Today's Big Stories

Sapo vs Nasasa Cellular, medical supply shortage at Jeppe Clinic, Eskom update

South African Post Office vs Nasasa Cellular

Last Friday, the Pretoria High Court dismissed an application made by the South African Post Office (Sapo) which sought to overturn a warrant of execution obtained by Nasasa Cellular to freeze Sapo’s bank accounts. In 2004 a deal was struck with Nasasa, who was to supply Sapo with telecommunications and cellular products to sell on its behalf. Sapo failed to follow through on this deal, and last year, the utility signed the 50 million rand settlement, which it failed to pay up. Nasasa obtained the warrant after Sapo failed to pay the settlement. Bernard Hotz, legal representative for Nasasa Cellular:

A deal was struck with Nasasa, which is a stokvel group in a joint venture with the cellular company Glocell, to provide cell phone communication to eight million people throughout the country, in the rural areas and to enable those stokvel members to bank at Postbank. The deal was signed by the then CEO of the Post Office Mandla Manyatshe, it was witnessed by the then head of PostBank and the head of legal. All of them saw the commercial merit of the deal, which was projected to make hundreds of millions of rands of profits for the post office. As soon as Mandla Manyatshe left Sapo, everything came off the rails and the post office refused to implement the agreement. My client had been dragged around for years and years and the parties eventually reached a settlement. The post office reneged on the settlement. We went to court in January to have the settlement agreement declared to be a court order. That resulted in the warrant of executions being issued by the court and Sapo’s bank accounts being attached. Council said on Friday that if their bank accounts aren’t released they will be unable to pay the salaries of 17 000 Sapo employees.

Shortage of medical supplies at Jeppe clinic

Following allegations that the Jeppe Clinic has been turning away patients because they are facing a shortage of medication supplies, 702’s John Robbie spoke to Gauteng Health Department Qedani Mahlangu about the prevalence of these shortages. Mahlangu says that the current problem the Health department faces is of suppliers who have not been able to deliver the quantities that we are looking for.

The matter at Jeppe clinic is not a general problem. The medication is concerned, is mental health medication. What is available is the replacement medication that the doctors are prescribing. Mental treatment is very complicated and we have ordered the medication so that the patients can continue the routine preferred by their doctor. These companies sometimes claim that they have not been paid when they do not have they stock to deliver, and I think it is high time that we name and shame them so that the public can know what is going on. Where there is a problem of supplies because of mismanagement, those people will face disciplinary action against them because they are compromising the quality of treatment of our patients.

Follow up on Eskom's 'maintenance festival'

Eskom recently announced its plans to conduct a so called 'maintenance festival’ in preparation for the winter months ahead of South Africa. The drive is an effort to create capacity and carry out as much maintenance procedures over the next two weeks, before the heavy demand for electricity in winter puts added pressure on the grid. Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says that engineers at the utility took 3 000 megawatts offline on Friday and have returned about 2 000 megawatts so far. He told CapeTalk’s Kieno Kammies that the engineers will be celebrating once they see all the machines come back online.

They are still trying to gradually return the other units that were taken offline. They are bringing back to service a number of machines that had technical faults and others that had been taken off so that we can do the requisite maintenance. We as a country have never had load shedding in winter. We do a lot of maintenance in summer so that we don’t have to take a lot of machines out for servicing during winter. I’m sure our machines will not disappoint us, as they have not disappointed us in previous winters.

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