It's early on Saturday night, and volunteers are topping up their cellphone airtime before setting out to patrol Khayelitsha's toughest areas.Together with a handful of police officers and reservists, the volunteers will weave their way on foot from around 7pm to 1am through the tightly packed shacklands of Nkanini, Kuyasa and Harare, Site B and Site C.
Western Cape local government minister Richard Dyantyi has ordered Cape Town mayor Helen Zille to reconstitute her mayoral committee to include her African Christian Democratic Party deputy mayor as one of the 10 committee members, not as an additional post.
Intervention in Cape Townâ€™s affairs by the African National Congress-led Western Cape government would trigger a constitutional crisis, lawyers have advised the cityâ€™s Democratic Alliance mayor, Helen Zille. Zille sought legal advice in the wake of ANC councillorsâ€™ plea to the province to appoint an administrator on the grounds that the acrimonious wrangle over Zilleâ€™s dismissal of city manager Wallace Mgoqi had crippled the council.
South Africaâ€™s ability to fight coastal oil spills has been compromised by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourismâ€™s failure to renew a marine pollution-fighting contract before its expiry. No private pollution-abatement vessels are currently under contract to the department.
<img src="http://www.mg.co.za/ContentImages/262374/vote-box_blue.gif" align=left>Deal-making on Cape Town's future became reality early on Thursday evening as available results showed neither the African National Congress nor the Democratic Alliance emerging as outright winners. With less than five percent of the vote outstanding, the DA was leading with 42,45% over the African National Congress's 37,3%.
<img src="http://www.mg.co.za/ContentImages/262374/vote-box_blue.gif" align=left>The African National Congress is fighting its toughest election yet. The ruling partyâ€™s monolithic hold on power is showing distinct cracks, as strongholds have splintered from Khutsong in Gauteng, where residents have staged running battles with authorities, to Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, where a feisty group of independents has challenged for power and Matatiele in KwaZulu-Natal where the former ANC mayor has formed a breakaway party.
The government is making an extra R9,6-billion available to the provinces this year, but at the same time is cracking the whip on accountability and better service delivery. A nationally applicable performance assessment system for top municipal officials will be in force by the start of the new municipal financial year, from July 1.
How highly do you rate a positive public profile? Very highly, if you work for the controversial Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) company. Enough, in fact, to swamp a radio poll with pro-PBMR SMS messages. On SAfmâ€™s environmental programme Environmental Matters on Monday night, Eskomâ€™s generation stakeholder manager Tony Stott took on Mike Kantey of lobby group Koeberg Alert.
Cape Town will soon get its first eco-suburb, with 600 homes, showcasing sustainable living -- from its own on-site sewage treatment facility to environmentally friendly construction methods. Oude Molen, an 18ha site earmarked by the Western Cape government for the R80-million eco-development project, is already a platform for "alternative" living.
Eskom maintains that recent Cape power outages were "abnormal", but the signs are there that delays and aboutâ€“turns in transforming the electricity sector are pushing supply capacity to the limit. Trevor Gaunt, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Cape Town, said procrastination over restructuring has meant years of inadequate planning and infrastructure investment.
More than a year after launching the comprehensive plan on sustainable human settlements, aimed at eradicating slums, South Africa still has a backlog of 2,4-million houses. There are delays in the new housing plan, with most provinces yet to launch pilot projects. The <i>Mail & Guardian</i> speaks to the Minister of Housing, Lindiwe Sisulu, about these and other issues.
About R37million has been transferred from underspending Western Cape government departments to relieve pressure on the beleaguered N2 Gateway Project. About R24million will be shifted from various departments to local government and housing "to mitigate the pressures of the N2 Gateway Project".