Daily Archives: October 4, 2017

Radixx International Appoints John Elieson as President and CEO

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Radixx International, an industry-leading provider of tailored airline reservation, distribution and merchandising systems, today announced that it has appointed John Elieson as President & CEO. Ron Peri, Radixx’s Founder and former CEO, will continue to serve as Chairman of Radixx’s Board of Directors.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1e4e5090-f5a9-457c-8e2d-b61664ed2a78

Mr. Elieson will be responsible for implementing the overall strategic direction of Radixx and will oversee the company’s daily operations. Prior to joining Radixx, Mr. Elieson spent 29 years at Sabre where he most recently served as Senior Vice President of Global Accounts and Traveler Experience in their Travel Network division. During his career at Sabre, Mr. Elieson has had a variety of responsibilities including leading global sales for Sabre’s Airline Solutions division and leading Global Marketing and Corporate Strategy for Travelocity.  The majority of Mr. Elieson’s distinguished career has been spent in direct and indirect airline distribution, both offline and online.

“John is the ideal fit for Radixx as the company continues to make significant strides and grow its customer base,” said Ron Peri, Founder and Chairman of Radixx International. “We are confident that John’s background and relevant experience within the global travel industry, particularly as they pertain to airline solutions, will prove to be of tremendous value. We are very pleased to welcome John to Radixx and look forward to his future contributions to the company.”

“John is a talented leader with a proven track record for driving growth and building highly effective teams,” said Kurt R. Jaggers, a member of Radixx’s Board of Directors and a Managing Director at TA Associates, which completed a significant investment in Radixx in September 2016. “We believe that John’s management skills and travel sector knowledge will prove beneficial for Radixx. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to sincerely thank Ron Peri for his service, passion and dedication to Radixx and its customers, partners and employees, and we look forward to his continued contributions as Chairman.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Elieson said, “I am thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to join Radixx, a company that I have followed and respected for many years. As a result of the hard work of both leadership and staff, Radixx is well positioned to take advantage of its leading technology and unique value proposition to significantly grow its customer base. I am impressed with the Radixx team and am eager to work closely with them to build upon the company’s strong reputation and momentum.”

John Elieson Biography
John Elieson is President & CEO of Radixx International. Prior to joining Radixx, Mr. Elieson served as Senior Vice President of Global Accounts and Traveler Experience for Sabre Travel Network, a technology provider to the global travel industry. He spent nearly three decades with Sabre and its former parent company, American Airlines, in a variety of functional areas including operations, training, software development, consulting, business development, sales & account management, marketing, product development, portfolio management, pricing & revenue management, business intelligence and strategy. During his tenure, Mr. Elieson successfully led several multi-billion dollar negotiations creating significant value for all parties. He earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University and has conducted business and managed staff all over the world. Mr. Elieson serves on several boards for businesses, universities, municipalities and non-profit organizations.

About Radixx International
Radixx International, Inc., headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is now delivering its sixth-generation passenger service system, Galaxy PSS. Galaxy is the first fully web-native PSS system and can be deployed in any public or private data center. It has been certified to operate from the smallest cloud network to the largest most demanding environments. Galaxy provides a customizable, complete enterprise system that caters to the needs of hybrid, low-cost and traditional airlines, including support for interlining, code sharing and distribution through GDS. Founded in 1993 and now hosting 50 airlines on six continents, Radixx’ fully integrated, cloud-based solutions support all airline business models. Radixx recently partnered with TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm. For more information, visit www.radixx.com.

Media Contact:
John Beisner
Bond Moroch
jbeisner@bondmoroch.com
+1.504.323.8337

Alleged cop killer remanded in custody

NELSPRUIT � A 23 year old man suspected of having killed a police Sergeant on 13 July 2017 and fled the scene, has been remanded in custody. The suspect, Mduduzi Ndlovu is alleged to have fatally knocked the victim by car while he (victim) was jogging with his wife who is also a police Sergeant, had been in hiding ever since up until last Thursday, 28 September 2017, where he handed himself to the police.

