Category Archives: News

Enviroserv leachate has the community in distress

For years, a foul stench has loomed over the rural community of Shongweni, which neighbours the landfill site, Enviroserv.

After repeated attempts attempts by Enviroserv denying being the primary cause of the smell, countless protests and petitions there seems to be no end in sight for Shongweni residents.

Security guard at the Edamini Primary School, Thulebona Ntuli (59) who lives in Ngqopheni, an area situated very close to the site, has resigned himself to the smell.

“Everyday I smell it, we (the people residing in Ngqopheni) have got used to it because it is very strong on our side,” he said.

“I heard it was going to go away but it has not. It does not necessarily affect me, it is just something that is there. I can’t do anything about it.”

Earlier this year, the community staged a march to Enviroserv and multiple people confirmed that the company promised the smell will go away.

Instead the foul odour has fluctuated, residents say they can smell it at nights and when it’s very hot. Also, on the day after a strong rainfall, the odour is very strong.

Yet not all residents think the smell is as severe as it made out to be. Thabile Maphumulo, who manages a Spaza shop near the primary school, says there is no smell and that some people are overreacting.

“There is no smell, if they say they can smell it then they are lying. Personally I haven’t smelt anything and it does not affect me or my business,” she said.

Maphumulo, whose Spaza shop sells amongst other things, fried chips and vetkoeks, says the landfill site has no direct affect to her business.

Maphumulo does acknowledge that there is a smell when driving past the site but that is normal she argues.

Shongweni residents who commute daily to work whether in the factory town of Pinetown or the neighbouring suburb of Hillcrest, have to endure the smell to and from work.

(Having taken a taxi to Shongweni, past Enviroserv, we can confirm there is a strong smell when going past the site)

Last year the Department of Environmental Affairs ordered Enviroserv to discharge its leachate (percolated liquid waste) to an off-site to alleviate the smell off Shongweni, since then Enviroserv has been transporting its leachate by truck to a waste site in Johannesburg.

In court papers, obtained by Noseweek, Enviroserv filed an interdict with the Gauteng High Court to reverse the DEA’s decision and instead allow Enviroserv to tanker (transport by ship) its leachate to the Southern Waste Water Treatment Works, citing an “environmental disaster” if not allowed to do so.

The transporting of waste to Johannesburg has hurt Enviroserv’s bottom line and production capability.

Despite their revenue taking a hit, Enviroserv has committed to giving back to the community of Shongweni through their Corporate Social Initiatives.

According to the site’s website, during the 2015 – 2016 financial year, the company implemented leanerships for fifty-five unemployed people and in 2017 enrolled eighty unemployed people to partake in a Business Admin Level 2 learnership.

All these people were from the communities they operate in nationally, including Shongweni.

This was corroborated by Nonhle Ntuli (29), an Adult Basic Education Training student, attending at the Edamini Primary School.

“There is no smell, Enviroserv helps out, they help us a lot, there are learnerships and (scholarships) here and in the other school,” she said.

Ntuli sang Enviroserv’s praises, further adding, “They also provide work. The learnerships have been going on for around two months now.”
Although the timeline clashes with the one on Enviroserv’s timeline, there is credence to the company’s CSI.

Ntuli did acknowledge there used to be a foul odour but says she does not smell it anymore bar when it’s hot or the day after heavy downpour.
Principal of the Edamini Primary School, Alfred Ntinga said there had been no reported incident from his students regarding any sicknesses that would result from the stench.

“Community members living around here are affected most by the smell at night. I do not live around here. An expert would better identify with what chemicals are most harmful,” he said.

While in Hillcrest, there has been many reported incidents of children getting sick due to the harmful gas emanating from the site.


Tweeps divides on #KaraboMokoena alleged Killer

The brutal murder of Karabo Mokoena has raised debates on social media with others symphasing with her and others her boyfriend’s

Karabo Mokoena went missing on April 27 and was found dead and burnt in a veld two days later. Her boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe was arrested, having confessed to killing and burning her body before dumping it in a veld in Lyndhurst.

It has since been revealed that Sandile had been abusing her for the most part of their nine-months relationship. Further developments has surfaced that she even tried to open a case against him but Sandile countered that by opening one against her too.

Mantsoe (27) is a Foreign exchange (forex) trader who lived in the rich suburbs of Sandton while Karabo was just a 22 year-old part-time student.

Social media has had reacted on the matter with users visibly devided on their views of who to blame.

One tweeter user by the username of @Cashisblack sympathises with Karabo and hopes that Sandile get the maximum punishment for his act.

“#KaraboMokoena I hope this Sandile ms**u gets life and get raped in jail on a daily basis,” he said.

