Category Archives: Science & Technology

Police appeal for information on missing persons

The Police in Lebowakgomo outside Polokwane have launched a search operation for two missing persons, 16-year-old teenager Keletso Mphahlele from Lenting village in the Ga-Mphahlele area and 75-year-old elderly man from Staanplaas village in the Ga-Chuene area.

It is alleged that the 16-year-old left her home on Monday 10 September 2018. She allegedly travelled together with her mother in a bus, going to school and her mother going to work. When the mother got home in the afternoon, her daughter was nowhere to be found. She was reportedly wearing school uniform, blue skirt, white shirt and a blue pull over.

In another incident, a 75-year-old man, Frank Rakgoroane, residing at Staanplaas Ga-Chuene also disappeared. It is alleged that the elderly man left home on Tuesday 11 September 2018 at about 14:00. He did not inform anyone where he was going.

The family tried to locate him, particularly at a usual place Sedimothole Seleteng where he regularly visit with no success. He was last seen by his daughter wearing a black cowboy hat, maroon jacket and black long trouser with light brown tekkies.

An attempt by the police and family to look for the two at relatives and friends did not yield any positive results.

Source: South African Police Service

Kekana wants coding to be compulsory at school

Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana says coding should be introduced as a compulsory subject in schools in order to put the upcoming South African generation on par with international standards.

Once we start teaching our children coding from an early age, it will give them the skills to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Kekana said.

The Deputy Minister, together with the Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu and the Deputy Minister of Telecommunications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, joined other women in a high-level panel discussion on promoting information and communication technology (ICT) opportunities for women empowerment.

The panel discussion took place on Thursday at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World Conference 2018 in Durban.

Kekana said South Africa needs to adopt deliberate and measurable targets to bridge the gender divide in the ICT sector.

We need to [teach] young girls to code at a young age

Does gender parity always translate into women empowerment because we can put women [in top management positions] but not be able to put [them in] an enabling environment that will allow them to pull up other women as they rise. This is a challenge that we need to address, she said.

Opportunities for women

The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has committed to provide training to 100 women a year per province in digital literacy. It is also providing the Girls-who-Code programme, targeting 100 girls.

Ndabeni-Abrahams said she will launch a multi-stakeholder consultative forum in October to devise a strategy towards collaborating for the programme.

If we are to derive an effective economic spin-off in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we have to build a capable army. We realise that a capable army can’t be capable if there are no women, the Deputy Minister said.

Zulu said the role to narrow the digital divide related to gender equality requires a combined effort from government and the private sector.

Government, the private sector, academia and entrepreneurs themselves all have different roles in strengthening the ICT ecosystem for women.

There is a need for a centre where policymakers, entrepreneurs, financiers, academics, start-up communities, technology companies, State development agencies and civil society can come together to address the challenges and opportunities of the changing environment, Zulu said.

The Minister emphasised the importance of understanding the requirements that drives the need to create economic opportunities and provide solutions to the daily challenges faced by South Africans as paramount to bridging the digital innovation divide.

According to Zulu, her department has for the past three years exceeded the public service target of 50% women in Senior Management Service positions.

Given that our top portfolios are occupied by women, this suggests that when we plan and implement, there is a strong presence of capable women senior managers, she said.

The Department of Small Business Development, supported by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), has the women in ICT incubator called Bandwidth Barn.

The incubator assists women-owned ICT businesses to grow and build their contacts.

The South African Parliament has approximately 44% female Members of Parliament, ranging from Ministers to political party leaders, the Minister said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Tourism on cooperation between South Africa and Palestine

The Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom together with his Palestinian counterpart, HE Rula Ma’Ayah Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of the State of Palestine today signed a land mark tourism cooperation agreement between the countries at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg

The cooperation agreement was preceded by a bilateral discussion between the two countries on the occasion of Minister Ma’ Ayah official visit to South Africa.

We encourage South Africans to visit Palestine. We know that there are obstacles, but we are confident that just like us, the people of Palestine will find peace soon. We stand in solidarity with the world in finding lasting solutions on the Palestinian question, said Minister Hanekom in his welcoming remarks to the State of Palestine delegation.

In her response to Minister Hanekom’s remarks, Minister Ma’Ayah expressed her gratitude on behalf of the people of Palestine for the continued support from South Africa including multilateral efforts in finding lasting peace.

Palestine is a holy place with a number of different religious sites. We have 2.7 million tourists visiting Palestine each year, despite the fact that we do not have a single airport. This agreement is therefore very important milestone towards increasing South African visits to Palestine, said Minister Ma’Ayah.

We are happy to visit on the centenary year of Madiba, because we regard him as a symbol of justice for the world, and justice is important to our people, concluded Minister Ma’Ayah, before the signing ceremony commenced.

