Author: Renate

News: 98 students at Ethembeni High School test positive with Covid-19.

Ninety-eight Ethembeni High School pupils have tested positive for Covid-19.

Pupils from Burgersdorp and Middelburg have been affected, according to the Eastern Cape education department.

Education department spokesperson Mali Mtima said: “A multi departmental team consisting of the local municipality, departments of health (Doh) and public works and education have been established to manage the spread of this outbreak and advise on measures suitable for learners, especially those writing their matric trial examinations,” Mtima said. “Currently, the team has advised the department to allow learners to write, as there are no reasons to stop the learners since they are medically fit. Invigilators have been advised to put on PPE and scripts will also be monitored for a specified period before being marked.”

The team will also outline a road map to ensure learners do not transfer the virus to their homes or parents.

The team is also working with families of the affected learners, testing and providing them with their results so that they can adopt regulated coping mechanisms should they test positive.

According to the education MEC Fundile Gade, the teams on ground will assess the situation daily and advise should this outbreak require the activation of a multi departmental disaster management team.

“A report submitted by the department of health has just indicated that 552 learners will also be quarantined. The report further confirmed that contact tracing has started”, said Gade.

“Of the 685 tested learners and teachers, 98 learners have tested positive. Our team is giving hourly updates to help establish the number of matrics from this group who tested positive for isolation. Public Works has indicated that these learners will be isolated in Aliwal North. In this centre, learner will be allowed to continue writing their trial exams”.

All contacts of the 98 positive learners are being tracked and traced urgently to curb the spread of the virus.

 

Trending Recipe: Bacon & Mielie Bread

This recipe for the Bacon & Mielie Bread is perfect for around the braai. Delicious as a snack too.

Ingredients

  • 250g bacon, diced
  • 2.5 (625ml) cups all purpose (cake) flour
    2tsp (10ml) baking powder
    1tbsn (15ml) sugar
    1tsp (5ml) salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) butter, melted
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 tin (410g) whole corn kernels
  • 1/2 tin (about 200g) cream style sweetcorn
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Buy the ingredients 

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 170C and grease a standard size loaf tin.

Fry the chopped bacon in a very hot pan until slightly crisp.

Meanwhile, sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Beat together the eggs, butter and milk and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Fold in the corn and bacon and pour into the prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the loaf and place into the oven.

Bake for 60-75 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. If the loaf is browning too fast, turn the heat down.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool down for 5 minutes before removing from the tray.

Simply Delicious food blog.

News: Gauteng challenged to follow Cape Town’s footsteps in feeding the hungry.

It started as a community revolution, which saw more than 2-million sandwiches made, and essential groceries donated for those in need during the Covid-19 lockdown. Now Ladles of Love’s Sandwich & Essential Groceries Drive initiative, in partnership with Sun International, has launched in Gauteng.

Making sandwiches for those in need at the Johannesburg launch of Ladles of Love Sandwich & Essential Groceries Drive that took place at Carnival City on Thursday, Valter Mthethwa, Carnival City’s HR Intern’ Alison McCutcheon, Ladles of Love Campaign Director; and Michelle Smith, Carnival City’s Marketing Manager.

Public drop off points can be found at Carnival City Casino in Brakpan and Time Square Casino in Menlyn.

“By expanding into Gauteng, Ladles of Love is on a massive fundraising drive to continue supporting our growing list of beneficiaries,” said Founder Danny Diliberto. “It is only through the generous support from the public and corporates like Sun International that we are able to provide for so many people in need on a weekly basis, this is the true spirit of ubuntu, this is #humanityagainsthunger.”

The Carnival City drop off point launched today with a sandwich making session, with partner SASKO, who provided 5 000 sandwiches’ worth of bread to kick start the drive in the area. These sandwiches are being distributed to local communities in need on the day.

“It’s an absolute privilege for us to partner on this initiative,” says Le-Anne Engelbrecht, SASKO Marketing Executive. “Making a sandwich and sharing it is a simple gesture, but to the receiver, it means a lot.” As a baking business feeding and fuelling our nation is our key priority. At SASKO, everything we do is about care; whether it is the passion and expertise we put into our products every day or working with different organisations to build a better society. We believe that when we all come together, our small collective actions really can change our nation.”