A preliminary police probe, at the time of the incident revealed that the vehicle used in the killing of the member belonged to his wife and how Ndlovu got possession of the vehicle remains a subject of a wide police investigation.

He appeared at the Tonga Magistrate's Court on Monday, was remanded in custody and will appear at the same court on Thursday, 12 October 2017.

Source: South African Police Service

NCOP CONCLUDES CRUCIAL INDUCTION PROGRAME FOR SALGA

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) today concluded a crucial induction programme with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in Cape Town. The two-day programme, which started yesterday, dealt with the rules of debates in the NCOP and the role of local government in the law-making process at the national sphere of government.

After the local government elections every 5 years, members of SALGA undergo an induction programme, focused on how the NCOP functions and its role in the legislative sector. The Constitution enables SALGA to have up to 10 representatives in the NCOP who can participate in debates, therefore the role of local government is limited when it comes to voting in the NCOP as SALGA does not have voting powers.

The induction programme dealt with the process of interventions which section 100 and 139 sets out in the Constitution. An intervention may be triggered by failure by either the provincial administration or municipality to fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the legislation. During their deliberations on section 139 interventions in municipalities, the councilors and NCOP delegates agreed that putting a municipality under administration should be the last resort.

NCOP House Chairperson for International Relations and Members' Support, Ms Masefako Dikgale, who facilitated the two-day workshop, welcomed the proposal that section 139 interventions must be avoided if possible. If we apply all the policies properly and implement recommendations by the Auditor-General, our municipalities can get their houses in order and interventions will not be necessary, she said

The NCOP consists of 54 permanent delegates and 36 special delegates, each province with an equal number of delegates. SALGA is allowed only ten representatives in the NCOP. Amongst the names who attended the induction workshop were Clr Samkelo Janda, Mayor of Mbhase Local Municipality and Ms Khunjuzwa Kekana, the Executive Mayor of Sarah Baartman District Municipality, to mention but a few.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Government strengthening oversight on SOCs

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says processes are underway to strengthen her oversight role as a shareholder of State-owned companies (SOCs) to improve governance.

The Minister was speaking ahead of the presentation of the department's annual report at the Old Assembly Chamber in Parliament on Wednesday.

She said the department's challenge is to inculcate the principles of good governance practised within the department across SOCs. The Minister said events that have unfolded over the past year have demonstrated the need for a departmental structure that is agile, swift to respond to challenges at SOCs and capable of ensuring compliance.

The department should, in this financial year, complete a realignment process to significantly strengthen the tools at its disposal to exercise its oversight responsibilities.

Lessons learned over the past year will also profoundly impact the terms contained in the shareholder compacts signed by the shareholder and SOCs in the future.

The 2016 Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) differs from the 2014 version and it gives me, as shareholder, additional powers to act decisively to ensure the assets of the 54 million South Africans are looked after. The major change here is that the Minister has now been assigned the power to act against a Chief Executive Officer of a State-owned company should the need arise.

The Minister said the principles of the new shareholder policy to improve the performance of SOCs and sharpen government's role as shareholder were approved by Cabinet in the last financial year.

Minister Brown said in instances that company employees conspire among themselves to commit wrongful acts, the Shareholder relies on the company's executive and board to spot the infraction and take the requisite action.

Minister sheds light on Eskom

The Minister believes that structures can be put in place to avoid a repetition of the ease with which Eskom appears to have been able to lie to its shareholder in respect of its dealings with McKinsey and Trillian.

I want to be very clear about this: I regard Eskom's lies when asked to provide information to a Parliamentary question as an assault on our democratic system of governance. The opposition was entitled to ask the question and to receive a truthful response. Had a truthful response been forthcoming, and the facts of the relationship been exposed last December, appropriate action would have been taken to investigate by now, she said.

The Minister said she has since asked Eskom why the response provided to her in December differed from its recent responses on the McKinsey-Trillian matter.

