Daily Archives: November 14, 2017

Foton Motor signs MOU with TDG to identify smart city solutions, ...

BEIJING, Nov. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On November 8-10, 2017, US President Trump took a delegation of nearly 30 CEOs from major American companies to make three-day state visit to China. In this period, US and China had in-depth talks about deepening economic and trade ties between the two parties. On November 8, as a major result of this visit, President Gong Yueqiong of Foton Motor Group and President & CEO Paul Doherty of TDG (The Digit Group) signed MOU of Smart Cities Public Transportation Solutions in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. Vice Premier of China Wang Yang and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross witnessed the signing ceremony. Both parties will push forward solutions of smart cities public transportation and application of intelligent transport facilitate development.https://prnewswire2-a.akamaihd.net/p/1893751/sp/189375100/thumbnail/entry_id/1_2y8r6s95/def_height/400/def_width/400/version/100011/type/1

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/603477/Foton_Motor_Group_and_TDG_signed_MOU_of_Smart_Cities_Public_Transportation_Solution.jpg

Foton Motor Group is China’s largest group of commercial vehicles. TDG is the top supplier specialized in designing and building world smart cities, and leader in developing innovative solutions to smart cities. The partnership is one of the results of US-China corporate cooperation made by the first visit by American President Donald Trump to China, revealing that Foton Motor, as the benchmark and barometer of China’s intelligent manufacturing, is contributing China solutions to world smart cities and intelligent transport.https://prnewswire2-a.akamaihd.net/p/1893751/sp/189375100/thumbnail/entry_id/1_kgisbrsg/def_height/400/def_width/400/version/100011/type/1

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/603475/Foton_Motor_Group_President_Gong_Yueqiong_and_TDG_President___CEO_Paul_Doherty.jpg

 

According to the MOU, Foton Motor Group and TDG, using their advantages in technologies and resources, will get in profound partnership to build and develop global leading smart cities, intelligent transport and intelligent buses such as driverless buses and green e-buses.

In initial stage, TDG will work together with Foton Motor to develop e-bus products in Smart City program in Wellington of New Zealand, which will replace fossil-fuel buses. The e-bus is two meters long and more units can be linked according to the number of passengers. At the same time, the futuristic bus will drive according to the route set by GPS. At the same time, camera lens will be installed to detect obstacles so that the bus can drive and park automatically. It provides the futuristic intelligent solutions to transport, featuring zero accident, congestion and pollution.https://prnewswire2-a.akamaihd.net/p/1893751/sp/189375100/thumbnail/entry_id/1_ija53nrz/def_height/400/def_width/400/version/100011/type/1

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/603476/The_2_meters_intelligent_e_bus_which_will_be_developed_by_Foton_Motor_and_TDG.jpg

Besides, TDG will use FOTON AUV e-bus for its smart city program of China and  New Zealand. The total order amount will exceed over a billion USD.

As plans of the two parties, TDG will focus on environmental facilities and providing solutions to energy, dynamic wireless charging technology, data analysis, LED light, visible light telecom, dynamic ads/brand communications, crossing public stops and safety. Foton Motor will provide advanced bus products and services while providing support in Internet of Vehicles and automatic driving development.

In the world trend of intelligent connectivity, FOTON relies on its intelligent factory and management, uses Internet of Vehicles technology to develop intelligent and efficient products, lead the industrial trend and establish a model of US-China cooperation. In early stage, Foton Motor and Cummins co-established Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Co., Ltd. Together with ZF Friedrichshafen AG, WABCO and Continental AG, Foton Motor has established “China Intelligent Connected Super Truck Alliance”, which is dedicated to building and developing global intelligent transport and smart cities. It is learnt that as the first generation of China Super Truck, FOTON AUMAN EST series is to be launched in Russia, Peru, Thailand, etc. in 2017. Not long ago, Foton Motor signed the deep cooperation memorandum with Cummins at U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Forum, launches the second stage of “China Super Truck” program. As the cooperation of this time, FOTON will improve its intelligent industrial chain, which will become the new driving force that stimulates corporate intelligence and innovations with global vision.

