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South Africa: One Stop Health Centre for Miners

Pretoria — Mineworkers will soon have access to health and labour services at a One Stop Health Service Centre which will be built in Limpopo.

Services offered at the centre will include screening for silicosis, TB or any occupational lung disease.

The centre, which will cater for current and former mineworkers, will also treat workers and rehabilitate those that need rehabilitation.

The administrative wing of the centre will house various labour law related advice services.

The services will include maternity and paternal benefits managed by the UIF, compensation in relation to the Injuries and Disease Act (COIDA), benefits managed by the Compensation Fund (CF) of the Department of Labour, as well as compensation benefits under the Compensation Fund of the Department of Health.

The Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant, Deputy Ministers of Health Dr Joe Phaahla and Deputy Minister of Labour, iNkosi Phathekile Holomisa, on Monday joined hands in a sod-turning ceremony in Burgersfort, Limpopo, for the soon to be established One Stop Health Service Centre.

Current and former-mineworkers have been encouraged to call the toll free number: 080 100 0240 for any enquiries on mining related occupational diseases.

Source: allafrica


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DEA launches environmental projects in Umtshezi

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has launched Community Parks and Street Cleaning projects worth R13.8m in Umtshezi, KwaZulu-Natal.
The projects was recently announced by the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson. It is anticipated that the implementation of these projects will create at least 235 work opportunities. This entails amongst others employing 160 women, 160 youths and people living with disability.
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The DEA, through its Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme, funded the Working on Waste, Working for the Coast, Working for Land, People and Parks, Wildlife Economy, Youth Environmental Services, and Greening and Open Space Management programmes. These projects are aimed at creation of job opportunities, small business development and skills development through labour-intensive methods.

Rehabilitation of parks

The Umtshezi Community Parks and Street Cleaning projects involve the rehabilitation of community parks and planting of trees in and around Umtshezi local municipality. The projects aim to restore, enhance and rehabilitate open spaces, thereby maximising measures towards pollution mitigation.

Through the Umtshezi Community Parks Project, the DEA will build parking bays, plant grass and provide general landscaping as well as ablution facilities. In addition, existing fencing to the parks will be refurbished.

The Umtshezi Street Cleaning Project, which is implemented as part of the Department’s Working for Waste Programme, the DEA is making a colossal contribution to the municipality to carry out basic solid waste management operations. These include collection and safe disposal of waste, hence the purchasing of skip and concrete bins.

Thomson urged members of the community, as beneficiaries of these projects, to take ownership of the projects by ensuring that they are kept clean and well maintained.

Source: Bizcommunity

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Bracken Nature Reserve: Dump Site Transformed Into Cape Nature Reserve

A 36-hectare area in Cape Town that was once used largely as a landfill has been transformed into one of the city’s most important nature reserves, home to more than 300 plant species, 10 of which are endemic to Cape Town and threatened with extinction.

After a decade of hard work – and a R2-million investment – the once deteriorated and deserted Bracken Nature Reserve has been rehabilitated and restored into a environmental space that can be enjoyed by all the city’s residents, the City of Cape Town said in a statement last week.

Bracken Nature Reserve was named as the reserve of 2014 by the city’s Environmental Resource Management Department.

The rehabilitation project started with the planting of 60 indigenous trees including, karee, real yellowwood, wild peach, Cape ash, wild camphor and milkwood, which are still growing well.

Councillor Johan van der Merwe, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, singled out Tshepo Mamabalo for her will and vision in transforming the space.

Mamabolo’s involvement began when she was doing a city internship at the reserve. “With the support of the reserve team, she dedicated her passion and energy to transforming the site into what it is today,” Van der Merwe said.

Mamabolo is now the area co-ordinator.

Conservation

The 36-hectare reserve is home to Swartland granite renosterveld and Cape sand fynbos, both of which “suffer a dearth of conservation consideration”, the city said.

“More than 300 plant species have been identified here, of which 10 are endemic to Cape Town and threatened with extinction,” the city said.

Important species include cowslip (Lachenalia aloides) and the canary yellow vygie (Lampranthus glaucus).

The reserve also supports a great diversity of wildlife. Regularly sighted birds are the red-capped lark, black-shouldered kite, peregrine falcon and southern double-collared sunbird. Other mammal species found in the reserve include the small grey mongoose and a myriad of rodents and reptiles.

Critically endangered

“Currently there is only one known plant of the critically endangered Kraaifontein spiderhead (Serruria furcellata) remaining naturally in the wild in Northpine,” Van der Merwe said.

“The reserve has been surveyed and found to have great potential as a receptor site for this critically endangered species. Cuttings from the original plant were planted and, to date, 20 healthy plants are conserved at the reserve.”

The City manages 16 nature reserves across Cape Town. During the 2013/2014 financial year, visitor numbers to City reserves increased by 32% to 351 594 visitors (2012/2013: 266 195 visitors).

“The tremendous turnaround of the Bracken Nature Reserve is a good example of how, when the city sows the seeds of collaborative partnerships, the community and the surrounding environment will reap the benefits,” Van Der Merwe said.

“It is of paramount importance that we place a higher financial and environmental value on our nature reserves so that, together, we can make progress possible in building a sustainable future,” he said.

Source: Allafrica.com