Another user known simply as Antoinette is also of the view that Sandile Mantsoe deserves to be in jail.

“#SandileMantsoe I pray and hope that we won’t hear that ‘there is not enough evidence’ of all this. Can justice be served!! #KaraboMokoena,” she said

However one tweeter user took the unpopular route of playing the devil’s advocate by coming to the defence of Sandile. Cotty Hlatshwayo said Mantsoe should be given a chance.

“#SandileMantsoe can the brother be given bail, it’s his right. He’s a first time offender and not a flight risk. #giveablackchildachance”

Lack of Funding has Young Mens Dream Hanging by A thread

At a time when the government is talking radical economic transformation, a lack of funding has one of the most interesting black owned project on the brink of missing out on it’s big break. The Inhlonipho Business Enterprise ticks all the boxes to give the government one of the first success stories of the much talked about slogan.

“We are a 100% black, youth owned business that is ready to knock on the doors that many thought we’re closed for black youth,” said Cebo Msomi, Inhlonipho co-founder.

We are an egg-supplying business that was started, less than a year ago, by two unemployed boys who had grade 12 as their highest qualifications. Today we have 25 chicken giving us between 21 and 24 eggs per day.”

Though the business is still at it’s infancy stages, it already has the chance to supply eggs to one of the biggest restaurants in the country, provided they get the neccessary funding.

“Early this year we took a risk that has the potential to change our lives forever when approached Wimpy and asked to supply them with eggs. The manager agreed provided we could provide them with 1000 eggs per day, which is about 40 times more than we are producing right now,” explained Lungelo, another co-founder.

Since then we have been trying to raise funds to add at least 1500 layers but that’s proving too difficult in practice. We thought we would sell the eggs we have inorder to raise the money but the money from the eggs can only cover the costs of their feed at best.”

Inhlonipho Business Enterprise was started by Cebo Msomi and Lungelo Mbelu in 2016, after numerous attempts to get into University without luck. The issue of funding has been a major challenge for them since day one but they’ve managed to deal with them well up to this point. Inhlonipho was always meant to be an eggs-supplying business but since they didn’t have the funds to buy the egg-producing chicken, they found alternative ways to raise capital.

“We bought 50 hens that we raised to be broilers (meat-producing chicken) and then sold them when they had grown. We used that money to buy the 25 layers (eggs-producing chicken breed) that we have today and that was the start Inhlonipho,” explained Lungelo.

Though it is still in it’s infancy stages, Inhlonipho has proved one of the most daring projects around. They are taking risks and “knocking on closed doors” as Cebo puts it.

“We are not scared to take risks, getting into the agricultural industry at a time when the local market is at it’s lowest state ever and spending all our savings on a small-scale project was always going to be risky. Doing it as black kids with neither a mentor nor an academic background of note sounded suicidal at first but we’re trying our best to rise above those challenges too.”

The National Youth Development Agency said only the manager is authorised to talk to people other than the actual applicants but efforts to reach him proved fruitless.

Voting Assistants Angry With IEC Over Unpaid Wages

People who worked as voting assistants during the local government elections and the subsequent counting process are expressing their disappointment with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) over unpaid wages.

They are saying they have not received their money from the IEC and those who have got some, it’s usually for one day only.

Ndumiso Magubane, who worked in Umlazi’s ward 78, says he’s yet to receive his money which should have come two weeks ago.

“I worked on the actual voting day (3 August). They said we would be paid three weeks from the August 3 but over a month later I’m still waiting, and I’m not the only one. They (the IEC) have not made any contact to update me whatsoever,” he explained.

Olona Fihla, who worked in Chartsworth’s ward 62, said he did get some money in August and was told the rest would be paid by 3 September.

“I worked for three days and got paid R266.00 on 27 August. I called, sent facebook inboxes and emails (to the IEC) and was told that money was for one day only, the rest would be paid by the third of September. It’s the 7th and there’s no money paid still,” he explained.

Malusi Msomi, the Training Officer of IEC in Durban, said they did not put any date on when the money would be paid. The reason people are still waiting for their money is because of the verification process.

“When you are using the public funds you have to verify everything, and auditors will come to see to it that we used the funds correctly. We verify person by person where we see some irregularities in the forms submitted,” he said.

Msomi then explained some of the challenges they are faced with, pointing out the number of forms they have to deal with as one example.

“Now we had about 23 000 workers in Durban alone, from more than 100 voting stations. One example the payments take this long to be processed is that we have attendence registers where the presiding officers did not sign to verify that people were indeed present on those dates.