The areas of cooperation as stipulated in the MoU are:

The exchange of tourism information;

Private sector cooperation, including mutual participation in tourism festivals, fairs, seminars, conferences and other tourism events held in the two countries;

Tourism investments, including public sector investments into the development and implementation of tourism; and

Capacity building.

Following the signing, both ministers undertook a tour of the iconic Constitutional Hill precinct, including its erstwhile Women’s Jail section and the Constitutional Court Chamber before proceeding for a working lunch and a tour of Vilakazi Street in Soweto.

Full diplomatic relations between South Africa and the State of Palestine were established in 1995, and this led to the opening of a Palestinian Embassy in South Africa in the same year. This gave expression to the strong and long standing ties of friendship and mutual support between the people of South Africa and Palestine.

Source: Government of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICAN TABLE GRAPE INDUSTRY EXPECTS BETTER YIELD THIS YEAR ...

CAPE TOWN–The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) says farmers are expecting a positive yield this year despite a gruelling previous two seasons brought on by drought which has persisted in southern Africa for more than two years.

SATI Chief Executive Officer Willem Bestbier said Tuesday that a yield of 70 million cartons was expected this season after a reduction of nearly 10 per cent last year.

Two years ago, the drought nearly brought table grape farmers in the Olifants River region to their knees. For many, it was the worst drought in many decades and losses of more than 100 million Rand (about 6.6 million US dollars) were recorded.

Last year, production was down by 30 per cent in the five table grape-growing regions of the country, with the three in Western Cape Province and Olifants River in the northern part of South Africa, in particular, suffering the most.

Bestbier said it would take years for many producers to recover, but crop estimates for the whole industry this year looked very promising. If conditions continued to be favourable, this season could be record-breaking, he added.

Dam levels are just close to double what it was last year but now it depends on how the plant, the vine, responds a year after a severe drought. Remember, we’ve had three (years) of drought. So that’s the signs we don’t fully understand yet,” he said.

“But we are hopeful, the vineyard or the vine is a robust plant and the available signs are that it will recover fairly quickly.

While the rains are the most important factor, there was also an increase in the number of new vineyards planted. More than 5,000 new hectares will be coming into full production this season and the entire value chain will benefit from the improved situation.

Bestbier said: Growers tried to preserve the job opportunities as best as they could, and they’ve achieved pretty good in doing that but remember we’re also talking about expansion of hectares and with every hectare in our industry does provide new jobs so we’re projecting growth in the long run again.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Police warn of lawlessness by community

Police Management in the province are warning members of the community to stop unbecoming conduct during the airing of grievances and other related incidences. This is after the community of Machadodorp prevented the local police from attending to complaints yesterday morning, 11 September 2018.

The community stormed the local police station and blocked the way utilising their vehicles, so that police officers could not move out and attend to complaints. At the time another group was busy looting a local shop and by the time police could move out, the shop was already set on fire.

Section 205 of the Constitution states that the police are tasked with, inter alia, maintaining public order and enforcing the law. Any person who in anyway whatsoever, causes police to derail from this mandate shall be dealt with in the harshest possible way.

Late yesterday, the community blockaded the road and in the process burnt two trucks. No arrests have been made as yet and investigation continues.

All the commotion sarted after two men from a local security company allegedly assaulted a community member on Monday, 10 September 2018, an incident captured on video which has gone viral on social media. It seems that the problem started when the victim had a fight with another man employed by a local businessman (whose shop was later burnt) who alerted the security company, hence the assault.

Meanwhile the two men in question, Bruce Botha aged 29 and Wayne Swart aged 20, were arrested yesterday, charged with assault to cause grievous bodily harm and appeared at the Belfast Magistrate’s Court. They were remanded in custody and ordered to reappear at the same court on Friday, 14 September 2018, pending a formal bail application.

Management want to assure the community that the assault incident is receiving attention, therefore urge community members to be at ease and allow police to do their job. Furthermore members of the community are urged to refrain from destroying property and infrastructure when having concerns, no matter how strongly they may feel regarding any matter but vigilantism and violence are not a solution.

The allegation that police arrived at the scene during the alleged assault and did nothing is currently under an internal investigation. At this moment the police management are aware of allegations that police fear to intervene should a certain race be on the wrong side of the law but will act swiftly when the perpetrator is of another race, such narratives are baseless and false. Police in the province carry out their duties without any fear, favour or prejudice without looking at the colour, race or creed of the parties involved.

The complaint that police took the suspects to court without inviting the complainant, is because this was a first appearance, the complainant will be given feedback regarding the investigation and be summoned to court in due course.

Police are currently investigating following charges: two of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, arson, public violence and malicious damage to property. The situation around Machadodorp is being closely monitored.