At present, Foton Motor has AUV brand coach and bus including pure electric and hydrogen cell series, AUMAN Super Trucks that cover intelligent transportation and logistics, initially building the Intelligent Product Matrix. In the future. Foton Motor will base on stronger ties with TDG, contribute China power to building smart cities public transportation for the world by developing Internet of Vehicles + intelligent logistics, intelligent trucks and intelligent buses.

Le programme de formation spécialisé de CMPort atteint son ...

SHENZHEN, Chine, 14 novembre 2017 /PRNewswire/ — La cérémonie de clôture de C Blue 2017, un programme de formation social organisé en collaboration par China Merchants Port Holdings Company Ltd. (« CMPort ») et Shenzhen Polytechnic, s’est tenue au CMPort Plaza de Shenzhen le 10 novembre, concluant un mois fructueux de camaraderie interculturelle au cours duquel des professionnels du monde entier se sont regroupés autour d’une cause commune.

2017 C Blue trainees visited Shekou Container Terminal and wished China Merchants Group a happy 145th anniversary

Cette cause commune, d’après le directeur général de CMPort, Bai Jingtao, était une cause transformatrice. « Je crois que cette expérience de formation avait beaucoup plus à offrir que toutes les connaissances liées aux activités portuaires, au transport ou aux zones de libre-échange », a déclaré le Dr Bai dans un discours prononcé devant les 28 apprentis de 13 pays qui ont participé au programme. « Mais surtout, elle a constitué une plateforme d’apprentissage où des idées ont pu être échangées et des connaissances partagées. »

Société cotée en bourse depuis 1992, CMPort reste le plus grand opérateur portuaire public de Chine, ayant pris en charge un volume de conteneurs annuel de 95,77 millions EVP en 2016. Dans la droite ligne de son cahier des charges officiel visant à devenir le « plus grand fournisseur de services portuaires complets au monde », la société d’État se consacre à consolider son statut international.

Trainees engaged in Taichi – one of Chinese cultural activities given by Shenzhen Polytechnic

C Blue, dont le titre s’inspire de l’expression chinoise « façonner notre rêve bleu », vise à « offrir aux pays étrangers l’environnement, les ressources et la plateforme dont ils ont besoin pour cultiver les dirigeants de demain », comme l’indiquent les documents promotionnels du programme. Lors de sa cérémonie de clôture vendredi dernier, plusieurs participants ont déclaré dans des entretiens que le programme avait bien tenu ses promesses.

« C’est vraiment enthousiasmant de voir un si grand pays afficher une croissance aussi rapide », a déclaré Kristina Gontier, qui travaille pour le ministère du Transport lituanien, alors qu’elle terminait sa formation.

Au cours des quatre semaines de la formation C Blue, les participants ont pu bénéficier d’une expérience d’apprentissage exhaustive combinant la théorie et la pratique. Des cours donnés par des experts de différents sujets tels que les opérations portuaires, la logistique et le développement de zones de libre-échange sont venus compléter diverses visites de terrain actives visant à améliorer les attributs des participants en tant que spécialistes de l’industrie et preneurs de décisions de manière générale.

Trainees attended C Blue’s closing ceremony on November 10th at the CMPort Plaza upon completion of the program, along with Mr. Mbelwa Kairuki (Tanzanian Ambassador to China) and Mr. Karunasena Kodituwakku (Sri Lanka Ambassador to China).

Quand on lui a demandé comment son voyage en Chine l’avait aidée à s’épanouir en tant que professionnelle, Zawadia J. Nanyaro, PDG du cabinet de conseil tanzanien Lilac Lines Ltd., a applaudi C Blue pour avoir « renforcé sa foi dans le programme d’industrialisation de son pays ».

