Standerton Road accident claims one life, injures one

Standerton Road accident claims one life, injures one

One person was killed in this vehicle accident this morning.

BETHAL – A high impact smash on the road to Standerton near Milan Park has left one man dead and another injured.  The incident took place at about 06:40am on Saturday, 10 March 2018 when the driver of a white Toyota Hilux company (John Thompson Plant and Environmental Solutions) bakkie smashed onto a Toyota Etios vehicle.

According to the spokeswoman of eMzinoni Police, Constable Cynthia Mtsweni, the bakkie was travelling at high speed behind the Etios while both vehicles were respectively heading towards the direction of Standerton from Bethal Town.

“When the driver of the Etios reached the stop sign at the four-way-stop that links Ninth Street and Milan Park he realised that the vehicle behind him seems like it will be unable to stop, he quickly took a turn to his right, the direction of Ninth Street.

“The bakkie really didn’t manage to stop.   Its driver lost control and hit the Etios on the driver’s side.

“That’s when the bakkie overturned and rolled a couple of times until it hit a Govan Mbeki municipal garbage-pick-up-truck that was parked on the other side of the road,” Constable Mtsweni told the Village Voice News.

The driver of the bakkie was declared dead at the scene of the accident.

Residents looking at the mangled wreckage of the vehicle that was involved in an accident on Saturday morning.

Mpumalanga’s Top 12 beauties battle for Crowning Miss Mpumalanga 2018 title

Mpumalanga’s Top 12 beauties battle for Crowning Miss Mpumalanga 2018 title

Mpumalanga – The Crowning Miss Mpumalanga 2018’s Top 12 Finalists have been revealed.  The finalists where revealed on Saturday, 24 February 2018 in Nelspruit.  The main event of the Crowning Miss Mpumalanga 2018 will be held on Saturday night, 7 April 2018 at the AFM Communion Church Hall, behind illanga Mall in Nelspruit.  Tickets are available at Computicket, a normal ticket is R150.00 and a VIP ticket is R400.00, which also gives one access to the event’s after party.

Luyanda Ngwenya (19), Volksrust, Pixley kaIsaka Seme Municipality (Gert Sibande District

Marcia Sibeko (21), Bethal, Govan Mbeki Municipality, (Gert Sibande District)

Sinenhlahla Nhlapo (19), Standerton, Lekwa Municipality (Gert Sibande District)

Sesi Madalane (25), Belfast, Emakhazeni Municipality, (Nkangala District)

Nhlanhla Mahlangu (24), Phola, Emalahleni Municipality (Nkangala District)

Angela Zunguza (22), Matsulu, Mbombela Municipality (Ehlanzeni District)

Wamukelwe Mkhomazi (22), Nelspruit, Mbombela Municipality (Ehlanzeni District)

Bongiwe Sibeko (23), Barberton, Mbombela Municipality (Ehlanzeni District)

Lethabo Shai (20), Nelspruit, Mbombela Municipality (Ehlanzeni District)

Nolwazi Madalane (21), Nelspruit, Mbombela Municipality (Ehlanzeni District)

Kim Davids (22), Nelspruit, Mbombela Municipality (Ehlanzeni District)

Vanessa Hollenbach (19), Nelspruit, Mbombela Municipality, (Ehlanzeni District)

Sasol delivers strong financial results, underpinned by higher crude oil and product demand

Sasol delivers strong financial results, underpinned by higher crude oil and product demand

photo: Sasol’s Joint President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bongani Nqwababa.

Johannesburg  – Sasol today (Monday, 26 February 2018) delivered a largely strong set of interim financial results, underpinned by higher crude oil and product prices, increased demand for our specialty chemical products and a satisfactory operational performance across the value chain.


For the six months ended 31 December 2017, earnings attributable to shareholders decreased by 20% to R6,9 billion from R8,7 billion in the prior period.  Headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased by 17% to R17,67 and earnings per share (EPS) decreased by 21% to R11,29 compared to the prior period.   EPS was negatively impacted by the scrapping of the company’s US gas-to-liquids (GTL) project mounting to R1,1 billion (US$83 million) and a partial impairment of the Canadian shale gas assets of R2,8 billion (CAD281 million).  Core HEPS, which is reflective of our sustainable profitability, was up 5% to R18,22. The Board has declared an interim gross cash dividend of R5,00 per share based on Core EPS, from R4,80 per share in the prior period.


Average Brent crude oil prices moved higher by 19% and since December 2017, spot prices have moved closer to the US$70/bbl mark, which if sustained at these levels, are expected to positively impact the company’s results during the second half of financial year 2018. Similarly, Natref refining margins increased by 16% to US$9,73/bbl.


In the chemicals business, there has been a steady increase in most commodity chemical prices and the average margins for most of Sasol’s specialty chemicals products, in dollar terms, have remained resilient.


Excluding the effect of the hedging programme, the average rand/US dollar market exchange rate strengthened by 4% from the prior period to R13,40, and the closing rand/US dollar market exchange rate strengthened by 5% from R13,06 in June 2017 to R12,37. This resulted in translation losses of R1,2 billion on the valuation of the balance sheet compared to translation losses of R341 million in the prior period.


