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Friday, June 23 2017 @ 10:25 am SAST

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Wes-Kaap tot rampgebied verklaar.




Die pyl dui die posisie van drie hengelaars langs die dam aan en gee 'n idee van hoe laag die damvlak tans is.


NASIONALE NUUS - Die droogte in die Wes-Kaap het die provinsie se premier, Helen Zille, genoodsaak om die Wes-Kaap vir 'n drie maande tydperk as 'n rampgebied te verklaar.

Zille se verklaring is in die regeringskoerant geproklameer.

Damme in die Wes-Kaap se watervlakke staan nou op 'n gemiddelde 18,6%, waar dit dieselfde tyd verlede jaar op 30,5% gestaan het.

Drie damme in die Suid-Kaap en Karoo-omgewing wat as voedingsbronne dien, is dolleeg, met nog vyf damme wat minder as 10% water bevat.

Al drie die leë damme, Gamkadam (Beaufort-Wes), Gamkapoortdam (Ladismith) en Prinsrivierdam (Prinsrivier) is in die Suid-Kaap-omgewing. Drie van die vyf ander damme wat oor 'n watervlak van minder as 10% beskik is ook in die Suid-Kaap-omgewing geleë. Dit is die Stompdriftdam (De Rust - 6,3%%), Kammanassiedam (Oudtshoorn - 6,1%) en Floriskraaldam (Laingsburg - 4,4%).

Die Floriskraaldam was presies 'n jaar gelede 25,8% vol. Die Suid-Kaapse leë damme was dieselfde tyd verlede jaar onderskeidelik 37,4% (Gamkadam), 3% (Gamkapoortdam) en 26,9% (Prinsrivierdam) vol.

So was die Stompdriftdam 37% vol, met die Kammanassiedam op 55,6%.

Volgens Zille se verklaring gaan die Wes-Kaap gebuk onder die ergste droogte sedert 1904. "Die droogte gaan ons biljoene rande uit die sak jaag. Daar is reeds R27 miljoen bewillig om hulpbronne in plek te stel."

Zille het 'n interim ministeriële komitee saamgestel om met oplossings vorendag te kom om water aan Wes-Kapenaars te voorsien.

'n Navraag oor hoe die droogte Oudtshoorn raak en of streng waterbeperkings ingestel gaan word, is Maandag aan die munisipaliteit gerig.

Met ter perse gaan Donderdagmiddag is die navraag nie beantwoord nie.



Drie hengelaars op die kaal oewer van die Calitzdorpdam wat tans minder as 30% water bevat. Foto's: Hannes Visser
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Russian nuclear deal places massive liability on South Africans




Cape Town - A nuclear agreement with Russia has far-reaching consequences for the budget the Western Cape High Court heard on Friday, as it places all liability for a nuclear accident on South Africa, while indemnifying Russia completely.

David Unterhalter, SC, appearing for Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute, who are challenging government’s nuclear procurement process in court, said liability for nuclear accidents fell on South Africa even if it occurred outside the country.

If the Russian company building the proposed eight new nuclear power stations had an accident while transporting nuclear material from Vladivostok to Qatar, for instance, causing extensive damage, the Russian inter-governmental agreement made South Africa liable for what could be “massive” costs, GroundUp reported.

“South Africa bears the burden under the indemnity clause. A country making this kind of offer would have to make very special provision for this in its budget,” Unterhalter said.

Such liability was not even consistent with the Vienna Convention on liability for nuclear damage, he said.

“So we have gone very far in seeming to court Russia and to say, ‘We will pay and we will indemnify’,” Unterhalter said.

The court is not being asked to decide on the merits of the Russian nuclear agreement, as this would be beyond its powers. However, the contents are relevant as the court is being asked to decide whether an international agreement of this nature should first have been tabled in Parliament for approval, particularly because of the massive financial implications.

The litigants argue that tabling the agreement without Parliamentary approval was unlawful as it did not comply with the Constitution and the agreement should be set aside.

Counsel for Minister of Energy Tina Joematt-Pettersson, who tabled the Russian agreement, argued that it did not need to come before Parliament, nor was there a need to allow the public to make representations. This was because it fitted into the category of agreements between countries that dealt with “technical, administrative or executive” matters, which did not have extra-budgetary consequences.

Marius Oosthuizen, SC, for the government, argued that the minister’s tabling of it under this category therefore did not contradict constitutional requirements.

One of the two presiding judges, ED Baartman, commented that a government guideline indicated that international agreements which dealt with minor, everyday issues did not need Parliamentary approval.

“Are you saying the Russian agreement is a minor, everyday issue?” she asked.

Oosthuizen replied that the Russian agreement would not constitute something that was high on the South African agenda as it was about co-operation between governments on an executive level.

The litigants are also asking the court to set aside the minister’s “determinations”, made under the Electricity Regulation Act, that South Africa needed 9600MW of new nuclear power.

One was made in 2013, where the Department of Energy was the body that would buy the nuclear power, and the other in 2016 that made Eskom the procurer.

“Both are infected with administrative error and neither should survive,” Unterhalter said.

The court heard submissions on whether the minister’s decisions were administrative in nature – which meant they could be reviewed and set aside – or whether they were policy decisions, which could not be.

One of the tests in deciding whether a decision was administrative was whether it had consequences and whether it affected anyone.

Oosthuizen argued the decision to determine that South Africa needed 9600MW of nuclear power had not affected anyone’s rights, but had merely imposed an obligation on the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) which had the statutory duty to issue electricity-generating licences.

Judge LJ Bozalek said, “You can’t just look at this through the prism of Nersa’s rights. You have to look at the rights of people.”

Oosthuizen replied, “Yes. But that decision did not affect my electricity bill by one cent.”

Baartman said, “Not yet.”

The case has ended. No date was set for judgment.
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Pretoria train crash injured now number over 200




Pretoria – The final figure of the number of people injured when two passenger trains heading in opposite directions collided head-on at the Rosslyn station during peak hour on Monday evening is currently at 216, Metrorail said on Tuesday.

Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said 177 commuters were walk-ins, while 38 of the total number were treated for minor to moderate injuries.

One commuter is in a serious, but not critical, condition.

The driver of one of the trains is also in a critical condition.

The injured commuters were taken to Kgabo Clinic, Odi Hospital, Dr George Mukhari Hospital, Kalafong Hospital, Tshwane District Hospital and Akasia Hospital.

Mofokeng said the train service for Ga-Rankuwa commuters has been restored.

De Wildt trains are using a single line between Rosslyn and De Wildt stations.

Train delays of approximately 40 minutes can be expected in that corridor.

"A board of inquiry will be instituted to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the accident and circumstances around it in order to prevent future occurrences," Mofokeng said.