Category Archives: Sports

Hillcrest online protest against Enviroserv

After members of the Upper highway community launched a petition on change.org they took to various social media platforms to gain public support. They started a Facebook page titled: “Upper Highway- what’s that smell?” as well as a website, http://www.upperhighwayair.com.

It is on these to mediums where residents share their complaints and grievances, here are a few.

Resident Jenny Gevers posted on 12 September 2017 saying: “Well the winter reprieve from Enviroserv’s stench is definitely over. We’ve reported 5 times in the last 4 days – multiple times on one day. With the spring and summer wind patterns we’re once again subjected to this vile gas! Keep reporting everyone or this sinkhole will just reopen as is and we’ll have to start from scratch again!!”

On the 28th May Robynne Paul Lott posted: “I have reported four times today in four different places. This smell is causing a lot of stress, anxiety, worry and ill-health for an obvious small number of people by the comments on this FB page since the last report came out. This truly concerns me. Where is everyone, has everyone given up the fight, going to sit down with complacency and accept that we are systematically being poisoned by greedy power-seeking idiots. We need money and reporting more than ever now. The NPO can’t do it all on their own. What about us taking and making a stand with the DEA for them to exercise authority over EnviroServ. Should be a state of emergency, if that can be done with something like this.”

Leslie Conlon posted on the 10th of September: “Just for the record, at 09:57pm last night I reported one of the worst stench invasions I have experienced in a long time. The air was so thick I could almost see it. This is not just the cool air settling after a hot day of gases rising or whatever the geological/climate-ological explanation might be, this is the hazardous dump pumping. Absolutely no improvement from whatever remedial action ES may have taken, and after last night I can honestly say this is getting worse.”

Other active protesters have alleged that they have been receiving threats form unknown sources.

Patrick Davison posted on the 10th of September: “Last week I received an SMS from an unknown person. It was the type of message that I thought I would never receive. Simply put it made false accusations about my personal and professional life, it also contained a blatant threat to my safety. Among other accusations it accused me of being an Envirovenger and that they were infringing the privacy of certain individuals. I can state that I am not part of any Envirovenger group, however I do have very strong opinions on the EnviroServ issue. Clearly this entire issue has taken a dramatic turn with the introduction of a third force and the playing fields have shifted. You can deal with a threat of this nature in two ways, either choose to go low profile or alternatively refuse to be intimidated. I have decided as a parent to always protect my children and I honestly feel that EnviroServ are attacking all our kids on a daily basis and as such it is my duty to protect them. This matter has been reported to the authorities and legal counsel. I ask that we remain unified in this fight and refuse to be threatened or bullied. This was particularly upsetting for me and my family but there is a greater battle to win, one that effects each and every one of us, so now is the time to rise as one regardless of gender, age or race and stand firm.”

On top of escalating legal costs and dwindling revenue, Enviroserv is not the only business suffering from the stink. In Hillcrest, the plushy suburb, businesses like restaurants have complained of the smell and its creation of an uncomfortable ambience for their customers.
On a relatively smaller scale, a different kind of business effect has emerged from Enviroserv’s dodgy practices; a woman from KwaNdengezi, Nomathemba Ngcobo, said that children sell infested fish they retrieve from a dam near the landfill site.
In a documentary about Enviroserv, aired by 50/50, two local fishermen were recorded cleaning discarded meat they had found from the enviroserv landfill. The men admitted to doing this on a regular basis and sometimes they use it to feed their families or sell it off to the locals.
“I know I’m putting myself at risk by going into the site but I’m desperate. I’m planning to cook this meat and sell it in KwaNdengezi. In this way I can support my three children,” one of the man said.
In September 2016, eNCA televised a community meeting between residents from the affected areas, the eThekwini Municipality and the stakeholders from enviroserv. One fisherman said that they sell fish and stews in their communities but they are concerned that they may be selling poisonous products to their customers.
“I spearfish (in the polluted river). We use that money to make some pocket money for ourselves. We selling these things, we eat these things. How do we know were not selling poison to our own people.”

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Mkhize The Change Agent For Umlazi

“If you build a house, you do build it for yourself. If you build a school, you build it for your community.”

Some might say that Muzokhanyanyo Reginald Mkhize was inspired by those words when he built his now iconic Las Vegas Primary School, which opened it’s doors in 1993. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, his story is much more than a dream made out of a mantra.

“I had never heard of that (qoute) when the idea of starting a creche first hit me, it was around 1991,” said Mkhize.

But before there was Las Vegas, there was a dream.

As a youngstar, Mkhize left his home in Ulundi, Northern KwaZulu Natal, to Umlazi in pursuit of his dream of being a mechanical engineer. He finished grade 12 at age 27 and did some engineering courses, which he completed earlier than expected. He achieved his dream of being an engineer when he joined Engen but it was short lived.

