North West could benefit from solar farming as a developing sector

Solar power has economical and environmental benefits.
Picture Supplied.

By Ramotswedi Rammutla

Mahikeng: Solar power has shown that technological development and cultivation of clean energy has both environmental and economical benefits which may contribute to overall food security. The new normal of power cuts and load shedding by Eskom from an on demand power grid continues to reveal opportunities both in solar farming or use of solar power in agriculture in general.

The industry has gained traction with the inclusion of independent power producers to the grid, which opens up the power sector to new entrants and entrepreneur. The Northern Cape remains one of the leaders in the sector, as most of the biggest solar producers are based in that province. The advantages being the higher latitude and temperature variation they have. Eskom has been mandated to add 5.7 GW of solar power to the grid by 2030 to increase the 1.5 GW currently in use in South Africa.

Renewable energy can be used in water pumping, green house heating, grain and crop drying and space heating. These applications of solar energy in farms, have immensely resulted in better and improved farming methods and even farming mechanization. Photovoltaic (PV) pumping system may reduce cost in irrigation needs and water in protected areas as well as communal water schemes and may increase productivity and service delivery to communities in rural areas. The systems offer many benefits and reliability.

The banking sector has also seen the great growth in the industry and is willing to finance solar installations. According to the First National Bank FNB; “Solar power has proven itself as an efficient option for homes across South Africa. But what about solar power as a viable option for your business? And what are the considerations? As a firm believer in the future prospects of solar power for businesses and homes alike, FNB has included energy solutions to their property financing offering, to not only enhance your productivity but increase the value of your property”.

Kathu Solar Park is one of the largest in South Africa and generates 100MW of power. It was build from 2016 and started operating in 2019. The park cost R12 billion. The Jasper Solar Power Project which produces 96MW and is able to power over 80000 homes. They also have a 20 year contract with Eskom.

The investment injections in solar power are high but when completed and operational they have great returns; from parks to single or clustered installations which can be of use to either private sector or public sector stakeholders. Making solar farming one of the future businesses prospects that need action now to generate employment and render needed power capacity to the grid.

Over 30 artists taking part at Sekame Road Festival

Graffiti artist Bekz Selalome. Pic by Sosty Rammutla

By Ramotswedi Rammutla

Mahikeng: The Sekame Road Mural Festival which began on April 26 was still continuing the main aim of the event is to introduce art in public spaces around the Capital City of the North West.

One of the female artist putting finishing touches to her artwork. Picture by Sosty Rammutla

The buzz of the festival is reaching fever pitch as artist are gradually completing their art work. The festival now features thirty artists of which 7 are school going children
The project has gained some support from Dulux who will assist with paint so artists can finally complete the art. The festival is based at Lowe and Old Parliament building wall, opposite Montshioa Library. The festival is open to all, and the organisers have extended the call to any artists or individuals who are interested in being part of the project. The project is funded by the National Arts Council and aims to expose local artists to the international market by promoting their work through other international platforms.

Mother-daughter team finishing their message on the wall. Pic by Sosty Rammutla

“The closing event will be called “Colour in Mahikeng” and will have creatives from different mediums showcase their work; whether it will be chefs, clothing designers and obviously artists. The opening ceremony will run from 10:00 to 18:00 at the end of the month” Odirile Majatladi: Director of Seabe Communication Group.

Dieza releases his latest beat tape

Thabiso “Deiza” Makgatho creative director and producer at Boss Flow Empire which he started in 2008 with focus on media and entertainment for rural-urban youth in Bokone Bophirima. He recently released a Beat Tape EP titled “Daizer – Winter pack”. @ Thabiso Makgatho on Facebook.

By Ramotswedi Rammutla

Rustenburg: Moruleng based music producer Thabiso “Deiza” Makgatho has recently release his latest project. The 6 track instrumental EP was released on May 16. The EP is titled “Deiza, Winta Pack”.

“I have not been producing beats for the longest time and at the beginning of the year I thought to comeback mainly because a lot of the artists are generally struggling with quality beats in the North West Province. The other issue being that they are expensive.
I decided to release a free download so artists can use the beats on their albums or mixtape’s” said Makgatho.

Makgatho says because of COVID 19 he had to re invent himself; by looking at his skills and what he can offer, since the pandemic affected most of his normal business.

“I have been making beats for many years now and I love traditional Setswana beats and Hip hop but I’m versatile and I do my own sound so I don’t get restricted on genre while I can just make beautiful music. For me it is all about how I feel at the time and I have found time to revisit that, and I thought why not release a project so artist can get free instrumentals they can use in their albums or mixtapes or as background music while chilling or working. Like I said I produce any thing. Its COVID and people need some music. This EP is a pre release in preparation for a full project later in the year” added Makgatho.

The winta pack is available on as well as from Daiza directly on WhatsApp @ 0788151430.

