|Tel: 033 4132735
23 February 2011
LOCAL LABOUR FORUM MEETS
Last Friday’s Local Labour Forum meeting with Umvoti Municipal officials ,Exco members, and SAMWU and IMATU representatives covered a fluctuating range of subjects which was not surprising as this was the first get together, of what should be monthly meetings, since March 2010.
A message that came across loud and clear was that there was minimal communication between SAMWU and the Management whom they accused of having a “closed door” policy as far as the workers were concerned. The Mayor , Councillor P. Ngubane, expressed his surprise and said that in future there should be an “open door” policy and that at its weekly meetings MANCO (HOD’s) should dedicate at least a third of its time to labour matters.
SAMWU chairman, Bheki Madonsela and secretary Skumbuzo Dlamini, expressed the concern of their members at the mistakes made in the payment of monthly salaries saying that these problem had occurred over the past three years.They said nothing had been done to the solve the issues when they had tried to discuss them.
However as it had now been reported the Councillors had also suffered as a result of wrong payments and had,in fact been told that they had to repay R23 000.
MANCO tried to imply that the mistakes and problems were because of the service provider and system which they claimed needed replacing. However the Speaker, Councillor Hitla Maharaj and Exco Councillor Titus Ngubane disagreed maintaining there was nothing wrong with the system, the problem was with whoever was operating the system’s programmes.The Union said there were people trained in the system in the Municipality but there were not been used to operate the system and this had led to the unnecessary problems
A proposal put forward by Management that Municipality office times be changed was not at all well received by the Union representatives and Mayor Ngubane who said that it had to be reconsidered by Management. However one positive recommendation by Management was that staff rotated during lunch hour so that the various departments would be there to serve the public between 1 and 1.45 p.m.
A suggestion that all Municipal Departments close at 3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon was not considered to be a feasible one by EXCO or the Union representatives.
GREYTOWN’S CROSS ON THE HILL
Considerable interest has been shown by Greytonians and visitors as to the background of the Illuminated cross on greytown Hill. The Greytown Gazette approached Patrick O’Sullivan for comment who has responded as follows:A year or more ago, a member of the Greytown Christian Businessmen's Prayer remarked “How great it would be if we could erect an illuminated cross on the hill overlooking Greytown.” This was further confirmed by the Ministers’ Fraternal, who felt that God’s Spirit needed to be over Greytown .
Firstly, permission from both Mondi Forests and the Umvoti Municipality as leasor and owners. After permission was obtained from Council, we duly set about to obtain the materials that would enable us to erect a structure that would be able to be seen from town. A redundant water tank tower was obtained from Eskom as well as an old radio tower mast from Karl Bartels. Next came a large concrete base which was thrown by the group’s members, as well as more bases for the anchor stay-wires.
The structure was put together in segments, and carted up onto the hill and laid in place. The lights were then put in place and the whole structure was then kindly erected using an Eskom crane at a moments notice just days before Christmas.
We trust that the cross will bless not only Greytonians, but all travellers who pass through our district, and can see the cross illuminated from all the main roads leading to and from Greytown.
There were too many people involved with all the different aspects of erecting the cross, to mention in this article, but you all know who you are, and we would just like to thank you, and we pray that you will feel blessed every time you see the cross and remember how it got there.”
MUNICIPAL MANAGEMENT ON R2 MILLION SPENDING SPREE PAGE 1.
A calendar of events from now until 7th May was tabled at the Exco meeting held last Wednesday. Drawn up by the Municipal Management at their weekly MANCO meetings a budget of R2 396,000.00 was proposed for these 23 events which include ,Budget meetings, sod turning ,pastor committee launch, election day prayer etc.The Mayor expressed his deep concern at this budget and said that the matter would have to be put to a full Council meeting for discussion.
In the interests of ratepayers a breakdown of some of the proposed expenses;
Cost of sound system for 12 events: R95 000
Cost of musicians, local and professional for 8 events:R225 000 -this includes R40 000 for an IDP and Budget review meeting in Greytown and a further R40 000 for similar meeting in Kranskop and another R40 000 for such a meeting in Matimatolo.
Cost of catering which includes all 23 events :R381 000; add to this the item of groceries which appears in addition to catering in 11 events -total R110 000 and then also add another R110 000 for the same eleven events -this time for 11 beasts,
Cost of transport for 17 events:R305 000
Cost of prizes and promotional material for Prince Mangosuthu cup :R80 000 out of a total budget of R170 00.
Cost of VIP presents at the sod turning and project handing over in Wards 1 to 11 : R110 000 plus R20 000 for the Mayoral Projects at Lakhis field -a fraction of the total budget for this event of R1 million.
This proposed budget , submitted by Umvoti Municipal Management raises a number of questions which need answering:
*Although the Mayor quite rightly referred this back to full Council the next Council meeting is only in the last week of March but half the events are scheduled to take place from 24 February to 24th March. How do these budgets then get ratified?
*With the amount of local musical talent available how does Management justify the need to spend thousands on “professionals”
*Are local suppliers given the opportunity by the Municipality to tender and how are they informed of the various events.
WIFE HIRED HITMAN TO KILL HUSBAND!
38 year old Promise Ntuli from Greytown pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg High Court last Tuesday to hiring a hitman to murder her husband who was shot dead on 13th January this year. Promise alleged that she had been abused by her husband Mbuskiseni Ntuli.
31 year old Mduduzi Dumakude, , who helped her find the hitman, Sipho Gumede, also pleaded guilty to a charge of murder.
Judge Rishi Seebogin indicated that he would like to hear further evidence as to the alleged abuse suffered by Ntuli.
In her statement Ntuli said that her husband had abused her on a regular basis, including assaulting her with a bush knife and trying to drown her in a river. She alleged that he sometimes stripped her naked and assaulted her in full view of the general community. When she had told her husband that she was going to apply for a protection order , she said this had goaded him into subjecting her to even greater violence.
