Category Archives: General

Ziphakamise co-op gets banking licence from Reserve Bank

The Reserve Bank has announced the issuing of a cooperative banking licence to Ziphakamise Savings and Credit Co-operative (SACCO).

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is pleased to announce the issuing of another co-operative banking licence. The licence is the first co-operative banking licence to be issued since 2011, said the central bank on Thursday.

SACCO has expanded the beneficiaries of its services from the employees of Bell Equipment to now include the Community of Umhlathuze in KwaZulu-Natal. Prior to registration with the Reserve Bank, the institution was regulated under the exemption notice administered by the Co-operative Banks Development Agency (CBDA).

South Africa has two co-operative banks, OSK KoAlperatiewe Bank and Ditsobotla Primary Savings and Credit Cooperative Bank, which were both registered in 2011.

Ditsobotla was registered as a co-operative bank with CBDA in 2011 and transferred to SARB in 2014 when the supervision function was transferred from the agency.

SACCO became eligible to apply for registration as a co-operative bank after reaching the membership and deposits of 200 and R1 million, respectively. As of 31 June 2017, the SACCO reflected 618 members and a deposit of R4 million.

The co-operative banking licence is one of three types of licences that the current legislative framework makes provision for.

A co-operative bank licence entails an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic and social needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise organised and operated on co-operative principles, whose members are:

employed by a common employer or who are employed within the same business district; or

have common membership in an association or organisation, including a religious, social, cooperative, labour or educational group; or

Reside within the same defined community or geographical area.

The legal designation and recognition of the application requires that the applicant be registered as such by the Reserve Bank through the Supervisor of Co-operative Banks in the case of co-operative banks.

For application to be registered as a co-operative bank, the applicant must be registered as a co-operative financial institution with 200 or more members and holding member's deposits of R1 million or more.

Applications must be submitted (and are assessed) in accordance with the form, content and criteria as prescribed in terms of the Co-operative Banks Act.

The other two types of licences are the commercial bank licence and the mutual bank licence.

Source: South African Government News Agency

UN Security Council Condemns Attack on DRC Peacekeepers

UNITED NATIONS The U.N. Security Council has condemned "in strongest terms" Thursday's attack against a U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which at least 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers and five Congolese soldiers died.

Security Council members met in a closed session Friday afternoon to discuss the attack, after holding a moment of silence in tribute to the victims.

In addition to the deaths, more than 50 people were injured in the attack in DRC's North Kivu province, where a Ugandan rebel group known as the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, is active.

A U.N. official told VOA that the group was suspected to be behind Thursday's attack.

In its statement Friday, the Security Council said it expressed deepest condolences to the families of the victims, the governments of Tanzania and Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to the U.N. mission in DRC, known as MONUSCO.

Noting that this attack was the worst on U.N. peacekeepers in recent years, the statement said incident was a "reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by these brave women and men every day."

U.N. flags are expected to fly at half-staff on Monday, in tribute to the victims.

The U.N. mission said at least five Congolese soldiers were also killed in the protracted fighting between suspected ADF elements and MONUSCO and Congolese forces.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has expressed shock over the attack. He addressed his constituents Friday, the day the attack was reported by the United Nations � and the day before Tanzania celebrates its independence day.

The U.S. State Department said it was "horrified" by the attack, in a statement from the department's Bureau of African Affairs. The statement extended "deepest condolences" to the peacekeeping mission, the Congolese military and the families of those killed.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his "outrage" after Thursday's attack, which also left about 40 people injured.

"I condemn this attack unequivocally," Guterres said Friday. "These deliberate attacks against U.N. peacekeepers are unacceptable and constitute a war crime."

"This is the worst attack on peacekeepers in the organization's recent history," he added.

Guterres said military reinforcements had arrived on the scene. "The force commander is there as well, coordinating the mission's response, and the medical evacuation of casualties is ongoing," he said.

