Commuters were stranded when the Western Cape’s entire passenger train service was brought to a halt mid-afternoon on Thursday after Eskom cut power to Prasa, citing non-payment of accounts.
Image: Dave Chambers
Prasa on Thursday paid R6.5m to Eskom, apparently ending a “devastating” disruption in the power supply to the passenger rail agency that left thousands of commuters in the Western Cape stranded.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha told TimesLIVE that the payment was received and the Passenger Rail Association of SA’s (Prasa’s) account was now “current”. He said power had been restored.
From about midday on Thursday, no trains were operating in the Western Cape after Eskom cut power to Prasa, citing non-payment of bills.
Commuters were stranded on trains which had to limp back to stations on emergency power and passengers were denied entry to train stations.
Prasa initially said that the trains would not run again on Thursday, but by around 6pm some were back in operation.
About 590,000 commuters use trains each weekday to get to work and back.
It’s not just West Point Processors’ tinned pilchards in tomato sauce that has been recalled, but their pilchards in chilli sauce as well — sold by retailers countrywide under 12 brands, the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) announced on Monday night.
That’s because the product was “compromised’ on the production line when the sauce was added to the fish in the can, and “therefore could affect the safety of consumers”, the NRCS said.
The affected products include not only the Shoprite group’s house brands, but the Spar house brand pilchards as well, all bearing the production codes ZST29 or ZSC29 on top of the can.
“The problem manifests itself after months of storage, which causes the content of the can to react with the metal of the can,” the NRCS said.
The regulator made no mention of bloating tins.
At the weekend, West Point Processors announced a recall of its pilchards in tomato sauce 400g tins, but was silent about its chilli variant.
Customers who’ve purchased the cans were urged to return them for a refund.The company said there was a small possibility that some tins in the specified batch may have a “canning deficiency”, which could make them “unfit for consumption”.
Whereas Westpoint named six products as being part of its recall — Cape Point, Saldanha, Shoprite Ritebrand, Checkers Housebrand, U-brand and OK Housebrand — and only the Tomato Sauce variant, the NRCS has named nine brands and said both the Tomato Sauce and Chilli Sauce variants are part of the recall.
The full list is:
The NRCS, which regulates the manufacture, production and treatment of canned fish, is now “imploring” formal wholesalers, retailers and informal traders to remove and stop selling the 400g Pilchards in Tomato Sauce and 400g Pilchards in Chilli Sauce with immediate effect.
“We are engaging all role players to ensure that the affected products are removed from the market to protect consumers against unsafe products in line with our mandate,” the regulator said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed Elsies River residents about the brutal murder of eight-year-old Tazne Van Wyk and said government interventions were already working to keep young girls safe.
But by the time he had finished speaking and was bowing his head in prayer, seven-year-old Emaan Solomons was lying on her stomach. Her lifeless brown eyes were wide open and staring at the last light of day.
She was murdered in Ocean View, yet another troubled Cape Town community where police resources are scarce and the drug problem overwhelming.
Her grandmother Pearl Daniels could not handle the grief as she counted down the grandchildren she had left on one hand: five minus one.“It’s hard to remember that she’s not here any more. Every month, twice or three times, if I go to the shops I must know I have five grandchildren. Now I must remember it’s not five, it’s just four,” said Daniels, pushing down her little finger before tears streamed down her cheeks.
Daniels, who works as a nurse, arrived to find Emaan lying on her stomach just two metres from the front door of her parent’s home. Her parents were hysterical. The community had arrived and tensions were high.I pretended to check her vital signs but I could see she was dead. I don’t know what sort of bullet hit her, but her little body was ripped open. She was lying on her stomach and her head was looking to the left. Her eyes were wide open and dilated,” she said.
Emaan wanted to be a beautician, said her grandparents.
Her grandfather Ronald Solomons said the community had reached a point beyond the threshold of what they could handle. He said there were too few police officers and too few vehicles.
On Sunday, the community marched through the streets of Ocean View, warning drug dealers and gangsters that if the constant shooting didn’t cease, they would take matters into their own hands.
That night Virgil van Wyk was shot and hospitalised. And now Emaan.near Kommetjie last year, Jocelyn Claasen, was murdered. She was heavily pregnant.
“They are constantly shooting, especially when it’s load-shedding. The people are walking openly in the streets with guns. There’s a shortage of cops and a shortage of vehicles. The willingness to catch people just isn’t there,” said Franke.
He said that the neighbourhood watch would often be surprised to find out that someone who was recently locked up was back in the community.
“The guy who killed my cousin, the day before he killed him he came out of prison. He was talking loudly in the taxi that he was back to cause trouble. He was in prison for murder and shooting.”
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