Last night, I received a report from the board. I will read through it and ask the department's Legal & Governance unit for its considered recommendations.

The Minister's remarks come after Eskom board interim chairperson Zethemba Khoza announced the suspension of four senior executive members due to their alleged involvement in the McKinsey-Trillian relationship.

After the interim board was appointed in June, the Minister � as a shareholder - immediately instructed it to initiate investigations into allegations of irregular conduct and to also take disciplinary action against members of the executive, if warranted.

This instruction accords with the shareholder's responsibilities in instances where boards fail to act appropriately on such allegations.

Should boards fail to heed these directions, the shareholder has the right to intervene, she said.

The Minister said, meanwhile, that Eskom had come a long way compared to a position it was in in 2014.

We had continuous load shedding, the company was spending open R1 billion per month on open cycle gas turbines and its financial position precarious. This happened while the economy was bleeding.

Today, I can say that Eskom is on the path of a stable balance sheet.

Department obtains clean audit

Ahead of the presentation of the department's annual report, the Minister announced that State-owned entities needed to emulate the performance of the department.

Salient features include a clean audit report from the Auditor-General, and the fact that the department spent almost 95% of its budget, achieving 18 of 22 set targets.

Taking a step back, it is important to note that in my first year as Minister, the department had a qualified audit, followed by an unqualified audit and now the clean audit. This needs to be emulated at all SOCs in my portfolio, she said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the ...

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today's noon briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary General.

**Appointment

I have a senior appointment to announce: following consultations with the Executive Board of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Secretary General has appointed Natalia Kanem of Panama as UNFPA's new Executive Director. Dr. Kanem succeeds the late Dr. Babatunde [Osotimehin].

A champion of a life of dignity for all, Dr. Babatunde was admired globally for his leadership of UNFPA and for his immense and invaluable advocacy for the world's women and girls. Dr. Kanem brings to the position more than three decades of strategic leadership and management in the fields of medicine, public health, international peace and development, human rights and social justice. She currently serves as the Acting Executive Director of UNFPA. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Executive Director for Programmes at UNFPA and earlier, the UNFPA Representative in [the United Republic of] Tanzania. Her full biography is in my office and we congratulate her.

**Bangladesh-Myanmar

Turning to the situation with the Rohingyas, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the number of Rohingya refugees who have fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar has reached 509,000. Yesterday the figure was 507,000.

Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and UNICEF [United Nations Children's Fund] Executive Director Anthony Lake continued their visit to Bangladesh today, speaking to the reporters in Cox's Bazar. They called for urgent funding to scale up the response. The Emergency Relief Coordinator noted the horrific living conditions of the refugees, stressing the need to ensure the current tragedy does not become a catastrophe with the outbreak of disease. He announced an additional $12 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund, the second allocation this month, to respond to the crisis. OCHA says that the total amount of land now occupied by refugees is 9.6 million square metres, the equivalent to 889 football fields. I don't know if it's European or American football, but it's a large number.

The UN refugee agency [UNHCR], together with Bangladeshi authorities and other partners, are working to contain an outbreak of diarrhoeal disease, with nearly 4,800 cases having been reported in the past week. A diarrhoea treatment centre opened yesterday in the Kutupalong Refugee Camp, where refugees who have been living there since 1992 have taken in thousands of newcomers. By the end of this week, there will be a total of 80 beds in diarrhoea treatment centres in three locations, with two more centres planned to open next week.

UNHCR staff, along with refugee volunteers, will fan out to refugee camps and informal settlements to find people who may be sick but have not sought treatment. UNHCR is also supporting an effort by the Ministry of Health to administer vaccinations for cholera, which is endemic in Bangladesh.

**Cameroon

As you will have seen, yesterday, we issued a statement on Cameroon, in which the Secretary-General said he remained deeply concerned about the situation in Cameroon and strongly condemns the acts of violence reported in the south-west and north-west regions of the country on 1 October, including reported loss of life. He calls on the Cameroonian authorities to investigate these incidents and urges political leaders on both sides to appeal to their followers to refrain from any further acts of violence, and to unequivocally condemn all actions that undermine the peace, stability and unity of the country.

