Category Archives: Politics

No decision to move SAA to Transport portfolio

Government has not taken a decision to move South African Airways (SAA) out of the National Treasury to the Department of Transport.

The Presidency said in a statement on Sunday it had noted media reports suggesting that government had taken a decision to move the state-owned enterprise to the transport portfolio.

The reports are incorrect. No such decision had been taken by government, said the Presidency.

It said while there are many views about where certain entities may be better located as government continues to look for ways of improving the performance of state-owned enterprises that does not translate into a decision.

SAA remains located at the National Treasury where it will continue to receive support and guidance as it rebuilds itself following the appointment of a new Board and CEO, it said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

President Zuma to officially open the Dumisani Makhaye Drive

President Jacob Zuma will today, 02 December 2017, officially open for public use the new Dumisani Makhaye Drive (Main Road 577) in Clermont, Durban as part of Government's nationwide programme of infrastructure development.

The completion of the R1.3 billion road infrastructure project makes it the biggest road infrastructure development in the country in five years and epitomises government's service delivery excellence. For the first time, the road will connect, among others, the communities of Newlands, KwaMashu, Inanda, KwaDabeka, Clermont and Pinetown.

Significantly, the road will also be a new, alternative route to the King Shaka International Airport for traffic coming from the Pietermaritzburg and Pinetown areas, which will now ease traffic congestion on the N2/ N3 interchange.

The road is being named after the late struggle hero, Mr Dumisani Makhaye, who also served in various capacities including as MEC in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council.

The naming of the road is part of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government's Roads Naming and Renaming Legacy Project, which is aimed at naming and renaming roads and bridges infrastructure in the province's roads network to help communities reclaim their historical legacy, pride and heritage by giving new, meaningful names to new and existing provincial roads and bridges.

The completion of the main road works, which paves the way for the use of the road by members of the public, especially motorists, is a major step in the government's drive to create easy access for communities for socio-economic development.

The Dumisani Makhaye Drive spans the uMngeni River and provides a strategic link between Duffs Road in KwaMashu to Dinkelman in New Germany. It cuts off a massive 16 kilometers for traffic using N3 to connect to N2, and will help eradicate the legacy of colonialism and apartheid-based spatial planning.

Source: The presidency Republic of South Africa

New acting DDG for Treasury’s Budget Office

National Treasury has appointed Ian Stuart as the acting Deputy Director General for the Budget Office.

Stuart will replace Michael Sachs, who left Treasury to join the public service in a different capacity.

Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba, congratulated Mr Stuart on his appointment as the acting head of the Budget Office, and wished him well in his role.

The Minister again thanked Sachs for his unwavering service, strong commitment and significant contribution he made to Treasury over the years, Treasury said.

Stuart brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his previous deployment as the Chief Director for Fiscal Policy in the Budget Office, a position he has held since August 2015.

The primary role of the Fiscal Policy Unit is to set the fiscal stance where Stuart's responsibilities included being the lead author on fiscal policy matters for South African Budget documents and the Budget speech; and Public Financial Management Advisor for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In addition to the experience, Stuart holds a MComm Economics (cum laude) from the Stellenbosch University; an Honours in Economics; and an Honours Philosophy (cum laude), among other qualifications.

Source: South African Government News Agency

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE BRIEFED ON BASIC EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT (BELA) ...

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Basic Education today received a briefing on the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill. The Committee assured the public that once the Bill comes before Parliament, public participation will take place.

Today's meeting was for Committee Members to hear about the impact of the proposed amendments on the school community from the Department of Basic Education (DBE). Committee Chairperson Ms Nomalungelo Gina indicated that the draft Bill has not yet been referred to Parliament, as it must still go through processes within the DBE.

We realised that the Bill has drawn a lot of media and public attention and therefore requested this meeting. When the Bill is referred to us next year, we will open it for public comments so as to familiarise ourselves with the concern of the people, Ms Gina said.

The Committee welcomed the fact that the DBE has given an undertaking to extend the deadline for public comments on the Bill until 10 January 2018. This will give the public a chance to give inputs, said Ms Gina. Furthermore, the process of public participation does not end there. Once the Bill is introduced in Parliament next year, the Committee will begin its own public participation process, as it realises the importance of input from the public.

The purpose of the draft Bill is to amend the South African Schools Act of 1996 and the Employment of Educators Act of 1998, so as to align them with developments in the education landscape. The Bill also aims to ensure that systems of learning and excellence in education are put in place in a manner that respects, protects, promotes and fulfils the right to basic education enshrined in section 29(1) of the Constitution. The proposed draft Bill includes amendments to an increase in penalty provision for a person who prevents compulsory school attendance; admission of learners to public schools; the language policy in public schools; a code of conduct that includes diverse cultural beliefs and religious observance of learners; prohibition of liquor on school premises; and limitations to the powers of school governing bodies (SGBs).