About a month before he was killed, Ntuli said he had punched, kicked her and torn her dress off -he had found a purse in her bra with R400 she had saved for the children’s school expenses.When her husband took the money, in spite of begging him not to, she said she had then resolved to kill him.
Ntuli stated that she had asked Dumakude to help her find a hitman . He had arranged for her to meet Gumede who agreed that he would kill her husband for R6 000 which she would pay on receiving her husband’s life insurance.
On the 13th January, Gumede phoned her at home at about 8 p.m. and told her to leave as he was there to kill her husband. Ntuli said she went next door and while there heard gunshots coming from her home-she and her neighbours found her husband with gunshots wounds to his head and abdomen - he was taken to hospital but died before receiving treatment.
The dead man’s brother,Thulubuke Ntuli, who lives in Kathlehong, who came to Greytown shortly after the murder, complimented and thanked the Greytown Police for their quick response and fast reaction to the killing.
DALTON DIESEL THEFT SYNDICATE
With the escalating cost of fuel,thieves decided to reduce costs by stealing diesel ... a plan which didn’t work out.
Last Thursday morning, Dalton SAPS were called out to Patience Farm where Mr Michael Hillhouse had been informed that some diesel was missing. Upon inspecting the tank, he noticed that the lock to his diesel tank was broken and about 1 200 litres diesel missing.. The missing fuel was valued R9800.00. He immediately contacted the police.
Police and a local security company to a road in Kwazibusele area in Dalton where they stopped a yellow Toyota Corolla, occupied by three persons who fitted the description given by community . Two got out of the vehicle and fled into the nearby bushes and made good their escape. A 23-year-old male was subsequently arrested. The vehicle contained twelve x 25 litre containers filled with diesel ie. 300 litres valued at approximately two-thousand-rand (R2600.00).
The arrested suspect will make a court appearance in the New Hanover Court shortly. At this stage Police believe that the arrested suspect may be linked to a syndicate operating in the area.
Anyone who has recently experienced loss of diesel is requested to contact the Station Commander- Captain Sithole Mkhize at SAPS Dalton on 033 501 1612 or on his cell at 082 418 1692.
Police investigations continue.
911 Ops centre moves premises
Its still 033 417 2911 all day and night seven days a week. But the actual 911 operation has moved to new premises alongside the Greytown High School swimming pool. 911 chief Dave Carroll said that the coms there are great and that the Ops Centre operates as previously...just in a different venue. He expressed his gratitude,on behalf of all involved or who have made use of 911, to Karl Bartels for the provision of the previous premises and Greytown High School for the new.
Over the past 12 years 911 callers were accustomed to chatting to Flip van Rooyen who always responded calmly and efficiently to any calls for help or advice. Flip has been ill and is currently in Arcadia but hopes to be back on the 911 call centre.
Kenny Pillay and Riaz are still very much part of the 911 team, while Tiny Hyde and Thys Uys are helping out for the time being.
.The 911 Ops Centre provides a wide ranging service to anyone requiring emergency services - Police;Fire;Medical etc. - 911 personnel will route the information through as required. It is financed through donations from the public throughout Umvoti.
For further information please contact 911 Chief Dave Carroll on 082 466 5173
DICING DEATH ON MUDEN ROAD
.Muden road users are querying how many lives have to be lost before official action is taken to monitor the speed monsters in their low flying vehicles as they whizz into Greytown,
So many drivers have narrowly escaped injury on this road as they been forced to take action to avoid collisions.
A resident on this road, Clive Tedder told the Greytown Gazette that “About 18 months ago I suggested to the RTI that they trap and show visibility on that section of road entering Greytown /Muden Road as we had experienced a few close shaves with low flying vehicles coming round the corner near Barry Kruger”s turn off!They said they would .It wasn’t even 2 weeks later when a drunk driver came flying down that road (in excess of 160km/hr ) rolled and one person was killed..The same RTI gentleman arrived at the scene! I asked how many people have to die before they are proactive? His response was that within two weeks we would see something happening on that road.”
However nothing was done and six months later, St David's School learners were killed and injured on this road ...due to speeding!!Shortly after that a young cyclist had a narrow shave when a bakkie pulling a boat veered off the road missing the girl and smashing into a tree...speeding!.This past weekend a vehicle came flying down the hill rolled and two people were very seriously injured!
The bottom line is , are the authorities going to wait for more people to be injured, maimed or killed before ensuring that speed limits are adhered to and the rules of the road followed.
WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER
St Peter’s Lutheran Church is hosting the 81st Women’s World Day of Prayer this year on Friday 4th March at 5.15 p.m.
Theme for the this year’s meeting is “How many loaves have you”It is up to the women on the ground to keep this movement alive and an appeal is made for the women of Umvoti to stand together and pray for those in need of help and prayers.
St Peters Church is situated at the Durban Street end of Voortrekker Street.
SPEED AND SOUND EVENT IN GREYTOWN
There is an exciting line up of event for the Greytown Speed and Sound day to take place on Saturday 5th March at the Enhlalakahle sportsground from 11.30 a.m.
Lots of interest is already being shown in the motorbike events; model aeroplanes and helicopters; paintball teams; H& S Sound off; drifting, jumping castles and more.
One of the highlights will be a parade of BGM bikes which are rallying in Greytown that weekend.
Aimed at providing entertainment and fun for the youth entrance is free. Anyone who would like to is welcome to take along their own picnics and braai equipment.
For further information please contact Skumbuzo “30” Dlamini, the events organiser on 073 511 6268.
Greytown Country Club news
Winners of Wednesday golf were S Clarke , J Crowe and M Caldicott on 70 points and second were R Aulfes ,C Odendaal and R Chiazzari on 69 points.
Friday night D Clegg was lucky enough to walk away with the attendance draw money. Next draw will be on Friday 4th of March with R100 in the bag. Be at the Club at 6.30pm and you stand a chance to win.
Happy Hour will be on Friday 25 February. Buy a R20 ticket and you can win R1000 or a bottle of Chivas Regal. There will also be a few consolation prizes so be sure to buy your ticket. SAB beer will be sold at half price and thank you to Greytown Beer Distributors for sponsoring.