"Attacks against those who are working in the service of peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are cowardly and constitute serious violations," said MONUSCO chief Maman Sidikou in a statement. "MONUSCO will take all actions to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable and brought to justice."

Source: Voice of America

Six Arrested and Held in Zambia for Illicit Sale of HIV and ...

Investigation by USAID Inspector General Leads to Joint Law Enforcement Action   

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Last week, authorities in Zambia arrested and held six individuals, including two pharmacy owners, involved in the illicit sale of HIV and malaria test kits in Lusaka, the country’s capital. The arrests took place using evidence gathered during a 5 month-long investigation by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Inspector General (OIG).

In the weeks prior to the arrests, OIG carried out joint investigative work with the Zambia National Task Force (ZNTF).  The task force consists of the Zambia Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), Zambia Medical Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Zambia police.

“We coordinate closely with international partners to thwart the work of criminals who prey upon the U.S. Government-supported global health supply chain,” said Jonathan Schofield, OIG’s Special Agent in Charge overseeing global health investigations.  “Our recent work with partners in the U.S. Embassy in Zambia and ZNTF has stopped several offenders who exploited international aid for personal gain.  We continue to obtain additional information on ways the supply chain was compromised, allowing it to be repaired, strengthened, and better positioned to serve the people of Zambia in the future.”

The U.S. Government provides HIV and malaria test kits, along with other health commodities, under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President’s Malaria Initiative, and through contributions to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  The commodities, provided in Zambia and around the world, are intended to be distributed to beneficiaries without charge.

Last week’s arrests stem from a proactive initiative that OIG began in Lusaka in June 2017.  OIG visited pharmacies across the city to determine if U.S. Government-funded products were being sold for profit.  During these visits, OIG quickly identified individuals involved in the illegal sale of stolen HIV and malaria test kits, which were later confirmed to have been provided through U.S. Government and The Global Fund programs.  OIG shared evidence from its investigation with members of the ZNTF, triggering joint investigative efforts that led the ZNTF, assisted by OIG, to detain 13 individuals involved in illegally selling the test kits.

Following the arrests, six individuals are considered the main targets of the investigation and remain in jail.  Zambian authorities released an additional seven individuals after they secured bail on the condition that they return for further questioning.

OIG conducts independent investigations and audits to make U.S. foreign assistance programs more efficient, effective, and accountable.  Promoting integrity in the global health supply chain stands among OIG’s top investigative priorities and OIG operates worldwide to investigate complaints of fraud and misconduct in global health programs.  This work includes its “Make A Difference” (MAD) campaign and hotline to protect the integrity of antimalarial programs overseas.  The campaign operates in Malawi, Benin, and Nigeria and publicly calls for citizens to oppose theft and counterfeiting of antimalarial commodities and to recognize the dangers they present.

More information can be found on OIG’s web site, which also provides instructions for using the office’s hotlines to report fraud, waste, and abuse.

North West Local Government hosts session to train provincial ...

Municipalities taken through recruitment processes to fast track appointments of senior managers

The current municipal councils must create a legacy that they can be remembered for long after the local government term has ended.

These were the words of the Head of Department of Local Government and Human Settlements in Bokone Bophirima, Ephraim Motoko at a session yesterday, to train councillors and managers on the regulation on the appointment, conditions of employment and disciplinary regulations of employment of senior managers.

We need to turn around the situation at our municipalities by appointing people with the relevant expertise and qualifications in line with the relevant pieces of legislation. We can only re-brand local government when we have a good administration that is able to respond to the needs of our communities'', he said.

Motoko said municipalities cannot fully executive their functions due to the high vacancy rate of key positions. He called on councillors to appointment people with the necessary expertise in order to turn around the situation in local government in the province.

The training programme which started yesterday and will run until today, 06 December, follows a commitment by the department and its sister department of Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs during a visit by Minister Desmond van Rooyen, to assist municipalities to with recruitment and selection processes to fill up vacant positions of senior managers.

