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Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

The countdown to Johannes...

A Day in the Negev

A Day in the Negev

Imagine pineapples, viney...

Joburg City Parks wins two international awards

Joburg City Parks wins two internat…

Congratulations to Johann...

Accolades for City of Joburg’s council chamber

Accolades for City of Joburg’s coun…

The multimillion-rand Cit...

A lifetime achievement award for Ramaphosa

A lifetime achievement award for Ra…

Deputy President Cyril Ra...

Microbreweries – Craft beer is art

Microbreweries – Craft beer is art

Craft beer brewing has ev...

Minister visits mnyamandawo

Minister visits mnyamandawo

Police Minister Fikile Mb...

Lest we forget june 16 - A message from ANC Johannesburg

Lest we forget june 16 - A message …

June 16 holds a special p...

Students should be sharp when choosing courses

Students should be sharp when choos…

Be focussed and be discer...

Crime has no nationality – Makhura

Crime has no nationality – Makhura

Gauteng premier David Mak...

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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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A Day in the Negev

Imagine pineapples, vineyards and a forest of millions of trees growing in the desert. And a million litres of water purified from a town’s effluent and factories, irrigating the crops of the future? These are a few of the wonders I saw in the Negev.
Deep concern about climate change and the current water crisis in the Western Cape drove me to arrange a day tour of the Negev to explore a few examples of Israel’s achievements in water, agriculture and forestry a few weeks ago. It was mind-blowing.

In a country where land, water, arable soil and fossil fuels are scarce, foresight and clever technology, based on sound research, have created models of sustainability that other countries strive for– enough resources to sustain healthy lifestyles and economies, and, in some instances, abundance.

I last visited Israel 26 years ago as Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) began, an organization started from a vision of a healthier, greener, more food secure and climate resilient South Africa. The Jewish National Fund of SA was the first to show interest.
They arranged a two-week study tour for our founding board members to meet scientists, academics, farmers and foresters, experts in trees and forestry, water management, agriculture and soil. The solutions driven innovation and implementation astounded us. We returned inspired to apply lessons learned from the unique Israeli experience of managing water, trees, food and energy, in South Africa.

Today this experience and knowledge could prove vital.
Israel now leads the world with 80% water reuse. Runners up Spain reuse 20%.
Water is successfully produced and harvested through desalination, biofilters and remarkably efficient management of waste water.
Quality water is delivered to all residents, farmers, industry and business and excess provided to Jordan and the Palestinian Authorities. The Sderot Reservoir built, under missile fire, from a pragmatic vision to address drought in the southern Negev, now purifies all effluent from the town, factories and farms for reuse on local agriculture.
Besor Research and Development Centre’s work with local farmers is resulting in better crops for export, and local use, in healthier soils, using minimal, even saline water. Charts around the old tower over the forest of Yatir show recorded rainfall rising annually, from the start of the plantings in the 1960’s and as more trees were planted and grew. An inspiration to FTFA’s initial greening and climate change work, today the view of this green forest of over 4 million trees, planted to combat desertification, is spectacular. Be-erSheva, amodel city, shows how nature should be embraced in urban development. It is an example of pioneering urban planning that integrates natural capital. Landscaping for aesthetics and resource management enhance attractive, well-designed suburbs. Trees line the streets providing much needed shade and recreation areas.
They help to slow and clean water runoff, as well as cleaning the air and absorbing greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. We have much to learn from Israel’s green tech and innovation and they are willing to share. Replicating projects like these few I was privileged to see could positively alter South African lives. The Western Cape, in drought and predicted to be facing a seriously dry future, would benefit greatly from these world water leaders.
We should have started to learn and implement decades ago but now is the next best time.

 

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Burglar nabbed

A 33-year-old male has been arrested for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition at Polshof Flat corner Twist and Plein Street, recently. Acting on a tip-off from members of the public, Police received information about a suspect who committed house breaking and theft in Midrand and were shown the suspect along Nugget Street. Police apprehended the suspect; he then took the police to a flat his friend resided, where a firearm belonging to a police officer was recovered.
“A case of house breaking was opened at Midrand police station. It is alleged that burglars broke into a house of a police officer where they took a safe.
“They broke the safe and found two firearms. One of the firearms has been sold and police investigation is underway,” Captain Xoli Mbele said.