The Deputy Minister of the DBE, Mr Enver Surty, told the Committee that the Bill stems from incidents in which the religious and cultural rights of learners were infringed and the rights of authority in the appointment of educators, which have led to legal rulings from the courts. The Committee heard the DBE will consider all comments made on the Bill.

Ms Gina emphasised in closing the importance of today's meeting, as it gave Committee Members an opportunity to highlight issues and concerns for the DBE's consideration.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Give Women Greater Role in Industry to Cut Poverty, Urges UN Executive

VIENNA �Women need to be given a greater role in industries in poorer nations to meet the global goal of cutting poverty by 2030, the head of the United Nations industrial development agency said on Monday after being voted in for a second term.

Li Yong said empowering women will be a priority in his second four-year stint as director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which oversees about 860 projects to boost economic growth and tackle poverty.

Data shows about half of the world's women are in the labor force compared with about 75 percent of men, hold less senior roles and earn on average 60 to 75 percent of what men make.

But studies repeatedly show that more women working accelerates economic growth, while women also invest more of their income into families to educate children and end poverty.

"We need to look at how our projects help women's empowerment and job creation," Li, formerly of China's Ministry of Finance, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview at UNIDO's 17th General Conference in Vienna.

"Lots of projects like agro-industry are related to women's empowerment ... and one part of our evaluation is to look at women's empowerment, at training, at jobs, all those things that are very concrete measures."

Li was widely praised in his first term in office for re-establishing UNIDO as a key development organization in the U.N. system with a mission to promote industry as a driver to create jobs, boost prosperity, and reduce poverty.

Some countries had questioned the purpose and effectiveness of UNIDO, one of 15 specialized U.N. agencies, and some nations withdrew funding in the past decade including Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada and France.

Climate Change

Representatives of UNIDO's 168 member states, however, said Li had changed the focus to support developing countries and find ways to build sustainable, environmentally friendly businesses using fewer resources, less energy and generating less waste.

He had also encouraged public and private, local and international partnerships such as setting up agro-industrial parks and introducing clean tanning technology to India's leather industry.

One of the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals, an agenda to be reached by 2030, acknowledges industrialization as a key driver of sustained economic sustainability and prosperity.

Li said UNIDO's core mission had never been more relevant.

He said poverty, employment and hunger remain major challenges, exacerbated by climate change, resource depletion, environmental degradation and the potential impact of new technology which will cut jobs, with women to be worst hit.

Africa remained a priority, but climate change meant thinking differently about manufacturing, particularly in low-lying small island nations with limited resources, he said.

Such nations import expensive crude oil to generate power, he said.

"I said to them 'Open your eyes. Expand your vision.'" said Li. "If they could use renewable power, like solar or maybe tidal ... they can manage their fishing industry, or tourism, and expand job creation."

He said the Pacific island nations of Kiribati and the Marshall Islands had joined UNIDO in the past two years and others were keen to follow suit.

"Our work is very relevant to their economic development," he said.

Source: Voice of America

Minister of Police together with SAPS engaged with stakeholder ...

The Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula today, met with the community leaders of Helenvale, Port Elizabeth. Helenvale is an area engulfed by drugs and gangster violence. This forms part of Minister Mbalula's ongoing community visits, in mobilizing community to work together with the Police in fighting crime.

Minister Mbalula engaged with community leaders on how acts of gangsterism has taken over the streets of Helenvale. The community of this area expressed their intimidation and fears on speaking out as to who the perpetrators are, as this would risk the safety and surety of their own families. Minister Mbalula was also informed that gangsters have started to recruit young learners into their circles and further requested an urgent intervention which is needed to ensure the safety of these young learners.

These gangsters have started to recruit our children from schools, but as community leaders, we remain upbeat that working with the Police, we will defeat these criminals. Community commented.

Community leaders agreed to revive street committees, and appreciated the work done by Operation Command Centre (OCC). The OCC is an intelligence lead operation unit piloted in Port Elizabeth last year.

Since the introduction of OCC, we have seen more convictions being made and Police response being quicker Community Police Forum (CPF) leader said.

I applaud your presence Minister, we must work together in getting rid of illegal firearms. The Metro Police will work as a force multiplier to the Police. I also want to congratulate the Police gangster unit team, as they are doing a great job. MMC of Community Safety said.

In his responses Minister Mbalula, informed community leaders that, a Police station will be built and land has been secured. This will further strengthen the work of the Police in combating crime.

We cannot co-exist with criminals, we are oil and water. I don't want Police who are cowards, Police must understand, policing is a calling, it is a thankless job. As a police man or woman you risk your life and nobody will say thank you. Mbalula said.

