Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

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eKhaya Park hosts Mandela tournament

The eKhaya Neighbourhood has built its success of reducing crime, improving security and mobilizing community co-operation and leadership through soccer projects. This was revealed by the eKhaya co-ordinator, Bafikile Mkhize.
The Pre-Mandela Tournament took place at eKhaya Park along Claim Street in Hillbrow on the 15th of July, Twenty teams from Hillbrow took part.

“The eKhaya Soccer Tournament project is aimed at various age groups use of sport to bring the community together and act as catalyst for interaction between members and community,” Mkhize added.
On the same day, the eKhaya Neighbourhood presented the community awards to the community builders and community leadership. Fifty members were given certificates and awards, including the organisations that work with eKhaya Neighbourhood in the positive building of the Neighbourhood.
These include the City of Joburg,

Badboyz Security who are keeping Hillbrow community safe and all the NGOS like Outreach Foundation, WRHI, MES, Makhulong A Matala (JHC) and Bambisani (Madulamoho).
“Among the visitors were Arsenal Gapers who were handling the match on the day.
“This phase has involved greater involvement of the community of Hillbrow, building social cohesion and led to tenants feeling a sense of belonging in the community and staying longer in buildings.
“This leads to a stable building and good returns,” Mkhize concludes.


Joburg taxi drivers challenged

Men’s reluctance to visit primary healthcare facilities was raised as a major concern during a Men’s Health Awareness Month campaign at the Mulbarton taxi rank, southern Johannesburg, in the City of Johannesburg’s Region F, recently.
The taxi rank services suburbs such as Mulbarton and Glenanda as well as The Glen Shopping Mall and surrounding areas.

Men’s Health Awareness encourages men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment to disease and injury. In South Africa, men on average die five years earlier than their women counterparts.
They also have higher death rates in nine out of the 10 leading causes of death, including heart diseases, cancer and stroke.

Spearheaded by the region’s Health Department, the campaign was mainly aimed at taxi drivers. It addressed a wide range of issues, from fatherhood to the importance of complying with City by-laws.
Other stakeholders that participated in the event included the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS), Sonke Gender and Justice Network and US-AID.

The region’s Health Department conducted free diabetes and cholesterol tests and screenings, as well as HIV testing and counselling.
Officials said the decision to visit the taxi rank was motivated by the fact that taxi drivers usually did not have enough time to visit clinics as they were always on the road.
Nonhlanhla Magwaza, Region F’s Health Promotions Operations Manager, said the City was concerned that men were shying away from visiting clinics.
“We want to encourage you to come to our healthcare facilities. You must know that around here we have Glenanda Clinic in Ward 23. On the other side we have Kibler Park Clinic in Ward 24. Instead of you sitting in your vehicles when you are not transporting commuters, please feel free to visit our clinics,” Magwaza said.
“When you come to our facilities, we will welcome you with open arms. You can even explain to nurses that you are taxi drivers and are in a hurry.”
Ward 23 Councillor Sarah Wissler said taxi drivers and operators must understand the importance of regular health check-ups. “Taxi drivers are an integral part of what happens around here. They are people who bring workers to our ward. We have to ensure they see that we care,” she said.


Moving from renting to buying

If you’ve been renting for a while and are ready to take the next step to buying your own home, you need to do your homework and know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
Dr Simphiwe Madikizela, Head of Special Projects at FNB Housing Finance says, many first time buyers usually get blinded by the excitement of owning their own home and overlook the importance of research, which ends up costing them more in the long-term.

Apart from the home loan application and registration process, there are a number of other important factors that one needs to consider when owning a home:
Future needs – avoid basing the decision of buying your house only on your current needs, rather take a long-term view and consider if the house will still cater for your family’s needs in the future. For example, a two bedroom house may be perfect for newlyweds, but could soon be too small as the family expands.
Amenities – while you may get a bargain when buying a spacious house outside of town, you need to consider factors such as your work premises, medical centres and schools for your children etc. It may end up costing you more money and time to travel on a daily basis.

Free-standing or Sectional Title - when renting, you don’t often put as much time and money on maintaining the property, depending on the agreement with your landlord. When you own the property, you will be responsible for making sure that the property stays in good condition at all times.
On the other hand, when buying a townhouse, you will be liable for a monthly fixed cost for levies, rates and taxes, over and above the mortgage loan instalment due to the bank.
Buying an old house – buying an old house for a reasonable amount in a good neighbourhood may not be such a bad idea; however what many buyers often underestimate, is the cost of fixing up the house.
Furthermore, without professional inspection, there may be other hidden defects that you would only discover once you move in.

