South Africa: Growing Concern Over ‘Construction Mafia’ in Cape Town – South African News Briefs – March 10, 2023


Growing Concern Over ‘Construction Mafia’ in Cape Town

There are growing concerns that extortionists are targeting construction workers and the recipients of City of Cape Town construction tenders, reports News24. The Western Cape Property Development Forum believes projects in disadvantaged areas are being targetted. Forum chairperson Deon van Zyl says: “The construction industry has shrunk 25% over the last five years. The major reason for the shrinkage in the construction industry is at the door of government, all three spheres of government: national, provincial, and local that have not been spending their capital budgets. The entities that should be keeping the construction industry very busy are the state primarily and then supported by private sector projects,” Van Zyl said. The City of Cape Town has beefed up security measures at its construction sites.

Nurse With Panga Attacks Ambulance as Public Sector Strike Rages

The public servant wage strike took a harrowing turn when a nurse battered a paramedic vehicle with a panga, reports News24. “Violent, unexpected and unbelievable,” that’s how a paramedic described the moment healthcare workers belonging to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) attempted to remove a child on life support from an ambulance in KwaZulu-Natal. Protesters stormed the ambulance at it entered the Justice Gizenga Regional Hospital in KwaDukuza (formerly Stanger) and attempted to remove a child in critical condition. The child was eventually admitted and treated in the hospital. The National Health Department described the actions of the protesting public servants as “tantamount to attempted murder”. The strike has disrupted the functioning of a number of hospitals, community health centres and clinics in the country.

Faecal Pollution Severely Contaminates Rivers, Dams – Report

South Africa’s rivers and dams have a “severe” problem of microbial contamination from faecal pollutants; 53% of sampled sites are a risk to people’s health risk if crops eaten raw are irrigated using this water, reports Mail & Guardian. According to the department of water and sanitation’s  National State of Water Report 2022 , only 42% indicated a low risk. The report found that 64% of the sampled sites were unsuitable for recreational activities and that using these sites “would be associated with a high risk of infections”. The contamination of water resources by faecal pollutants poses significant risks to human and animal health because numerous pathogens are associated with faeces. The report noted that faecal coliforms and E coli are the best indicators for the assessment of recent faecal pollution and indicate the potential presence of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

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