Daily Archives: May 9, 2018

Blocking Access to North West Hospital Unacceptable, Says Committee

Parliament� The Chairperson of the Select Committee on Social Services, Ms Cathy Dlamini, has decried reports of protestors blocking the entrance to Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp, North West, which is preventing doctors and ambulances from entering the hospital grounds.

The provision of life-saving services to patients should always take priority above any discontent. It is reported that staff are protesting against a shortage of healthcare workers and alleged corruption in the department. Community workers and counsellors have also joined them in protest against low remuneration.

While we are all concerned about these serious allegations, robbing patients of life-saving care can never be justified. We encourage constructive engagement on platforms put in place to deal with the matter, Ms Dlamini said.

The committee urges the departments of health at national and province level, as well as the South African Police Service to put in measures in place to deal with the matter.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Joint Constitutional Review Committee to Meet on Programme for Public ...

Parliament� The Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development has invited the department to urgently present a revised strategic plan tomorrow, before the committee can adopt a budget vote report.

The committee has ascribed the late presentation of a revised strategic plan to gross incompetence at senior management level in the department. The committee expected the revised strategic plan to be presented for the first time in November 2017.

It is frustrating that we are unable to proceed with our parliamentary work of adopting a budget vote report because the department took advantage of our kindness. We are not going to allow the department to render the committee ineffective, said Ms Ruth Bhengu, Chairperson of the committee.

The committee strongly believes that key imperatives of the revised strategic plan will have significant financial implications and should be interrogated. These include, among other things, a revised organogram, budget allocation between programmes, and transfer of responsibilities to the Small Enterprise Finance Agency and Small Enterprise Development Agency.

Ms Bhengu said despite all the challenges, the Department of Small Business Development remains a key instrument in the fight against poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Suspects arrested by Manenberg police for serious crimes

Western Cape: Our continued operations to clamp down on gang related crime resulted in the arrest of a 19 year old suspect yesterday, Tuesday 8 May 2018 at 15:50, for the possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Members of Manenberg SAPS deployed in the hotspot areas to combat gang violence were busy with high density patrols, doing stop and searches when they saw the suspect in Thames walk Manenberg. He was stopped and searched and members found a firearm including fifteen 9mm rounds in the magazine. The suspect, a resident of Manenberg was arrested and will be charged for being in possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition. He is due to appear in the Athlone Magistrate Court soon on the said charges.

In a separate incident, a 27 year old male was arrested at Wynberg Magistrates Court for triple murder, yesterday (Tuesday, 2018-05-08), as he appeared on an unrelated charge of possession of firearm. He was sought by Manenberg Serious and Violent crimes unit for the shooting of five males, in Rhone walk on Monday 30 April 2018, the youngest being 16 years old. The 16 year old succumbed to his injuries on the scene. The other two males died of their injuries in hospital. An additional two charges will also be added as investigation continues in stopping gang violence within the Manenberg Policing precinct.

Source: South African Police Service

Rural Development and Land Reform Committee Receives Report on ...

Parliament� The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform today received a briefing from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform on complaints received at the public hearings in Limpopo on the Communal Property Association Amendment Bill.

The department provided responses to each of the complaints received, however some of the interventions reflected in the report refer to training on roles and responsibilities within Communal Property Associations (CPAs) and traditional authorities. In some areas, the CPAs are dysfunctional or there are structural problems. Moreover, it was found that not all CPA members participate in decisions about the sale of land and there are conflicts among beneficiaries that do not allow them to work together for the benefit of their families and communities.

The Chairperson advised the department to send officials to all public hearings to record what communities are saying. The department must then report on those inputs to the committee. The department is still working on implementing some interventions and therefore the committee will continue to monitor the progress.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Diplomat Faults US Review of Aid for South Sudan

A top South Sudan diplomat in the United States calls the U.S. review of South Sudan assistance a step backward for peace negotiations.

Ambassador Gordon Buay, the charge d’affaires of South Sudan’s embassy in Washington, said Tuesday’s strongly worded White House statement on South Sudan could have unintended consequences.

“This one is sending the wrong signal to the rebels. The White House position will embolden the opposition, because why would the opposition keep talking to the government?” Buay told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus radio program.

The White House statement said that “the government of South Sudan has lost credibility, and the United States is losing patience.” The White House also accused South Sudan’s government leaders of squandering Juba’s partnership with the U.S. by pilfering the wealth of South Sudan and killing its own people.