Neighbourhood safety – while no area is immune from crime, it is essential for first time owners to research crime statistics in the area before buying.
For example, if you have a job that requires you to travel a lot, leaving the house unguarded, you could easily become a victim of crime.
“Lastly, always save for rainy days, as life is unpredictable. When moving from renting to buying, it is advisable to save at least six months of your home loan and monthly expenses even if your job is not under threat. This will create a good safety net and give you a peace of mind should anything go wrong,” concludes Madikizela.


Men challenged to stop domestic violence

Joburg gents should emulate the 646 men – most of them South African black soldiers – who bravely died when the ship SS Mendi sank in the English Channel during World War I if the country is to be saved from the escalating scourge of gender-based violence.
This was said by City of Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba at Imbizo Yamadoda (men’s gathering).

The event was a joint venture between the City and a women’s group, Soul Inspiration, to address the ongoing spate of violence against women and children.
It has been reported in history books that, as the SS Mendi sank after it was struck by a larger vessel one dark morning in February 1917, the doomed men remained calm in the face of their impending death. They bravely sang songs of courage and danced until their demise.

“The SS Mendi tragedy should be an inspiration to every man; the nation depends on you for its protection and not its destruction,” she told the gathering.
Sifumba said although the tragedy took place 100 years ago, the whole world was still talking about the bravery of those men. She said today’s men had become tormentors of their own families and communities. “What stories will be told to your children about you? The stories we hear every day on our radios, television sets and social media platforms are not those of heroes similar to those who perished on the SS Mendi,” she said.

She called on the men to change their ways and become defenders of their women, children, families and communities.
“I hope as you all sit here today you are starting to think of ways you can actively work towards making our society better,” she said.

Sifumba said her department would hold similar gatherings as gender-based violence was deeply rooted. She said men must know that women needed their warmth and protection.

“We need more of the SS Mendi men. We need more of the Mandla Hlatshwayos of this world,” she said.

Hlatshwayo, a Soweto radio and TV personality, was murdered in Soweto earlier this year while trying to rescue two women from thugs.

Celebrated TV actor Sello Maake ka Ncube told the gathering that he was raised by a stepfather. “But he never made me feel like I was not his child,” he said.



Hundreds evicted from Fattis Mansions

“We are just waiting for the dark and these security guards will know,” – Resident
Hundreds of residents of a hijacked building in downtown Johannesburg were evicted on Wednesday.
Men, women and children from Fattis Mansions were forced to sit outside on the streets with all their belongings as the sheriff of the South Gauteng High Court executed an order, assisted by the Red Ants, to evict them.

The building - dubbed “Mnyamandowo” - has no electricity or water, and no ablution facilities. Security guards have been posted to bar the entrance of the building.
“We are just waiting for the dark and these security guards will know,” a woman who was evicted said.
In their bid to return to the building, the residents launched an urgent court interdict at 6pm against the evictions.

Two weeks ago, seven people died when a similar building, Cape York, caught fire. The eviction notice served to residents, dated 25 April 2017, stated that the building was “destroyed” (an apparent reference to its dilapidated state) and that it would need to be rebuilt.
All those residing within Fattis Mansions were ordered to vacate within 45 days of the court order being served by the time of going
to print the Residents were still in court appealing the eviction and the City of Johannesburg had been ordered by High Court Judge Van Der Linder to provide residents with alternative accommodation, the City Indicated it had set up temporary shelter tents in Karzene East of Johannesburg through their Disaster management team.

The evicted resident are represented in court by SERI (Social Economic rights institute) SERI is a South African human rights organisation which provides professional assistance to individuals, communities and social movements seeking to protect and advance their socio-economic rights.
These are the rights to housing, water, healthcare services, fair labour practices, electricity, sanitation, a clean and healthy environment, education and various children’s rights, which are grounded in South Africa’s Constitution.


Scores arrested in raid of Joburg’s hijacked buildings

113 people arrested as the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Johannesburg Metro Police
Department (JMPD) raid eight hijacked buildings in Doornfontein.

A total of 113 people were arrested when the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) raided eight hijacked buildings in Doornfontein, Region F, recently.
Other stakeholders involved in the joint operation included the City of Johannesburg’s Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) unit, headed by General Shadrack Sibiya; Department of Home Affairs; and the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS).