The results were, however, constrained by unfortunate economic conditions in South Africa, which impacted demand for Sasol’s products, operational challenges at its Natref operations, a much stronger closing rand/US dollar exchange rate and the negative impact of re-measurement and once-off items.


Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, Sasol continued to deliver a strong operational performance.


Operational and financial performance highlights


Performance Chemicals sales volumes increased by 3% mainly due to increased market demand. Normalised Base Chemicals sales volumes decreased by 1% mainly due to lower volumes from Secunda Synfuels Operations (SSO).


Production volumes from Eurasian Operations increased by 2% due to stronger demand and increased plant availability.


Natref’s production volumes were down 21% owing to planned plant shutdowns and an unexpected Eskom electricity supply interruption at the start of the financial period. This, together with softer market demand, lowered our liquid fuels sales volumes by 3%.


Production volumes from SSO decreased by 1% due to a planned shutdown. Based on the current plant performance, Sasol expects to produce 7,7 million tons for the full financial year.


At Mining, stabilising operations post the strike in FY17 has been a challenge. There has been some improvement in production run rates and management will maintain focus on reaching the productivity rates achieved prior to the strike.


“Our sustained focus on cost, cash and capital conservation drove a largely strong set of results, notwithstanding continued macro-economic volatility.  The recent recovery in global oil and product prices positively impacted our results.  However, this was offset by operational challenges at our Natref and mining operations, currency effects and poor economic conditions in South Africa.

“Encouraging recent developments signal a more stable political and investor friendly outlook for the country, in addition to a more positive global growth outlook with stronger demand in markets where we operate.  Our recent safety performance has regrettably been marred by tragic fatalities in our mining operations.  We are committed to the safety and health of our employees, communities and the environment.  Safety, as one of our core values and number one priority will receive our constant and unwavering attention,” said Sasol’s Joint President and Chief Executive Officer, Bongani Nqwababa.


“We are making steady progress in delivering the Lake Charles Chemicals Projects (LCCP) within the revised schedule, as we place increased emphasis on business readiness.  Once fully operational, the LCCP will transform Sasol’s earnings profile.  The start-up of this world-scale chemicals facility and the implementation of our broad-based black economic empowerment ownership structure, Sasol Khanyisa, are landmark milestones to be delivered this calendar year.  Guided by our clear strategic choices, we will continue to enhance our robust foundation to deliver on our refined value-based growth strategy.  To this end, exercising disciplined capital allocation remains paramount to ensure we deliver sustainable growth and on-going value to our shareholders,” said Sasol’s Joint President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Cornell.


Sustained cost, cash and capital conservation focus


Sasol’s low oil Response Plan achieved capital conservation and cash savings of R6,2 billion for the period.  This brings the total capital and cash conserved since January 2015 to R75,6 billion, which exceeds the target of R65 – R75 billion.


It has also delivered sustainable annual cash savings of R3,5 billion. Together with the Business Performance Enhancement Programme (BPEP) saving, it achieved at least R8,9 billion in sustainable cash cost savings.


Cash fixed costs, excluding capital growth and once-off business establishment costs, increased by 2% in real terms.   However, it still expects to track an inflation assumption of 6% for the full year.


Looking ahead, Sasol will maximise value from its existing portfolio of diversified assets through robust asset reviews, continuous improvement and digitalisation initiatives.  This will ultimately enhance the company’s competitiveness, reduce its cost base and improve the return on invested capital.


Delivering on growth projects


The company’s focus for the Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) remains commissioning, operations and business readiness.  To this end, the progressive start-up of utilities is on-going and gaining momentum.   As at 31 December 2017, the project was 81% complete with construction execution around 54%.  Capital expenditure is currently at US$8,8 billion.


With the priority on business readiness, Sasol continues to engage new markets and prospective customers, with around 90% of LCCP’s specialty chemicals products to be placed with existing customers.  Contracts are also in place for all major distribution channel partners.


In Mozambique, US$285 million has already been invested on the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) field development plan, largely comprising drilling and surface facilities.  Nine wells have been successfully drilled and tested relating to the first phase, while drilling the first of two delineation wells relating to the second phase are underway.


Sasol anticipates oil production to be between the mid -to-lower-ends of the range presented in the field development plan.  The gas wells have confirmed that there is sufficient gas to cover initial downstream opportunities.


Several capital projects also reached beneficial operations during the period under review, such as the world’s largest oxygen train in Secunda and the Gemini High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) joint venture in the US. The FT Wax Expansion Project in Sasolburg is also progressing well.


Continued sustainability and heightened investment focus in Southern Africa

  Through high impact skills and social investment programmes, Sasol said it’s continually responding to the needs of employees and fence line communities.  In the past six months, the company disbursed R680 million globally in skills and social investment programmes, of which the majority was in Southern Africa.