« La Tanzanie est en voie de transition d’une économie agricole vers une économie industrielle, et au cours des cinq dernières années, mon pays a décidé de copier les initiatives que la Chine a prises afin d’atteindre des objectifs similaires », a déclaré Mlle Nanyaro, qui est également une partenaire de la société sœur du cabinet, Lilac Associates. « Nous sommes en train de mettre en œuvre le concept “port-parc-ville” de China Merchants et nous avons déjà des plans directeurs en place ; ayant vu le pouvoir transformateur de cette approche modale de mes propres yeux et après m’être entretenue avec les personnes à l’origine de cette idée, je suis prête à soutenir mon pays pour exécuter la même vision. »

China Merchants Group, la société mère de CMPort, considère la responsabilité sociale d’entreprise comme un élément crucial de sa mission et de sa stratégie d’entreprise. En 2009, le groupe a créé China Merchants Charitable Foundation, la filiale qui a parrainé C Blue, afin de financer et de développer des projets sociaux à l’étranger. Alors qu’il célèbre son 145e anniversaire, le conglomérat centenaire va très certainement chercher à consolider le succès retentissant de C Blue.

Une toute nouvelle édition du programme fera son retour l’automne prochain.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/602451/C_Blue_trainees_visits_Shekou_Container_Terminal.jpg
Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/602450/Taichi_activity_by_Shenzhen_Polytechnic.jpg
Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/602452/C_Blue_program_closing_ceremony_at_CMPort_Plaza.jpg

PARLIAMENT’S MID-TERM ADDRESS BY SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ...

Programme Director

Chairperson of the NCOP Honourable Thandi Modise

Presiding Officers

Members of Parliament

Distinguished stakeholders

Media representatives

Ladies and gentlemen

Allow me to welcome you all to this stakeholder and media briefing on the work of Parliament. This time we will give you a heads up on the work of the fifth Parliament, which translates to a mid-term report. At the beginning of the fifth term of Parliament, we reviewed and affirmed our vision of building an activist people's Parliament that is responsive to the needs of the people, driven by the ideal of realizing a better quality of life for all the people of South Africa. We also pledged to be an effective voice of the people, in fulfilling our constitutional mandate of passing laws, overseeing executive action and optimising citizen involvement.

In September this year, we embarked on a mid-term self-assessment and came to a conclusion that Parliament is on course to fulfill its mandate and meet its targets in most respects. We also identified a number of areas we need to double our efforts to effectively turn the tide and accelerate change over the remaining period of the term.

This periodic self-assessment and also accounting to the citizens of South Africa, is critical as Parliament continues to evolve and grow with changing times, progressively adapting to a broader paradigm shift in society to an information and knowledge based society. We invited you as key stakeholders in the work we do, for a meaningful engagement, also trusting that through you, we will be able to better communicate and account to our shareholders � the citizens of South Africa, the People who elected us into this esteemed institution to represent their needs

One of the strategic functions of Parliament is to hold the executive accountable, but as the Executive Authority of Parliament we too need to strengthen our own accountability to our key stakeholders, in particular our citizens, in respect of the manner we carry out our constitutional mandate, our strategic plan and our programme of action. In doing so, we are putting into practice the preamble of our constitution, that implores Parliament to listen, act on people's behalf and account to the people.

At the onset of this term, Parliament developed a strategic plan to guide its activities with the following pillars:

Strengthening law-making processes;

Strengthening oversight and accountability over the Executive;

Enhancing public involvement and participation;

Deepening international engagements;

Strengthening co-operative governance; and

Building an effective and efficient organization.

Strengthening law-making

The first generation of democratic Parliament, meaning from 1994 to 2014, focused on building a solid constitutional and legislative foundation for a thriving democracy, with nearly 2000 bills passed and also enacted into law. The focus of the second parliamentray generation is progressively shifting to strengthen oversight and citizen participation to place greater emphasis on the execution of legislation and policies, thereby driving the realisation of a better life for all people.

The fifth Parliament has passed 96 bills to date. Almost all bills passed by Parliament were assented to by the President, except for the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development AB in 2014, and the Expropriation Bill in 2016. Only two of 96 bills were returned to Parliament by the President. This translates to only 2% of bills passed during this term of Parliament were returned by the President.