From today, the public are invited to support the drive by dropping off home-made sandwiches and/or essential groceries between Monday and Friday, 09h00 to 12h00 at The Big Top Arena loading area at Carnival City. Ladles of Love then ensure these contributions are immediately redistributed to local communities in need via a network of non-profit organisations. The donations can be made for the next three weeks until 10 October 2020.

“In these challenging times we can sometimes become so focused on our own problems, that we no longer notice the disadvantaged in society, people for whom a simple sandwich can make a difference. We applaud Ladles of Love for this humanitarian initiative, and we hope that everyone in Ekurhuleni will join Carnival City and Ladles of Love in making sandwiches for the hungry,” said Carnival City general manager, Annemie Turk.

Go to www.ladlesoflove.org.za and support the new Gauteng Sandwich & Essential Groceries drive by signing up and dropping off a contribution at Carnival City Casino, Brakpan or Time Square Casino, Menlyn. Alternatively, you can support by donating via the website – R150 feeds a person a nutritious meal every day for a month.

 

International News: China Lab Leak Infects Thousands With Bacterial Disease

Thousands of people in northwest China have tested positive for a bacterial disease after a leak from a state-owned biopharmaceutical plant making animal vaccines last year.

Health officials in Lanzhou city said 3,245 people had contracted brucellosis, a disease often caused by close contact with infected animals or animal products that can bring about fevers, joint pain, and headaches.

Another 1,401 people tested as an early positive for the disease, and health authorities said there was no evidence of person-to-person transmission so far.

Chinese authorities found a biopharmaceutical plant had used expired disinfectant in its production of Brucella vaccines for animals between July and August last year -meaning the bacteria was not eradicated in its factory exhaust.

Contaminated gas from the China Animal Husbandry Lanzhou Biopharmaceutical Factory in Lanzhou formed aerosols containing the bacteria, and this was then carried by wind to the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, infecting nearly 200 people there as of December last year.

More than 20 students and faculty members of Lanzhou University, some of whom had been to the institute, subsequently tested positive as well, according to Xinhua news agency.

Lanzhou’s health commission said Friday that sheep, cattle, and pigs were most commonly involved in the spread of the bacteria.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, person-to-person transmission of brucellosis is “extremely rare” but some symptoms may reoccur or never go away.

AFP

News: Why do dogs become aggressive and attack?

Dog attacks made headline news on a number of occasions in recent months.
As part of its awareness campaign, ER24 spoke to veterinarians at the South African Veterinary Association – Community Veterinary Clinics (SAVA-CVC), in order to bring about better understanding among the public on why dogs attack, what can be done to reduce the chances of being bitten and what to do if bitten.

The following questions were answered by Dr Quixi Sonntag, a veterinarian and animal behaviourist, and Dr Dave Kenyon. Both veterinarians are members of the SAVA.

Is dog aggression common?
The majority of dogs are not aggressive. Veterinarians treating dogs with behaviour problems, commonly treat dogs with various types of aggression, as this condition usually causes much concern for the owners of the dogs. Fighting amongst dogs is more common than bites directed at humans.

Are dog attacks common in South Africa?
In a 2007 study*, it was found that dog bites account for 1,5% of all patients presented to a trauma unit in Cape Town. Most of the cases were male children and no fatalities were reported over a 13,5 year-period (1871 cases). Far more people are injured in car accidents and crime-related incidents.

Why do dogs attack?
Most dog bites occur in situations where dogs feel threatened by the actions of humans. People do not always know how to read a dog’s body language and often inadvertently contribute to the dog biting them. Dogs can feel threatened if their personal space is being intruded upon (for example when a person reaches out towards a dog’s head with their hand or with an implement or looms over the dog) or if something that they perceive as valuable, such as a bone or food, is taken from them. Pain is a common cause of defensive aggressive behaviour, especially if the dog thinks that it cannot escape from the situation. Dogs on chains tend to be more aggressive as they are unable to flee. Some dogs are aggressive because they are protecting their territory, but even this type of aggression is based in fear as they are fearful of losing control of their territory. Frustration can cause fear when a dog cannot get to the target of its aggression – for example, a dog is barking at the fence when somebody walks in the street with their dog on the other side of the fence and because it cannot get to that dog, it bites whoever or whatever happens to be next to it at that moment (redirected aggression).

Less commonly, dogs may exhibit predatory behaviour towards something or someone, they perceive as a prey – this type of aggression is very quiet as they first stalk the “prey” and is typically directed towards a human that shows signs of weakness such as a person who moves in an uncoordinated way, for example, people with disabilities or people who are drunk. When dogs are in groups, they tend to be more dangerous as dogs will follow another’s example even if, on their own, they would not have been aggressive.