The Secretary-General takes note of the calls by the authorities for dialogue and encourages representatives of the Anglophone community to seize the opportunity in their quest for solutions to the community's grievances, within the framework of the Cameroonian Constitution. He reiterates the support of the United Nations for such efforts, through the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).

**South Sudan

Our colleagues at the UN peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) tell us they have received reports of fighting in Waat town, in Jonglei, between the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) and youth belonging to the Lou Nuer tribe.

The Mission is concerned by the large number of reported casualties and is trying to gain access to the area. It calls on all sides to immediately halt hostilities and reiterates the need for an inclusive political solution to end the crisis.

**Iraq

We have been asked in recent days about our efforts to deal with the authorities in Baghdad and Erbil. And I can say that we welcome efforts to resolve the issues between Baghdad and Erbil based on the Constitution, notably the intervention of the religious authority Ayatollah [Ali] al-Sistani last Friday that urged respect for the Constitution and the Supreme Federal Court's decision as regards to the referendum. We also welcome other initiatives to resolve the crisis within the constitutional framework and in full respect of Iraq's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, to re start dialogue and cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil on this basis.

The UN [Assistance] Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) is carefully monitoring the impact of the administrative, legal, economic and diplomatic steps and measures introduced by the federal government in discharge of its prerogatives, rights and responsibilities according to the Constitution. The UN in Iraq urges both sides to start technical negotiations on how to implement them, in the spirit of partnership. We take note of the pledges of the Government of Iraq to preserve and respect the interests of all its citizens, including the Kurdistan region, and the confirmation that the measures are not intended to prevent travel of the people and arrival of supplies, to punish the people or to impose sanctions, but that they are for controlling the entry and exit of people and goods in the region, and putting it under the control of the federal government and federal authorities.

We continue to call for calm and restraint, and strongly call on all sides to avoid statements, public announcements and steps that could raise racial or sectarian tensions, that could further inflame the situation and pave the way towards escalation.

**Palestine

Our colleague Nickolay Mladenov, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, was today in Gaza where he met with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. He said afterward that he was encouraged by the firm commitment of President [Mahmoud] Abbas and the Government to return to Gaza under the full control of the legitimate Palestinian Authority. This is essential for resolving the humanitarian situation as soon as possible, most notably the crippling electricity and health crises, and should facilitate the lifting of the movement and access restrictions on Gaza, in line with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009). He added that he is encouraged by the continuing engagement of Egypt with all sides to ensure the implementation of the Cairo understandings.

The United Nations stands ready to continue working with the legitimate Palestinian authorities and the region in support of the Government in taking up its responsibilities in Gaza.

**Middle East

UNHCR says it is becoming increasingly concerned over the funding situation for refugees and other displaced families in the Middle East, where currently only a quarter of families are likely to receive adequate support to prepare for the approaching winter.

There are nearly 15 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees and internally displaced people scattered across the region. UNHCR estimates that as many as 4 million are in the extreme risk category and need timely and substantial help to prepare for the forthcoming winter. Of these, only one in four is likely to get the assistance they need. The $245 million Regional Winter Assistance Plan for the region is only 26 per cent funded.

**Democratic Republic of the Congo

UNHCR also tells us that they are concerned at the growing violence in parts of south eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo [that] has driven 3,360 refugees into northern Zambia since 30 August. This is the largest influx of Congolese refugees into Zambia in the past five years.

**Cholera

The Global Task Force on Cholera Control will launch a new strategy tomorrow to reduce deaths from cholera by 90 per cent by 2030. Cholera kills an estimated 95,000 people and affects 2.9 million people every [year]. The new plan, Ending Cholera: A Global Roadmap to 2030, recognizes that cholera spreads in endemic hotspots where predictable outbreaks of the disease occur year after year.