Encouraging all to take note of the new reduced rates, now is a good time to join.Lots of new toys in kiddies room to keep the children busy while you relax and chat to friends. Fooseball and fingerboard, thanks to Juanita Mason, was added to the children's entertainment.
Reminder to all golfers about the Golf AGM on Wednesday 23rd from 5.30pm. Please attend. The Golf section needs your input.
Dates to diarize:
23 Feb - Golf AGM
25 Feb - Happy Hour
5 Mar - Mascor Monthly Mug
19 Mar - Spot On golf Day
26 & 27 Mar - Club Champs
16 February 2011
IFP EXPELS TWO COUNCILLORS
Two IFP Ward Councillors, E.S. Shange and Z.M. Xaba have been expelled as members of Inkatha Freedom Party. An official letter to Greytown IEC, dated 11th February, signed by Acting Municipal Manager, Mr N.E. Dlamini,
states "attached the termination letters of the below mentioned councillors they have been expelled as members of the Inkatha Freedom Party. They are no longer qualified to be members of the Umvoti Municipal Council: They are: Councillors Z.M. Xaba and E.S. Shange."
IEC chief electoral officer in KZN , Mr Mawethu Mosery told the Greytown Gazette that the next step would be for Umvoti Municipal Manager to declare vacancies in these two wards .However in terms of the Municipal Electoral Act, with the pending Local Government election in May, permission would have to be obtained from the MEC who had the prerogative to allow a bye election or not in the remaining time frame.
PR Councillors would be replaced by the next name on the listing of the Political Party concerned
In a telephonic interview with Councillor Shange he told the Greytown Gazette that neither he nor Councillor Xaba
were aware of why they had been expelled.
Councillor Shange was elected in Ward 9 and Councillor Xaba in Ward 5.
The Greytown Gazette also spoke to National Freedom Party President, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi who said she was not aware of any Umvoti Councillors who had registered as members of her party.
February fun facts
*The name comes from "februa" meaning cleansing or purification which reflects the rituals undertaken before the start of Spring in the Northern hemisphere
*Candlemas Day on the 2nd is an ancient festival marking the midpoint of winter: on this day all the candles to be used in churches throughout the year had a blessing said over them.
*In Britain it was said "When the cat lies in the sun in February
She will creep behind the stove in March"
*valentine day superstitions :"the first man an unmarried woman sees on this day will be her future husband!"
"A robin seen flying overhead means marrying a sailor; a sparrow marrying a poor man and a goldfinch a rich man"
*Shrove Tuesday marks forty days before Easter -pancake races are held throughout England -the winner gets to the finish line first having flipped a pancake in a frying pan a pre-decided number of times
*In Scarborough on this day, long ropes are stretched across the road and ten plus people skip on one rope. Skipping was once regarded as a magical game associated with the sowing and sprouting of seeds.
*Kissing Friday of Shrove week -English schoolboys were once entitled to kiss girls without punishment or rejections on this day.
*Thinking Day - February 22nd when Scouts and Guides remember their founders, Lord and Lady Baden Powell.
And then, every four years its leap year on the 29th February -those with a birthday on the 29th will have to wait till 2012 to celebrate on the day!
SHEEPDOG TRIALS 2011
Natal Sheepdog Society will be holding the 2011 Dog of the Year trials on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March at Linton Farm, Mooi River.
This is a national event and dogs and their owners from all over South Africa will take part.
For further information contact Ragni Pretorius on tel: 033 263 2526 or 072 500 1361.
Joint statement on Municipal advert
In a joint press statement released on Monday by the ANC and DA, the respective Parties state they are appalled at the costly manner in which the vacancy for an Umvoti Municipality Financial Intern has been advertised . Instead of advertising the position in this recognised widely circulated free local paper, the IFP Municipal administration has deprived suitably qualified but unemployed locals of the opportunity to apply by placing the ad in out of town newspapers, at the cost of approximately R20 000(although the advertising budget is already considerably overspent) - the circulation of which is probably not more than 500 in Umvoti. Both Councillors were told by the Acting MM, in the presence of the Speaker, on Monday that this ad would be placed in Umvoti Light.
GREYTOWN COUNTRY CLUB NEWS
C Odendaal won Wednesday Golf (41 points) with M Caldicott securing second place on 39 points.
On Friday evening Mrs B Basel lost out on the attendance draw prize money. The next draw will be on Friday, 18 February. There will be R1 300 up for grabs. All you have to do to win is be at the Club at 6.30pm.
We would like to bring to your attention the reduced fees for 2011. We have reduced the Membership Fees for this year to encourage more members to join. All members who know of someone wanting to join the Club, please encourage them to do so now as the reduced fees make it really worthwhile.
Spot-On Golf Day has been postponed to 19 March
Dates to diarise:
Fri 18 Feb - Attendance Draw
Fri 25 Feb - Happy Hour
Sat 5 Mar - Mascor Monthly Mug
Sat 19 Mar - Spot- On Golf Day
Calling all crafters, bakers, gardeners, artists, jam makers, Easter egg makers etc to an Easter market to take place on Saturday 16th April. Its been organised by the Greytown Senior Centre at the Centre (old Scout Hall) York Street on Saturday 16th April from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A limited number of stands still available at R50 -please phone Gerald on 033 413 2801 ,(8 a.m. and 1 p.m.) to book. Stallholders will need to bring their own tables, chairs and gazebo if required.
Tea, coffee and cakes will be on sale.
Make a note on the calendar now - Saturday 16th April.
ONE HOME...ONE GARDEN ...GROWING RAPIDLY!
Hundreds of Greytonians are and will be enjoying fresh vegetables on a daily basis thanks to the innovative "One home One garden" programme instituted by the Department of Agriculture and monitored by Greytown Extension Officers, Melusi Kunene and Philani Menyuka. Community,church and home gardens are benefitting from the campaign in which seeds of a wide variety of vegetables are given out.
