Monthly Archives: October 2017

President Jacob Zuma appoints new MDDA Board members

President Jacob Zuma has appointed three new members of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board.

The three new members are: Mr Ronald Lamola, Ms Martina Della-Togna and Ms Nombeko Mbava.

Mr Lamola is currently a member of the finance committee in the Tshwane University of Technology Governance Council. Ms Della-Tonga is a multimedia and social media consultant and former Multimedia Manager in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.

Ms Mbava is a board member of the South Africa Monitoring and Evaluation Association.

President Zuma wishes the three new members all the best in their new responsibilities.

Source: Government of South Africa

Nuclear to power SA into the future

South Africa's decision to forge ahead with plans to introduce nuclear power are based on ensuring the energy supply going into the future, Energy Minister David Mahlobo said.

South Africa recognises the role of nuclear power in ensuring security of energy supply and meeting the challenge of climate change. We promote an energy mix of coal, gas, renewables and nuclear. Each of these options has their role; some of the energy sources are intermittent supply and while others, such as nuclear and coal, are base-load supply, said Minister Mahlobo.

Minister Mahlobo told those attending the 44th Policy Group Meeting of Generation IV International Forum in Cape Town that being a developing country, South Africa's key driver to the policy decision for nuclear power is based on the economics of the energy source.

Currently Koeberg is one of our lowest cost electricity sources, and generation III nuclear power plants remain a good economic choice for South Africa. Generation IV nuclear power plants promise improved economics and South Africa looks forward to deploying such advanced energy systems for its development, he said on Thursday.

Located in Cape Town, Koeberg is the only nuclear power station on the African continent.

The Department of Environmental Affairs has recently issued a positive record of decision for Eskom to proceed with an Environmental Impact Assessment into the suitability of the same site to host 4000 MW of nuclear generated electricity.

Minister Mahlobo said the Department of Energy welcomes this decision as it allows for a public participation process.

He told the gathering that the country has accumulated extensive experience in nuclear technology development and nuclear power generation.

South Africa has made a policy decision to pursue nuclear energy as part of the energy mix and recognises the role of nuclear as a base-load source of energy in ensuring security of supply and climate change mitigation.

Currently, nuclear constitutes about 6% of the South African energy mix � with 1 800 megawatts of electricity supplied to the national grid by the Koeberg.

The approved Integrated Resource Plan of 2010-30 provides for coal, gas, renewables and 9600 megawatt nuclear as part of the energy landscape by 2030.

Minister Mahlobo added that one of the most important facets of nuclear power is its safety.

With most of the reactors globally still being Generation II, South Africa has taken a decision to deploying only Generation III or above type technology going forward. Although the Fukushima disaster had catastrophic consequences, nuclear power continues to be the safest source of electricity.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Minister Joe Maswanganyi officiates Provincial launch of October ...

The Minister of Transport, Mr. Joe Maswanganyi and MEC for Police, Roads and Transport in Free State, Mr. Sam Mashinini will officially launch the Free State provincial 2017 October Transport Month (OTM) campaign on Saturday, 21 October 2017 in Virginia.

The Provincial Department of Police, Roads and Transport will hold 11 events across the province this month to celebrate OTM.

The provincial campaign will focus on service delivery on road infrastructure in the province, safety of motorists and other road users through road safety education and awareness activations as well as community engagements through public transport izimbizo.

Source: Government of South Africa

Pneumonic Plague Continues to Spread Rapidly in Madagascar

GENEVA � The World Health Organization reports pneumonic plague is continuing to spread at an alarming rate in urban areas of Madagascar and greater effort is needed to bring this deadly disease under control. Latest figures put the number of suspected cases at 1,153, including 94 deaths.

Health agencies are worried at how quickly this disease is spreading so early in Madagascar's plague season, which runs from September to April. The disease usually infects some 400 people a year. But this year, with six more months to go, the number of suspected cases is nearly three times higher than normal. WHO Regional Emergency Director for Africa, Ibrahima Soce Fall, says the spread of the disease is faster because pneumonic plague, which is transmitted from person to person, has moved from the remote rural areas to congested urban areas. It is mainly found in the capital Antananarivo and the port city of Toamasina.

Nevertheless, Fall tells VOA he is confident WHO in coordination with the Ministry of Health and other agencies will be able to contain the disease in short order. He says WHO has provided enough antibiotics to treat 5,000 patients and to protect up to 100,000 people who may have been in contact with an infected person.

This can be controlled relatively quickly if we manage to improve the contact tracing as we are doing right now," said Fall. "So, with the teams who are already used to contact tracing and putting all contacts under antibiotic prophylaxis, we can prevent the disease. I am confident that with the strong team we have on the ground, in common with some partners coming and more health workers, we will be able to revert very quickly the trend.

