Today's Big Stories

Etolls - set for failure?

The return of two children abandoned abroad: two boys have been returned home after being stranded in Brazil after their mother was imprisoned for drug trafficking. They’ll be cared for by a designated foster family. The boys aged 7 and 13 spent months on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is understood they went into the country with their mother, where she was recruited to traffic drugs to Portugal. Communications Chief Director in the Department of Social Development, Lumka Oliphant:

What we understand is that the last time they saw their mother was in December last year, but Social Development in South Africa was made aware of the case in May (this year). We are not able to tell you when they were then integrated into a home in Brazil and for how long. We fetched them in the morning today, but they were very reserved and may well be traumatised. We know they have different fathers – one is from Burundi and the other is from Nigeria. In Brazil, children are taken care of by the government, but they were reported to the South African government by a community member. They were going to school, because the bigger boy said he’s in Grade 6 and the younger one is in Grade 2 and they even play instruments. They were living some kind of life. The mother is now in Portugal. We have the identity numbers of the two fathers, but we need to speak to our immigration officers because they aren’t South Africa

Woes and more woes for SANRAL?: SANRAL has warned it will be in serious trouble if it doesn’t pay back the R20 billion it borrowed to build the Etoll system. It’s been reported that only 30% of motorists are being compliant. EWN Correspondent, Mia Lindeque:

SANRAL CEO Nazir Alli claims that the media don’t check their facts and keep publishing wrong information, resulting in people not paying their Etolls. Meanwhile, the Etolls Panel Chairperson says there seems to be a decline in government trust by the public. Alli has said they need to insure they don’t lose any more investors, so they don’t get downgraded again.

Meanwhile, OUTA Chairperson Wayne Duvenage is steadfast in his belief of the failure of the Etolls, while addressing issues of SANRAL’s sustainability:

There’s no reason why they (SANRAL) shouldn’t (survive) as they are a government-backed agency. The question is : why isn’t the National Treasury giving them the money they need? Road users have given an extra R26 million to government. Their current situation and status is really their own doing because they were warned that the systems were not ready, that compliance would be low and now it’s failing. I think SANRAL is out of line, it is their doing.

Joburg and Cape Town are top continental destinations: the Mastercard Global Destinations City Index shows that Johannesburg is the most popular destination city in Africa – for a second year - followed by Cape Town. Joburg expects 4,3 million international overnight visitors by the end of this year – that’s a 4,9% increase. Division President of MasterCard South Africa, Mark Elliot:

Cape Town would have more votes than Johannesburg. We’ve done a recent survey saying positive things in Cape Town, with people being bullish about consumerism in Cape Town. There continues to be visitors from London, Frankfurt, Harare, Maputo and Paris that continue to come to Joburg around economic travel.

Getting to a wrap of the Farlam Commission on Marikana: EWN Senior Correspondent, Gia Nicolaides:

SAHRC’s Michelle Le Roux said that the death – specifically the 16<sup>th</sup> August, 2012 and that’s when the 34 miners were gunned down by police – should be considered by as unlawful. She also said that the police didn’t submit enough evidence and that they submitted false evidence – lots of finger pointing at the police. We’ve now also had the Legal Resources Centre, with Advocate George Bizos whose argued that the police’s claim of self-defence is unjustified. Bizos says the police must take accountability but there’s not a lot directed towards Lonmin. All relvant parties are expected to have wrapped testament by the end of next week. All evidence submitted, testaments made all these 294 days we’ve been sitting through the commission, will have to be compiled in a report to hand to the Presidency by the end of March next year.

The latest at the Dewani trial?: EWN Correspondent, Rahima Essop:

Dewani’s lawyer, Francois Van Zyl dropped a bomb yesterday saying that in 2012, Dewani’s attorney was contacted by a warder on behalf of an inmate who had inside information on Anni Dewani’s murder. Now an inmate known as Dino claims he asked Tongo in prison what really happened to Anni Dewani and that conversation happened in the showers at the prison.

Breaking records for good: : plans are underway in the Northern Cape to break the land speed record. A giant salt pan is the scene of the record attempt which will take place next year. A variety of tests are being carried out in preparation for that. 702 and Cape Talk Host Gushwell Brooks is taking part:

Today, they were testing whether you can use the internet at 1600 km /h, which is phenomenal. The cars will have several cameras mounted on them, so that all events can be streamed live and it seems that the network remains stable. The major spin off for the people of the Northern Cape is that 97 schools will benefit off this program with the internet and they’re interacting with kids from the UK.

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