The statement said the U.S. would initiate a comprehensive review of its assistance programs to South Sudan, namely the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and other mechanisms that support the 2015 peace agreement.

The White House statement also said any elections held under the current conditions would be a sham and unacceptable.

Avoid threats, US told

South Sudan’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro said Wednesday that the United States should engage in talks with the Salva Kiir administration and avoid making threats against the government.

Lomuro accused the U.S. and other members of the international community of favoring the rebels, while putting all the blame for the continued fighting and atrocities committed in the country on the government.

“The mistake people have made, especially the U.S. and other countries … is that they don’t appreciate what actually happened. They are not able to ask precisely who was the culprit, and they have, therefore, taken sides,” Lomuro told VOA.

Lomuro insisted that the Transitional Government of National Unity is inclusive, noting some former detainees serve in the government.

“John Lok is a member of the Council of Ministers; he is the minister of transport. Biar Madut is a member of parliament,” Lomuro said. He also noted that the foreign affairs minister, former detainee Deng Alor Kuol, was absent but would resume his position upon his return.

Mark Weinberg, public affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Juba, disagreed, saying the current government does not represent all signatories to the 2015 peace deal.

“The leaders of South Sudan have wasted their partnership with the United States and other international donors who supported this country for independence, have stolen the wealth of their own country, killed their own people and demonstrated over and over again their unwillingness to live up to their commitment to end the war and uphold their obligations to allow unimpeded humanitarian access,” Weinberg said.

The promotion of U.N.-sanctioned individuals to top government positions � including General Jok Riak to be chief of defense forces � demonstrates Juba’s disdain for international norms, according to the White House statement. Lomuro argues Jok has done nothing to deserve the sanctions.

Source: Voice of America

SA gears for Census 2021

Planning for South Africa’s next population census will commence in 2018/19, says Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Tabling Statistics South Africa’s budget vote in Parliament, Minister Dlamini-Zuma said conducting a population census is the biggest statistical survey any country and national statistics agency can undertake.

Planning for South Africa’s next population census, which is scheduled for 2021, will commence in 2018/19. Census 2021 will be the first of its kind in South Africa to be conducted using electronic data collection methodology — Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI). This will improve the quality of data collected and reduce the time-lag between data collection and the dissemination of results, said the Minister on Wednesday.

Stats SA last conducted a census of the population in 2011.

Conducted from 10 to 31 October 2011, the Census provided policy makers with crucial data about the size of the population, their geographical location and access to services, among other things.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma said government will support Stats SA to ensure that its work remains relevant, as statistics are the evidence on which policies are built and decisions are made.

Without good statistics, the policy development and decision-making process is blind: we cannot learn from our mistakes, and the public cannot hold us accountable. Statistics help us to understand and learn from the past, make sense of the present, and make inferences about the future, she said.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma said the world now has an insatiable demand for data, statistics and information.

Such demand is accompanied by those who are willing to give up their personal information in exchange for getting more, thus fuelling the emergence of those who are willing to peddle data sometimes to the extent of loss of human dignity. Dignity should never be lost in the pursuit of empirical evidence.

Official statistics the world over are driven by the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and in Africa, by the African Charter on Statistics.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma said South Africa prides itself on the Statistics Act that guarantees confidentiality at all times. In addition, the methods through which South Africa’s national statistics are collected, processed and analysed remain independent from any undue influence.

Stats SA is listed among the best in the world when it comes to the progressive framework for statistic, good practice and transparency.

Amending the Statistics Act

Meanwhile, Stats SA will bring forth the amended Statistics Act that will drive statistical reform in the country.

The reform will place emphasis on statistical coordination, statistical geography, the data revolution, a state-wide statistical service and institutional arrangements.

The Minister said coordination between organs of State is essential for consistency and efficiency in the statistical system.

Contribution to continental integration

South Africa continues to contribute to the continental integration agenda and to the improvement of the African Statistical System based on the African Charter on Statistics and the Strategy for Harmonisation of Statistics in Africa.

In addition, Stats SA is in the forefront of initiatives aimed at shaping the future of statistics in response to the global post-2015 development agenda, the Africa Agenda 2063 and Data Revolution.

Stats SA, which produces more than 250 publications and reports each year, covering various aspects of the South African economy, society and the environment, will continue to focus on maintaining basic statistics.

It will also focus on integrating, innovating and modernising the statistics value chain among others.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma tabled a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) budget vote of R2.3 billion in 2018/19; and R2.4 billion and R3.3 billion in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years respectively.

Source: South African Government News Agency