The programme was started in 2009 by the Department to motivate and encourage individuals to feed themselves by growing their own vegetables and also to acquire some income by selling surplus. Melusi and Philani advise on planting of the seeds in seed beds; transplant of the seedlings;composting;watering etc.
Last Thursday a Greytown Gazette reporter did the rounds of some of these gardens with the two Extension Officers.At the Assembly of God church garden George Sonny was busy looking after seed beds of cabbage, beetroot, beans, spinach and more which will be transplanted into a larger bed next week. The Pastor, Nathan Naidoo, is thrilled with the programme which is helping him to feed many of the poverty stricken in the area.Then to Enhlalakahle where an enthusiastic and hardworking group of 12 have planted a full range of vegetables - there will be more than enough to feed their families, to sell to individuals and to local supermarkets.
9 February 2011
GREAT MUDMAN AT HERMANNSBURG
Hermannsburg held its annual Mudman event in perfect summer weather on Saturday. A bumper number of entries made it a really successful and happy day. The Mudskipper event for the little people had a all-time record of 180 entries, the main event - Mudman full and half distance had 593 entrants, bringing the grand total to a whopping 773 entries. Many of the participants have been with Mudman since its early beginnings, 13 years ago, they have stayed with the event and seen it grow and succeed.
The sponsors have been tremendous, the support of the local community, the participation of the representatives of the various support organisations of the school, lots of past pupils and the immediate school family all went towards making it a tremendous success and a happy event.
Many new aspects of the organisation and administration have developed the event into a more professionally run and more user-friendly event. ROAG’s computer-generated registration system will be a tremendous help in stream-lining future events and the increased number of pre-entries, which take place via the website, just alleviate the on-the-day registration bottle-neck.
The business challenge had an pleasing increase in entries this year:The Pidelta Pathfinders and the Pidelta Clod-Hoppers; Mascor Isuzu; Village Signs; David's Midas and Umfulana Travel. David's Midas team won the business challenge.
Lucky Draws were won by Teresa Bam and Uta Maltzahn, won gym vouchers; Andrew Spence and Daniel Salomon won Giba Gorge vouchers; Daryn Pieters won a weekend at Blythedale and David Groenewald won a week at Sugar Bay.
The school section had a pleasing number of entries and there was a great amount of competition among the participating school teams. The HIgh school challenge was won by Treverton’s number one team and the Primary School challenge was won by “Gummi Bears” from Epworth. Hillcrest High won the most supported school prize, which is a prize which goes to the school with the most number of entries.
Individual entries drew some big names among them some top SA athletes. The full swim open first man home was Daniel Carleton and the women’s race was won by Sarah Gray.
The full distance men’s vets, swim option was won by Martin Dreyer and the women’s vets was won by Monica Botha.
Full swim U18 men’s winner was Bradley Schuit and women’s U18 winner was Savannah Schuit.
Half swim 17+ 1st man home was Greg Nairn and the half swim 17+ 1st lady home was Colette Kriek.
Half swim 14 -16 age-group boys’ individual winner was James Damant and the first girl home in this age group was Jade Hattingh.
Half swim 12-13 boys’ winner was Sharjah Jonsson and the first girl home was Jamie-Lee Robertson.
Half swim U11 boys’ winner was Tom Earle and the first girl home was Victoria Earle.
Half swim 14 - 16 team winners were The “Hop, Skip and Jump” team, which was a home-grown Hermannsburg team consisting of Lisa Pretorious, Sam Shaw and Jaco Uys.
The full paddle open men’s winner was Murray Craib and the winning lady was Jean Hackland. The full paddle vet men’s event was won by Kobus Cronje and the lady’s winner was local super-fit lady, Caroline Minnaar.
The half paddle 17+ men’s event was won by Gavin Dundas-Starr and the winning lady was Solly Peckett.
Participants commented on the thorough marking of the course, the pleasingly variable degrees of difficulty, the excellent supply of refreshments throughout and the friendly manner in which all were received.
The Mudskipper event attracted 170 participants, all of whom had a whale of a time, from the little ones, who swim one width of the pool to the big little ones, who swim a length and have quite a competitive attitude to their race. There were no records kept of Mudskipper winners. All those who participated are winners! They all received medals and we hope that they will all be back next year.
The nifty little HeliCam, operated by Jaco Tredoux, was at the Mudman event taking aerial shots of the activities and demonstrating tremendous skill in controlling his model helicopter, which takes aerial footage by remote control. Jaco can be contacted via his website www.rchelicam.co.za or by phoning 0823971446.
:Hot off the press Monday 7th February update on the detour from the Department of Transport as follows: ”Progress has been good with anticipated opening towards the end of the week, there has however been a delay with the surfacing due to the shortage of Bitumen. . Although the road will be opened towards the end of the week there will be places where there will be only one lane due to the surfacing that is been done in other sections. We will also be installing the necessary Guard Rails on the one side, so the vehicles will still be passing through a construction area with a speed limit of 60km/h and we encourage motorists to adhere to that.”
COUPLE ATTACKED IN RIETVLEI
COUPLE ATTACKED ON RIETVLEI FARM
Rietvlei couple, Bill and Maxie van Eeden were assaulted at their home, Brookinglfield early last Thursday afternoon. 78 year old Bill and 72 year old Maxie, were both in the house when the attackers forced the front door open at 2.30 p.m. Mr van Eeden tried to close the door but was overpowered by the three intruders, two of whom were armed with sticks.
The attackers demanded money and safe keys from Mr van Zyl who told them he did not have a safe -they hit him over the head as they continued to ask for the safe. Mrs van Eeden, who had been in the bedroom then came into the room and the attackers , using the sticks beat her on the face, head and shoulder.They then demanded that Mr Van Eeden hand over his car keys -which he did.
The three forced the couple into their bathroom, tying their hands and feet together with rope. Having ransacked the house, the attackers loaded radios, televisions, computers, a camera, cell phones and R500 in cash into the couple’s red Tazz which was parked outside the house.
When they failed to start the vehicle, the three attackers then attempted to push start it - also without success.