The suspects were arrested in connection with offences ranging from the violation of immigration laws and possession of drugs to running illicit businesses and building hijackings.
The raid came after seven people were killed when Cape York, a hijacked Johannesburg inner city multi-storey building, caught alight a few weeks ago. It also followed an instruction by Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba to GFIS and JMPD to rid the city of building hijackers and other perpetrators of crime.
During Friday’s operation, police confiscated cocaine, Mandrax tablets and marijuana. A man was arrested in connection with building hijacking. Another alleged building hijacker escaped and is believed to be still at large.

Police shut down nine businesses operating with licences purported to have been issued by the City’s Environmental Health Department. They also seized dangerous items, including gas cylinders, from illegal motor spares shops that posed a danger to local residents.
Officials imposed fines on business owners who were in contravention of the City’s by-laws. A car with a forged licence disc was impounded and seven knives were confiscated from illegal street vendors.
SAPS’s Major-General Dimakatso Ndaba said the operation had “yielded positive results”. “Law-abiding citizens appreciate our presence here.

“We have even been approached by some community members who offered to help us identify the criminals. So, to us, this is a great success because this area is one of Johannesburg’s crime hotspots,” Major-General Ndaba said.
JMPD Chief Superintendent Dan Machete said the raid was prompted by numerous cases reported to his unit. “The City is experiencing a high volume of building hijackings. As a result, the Executive Mayor has instructed us to target these buildings, which we believe are also harbouring criminals.
“These illegal activities can be detrimental to the City’s image and economy,” he said.
Machete said monthly statistics indicated that there was an urgent need for law enforcement agencies to intervene.


Madiba honoured

The spirit of the late former president Nelson Mandela was in the air on Tuesday July 18 as the City of Johannesburg staged dozens of activities across all regions to mark what would have been his 99th birthday.
The City’s main Mandela Day event was held at the Greener Pastures Early Childhood Development Centre in Kenilworth, in Region F, where Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, who was accompanied by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Cllr Mpho Phalatse, spent 67 minutes handing out goodies to smiling children and painting one of the classrooms.

In White City Jabavu, Soweto, Region D, City entities such as Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo (JCPZ), Johannesburg Roads Agency and Pikitup, as well as the Nelson Mandela Foundation, spent their 67 minutes giving the Adelaide Tambo School for the Mentally Challenged a makeover.
The school was named after Adelaide Tambo, wife of ANC stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo. Coincidentally, the late Ma-Tambo, a struggle activist in her own right, and Madiba shared the birthday.
JCPZ Managing Director Bulumko Nelana said Mandela Day was about giving back and making a difference to other people’s lives.

“Today it’s not only Tata Nelson Mandela’s birthday, it’s also Mama Adelaide Tambo’s. We’re here to celebrate the lives of two selfless leaders who dedicated themselves to improving the lives of others,” said Nelana.
Principal Lindela Memani said he was grateful to all those who dedicated 67 minutes to helping the school.
“The donations and services we received today will go a long way in minimising the challenges the learners face,” said Memani. In Region C, the City’s Disaster Management team visited residents of the Donovan Macdonald Old Age Home in Maraisburg to clean the centre and give the senior citizens advice on how to react in case of an emergency.

The Gauteng Disaster Management Centre, South Africa Social Security Agency and the Gift of the Givers donated blankets and food parcels. Local ward councillor Caleb Finn said: “Today is an amazing opportunity for every one of us to take a break from what we normally do and serve those around us who are less fortunate than ourselves.”
For its part, the Joburg Theatre, in partnership with private sector companies, hosted an information-sharing workshop for unemployed graduates. More than 150 unemployed graduates attended. Presentations focused on academic skills, dramatic arts and finance.


Mayor: It’s time we rid city of building hijackers

Speaking on the second day of the breakaway session of the City’s Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) in Centurion, Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba (pictured) said he needed urgent action and results in relation to the fight against building hijackings in the Johannesburg inner city and surrounding areas.
Mayor Mashaba’s call comes after seven people were killed when Cape York (Insert), a dilapidated hijacked building at the corner of Jeppe and Nugget streets in the inner city, caught alight on Wednesday July 5.

The Mayor instructed members of the unit, led by General Shadrack Sibiya, to increase the frequency of raids on hijacked buildings, where people live in inhumane conditions. “We should raid these buildings every week and make sure we safeguard the lives of our people. It is important to act with speed. I want results and your unit should help me root out corruption,” the Mayor told members of the unit. He said the City faced a housing backlog estimated at more than 300 000 units. He said with the City providing housing at an average rate of only 3 500 units a year, there were limited opportunities to move people out of these buildings.

