Today's Big Stories

Economic-security visa concerns, Nhleko's judicial attack, W.Cape settlements

Image: easytravel.co.za

Economic and national security tussle over new visa regulations

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: the Home Affairs Department says there is a misconception that a drop in South Africa’s tourism figures is due to the new visa regulations. Home Affairs Director-General, Mkuseli Apleni:

We've got a responsibility as a country to protect our children and anyone who is in the bounds of South Africa, but at the same time, we've got to ensure that yes, we grow the economy - we are also responsible for that. So we have to balance both responsibilities, but the key thing for us as Home Affairs is to make sure that we comply, because this country has got the Children's Act of 2005, which clearly stipulates that a passport must be issued when the two parents have given consent. Secondly, when a child is going to leave this country, they should get the consent of the parent and so I have never heard the tourism sector talking about the Children's Act.

Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) CEO, Mmatšatši Ramawela:

We have never as the tourism industry said that we are opposed to what our government is doing - we understand and appreciate that the government has a tough balancing act in terms of the security needs of South Africa and of our children. We know about the Children's Act and in our report, we make reference to it - we have released two reports, we have gone all over the world and checked on countries that have issues with child trafficking - like Thailand and Mexico - and we understand the issues that Home Affairs have to deal with in issuing these documents. But we ask - is an unabridged birth certificate a universal document that is used when children have to travel? It is not.

Nhleko's attack on the judiciary happened in the presence of Ipid leadership

Image: EWN

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: EWN have uncovered evidence presented by suspended Ipid head, Robert McBride in a transcript detailing a meeting as part of supplementary affidavits in the Constitutional challenge of the Minister’s power to suspend the Ipid (Independent Police Investigative Directorate) head. The transcript details an attack on the Judiciary by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. EWN's Barry Bateman broke the story:

It's very concerning, you have to consider the context of where these comments were made: this was a meeting that Nathi Nhleko had called with senior Ipid managers on the 31st of March this year, to discuss the suspension of the head of Ipid, Robert McBride and to also introduce the acting manager at the time. It was in his address at this meeting with more than 20 Ipid managers that he made these allegations that "there are elements of the judiciary who are meeting with 'characters to produce certain judgements'" . Considering this is a Justice Cluster Minister that is speaking to watchdog body bosses and he's making this allegation against judges in this country - it certainly would rank up there with contentious comments.

Kieno Kammies opens the lines with Western Cape Human Settlements MEC

Kieno Kammies opens the lines with Western Cape Human Settlements MEC

Image: iol.co.za

Heard on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: covering everything from the fundamentals of human settlements, to concerns around the informal "Happy Valley" settlement in Blouberg in Cape Town's Table View area and everything in between, CapeTalk's breakfast show saw Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela addressing callers concerns:

People have this misconception that the Department of Human Settlements is the 'Department of Free Housing' - we deal with the entire chain of housing in the province, from your BNG Houses (Breaking New Ground, also known as 'RDP Houses'), your Gap Houses to your Upmarket Houses. In fact, Human Settlements also work very closely with the banks for Home Loans and also to hold banks accountable for their lending practices. (On Happy Valley settlement in Blouberg) we have been saying as the Western Cape government and particularly the City of Cape Town that we have a challenge when it comes to land shortage. We have approached national government because we have identified a number of pieces of land - Erf 1117 (where the Happy Valley informal settlement is) is one of those pieces of land. Obviously, when you acquire land from the national government, the first question they ask you is 'what are you going to do with it?', so it is within that context that the City of Cape Town had to put in that motivation, in addressing the challenge with a backlog of more than 300 000 families on our waiting list and we think that this land could yield more than 13 500 opportunities - that doesn't mean that the City is planning to build 13 500 BNG Houses there. But when you develop in any area, you go through a process where you consult with communities, to make sure what is required and what is suitable in that particular piece of land. Human settlements isn't just about housing - it's about schools, clinics, commercial opportunities, etcetera. There is currently no business plan that has been submitted by the City to the province to say what is going to be done there; so (this document) was merely a motivation from the City to national in order to acquire this land.

Embed of City of Cape Town's plans on the now-occupied Erf 1117 at Blouberg, now known as "Happy Valley":

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