Two years into his arrival at Engen, he caught fire at work and was burnt. When he realised he couldn’t work anymore he knew he needed another way to survive.

“That’s how the idea of starting a pre-school came about. But to simply build a pre-school would be a short term solution. I needed something different so I decided to start the first school of it’s kind in Umlazi, that had English as the first language. I did it to provide for my family,” he concluded.

Las Vegas has not only changed his family’s life however, the whole Umlazi J section community is benefiting.

“Mr Mkhize has brought jobs to the community. School kids wash Las Vegas cars for pocket money and when he is building or needs artisan skills he employs those from the community,” said Gloria Mthembu, his neighbour.

Nkosikhona Cele, a driver at Las Vegas, says he owes a lot to Mr Mkhize.

“I was just a drop out when he took me. He helped me get a licence then I was hired as his driver. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for him,” said Cele.

Simphiwe Shozi, a community member whose son is schooling at Las Vegas, praises his innovation and influence.

“He took the model c education to the black township way before anyone could even think of anything like it. Growing up we didn’t have to look further for role models, we all wanted to be like Mr Mkhize,” he said.

Durban youth tournament cancelled due to withdrawal of government funding

The KZN Academy and the South African Football Association held a media briefing on Friday, on which it was revealed that this year’s edition of the Durban under 19 Football tournament has been cancelled after the KwaZulu Natal government pulled out it’s funding at the last minute.

Carlos Catalino, KZN academy CEO and chief organiser, said the tournament was cancelled because the department of Sport said the tournament will only be sponsored if it adds six academies from KZN teams who play in the PSL and the National First Division.

“The department of sports wanted us to add six academies of KZN teams playing in the top two tiers but arrangements couldn’t be completed since the promised sponsorship money was reduced from last year. We asked for more but they couldn’t grant us.

We held meetings that included SAFA president Dr. Danny Jordaan, MEC Sihle Zikalala and we tried to talk with the Minister of Sports. But after an agreement with Dr. Jordaan, we couldn’t reach the MEC and those in charge said their hands were tied.”

Siyabonga Ntshingila from the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation, said that it’s the department’s mandate to protect the interests of KZN teams.

“As KZN department of sports we have a duty to the development of football in KZN, not to sponsor overseas teams that are owned by multi-million rand owners. We’ve been happy to sponsor the Durban youth cup since it’s inception, but we thought it was about time KZN teams gets a slice of the pie.”

KZN academy captain, Philani Khumalo, also expressed the team’s disappointment at the cancellation of the tournament. He said the Durban U19 international tournament is exactly what the country’s football development needs and the SAFA team was ready for it.

“Our teams were in preparation for the tournament. This is the only way that we can really step up to the plate internationally and start doing better in international competitions is by playing international tournaments and pitting ourselves against the best youngsters in the world.”

Ayanda Nyuswa, sports analyst for Radio DUT, said that it happened during apartheid that the government dictated who to play with or against in order to grant you sponsorship.

“Somebody is going to miss out here simply because of the pulling of funds from this tournament. It is a huge disappointment. I see this going back to the past, are we going back to the apartheid days when we have government interfering in sport, where they will tell you who to play before you get funding? For me this seems to be the case. It is just so unfortunate because this is a SAFA project for the benefit of our country, for the poor footballers that come from rural areas.”

In four years, the KZN academy has produced more players who now play professionally in the PSL, Portugal, Germany and both senior and junior national teams.

Palm Bay tenants wants a working lift before and of August

The residents of Palm Bay have given the the flat owners until the end of August to get the lift of the flat up and running again.

The residents were in a meeting with the owners of the flat on Friday, a meeting they had been asking for since June. The issue on the agenda was the lift that has not been working for eight months.

The meeting had to start later than planned because one of the owners, Sipho Sithole, was running late while co-owner, Ian Dlamini, had to cancel because of an emergency at home. By the time he came the crowd had already started voicing their dissatisfaction to the supervisor.

Sithole apologised and then got straight to the agenda of the day, explaining why the lifts were taking longer to fix and assured the residents that they would be working in less than three months

“We hired a company who made us a quotation and gave us a timeframe of the whole project. They said the lift would be ready to work by February but they came back in December saying they can’t meet their own deadline. That’s when we decided to just replace all the cables with new ones rather than having to fix it every now and again. We’re looking to have the lifts up and running by October.”

The residents made it clear that they couldn’t wait that long.

Mr. Ndlovu said while he understands why the owners did it, he felt disrespected by the fact that owners made this decisions without consulting them.