Sasol has invested more than R20 billion on capital projects over the past 12 years to minimise its environmental footprint.   The company is also diligently implementing its air quality improvement roadmaps for its South African operations as a key instrument to sustain compliance and apply for further postponements to help in implementing our roadmaps by 2025.


Sasol management is particularly encouraged by recent developments in South Africa that signal a more stable political and investor friendly outlook.  A more conducive business environment will create even greater opportunities for Sasol to be a force for good, where our capital investments have totalled over R20 billion over the past three years.


The year ahead


The current economic climate continues to remain highly volatile and uncertain. While oil price and foreign exchange movements are outside the company’s control and may impact results, management’s focus remains firmly on managing factors within its control, including volume growth, cost optimisation, effective capital allocation, focused financial risk management and maintaining an investment grade credit rating.


Sasol expects an overall strong operational performance for the year ending 30 June 2018, with:


1)            Liquid fuels sales volumes for the Energy business in Southern Africa to be below 59 million barrels due to lower production at Natref and slower South African economic growth;

2)            Base Chemicals sales, excluding merchant ethylene, to be between 1% to 3% higher than the prior year, with US dollar product prices recovering during the year;

3)            Performance Chemicals sales volumes, excluding merchant ethylene, to be between 2% to 3% higher, with average margins for the business remaining resilient;

4)            Gas production volumes from the Petroleum Production Agreement to be between 114 bscf to 118 bscf;

5)            An average utilisation rate at ORYX GTL in Qatar to exceed 92%; into account two planned plant shutdowns in the second half of the financial year;

6)            Normalised cash fixed costs to remain in line within our inflation assumption of 6%;

7)            The RP cash flow contribution to be close to the upper end of our targeted range of R22 billion to R26 billion by the end of FY18;

8)            Capital expenditure, including capital accruals, of R54 billion for 2018 and R38 billion in 2019 as we progress with the execution of our growth plan and strategy. Capital estimates may change as a result of exchange rate volatility;

9)            Our balance sheet gearing up to 44%,

10)          Rand/US dollar exchange rate to range between R12,50 and R14,00; and

11)          Average Brent crude oil prices expected to remain between US$55/bbl and US$65/bbl.


The salient dates for holders of ordinary shares and Sasol BEE ordinary shares are:


Declaration date Monday                                                                                                             26 February 2018

Last day for trading to qualify for and participate in the final dividend (cum dividend)                 13 March 2018

Trading ex dividend commences Wednesday                                                                              14 March 2018

Record date Friday                                                                                                                       16 March 2018

Dividend payment date (electronic and certificated register) Monday                                          19 March 2018


The salient dates for holders of our American Depository Receipts are1:

Ex dividend on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Wednesday                                     14 March 2018

Record date Friday                                                                                                          16 March 2018

Approximate date for currency conversion Wednesday                                                   21 March 2018

Approximate dividend payment date Friday                                                                      30 March 2018


All dates approximate as the New York Stock Exchange ( NYSE) sets the record date after receipt of the dividend declaration.


Comprehensive additional information is available on Sasol’s website:

Court sentences robbers

BETHAL – The Bethal Magistrates Court this week sentenced Nhlanhla Mkhabela (21) and his co-accused to seven years imprisonment for attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances.   This is after a lengthy trial that took almost two years.

The sentencing follows an attempted robbery that occurred at about 8:00 in the morning of Friday, 21 August 2016 in Bethal at a speedy cash loans business when a 70 year-old female was attacked by Mkhabela and his co-accused Elias Trevor Mhlongo (29) while she was opening the business for trade.

According to the spokesperson of the Bethal SAPS, Constable Mahlatse Thomas Mogadime, the attackers entered the premises and forcefully opened the security door.

“They suddenly pushed the old victim to the ground and demanded keys to the safe from her,” Constable Mogadime told the Village Voice News.

“During the incident, the victim sustained slight injuries and however managed to overpower the suspects for she threw the safe-keys into another office that contained a safety-door, which prevented the suspects to access them and rob-off the cash.

“While busy fighting the attackers, fortunately passers-by came to her rescue.  Then the attackers left her and started to flee from the scene.  However, community members who have by now seen the incident gave chase and managed to apprehend one suspect and handed him over to the police.

“Following the information gathered during the investigation, Detective Victor Nkadimeng of the Bethal Police managed to arrest the second suspect later on the same day.

“The suspects were then charged and appeared at Bethal Magistrates Court on several occasions facing charges of attempted robbery where on their first appearance regarding the said case, both suspects were released on bail pending investigations,” Constable Mogadime said.

He also added that during the court proceedings all witnesses were summoned to testify, though Elias Trevor Mhlongo, accused number two did not pitch, therefore a warrant of arrest was issued for him and the court found it satisfactory to convict the accused.

The court also declared the accused unfit to possess a firearm.

“The station Commander for Bethal Police, Lt. Col. Petrus Nzima welcomed the sentence and thanked the investigating officer for the hard work and dedication in securing the conviction,” he concluded

Police arrest trio for drug dealing in Bethal

Police arrest trio for drug dealing in Bethal

BETHAL – Three people were arrested in Bethal for possessing and dealing in drugs.  The suspects were arrested on Friday, 16 February near Station Road.

