Category: HOUSING

JHB’S CARLTON CENTRE IN DANGER OF LOSING ‘AFRICA’S TALLEST BUILDING’ TITLE

Eye Witness News

Artistic building The Pinnacle. Picture: www.livinspaces.net.

CAPE TOWN – Johannesburg’s 223 metre Carlton Centre is in danger of losing its title as the tallest building in Africa.

This is if all goes according to schedule in the construction of “The Pinnacle” twin glass-facade towers that will rise above Nairobi, Kenya.

The buildings are set for completion by December 2019.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta recently laid the foundation stone ahead of the mammoth construction project of the 300 meters tall building.

The towers will house a 255-room Hilton Hotel, along with elite residences, business and leisure facilities, and a helipad on the roof of the taller tower.

PHOTO: Artistic building The Pinnacle. Picture: http://www.livinspaces.net.

CITY OF CAPE TOWN EXPANDING CCTV SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMME

Cape Town expanding CCTV surveillance programme

CAPE TOWN – While the City of Cape Town plans to expand its CCTV camera footprint to 600 cameras by the end of the year, it has emphasised that it respects the right to privacy of its residents.

The city currently operates 564 CCTV cameras and roughly 700 free-way management cameras, which makes the city’s camera network the largest in South Africa.

Mayoral committee member for safety and social services JP Smith on Wednesday afternoon said the city used a strict protocol to guide all its surveillance activity.

“In some cases, the cameras have even been modified to prevent them from looking at certain things,” Smith said.

Metro police director Barry Schuller explained to News24 that Capetonians are able to request that their properties be digitally blurred out from the city’s camera system.

“But what happens is these people have burglaries later on, and then ask the city for footage,” he said.

Schuller and Smith were attending a showcase of newly installed CCTV cameras in Langa at the City of Cape Town Transport Management Centre in Goodwood.

Enhance appeal to tourists

Langa community police forum (CPF) members were offered the opportunity to view the capabilities of two new cameras, with a zoom capability of over 100m.

The cameras were installed at a cost of R1.2m and are the first to be in Langa, after three cameras have been monitoring the major roads next to the suburb for several years.

Smith explained that the cameras were a part of the development of a tourism precinct in the area.

Langa already attracted a “reasonable” amount of tourists to historical buildings and cultural activities, Smith said.

“The approach with the cameras was to make sure that the cameras would enhance, not just the safety of local residents, but that they would enhance the appeal of the area to the tourism trade, so that we could create more jobs,” he said.

“Every time tourist visit there, they are spending money locally and that means people are able to earn a living in Langa, rather than leaving Langa.”

We must get our people ready to make Langa safe

Smith said there had been 1 297 incidents of crime reported in Langa between August 2016 and May 2017, mostly on Vanguard Drive, where smash-and-grab incidents occured.

Langa CPF treasurer Ayanda Mfazwe expressed concern over the lack of police co-operation in the use of CCTV surveillance, but Smith said a police personnel member was stationed at the centre.

During the viewing of the CCTV cameras by CPF members, an alleged gangsterism incident occurred in Khayelitsha.

It could be seen how roughly five men were walking with machetes, but a police officer at the scene quickly deployed officers to the area to diffuse the situation.

Mfazwe said he would rally CPF members to ensure the CCTV operations in the suburb reached their full potential.

“We must get our people ready to make Langa safe,” he said.

12-hour shifts

City of Cape Town CCTV analyst Jonathan van As told News24 that 36 private security officers manned the cameras at any given moment.

The security officers worked 12-hour shifts and switched to another CCTV station every hour, Van As said.

Unlike major European cities, the City of Cape Town currently does not use computer software to assist with surveillance.

A pilot project was underway to test computer software at the Cape Town Stadium, Van As said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the City said licence plate recognition cameras would be installed in Hout Bay, Sea Point, the Bo-Kaap and Mowbray in the next financial year.

An addition, 29 CCTV cameras would also be installed in various wards across the city, the statement reads.

-News24/Mybroadband

LONDON FIRES: NIGHT OF HORROR AS BLAZE TRAPS HIGH-RISE DWELLERS THAT ALREADY LEFT ‘A NUMBER DEAD’

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CAPE TOWN – Shaken survivors of a blaze that ravaged a west London tower block told on Wednesday of seeing people trapped or jump to their doom as flames raced towards the building’s upper floors and smoke filled the corridors.

