Monthly Archives: May 2017

Work together to keep children safe

Pretoria � The Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Paul Mashatile, has called on communities to work together with law enforcement to keep children safe.

On Wednesday, MEC Mashatile condemned alleged syndicates reported to be responsible for the spike in child abductions across the province.

On 1 June, many countries all over the world will celebrate the International Day for the Protection of Children. South Africa is currently observing child Protection Week.

As we observe this day in our country, let us pay special attention to the current threats that see so many children go missing daily. We can ill-afford to sit back and fold our arms at a time when our children need us now more than ever, MEC Mashatile said.

He urged mayors and councillors to engage in awareness and other campaigns that promote child safety and abuse.

If we are to turn the situation around and rid our society of the scourge of child abuse and killings, we have to make this day and the Child Protection Week count by uniting as communities and work together with law enforcement agencies in the continuing fight for the safety of our children at home, schools and on our streets, MEC Mashatile said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

UN HIGH-LEVEL PANEL ON WATER MEETS IN SOUTH AFRICA

JOHANNESBURG, A panel constituted of high level leaders from several countries around the world is meeting in South Africa to thrash out ways in which water use can be harnessed to aid efforts to save every valuable drop of the precious natural resource.

As host country of the United Nation’s Valuing Water Regional Consultation, South Africa called on the world leaders to make meaningful inputs into the draft document on Valuing Water Principles. It is envisioned that the final document will contribute majorly to the work of governments to save water.

South Africa has been chosen as the first country to host the High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) Regional Consultation to solicit views from all segments of the water stakeholder community and beyond, including agriculture, energy and other sectors, on how water can be better valued.

The consultations, which are also expected to take part in other regions in the world, will culminate in the presentation of a report on valuing water, which will be presented to the UN General Assembly in September this year. The members of the HLPW include Heads of State and Government from Australia, Bangladesh, Hungary, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Senegal, South Africa and Tajikistan.

Speaking at the consultation on Tuesday in Boksburg, about 25 kilometres east of here, South African Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi said the consultations were a platform for government representatives and organizations to share national perspectives and positions on the critical issue of water.

Water, Muthambi said, is a cross-cutting matter as it speaks to all aspects of development and is linked to different policy positions and legislative imperatives that must be considered in decision-making.

It is my submission that we engage honestly, while raising awareness on the harmful impacts of illegal usage of water and violation of laws, regulations and legislations to ensure that no one is left behind in the decisions that will come out of this process, said Muthambi, who was addressing the meeting on behalf of Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

World Bank Special Advisor Patrick Vincent Verkooijen warned that the pressure on water was rising and that urgent action was required. The World Bank recently released a report titled “High and Dry”, which indicated that if left unchecked, water would become more scarce, polluted and much more unpredictable in the years to come.

The report warned that some regions would see their growth rate decline to 6.0 per cent by 2050 and the economic growth rate would decline by 60 per cent.

Water scarcity is a major threat to economic growth. However, the world has agreed on a different pathway. Led by South Africa in 2011 in Durban, the world agreed in 2015 and in 2017 to sustainable water development goals That’s the vision and that’s the aspiration,” said VerKooijen.

The world needs to transform the way it manages water. It requires political engagement at the level of Heads of States and Government, ministers of finance and planning, agriculture, energy, health and other parts of government, as well as key public-private and civil society stakeholders in order to galvanise action at the scale and speed required.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

South Africa: Ladysmith Police Appeal for Assistance to Locate Missing Person

Ladysmith police station would like to make an appeal to the members of the community regarding a missing person, Fikile Regina Dlamini (71) of Ladysmith. She was last seen by her family members on 23 of April 2017 at Steadville, J area, Ladysmith. She is about 1.24m in height, slim in built, black medium length hair. She was wearing a brown dress, white takkies, and a red jacket.

Source: South African Police Service

IOM Head: People Smugglers Make $35 Billion a Year on Migrant Crisis

ESTORIL, PORTUGAL � People smugglers make about $35 billion a year worldwide and they are driving the tragedy of migrants who die trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, the head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) told Reuters on Wednesday.

Increasing numbers of desperate migrants fleeing from Africa and elsewhere due to conflicts and humanitarian crises are dying as they attempt to reach Europe via Libya, coaxed to do so by smugglers as they wait in detention centers.

The death toll of people crossing the Mediterranean has reached 1,700 so far this year before the summer when many more often make the journey, compared to 3,700 for all of 2015 and 5,000 last year, said IOM head William Lacy Swing.

“Now, let’s be careful because those are the people we know who died, how many other bodies are submerged in the Mediterranean or buried in the sands of the Sahara?” he said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference on migration.

“That’s the tragedy and this is why we are so concerned to try to caution migrants about smugglers. The smugglers are really the big problem. It’s about $35 billion a year [that people smugglers make] and we know they’re making lots of money across the Mediterranean.”

People smuggling now represents the third-largest business for international criminals, after gun and drug trafficking, he said.

Libya has become a major point of departure for migrants from Africa, where lawlessness is spreading six years after the fall of strongman Muammar Gaddafi and migrants say conditions at government-run migrant centers are terrible.

After visiting Libya in March, Lacy Swing said his organization is “all ready to go” and return international staff to Libya to work at migrant centers but has so far not been allowed to do so by the United Nations.

On Tuesday, the IOM and U.N. refugee agency UNCHR presented plans in Geneva on boosting operations in Libya. Lacy Swing said the IOM was ready to help the government with Libya’s own internally displaced people and work in migration centers.

He said Europe’s migrant crisis has been aggravated by what he called “unprecedented anti-migrant sentiment, fueled now by suspicions that some of those fleeing terrorism might be terrorists themselves.”

But he urged governments to try to address the root causes of migration � conflicts, water shortages and big disparities between rich and poor countries.

“In my lifetime I have never known a situation quite like today, because you have nine armed conflicts and humanitarian emergencies from West Africa to the Himalayas,” he said.

He said Europe needs to come up with a comprehensive plan on migration “but I don’t see it happening any time in the near future, but we’ll do everything we can to support them on it.”

Lacy Swing stressed that “migration is not an issue to be solved, it’s a human reality that has to be managed or governed.”

“We know that historically, migration has always been overwhelmingly positive.”

Source: Voice of America