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Suspects arrested for armed robbery

Five armed robbers aged 30 to 45 have been arrested after a successful joint operation by the Johannesburg Central Police and JMPD.
The arrest comes after a terrorizing spree on motorists travelling on the M2 West off-ramp and Main Reef Street. It is alleged that the armed robbers attacked a 27-year-old male and a 29-year-old woman – both driving different vehicles.

The robberies occurred while the drivers were stationery by the robots. Using firearms in the commissioning of the crimes the robbers pointed the weapons at the driver and took his cell phone as well as cash amounting to two thousand Rands (R2 000). While a cell phone and handbag containing a wallet and ID document was taken from the female driver.

Traumatized, the woman screamed for help as the man drove off to alert the police. The law enforcement agents managed to trace and follow the suspects who were in a quantum taxi.
“All the suspects were apprehended and the belongings of the victims were recovered, including the two firearms used in the commissioning of the crime,” Captain Xoli Mbele said in a statement.

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Joburg City Parks wins two international awards

Congratulations to Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo for scooping two awards at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival in France.
The Cannes Lion Festival, honours the best creative work of the year across the spectrum of branded communication in the world, and was held on the 24th of June 2017.
The winning advertisements were part of the Zoo’s series of advertisements entitled “Frog, Snake, Bat and Bird”.
The first bronze award was for the Outdoor – Billboard and Street Posters-category, and the second award was for the Outdoor (Public Sector Campaign)-category.
This is a remarkable achievement proving that JCPZ and the City of
Johannesburg can compete with the best in the world.
The department of Community Development, which oversees the entity, is delighted with this achievement as it contributes to one of the City’s priorities of providing services with pride to the people of Joburg.
Well done to the management and entire team of JCPZ. You have put
Joburg as one of the destinations of choice through this achievement.
Furthermore, two of the JCPZ parks were recently crowned with four awards for “benchmark and highest industry standard.
The two parks – Boston Park and the upgraded Westdene Park – both received two awards, at the annual award ceremony of the South African Landscapers Institute (SALI) where the best in the landscaping construction industry is announced.
The landscaping company that was responsible for the construction of these two parks was Tswellapele.
The awards were:
• SALI Gold Award for Specialised Landscape Construction for
Bosmont Park
• SALI Gold Award for Design by Others for Bosmont Park
• SALI Gold Award for the Specialised Landscape design for
Westdene Dam Upgrade
• SALI Silver Award for Environmental and Water Wise landscaping at Westdene Dam.
Well done to all and continue to #ServeWithPride.

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Tips to save on funeral insurance

More often, consumers who are in financial predicaments are quick to turn to their bank statements to review the viability of grudge purchases like insurance, as a quick solution to free up cash to cover debt obligations.
“Although we encourage consumers to regularly review their policies, they should be careful not to make rash decisions under pressure, that would potentially place them in a far worse financial position when disaster strikes,” says Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life.
“A more practical approach is to assess whether the premium you are paying matches your insurance needs and value promised by the provider,” he adds.
Bromfield shares a few tips of how consumers can save on their funeral insurance premiums.
• Don’t cancel your policy – this is a common mistake that ends up costing consumers more in the long run.
Cancelling your funeral policy when times are tough could leave you and your loved ones financially stranded in the unfortunate event of death, forcing you to take on further debt commitments.
• Combine policies – having more than one funeral policy with multiple insurers makes the premiums more expensive. You can save a lot of money in administration costs by combining your policies using one insurer.
Before switching over to your preferred insurer, check their policy waiting period for natural and unnatural death to ensure that you aren’t left without cover for the first three to six months.
• Shop around – if you don’t shop around and scrutinise the cover and benefits offered by your insurer, you could be paying a higher premium unnecessarily.
• Paying your policies on time - insurers usually collect premiums on a set date at the end of the month, if there is no money in your account; your insurers may collect double the following month.
Not only are you at risk of lapsing your policy if there are no funds in your account for two consecutive months, but you may also incur additional charges from your bank if debit orders are not honoured.
Furthermore, you will be required to complete a six month waiting period for natural death when taking out a new policy, while still paying your premiums in full.
It is also critical to inform beneficiaries about the policy or your insurer when beneficiary contact details change as this may result in benefits being unclaimed, if your insurer is unable to track down your loved ones when you pass away.
“If your beneficiaries are not aware of the cover and you have not updated their details on the policy, you are wasting your premiums,” concludes Bromfield.

 

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Blue Sky Trends

“Many students will create their own employment once they have completed their studies, whether it be as a bookkeeper or a beautician, so it makes sense to get an early start on getting theoretical business knowledge and practical business skills,” says Kerry Damons of Boston City Campus & Business College.

