| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(News24 03/15/17)
Although fuel prices are set to drop in April, most of the benefit of the decreases will be wiped out by the increases in the general fuel and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levies. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. Based on the current data, the AA is predicting that petrol will decrease by 51c per litre, diesel by about 27c/litre, and illuminating paraffin by 32c/litre. But most of this will be wiped out when the combined 39c hike in the RAF (9c) and the general fuel levy (30c) kick in on April 1. “This means that while motorists may have expected the current...
(AL Jazeera 03/15/17)
S Africa's decision to revoke its notice of withdrawal from the ICC does not mean the matter is conclusively settled. South Africa has been summoned to appear before the International Criminal Court on April 7 to answer for its failure to arrest President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan during his visit to the country in June 2015. This announcement came only days after South Africa informed the United Nations of its decision to revoke its withdrawal from the court. In October 2016, South Africa announced its decision to withdraw from the ICC. But earlier this year, South Africa's High Court declared the decision, which was taken without parliamentary approval, as "unconstitutional and invalid" and ordered the government to rescind the notice...
(eNCA 03/15/17)
The National Assembly will deliberate on the recommended members for the SABC's interim board on Wednesday. Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communications has proposed that Khanyisile Kweyama be the chairperson of the provisional body. Kweyama is the former CEO of Business Unity SA. Veteran journalist Mathatha Tsedu has been recommended as Kweyama's deputy. The committee has now formally put forward five names to serve on the board. The other names to serve on the board are: former ANC MP Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, human rights lawyer Krish Naidoo and journalist and author John Mattison.
(Eye Witness News 03/15/17)
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wrapped up her duties as head of the AU on Monday and is expected to re-enter the South African political landscape. Dozens of African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) and ANC Youth League supporters gathered at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday where former African Union (AU) chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was expected to touch down from Ethiopia. Dlamini-Zuma wrapped up her duties as head of the AU on Monday and is expected to re-enter the South African political landscape. Supporters sang liberation songs at the international arrivals terminal. One supporter says she hopes Dlamini-Zuma's return will see her installed as South Africa’s next president. “I wish she can be our president even if I have to vote 100...
(Eye Witness News 03/15/17)
The SAPS told Parliament’s police portfolio committee that government’s approach to the litigation is aimed at reaching settlements of the claims as quickly as possible. The state is facing claims amounting to more than R1 billion arising out of the Marikana massacre four years ago. Thirty-four miners lost their lives after police opened fire on protesting mineworkers near the Rustenburg mine. The South African Police Service (SAPS) and Independent Police Investigative Directorate are updating Parliament’s police portfolio committee on their progress in implementing the recommendations of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the tragedy. The police's Nashee Sewpersadh says the total amount of civil claims against the government is just over R1,1 billion. Sewpersadh says that the government’s approach to...
(AL Jazeera 03/15/17)
'Early warning' system established between two countries after spate of xenophobic attacks on migrants in South Africa. South Africa says it will launch an "early warning" system with Nigeria to track and deter xenophobic attacks following a surge in violence in the rainbow nation. South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the new monitor would "help prevent violence" against foreigners and their businesses as she met with Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart on Monday. Last month, more than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, 120km west of Pretoria, while in Rosettenville, an area south of the commercial capital Johannesburg, residents attacked at least 12 houses. In response to the violence, the Nigerian government called for the African Union to step...
(Xinhuanet 03/15/17)
South African police on Wednesday hailed hefty sentences imposed on 22 illegal miners, calling the move "a landmark moment" in the fight against illegal mining in the country. This came after the Virginia High Court in Free State Province sentenced 22 convicted illegal miners to lengthy prison terms ranging from 20 to 22 years. This is the first time in South Africa that illegal miners get lengthy prison terms. "We hope that this precedent set by our courts will not only serve as a deterrent, but will also help us in our efforts to combat illegal mining even in other upcoming cases," Police Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza said in a statement. The 22 miners were arrested in April 2014 for...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
South Africa’s government has expressed disappointment at the decision to strip Durban of the right to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, saying the budget it had guaranteed for the event was sufficient. The Commonwealth Games Federation said on Monday it was seeking a new host because the coastal city had failed to deliver on the promises it had made in its bid, including on governance, venues, funding and risk management. But South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, said the financial demands of the CGF were excessive, and that in a tough economic climate the country would not leave itself exposed to an "open-ended guarantee" on the event's budget. He said the government disagreed with the CGF's statement, while respecting...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday he was "fairly confident" social security payments will be paid on April 1 despite a service-provider dispute that has cast doubt over the welfare benefits. The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is scrambling to ensure that as many as 17 million people continue to receive their money, despite concerns that retaining the existing service provider is both unlawful and costly. "I am fairly confident grants will be paid," Gordhan told parliament's public accounts committee, referring to April 1. The existing contract, run by Cash Paymaster Services, a unit of technology company Net1 unit, has been in doubt since South Africa's highest court ruled in 2014 that the tender process to...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Esther Mahlangu's colourful geometric artwork is exhibited in galleries around the world, but she remains in her South African village unfazed by fame and determined to preserve her ethnic Ndebele culture. The 81-year-old painter and mural artist earned an international reputation with her Ndebele motifs at a time when the art scene in her home country was focused on contemporary styles. Now Johannesburg is hosting a major exhibition for Mahlangu, an elderly black woman with no art training who rose to global acclaim using a skill passed down for generations. With just a chicken feather, Mahlangu first painted mud huts and chipboards before moving on to luxury cars, vodka bottles, skateboards and footwear as her intricate patterns became huge commercial...
