70 Petrol Stations Busted Selling Dodgy Diesel
A Department of Mineral Resource and Energy investigation has revealed that 70 petrol stations across South Africa are selling adulterated diesel, indicating a trend of profiteering by cutting corners as petroleum prices rise, reports News24. The compromised diesel is allegedly mixed with illuminated paraffin, posing tax evasion implications, according to the department. Mineral Resource and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe had previously warned against the illegal practice, stating that service stations found with adulterated diesel would face closure and prosecution. Between April and December 2023, 70 petrol stations were identified as selling fake diesel, with failed samples showing contamination with illuminating paraffin. The department has issued non-compliance notices and reports offenders to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for tax evasion. The affected petrol stations are distributed across various provinces, raising concerns about the potential impact on vehicles and emphasizing the dangers of mixing fuels.
Ramaphosa’s 2019 Promise of Bullet Trains and Smart Cities Gains ‘Practical Attention’
President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated his commitment to fulfilling his 2019 promise of implementing high-speed trains and smart cities in South Africa, reports News24. However, despite planning efforts, no concrete progress has been made, leaving the ambitious vision as just an idea on paper. Ramaphosa detailed the developments in response to a parliamentary question, stating that the Department of Transport had established a high-speed rail framework, prioritizing the Johannesburg-to-Durban corridor for a feasibility study. The Cabinet approved the framework on November 1, 2023, aiming to establish a high-speed rail project management office. Additionally, Ramaphosa highlighted the Lanseria Smart City project, intending to create a smart city for 350,000 to 500,000 people by 2030, with a focus on infrastructure development and land acquisition. Despite these announcements, skepticism persists as the country grapples with more immediate challenges.
Late Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa’s Murder Trial Set to Resume
The Senzo Meyiwa murder trial is set to resume in the High Court in Pretoria after a two-month postponement due to the illness of one of the legal representatives, reports SABC News. Five men are facing trial for the murder of the former Bafana Bafana Captain. Police Investigating Officer Brigadier Bongani Gininda is expected to return to the stand. Last year, the trial faced a delay when Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, representing two of the accused, fell ill, prompting a postponement. The proceedings were last focused on the warrant of arrest for accused 1, Muzi Sibiya, with Mngomezulu conducting the cross-examination of lead investigator Brigadier Bongani Gininda. The trial within a trial is addressing the admissibility of confession statements.
South Africa’s Logistics Woes Push Exports to Rival Ports
South African exporters are increasingly diverting from the country’s beleaguered rail and harbor logistics in favour of alternative routes to ensure timely and efficient product delivery to markets, according to experts, reports Moneyweb. The new Lobito Atlantic Railway corridor has facilitated the swift arrival of copper from the Kamoa-Kakula copper fields in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Angola’s Lobito harbor, cutting transportation time significantly compared to the usual trucking to Durban. The Angolan and DRC governments expedited the railway project, possibly in response to South Africa’s logistics challenges. The move reflects a broader trend of neighboring countries seeking alternatives to South African export routes due to inefficiencies, with the Lobito corridor serving as a notable example. Experts emphasize the need for South Africa to focus on reviving its rail system and improving logistics for key exports like coal, iron ore, and manganese.
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