They fled the scene on foot, taking with them three cellphones, a laptop and the monty and left the other items in the vehicle.
A short while later Mr van Eeden managed to free himself and drove to a neighbouring farm for assistance. The couple were taken to a doctor for treatment and are reported to be recovering well from the attack.
Anyone with any information on the attack is asked to contact Warrant Officer Oscar Mabaso of the Rietvlei Police detective services on 033 417 1226 or 082 459 7324.
Van Zyl and his wife sustained slight injuries and were transported by the neighbour to a private doctor in the area for treatment. No arrests.
Police are making an appeal to anyone with information regarding the incident to contact the Branch Commander – Warrant Officer Oscar Mabaso of the Rietvlei Detective Services on 033 417 1226 or on his cell at 082 459 7324.
Persons wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stop on the toll free number at 08600 10111.
UMVOTI ATHLETIC CLUB
For those that have not yet received their 2011 licences for KZNA and their membership for Umvoti Athletic Club please contact Pierre Steyn on 0827725504 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before 20th February 2011. Please contact Pierre to make arrangements to collect and pay for your 2011 licence. If you were licensed in 2010 and will no longer be licensed in 2011, please inform Pierre.
SMOOTH BUT SLOW VOTER REGISTRATION WEEKEND
Just under 20% ( 6178) of Umvoti’s 40 731 registered voters took the time to check out their registrations over the past weekend . But a further 4 797 new voters registered giving a total for the weekend of 10 975 . Mr Chris Naidoo,Greytown I.E.C manager said the target for Umvoti had been 12 000 .
All 68 voting stations were open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.to register new voters and to allow those who were already registered to check their details on the voters’ roll.
Busiest polling station was Ensengeni which recorded 300 voter registrations -this is a new station for voters who had previously voted at Hermannsburg School. But some stations had less than ten registrations - these included Smalhoek, Lilani and Shebe.All round Sunday was somewhat busier than the previous day.
It is more than likely that a second voting registration will take place on the 5th and 6th March but in the meantime registrations can be checked at the I.E.C Umvoti offices in Bell Street or SMS ID number to 32810.
In view of the considerable number of changes to Umvoti ward boundaries it is really very important for all registered voters to check at which polling station they will have to vote and to make sure they are registered there.
Most voters were impressed at the efficiency of the I.E.C. personnel at the various polling stations and at how quick the registration process and checking was.
Only one incident was reported - several busloads arrived at a Ward 10 polling station at Mispah school .The passengers, who were from as far afield as Stanger, stated that they were land claimants to farms in the area and that , they had been advised by a lawyer, that they were entitled to register as voters there. However Provincial I.E.C. personnel who were called to the station pointed out that they were not entitled to register as they were not resident there. The Greytown Gazette also established that the land claims to these farms have not been finalised in any way or gazetted.
They fill gardens with vivid splashes of colour. Although a few years back marigolds were regarded by some to be old fashioned, thanks to the breeders the modern hybrids have made them very hip. Their colourful flowers come in shades of orange, yellow, red, and bi-colour with many flower forms in both single and double to choose from. African marigolds are tall with large flowers, while the dwarf French varieties produce masses of smaller blooms.
All that is needed is lots of sun and well-drained soil, to grow these easy to care for and rewarding bedding plants. The modern hybrids are very uniform in growth and stay compact so they make great border plants.
Plant marigolds in full sun in a well composted bed. To ensure continuous blooms, deadhead the plants regularly. Interplant marigolds with your vegetable seedlings as they help deter pesky insects.
Information supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association. Go to www.lifeisagarden.co.za for more.
GREYTOWN COUNTRY CLUB NEWS
On Friday evening Ian Hill lost out on the attendance draw prize money as he was absent at the time of the draw. The money rolls over to Friday, 11 February; there will be R1 200 in the kitty.
The Mascor Monthly Mug took place on Saturday. Thank you to Mascor for the sponsorship.
1st - M Zakwe
2nd - P Khumalo
3rd - E Schwartz
Best stableford: S van der Merwe
Congratulations to the winners.
Valentine’s Day Dinner on Friday, 11 February from 7pm. Spoil that special someone in your life with a lovely seven-course meal for only R150p\p. Bookings essential. Contact Joanne on 072 330 3140.
Request to all members: please attend the Golf AGM on Wednesday, 23 February from 5:30pm
Dates to diarise:
Fri 11 Feb - Valentine’s Day Dinner
Sat 19 Feb – Spot-on Golf Day
Wed 23 Feb - Golf AGM
Fri 25 Feb - Happy Hour
WHY APPOINT MM NOW?
In a press release issued after last week’s Umvoti Municipal Council meeting, ANC media and communication spokesperson Councillor Ahmed Shaikh states:
"Last week Mayor Ngubane led the charge to appoint a permanent Municipal Manager despite the fact that the elections are three months away and Umvoti Council’s official term ends at the end of this month.
We are concerned that when a new political formation takes over from the IFP Ratepayers may potentially be prejudiced with a new Municipal Manager who has been imposed upon us and who may be out of sync with the new Council which could lead to the situation in which Umvoti Municipality would have to pay him out - at the cost to the ratepayers. The Mayor indicated he did not find the possibility of such a burden to the ratepayers a problem.
We contend that this appointment be held over until after the elections.
Furthermore we strongly protest to the shortlisting of Umvoti Chief Financial Officer, Mr S. Ndabandaba as a Municipal Manager candidate.He was acting Municipal Manager at the time of the advertisement for this position -co-ordinate the drawing up of the advertisement, all applications to be sent to him and then he , himself, applied for the position. Surely he cannot be referee and player. There has to be a stop to this unethical behaviour.
Sergeti Magubane, head of Supply Procurement, who was castigated in the KPMG Forensic report, at the cost of R300 000 , continues as an employee and shockingly enough was appointed to the most financially crucial position of acting Chief Financial Officer last Friday.
We have sent an urgent memorandum to MEC Nomusa Dube to intervene by instituting a section 139 Intervention dissolving Council and appointing an Administrator to run the town.