JZ gets 15 months jail term from the ConCourt

Should JZ not follow the instruction of the court by Sunday, July 4th the minister of police Beki Cele and his national commissioner of police must within three days ensure that he is taken into custody to start his sentence. Picture by EWN

Mahikeng: Former president Jacob Zuma may be the first former president in South Africa to go to jail since democratic South Africa. He remains one of the most controversial presidents the country has ever had, his tenure is riddled with allegations of corruption. This is what led to the establisment of the Judge Raymond Zondo commission which was set to investigate state capture in his administration. It is because of the commission that he found himself at logger heads with the Constitutional court which has given him five days to hand himself in at the nearest police station. The court has given him 15 months in jail for violating the authority of the court and attacking the dignity of the judiciary.

Should JZ not follow the instruction of the court by Sunday, July 4th the minister of police Beki Cele and his national commissioner of police must within three days ensure that he is taken into custody to start his sentence.

The majority judgment delivered by acting Deputy Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe on Tuesday, June 29 confirmed that this was for Zuma’s defiance and attacks on the court. “It is disturbing that he who twice sought allegiance to the republic, its laws and its constitution has sought to ignore, undermine and in many ways destroy the rule of law altogether,” she said.

“In taking stock of the cumulative effect of these exceptional circumstances, the majority finds that it must grant an order that will vindicate the court’s order and protect and maintain public confidence in the legitimacy of the judiciary. Accordingly the only appropriate sanction is a direct, un-suspended order of imprisonment, because the alternative would be to effectively sentence the legitimacy of the judiciary to inevitable decay,” Khampepe said.

In their judgment they underpin the reasons for such a decision by the court. Khampepe said; “It defies logic to believe that a suspended sentence, which affords Mr Zuma one final opportunity to submit to the authority of the commission, would have any effect other than to prolong his defiance and to signal dangerously that impunity is to be enjoyed by those who defy court orders,”.

After defying the judgment in January 2021 the court again gave him a chance to present what sanctions should be taken against him. He again did not adhere, but rather used the opportunity to attack the court and portray himself as a victim.

“Instead of filing an affidavit as he was directed to do, Mr Zuma addressed a 21-page letter to the chief justice. Unfortunately, but not entirely unexpectedly, Mr Zuma once again squandered an opportunity to respect this country’s legal processes. He again aired his views through inflammatory statements intended to undermine the authority of the constitutional court and to portray himself as a victim. All of this besides being scandalous is totally irrelevant to the question. The sentence is related both to the seriousness of the default and the contumacy of the respondent and the order are influenced by the need to set an example and assert the authority of the court,” added the court.

Life sentence for serial rapist

By Ramotswedi Rammutla

Moretele: The Moretele Regional Court has handed a life sentence with an additional 30 years for multiple counts of rape to Benjamin Bapela. He was sentenced 10 year imprisonment on count two, 15 years on count three, four and five and life imprisonment in respect of all five rape charges. He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.

According to the National Prosecuting Agency in the North West; “Bapela was convicted for raping Motsatsi Matlou (26) in 2013. Matlou was walking from a tavern in Temba in the early hours of the morning when she met with Bapela who grabbed and pulled her to the nearby bushes and raped her. In 2016, he raped Mmule Mpye (18) in Temba at a tavern in the early hours of the morning. Mpye allegedly went outside to answer her phone when Bapela emerged from behind, throttled her and pulled her to the fence and raped her”.

Bapela had continued with his serial offences through the year 2016 raping an additional 3 victims in his trail of terror. “In a separate incident in 2016 at a place called Suurman, in the early hours of the morning again, Bapela raped Nthabiseng Khoza (21). She was from her boyfriend’s home when Bapela emerged and assaulted her before dragging her into the nearby bushes and raped her. He was also charged for raping Dipuo Matsa (21) who was sleeping in a shack with her two- year-old child when she heard someone in the house. Upon inspection, she met Bapela who threatened her and her child with a knife. He then raped her and fled the scene” added the NPA.

Bapela was relentless as he also attacked a pregnant woman and raped her together with his friend. “Bapela was also convicted of raping a pregnant and asthmatic Lisbeth Mangwedi (22) in 2016 in Sekampaneng. He was allegedly in the company of an unknown man who also allegedly raped Mangwedi. On her way to the clinic, Mangwedi met with the two men who grabbed and throttled her while threatening her with a firearm. They took turns to rape her and fled the scene” continued the evidence presented by the NPA.

The state prosecutor in her argument for the maximum sentence asked the court to consider the impact of the acts by Bapela on the victim’s lives as well as their dignity which was gravely affected.

“The Acting Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Advocate Rachel Makhari – Sekhaolelo welcomed the conviction and hailed it a success for the criminal justice system in demonstrating it’s seriousness in dealing with issues of Gender Based Violence and Femicide” added the NPA.

Rhino horns dealers arrested in Vryburg

Rhino Horns seized during the operation. Picture SAPS

By Ramotswedi Rammutla

Mahikeng: Two suspects were arrested for dealing in Rhino Horns worth R2.4 million in Vryburg recently by the Hawks’ through a covert operation. The 72 and 31 year old males were arrested during a buy and bust operation where they allegedly attempted to sell Rhino horns. The suspects’ vehicle was searched and two rhino horn worth approximately R2.4 million were found. The man appeared at the Vryburg Megistrate Court on Monday, June 28. Both Rhino horns were seized for further investigation on the case.