According to Bethal Police’s spokesperson, Constable Thomas Mokgadime, the trio includes one Nigeria man and two of his female accomplices, a white woman and black woman.

“The Secunda Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) received information about the trio’s illegal activities and they followed it promptly, for before the arrival of the police the suspects were busy moving in and out of their apartment which raised suspicions of hiding drugs.  The apartment is also suspected of being used as a brothel,” Constable Mokgadime told the Village Voice News.

He said while the police where approaching the apartment, they noticed a white female (21 years-old) who was wearing a brown army jacket.  They requested her to take it off so they can search it, of which she compiled.  “The police found a black plastic bag in the suspect’s jacket, which had heroine inside,” Constable Mokgadime said.

Inside the apartment, the police also found a black female aged 21 in the bathroom while she was trying to flush away a black plastic bag.  They got the plastic bag before it could be flushed away, which also had drugs inside.

“Furthermore, the police found two other black plastic bags in the drain also containing drugs.  The police seized a total 42 packs of heroin, two packs of Tik from the apartment with an estimated street value of R141 000.  The trio were arrested on the scene.

The suspects will appear at the Bethal Magistrates Court today (Monday 19 February 2018) facing charges of illegal drug dealing and possession.

Trio arrested for illegal dealing in drugs.  Photo by: SAPS

Sexual Harassment in the workplace and schools

Sexual Harassment in the workplace and schools

By: Reston Jena (LLB) – University of Fort Hare (Lawyer at  SIPETO MDUBA ATTORNEYS offices in BETHAL (078 684 9728 or 017 647 1338)

Being the good citizen that l am, one day on my way from the Middleburg court, l found myself offering transport to a lady who was standing by a hiking spot on her way to Bethal. Five minutes into the journey, we were chatting gaily about the unpredictable weather when the lady received a message on her phone. Through the rear view mirror l saw her throwing the phone on the vacant seat and her face threatened to go up side down in tears. Sympathetic enquiries from me and my colleague showed that this lady was employed at a local engineering firm as a welder but for the eight odd months that she had been with this company, she was continually subjected to nude and partially nude pictures posted by her male co-workers in common areas, through Bluetooth and in places where she would have to encounter them, including her tools box. The men referred to Philisiwe(not her real name) as “baby,” “sugar,” “momma,” and “sweety.” In addition, the men wrote obscene words directed at the victim all over the plant. The men also made numerous suggestive and offensive remarks to the victim concerning her body and the pictures of a voluptuous black lady posted on the walls. She had had lodged complaints about this atmosphere of harassment on a number of occasions, but the company’s supervisory personnel provided little or no assistance and this was putting a strain on her marriage. Quitting the job was not an option because she was the bread winner but these happenings at the work place were also draining her emotionally and psychologically.

Sexual harassment in schools or in workplaces has become so unbridled and is now perceived in the eyes of many victims (who choose to remain aloof) and harassers (who find contentment in it) as a conduct not contrary to the legal convictions of the community. Yet the conduct is not just contra bones mores (illegal) but it undermines the ability to work and has a negative impact on production resulting in undesired consequences. Sexual harassment is an entirely deplorable conduct which undermines the magnitude of esteem needs (need for status, recognition and self-respect). The legal position in South Africa is that employees are afforded the right to equal treatment, privacy and the all-encompassing right which is the right to dignity. Both the revered Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which is the supreme law of the land and the current labour legislation, protects the employees

But what is sexual harassment?

Conduct which can constitute sexual harassment ranges from innuendo(a derogatory suggestion about a person or a thing with the intention to insult), inappropriate gestures, suggestions or hints or fondling without consent or by force in its worst form, namely rape.

Forms of sexual harassment, inter alia, are:

repeated requests for dates that are turned down, or unwanted flirting,  posting e-mails or pictures of a sexual or degrading nature, displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, indecent exposure, fondling, sexual assault and rape, strip search by or in the presence of the opposite sex, unwelcome innuendoes, sex-related jokes or insults or unwelcome graphic comments about a person’s body made in their presence or directed toward them,  unwelcome and inappropriate enquiries about a person’s sex life, Unwelcome whistling directed at a person or group of persons.

Quid pro quo harassment occurs where an owner, employer, supervisor, member of management or co-employee, undertakes or attempts to influence the process of employment, promotion, training, discipline, dismissal, salary increment or other benefit of an employee or job applicant, in exchange for sexual favours.

Another form of sexual harassment is sexual favouritism. This, as is indicated in the Code of Good Practice, exists where a person who is in a position of authority rewards only those who respond to his/her sexual advances, whilst other deserving employees who do not submit themselves to any sexual advances are denied promotions, merit rating or salary increases.