Further we have requested that the Premier proclaim a Commission of Enquiry to investigate allegations of widescale corruption, nepotism and inefficiency in the Municipality .
The community NGO’s and business need to make their voice heard to stop this madness.”
For Valentine day cynics
Valentine Day - a romantic love and red roses event or an over commercialized money making event?
For those who believe the latter, enjoy these messages from a Washington Post competition to find the most romantic first line but...the least romantic second line.
I thought that I could love no other
Until, that is, I met your brother.
Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are
you. But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the
sugar bowl’s empty and so is your head.
Of loving beauty you float with grace
If only you could hide your face.
Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not.
I want to feel your sweet embrace
But don’t take that paper bag off of your face.
I see your face when I am dreaming.
That’s why I always wake up screaming.
My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way?
CHICKENS COME TO ROOST!
Your readers will recall that the Greytown Mayor labelled me as a racist through his ranting in the Greytown Gazette when he replied to my observations that the Municipality was poorly managed and that the financial resources were being squandered with gay abandon on irrelevant expenditure. On both occasions the mayor made inappropriate replies, in fact he ignored my suggestions that money was badly managed
My my, the chickens are coming home to roost! How the evidence appears to be building up! Your publication has recently reported that a number of budget items have already exceeded their annual allocations and that the Financial Officer is apparently seeking additional funding for the second half of the financial year.
It strikes me that the officials of the Umvoti Municipality are really living in “fairy-land” and they appear to believe that there is an inexhaustible supply of money.
In viewing that budget overruns and other expenditure, as it was published in the Gazette of 2 February ,.there are obvious gaps in the information supplied by the representatives of the two Political Parties - see table below. Consequently, it is difficult to draw meaningful conclusions regarding the expenditure. What is of particular concern me are the following “cost centres:-”
Local Economic Development
Youth & Sport
Clearly, there is no control over the money flow by the Treasury Department of the Municipality. It is critical; that explanations and justification be provided by the Municipality to the rate payers through the medium of the Greytown Gazette on what appears excessive spending.
Is there no sanity? I pose the question – is there a likelihood of legal charges being laid against the officials for their flagrant abuse of the Municipal Coffers in what appears irrational spending on their part? Surely those guilty of flagrant abuse and negligence in the management of the Municipal finances should be brought to book!
Assuming I were in the hot seat and facing a similar scenario, I would be feeling the heat right now, with the “Sword of Damocles” hanging above my head from a fine thread. I can just imagine having to answer awkward questions and to account for my actions and indiscretions. After all it is public money!
With the responsibility there is also accountability. With accountability there flows consequence, should it be proven that there has been mismanagement and abuse of power and resources!
A WINNER ALL THE WAY
It is an amazing story of grit, determination...and brains. Teenager Sibongile Mnyandu achieved four distinctions in matric 2010 in Zulu, Accounting ,Business Studies and Life Orientation.
Put this against this background. Sibongile arrived at Umvoti High School in 2009 as a learner in the Grade 11 commerce stream . For the first time in her school life she studied maths and she excelled as she did in her other subjects, accounting, business studies, economics, english and zulu.
Because of her outstanding ability and results, Umvoti High School promoted her to Grade 12 in the second term. Sibongile continued to excel and topped the class. Her academic brilliance continued resulting in a Bachelor matric with the four distinctions.
She has overcome much in her seventeen years -Sibongile's mother died when she was small, she does not know her father's whereabouts and has been supported by her pensioner grandmother. She has now been accepted at UKZN to study for a B.Com Accounting - her first determined step to realize her dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant.
Principal of Umvoti High, Mr A.P Ngema, her teacher , Mrs M. Bhengu and all the other teachers and community members believe so implicitly in her that they raised over R3000 to enable her to undertake the preliminaries to be accepted - and on Monday Councillor Ahmed Shaikh donated R2 000 so Sibongile could register.
However far more money is required to enable Sibongile to fulfil her dream and reach her goals . Anyone able to assist in anyway please contact Sibongile (076 175 7712) Mrs Bhengu (082 406 1566) or the Greytown Gazette.
2 February 2011
At 33 years of age, Ben Venter is one of the youngest captains flying for Air Emirate. He is based in Dubai, and flies Boeing 777's, the world's third largest commercial airliner. He is also a qualified '777' simulator instructor. Ben did his early schooling in Greytown, and his first venture into the skies was with a microlight, when he was at senior school. He is the son of Ernie and Lesley Venter of Seven Oaks.
MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS AFTER BUDGET MEETING
Following last Thursday's special Council meeting to approve the mid term adjustment budget from 31st December to 30th June 2011, Councillors were left with more questions than answers states ANC spokesman Councillor Ahmed Shaikh in a press release this week.
Councillors were not given a legible hard copy of the the budget document - this non transparent modus operandi is in direct contravention of the Constitution and appropriate Municipal legislation.
First serious concern relates to the advertising budget which was set at R200 000 for the full year. In the first six months, up to December, this had been overspent by R141 222.12 and the Management has requested a further R400 000 to meet its obligations over the next six months.
Councillor Shaikh states" It is our contention that this extra money is unnecessary - according to information received just R10 000 was spent on Municipal advertising in the Greytown Gazette over the past six months whilst up to R60 000 a month was paid to Umvoti Light which in our view seems to play the role of Imbongi (praise singer) to Mayor Ngubane."
The Chief Financial Officer informed Councillors that they had each been overpaid by R23 000 and that this money had to be repaid. Councillor Shaikh states "we demand to know when this error was discovered and what disciplinary action has been taken against the involved officials. We recommend that both the acting Municipal Manager at the time and the CFO not be paid their R50 000 performance bonuses since they earn packages in excess of one million rands combined but cannot control a straightforward simple payroll for 21 councillors."
