you cool off
In India it is the norm to drink hot tea in hot weather. It sounds crazy, but according to a study, a hot drink will cool you off faster than a cold drink on a hot day. When you drink a hot beverage, your body produces more sweat which, when it evaporates, cools you off.
5. Exercise to increase your energy levels
After a long day at work, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do, but getting moving can actually energise you. Through exercise, we recharge tired cells by giving them more oxygen. Physical activity that builds muscle strength also improves the efficiency of the mitochondria that produce the energy in the cells.
6. 'Freeze' cardiac patients to save their life
Cooling a cardiac arrest patient's core temperature to below 32.2 degrees Celsius – a process called “induced hypothermia”, either by injecting them with a cold saline solution or placing ice packs on them increases their chances of complete recovery.
Hypothermia – when your core body temperature drops so low that normal metabolism and bodily functions cease – can lead to death, but can also radically slow down the dying process.
7. Close the lid when you flush the toilet
You should always flush the toilet with the seat down. If you don't, water particles from the toilet will float around your bathroom and finally land on surfaces like your toothbrush.
Experts say flushing creates an invisible cloud, called “toilet plume”, that’s expelled into the air by the force of the flush.
The toilet plume may contain faecal bacteria and other microorganisms like viruses.
Health Department warns about fraud social media account
KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has issued a warning to social media users not to fall prey to a bogus Facebook page which has been fraudulently established in his name, complete with his photographs, while purporting to represent him.
According to a statement issued by the Health Department, it has come to the MEC’s attention that the administrator of the page is involved in fraudulent activities, including reportedly successfully selling a non-running car to an unsuspecting social media user.
“Unlike MEC Dhlomo’s official Facebook page, which is managed and run by the KZN Department of Health’s Corporate Communications Unit, on the online impostor’s page, the MEC’s surname is wrongly spelled as “Dlomo,” reported the statement.
The fake page also lists MEC Dhlomo as an employee of the Western Cape Department of Health, and falsely states that he studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, went to Cebisa Secondary School, and lives in Cape Town.
Although the fake page has been reported to the administrators of Facebook, it is yet to be taken down. The matter is currently under investigation by law enforcement authorities and an independent cyber crime intelligence expert.
“In a rapidly changing media and communications environment, MEC Dhlomo recognises the value of social media as an agent of public empowerment through the dissemination of information, and exchange of ideas. However, MEC Dhlomo will not tolerate the use of his name or photographs for nefarious purposes by any individual,” the statement concluded.
SO you’ve made the decision to adopt a pet – good for you!
Now, it’s just a case of choosing the right pet to suit your lifestyle and circumstances – an important decision all of its own.
All too often we see pets being neglected or given up for adoption because they are inconvenient or do not fit well into the owner’s life.
Taking time to research your options, before making an adoption decision, is one of the most important things to do, and will set you up for a fulfilling relationship with your new pet.
Below is a list of considerations to help you decide on what type of pet to bring into your home:
1. Personal preference and history: To start with, it’s important to be clear on what type of pets interest you and which do not. Often this is influenced by one’s history – the pets they may have grown up with and the relationship that they had with those pets. Also consider your own preferences now and what sort of consequences of the pet you’re willing to live with – would you be happy to have a litter box in your house that needs to be cleaned regularly? Can you live with pet hair on your furniture? Are you sensitive to noise or will a certain level of barking be acceptable to you? Do your allergies allow you to live in harmony with the pet? These are all indicators that will not only lead you to a specific type of pet, but perhaps a certain breed too.
2. Space: What is your living arrangement like, how much space does it allow and is it secure? Based on this you should pick a pet that can happily exist in the space available. If you are renting, be sure that your lease allows for you to keep pets.
3. Time availability: do you have ample time at your disposal to focus on your pet? Regular play is very beneficial for both cats and dogs and training and regular walks a must for most dogs (especially those more active breeds and types). Limited availability may mean a more independent cat or fish is more suitable.
4. Level of activity: are you able to incorporate more strenuous activity and exercise into your routine, which more active breeds of dog, for example, require? Or would a less active breed or cat be more suitable?
5. Budget: pets do not come cheap. Aside from the adoption fee that most shelters charge there is the ongoing expense of health care and veterinary checkups, grooming, routine pest control, food, toys and pet insurance to consider. Feeding a registered pet food that meets your pet’s nutritional requirements is essential for longevity and good health. Find a brand that suits your budget, confirming they’re a member of the PFI to ensure you’re feeding the best that you can afford.
6. Family dynamic: It’s very important that the entire family is on board when deciding to get a pet, as they will no doubt need to help out with raising the pet from time to time. Whether or not you have or plan to have children may also influence the type of pet you decide to adopt. Also consider your future plans and desires to ensure that this is indeed the right time to be getting a pet.
7. Knowledge and understanding: It’s a good idea to research the type of pet and breed that you’re considering. There’s a great deal of information available, which will aid you in understanding your future pet’s unique needs and make it easier to commit to their general life expectancy. The better equipped and prepared you are to meet these needs, the more relaxed and settled your pet is likely to be.
A pet is a lifetime commitment, as in, the pet’s lifetime, and is not a decision that should be taken lightly or made impulsively.