Lack of administrative capacity due to high vacancy levels especially in senior management, has previously been cited as a character in dysfunctional municipalities. In the province, as at end of September 2017, out of a total of 142 senior management positions, only 58 were filled.

Source: Government of South Africa

North West Local Government hosts session to train provincial ...

Municipalities taken through recruitment processes to fast track appointments of senior managers

The current municipal councils must create a legacy that they can be remembered for long after the local government term has ended.

These were the words of the Head of Department of Local Government and Human Settlements in Bokone Bophirima, Ephraim Motoko at a session yesterday, to train councillors and managers on the regulation on the appointment, conditions of employment and disciplinary regulations of employment of senior managers.

We need to turn around the situation at our municipalities by appointing people with the relevant expertise and qualifications in line with the relevant pieces of legislation. We can only re-brand local government when we have a good administration that is able to respond to the needs of our communities'', he said.

Motoko said municipalities cannot fully executive their functions due to the high vacancy rate of key positions. He called on councillors to appointment people with the necessary expertise in order to turn around the situation in local government in the province.

The training programme which started yesterday and will run until today, 06 December, follows a commitment by the department and its sister department of Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs during a visit by Minister Desmond van Rooyen, to assist municipalities to with recruitment and selection processes to fill up vacant positions of senior managers.

Lack of administrative capacity due to high vacancy levels especially in senior management, has previously been cited as a character in dysfunctional municipalities. In the province, as at end of September 2017, out of a total of 142 senior management positions, only 58 were filled.

Source: Government of South Africa

North West Local Government hosts session to train provincial ...

Municipalities taken through recruitment processes to fast track appointments of senior managers

The current municipal councils must create a legacy that they can be remembered for long after the local government term has ended.

These were the words of the Head of Department of Local Government and Human Settlements in Bokone Bophirima, Ephraim Motoko at a session yesterday, to train councillors and managers on the regulation on the appointment, conditions of employment and disciplinary regulations of employment of senior managers.

We need to turn around the situation at our municipalities by appointing people with the relevant expertise and qualifications in line with the relevant pieces of legislation. We can only re-brand local government when we have a good administration that is able to respond to the needs of our communities'', he said.

Motoko said municipalities cannot fully executive their functions due to the high vacancy rate of key positions. He called on councillors to appointment people with the necessary expertise in order to turn around the situation in local government in the province.

The training programme which started yesterday and will run until today, 06 December, follows a commitment by the department and its sister department of Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs during a visit by Minister Desmond van Rooyen, to assist municipalities to with recruitment and selection processes to fill up vacant positions of senior managers.

Lack of administrative capacity due to high vacancy levels especially in senior management, has previously been cited as a character in dysfunctional municipalities. In the province, as at end of September 2017, out of a total of 142 senior management positions, only 58 were filled.

Source: Government of South Africa

Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla hands over house to 93-year-old ...

The Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Hon. Thabang Makwetla, will on 6 December 2017 visit Mzenge location in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape, and handover a house to a 93 year old Ms Harriet Mfolozi, currently staying in a mud house with her unemployed 30 year old grandson.

A gesture of this nature is well in line with the nation-wide programme in the rehabilitation of inmates through offender skills whereby offenders are given an opportunity to correct their wrong doing by giving back to communities. Correctional Services is thus championing a focused offender rehabilitation and reintegration programme as a symbol of its commitment in creating a just society.

With the building material donated by various donors, the house in its entirety was constructed by inmates from Kokstad Management Area as part of its skills development programme.

Source: Government of South Africa

Statistics South Africa releases Gross domestic product, 5 Dec

Statistics South Africa to release Gross domestic product (GDP), Q3 2017

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will release the Gross domestic product (GDP) estimates for the third quarter of 2017 at a media briefing to be held on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 in Pretoria.

Source: Government of South Africa