Then on to the issue of legal fees - a budget of R210 000 was set for the 12 months up until June this year. This has already been overspent by more than the actual budget - a total of R245 469.75 was spent by the Municipality. Management has requested a further R400 000 for the next six months! The reason given for this was that the K.P.M.G forensic audit which found improprieties within the Municipal Procurement section cost over R300 000. However, Councillor Shaikh points out that "although the report recommended that Zakhiti Magubane be suspended some eight months later she continues as an employee without any action having being taken to date - what a waste of money!" In the interests of justice comprehensive records and tax invoices relating to legal work undertaken since 2006 by the IFP led Council should be tabled at the next Exco and should also be made public.
Explanations are also urgently required , Councillor Shaikh said for:
- R308 362.21 claimed to have been spent on anti-rabies campaigns in Umvoti over the six months. Officials at the meeting were unable to explain this expenditure . Anti-rabies operations are normally a District/Provincial function.
- Half a million rand spent on 'delegation fees' in the six months (fees to attend conferences). Details are required of which Councillors and officials attended these conference; at what cost and what value it added to Council. Also why no opposition Councillors were invited to attend.
- Local Economic Development (LED) budget has been already overspent by R165 526.32 to bring the total to R765 526.32. A comprehensive breakdown of expenditure is urgently required. Particularly the money spent on hosting personnel of the privately owned retail firm Solarviva." The Youth and sports budget which was set at three quarter million rand has already been overspent in the six months by R352 504.84.Councillor Shaikh states" We are extremely concerned that unnecessary expenses such as beauty queen contests have been introduced -this is not a Local Government competency. Jobs, employing the youth to fix the potholes is of far greater importance. and would be of far greater benefit to them and the community" As the Greytown Gazette editor was not present at the budget adjustment meeting Opposition Councillors were requested to submit a report on the adjustment budget - it is of vital importance that Umvoti ratepayers and residents of how their money is being spent. Further queries should also be instituted as to why the budget for designated capital projects has not been spent.
LOCAL FORESTRY WORKERS BENEFIT
Mondi forestry workers in the New Hanover and Kranskop areas are to benefit from a groundbreaking agreement in which nutritious meals are supplied daily and also a share of profits from the catering company concerned, Compass SA.
Eyethu Community Trust, which represents Kranskop and Mabomvini communities and the Siyathokoza Community Trust , representing Kwahlonga have registered a catering business, Iphini Catering Company (pty) ltd with Compass as its partner. The kitchen set up in New Hanover, is one of nine kitchens established by Mondi SA as part of its Food 4 Forests programme, launched in 2008, to provide a balanced nutritious daily meal for forestry workers.
Nightly in the kitchen five workers from the Trust communities work with nine Compass staff to cook nutritionally substantial ethnic meals which are delivered hot to the workers .
A 21 day variable menu, designed by a consulting dietician to provide adequate energy requirements is in operation.
Through this project Mondi has seen improved employee morale, reduced worker absenteeism and turnover, improved quality of life and food security for the workers and communities
In addition the Eyethu and Siyathokoza Community Trusts will receive a 25% share of quarterly profits generated through the New Hanover kitchen and will also benefit from job creation, training and development and skills transfer opportunities.
A spokesman for Compass SA stated :” we offer our immense gratitude to Mondi SA for the forward thinking manner in which it has facilitated this project”. By engaging locally Mondi and compass SA have prioritized community engagement through this unique programme and its focus on Corporate Social Responsibility
DOUBLE MURDERS IN DALTON
Two bodies were discovered in the Dalton area last Wednesday by residents who had heard gunshots the previous evening but fearing for their own safety had waited till morning to investigate and alert the Police.
Dalton Police identified the murdered couple as 51 year old Bongumusa Chiyi , who had sustained two gunshots to the head and 46 year old Delisile Ngiba who had also been shot in the head.
It was reported that round about 8 p.m. on the Tuesday night, Chiyi and his girlfriend were leaving his kitchen to go to his room in another homestead when they were confronted by the gunmen who fired multiple shots at the two fatally wounding them. It is alleged the attackers fled the scene on foot.
Early next morning the neighbours who had heard the gunshots investigated and discovered the bodies lying on the ground. They immediately contacted the police who found several expended 9mm cartridges on the scene
At this stage the motive for the shooting is unknown.. Police have appealed to anyone with any information on the murders to contact Branch Commander – Warrant Officers : Mervin Govender of SAPS Dalton on 033 5011 552/612 or 082 459 7167 or Bongwa Ngcobo on 082 725 7425.
GREYTOWN COUNTRY CLUB NEWS
On Sunday 23 January, Greytown Country Club successfully hosted the annual Jen’s Jug. Forty-eight golfers braved the rain and were rewarded when the weather cleared somewhat.
A great lunch prepared by Jack and Joanne was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Freddie and his team for the good condition of the course and to Holme Lacy Farms for sponsoring the day.
Results 1st J Mason and M Mason on 44 points oco,
2nd M Cole and D Rudderham on 44 points,
3rd P Schwartz & G Schwartz on 43 points.
At Happy Hour on Friday 28th the draw was won by S Dunmore.
5th Feb Monthly Mug
DOCTORS AFTER HOURS CONTACTS
Greytown doctors have set up a call register to ensure that if nayone needs after hours assistance, and their own doctor is not available, they can contact the doctors on call.
911 Ops Centre and Arcadia will have list which is also printed in the Greytown Gazette each month.
Please cut out and keep accessible:
Dr Ally: 083 786 7138
Dr Mkhize: 079 645 5964
Dr Ntombela: 082 751 7024
Dr Owen: 082 859 9307
Dr Roodt: 084 679 6300
Dr Yusouff: 072 565 2044
CALL DATES FOR FEBRUARY
Dr Mkhize: 2nd:16th;23rd;
Dr Roodt: 3rd;11th; 12th 13th;17th
Dr Ntombela: 4th;5th;6th;15th;24th
Dr Owen: 7th:14th;18th;19th;20th;28th
readers write 3
OWEN FAMILY SAY THANK YOU!
We would like to say a very big thank you to the wonderful Greytown community for all the many messages we received- and especially all the prayers -after our son Matthew’s accident in December. He has recovered amazingly well from the extensive burns that he sustained and has returned to university in Cape Town this week.
