South Africa’s Bitterly Cold Winter Brings Fire Along With It…

Vision Tactical Media

Emergency personnel have to respond to fires at homes and informal settlements across South Africa.

In the bitterly cold winter weather – the risk of injury from fire significantly increases.

Vision Tactical together with other emergency organisations provide you with tips on how to protect yourself and your home from a possible fire.

In South Africa, a Medical Research Council report estimates that each year 3.2 percent (1 600 000) of the country’s population will suffer from burn injuries, with the vast majority being from poorer communities.

This high incidence is driven by negative impact factors including the influx of people to urban areas, haphazard urban development, overcrowding, inadequate electrification of homes in low-income communities, paraffin and bio-mass fuels used as the primary energy sources, and lack of effective preventative and education programmes.

House Fires as a threat to the Safety of Children

Young children are particularly vulnerable, with death as a result of burn injuries claiming approximately 1 300 young lives each year. This concentration of burn mortality and injury among infants and toddlers occurs more frequently among very young black children below the age of three.

Older children also spend an increasing amount of time with other children, older siblings and adults outside the home. This widening social network exposes them to risks posed by open fires initiated for heating and cooking and managing heating appliances and heated appliances or utensils.”

What can you do to protect yourself and to prevent fires at home?

Accidental fires are just that – an accident. There are however, a number of ways to prevent a fire starting accidentally in your home or business. It starts with having the knowledge of possible causes of fires, and being aware of seemingly harmless objects in your home or business that could ignite and lead to a fire.

Sources of Fire: What are causing these fires?

The most probable sources of a potential fire inside the home could come from any of the following, but is not limited to these few that are mentioned:

Frayed electrical wires on appliances

Burning candles

Heaters/electric blankets

Cigarette/cigar/tobacco pipe embers

Fire places

Gas leaks followed by a spark igniting

Children playing with matches

Burning oil on a stove top

Most of these though would need to be accelerated by another source, for example a roll of toilet tissue near a heater may ignite and start a fire. It is therefore very important to keep the area around any of these potential fire hazards mentioned above clear. Don’t leave any heater/heated appliance or open flame burning while you leave the room.

Synthetic materials are widely used in household furniture. This material is highly flammable and will burn quickly once set alight. Keep open flames or embers away from foam matrasses, stuffed couches, curtains and carpets. These usually also cover a wide surface area and will be the cause of other maybe less flammable objects to catch alight.

Preventing Fire at Home / Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to a fire possibly breaking out in your house:

DO buy a small fire extinguisher from a reputable dealer to keep in your home – note the correct way to use it

DO familiarize yourself with emergency numbers in the event of a fire and medical emergency

DO take note of warnings on selected appliances – do not cover heaters

DO check electrical cables regularly for damage

DON’T leave the room where a candle is burning, heater is on, fire in the fire place is still burning fiercely, oil is on heat atop the stove etc.

DON’T pack personal belongings before leaving the house in the event of a fire

DON’T try and put an oil fire in the kitchen out with water

DON’T open a closed door of a room suspected to be on fire.

DON’T enter a room that is on fire

DON’T re-enter the home once you have exited away from the fire

DO stay low to the ground when exiting a smoke filled room. Smoke will rise and staying low will minimise the potential for inhalation injuries.

DO cover your nose and mouth with a (moist) cloth. This also minimises the inhalation of smoke by breathing through a barrier.

DO exit the burning building as soon and as safely as possible.

DO extinguish cigarettes/Cigars and Pipe Tobacco in the appropriate manor

Unfortunately, having a smoke detector and alarm in each room of the house is not common practice in South Africa but it should be encouraged. These somewhat simple devices are inexpensive and are easy to install. Have them checked and make sure that the batteries are kept charged.

A general rule to follow is to stay as far away from an uncontrolled open flame as possible.

How to respond after a fire:

If someone has been burnt follow the above steps and remove any tight clothing and jewellery.

If someone has inhaled smoke, move them to an area with fresh air.

Not everyone has access to uncontaminated water.

Not everyone has access to running water, especially over a 20 min period.

Call the ambulance service and fire department when there has been a fire or someone has been injured.

Despite there being many aspects of fire safety these are a few basic concepts that can help prevent the start and spread of fires, which can not only cause burns but also severe complications from inhaling the smoke produced by fires, which can cause injury can even death.