“We have to give those registers back to the area managers to sign or if they are not sure that about the attendance, they go back to the presiding officers to sign,” he explained.

Msomi concluded by urging people to voice their grievances through the appropriate structures.

“People should used the same structures used to employ them to voice their complaints. The must report to their presiding officers or area managers, who would then report to the electoral project cordinators and then to training officer,” added Msomi.

If it’s beyond their control then the training officers will take the matter it to the national structures.

The verification process occurs throughout the week and then the weekends are for payments. This will continue until all people are paid

Mashamaite Joins SuperSport United

SuperSport United unveiled the signing of former Kaizer Chiefs captain Tefu Mashamaite from Swedish side BK Hacken on Tuesday evening.

Mashamaite signed a two year contract, with an option to add another year, the club announced on Tuesday.

Mashamaite is the fourth player who played under Stuart Baxter at Kaizer Chiefs two seasons ago to join him at United in this off season, after Keegan Ritchie, Morgan Gould and Reneilwe Letsholonyane, in addition to Kingston Nkhatha.

Baxter said the one benefit of working with former players is that they know what he expects from them.

He further admitted that they are changing their playing system to accommodate the new players in the team.

We’re playing a little bit differently because we want to get the best out of the new players we got,” said Baxter.

Mashamaite admitted that Baxter presence, along with the team’s history, played a role in his decision to join United.

“It was influenced by the relationship I have with the coach. It’s a new era. SuperSport have got the history of winning the league,” he said.

Mashamaite then summed up his experience in Sweden, saying he had a great time, as he won the Swedish cup, though it was short.

Supersport United CEO Stan Matthews said that Mashamaite has been Baxter’s target since his arrival in the Pretoria side.

“Stuart has had an ongoing relationship with Tefu. Originally when Stuart joined us, Tefu’s name was the first name he gave us,” admitted Matthews.

He than confirmed the fact that they did not get him for free though he did not disclose the amount they paid for him.

“We did pay something for Tefu Mashamaite but i won’t disclose the amount (we paid),” concluded Matthews.

Mashamaite is the second South African defender to return to the PSL in as many weeks, after Anele Ngcongca signed for Mamelodi Sundowns from Club Genk of Belgium last week. Mashamaite will wear jersey number two for Supersport.


EFFSC AGRIEVED Over Controversial DUT SRC Elections

The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) has accused the South African Students Congress (SASCO) of colluding with the Independent Electoral Committee to rig the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Student Representative Council (SRC) election counting process, that took place on the 19th of August.

The EFFSC released a statement through their official Facebook account calling into question “the integrity” of the IEC and the accuracy of the SRC results.

Philani “Gazuzu” Ndluli, a member of the EFFSC leadership and who was also an official observer-candidate during the counting process, blames the change in the counting systems as the main reason for the loss of their eight members who contested the elections.

“We debated for atleast three hours before the counting commenced, for the method to be used. We knew the method they used last year was not transparent,” he said

“We proposed a new method which we thought would be transparent and no one could be able to rob or rig the elections. It was put into a vote and indeed we won that decision.”

The EFFSC proposed a method that included an IEC official, flanked by four observers, loudly announcing the elected candidate/s in the ballot paper while the observers and other officials kept score.

The second method was the original format; rows of two desks and two chairs, one behind the other. An official and observer sat together, while the ballot paper was passed down from each row for marking.

Zithulele Ndlela, an observer-candidate, who pledges his allegiance to SASCO said that if the EFFSC has concrete proof of election rigging then they should follow due process.

“I can’t talk about what EFF has or doesn’t have, I don’t know. They have to present it, if they have a case.
From the beginning, we (SASCO) made it clear that we want everything to be transparent,” he said.

Speaking exclusively in his capacity as Chief Electoral Officer, Malusi Nxumalo made it clear student organizations did not contest SRC elections but it is the individuals who do.

“(The elections) were contested by individuals, so if you hear people saying that we are being victimized as a group, those people are lacking understanding of the process,” he said.

Nxumalo said the proposed method was only adopted for “peace sake” and after only six of 21 boxes were counted after 18hours it was only logical to revert to the original method of counting, which was quicker.

On whether the elections were free and fair, Nxumalo said he can’t talk for everyone but what he can confirm is that “there was an expression of freedom and fairness.”

The top eight candidates in the SRC elections results, led by Zama Mncube, are all affiliated to SASCO.

The EFFSC said it will be meeting with interim DUT vice chancellor Dr John Volmink to address their issues and SASCO or any other student body is welcome. They said they have a range of issues, over and above the change in the counting system, that they want to express to the highest authority.

Only after this meeting will they consider their options but they did not rule out going to court, it needs be.