What can contribute to a dog being aggressive?
Many factors can result in a dog being aggressive. The environment may play a role in that maybe the resources are limited or there is a lack of space. A dog can thus see another person or dog entering its already limited space with limited resources as a threat. Physical factors such as age and gender as well as an intact male with more testosterone (which tends to be more aggressive than a castrated male) can also play a role. A dog also tends to be more aggressive if it is raised in an un-socialised manner with no interaction with people or other dogs.
The most relevant factors are lack of appropriate socialisation, incorrect training methods utilising punishment and irresponsible owners who do not keep their dogs under proper control at all times.

Can aggression be prevented?
Puppies should be exposed to different types of people and physical handling in a pleasant manner during their most sensitive developmental period, which is between two and four months of age. There are many excellent puppy schools offering assistance to dog owners in this regard. Puppy school is also where owners learn how to control their dogs so that they do not become a nuisance or danger to other people. Reward-based training methods help dogs to know how to behave appropriately in circumstances which could otherwise have resulted in aggressive behaviour. Many veterinary practices offer this service to puppy owners. Recognising dogs’ body language and knowing how to interpret it can play a significant role in reducing canine aggression. Sterilisation of dogs (spaying and castration) can indirectly reduce aggressive behaviour. Dog owners who are concerned about aggressive behaviour in their dogs should consult an appropriately qualified behaviour consultant sooner rather than later as most cases of aggression in dogs can be successfully managed.

Are dog attacks common among children?
Studies have shown that children are common victims of dog bites. This is probably because children are more likely to be closer to the size of dogs, they are less likely to accurately read the dog’s body language and interpret it correctly and are more likely to be in close proximity of dogs when playing. Research* has shown that children under the age of six are more likely to be bitten by a familiar dog and children over the age of six by unfamiliar dogs.

How to avoid being bitten?
Do not interact physically with dogs you do not know. Do not hug or kiss a dog – even if you feel comfortable with it. Hugging and kissing (handling the most vulnerable body parts of a dog – the head and the neck) are perceived as a threat by most dogs. Do not punish a dog by hitting it or shouting at it. Learn how to use reward-based training methods to get your dog to behave appropriately. Respect the personal space of a dog. Learn to recognise the subtle signs of a dog that feels threatened for example lip licking, yawning, turning the head away, moving away and growling. Growling is a sign of a dog with good manners, warning you that it is feeling threatened and needs to be left alone. Be thankful if a dog growls when it feels threatened, as it is a sign of excellent communication skills. Examine why the dog growled and get professional help to address it if it happens often.

What to do if you are attacked?
A dog that wants to attack you will usually show distance-increasing body language signals (it is telling you that you must back off otherwise you will be attacked) such as a direct stare, body planted squarely on the ground, slightly leaning forward, hair raised, tail raised and even wagging very quickly at the tip, ears forward, snarling (showing its teeth) and growling. If you come across a dog doing this, keep quiet, turn your head away to break eye contact, keep your arms still next to your body, slowly step backwards to safety and keep breathing. Do not threaten the dog in any way or make any sudden movements. Should you find yourself in the very unfortunate position of already having been bitten, remain as quiet as possible and if you have been pulled to the ground, crawl up and pretend to be dead until help arrives – any movement will entice the dog(s) to start biting again.

So you have been bitten… what now?
Dog bites can take so many different forms and what one does when bitten depends on a variety of factors, for example, whether it was a household dog or an unfamiliar dog, and whether there was any owner negligence involved. A dog bite incident is always traumatic to all involved (including the dog) and can be very emotional. If it is your dog that has bitten someone, always try and get an objective view from an expert in dog behaviour before making a decision on the dog’s future. If necessary, put the dog in kennels for a few days so that everyone gets an opportunity to catch their breath before any big decisions are made. People often regret a hurriedly made decision to euthanise a dog after a bite incident. Make sure you have taken all the factors into account before making such a decision. Dog owners are legally responsible for their dog’s behaviour. Dog bite cases can be dealt with in the courts via a civil case (where the dog bite victim may be entitled to compensation by the dog owner) or criminally (if the dog is considered to be a danger to people). If you find yourself in such a position, get advice from your attorney.