 

Green Team Join Forces With A Group of Volunteers To Clean Up M1

Vision Tactical Media

Vision Tactical’s Green Team were joined by a group of volunteers over the past weekend as they cleaned up the 1st Ave off ramp in to Houghton along the M1 North.

According to the group of volunteers, they wanted to experience first-hand what the Green Team encounters on a daily basis.

“The objectives were to clean up the small island of trees just off the 1st Ave, with a view to training and deploying waste management teams drawn from the Disability Sector.”

The Green Team forms part of Vision Tactical’s environmental and humanitarian efforts to give back to the community.

The initiative hopes to make people aware that looking after the environment will ensure that the environment looks after them.

Call the dedicated line on : 065 1 333 333

Web : www.greenteam.co.za

On twitter: @VTacGreenTeam

—————————————————

Vision Tactical Media Desk

+274 772 3333

media@visiontactical.co.za

Victim Trapped In Storm Water Drain In New Doornfontein, JHB Not Found

Vision Tactical Media

Vision Tactical units along with ER24 responded to an emergency rescue operation in New Doornfontein, south of Johannesburg on Wednesday morning.

JMPD officials and bystanders reportedly heard crying sounds of a baby coming from a storm water drain.

Officials then ascertained that a baby got stuck in the drain along City and Suburban Road.

Emergency services made their way to scene and worked with the Fire Ops officials to rescue the baby.

University of Johannesburg BEMC students were also on scene with extraction equipment.

Unfortunately, after trying to rescue the trapped baby for hours, the mission was called off by officials on scene as they could not locate the victim.


Media Enquiries:

Vision Tactical Media Desk

+274 772 3333

Email: media@visiontactical.co.za

Political Parties Need To Remove Election Posters With The Same Energy Used To Put It Up

Vision Tactical Media

Vision Tactical’s ‘Green Team’ has made an urgent plea to all political parties to ensure that their election posters are removed across the city in order to prevent a possible litter frenzy.

With thousands of posters still up on light-poles, along bridges and walls across the city, what happens next?

The City of Joburg’s Managers office confirmed to VTac Media that political parties are required to remove posters within 14 days’ (post) elections.

But ‘Green Team’ Co – Founder Yaseen Theba says he hopes political parties have proper plans in place to remove the posters.

“For the sake of restoring an aesthetic appeal to all communities across South Africa I hope that political parties remove the thousands of posters with the SAME energy they used to put it up.”

At the same time, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said they will be overseeing and monitoring the removal of election posters by various political parties.

Superintendent Wayne Minnaar told VTac Media that they are now awaiting further information from the City of Joburg with regards to the process and protocols of the operation.

The Green Team forms part of Vision Tactical’s environmental and humanitarian effort to give back to the community.

The initiative hopes to make people aware that looking after the environment will ensure that the environment looks after them.

—————————————————

Media Enquiries:

Vision Tactical Media Desk

+274 772 3333

media@visiontactical.co.za

Lessons And Road Safety Tips For New Drivers in South Africa

Vision Tactical Media

In South Africa, we know the pressure we face with driving on major highways – and for new young licensed drivers this can be a daunting first-hand experience.

As experienced drivers, you can play an active and crucial role in a young person’s driving experience. Here are eight road safety tips from Vision Tactical to share with new drivers to encourage them to be better, safer drivers.

  1. Wear your seat belt

Insist that new drivers always wear a safety belt, even for short trips to the shops. According to the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, you’re 10 times more likely to be killed in a road crash if you’re not wearing a seat belt.

Seat belts work because they distribute forces from a crash across the chest and pelvis, some of the strongest parts of the body. So that belt could mean the difference between getting a few bruises versus your body flying into the windscreen.

  1. Put the mobile phone away

Drivers aren’t allowed to use phones at all while driving. The physical, visual and cognitive distraction leads to unsafe driving and increases the odds of a crash. If they need to use the phone, teach them to stop and park where using a mobile phone won’t be a danger to themselves or to other road users.

According to researchers, each time a driver writes and sends a text, his or her eyes are off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, enough time to drive the length of a rugby pitch. Remind new drivers that it’s their job to watch the road when driving, and no one else can do it for him.

  1. Stick to the speed limit

Speeding is the biggest killer of young drivers. Remind your teen that there’s no pressure to keep up with other vehicles in traffic. Keeping to the speed limit will not only reduce the risk of an accident, but also help drivers avoid costly traffic fines that can affect car insurance premiums.