(AL Jazeera 03/14/17)
'Early warning' system established between two countries after spate of xenophobic attacks on migrants in South Africa. South Africa says it will launch an "early warning" system with Nigeria to track and deter xenophobic attacks following a surge in violence in the rainbow nation. South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the new monitor would "help prevent violence" against foreigners and their businesses as she met with Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart on Monday. Last month, more than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, 120km west of Pretoria, while in Rosettenville, an area south of the commercial capital Johannesburg
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
The crisis swirling around South Africa’s system of welfare payments to the poorest third of its people has become a game of chicken. Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini insists that Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc. must continue to distribute the payments after its contract, which the Constitutional Court ruled illegal, expires on March 31. An inter-ministerial task force voided a new agreement between the South African Social Security Agency and Net1, and will conduct future talks with the company. Net1 said if no deal is reached by Wednesday, it can’t guarantee resuming payments April 1. “To avoid interruptions or delays in payment, any agreement would have to be concluded by 15 March 2017 in order to ensure that payment can be...
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
South Africa’s banks have gone on the offensive after being criticized by some politicians over their lending practices and records in addressing racial inequality. Attacks on the lenders have been led by President Jacob Zuma, who’s accused them of monopolizing the financial services industry, and questioned whether they colluded when closing accounts belonging to members of the wealthy Gupta family, who are his friends and are in business with his son. Parliament’s finance and trade and industry committees held hearings on racial transformation in the industry in Cape Town on Tuesday. “The banking industry is not resistant to transformation,” Cas Coovadia, managing director of the Banking Association of South Africa, told lawmakers. “On access to financial services, we’ve made significant...
(NPR 03/14/17)
Conservationists are sounding the alarm over a South African proposal that would legalize and regulate the domestic trade of rhinoceros horn, as well as allow some limited exports. A public comment period ended last week on the draft regulations from the Department of Environmental Affairs, published on Feb. 8 in the official government gazette. "South African rhino breeders want the government to legalize the sale so, they say, they can flood the market and decrease the cost of rhino horn," reporter Peter Granitz in Pretoria tells NPR's Newscast unit. "They argue that would drive down demand for poached rhinos." However, Granitz says conservationists opposed to the regulation say this "makes no sense because there's no domestic demand. Any horn sold...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Commonwealth Games chiefs said Monday they were looking for a new venue for the 2022 edition after announcing scheduled hosts Durban had failed to meet "key obligations". Last month, South Africa sports minister Fikile Mbalula indicated the government might withdraw its financial support because of the cost of staging the multi-sport event, saying "we cannot live beyond our means". Following a meeting in London, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin said Monday: "The CGF is actively exploring alternative options, including a potential replacement host." The mayor of Liverpool said last month the northwest English city would be prepared to host the 2022 Games if they were no longer in Durban. Confirmation that the Games would not be staged in...
(eNCA 03/14/17)
CNN reports that the South African government is planning to implement a sugar tax to help curb the country's growing obesity epidemic. There is a marked increase in obesity and overweight rates across developing countries, surpassing the rate of obesity in developed states. The Overseas Development Institute says the number of overweight and obese people in the developing world has grown from 250 million in 1980 to a billion in recent years. South Africa isn't the only country that is implementing a sugar tax; Mexico, France, Hungary and New York have pioneered the strategy.
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(Xinhuanet 03/13/17)
South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) announced on Sunday a discussion document with a view to generating some policy changes in improving the ruling party's social, economic and political performance. The Economic Transformation Discussion Document, currently inviting public comments, will be on the agenda of the ANC's 53rd National Policy Conference, schedule from June 30 to July 5, ANC Head of Policy Jeff Radebe said at a press conference. He explained that the party would now see the shift from political emancipation to social-economic freedom, which could be achieved through radical economic transformation.

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