**Press Briefings

Tomorrow, the Secretary General will brief you at 10:30 a.m. at the Security Council Stakeout on the countries affected by the recent hurricanes. That is at 10:30 a.m. On that note, we have Stephen O'Malley, the UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, who will join us in a few minutes from Dominica. And then we will have Brenden [Varma]. But before that, I will take your questions. Erol, then

**Questions and Answers

Question: Stephane, when the Secretary General says he would prefer swift action in Myanmar regarding the refugee crisis, et cetera, what does he really mean? In a way, who would engage in that swift action and what is the swift action?

Spokesman: I think the Secretary General, whether it's in his speech at the General Assembly or the stakeouts and press conferences, has been very clear. First, we need to see humanitarian help for those who have made it to Bangladesh. The Government and authorities in Myanmar need to put a halt to the security operations, and a solution needs to be found to those people to those Rohingyas who currently have no status, whether that implies giving them nationality in Myanmar or giving them some sort of working papers. Yes, Edie?

Question: Steph, could you give us an update on the Children and Armed Conflict report? When when are we going to actually see it?

Spokesman: Soon ish. [laughter] I wish I could give you a more detailed update, but that's as detailed as I'm able to do right now. But I'd like to try to get some more information and more detail so I can actually stop fielding those types of questions. Evelyn, and then

Question: Thank you, Steph. Every every day or today at least twice, you've mentioned relief operations that are short of money. Is the SG, in his reform plan, somehow going to amalgamate it? And, to add another one, yesterday, I received an email from UNAMID [African Union United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur], saying that they can't fly food into Darfur because they don't have enough money to have their planes operated. Do you have anything more on that?

Spokesman: No, on that I will check.

Question: But, also, the aid thing goes on endlessly

Spokesman: We know this has been a chronic issue. We are seeing a huge number of humanitarian needs. A lot of these crises are, obviously, things you can do contingency planning for, but it's the UN doesn't sit on a pile of cash. We have a central emergency fund, which we disperse as needed, and we just did in the case of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh. But it is a recurring problem. Our humanitarian operations are voluntarily funded. Yes, ma'am?

Question: Thank you, Stephane. I was wondering if the SG has submitted his report on Cyprus to the Security Council. If not, when?

Spokesman: I don't know, and I will check.

Correspondent: Thank you.

Spokesman: Both yes, sir?

Question: I want to ask on the brutal killings in Cameroon, English speaking Cameroon, eyewitness reports say that authorities have entered homes and brutally killed up to 200 people. Of course, that's eyewitness reports on the ground. What is the role of the UN like, is not this the time for a Special Rapporteur to comment rather than the [inaudible] calls for dialogue?

Spokesman: Obviously, the issue of Special Rapporteurs is one that the Secretary General that's outside of the authority of the Secretary General. I think we've had a number of diplomatic contacts at various levels with the Cameroonian authorities. We've expressed our concern at the ongoing situation, especially at the violence and at the loss of life that we've seen. We've seen that the authorities have called for dialogue, and we encourage those leaders in the anglophone community to seize that opportunity. Yes, sir?

Question: Yeah, there was this report by Human Rights Watch that around $137 million allocated for the education of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon have disappeared. Is there any investigation how that amount

Spokesman: I haven't seen that report, but I will check. Okay.

Source: United Nations

Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko on launch of Construction Sector Codes and ...

Construction Sector Codes and Charter launch this month-Minister Nhleko

The Construction Sector Codes and Charter is to be launched this month after processes of obtaining approval of codes from the Ministry of Trade and Industry have been concluded, Public Works Minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko informed the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Public Works during the briefing on his policy statement held in Cape Town on Tuesday.

We will integrate all initiatives aimed at transforming the procurement processes to be in line with the charters, highlighted Minister Nhleko.

Nhleko further said that his department intends to launch and implement the professional services functions to build and create the capacity of the state to deliver and de-tenderise the state.