“In as much as what you did makes sense, I still don’t understand how you could make such decisions with speaking to us, who are affected by this lift everyday, first. Meanwhile we’re expected to pay the full rent while getting half the services.”

Miss Mshengu, from the 11th floor, said she was ready to live Palm Bay if this continued.

“This has been going on since last year yet we still pay the same rent, only stayed here because I’d already settled but I can’t take another three months of this.”

After a lot of heated arguing, the residents said all efforts should go towards fixing one lift before the end of August otherwise they’re leaving month end, and they were not willing to hear anything else.

Drought meeting spills over

What was supposed to be a community meeting about water restrictions was overshadowed by a high tempered scuffle.

The eThekwini Water and Sanitation department organised a community meeting for Pinetown residents to adress issues of droughts, water leaks and restrictions at the Pinetown Civic Centre.

Nhlanhla Mpondi of Cowies Hill raised an issue with his R10 000 water bill and got into a heated exchange with his councillor Melanie Brauteseth.

“The meter burst, I called the municipality to come fix it and they gave me a reference number. 3 months down the line is get a R10 000 bill,” said Mpondi.

Councillor Brauteseth promised to look into the matter. At the time of publishing, Mpondi said his bill was still not settled.

It has been over 8 months with this bill hanging over his head and Mpondi said he refuses to pay for municipal incompetence.

Other issues of concern were the regular occurrences of water leaks.

Nolwazi Biyela, a representative from the Water and Sanitation department said the municipality has upped efforts to curb leaks.

She said the municipality has a database of hotspots areas that are most affected by burst pipes and leaking taps.

In addition, Biyela said the department had underwent an initiative to train 12 000 unemployed youths as plumbing artisans.

The department has created a WhatsApp helpline where residents could report burst pipes and similar matters. Biyela says someone should arrive atleast 30 minutes after reporting of incident.

Cindy Bradley, a nursing sister, raised concern with the prevalence of leaking taps from communities on the outskirts of Pinetown who don’t have money or knowledge on how to fix the problem.

Biyela said the Human Settlements United takes care ofproper RDP houses and private homes with a property value of under R250 000.

Biyela also confirmed that the city of Durban is currently experiencing drought and this has lead to the shutting of water at certain intervals.

“Currently we are not shutting, we have reduced (water) pressure. Umngeni has imposed restrictions,” she said.

“We came up with a plan of reducing instead of shutting completely.”

The number of the WhatsApp helpline is 0731483477.

Stuck in oblivion

The recent postponement of this year’s Durban International U19 Tournament raised a few questions about the seriousness with which we take football development. Strangely, however, rather than thinking about development in South Africa I found myself taking a global outlook and asking questions that I could not answer. Here are my questions:

The constant criticism of Chelsea and it’s youth team is that they produce the best teams but not necessarily the best individual players. How do you find a balance between producing the best individual players and the best functional teams at youth level? Do you place more emphasis on one over the other? Is it possible to promote the individual characteristics of youngsters without making them think and look like they are better, while still maintaining harmony between the kids? Is it advisable to promote individualism?

The game moving to an era that favours one forward supported by other attackers who are expected to also be the first line of defence, is that an example of the game requiring youth teams to place more emphasis on team ethics? If yes, how does that help because at the end of the day it’s an individual player who will be promoted based on how good he/she is, not the whole team who function as a unit?

Piennar will take Wits to the next level, on and off the field

Bidvest Wits has just announced the signing of Steven Pienaar on a free transfer to confirm the end of his illustrious overseas career. While we all agree that this is a great signing by Hunt’s side, I’m not sure everyone fully comprehends the magnitude of this signing.

Signing Pienaar is a just as strategic a move as when Wits signed Klate, Pelembe and the likes. Those signings ended up being just as important for their intangible impact as they were for their were impact on the field that can actually be quatified. The addition of experienced heads meant more leaders for Wits and that is one aspect that pushed Wits to the finish line ahead of it’s competition this time. On the field, Pelembe proved especially valuable in the absence of Mahlambi in the first half of the season while Klate was consistent all season long. But as important as they proved on the pitch they were just as important off it; if not more.

The signing of Pienaar will add to that. His talent on the ball can not be doubted -he’s shined alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder & Gareth Bale, among others- it is his guidance of the plethora of talented youngsters at Bidvest stadium that will really take the club to the next level. Pienaar’s role at Wits will be as much about leading the youngsters to the next level in the field as it is off it.

The good news is that is what he was born to do. He’s always played for teams who are famous for their belief in youngsters; Ajax, Totenham, Borussia Dortmund and Everton. Throughout his career he’s played and won titles with exciting youngsters and being at Wits feels like it was Destiny all along.