Source: South African Police Service

Police warn of lawlessness by community

Police Management in the province are warning members of the community to stop unbecoming conduct during the airing of grievances and other related incidences. This is after the community of Machadodorp prevented the local police from attending to complaints yesterday morning, 11 September 2018.

The community stormed the local police station and blocked the way utilising their vehicles, so that police officers could not move out and attend to complaints. At the time another group was busy looting a local shop and by the time police could move out, the shop was already set on fire.

Section 205 of the Constitution states that the police are tasked with, inter alia, maintaining public order and enforcing the law. Any person who in anyway whatsoever, causes police to derail from this mandate shall be dealt with in the harshest possible way.

Late yesterday, the community blockaded the road and in the process burnt two trucks. No arrests have been made as yet and investigation continues.

All the commotion sarted after two men from a local security company allegedly assaulted a community member on Monday, 10 September 2018, an incident captured on video which has gone viral on social media. It seems that the problem started when the victim had a fight with another man employed by a local businessman (whose shop was later burnt) who alerted the security company, hence the assault.

Meanwhile the two men in question, Bruce Botha aged 29 and Wayne Swart aged 20, were arrested yesterday, charged with assault to cause grievous bodily harm and appeared at the Belfast Magistrate’s Court. They were remanded in custody and ordered to reappear at the same court on Friday, 14 September 2018, pending a formal bail application.

Management want to assure the community that the assault incident is receiving attention, therefore urge community members to be at ease and allow police to do their job. Furthermore members of the community are urged to refrain from destroying property and infrastructure when having concerns, no matter how strongly they may feel regarding any matter but vigilantism and violence are not a solution.

The allegation that police arrived at the scene during the alleged assault and did nothing is currently under an internal investigation. At this moment the police management are aware of allegations that police fear to intervene should a certain race be on the wrong side of the law but will act swiftly when the perpetrator is of another race, such narratives are baseless and false. Police in the province carry out their duties without any fear, favour or prejudice without looking at the colour, race or creed of the parties involved.

The complaint that police took the suspects to court without inviting the complainant, is because this was a first appearance, the complainant will be given feedback regarding the investigation and be summoned to court in due course.

Police are currently investigating following charges: two of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, arson, public violence and malicious damage to property. The situation around Machadodorp is being closely monitored.

Source: South African Police Service

BELGIUM SUPPORTS SOUTH AFRICA’S LAND REFORM EFFORTS

PRETORIA– Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and and Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders has declared his country’s full backing for South Africa’s ongoing land reform efforts whihch involves expropriation of land without compensation.

Speaking at a joint media briefing with South African International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu at the conclusion of a working visit here Monday, he said: We are sure that we need to be firm on the issue of land reform because from the beginning of the reconciliation process, land reform was the focus.

He acknowledged that Section 25 of the South African Constitution was being reviewed through a parliamentary process. There is an importance of the process to be smooth, Reynders said.

He added that Belgium’s position was that the process needed to be balanced. We don’t want to [later] express extreme views. We have already seen so many views across the world. We have to try to work together to better understand and be sure that it’s a balanced process with the capacity to take into account all the interests of the citizens, he said.

Sisulu said she had during discussions assured Reynders that South Africa was educating the world about where the country stood on land as the position had been misunderstood. I assured him that we are doing something about it. We are educating the world about what we are doing to redistribute the land, she said.

The two Ministers signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance co-operation between the two countries.

As South Africa we enjoy good bilateral relations with Belgium. These relations are based on shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy and similar approach to a number of international issues, particularly peace and security, Sisulu said.

South Africa and Belgium occupy a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2019- 2020 term.

We used this meeting to among other things deepen our bilateral ties and to enhance continuous cooperation on peace and security issues, particularly those on the agenda of the UNSC. We also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, such as the fight against racism, human rights, migration, climate and ecological changes, amongst others, Sisulu said.

The Minsters said the main objectives of the meeting was to expand and strengthen bilateral relations, revitalize economic relations with a focus on Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and Tourism.

Belgium invested 10.11 billion Rand (about 665 million US dollars) into the South African economy in 2017, creating more than 1,000 job opportunities for people.

As we prepare for the upcoming Investor Conference in October 2018 which is aimed at attracting 1.3 trillion Rand investment into the country, we are certain that Belgium is already part of the investment drive and will send its business representatives to the conference, she said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

WATCH: Outsurance, SAFA Partnership Announcement

OUTsurance today announced a new partnership with SAFA which will see the insurer invest over R50m over a five-year period as the sponsor of the match officials.

This unique partnership will afford OUTsurance high visibility on-field at all ABSA Premier Soccer League, National First Division, ABC Motsepe League, SAB League, SASOL Women’s League and all cup matches. The sponsorship extends beyond branded apparel. At the core of this sponsorship is the development of refereeing in South Africa, to the benefit of both players and supporters.

Source: South African Football Association