He has assured the committee that the department is putting in place systems and mechanisms to address the challenge of duplicate payments to service providers providing unscheduled maintenance to curb the temptation of collusion, fraud and corruption among its staff members.

''We have to regulate the framework for unscheduled maintenance to address prevalence of duplicate payments in the Western Cape and Pretoria,' he stressed.

Nhleko indicated that a new Chief information Officer has recently been appointed to assist with the review of the systems and processes aimed at increasing the capacity of the department to deliver.

Source: Government of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA, ZIMBABWE EXCHANGE REGIONAL, GLOBAL VIEWS DURING ...

TSHWANE (SOUTH AFRICA), -- South African President Jacob Zuma is hosting his Zimbabwe counterpart Robert Mugabe, who is in the country for the session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC) underway in Tshwane.

BNC is a forum where the two countries review their relations.

The two leaders used the session to exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual concern and development in the SADC region.

The session opened with a vow from the two countries to use their bilateral relations to push for the economic emancipation of their people.

While the task is not easy, the two neighbouring countries, which share cultural and historic links, are certain that their joint efforts through mechanisms such as the BNC will lead them there.

Zuma said South Africa and Zimbabwe's historical, fraternal and cultural bonds demand that they meet on a regular basis to strengthen and consolidate bilateral cooperation and partnership.

We note with satisfaction the ever-growing cooperation between our two countries as evidenced by the existing 40 agreements and memoranda of understanding. These agreements are aimed at promoting political, economic and social cooperation.

The agreements cover a wide range of areas including double taxation, justice, defence, transport, water, science and technology, health, migration, labour, economic and trade cooperation, and tourism.

The two countries have put in place monitoring mechanisms such as Mid-Term Reviews.

Mugabe used his address to recall the historical relations that Zimbabwe and South Africa share. He said while one can choose [their] friends, [they cannot choose their] neighbours. However, if Zimbabwe had a choice, they would still have chosen South Africa.

"When we come here, we know we are coming to our second home We are one, one revolution, one struggle, one future.

The senior statesman expressed his satisfaction on the programmes and projects undertaken by the BNC, as they secure a common future.

President Mugabe called for improved local business environments to attract investments and concerted efforts to promote cross-border investments.

New investment opportunities should be opened in airports, railway and road systems. The respective private and public sectors should not miss out on the opportunities we are trying to facilitate.

Zimbabwe is one of South Africa's top five trading partners on the continent, with trade statistics showing annual growth.

In 2016, South Africa's exports to Zimbabwe amounted to approximately R29.3 billion.

There are over 120 South African companies doing business in Zimbabwe in various sectors including mining, aviation, tourism, banking, property, retail, construction and the fast food sectors.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Minister Siyabonga Cwele: FTTH Council Africa conference

Speech delivered by the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr. Siyabonga Cwele, Mp on the occasion of the Fttx Council Africa Conference in Cape Town

Program Director,

Honourable Members of Parliament from local and abroad,

President of FTTX Africa, Mr Andile Ngcaba,

CEO of FTTH (South Africa), Ms Juinita Clark,

Leadership of FTTH and its sister organisations,

Senior government officials,

Captains of the industry,

Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the South African Government, I wish to express my sincere thanks for inviting me to address the FTTH Council Africa Conference 2017. We recognise the sterling work done so far by the Council under the stewardship of Richard Came and in the same breath congratulate Andile Ngcaba as the newly elected President of FTTH Council Africa. I must reiterate our Government's commitment to forging a working relationship with this industry in general, and this forum in particular.