Fall cautions, though, it will be important to remain vigilant after transmission is over. He notes stopping the transmission of the plague does not mean the risk is gone. He says the virus is still in the country, and while people continue living in poor, unsanitary conditions, the disease is likely to recur.

Source: Voice of America

Manhunt launched for suspects

The Police in Westenburg in the outskirts of Polokwane have launched a massive manhunt for a group of armed suspects who attacked a man at his small holding last night, 2017-10-19 at about 23:30.

It is alleged that the owner of the small holding was alerted by the dogs that were barking upon which he went outside to investigate. He saw two unknown suspects armed with firearms walking outside his house.

He took his rifle and fired a warning shot and the suspects ran away. It is alleged they later came back shortly after the incident and started to shoot randomly into the house, damaging the glass door. The owner then fired back and subsequently, one suspect aged around 30's was fatally shot. The other suspects ran away and disappeared into the bushes.

Nothing was robbed or stolen during this incident. The deceased is still unknown.

A case of House robbery and attempted murder has been opened for investigation. The police will also open an inquest docked in relation to the suspect who was shot dead.

Anyone with information about the suspects involved in this incident and who can assist in the identification of the deceased suspect may contact Captain Wilson Dikgale at 082 565 8566 or the nearest Police Station or the Crime Stop number 0860010111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211.

The Police investigations are still continuing.

Source: South African Police Service

Heroin, counterfeit goods bust at King Shaka airport

Heroin with a street value of R3.1 million, counterfeit clothes and illegal skin lightening cream were confiscated at the King Shaka International Airport on Thursday.

South African Revenue Service (SARS) officials and detector dogs intercepted the goods in three different incidents at the airport located in KwaZulu-Natal.

In the first incident, a detector dog reacted positively to a parcel of mascaras travelling to Liberia. A physical inspection found 15.63 kg of heroine with street value of R3.1 million concealed in the lids of the mascara. This was handed over to SAPS for further investigation, said the revenue service.

In the second incident, a shipment originating from Lagos destined for Durban and declared as hair attachments, was intercepted. The shipment was found to contain 2 469 kg of illegal skin lightening cream valued at R12.9 million. The shipment was detained.

Finally, SARS officers intercepted a shipment of 7 380 shirts valued at over R6.2 million declared as 'consolidation' emanating from Hong Kong via Dubai and destined for Durban. Upon physical examination, the contents of the shipment were found to be branded football shirts suspected to be counterfeit. The shipment was detained for further investigation, said SARS.

Source: South African Government News Agency


CAPE TOWN, -- Western Cape Province is leading South Africa's green energy revolution through a combination of water and power-saving initiatives, says its Premier, Helen Zille.

Speaking when she unveiled solar panels used at government buildings to save energy at a ceremony here Thursday, Zille said the provincial authorities had been able to save half-a-million-rand (about 37,000 US dollars) in electricity costs each year by investing in the panels.

So we generate our own electricity to the value of 500,000 Rand which is of course a direct saving to the tax-payer because otherwise we would have used tax rand to pay for coal-fired electricity. What this means ultimately is that if we are using renewable sources we can cut down the costs of these vital resources such as electricity and hopefully water; maybe one day very substantially, said Zille.

The provincial government aims to roll out solar panels and electricity-saving measures to all government facilities in future, said the Chief Director for Infrastructure in the provincial Public Works Department, Andrea Campbell. "We are currently working on three further ones which is the new green building - the new office building in Bellville as well as the Khayelitsha Shared Services Centre," added Campbell

Meanwhile, Deputy Tourism Minister Elizabeth Thabete unveiled a 25-million Rand solar panel project on Robben Island, a National Heritage Site. The initiative will reduce the island's reliance on diesel power by 40 per cent, which is expected to results in savings of more than four million Rand annually.

Extreme care was taken during the construction phase of the project not to affect the environment due to the sensitive ecological and heritage value of the island which lies some seven kilometres of the coast of Cape Town.


North West Legislature meets with Culture and Tourism Departments to ...

North West Legislature Joint Portfolio Committees to Meet Culture and Tourism Departments to Assess Promotion of Culture and Arts in North West

On Friday, 20 October 2017, the North West Provincial Legislature's Portfolio Committee on Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs led by Hon. Boitumelo Moiloa and Portfolio Committee on Tourism, Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development under Hon. Virginia Tlhapi will hold an oversight meeting with the Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs, and Department of Tourism to assess their relationship in promoting culture and arts in the North West Province. The meeting will be held at Legislature Committee Room 2 at 10h00.

Culture forms part of the 3 key pillars of the 5th administration of the North West Provincial Government led by Premier Supra Mahumapelo, and others being Agriculture and Tourism respectively.

Tourism Department MEC, Desbo Mohono and Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs MEC, Ontlametse Mochware and senior management will be present in the meeting.

Source: Government of South Africa