 

Sources: 2007 study* – Dog bite injuries in children – a review of data from a South African paediatric trauma unit by Jeremy P Dwyer, Arjan B van As (Department of Paediatric Surgery and Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Southern Africa, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Institute of Child Health, University of Cape Town) and Tania S Douglas (Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town).
2010 research* – Dog bites to the head, neck and face in children by Arjan B van As, Jeremy P Dwyer and Sudeshni Naidoo (Department of Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Tygerberg).

 

Local News: Hawks dismantle an illegal gold refinery in Boksburg

Five male suspects aged between 21 and 37 have been arrested by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation in East Rand for running an illegal gold processing refinery on Thursday.

This follows an intelligence driven operation supported by the Springs Public Order Policing after the Hawks received intelligence about illegal mining activities last month in Boksburg.

The team conducted a disruptive operation at the property and arrested the suspects while processing the gold and seized man-made pendukas, malgum, stamping rods and pots as well as a sizable gold bearing material.

The suspects are expected to appear before the Boksburg Magistrates Court soon, for illegally processing gold. Investigations are still continuing.

Local News: Mondeor Community School organised a ”clean up the school day.”

The Mondeor Community School organised a ”clean up the school day.”

The school taught the Grade 0/R class all about the 3 R’s, reduce, reuse and the importance of recycling

Mrs Carter (teacher) teaching the Grade 0/R class the importance of recycling.

“We taught them what can be recycled and what is just trash. We went out onto our playground with the recycling bins provided and cleaned up the playground. While they were cleaning, we were teaching them how to sort and why it is so important to recycle and not litter.”

News: Crime reporting and alert App launches in South Africa!

Knowledge is power in the effort to stay safe. Now you can stay informed on crime and safety issues in your neighbourhood through a locally developed app called CrimeSpotter.

The citizens of a country feel the effects of crime the most, and should be given more direct participation in the reporting and discussion of crime. More needs to be done to intensify the fight against crime by using what is available today to improve communications and information gathering.

FIGHTING CRIME WITH TECHNOLOGY

What is needed is a drive to use technology to widen the crime-fighting capabilities of South Africans and to unite against a common criminal enemy.

CrimeSpotter is an easy to use crime reporting and alert app. Using the power of the community to gather and share data. Bringing communities closer together with technology and information that can be shared quickly and centrally.

Developed independently by In-Detail Advertising, a Johannesburg based design agency who developed the free app to try to curb the rising crime in South Africa.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

The aim of CrimeSpotter is to mobilise South Africans in crime prevention by becoming the eyes and ears of their community and actively reporting all crimes and providing any additional information possible on those crimes which have been reported by others.

For example, most property crimes can be prevented by taking simple steps such as locking doors and removing valuables from plain view. If you know that these types of crimes are being reported in your neighbourhood, you can better prepare to protect your property.

CrimeSpotter is ideal for Community Policing Forums (CPFs), neighbourhood watches, townships, estates, road closures, security companies and active citizens.

The CrimeSpotter app allows users to rapidly report crime incidents and suspicious activity. Crimes are mapped, and nearby users instantly notified. Providing incident awareness to all residents, security companies, CPF members and the police.

Reporting incidents on CrimeSpotter does not replace an official police report and is done to alert others and to contribute valuable data to the central crime database. Data that can assist in the formation of crime prevention strategies of law enforcement and security companies.

Crimes can be searched or browsed as pins on a map or in a timeline format. All crime information is public, as this is the guiding principle behind the project – to map and share up-to-date countrywide crime trends.

TRENDING CRIME STATISTICS

Many crimes go unreported as the only incentive to go to a police station and report a minor crime is for insurance purposes. As the yearly crime statistics rely on these official police reports, there is an inaccurate depiction of crime levels. This app aims to solve this and provide realtime trending crime statistics.

Whatsapp groups are widely used for sharing community information but are often segmented to roads or small private groups and are prone to local politics and abuse. CrimeSpotter simply connects all residents based on their location and is centred purely on safety and security.

The alert radius can be set to anything between one and ten kilometres providing users with localised detail. While the app makes use of your current location, additional places may be added should you want to monitor other addresses pertinent to you.

CrimeSpotter is a free app and allows for anonymous crime reporting. In order to protect privacy, no personal information is included in incidents mapped by this service.

 

By Brent Lindeque – Goodthingsguy

News: Tenacious editor wins battle for transparency

A tenacious editor has secured a significant court victory entrenching the constitutional right of journalists — and in turn the public — to ensure transparency in government.