In the processing of the bills, Parliament enquired into the objects of the bills and their alignment to the National Development Plan. It ensured public participation and involvement through various methods. These methods included calls for submissions through advertisements in newspapers, on radios, the parliamentary website, public education programmes, and public hearings held in Parliament and in the provinces. The processes ensured that the public was given a voice in the law-making process.

Parliament has also built its own capacity to initiate and develop legislation by establishing a dedicated unit in the Legal Services Section, to support both Members and Committees of Parliament. A draft legislative model was also developed in order to ensure better compliance with constitutional prescripts such as public participation in the law making processes. Through this intervention, Parliament will grow to be on par with many successful democracies in respect of Parliament's capacity to initiate, draft and pass legislation to ensure that the whole of the state is responsive to the development needs of the citizens.

The fifth Parliament initiated and set up the High Level Panel (HLP) under the leadership of former President Kgalema Motlanthe, as an independent entity to assess the impact of legislation passed since the advent of freedom and democracy, in 1994. The HLP embarked on an elaborate participative programme which included all citizens, stakeholders and experts. It has concluded its work and is expected to table their final report with recommendations to the commissioning authority, the Speakers Forum, before formal tablings in the respective legislatures.

The HLP evaluation programme is part of our celebration of 20 years of the Constitution during this term. Progress made in implementing our Constitution has featured numerous court decisions than refined our interpretation of its provisions, clarified the authority of the National Assembly and the Speaker and provided a better for refining the rules of the houses as well as joint rules aimed at promoting the decorum of these institutions.

Strengthening oversight and accountability

The fifth Parliament's work, built on a strong foundation set up during the first two decades of a democratic parliamentary system, with each term making its mark on the 20-year journey travelled thus far. Indeed good progress was made in the execution of numerous pieces of legislation passed since 1994, and people's lives have improved in so many areas. However, there remains a number of goals that appear very elusive, as reflected in the country performance reports generated by among others StatsSA, the United Nations as well as the HLP.

The legislative programme of Parliament has been streamlined to increase the level of oversight in terms of the sessions of the two Houses, as well as the over 54 parliamentary committees that have extensive outreach programmes to development sites in all nine provinces. Each quarter, parliamentary committees are accorded a week to conduct oversight in their areas of focus in various provinces. Parliament has strengthened the content advisory and research capacity of committees, to improve their capacity to scrutinise strategic and annual performance plans, budget allocations and performance reports of various departments.

Parliament acknowledges that the relations between the three arms of the state are getting more vibrant and robust. Although at times concerns about overreach among the three distinct arms of the state are raised, these relations are strengthening the country's constitutional democracy, while refining the processes through better interpretation and execution of the Constitution. Decisions of courts are helping to refine the legislative framework as exemplified by the Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Financial Management that enhanced our compliance with the Constitution. Matters also progressively receiving the attention of Parliament is the promptness of replies and the quality of answers provided by the Executive to the questions of Members.

There is a growing number of pockets of excellence with Parliament's investigative capacity, as demonstrated through the work of among others, the ad hoc Committee inquiry on South African Broadcasting Corporation that dealt with matters of mismanagement, intimidation and maladministration, as well as the current allegations of state capture. It must be acknowledged that Parliament's investigative prowess is still at its infancy stages, and with a clear political will this will grow from strength to strength alongside the maturing of our constitutional democracy. The rigour with which the appointment of the Public Protector, the MDDA Board, the NYDA Board and other structures was handled, helps in building citizen trust and confidence in these structures, as the country benefited from these actions of Parliament. Parliament is working on fully exploiting the opportunities provided by the exponential growth of the information and communication technologies to enhance MPs access to information, while also seeking to expand its use to mobilise citizens to help evaluate development interventions driven by the executive.

