Football to resume fixture

By Ramotswedi Rammutla July 1, 2020

Mahikeng: As world sports resume training and matches in July the local Premier Soccer League, PSL which resumed training recently is expected back in full force with closed venue fixtures. This after Minister of Arts, Culture and Sport, Nathi Mthethwa, announced the resumption of the football matches. Matches may resume after three months with North West also earmarked to host teams and fixtures.

Mthethwa said PSL plans have been approved, considering the mitigation strategies and plans in relation to the Level 3 risk adjusted strategy in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The plans have further been subject to analysis by health authorities, the NICD (National Institute of Communicable Diseases), who have recommended that the measures put in place by the organisation meet and in some instances exceed the required protocol for a safe return to training and to play in a biologically safe environment,” he said.

The league was halted in March, with Kaizer Chiefs on top of the log with 48 points, followed by defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns behind by just four points. Black Leopards was at the bottom of the league table. The Nedbank Cup was also in the semi-final stage when play was stopped due to COVID-19. The news of the return of PSL matches come a day after two Kaizer Chiefs players tested positive for the virus. Bloemfontein Celtic also confirmed that one of its players tested positive.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) welcomed the return to soccer training and matches.

“The green light from the Minister means the work on the implementation of the document can start,” SAFA said in a statement. SAFA has appointed Chief Medical Officer, Dr Thulani Ngwenya, as the Compliance Officer to oversee the appropriate implementation of the whole process and that everything on the protocol document is adhered to.“Once the return to training meets all the requirements and the biological safe environment has been identified as stipulated in the protocol, the second part of the return to play kicks in…” added SAFA.


Enough with unannounced load shedding

By Ofentse Letlape July 1, 2020

Mahikeng: Residents of Mahikeng villages in the North West have criticized Eskom for the power outages that happen in their areas unannounced. Villagers in Ramatlabama, Lorwaneng and Lomanyaneng villages expressed their frustrations about the power cuts that have been happening every evening for weeks now.

They said their electrical appliances got damaged when electricity is restored. Leboy Leshomo from Lorwaneng village said he’s angry that Eskom has never given reasons for power outages in their villages.

“Exactly at 5pm every day there are power cuts that will end around 10pm at night. And when power returns it damages our electrical appliances. Not so long ago I had to fix my television because of the electricity that comes and goes.”

“This week is the 4th week that we are experiencing power cuts and we have never heard any explanation. So we are calling on Eskom and government to tell them that we have had enough of these power cuts,” Leshomo said.

“The problem is they happen without warning in the mornings, then in the evenings, sometimes even twice in one day. I am a student at the North West University studying from home and have to submit online, when the power goes down, so does the cell phone towers we use to access online resources. This has caused me not to submit on time at times; and gets frustrating if you had not known when it will occur. This includes important communication as we lose all connectivity” said Masego Sello in Ramatlabama.

Keamogetse Mokgatla of Lomanyaneng village said power cuts are costing them dearly. “I’m really concerned because the power cuts happen every day and around that time some of us are at work we can’t switch off our electrical appliances. They get damaged and even our food gets rotten in the freezer. Eskom must really make a plan and see how it solves this issue,” Mokgatla said.

But Eskom’s manager in the North West, Ezekiel Baruti, said the power outages are caused by pressure triggered by illegal connections. “The power outages are caused by overloading as a result of customers drawing electricity at the same time, while other customers have connected electricity illegally, others tempered with the meters and others are using ghost electricity. And overloading is also caused by customers who have undeclared backrooms that are not registered with Eskom and are drawing a lot of power,” said Baruti.

Meanwhile, Eskom has urged all community members to report any unsafe and illegal power conditions or connections that they come across by calling 08600 ESKOM (37566). These include exposed electrical wiring, low-hanging cables, and illegal connections, vandalised electrical equipment such as substations and exposed electrical cables due to theft or vandalism.

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