Speaking on the sidelines of the breakaway session earlier, General Sibiya said his unit had identified and verified 85 problematic buildings in the city. He said more raids would be conducted in the coming weeks to rid the city of the criminals who had taken over the buildings. He said his corruption-busting unit, which has also been charged with the tackling of bad buildings, was already hard at work to dismantle criminal syndicates behind the building hijackings. He said the unit had so far uncovered a highly connected and sophisticated syndicate of criminals who had “compromised state departments to further their objectives”.

“We are dealing with a corrupt network that involves people in the Deeds Office, the Department of Home Affairs, etc.
The network involves even our own officials, who illegally issue clearance certificates to members if the syndicates. We will work tirelessly to break this network and regain control of the city and its buildings,” said Sibiya.
Mayor Mashaba is in the coming weeks expected to announce further plans to deal with abandoned and hijacked buildings.















Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

The countdown to Johannesburg’s biggest and most popular walking event – the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 – has begun.
More than 50 000 people – from fitness fanatics to celebrities, and from seasoned athletes to politicians from all corners of the country – will throng into Marks Park Sports Club in Emmarentia on Sunday July 23 for the 16th edition of the event, hosted by the City of Johannesburg.

Three different walking categories with staggered starting times are on offer. The 15km category starts at 7am, followed by the 8km walk at 9am and the 5km race at 11am.
The event does not only promote a healthy lifestyle among residents, but it also helps to showcase some of the City’s infrastructure development projects, sweeping scenic views and landmarks. It will also demonstrate Johannesburg’s ability to stage events of this scale and magnitude.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba will be among high-profile personalities taking part in the event and walking for a variety of causes.

MMC Sifumba will participate in the 8km category to highlight the work of Let’s Talk Jozi, a community-based initiative aimed at tackling violence against women and children as well as drug and substance abuse.
“It is very important for the City of Johannesburg to be part of such an initiative because it helps to ensure that both the City and residents are at the same level in fighting the social ills engulfing our communities,” says Cllr Sifumba.
She says the City and its residents can work together in identifying and finding lasting solutions to the scourge of violence and drug abuse.

Sifumba says the event promotes thought-provoking conversations and helps empower citizens through constructive discussions and knowledge and learning from others.
In preparation for the event, Cllr Sifumba has of late been taking short walks and using staircases instead of lifts or escalators. “I would like to wish everyone who is taking part in the event all the best. Let’s forge partnerships and work together in finding lasting solutions to the challenges our communities are faced with. Let’s be open about these issues, let’s talk Jozi,” she says.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar says to ensure the safety of all walkers, residents and motorists, a number of roads will be closed to traffic.
“JMPD officers will man temporary road closures along the route. We ask residents to familiarise themselves with alternative routes and be patient during the duration of the event,” says Minnaar.
Entries for the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 are officially closed.





Joburg targeted by scamsters

Top private forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan has urged officials of the City of Joburg’s Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) unit to be always on the lookout for “high-profile” scams targeting the City and its entities.
O’Sullivan was one of the experts and top government officials who recently addressed the first day of the unit’s three-day breakaway strategic session being held in Centurion to look into how best to fight corruption using innovative and cost-effective methods.
Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba has declared corruption public enemy No 1.
The breakaway session, which ended on Friday July 7, was also looking at how the unit, headed by General Shadrack Sibiya, former Gauteng head of crime-busting unit the Hawks, could improve its work and sharpen its programmes in its mission to fight corruption within the City.
O’Sullivan said if city investigators were not adequately empowered to detect crime, the fight against organised crime would be “fruitless”. He said with the City’s budget running into several billions of rands, there would always be attempts by criminals to scam it.
“Corruption is everywhere. It is, therefore, important to understand the trends of crime so as to be in a position to decisively and adequately deal with it,” said O’Sullivan.
He added that it was important for the City to employ “the right people”, especially in high-risk units, and have systems in place to protect the integrity of the City’s systems.
Also speaking at the session was Vunatha Murugan, Director in the Office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura responsible for the Integrity Unit. Murugan said the provincial government was working closely with various government structures, including the City of Johannesburg, to fight crime.
She said it was critical to have open communication lines between all spheres of government and share best practices in dealing with crime and corruption. National Prosecuting Authority Senior Advocate Gideon Nkoana told delegates that his unit was always available to work with the GFIS in the fight against organised crime and corruption.


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