Condolences pour in for Minister Collins Chabane

Pretoria – Condolences continued to pour in from all corners of the country on Sunday as news of the passing away of Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane spread.

The Minister and his two protectors - Sgt Lesiba Sekele and Sgt Lawrence Lentsoane - died in a car accident near Polokwane in the early hours of Sunday .

Minister Chabane’s name trended on social media sites for most of the day, following a statement from the Presidency confirming that he had passed.

Many have described Minister Chabane as a dedicated public servant.

President Jacob Zuma said he was “an outstanding cadre of our liberation struggle and a competent, accomplished and dependable member of my Cabinet”.

The African National Congress said his untimely death had created a void in the organisation and in government.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) said it was deeply saddened by the news of Minister Chabane’s death.

SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande said: “We also send our condolences and message of solidarity to our long standing ally the ANC, to the rest of our liberation movement and Alliance, and to the country as a whole.

“Comrade Collins Chabane, who had sharp analytical skills and was also an artist, will be sorely missed,” said Nzimande.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) called the Minister’s death tragic and further extended condolences to the Chabane family, his friends, comrades in the ANC and its alliance partners and all South Africans.

“His passing is a huge loss to our movement. COSATU leaders and members at many levels interacted with him over decades and always found him to be friendly, helpful constructive and positive, particularly in the area of making policy and monitoring its implementation.

“His presence will be missed for years to come and we must never forget the debt we owe him,” said COSATU.

Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor, Mondli Gungubele, added his voice to those who conveyed condolences to the friends and family of Minister Chabane.

“The Chabane family, the ANC family, government and the country has lost a true servant leader," the mayor said. –




A suspect was arrested this morning after he was found digging up copper cables at the same substation which another person was found dead last year in Lerato  Park by members of the Roodepan Police station wh then alerted the Sol Plaatje Municipality. The copper valued at between R40/50 thousand rand is part of the cables and substations infrastructure put in place for the housing construction in the area. The increasing theft of copper in the area is straining the completion of the housing construction and hampering service delivery to the community. The matter is being investigated.



Pretoria - The electricity supply system remains constrained but stable, Eskom said on Thursday.

“The electricity supply system still remains constrained but stable, meaning that any extra load or faults in the system may necessitate the need to go into load shedding. Eskom will continue to communicate regularly on the status of the power supply situation,” said the power utility.

In its update on the state of the power system, the utility said that contingency measures that have been in place at the Majuba power station have resulted in the improved performance of the plant with five of the six units currently producing a total of 3 000MW into the power grid. The sixth generating unit is currently offline for maintenance.

A report on the cause of the silo collapse at Majuba power station, last November, is expected to be finalised by the end of next month. The rebuilding of the silo will start soon thereafter and is expected to take about 24 months to complete.

Eskom’s plant maintenance plan is underway at all power stations, including the open cycle gas turbines. Maintenance includes the replacement of parts, servicing of equipment and inspection of facilities at all stations.

“We therefore expect the power grid to remain constrained for the rest of this summer as we perform the requisite maintenance.”

Eskom called on all South Africans to use electricity sparingly.

“Less is more this summer and homeowners and businesses can do so with just four steps: first, switching off geysers and pool pumps; second, switching off non-essential lights; third, efficient use of air-conditioners by keeping the room temperature at 23⁰C; and finally, responding to the alerts on TV each evening.” -

SONA 2015 Public Viewing Sites

12 Feb 2015

Members of the public are reminded of the live viewing events that will be hosted in various provinces this evening.President Jacob Zuma will deliver the State of the Nation Address at 7pm in Parliament.The public can join in the SONA by watching a live broadcast of the speech in the following venues:

Northern Cape




ZF Mcgawu

Khara Hais

Opwag(near Groblershoop)


Joe Morolong(near Hotazel)








Frances Baard

Sol Plaatje

3 SAI military base


SONA 2015 All Eyes The President

12 Feb 2015

SONA2015All eyes will be on President Jacob Zuma tonight as he delivers the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament.

The speech will spell out government’s plans for the coming year and what progress has been made in the implementation of various programmes aimed at improving the lives of South Africans.  The event is commonly referred to as the annual opening of Parliament, but there’s more to it.