It is crystal clear that a number of human rights entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic are infringed in the conduct of sexual harassment. In a chain of case law it has been reiterated that Constitutional rights which accrue to the citizens and residents of the Republic, which include but not limited to right to privacy, right to freedom and security, dignity are violated every time an employee is sexually harassed. The Constitution protects all people from any form of sexual harassment by affording them rights. The current labour legislation plays a pivotal role in protecting employees from sexual harassment. The Employment Equity Act prohibits discrimination in the workplace, either directly or indirectly.

Sexual attention becomes sexual harassment if the recipient or victim has made it clear to the harasser that the behavior is unacceptable, or if the perpetrator should have known that the behavior is unacceptable and if the behavior is persistent although a single act would result in sexual harassment. Two tests are used by the courts to prove sexual harassment, the subjective test and the objective test. The subjective test would be whether the victim found the sexual attention unwelcome, that is whether or not the behavior was sexual harassment in the eyes of the complaint and the effect that it has on her. The objective test is where the surrounding circumstances of the case are considered and then decide whether a reasonable person would consider such conduct as sexual harassment.

Victims of sexual harassment are advised to file a grievance with their supervisors, approach the CCMA but the best would be to get expert advice from an attorney who specializes in employment issues. Victims should confront the harassers. The victims should not delay reporting the incident and should have a detailed report of the incident so that they would be able to respond to the Who, When, Why, What and the How questions. Do not hesitate.


Legal advisor at  SIPETO MDUBA ATTORNEYS with offices in BETHAL (078 684 9728 or 017 647 1263)

DJ Shimza set to perform at the Secunda Spring Party this coming Saturday

DJ Shimza set to perform at the Secunda Spring Party this coming Saturday

SECUNDA (Mpumalanga Province) – Just one day left to the 4th Annual Secunda Spring Party, the organisers of the event (Skomplaas Entertainment and Mastertainment) have announced a new act that is set to perform at the event this coming Saturday, 30 September 2017 at the Lillian Ngoyi Stadium in Secunda.

The fine DJ Shimza , real name Ashley Raphala (28) will turntables at the upcoming Secunda Spring Party boosting the already hot line-up that is set to perform at the event.

According to Secunda Spring Party Media and Public Relations Manager, Sthembiso Mabena, Shimza has graced the patrons of this event (Secunda Spring Party) before in 2014 as the headlining artist and was well received.

“This year he will be joining the likes of DJ Kent, Sjava , DJ Fanzo, Oscar Mbo ,Lady Zamar and Kwesta right here in Secunda. We are excited that he is gracing the event again,’’ Sthembiso telling Village Voice.

DJ Shimza is set to drop fire and turn the dance floor around with his performance as per usual.

Shimza is from Tembisa in Gauteng and he ventured into House Music as a DJ in 2003 which steered him to win the Red Square DJ Competition in 2006. He then went on to win the South African Music Conference which was a DJ Spin off Competition.

DJ Shimza has travelled to several countries such as Mexico, United States of America and the UK, eventually displaying his musical talents. He has also performed in Ibiza following the footsteps of Culoe De Song and Black Coffee.

The 4th Annual Secunda Spring Party will begin at 12:00 noon ( on Saturday, 30 September 2017) and end at 2am (Sunday, 1 October 2017).

People are advised that cooler boxes will only be allowed until 15:00 (on Saturday, 30 September 2017).

Premier Mabuza launches new provincial development fund

Premier Mabuza launches new provincial development fund

eMzinoni (Bethal) – The premier of Mpumalanga Province Mr David Mabuza urged small business owners to grab opportunities that have been availed by the Mpumalanga provincial government to them and change their conditions by creating employment for themselves and others.


He said this during the launch of the Mpumalanga Enterprise Development Fund in eMzinoni Township on Thursday, 14 September 2017.


“This is a new chapter in enterprise development for small businesses in the province of Mpumalanga. Women and young people must seize this opportunity to transform and better their lives,” Premier Mabuza said.


The newly launched fund is a partnership between Standand Bank of South Africa and the government of Mpumalanga, with funding from Standard Bank and business support from the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA).


According to Mr Tim Whati from the Standard Bank of South Africa, partnering with the Mpumalanga provincial government is an important milestone for the bank. “We will do whatever it takes to support entrepreneurs and develop their enterprises in this province. We will surely provide access to development funding through our bank.


“For us as a bank it is of importance to not only focus on developing enterprises within the metropolitan areas, but to also spread-out our support to other areas of our nation especially in the rural areas.


“Entrepreneurs from rural areas also have a role to play in developing the economy,” Mr Whati said.

He also advised that small businesses may approach any Standard Bank branch and apply for the Mpumalanga Enterprises Development Fund.

Kwesta to perfom for the first in this year’s Secunda Spring Party

Kwesta to perfom for the first in this year’s Secunda Spring Party

South Africa’s Hip Hop superstar Kwesta, real name Senzo Mfundo Vilakazi will grace the Secunda Spring Party for the first time this year. Kwesta is a multiple South African Music Awards (SAMAs) winner and one of the highly recognised artists in the African continent.


The 4th Annual Secunda Spring Party is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 30 September 2017 at its superb home the Lillian Ngoyi Stadium in Secunda, Mpumalanga Province.