As Government, we are encouraged by the unwavering commitment of the Council to stimulating growth in fibre activities through sharing knowledge on this subject with policymakers, network operators and other key stakeholders. We applaud you and your team on hosting this conference and shouldering the responsibility of drawing more than 600 delegates from over 40 countries across the global community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our National Development Plan aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. It envisages by 2030, ICT will underpin the development of a dynamic Information Society and Knowledge Economy that is more inclusive and prosperous. A seamless information infrastructure that will meet the needs of citizens, business and the public sector, providing access to the wide range of services required for effective economic and social participation � at a cost and quality at least equal to South African's competitors. It see ICT infrastructure as an important backbone to a modern economy. It call upon us to;

Ensure the efficient use of spectrum,

To examine the ability of the market to sustain infrastructure competition and whether the benefits outweigh the duplication of facilities in the resource-constrained environment;

To identify alternatives to infrastructure competition through structural separation of the backbone from the services offered by historical incumbents to create a common carrier access by service competitors;

To consider inefficiencies of infrastructure duplication and encourage or prescribe sharing and reduction of expensive trenching by creating common rights of ways for competing operators to lay dedicated lines; and

To implement comprehensive policy review, including the institutional arrangements based on the needs of the sector.

Fellow delegates,

What have we achieved thus far in relation to policy implementation?

Firstly,

In 2013 we published South Africa Connect, our broadband policy and its implementation plan. We have begun with the implementation of the pilot project to connect government office in eight rural districts. This will bring ICT infrastructure in these underserved areas and stimulate uptake by local business and communities. We are planning a Public-Private Partnership to connect the rest of the country as soon as we complete the feasibility study, financial modelling and sustainability of the project. We hope to call for the Request for Proposal for this megaproject by the end of the current financial year.

Secondly,

In September 2016 we published the new National Integrated ICT White Paper. We are currently finalising its Implementation Plan after consultations with all stakeholders. Some of the key elements of this policy are the Open Access Networks and the Rapid Deployment Policy to facilitate infrastructure investment. These policies aim to significantly reduce the costs of deploying infrastructure as well as reducing the barriers to entry. In this regard, we have created three workstreams that meet regularly to prepare for the speedy implementation of the Rapid Deployment Policy namely;

The institutional arrangements team led by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services

The regulatory environment team, led by Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, and

The municipal facilitation coordination team, led by South African Local Government Association.

Programme Director,

Today, the FTTX Council has never been more relevant in South Africa and our continent. Fibre is the backbone of broadband and the better broadband boosts the economy. Fibre backhaul is required for the efficient deployment of other technologies such as satellite and mobile communication infrastructure. It is also an affordable and reliable last mile technology that brings about best experience by consumers and businesses in the era of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. The information society and knowledge economy that underpin the Fourth Industrial Revolution requires strong and resilient communications network infrastructure epitomised by FTTH/B or FTTX. It is core to smart cities and big data transmission. Experts inform us that the world has created more data in the last two years than in its entire history. The digital economy requires smart platform in the form of smart energy, mobility, government, and smart living. It is these kinds of statistics that drives the deployment of high speed broadband. The demand is driven by consumer preferences, business adopting digital business processes and governments accelerating e-government and national digital strategies.

We come from the eras of steam engines, electricity and IT as key drivers of development. Most of our major towns arose out of the first and second industrial revolutions. We entered the third which started about two decades ago. Today we have entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will is characterised by the current platforms and will help us leapfrog to higher levels of socio-economic development and be globally competitive. We may not achieve our Sustainable Development Goals if we don't embrace broadband and digitisation. The experts also say today it is no longer the rail/ road or energy networks that will lead to development, but it is the ultra-high speed broadband infrastructure that will become a determining factor in ensuring the economic future of the cities and regions.

In the last few years we have seen a significant growth in fibre deployment across Sub-Saharan Africa. We have seen projects announced from every corner of Africa. I am informed that last year South Africa made it into the global rankings list � a metric used to measure global rankings. However, we must not be complacent because of a reasonable national average in a country coming from divisions and inequalities of the past. We must break the fibre maturity of 20% household penetration in all our municipality to avoid a new digital divide. We must set our bar high and aspire to be quickly on par with such countries such United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, South Korea and the EU. We must expand fibre in cities, villages and rural farming areas. We must find smart ways of deploying affordable broadband for all our citizens.