The fifth Parliament has embarked on a paradigm shift, from activity-output based approach to an outcome focused planning, execution and evaluation of programmes. This paradigm shift is grounded in the National Development Plan (NDP), Vision 2063 of Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals. As a result, indicators and targets outlined in the NDP and the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) are used to evaluate strategic plans, allocation of resources, and performance reports of Departments.

In October the Parliamentary committees of the fifth term, scrutinise financial and non-financial performance of Departments and their entities, and make comments on and pass the Revised Fiscal Framework; Division of Revenue A/B and the Adjustments Appropriation Bill. The departments are therefore called to account to the committees, deliberate on reports, publish reports in the ATC for debate in the Houses. The committees are assisted by the Auditor General of South Africa as well as Statistics South Africa (AGSA), as Parliament has partnered with these institutions to strengthen the quality of oversight. Besides the AGSA and Stats SA, Parliament is also increasingly using data provided by the South African Reserve Bank, in evaluating performance in outputs and outcomes.

The fifth Parliament has given effect to the ground breaking Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, no 09. of 2009, through among others enhanced fiscal oversight capacity of Parliament over public finances and empowered Parliament to have a meaningful say in the national budget process. The Money Bills Act has empowered Parliament for the first time-ever with the legislative authority to amend the national budget and other Money Bills. To execute this enabling Act, a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) was established and has made a significant contribution in strengthening Parliament's oversight capacity. Parliament is expanding the scope and services of the PBO to support, on demand, all the Parliamentary committees and the Legislative Sector.

Enhanced Public Participation

Parliament continues to appreciate that citizen's meaningful participation is a defining feature of a successful and sustainable democracy. Pillars of our interventions to enhance this citizen participation include the strengthening of the work of Parliamentary committees, stepping up of stakeholder engagement, multiplying of communication service delivery efforts and also through greater integration of broader legislative sector's efforts guided by a series of frameworks adopted by the Speakers' Forum.

These frameworks include a Public Participation Model that was adopted and executed through among others, Taking Parliament to the People (TPTTP), Sectoral Parliaments including Women, Youth and a People's Parliament, as well as our public education programme. These projects have been very successful. An integrated comprehensive communication strategy and a programme of action for the fifth Parliament that has been adopted with a number of ambitious projects including a dedicated fulltime Parliamentary TV, Radio and news services.

There is a slight improvement of 0.4% in citizen awareness of Parliament from a low base of 9.35% as shown by the findings of a tracker research commissioned by the fifth Parliament. A strategic framework for the communication of the Legislative Sector has also been adopted by the Secretaries Association of the Legislatures of South Africa (SALSA), to help guide a series of communication efforts. The outcomes of these assessments will be periodically published including the stakeholder satisfaction survey and public perception surveys.

During this term, more time is allocated to constituency work by all MPs and Parliamentary committees. This is meant to enhance the connection of citizens with their parliamentary representatives, for them to place their fingers on the pulse of citizens concerns, aspirations and expectations. This is done in line with the spirit enunciated in our vision of a people's activist Parliament that spares no efforts in advancing a better life for all. In line with the outcomes focused approach, Parliament also commissioned a client satisfaction survey and based on the findings developed a stakeholder engagement strategy and programme of action including a service delivery charter.

General comments

Allow me Programme Director to celebrate our achievements in the recently concluded Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) International conference held in Bangladesh last week. Our African candidate for the leadership of CPA, the Deputy Speaker of Cameroon Mme Amelia Lifaka, has been elected the new Chairperson of the CPA International. Besides the achievement of this mandate of CPA Africa region, we also secured a resolution to transform the CPA International from being a charity organization into a fully-fledged international organization of Parliamentarians within two years.

We take our hats off to our high powered delegation led by Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli with Provincial Speakers and Deputy Speakers. This has been a further cap on the outstanding leadership of African and South African women Parliamentarians, as Mme Maseko is the Chairperson of the Africa Region of CPA, while Mme Thoko Didiza is the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP). I just wanted to flag these latest developments, as a detailed outline of our achievements in advancing our national interests, in driving the transformation agenda while entrenching the development character of Parliaments with focus on the goals outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in Agenda 2063 of the African continent and in the NDP of South Africa. The Chairperson will elaborate on how Parliament seek to deliver greater value to our citizens at bilateral and multi-lateral international relations level.