  1. Check your blind spot every time

Side and rear mirrors do a good job of showing what’s happening behind the vehicle. However, they still leave areas big enough for other cars, bikes and people to hide in. That’s why drivers should check their blind spots:

  • Before pulling out from the kerb
  • Before parking or leaving a parked position
  • Before and during a three-point turn
  • Before merging with other traffic
  • Before changing lanes (e.g. when passing or overtaking)
  • Before turning, where you’ve seen another car
  1. Don’t drive in someone else’s blind spot

Drivers should be aware of their own blind spots, but also those of other vehicles too. If they’re driving alongside the right of and slightly behind another car, that other car might not see them there. Drivers should pull alongside or in front of them, or drop back until he can see the face of the other car’s mirrors.

  1. Don’t drink & drive

It’s easy to avoid the subject of alcohol and drugs, but turning a blind eye won’t make the issue go away.

  1. Sleep, then drive

New drivers may be smart enough not to drink and drive, but did you know that driving sleepy can be just as dangerous as driving drunk? Sleepiness impairs a person’s attention, working memory and coordination skills, all crucial for safe driving.

An estimated 15 per cent of crashes are caused by fatigued driving.

  1. Turn on your headlights

While it’s an obvious thing to do at night, having your headlights on during the day can make it easier for other drivers to see you. This can be particularly helpful during times when the sun affects visibility (e.g. driving in the early morning or evening).

Finally, young drivers need to be aware of their surroundings when driving, especially at night and while driving alone.

Safety of Citizens Paramount on Election Day

Vision Tactical Media

An election brings about a renewed sense of hope and change for a country, South Africa will experience this on Wednesday when millions are expected to go to the polls to cast their vote in what’s been described as a historic election.

While everyone will be focused on making their mark, the safety of each and every citizen is paramount.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) say they are  prepared and ready to ensure that all communities remain safe during election day.

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole has also warned those who plan to disrupt the voting process that officers will respond accordingly.

Here Are Some Safety Tips From Vision Tactical To Keep In Mind On Election Day:

  • Pay attention to your surroundings, minimise the amount of time you talk on your cell phone in public places.
  • Reduce or eliminate opportunities that may make you a target.
  • Avoid parking in isolated areas. If you are uncomfortable, ask a security guard to watch you or escort you to your car.
  • Make sure that your car is locked before leaving to go and stand in the queues
  • Keep your valuables out of sight before leaving your vehicle.
  • When standing in the queues make sure that you keep an eye on your handbag or cell phone to prevent someone from pick pocketing you.
  • Before leaving your home, make sure that you have activated your alarm.

Officials Brace Themselves For Long Weekend Traffic Spike

Vision Tactical Media

Traffic volumes are expected to start increasing on Thursday as thousands of motorists take to the roads ahead of the long weekend.

The N3 Toll Concession says that all its toll gate plazas will be operating at capacity to ensure minimised bottle necks and delays in travel time.

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande will be on the N1 highway in Pretoria on Thursday morning for government’s road safety activation.

Traffic police are expected to mainly focus on checking motorists’ blood alcohol level as driving under the influence has been flagged in previous years as the main cause of road crashes.

Nzimande’s spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi has been quoted as saying: “Law enforcement authorities and emergency services have been placed on high alert to enforce the law.”

Vision Tactical units will be on standby to assist the Johannesburg Metro Police Department and the South African Police Service in several joint crime prevention operations to ensure the safety and security of all during the upcoming Easter Weekend.

A few safety tips before you hit the road:

  • If travelling, obey the rules of the road and carry your driver’s licence with you.
  • Plan the route to your holiday destination and allow enough time to reach the destination – taking into account many road works and delays along the route!
  • Check that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before departure.

Media Enquiries:
Yaseen Theba
+27 64 400 0000
yaseen@visiontactical.co.za

 

 

[Press Release] Vision Tactical Units Assist In Nabbing Two Suspected Rhino Poachers

[Press Release] Vision Tactical Units Assist In Nabbing Two Suspected Rhino Poachers

A sting operation involving Vision Tactical, the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Endangered Species Unit, Special Task force and Tracker SA landed two suspects behind bars after information surfaced that a vehicle from a coastal province was carrying a considerable number of rhino horn.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) said that the two suspects were arrested in the North West province, following a tip-off that a car was transporting rhino horns, police nabbed the suspects and discovered 180 rhino horns.

Police add that the rhino horns, worth a substantial amount of money, were destined for the Southeast Asian markets.