“The Minister of Small Business Development is putting things into place that will make it easier and more attractive for young people to create their own businesses,” Damons explains. “For example, the Department of Small Business Development is working hard to reduce the red tape involved in registering and legalising a business. It is also looking for practical ways of overcoming the lack of access to finance, which is a big factor for most would-be entrepreneurs. Despite current challenges, we have seen many of our graduates use their skills and ambition to set up successful services and businesses. ”
Furthermore, the Department of Small Business Development launched a Mass Youth Enterprise Creation Programme (MYECP). This aims at creating opportunities for youth-owned SMMEs and cooperatives by committing government departments to earmark 30% of their procurement spend towards growing youth-owned businesses.

“This could mean a serious headstart for a small business,” comments Damons. “Imagine the possibilities: you can for instance study travel & tourism at Boston and then open your own travel agency that handles government travel arrangements. With hard work, there is a great chance that you can build a solid, profitable small business that way.”
Boston has inspired many students, including Lebogang Mogagabe, originally from Soweto. The 23 year old completed his matric in 2013 and then enrolled at Boston. Currently studying 3rd year of his BCom Management Marketing, he is pursuing a career in Integrated Marketing. The Boston BCom has inspired Mogagabe to get a business started. Passionate about business, Mogagabe aims to be a top entrepreneur.

“The Boston degree has equipped me with invaluable life skills pertaining to business, marketing and finance,” says Mogagabe. “Boston has been pivotal in providing me with the entrepreneurial business acumen I require to succeed in business. I have gained so much as a person. I am so grateful for the opportunity to apply my knowledge into the practical business forum”. At present Lebogang is involved as a working partner with Shery Clein in an exciting new joint venture: Blue Sky Trends (Pty) Ltd. This business promotes and markets authentic accessories to retailers worldwide. “We source original components and natural materials to make up creative fashion accessories. All the designs are handmade by locals right here in Jozi in South Africa, giving others a chance to earn from the own entrepreneurial skills”.

Our vision is to enrich the everyday lives of South African entrepreneurs by encouraging local manufacturing and global trade, we see them fulfilling their dreams and aspirations.At the same time, we’re sharing in the rich culture and creativity of South Africa’s talented crafters. Lebogang is aware that his contribution towards the success in Blue Sky Trends is very significant and challenging. He intends establishing an empowerment project to create employment and job opportunities for our fellow South Africans as well as endorse South African products.

My advice is…. “There is no perfect time!.”. So get started on your goals now!

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Accolades for City of Joburg’s council chamber

The multimillion-rand City of Johannesburg’s Council Chamber – the city’s newest landmark – is a gift that keeps on giving.
The 38m tall calabash-shaped circular glass building has been winning awards even before it opened its doors in time for Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba’s maiden State of the City Address on May 3.

The state-of-the-art chamber, situated in the Metro Centre in Braamfontein, has recently been showered with two prestigious awards – at home and abroad.
Early in June it was recognised by the International Property Awards for the Africa and Arab Region. The honour will be officially bestowed on it at the region’s awards-giving ceremony in Dubai on September 7.

Also in June, the iconic building scooped the prestigious innovation award at the South African Property Owners Association’s Innovative Excellence in Property Development Convention.
This was no mean feat considering the green building, developed by the Johannesburg Property Council (JPC), was up against strong competition such as the Destiny Conference Centre in Kempton Park, Isivivana Centre in Cape Town, Menlyn Learning Hub in Pretoria and the Waterfall Public Transport Facility in Midrand, Johannesburg.

“June has truly been a momentous month for the JPC to be awarded prizes both nationally and internationally for the council chamber,” said Helen Botes, Chief Executive Officer of the JPC, which manages the City’s multi-billion property portfolio, of which the chamber is part.

The accolades are a fitting tribute for the chamber, which embodies the fundamental principles of democracy, transparency and accountability. Last year, the Green Building Council of SA gave the chamber a five-star rating, the first to be awarded to a municipality building in the country.
On top of the calabash sits an 11m gold light tower that reflects the history of the City of Gold. Tons of glass, recycled steel and concrete all have a pride of place in this building.
Its bespoke elements include totem artefacts which dot the chamber to crown its uniqueness. The chamber has 80 seats more than is currently required to cater for future expansion. More than 500 jobs were created during its construction phase.

 

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