Since its inception four years ago, the Secunda Spring Party has attracted thousands of music lovers within the Mpumalanga Province and neighbouring provinces such as Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal.


According to Secunda Spring Party Media and Public Relations Manager, Sthembiso Mabena, the event founders Skomplaas Entertainment and Mastertainment respectively, have collaborated for the past four years in producing a premium day of festivities in the Gert Sibande District area with various studded artists gracing the much anticipated event.


“Artists such as Cassper Nyovest, Naked DJ, Black Motion, Nadia Nakai, Lerato Kgayago, Ralf Gum, Shimza have performed at the Secunda Spring Party before.


“This year again is going to be a blast for music lovers because performing on stage will be artists such Kwesta, Sjava, Lady Zamar, DJ Kent to name a few,” Sthembiso told the Village Voice News.

Sthembiso added that the event will also include fashion, food, crafts stalls and beer garden access.


Visit Secunda Spring Party’s social media pages for more information:


Facebook: Secunda Spring PARTY.

Twitter: @Annual_SSP

Instagram: @Secundaspringparty_

Sasol Mining hands over 18 houses to community members

Sasol Mining hands over 18 houses to community members

Secunda (Mpumalanga) – Sasol Mining, in partnership with First National Bank and the Department of Human Settlements, handed over 18 houses as part of the company’s housing project.

The handover brings the total number of houses handed over by Sasol Mining in eMbalenhle and Secunda to 82.

Mr Lucky Kgatle Senior Vice President , Sasol Mining and Councillor Flora Noliqhwa Maboa- Boltman, Executive Mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality handing over keys to one of the Sasol Mining employees during the ceremony.

According to Mr Lucky Kgatle, Sasol Mining’s Senior Vice President, the company recognises the importance of decent housing for its employees. These are homes of an adequate size that has the essential basic infrastructure such as water, sanitation and electricity.

“Sasol Mining has embarked on a housing project with the objective of promoting good health and welfare for its employees.

“This was done to ensure sustainable local economic development and to promote home ownership among Sasol employees within the formal housing sector,” Mr Kgatle said.

He added that Sasol is commitment to its Social Labour Plan, which entails ensuring access to affordable housing for employees.

Present at the handover of the 18 houses were the Executive Mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality, Cllr. Flora Noliqhwa Maboa- Boltman who supported the initiative and applauded the success of the public -private partnership.

She urged the new home owners to be responsible and make sure that they keep their location clean and safe.

“The provision of housing to Sasol Mining MSP employees is a continuous process. This initiative is in accordance with the Social and Labour Plan of the Mining Charter,” Mr Kgatle concluded.

The Pearl brights Mpumalanga’s music scene

The Pearl brights Mpumalanga’s music scene

Mandisa “The Pearl” Mathebula (33) is a songwriter, singer, vocalist and fashion designer whose musical style is inspired by RnB and Jazz. “My style is new and fresh, consisting of much Rhythm and Blues. That’s because I love to write music that connects with people, especially love songs,” she told the Village Voice News.

The Pearl hails from Bethal in the Mpumalanga Province and she aims to brighten up entry of artists coming from the province. She studied fashion design at both Central Johannesburg College and Sew Afrika College.

When asked about barriers and opportunities facing female artists in the music scene The Pearl said female artists must stay focused and believe in themselves.

“Yes challenges are there. Some men are interested in one’s body rather than listening to music and appreciating talent. However, staying focused and believing in yourself as a female artist gives one an edge to overcome such challenges,’’ she said.

Her talent found her a spot as a Session Artist on eTV soapie, Rhythm City. “I was a Session Artist on Rhythm City. I sang a lot of songs and worked closely with the soapie’s Music Director as well as some of the other talent on the soapie at the time,” she added.

The Pearl is currently in studio working on her upcoming debut album only scheduled for early next year (2018).

She has previously worked with famous and respected musicians in the genre of RnB and Afrosoul. She worked with musicians such as Donald and Malik respectively.

Her work is produced by Ningi Poro, Loyiso Ngcala and Bongs Bongane Mbatha.

“I’m inspired by my daughter hence I’d love to see myself doing music getting the opportunity to travel the continent and overseas with my daughter, selling shows,” she told the Village Voice News.

She has shared the stage with artists such as Labella Dani and Joel Zuma.

“I’m a loving person who loves music, life, God and my daughter,” she concluded.

Road Accident Fund eases pressure

Road Accident Fund eases pressure

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) visited the community of eMzinoni Township to offer a range of services to some residents who are car-crash victims. The accident fund’s visit was on Saturday, 24 June, at the Raymond Mavuso Community Hall.  This was part of the fund’s community outreach initiatives.

“According to RAF’s Media and Public Relations Senior Manager, Mr Linda Rulashe, at the heart of this community outreach is service delivery, and making a difference to claimants and everyone affected by the scourge of road crashes.

“Claimants are assisted with the direct registering of new claims, consolidation of required compliance documents, settlement offers, and reporting of cases involving alleged unscrupulous personal injury representatives and touts,” said Mr Rulashe.