I would like to congratulate the Council on changing of its name � from FTTH to FTTX. This is appropriate as more telecommunications mediums rely on fibre optic infrastructure. This is even more critical as the world is preparing for 5G. Other technologies such as WiFi is reliant on fibre optic infrastructure to ensure decent user experience � and even satellite relies on fibre optic backhaul. This statement is also true for Internet of Things, cloud computing and big data. As these technologies rely on high speed bandwidth, we have to ensure that we do what we can to facilitate the efficient deployment thereof.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The inclusive economic growth and job creation, particularly for our youth, remain key priorities for our government. Economists believe that broadband infrastructure promotes employment and leads to the creation of new jobs, and so have a net positive effect in the long term for all those that are part of the digital society. Moreover, broadband creates jobs through the actual building of digital infrastructure since workers must be hired to lay or install fibre optic 'pipes', which we know is not as simple as the digging of a trench. This industry has contributed to the development of thousands of jobs and have trained thousands of technicians, project managers, civil construction jobs, network architects and maintenance managers.

Just in the last 6 months of 2016, four new training schools were launched in South Africa to keep up with demand for skills development. I am told that the number of jobs that can be created in the current environment is in the region of 10 000. I am further led to believe that the skills shortage is hindering faster deployment of infrastructure. We must do all that we can to overcome this. The DTPS acknowledges and is enthusiastic about the potential contribution that the fibre sector can make to economy growth and employment.

Fellow delegates

Let me take this opportunity to invite you all to join us in our flagship project to connect 22 million South Africans who are currently offline. The project is facilitated by the World Economic Forum under the leadership of my department on behalf of our government. We have both international and national partners who contribute in the following working groups;

Innovative infrastructure deployment

Skills development and internet uptake

Affordable devices and services, and

Relevant content development working groups.

We are proud to announce that one of our partners, MTN, has seconded an experienced project manager, who will soon begin work in our office and drive implementation of various projects. Your valued contribution in the success of this project will be appreciated as we aim to conclude this enormous task by 2020. Smart partnerships are key to our common destiny.

Programme Director,

For us to further boost the uptake of broadband, we must focus on building confidence in the safe use of the internet by creating a cyber-astute digital citizens.

This Conference takes place in October, which we celebrate as the cybersecurity month. One of the mandates of the Department and the Cybersecurity Hub, as detailed in the National Cybersecurity Policy Framework, is to understand the state of cybersecurity readiness in the country.

To date, there is little reliable data available on the state of readiness of South African organisations, public and private, relating to Cybersecurity readiness. While some studies have been conducted, much of the evidence is anecdotal.

In light of this, the Department via its Cybersecurity Hub has completed a nation-wide survey that seeks to gather information on strategic initiatives relating to Cybersecurity readiness in South African organisations. We believe that meaningful interactions can be undertaken based on the data we have collected. The data is currently being analysed, and the report will be released in the coming months.

The Cybersecurity Hub is also piloting a business intelligence initiative which seeks to analyse the types of threats and vulnerabilities facing organisations and to provide some big data analytic capacity in countering these threats.

We have also developed a national awareness portal which will run awareness campaigns which we hope will build confidence in citizens and their ability to transact and interact safely in cyberspace.

Let me conclude by reminding you that October is OR Tambo month, a national hero we are celebrating a centenary birthday this year. OR Tambo was a global leader and a skilful mathematics and science teacher. These are the basic skills that we require to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Let us honour the legacy of OR Tambo by driving a massive e-skill revolution for all our citizen - from entry to high end skills, to enable them to fully exploit the digital or internet economy.

Let me also remind you that any digital economy that is not based on a resilient infrastructure such a fibre is just a bubble that will burst on our faces. We must build resilient broadband for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and 5G networks.

I am delighted to have the opportunity to engage with you and look forward to participating in a constructive and vibrant discussion on how best to stimulate growth in fibre activities through sharing knowledge with policymakers and potential network operators.

Good luck with your deliberations and thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa