Today's Big Stories

Vavi on public projects, stalled prisons, windows open during lion mauling

Pictured during happier times - Former General Secretary of Cosatu, Zwelinzima Vavi and President Jacob Zuma. Image: EWN

Vavi's calls for a stand on stalled public projects

Heard on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: former General Secretary of Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi has been heavily critical of escalating costs of government projects - many of which have been carried out during President Jacob Zuma's tenure. Vavi says that South Africans have a choice to either moan or get up and collectively show their dissatisfaction at the escalating costs of these projects:

When the government allows overrun of major projects to the tune of billions, you have to be worried. We're not just referring to Nkandla - which escalated from a budget of R27 million to R246 million - but also to other important projects for South Africa such as Medupi, which was budgeted for R52 billion and escalated to R130 billion. Kusile was budgeted at R81 billion and escalated to R172 billion. When government does that, we can see there's a dereliction of duty and government has to ensure that is spends our monies efficiently, in a manner that is going to take our country forward, because this is not the way to do it.

R173 mil. C Max upgrade and other correctional facilities stalled

Picture: EWN.

Image: EWN

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: reports have surfaced on numerous stalled constructions of correctional facilities, despite overcrowding in a number of them. One of the stalled upgrades is at C Max - the maximum security division of the Pretoria Correctional Services located in Central Pretoria, South Africa. An amount of R173 million had been allocated for upgrades to C Max, although constrution has stalled. Acting National Commissioner at the Department of Correctional Services, Zach Modise:

It's a bit of a long story. You'd remember in 2006 after the escape of (serial rapist) Annanias Mathe from C Max, we did an investigation which found that there were some areas that needed to be upgraded and there were also no offices there. A decision was then taken to pursue upgrades following the Jali Commission, then the contractor couldn't finish the job on time because he had run out of cash. That's the situation we are in right now and we with the Department of Public Works are trying find a way to finish this work so that C Max can operate again. Some of the contractors that would have started work then run out of funds and they haven't spent their funds correctly and that's where the problem is. Sometimes the work isn't up to standard. So Public Works appoints and when the contractor is on site, is where we have problems.

Lion Park fatal mauling: 'The window was fully down' - reports

Image: Wikipedia

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: investigations are underway following the fatal mauling of a woman American tourist by a lion at the Lion Park in Honeydew, north-western Joburg. In addition to the tourist who was killed, another person was injured as well when a lioness attacked them, with witnesses reporting that the windows in their car were open. It is understood that the lioness jumped through the open window, biting the woman who was in the passenger seat. The driver - a tour guide - was badly injured while attempting to free the woman from the animal’s grasp. Assistant operations manager at the Lion Park, Scott Simpson:

Witnesses who witnessed yesterday's incident say that the window was sort of fully down with the people taking pictures out the window. (On the victims having a guide with them) yes, but just to clarify, these are outside tour operators that bring in guests, rather than our guys escorting them around. (On measures going forward) we're definitely going to sit down with the management team and look at exactly happened at yesterday's incident and compare it to what happened previously and yes, we are going to have to make some sort of changes. I'm not sure what those will be yet, but certainly. But there is another lion park operating in the area as well and they tell their guests to keep their windows at 66% closed - a few media reports have attributed this to us, but all our signage and all our pamphlets say 'please keep all windows 100% up'.

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