Conclusion

The Chairperson of the NCOP will also cover other priorities of the fifth Parliament. We trust that these engagements will strengthen our accountability as a key tenet of our constitutional democracy beyond the periodic electoral cycles, the work of the Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management, as well as annual accounts to institutions such as the Auditor General.

We are clear in our mind, that as much as we are strengthening our oversight responsibilities, we also need to lift the bar in our own accountability to the citizens through among others this briefing. We trust the nature and the quality of engagements will continue to grow in leaps and bounds.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN DEPUTY MINISTER GETS OFF WITH FINE FOR ...

JOHANNESBURG, Former South African Higher Education Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana has been sentenced to 12 month in prison or a 100,000-Rand (about6,900 US dollars) fine by the Randburg Magistrate's Court, near here for assaulting three women at a Johannesburg night club in August.

Manana, who had pleaded guilty to assaulting the three women, is also required to pay more than 26,000 Rand in compensation to the victims and perform 500 hours of community service.

Sentencing was originally set for last week, but was postponed following arguments from the defence, and the State probation officer. In September, Manana pleaded guilty to three separate counts of assault at a Cubana restaurant at Cedar Square in Fourways, Johannesburg.

Manana was forced to admit his heavy-handed conduct when a video recording of the incident went viral. The incident cost him his deputy minister's job but is seen as having got off lightly as he is able to avoid going to jail.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Seven suspects arrested in Nyanga with stolen property

Western Cape: To ensure that offenders are brought to justice, a joint crime intelligence driven operation was conducted yesterday in Nyanga to investigate a tipoff of suspicious activity in Clive Road Browns Farm, Nyanga. This intervention led to the apprehension of seven suspects who were found in possession of possible stolen goods, and the confiscation of three medium sized delivery trucks. Upon police arrival at the given address, the suspects were found offloading pallets of sugar from one truck to another, and could not satisfy the officers with an explanation. Further investigation led to the discovery of a third truck, and a link to a case registered in Brighton Beach KZN, where sugar was fraudulently purchased. The value of the stolen sugar is estimated at R175 000. The suspects aged between 20 and 40 are expected to make a court appearance in Athlone once they have been charged. The circumstances surrounding the case are still under investigation.

Source: South African Police Service

Aerotropolis master plan to bring much needed jobs

The recent approval of the 30-year Aetrotopolis master plan will bring much needed jobs for the Gauteng province.

The City of Ekurhuleni at its council meeting at the end of October approved the master plan which will pave the way for economic impact that is projected at R8.1 billion per annum.

Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwadile Masina said the Aerotropolis -- which is located near the renowned OR Tambo International Airport -- is envisaged to be a game-changing intervention that would facilitate spatial, economic and social transformation.

Using labour intensive scenarios, the Aerotropolis promises massive job creation, set to change the landscape of joblessness in the city and the Gauteng province.

The master plan, the Mayor said, has been developed to identify projects in sectors such as retail, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, logistics and distribution, research and development, health and life sciences to be used enablers of economic turnaround plan.

Spokesperson for the municipality, Themba Radebe, said the plan has been in the pipeline for about five years.

The City of Ekurhuleni, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Airports Company South Africa have embarked on the development of Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis.

This programme is a deliberate growth trajectory that aims to reposition and enhance the value proposition of the Gauteng City Region, with a particular emphasis of the Ekurhuleni Regional Economy as the footprint of the first Aerotropolis in the African continent, said Mayor Masina.

The Aerotropolis -- the first on the African continent -- leverages on the presence of the airport which handles 19 million passengers every year and has the capacity for 60 million passengers.

OR Tambo International Airport also handles 83% of all air cargo movements, thus playing a critical economic role for South Africa, Gauteng and Ekurhuleni.