Hanan Wahabi, 39, who lives on the ninth floor of the 24-storey Grenfell Tower, said she was awoken around 01:00 (00:00 GMT) by smoke.

“I could see there was ash coming through the window in the living room, which was partially open,” she said, sitting with her husband and son, 16, and daughter, eight, outside a local community centre.

“I looked out and I could see the fire travelling up the block. It was literally by my window,” she said. “I slammed the window shut and got out.”

After the family escaped, she called her brother, who lives on the 21st floor, to see if he was all right.

“The fire hadn’t reached the top of the block at that point,” Wahabi said.

“He said he had been told to stay inside, stay in one room together and put towels under the door. I told him to leave. He said he was going to come. Then I called him and he said there was too much smoke.”

She added: “The last time I saw him they were waving out the window, his wife and children. The last time I spoke to his wife, he was on the phone to the fire brigade. I’ve not heard from them since, the phone is not going through, the landline isn’t going through. That was about 02:00.”

A witness identified as Daniel told BBC Radio London that people on the upper floors were trapped as the flames rose higher and higher.

“People have been burned,” he said. “I have seen it with my own eyes. And I have seen people jump.”

Another witness named as Jody Martin said he battled his way his way to the second floor only to encounter choking smoke.

“I watched one person falling out, I watched another woman holding her baby out the window… hearing screams, I was yelling everyone to get down and they were saying ‘We can’t leave our apartments, the smoke is too bad on the corridors’,” he said.

 People gather at a cordon near the site of the massive Grenfell Tower fire. (Rick Findler, PA via AP)

‘I’m a goner’

Another survivor at the community centre, wearing shorts, a T-shirts and trainers and with a blanket draped around his shoulders, said he saved his own life with just moments to spare.

“My neighbour’s smoke alarm went off and I thought he might have done some cooking,” he said, giving only his first name of Eddie, 55.

“I was in bed and I heard people shout fire, fire, I opened my door and loads of smoke came in. Then two seconds later my neighbour [on fifth floor] called and said, ‘Get the fuck out the building’!”

Smoke billows from the burning building. (Rick Findler, PA via AP)

“I went into the bathroom and I got the towel and wet it and wrapped it around my head. I ran out into the hallway, closed the door behind me and ran for where I thought the fire exit was. I didn’t find it. It was a matter of life and death – I thought, ‘If I’m in this for another five seconds, I’m a goner’.”

“Then on the ground there was a fireman, he touched my leg and pulled me into where the fire stairwell was. You couldn’t see anything. I just ran down the stairs. There wasn’t that many people on the stairs.

“Loads of people haven’t got out of the building.”

Abdul Hamid, 51, lives on the 16th floor lost everything he owned but counted himself lucky to be alive.

“I have nothing. My passport was in there – it’s gone. I’m meant to be flying to Saudi Arabia for the hajj. Now I’m homeless.”

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton meanwhile has said that a structural engineer is monitoring the stability of the building.

 

TOP PHOTO: Smoke billows from the Grenfell Tower apartment building after it was engulfed in flames in North Kensington, London, June 14, 2017.

REUTERS

COPS FORGET TO LOCK CELL AND THIS HAPPENED

Iol News

DURBAN – Six detainees escaped from police cells at the Empangeni police station after the police allegedly forgot to lock doors leading to the exit.

Three have since been rearrested, while three others are on the run. And one of those on the run is wanted for murder.

The escape happened on the night of May 30. From what has been established by the Sunday Tribune, police forgot to lock the cell and the six awaiting trial detainees walked out.

It is unclear why the detainees were being kept at the police station’s holding cells when Empangeni Correctional Services is situated next door, separated only by a fence.

SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed the escape. “Cases of escaping from lawful custody were opened at Empangeni police station for investigation. However, three detainees have been rearrested and the other three have not been found.

“We appeal to community members not to try to apprehend them since they are dangerous. Rather contact the nearest police station,” said Zwane.

The three suspects still on the run are Sandile Majola, 29, Mxolisi Mbuyazi, 22, and Thanda Zulu, 32. They are identified below.