In China and Vietnam, the Rhino horn is advertised by some traditional medicine practitioners as a wonder ingredient.

The driving factor for rhino horn poachers is the price tag attached to the horn.

The business is a lucrative one, creating a transnational crime network that has decimated rhino populations in recent decades.

South Africa, which is home to about 80 percent of the world rhino population, has been hit the hardest.

In 2018, 769 rhinos were poached in South Africa alone while more than 7 100 animals have been killed over the past decade.

The case of the two men arrested for the alleged smuggling of 180 rhino horn, weighing a total of 150kg, has been postponed for a bail application in the Brits Magistrates Court.


Media Statement from Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation (HAWKS)
South African Police ServicePRETORIA – Two suspects aged 57 and 61 will make their first appearance at the Brits Magistrate Court after they were intercepted with more than 167 rhino horns on Saturday in the North West.

An operation by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Endangered Species Unit, Special Task force, Tracker SA and Vision Tactical landed the two suspects behind bars after information surfaced that a vehicle that from a coastal province was carrying a considerable number of rhino horns.

The vehicle was intercepted in the Hartebeespoortdam area where the 167 rhino horns worth a substantial amount of money were seized. The rhino horns were destined for the South East Asian markets.

Rigorous investigations on the two suspects as well as the value of the horns are still ongoing. Further details on the incident will be communicated in good time.

Ends.

Media Enquiries: Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi – 082 373 2408

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SAPoliceService
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAPoliceService
Instagram: https://instagram.com/sapoliceservice_za/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SAPoliceService
Website: www.saps.gov.za


 


Two due in court for illegal trafficking of rhino stockpile

Rhino horn seized from poachers in Kruger National Park. File photo
Image: Saps

Two suspects will make their first court appearance on Monday after they were intercepted with more than 167 rhino horns on Saturday, in a sting operation executed in the Hartbeespoort Dam area in North West.

“Markings on the horns including weights and registration numbers would suggest that they originated from a stockpile of some kind,” Julian Rademeyer, author of the book Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade, tweeted at the weekend.

An operation by the Hawks’ serious organised crime endangered species unit, Special Task Force, Tracker SA and Vision Tactical landed the two suspects behind bars after information surfaced that a vehicle from a coastal province was carrying a considerable number of rhino horns, said Hawks spokesman brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

The vehicle was intercepted. The 167 rhino horns were seized.

The suspects, aged 57 and 61, will be brought before the Brits Magistrate’s Court, where they are expected to be charged with rhino horn trafficking.

“Rigorous investigations on the two suspects as well as the value of the horns is still ongoing,” said Mulaudzi.

The rhino horns were destined for the South East Asian markets, the Hawks say.

This is the second major bust in the illegal rhino horn trade this month.

Hong Kong authorities said on April 6 that they had seized 82.5 kilograms of rhino horn and cut pieces after screening cargo from South Africa with Malaysia as its destination. The cargo was declared as “auto parts”.

Seizures by Hong Kong authorities earlier this year also netted 40 kilograms of rhino horns and more than 1,000 ivory tusks.

In June 2017, the SA government said it had developed an electronic database to register rhino horns in private and government-owned stockpiles, as well as all newly-acquired horns.

It has been legal to buy and sell rhino horn within South Africa since that same year, when the Private Rhino Owners Association won a court case against the Department of Environment Affairs’ trading ban on a legal technicality. But there is a global ban on trading rhino horn so it cannot be sold to markets where there is demand, such as Vietnam and China.

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-04-15-two-due-in-court-for-illegal-trafficking-of-rhino-stockpile/

Is Vision Tactical’s Green Team Doing The Work Of The Municipality?

Vision Tactical Media – Green Team

Vision Tactical Green team’s ethos is that – “looking after our environment will ensure that our environment looks after us.”

For the past few months, Vision Tactical’s environmental initiative has grown leaps and bounds ensuring that Houghton, Norwood, Killarney and surrounds can proudly label itself ‘litter-free zones’ in an attempt to keep the area as clean as possible.

The primary challenge for the Green Team initiative is ensuring that all stakeholders have a common vision for the clean-up project and what is needed.

Where this is not the case, initiatives tend to get bogged down in ongoing disputes about key deliverables which can result in projects being delayed or falling away altogether.

Lending a helping hand is crucial in the metros, especially in Johannesburg, where urbanisation is increasingly resulting in service delivery backlogs, as local governments have the task of addressing these while simultaneously operating within budgetary requirements.

