Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Thabi Madiba.
Making headlines: Cabinet assures SA of govt effort to ‘prevent attempts to collapse national grid’; Mapisa-Nqakula wants Mkhwebane fitness inquiry done by the end of the month; And, Dr Nandipha withdraws her bail application, will appear in dock with Thabo Bester
Cabinet assures SA of govt effort to ‘prevent attempts to collapse national grid
Cabinet stressed that government is working closely with embattled State-owned enterprise Eskom to fast-track the repair of power station units that have resulted in Stage 6 loadshedding in recent days and frustrated progress in the programme to improve energy security in the country.
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said intense work is underway at Eskom to increase the Utility’s Energy Availability Factor through substantial maintenance.
Maximising the use of Open Cycle Gas Turbines, securing additional generation capacity from private investment in renewables and scaling up awareness to improve Demand Side Management from large electricity users and from households are some of the steps government and Eskom will be taking to combat loadshedding.
She further noted that acts of sabotage continued to plague Eskom’s infrastructure which has forced government to deploy 880 South African National Defence Force members to safeguard power stations, and which she stated were part of government measures “to prevent attempts to collapse the national grid.
Mapisa-Nqakula wants Mkhwebane fitness inquiry done by the end of the month
Clearly fed up with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's ever-extending deadline for the inquiry into her fitness for office, National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has put her foot down: The inquiry must complete its work by the end of May.
She also made it clear that a looming Section 194 inquiry into the Commission for Gender Equality's chairperson, Mbuyiselo Botha, will not resume until the issue of who bears the responsibility of an office holder's legal costs is sorted.
Section 194 of the Constitution deals with the removal of the head of a Chapter 9 institution.
Mkhwebane, whose term of office ends on 14 October, has been in a war of attrition with the committee. She launched numerous court challenges against the process which led to the committee postponing its work, called irrelevant witnesses and applied unsuccessfully for the recusal of various people, including her now former advocate, Dali Mpofu.
This meant the process, which was initially scheduled to be completed by September last year, with R4.5-million as Mkhwebane's legal costs, is still going and her legal costs have burgeoned to R30-million.
And, Dr Nandipha withdraws her bail application, will appear in dock with Thabo Bester
Dr Nandipha Magudumana's bail application has been withdrawn for now and will be heard on a new date after her lawyer stated that new information has come to light.
Magudumana and five others are accused of helping rapist and murderer Thabo Bester escape from prison on 3 May 2022.
While the bail application of the five others was expected to take place on Thursday and Friday at the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court, Magudumana's will be heard on 16 May.
She will appear in court on the same day next week as Bester and her father, Zolile Sekeleni. The defence argued today that Magudumana should be allowed to explore the information concerning her bail application before it is heard.
Magistrate Motlholo Khabisi dismissed her from the court for the rest of the day while the bail application of the others continued.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
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