In his conclusion, Minister Mbalula promised community leaders that he will be back, for further engagements and follow ups.

We came, we heard, we saw, in two weeks, I will be back, entering house by house, street by street, we will never allow gangsters to terrorize our.

Source: South African Police Service

Minister Mbalula welcomes new developments of arrests made on ...

Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula yesterday got a brief on the general crime in Marikana, as well as 11 people who died on the 29th of September 2017.

Following the release of crime statistics, which alluded alcohol as a major contributor in murders, the Police in Philippi East searched 337 unlicensed liquor premises.

Since the redeployment of the new station commander Colonel Mtakati, there has been 4 murder arrest, 4 carjacking, 7 house robberies, 9 business robbery, 24 assault GBH as well as 6 arrest on rape. These are regarded as serious crimes. I am happy with the work done, there has been progress in fighting crime in Phillipi. I am more than confident that we will win the war against criminals. Mbalula said.

In what can be described as a web of criminality, police arrested four of the five suspects believed to be behind the 11 murders that occurred in Marikana on 29 September 2017. With the last suspect still outstanding, SAPS Western Cape are confident they have broken the back of the group behind the senseless murders in the area. All four suspects can each be linked to more than one case. This is a clear indication that those who are doing crime in our communities are few, we must tighten the criminal justice system to ensure we don't have repeating offenders who terrorize communities. I must applaud the intelligence lead operation and our detectives for a job well done. Mbalula added.

There has been criticism in the past, in terms of the slow progress the SAPS has made in finalising the cases. Minister Mbalula urges our people to appreciate the complexity of cases that are being investigated. The following developments have been made thus far with regard to Marikana killings:

19 year old suspect arrested � Linked to Philippi East Murder. Firearm - retrieved and linked ballistic, arrested in Queenstown and appeared in Wynberg Court. The suspect was positively linked by means of ballistic evidence to 11 Marikana murders. The suspect is currently in Polsmoor.

Two brothers aged 23 and 24 arrested on Monday 13 November 2017 for murder, on Tuesday, 14 November 2017 they were positively linked. A relative of the two brothers aged 27 was arrested on Saturday, 11 November 2017 for an armed robbery case, he was also positively linked to the Marikana killings.

The last outstanding suspect is a 26 year old male. Police are following up all leads and an arrest is expected soon.

Prior to the 11 Marikana murders, 3 burned bodies were found and murder case was registered and investigated. Through an intelligence led operation, three suspects have been arrested

The following 3 suspects have been arrested. Most of the suspects that were arrested, can be linked to more than 1 serious case.

We must applaud the work done by our Police, but as a nation we must pause and reflect on the future of our Country, majority of these suspects are below the ages of 30. Communities are being tormented by the youth. Mbalula added.

The crime in the area has relatively dropped. This can be attributed to a number of interventions. Key among those, is community participation. I would like to applaud the efforts of the Phillipi East station management under the leadership of Colonel Bongani Mtakati who mobilised the community into neighborhood watches. About 500 of them will be inducted soon. They are already embarking on operations with the police in Phillipi East.

Minister Mbalula further urged communities to work close with the Police in fighting crime.

Source: South African Police Service

Provincial Commissioner praises investigators for securing hefty ...

NELSPRUIT: The Provincial Commissioner of the police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma praised the Investigating Team for the commitment and sterling work they have put in ensuring that another menace is removed from society and sent to where he belongs. His praises comes after a 24-year-old man was handed a thirty year prison sentence by the Eerstehoek Magistrates' Court at Elukwatini early this month, for raping three women around the Tjakastad area, near Badplaas.

The accused, Nhlanhla Surprise Mabuza's reign of terror was first realised in June 2013. On that year, Mabuza who was only 20 years old at the time, preyed on a 33-year-old woman who was on her way to fetch her children from their baby-sitter, at about 20:30, within the area. The accused manhandled the victim, overpowered and raped her. At that time, she could not recognise him as he was wearing balaclava. After her ordeal, a similar rape incident took place at another section within the area, in which a 16-year-old girl who was sent to a nearby tuck shop was accosted by an unknown man and forcefully taken to a secluded spot where he raped her.

Another incident took place two years later, in August 2015, in which two women who were sleeping in their shared room were accosted, robbed of cash and one of them raped.

During sentencing, the Magistrate praised the Investigating Team for being able to synergistically knit all evidence and positively linked the accused through blood samples and an assiduous investigation. He also thanked the victims for standing firm against their attacker by providing vital evidence that helped the court to pin down the villain, hence the meted sentence.

General Zuma believes that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to other potential offenders.

Source: South African Police Service