We are so grateful for all the support!
Many, many thanks.
Carol and Terry Owen and family.
FROM THE DITCH
Tony Smith, Omo Dinkelmann, Chris and Erika Fisher played in the NIBA Mixed Fours recently. They had mixed results, winning their 1st game against the Alan Wilson Bowling Club from Pietermaritzburg and losing the 2nd game against Mike Andrews and his team from Howick.
Great news is that 3 of our local players, namely Sannie Balzer, Omo Dinkelmann and Erika Fisher will represent the Presidents team in the KZN Inter-districts Quadrangular tournament being held in Pietermaritzburg next weekend. Good bowling girls!!
Greytown Bowling Club has 3 major sponsored tournaments during the year. The first being the Greytown Invitation which will be held over the weekend of the 12th and 13th March this year and the committee and members are already well ahead with preparations for this very popular event which draws players from as far away as Swaziland.
The fun filled Friday night bowls was again well attended. There will be a “Bring your own” braai on Friday night with only the fire provided.
VOTERS REGISTRATION WEEKEND
With the changes in wards and ward boundaries in Umvoti, voters are urged to check their registration this weekend .Voters who are not sure where they should now register and vote should check in at their previous voting station where they will be told where to go. Anyone wishing to register for the first time must take along an Identity document. The number of voting stations in Umvoti have increased from 56 to 68. There will also be an additional Councillor bringing the total to 22. A date for the Local Government elections has not yet been announced but is expected to be in May. Voter registration can also be checked by phoning 080 011 8000 on weekdays or by sending an SMS to 32810 with identity number -confirmation of registration will be given but not details of voting station. ends
DA on ADJUSTMENT BUDGET MEETING.
Following on last Thursday's Council meeting, DA Councillor Paul Buss issued the following press statement:
“The D.A. is perturbed but not surprised by the over and under expenditure in certain items in our budget for the first 6 months of this annual cycle. Items that need highlighting are;
- 1) Advertising-R141,000 over budget (this is due to the unnecessary use of the Umvoti Light)
- 2) Telephone-annual budget of over R300,000 already spent (there is NO control of calls made)
- 3) Publicity-annual budget of R307,000 already spent (who knows where or on what)
- 4) Protective clothing-only 11% of budget spent (staff at the transfer station have NO protection)
- 5) Repairs & Maintenance-only 38% of budget spent (no wonder our infrastructure is in state it is)
These are just a few of the items and shows a lack of control & management or our scarce funds.”
AMAIZING PANNAR MAZE OPEN!
Following on the outstanding success of the 2010 PANNAR maze, the second PANNAR Midlands Maze was opened on 28 January. The maze is made up of 80 000 maize plants with around 25 000 removed to form the pathways for visitors to navigate
Situated at the Piggly Wiggly Centre on the R103 Midlands Meander route last year's maze was visited by tourists, school and office groups and curious passersby. It has not only increased awareness of the PANNAR SEED brand, but has also promoted tourism, agriculture, outdoor edutainment and specifically the importance of maize as a staple food.
Friday’s ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by Piggly Wiggly owners Rudi and Cindy Kassier; Petrus van Rooyen (PANNAR SEED Sales Manager: KZN and Eastern Highveld); Grant Pringle (PANNAR Sales Representative); Chris Khosa (uMngeni Municipality) and guest of honour John Tungay, founder of the Drakensberg Boy’s Choir School, ; as well as an excited group of children from Tumbleweed School who after the formalities, were among the first to experience the challenge of finding their way through the maze.
Be sure to visit before the end of June when the maize will be harvested.
TRAVELLERS REST REOPENS IN STYLE
In August last year farmers were out in full force to dampen the flames which burnt the historic Travellers Rest bar at the New Hanover hotel. Last Thursday they were there again in forcer - firstly to wet the roof in true country style and secondly to celebrate the re-opening a favourite meeting place
The new very attractive and welcoming Travellers Rest bar
READERS WRITE 2
SPA-LESS BUT SPECIAL
Whilst doing some tidying, I came across my old foot-spa. Once a golf prize
proudly brought home by hubby, it is now covered in dust and cobwebs – a
dinosaur from a distant past. Somewhere in the recesses of what is left of my
memory (4 years of chronic porridge brain later) I remember a time when Saturday
mornings belonged to me. I would ship hubby off to work and then languidly
lounge in bed with a cup of Milo and some biscuits and decide at my leisure
between going back to sleep or reading a book. Around mid-morning, I would soak
my feet in scented water in my foot-spa and then it was time for my weekly
pedicure. Heaven forbid, after all, that one should go for more than one week
between pedicures! The rest of the day was spent painting, shopping, gardening
or simply veging on the couch. Ah...those were the Saturdays of our lives...
Fast forward a couple of years: Saturday mornings start with a jolt at around
5am with, “Mommy, I’m hungry” and by the time you’ve made a sandwich, poured
Nesquick (“No, not in the blue cup – I want the yellow cup!”) and switched on
‘Bob the Builder’, it’s rather difficult to go back to sleep again. But you try
nonetheless, but just as you’re finally dozing off again, baby decides that
she’s hungry too. By this stage, you realise any attempt to sleep in is
pointless – besides, it’s time to start getting ready for the first birthday
party of the day. In between showering, dressing kids, wrapping birthday
presents and packing nappy bags, you finally get out the house, half an hour
late. You make a quick appearance at the first birthday party and just as your
child is finally making friends, it’s time to haul him off the jungle gym to
race off to birthday party number two.
Then, just as the kids are over-tired and over-sugared, it’s time to go to
the shops to get groceries and a gift for tomorrow’s baby shower you have to
find time to attend. At some point during the day, you wistfully glance down at
your toenails and try to work out how many months ago they’ve seen a fresh coat
of nail varnish. And on Saturday night you collapse into bed, knowing that you
wouldn’t want to change your Saturdays for the world.
Brigitte du Preez