The annual address is a platform for the President to account to Parliament and the nation and to give direction and set the tone for the year ahead. The address usually covers a wide range of issues, including political, economic and social matters and considers the general state of South Africa.

It is an important means for the government to account to Parliament and the South African public for what has happened over the past year, and to inform as well as involve the public in the political agenda of the coming year.

President Zuma has delivered the annual speech eight times.

At 7pm, he will address the joint sitting for his second SONA in the current administration. His first address was in June last year, following the elections of the previous month.

There will be the usual pomp and ceremony that goes hand-in-hand with the opening of Parliament. This includes the parade by the South African National Defence Force band, the traditional 21-gun salute and the singing of the national anthem shortly after 6:30 pm. 

The event is also an opportunity for citizens to see the who’s who of the country dressed to the nines for the opening of Parliament.

In recent years, the occasion has also been a chance for ordinary citizens, especially children, to become part of this special day.  It is one of the rare occasions where the three arms of State - the executive, the legislature and the judiciary - gather in one place.

This week, Parliamentary presiding officers said it was all systems go for the big day.

The speech tonight comes as the country enters a third decade of freedom and the rolling out of the National Development Plan. It will also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the release of former President Nelson Mandela from prison in February 1990.

This week, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe called on the nation to engage meaningfully with the speech and “not just tune in”.

“Together we can become the change we want to see,” he wrote in an opinion piece, adding that it was not good enough to assume that government alone can solve the challenges South Africa faces.  He said in his address the President will once again chart a course that seeks to address the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality to move the nation forward.

“Our nation was built on the premise that we would not be defined by our brutal past; therefore every citizen can and must do their part to move South Africa forward.” –



The power system is severely constrained today due to unforeseen technical problems at power stations. As a result Eskom has had to go into stage 1 load shedding as of 11:00. This will continue until 22:00 this evening.

South Africa's power system is so constrained it has almost exhausted its reserve tank, Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona said on Thursday.

He compared the power system to a car, saying South Africa has been on a reserve tank and now almost exhausted the reserve space.

"It is like driving a car which has passed its reserve margin, yet the dial continues to move to the point where you could pretty much have a breakdown. We have all but exhausted the reserve space."

Matona was giving his second quarterly update of the state of the system since he took office at Eskom three and a half months ago.

He repeatedly said South Africa is living on the edge. 

He said using the metaphor of a car was very helpful in explaining the situation. "The metaphor of the car is helpful as it says if you have a car and you drive it and continue to drive it, it will carry you but at some point it packs up. And this is what is happening with many of the generating units of Eskom."

"Any slight trigger can push us over! We are living on the edge."

Matona said it all boils down to maintenance. "Eskom is a highly technical environment, but we communicate over the heads of the greater public,” he said.

Matona vowed "utmost transparency" at all times. "One fundamental principle that you can be guaranteed we will uphold at all times is utmost transparency and to ensure at all times that the country knows what is happening."

On future load shedding he said the system remains vulnerable. “Any fault in the system pushes us over to load shedding.”


Northern Cape lights to remain on in the near future.

Developers hope the construction of a new concentrated solar power plant in Postmasburg will light up the Northern Cape’s economy.

The 100MW plant will generate enough power to supply more than 200 000 homes, say developers SolarReserve and Acwa Power.

In a real boon for the province, the developers say more than 4 000 direct and indirect jobs could be created in the construction phase, and between 60 and 70 people will be appointed to operate the plant.

Concentrated solar plants use a field of mirrors to focus the heat of the sun on to a single point. The heat is then used to generate steam, and this is used to switch on a generator and make electricity.

The plant will be able to store power for 12 hours of supply, which means it can keep the lights in homes running day and night on request, even after the sun has set.

The project, called Redstone, was one of the successful bidders in the third round of the department of energy’s green power purchasing programme.

Unfortunately, Redstone’s lights won’t be switched on immediately because Eskom has delayed the linking of new renewable energy projects to its network. Redstone is also waiting for final financial approvals.

The developers said they were optimistic that they would be able to start generating power by early 2018.

SolarReserve, a US group, has already built a similar project in the US that uses molten salt as a storage battery.

Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve, says the plant’s power storage capacity means it can supply on demand – just like a conventional coal-fired or nuclear power station, but without pollution or hazardous waste.

SolarReserve also developed the photovoltaic solar projects Lesedi and Jasper, which are online and can produce 75MW and 96MW, respectively.

The Redstone project will be built next to these plants.

Acwa Power developed the Bokpoort concentrated solar power plant near Groblershoop, also in the Northern Cape. It generates 50MW.

Other concentrated solar power plants being developed are Eskom’s own project of 100MW in Upington; Spanish group Abengoa’s three projects of 250MW; the Karoshoek project of 100MW, which Investec, the Industrial Development Corporation and the state’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) have interests in; and the Kathu Solar Park of 100MW, which Investec, the PIC and French group GDF Suez are involved in.



The power system is expected to be very tight over the evening peaks of the next few days, Eskom said on Monday.

"However the risk of load shedding for today and tomorrow is medium to low," the power utility said in its latest system status bulletin.
"This is owing to steady progress made in building reserves over the weekend to limit the risk of load shedding this week."


The risk would increase later in the week as water and diesel reserves declined.

Mild and cloudy weather was forecast from Wednesday onwards which would increase electricity demand, putting pressure on the system and increasing the risk for load shedding.
"Eskom calls on all South Africans to pull together over the next few months and use electricity sparingly by 'Living Lightly' this summer," the company said.
Homeowners and businesses could switch off geysers, pool pumps, and non-essential lights, and further, efficiently use air-conditioners by keeping room temperature at 23 degrees.

The public could also respond to alerts on TV each evening.

On Monday, available capacity for evening peak demand was 31,903 megawatts (MW), including open cycle gas turbines (OCGT).
Demand was forecast at 31,491 MW. Current planned maintenance stood at 4091 MW, and unplanned outages were 7481 MW.
Forecast available capacity, including OCGT, and peak demand for the rest of the week:
- Tuesday: 32,050 MW available, demand forecast at 31,268 MW
- Wednesday: 32,028 MW available, demand forecast at 31,321 MW
- Thursday: 32,119 MW available, demand forecast at 31,548 MW
- Friday: 32,005 MW available, demand forecast at 29,649 MW
- Saturday: 31,412 MW available, demand forecast at 29,003 MW
- Sunday: 31,298 MW available, demand forecast at 29,409 MW
"The demand in electricity tends to decrease from Friday, going into the weekend," Eskom said.
Earlier on Monday, Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger said the electricity supply was expected to be constrained during the week.
"There is no scheduled load shedding at this stage, but the second half of the week is expected to be very tight," he said.

Eskom's diesel generators were under pressure because of a lack of fuel.

"Diesel supplies are a concern due to volumes received not meeting our requirements. We are working with suppliers to unlock the constraints," said Etzinger.
On Sunday, Eskom declared a power emergency with large industrial customers. It also implemented rolling blackouts at the weekend.
Eskom said the power system had experienced an increase in demand as a result of weather conditions and increased load losses as a result of multiple tripping of generating units at the Majuba and Matimba power stations.
The power utility had lost a total of 1700MW of generating power, it said on Sunday.
Etzinger said the risk of blackouts on Monday and Tuesday was medium to low.
"This is owing to steady progress made in building reserves to limit the risk of load shedding next week," he said


11 Nov 2014

Heavy rains accompanied by lightning and thunder lashed some parts of the City just after midday, Tuesday 11 November 2014, Several parts of the city witnessed heavy showers from about 14.00

A number of incidences have been reported to the municipality from flooding which include homes, to fires, and inaccessible motorways, we are attending to all of the issues as speedily as possible to minimise the effect of the torrential downpour, some residence had to be evacuated from their homes due to the flooding, Furthermore we urge residence and visitors to exercise caution during this time and report any potential hazards to the Municipality so as to attend to it ASAP.
Our Emergency contacts are as follows

EMS                                                       : Ambulance       - 053 802 9111
                                                                : ER24                   - 084 124
                                                                : Netcare             - 082 911
                                                                : 053 830 6836

FIRE DEPARTMENT                          : 053 832 4211

ELECTRICAL                                         : 053 830 6442

POLICE                                                  : 10 111