Anton van Zyl is the publisher and editor of the Zoutspansberger and the Limpopo Mirror, based in Louis Trichardt.

He wears many hats. He is the commercial manager and also, because of scarce resources, does reporting.

Last year, when the local Makhado Municipality advertised in his own newspapers a tender for the sale, to the highest bidder, of what was once a popular public park (turned taxi rank and dumping ground) in what is mainly a residential area in Louis Trichardt, it caught his eye.

In July, “rumours” were doing the rounds that the two sites — which are some of the last public areas and were zoned accordingly — had been sold.

He started digging and asked the municipality for further information. In response, the municipality posted on its website that one site had been sold to Banyana Enterprises, and the other to Trendy Tiles and Sanitary Ware.

Van Zyl said this raised numerous questions: Who were these entities? Why had Banayana Enterprises succeeded when its tender was one of the lowest of the eight submitted? And why did Trendy Tiles and Sanitary Ware succeed when its tender was R450,000 lower than another tender submitted by another entity which had offered about R3.8 million for both sites?

The media plays an important role in providing citizens with information and fostering a culture of transparency. – Magistrate Vanessa Grundlingh

The municipality had accepted tenders with a combined value of just more than R3 million when it could have got R800,000 more for both sites.

A search revealed that Banyana was based in the North West Province. Van Zyl could find no information at all on Trendy Tiles.

Using the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), he made an application asking for all documents relating to the two deals, including company information, and minutes of committees.

He got no response within the stipulated time frame. He then appealed, and again got no response.

He turned to the Makhado Magistrate’s Court in Louis Trichardt. In a ruling handed down this week, Magistrate Vanessa Grundlingh ordered that the municipality supply the relevant documentation within 15 days, saying: “The media plays an important role in providing citizens with information and fostering a culture of transparency.”

In court, the municipality put up a fight, trying to hide behind various provisions of the Act, which provide for stricter measures for private, rather than public bodies, and also claiming it was protecting the rights of “third party natural persons”.

It is for him to decide whether or not to publish … and the public will decide whether or not to believe it. If any member of the public then decides to lay a complaint based on what they have learned they will be armed with information. That is the purpose of news media. – Magistrate Vanessa Grundlingh

But Grundlingh ruled that these provisions did not apply and, on its own version, the municipality had conceded that the third parties were, in fact companies, and did not qualify for protection.

The municipality also said Van Zyl should “do his own research”, that he was “being annoying”, was abusing the Act “simply looking for a new story when there is nothing there to report on” and was not acting on any public complaints.

The magistrate noted that Van Zyl had done his own research.

She also said it was not for the municipality to decide if a story should be run.

“It is for him [Van Zyl] to decide whether or not to publish a story and the public will decide whether or not to believe it. If any member of the public then decides to lay a complaint based on what they have learned they will be armed with information. That is the purpose of news media.”

The municipality also claimed that Van Zyl was “abusing the Act’s procedure’s by requesting officials to leave their posts and supply them with newsworthy material to publish in newspapers and that they have no interest in the information requested”.

In this regard, the magistrate said that the municipality had not provided any evidence of the “nature and extent of the workload needed to comply with the request, the man hours involved, the amount of copies it would have to make or resources expended”.

The case is interesting too because it is one of the first, perhaps the first, PAIA case to be decided by a magistrate. As of 1 October 2019 a regulation came into force which allows magistrates to hear PAIA cases, making it much quicker, cheaper and easier for litigants trying to access information.

By Tania Broughton – Groundup

Trending Recipe: Feta baked with tomato and oregano

Try out this moreish, Mediterranean side dish-come-starter. In this recipe feta is baked with tomatoes, chilli and oregano. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Ingredients

olive oil
garlic 2 cloves, sliced
chilli flakes a big pinch
plum tomatoes 2 × 400g tins, drained
oregano a small handful of leaves, chopped
feta 2 × 200g blocks, to serve

Buy the ingredients.

Method

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the chilli and tomatoes and simmer for 25 minutes until thickened. Season and stir in the oregano.

Heat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. Put the feta in an ovenproof dish, cover with sauce and bake for 20 minutes before serving.

Olive Magazine

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Tame Communications (known as tameTIMES) was established in 1997. This long-established popular community title includes the key shopping centres:  Alberton City, Mall...

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