Parent appears in court for assaulting teacher in Tsetse Village

SADTU members and fellow colleagues calling for justice at the Mmabatho Magistrate Court . Pic by Facebook

By Ramotswedi Rammutla

Mahikeng: South African Democratic Teachers Union SADTU has condemned the actions of a parent who assaulted a teacher at Phera Primary School in Tsetse Village in Mahikeng. The video that went viral from June 14 has sparked mixed reactions from people on Social media and has shocked many members of civil society and the department of education in the province.  The mother was due in court on June 24 after a case of assault was registered on the same day.

The incident has raised many questions and reaction that pertain to teacher parent relations in schools as well as overall involvement of parents in schools as well as the conducts of some teachers towards parents and learners. The incident is not an isolated event as not so long ago another teacher was stabbed by a learner in Khunotsoane, as well as another incident in Motswedi in the Zeerust area in this instance it was learners shouting and assaulting a Teacher.

Most of these do not go as viral because maybe there is no video of the event. Teachers raise issues of mass lack of discipline and poor performance. This was mainly because of lack of stringent remedies to deal with these within the school system. Corporal punishment used correctly was a deterrent to misbehavior. In the absence of a measure, the relationship to authority diminishes.

Because these incidents range from learner against teacher, parent against teacher, learner against learner confrontations which continue to underpin the education sector. At the center of it is the effects which include stress and workplace related illnesses for teachers; having to deal with overcrowded classrooms of learners from different households and communities all with different ways of parenting.

This brings us to the environment in which each child is raised and what lessons and traits they bring to the institution; though none of these events can’t be justified, the general analysis should indicate that there are great challenges within society and our schooling systems, which seem like a ticking time bomb.

“The teacher, who has more than 10 years’ teaching experience, was allegedly assaulted by a mother who has two children, in grade 4 and R, at the school. It is alleged the parent complained about why the teacher turned back her children for arriving late,” said Elias Malindi departmental spokesperson..

“On behalf of the department, I would like to strongly condemn the alleged incident against one of our teachers. I am perturbed by the incident and the actions of this specific parent. Our teachers are beacons of hope and should be treated as such for the huge revolutionary role they play in educating our society,” said Education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela .

Parent attacks teacher in front of her classroom at Phera Primary School in Tsetse Village. The vedio went viral on June 14 after the incident. Screen grab

ANC NDC gives Supra and Bitsa a lifeline

In his own words “Tsetsepela”, Supra Maumapelo has gained an appeal for his suspension from the ANC.  Picture by News 24

By Ramotswedi Rammutla

Mahikeng: The African National Congress (ANC) National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) has on June 25 taken the suspension of Supra Mahumapelo and Bitsa Lenkopane on review. This is to give the two a chance to come plead their case within 15 days.

The two had been suspended for 5 years on April 27 and given instructions to take remedial action. They had been charged for organizing a parallel Siyanqoba Rally event with that of the Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) in December 2020 in Mareetsane. Both Applicants applied for review of the decision to the Provincial Disciplinary Committee PDC. The applications were heard on June 21.

“Having considered the facts and arguments presented by both parties, the NDC is of the view that the case was not properly ventilated in the provincial level and that the interest of justice for both the charged members and the ANC would best be served if the matter is referred back to the PDC for re hearing and finalized within 15 days” said Mildred Oliphant Chairperson of the NDC.

Title deeds for Mahikeng RDP beneficiaries

Cwaile together with Mahikeng Local Municipality Mayor, Betty Diakanyo, on Thursday handed over more than 1000 title deeds to community members of Extension 39 in Mahikeng.

Mahikeng: North West MEC for Human Settlements, Mmoloki Cwaile, says the province still needs more than 200 000 government provided RDP houses for the homeless.

Cwaile together with Mahikeng Local Municipality Mayor, Betty Diakanyo, on Thursday handed over more than 1000 title deeds to community members of Extension 39 in Mahikeng.

Cwaile said the housing department has escalated the issue of people having ghost houses in the system to national Department or Human Settlements.

“We still need to build more 250 000 houses. That cannot be done over a short period of time. In the beginning, people were given stands, a foundation, a toilet, and a title deed. When you look in the system it says that such a person has benefited, but when you go to that person you find that the person has not benefited. So we have escalated such cases to the national government,” Cwaile said.

Diakanyo said that the municipality will continue to work with the department to ensure that the homeless are allocated homes.

“A lot of people still need homes, especially in the rural areas. As the municipality, we will continue to work together with the department of human settlements because the municipality does not have the title deeds to provide people with houses. When we receive the list of names of people who need houses, we approach the department for it to provide them with houses,” said Diakanyo.

One of the beneficiaries is 68-year-old Boitumelo Motswiri, who was excited to finally receive her title deed.

“I have been living in fear that someone might just show up and claim that this house is his. Now I am relieved and very grateful that I have finally received my house title deed,” Motswiri said.

Cwaile said the department will also deal with people who are staying in RDP houses illegally, while earning more than R3500 a month. | Source Newsnote

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