The OR Tambo International Airport is in a good position to accelerate its logistic and air cargo activities regionally. The airport is already a gateway for the transit of high value time sensitive products, such as electronic equipment, as well as textiles and footwear for nearby countries, the Mayor said.

At the centre of the master plan is to redesign the city's layout, infrastructure and economy to be centred on a major airport.

Masina said that the critical road infrastructure networks are being prioritised to unlock the footprint of the Aerotropolis to enable mobility, integration and densification.

This through exploring ways of leveraging the economic opportunities created from having the OR Tambo International Airport located in the city to position the city to become a destination for investors seeking to relocate their operations.

When coming to funding, the Mayor said, the project requires a multi-layered approach that is capable of leveraging on the financial capabilities of the private and public sector.

The funding plan requires strategic partnerships between all stakeholders, including government, development finance institutions, property owners, developers and investors, research and development agencies, institute of higher learning, external funders and underwriters through a systematic and coordinated integrated development planning process in order to deliver the strategic objectives of the Aerotropolis.

Source: South African Government News Agency

North West Health conducts blitz to raise awareness and screen ...

The North West Department of Health has organised blitz activities in the Province's busy spots like taxi ranks and public parks to raise awareness about Diabetes and promote healthy lifestyle to mark World Diabetes Day. World Diabetes Day is observed annually on the 14th of November.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. The World Health Organisation projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030. In 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes.

A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.

Health promoters from the department of health will be screening the public at taxi ranks and public parks from 14 to 17 November.

The screenings and blitz activities are scheduled as follows:

14 November: Mahikeng Taxi Rank, Mahikeng

15 November: Rustenburg Taxi Rank, Rustenburg

16 November: Municipality Park, Kerksdporp

Source: Government of South Africa

Several Explosions Heard in Zimbabwe Capital

At least three explosions, as well as heavy gunfire, were heard in the Zimbabwe capital of Harare early Wednesday, according to local witnesses.

Witnesses also said military vehicles and soldiers were on the streets early Wednesday, hours after soldiers took over Zimbabwe's state broadcaster, ZBC. Local residents said instead of the usual 11 p.m. newscast, music videos were played instead.

A spokesman at the U.S. embassy in Harare told VOA the streets appeared calm overnight Wednesday and had no confirmed sightings of military vehicles. The embassy warned Americans via its web site to "shelter in their residences" and work from home on Wednesday. They said the embassy will be minimally staffed and closed to the public.

On Tuesday, Zimbabwe's ruling party has accused the armed forces chief of "treasonable conduct" after he threatened to intervene in the country's political affairs.

The statement from the ZANU-PF party was released amid worries that the military might be taking action to oust longtime President Robert Mugabe.

Witnesses reported tanks and armed personnel carriers moving on roads outside the capital; however, Harare was calm and embassies issued no security alerts for their citizens.

A spokesman for the State Department told VOA, "We are aware of the reports and are monitoring the situation."

The current tension was sparked last week when Mugabe fired his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and accused him of disloyalty and plotting to seize power. Many observers saw the move as a step toward the installation of Mugabe's wife, Grace Mugabe, as vice president. That would put the first lady in position to become president when her 93-year-old husband retires or dies.

At a Monday news conference, the head of Zimbabwe's armed forces, General Constantino Chiwenga, warned he would "step in" unless Mugabe stopped trying to purge the ruling ZANU-PF party of Mnangagwa supporters. Dozens have been arrested since the vice president was fired on November 5.

Tuesday's ZANU-PF statement, signed by party information secretary Simon Khaya Moyo, said that Chiwenga's comments were "clearly calculated to disturb national peace and stability" and meant to "incite insurrection and violent challenge to the Constitutional Order."

President Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the country won independence from Britain in 1980.

Mnangagwa, 75, was seen for years as a likely successor to the president, and maintains strong backing in the army. He is now believed to be in South Africa.

Grace Mugabe, 52, has support in the party's youth wing and is believed to have engineered the firing of another vice president, Joice Mujuru, in 2014.

Source: Voice of America