The RAF is a juristic person established by an Act of Parliament, namely, the Road Accident Fund Act, 1996 (Act No. 56 of 1996) as amended (”RAF Act”). It commenced operations on 1 May 1997, assuming at the time, all the rights, obligations, assets and liabilities of the Multilateral Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund.

The RAF is responsible for providing appropriate cover to all road users within the borders of South Africa; rehabilitating and compensating persons injured as a result of motor vehicles in a timely and caring manner; and actively promoting the safe use of all South African roads. Section 3 of the RAF Act stipulates that “the object of the Fund shall be the payment of compensation in accordance with this Act for loss or damage wrongfully caused by the driving of a motor vehicle”. The client base of the RAF, therefore, comprises not only the South African public, but all foreigners within the borders of the country. The RAF provides two types of cover, namely personal insurance cover to accident victims or their families, and indemnity cover to wrongdoers.

Mr Rulashe  also said the most important information which needs to be provided for new claims include case numbers, accident reports, hospital reports, vehicle registrations and details of other parties involved in the car crash.

Those who were unable to attend the event are encouraged to visit the RAF at any of the following 11 Hospital Service Centres within the Mpumalanga Province where they can be assisted in lodging claims.

They are Kwa-Mhlanga Hospital (Kwa-Mhlanga).; Mmametlhake Hospital (Mmamehlake) Witbank Hospital (Witbank),  Standerton Hospital (Standerton),  Evander Hospital (Evander),  Themba Hospital (White River/Kabokweni), Mapulaneng Hospital (Bushbuckridge),  Ermelo Hospital (Ermelo), Piet Retief Hospital (Piet Retief), and Rob Ferreira Hospital (Nelspruit) and Tonga Hospital (Tonga).

For more information regarding the claims procedure and services of the RAF, contact RAF Call Centre on 0860 23 55 23 from Monday to Friday, 07h45 to 16h00.

Follow RAF on social media: Twitter: @RAF_SA, Facebook:  Road Accident Fund, and Instagram: RAF_ROAD.

 Mr Vusi Walter Mokoena and Ms Nomthandazo Mbuyisa are receiving help from Constable Sifiso P. Ndlovu of the eMzinoni Polic during the Road Accident Fund’s community outreach initiative in eMzinoni Township.

Ms Botshelo Nageng from the Road Accident Fund helping a claimant.

Road Accident Fund staff Mr Bongane Dlamini, Ms Busisiwe Slaffa (RAF’s Claims Organisation Manager) and Mr Ntokozo Khoza

Sky Hill Workshop Complex

Sky Hill Workshop Complex

Development on the Sky Hill Workshop Complex commenced in October 2009. By 2010 Sky Hill had secured its first order, the fabrication of a major portion of the steam ducting for Medupi Power Station.

According to Hydra-Arc Group Chairman and CEO Mr Jose Marciel, such demonstrates the need for this type of workshop capacity, not only in South Africa, but globally.

The Sky Hill fabrication is a state of the art pressure vessel, piping, heat exchanger and structural steel facility. The primary fabrication facility consists of 4 workshops representing approximately 55 000 metre squared under roof.

Current expansion would result in a total of 75 000 metre squared, inclusive of a 10 000 metre squared pipe shop and a 5 000 metre squared laser and plasma cutting shop. Outdoor fabrication platforms range up to 50 000 metre squared.

The primary facilities are supported by a 10 000 metre squared primary store for equipment, tools and consumable, approximately eight hectares of lay down area and material stores, an electrical shop, diesel and petrol mechanical shops, a fully equipped machine shop, a carpentry shop, a management and support staff complex and canteen and ablution facilities

Sky Hill Workshop Complex, a member of Hydra-Arc Group of Companies poise to capture a significant portion of the global pressure vessel market.  The new machine shop will soon have several impressive additions to expand Sky Hill’s machining capabilities.

Some of the specifications are Double Column Horizontal Boring Mill which consist of a single head capacity in X – axis with 33 metre range, Y -axis for both columns with 5 -metre range, 1,2 metre range in Z axis, 0,8 metre in W axis, 2 turntables, with 40 and 60 ton capacity respectively, 5 axis capable, fully automated head changes, fully automated tool changes and75kW spindle motor.

Vertical Machining Centre consists of 9 metre turning diameter, 300 ton table load, 5 metre daylight between chuck and ram, ram stroke of 2,5 metre, live tooling with a 37-

kW motor and turntable equipped with 2 X 140kW motors.

Bridge Type Machine Centre consists of a table size 5 -metre X 3 metre, table load 30 tons, fully automated attachment changer with indexable angle ahead, fully automated tooling system, ram stroke of 1.8 metres and 37kW spindle motor.

The equipment utilised in the workshop represent the very latest in technologic advancement and includes a PWHT oven (possibly the largest in the world) of 70 -metre long by 10 metre wide with a temperature range up to 750 Degree Celsius.

A second PWHT oven, is 15 metre long by 6 wide, temperature range up to 950 Degree Celsius.

The newest addition ‘Bay 4’ features an overhead crane lifting capacity from 6 – millimetres to 150 millimetres, a 1 250 ton bend press which can accomodate plate widths of up to 6.5 metres, specialized welding booms and rollers, designed and manufactured by

Sky Hill for the fabrication of large pressure vessels.

“The capacity coupled with our access to the very best artisan skills in the country will enable us to effectively compete globally, to retain work which previously left the country and to attract work from overseas.

“This will make significant contribution to local economic growth and job creation,” said Mr Marciel.

He also added that Sky Hill’s facility is a green building design and the primary workshop for example only utilizes natural light for day time production.  More than half of the Hydra-Arc Group’s Sky Hill facility is dedicated to new fabrication work, which is at the heart of the company’s future strategy.

The Hydra-Arc Group is a proudly South African business that has proved that, by developing local

skills and paying attention to quality and on-time delivery it is possible to be successfully and competitive in the challenging industry.

By taking on the global market the company intent to lead South Africa into a better future one with better job prospects for South Africans and a stronger local economy.

Hydra-Arc was initially established in 1987 to source and supply welding and maintenance skills for Sasol Shutdowns.  It has now established Sky Hill Heavy Engineering, Jomele Labour Hire and Placements, which recruits artisans for placement within the Group and on client sites for the duration of the project or maintenance contracts.

Jose Marciel Welding Academy was established in 2002, however the academy has evolved into the Mshiniwami Training Academy, with the capacity to train 1 000 artisans every ýear.

Mshiniwami offers practical skills development in boilermaking, pipefitting, welding and grinding, with the more competent trainees having the opportunity to complete their trade tests and become fully fledged qualified artisans.

Contact Hydra Arc on 017 632 7021 and


Sky Hill Workshop Complex, a member of Hydra-Arc Group of Companies poise to capture a significant portion of the global pressure vessel market.

See Better, Do Better

See Better, Do Better

by Gugu Ndlovu

Every time I get an opportunity to communicate with young people, I make it a point to emphasize the importance of having good eye sight. Not necessarily that of the natural eye but that of the mind. Having a vision.

I always go for this because I’ve come to understand that lack thereof is what leads one into a reckless lifestyle.

No one willingly surrenders their life to excessive drinking, promiscuity or drug abuse unless they are blinded towards their something; their future. ‘YOLO’ (you only live once) is a principle the young have adopted without question. I’m still to find someone who uses this phrase to achieve good, it always seems to come up when we’re justifying our deeds of blindness. I agree that we humans are no match to the legendary cats with their nine lives, but why not use the one life you do have to achieve something instead of destroying what you already have?

I take interest in the goals and aspirations of young people I encounter because they grant me the opportunity to impact their today using their tomorrow. Once I can get you to see yourself as that attorney, that nurse, that CEO; I then challenge you to weigh your habits and decisions in light of this ‘vision’. Many then realize that their habits and attitudes will delay, if not stop them in achieving their goals. Because it will definitely be harder to complete high school with a baby in your lap, a few more years and rands to bag that degree if every weekend is given to clubbing.

The trick with some is getting them to believe that they worth what they’re tempted to envision. Some come from backgrounds that make it near impossible to even imagine making it in life. Poverty has such a strong hold on them that out of frustration they are lead into habits that dig them deeper into the pits of lack. Others have been victims of sexual abuse from a young age and do not know a life other than being an object for sexual pleasure. The matter intensifies when they realize they can make a living through what once victimized them, why not when I’ve been through what I’ve been through?

Others have just made so many mistakes that their vision has blurred. They once dreamed, but their dreams have slowly diminished over the years.

Sure, such things have the potential to ruin life for you, but not if you don’t give them the chance to. You have a tenacity in you that can outlast every single obstacle that comes your way, you just don’t know it yet. I’m certain Joseph didn’t know it either when he was cuddled in the cushion if his father’s love. He probably thought it would be an easy climb up the ladder of success at that point, little did he know about the strength of his brothers’ jealousy.

He was snatched from his father’s lap to slavery. I can imagine that Joseph didn’t have to do any hard labor at home being the beloved last born and all, so he was probably less likely to survive slavery compared to his other brothers. But the problem here was who slavery was messing with, a spoilt seventeen year old, yes, but a spoilt boy who had one heck of a vision. And that’s what saw him through the pits, the slavery, and prison and landed him a royal seat in the palace.

He didn’t ask or volunteer for any of the things that happened to him, but he also didn’t use them as an excuse to not aim for better. In fact his father’s love and mother’s support couldn’t protect him when life happened. There was literally no one to draw strength from, he had to draw strength from the One who gave him the eyes to see what he had seen. He’s now one of the most popular Bible characters simply because he had a dream and wouldn’t let anything, even himself (read about his encounter with Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39) stop him from realizing it.

So we are without excuse. God is both able and willing to give us what we see, only if we see it. So dare to dream, it is only those with sight that will escape the calamity that has befallen our generation .