In South Africa, we know the challenges we are faced with on a daily basis and the core issue in most municipalities across South Africa relates to the lack or delay of service delivery.

However, the Green Team in no way looks to replace what the municipality or council is doing, the Green Team was created to assist and supplement clean-up efforts in the Houghton, Killarney and the Norwood area.

Vision Tactical Director and Co-Founder of the Green Team, Yaseen Theba says the reality is that residents, citizens and South Africans need to stop pointing fingers at those trying to make a difference.

“Yes, there are service delivery issues that need to be dealt with, and we find ourselves in a situation where politics is becoming the biggest hurdle that we have to overcome for basic services, some of which are basic rights.”

Theba says that the vision of the Green Team is an opportunity for those wanting to give back to their community.

“People who don’t have any political agendas so that individuals who don’t want any political association can make a difference in an area that they care about, I will say it again, we are tired of pointing fingers and then hope to make a small difference by doing something about the litter, mess, and poor service delivery. We must stop this culture of pointing fingers and blaming others and work towards a society of active citizens.”

Theba adds that people know their history and they ultimately need solutions from leadership to address the service delivery issues.

“The DA councillors blame the ANC government for the mess they inherited, yet they fought for the control and promised solutions. The ANC government blamed the apartheid government for what they inherited, and they also fought for control and promised solutions.

Theba says South Africans are tired of politicians pushing the buck.

“My point is instead of playing the blame game, we must all take responsibility. Herman Mashaba must go into Alexandra and address the needs of the people, instead of blaming the ANC for the mess he inherited. He should use this as an opportunity to address the needs of the people in Alex. People know their history, they need solutions from leadership to address the service delivery issues.”

“I say, Lets ALL work towards to a cleaner, safer, Joburg!”

The Green Team – Keeping it clean…

————————————————

Call the dedicated line on : 065 1 333 333

Web : www.greenteam.co.za

On twitter: @VTacGreenTeam

Helpful Tips For Motorists Driving In Wet Weather Conditions

Vision Tactical Media

Bad weather affecting parts of South Africa will require extra vigilance from motorists, and a renewed commitment from all drivers to obey the rules of the road.

The Automobile Association advised that there are a lot of wet, even icy, roads out there meaning tyres may only have half as much grip on the surface as on dry roads. Motorists need to be aware that the conditions are different and must adapt their driving accordingly.

“They need to brake earlier, enter corners at slower speeds, and maintain focus on the road ahead at all times.”

The association said it is important that motorists check that their windscreen wipers are working properly (front and back) and that their brakes are sound. It said that motorists should also check the condition of their tyres to avoid aquaplaning.

Aquaplaning occurs where the tread on the tyres is no longer able to channel water away, and the tyre lifts off the road surface and starts to skim across the water like a speedboat.

“Now is not the time to take any chances with safety. Crashes in wet, icy conditions are common, and we advise everyone to heed the call to drive safely. Switch on your headlights, maintain a good following distance from the car ahead of you, and don’t speed. Importantly, always wear your safety belt and ensure all children and passengers are also strapped in,” the AA said.

Apart from ensuring their cars are in a good condition, the association also warned motorists not to take chances by crossing low-lying bridges as the fast-flowing water could cause them to be swept downstream.

Some tips from the association to keep safe in wet conditions include:

  1. Ensure your headlights and brake lights are working
  2. Switch on your headlights, especially when natural light is low. Remember this also alerts other drivers to your presence on the road
  3. Ensure your windscreen and wipers are in good condition
  4. Check that your tyres are in good shape
  5. Don’t speed, and maintain a safe following distance
  6. Buckle up
  7. Don’t cross low-lying bridges, even if you think your car can make it
  8. Slow down before entering standing water on the road as this may cause the car to “pull” to the side without warning, and it may be deeper than it looks
  9. Avoid areas where there are known to be adverse conditions
  10. Adjust your speed for the condition of the road. Just because a road is marked at 120 km, doesn’t mean it is safe to travel at this speed in all conditions
  11. Concentrate on the road, not on anything else such as electronic device
  12. If you are going to an area known to have bad weather, and there is a possibility you may be stuck for extended periods, remember to take extra blankets, appropriate clothing and refreshments, and ensure your tank has enough fuel for the journey
  13. Keep your cell phone charged in case of an emergency

———————-

Media Enquiries:

Yaseen Theba

+27 64 400 0000

yaseen@visiontactical.co.za