ON THE RUN | Escapee Thanda Zulu. Picture: Supplied

ON THE RUN | Escapee Mxolisi Mbuyazi. Picture: Supplied

TOP PHOTO: The Empangeni Police Station, where the six detainees walked out of an unlocked police cell. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ANA Pictures

KNYSNA UP IN FLAMES AS DEATH TOLL CLIMBS TO 4, UP TO 150 SANDF MEMBERS DEPLOYED TO HELP BATTLE INFERNO

Eye Witness News

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CAPE TOWN – The Knysna fire has claimed another life bringing the death toll to four, the Western Cape government has confirmed.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel will be

ELSIES POLICE & COMMUNITY HOST MISSING PERSONS DAY AS ZILLE DIVERTS R3M TO FIGHT CAPE FLAT GANG VIOLENCE (PHOTOS)

Eye Witness News

The Pink Ladies Organisation has urged parents not to wait until they discover their child has gone missing, but to report it to police immediately. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – As Child Protection Week draws to a close, the Elsies River police and the Pink Ladies Organisation are hosting a Missing Persons Day.

The organisation is hoping the campaign, which has been rolled

CAPE TOWN: COMMUNITY LEADER SHOT DEAD IN KHAYELITSHA FOLLOWING MASSIVE LAND GRAB

Times Live

CAPE TOWN – A group of Khayelitsha backyarders‚ who orchestrated a large land occupation in Cape Town two weeks ago‚ have vowed to continue their fight for land.
This follows the fatal shooting of one of the group’s leaders Mthunzi ‘Ras’ Zuma on Sunday night. Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said no arrests have

TRAFFIC: FIRE DESTROYS THREE CLASSROOMS IN MANENBERG SCHOOL

The WCED says it’s looking into measures to accommodate learners while investigating the cause of a fire at a Manenberg school.

A view of one of the classrooms that was destroyed in the blaze at Silverstream Secondary school in Manenberg, Cape Town. Picture: Ilze-Marie Le Roux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says it’s looking into measures to accommodate learners while investigating the cause of a fire at a Manenberg school.

Several classrooms were destroyed in the blaze that broke out on Saturday.

No injuries were reported.

Spokesperson for the MEC Jessica Shelver says, “A fire broke out at Silverstream Secondary school in Manenberg on Saturday at around 12pm. The City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services responded to the call. There’s extensive fire damage and three classrooms were destroyed in the fire.”

 

-Eye Witness News

PHOTO: A view of one of the classrooms that was destroyed in the blaze at Silverstream Secondary school in Manenberg, Cape Town. Picture: Ilze-Marie Le Roux/EWN.

 

 

OVER!

CITY ISSUES LEVEL 4 WATER RESTRICTIONS – ONLY USE WATER FOR DRINKING, COOKING & TAKING 2 QUICK MINS SHOWER

USE WATER ONLY WHEN NECESSARY AND RE-USE IT

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CAPE TOWN – reached the end game in the drought crises on Monday as City’s authorities issued a “critical warning” to all residents and businesses to cut non-essential municipal water use immediately

At the time this edition went to print, the City’s mayoral committee was expected to ask council on Tuesday to ratchet up water restrictions to Level 4, effectively banning the use of all municipal water for outside and non-essential purposes.

A City statement said dam levels as of Monday May 15 were at 21.2%, which is 0.8% down from a week ago. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being usable, dam levels are effectively at 11.2%

“We are essentially saying that you are only allowed to use a bit of water for drinking, cooking and washing. We are reaching a critical point in this drought crises,” said Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy.

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The city has called for residents to:

  • Use water only for drinking, washing and cooking.
  • Only flush the toilet when necessary.
  • Take short two-minutes shower.
  • Collect your shower, bath and basin water and re-use  it to to flush your toilet, and for the garden and cleaning.
  • Defrost foods in the fridge or naturally rather than placing it under running water.
  • Use a cup instead of  running taps in the bathroom or kitchen, for brushing teeth, shaving, drinking etc.
  • Wait for a full load before running washing machines and dish-washers.
  • Residents can contact the City at Water@capetown.gov.za for queries or to report contraventions of water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts) or they can SMS to 3173. The report said.

 

 

-Table Talk

PHOTO: Peter Okafor/ExpressCapetown

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