Daily Archives: July 30, 2016

South Africa/Kenya: Amajimbos Cruise Into the Final of Cosafa Cup

South Africa u17 men’s National team walloped Kenya 4-0 to storm into the final of the ongoing COSAFA Cup u17 tournament currently taking place in Mauritius.

Kenya received entry back into the competition after Group B winners Zambia were disqualified for fielding two over-age players.

Amajimbos reached the final with a 100 percent record having accounted for Seychelles and Namibia in the past two games before walloping Kenya in the final third game.

Starting line-ups:

South Africa XI:

Glen Baadjies, Luke Fleurs, Sechaba Mokoena, Lethabo Mazibuko, Nkanyiso Shinga, Mjabulise Mkhize, Bonga Dladla, Lina Mchilizeli, Luke Le Roux, Thabiso Monyane, Siphamandla Ntuli.

Subs:

Tshepo Mohui, Malesela Langa, Tyreese Pillay, Sabelo Radebe, Ndamolelo Radzilane, S’miso Bophela.

Kenya XI:

George Ouma, Thomas Muya, Daniel Wambua, Clinton Machaka, John Njuguna, Zidane Karume, Jeremy Muriithi, Muthoka Mulei, Prince Boit, Eric Muriithi, Brian Omutanyi.

Subs:

Ahmed Omar, Brian Otieno, Ibrahim Onnangwe, Lewis Wanjala, Biron Lukale, Telvin Njeri, Boniface Odhiambo, Kenneth Karungari, Isaac Omoke.

Source: South African Football Association.

South Africa: Crucial Local Vote for Ruling ANC

South Africans vote in municipal elections next week and the ruling ANC could suffer substantial losses. It is unclear how Jacob Zuma’s record as a scandal-prone president will affect the outcome.

South African President Jacob Zuma is under severe pressure as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) contests municipal elections next week. Zuma, who is president of the ANC as well of the country, is touring South Africa ahead of the polls on 3 August, lashing out at the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), which he promised to “crush.”

Zuma sings struggle songs, dances and lambasts the DA as the party of apartheid and oppression. But many South Africans see this as an attempt to deflect attention away from the failings of his own party.

His insistence that the ANC is the only party with a struggle history has a hollow ring for many people at the grassroots level, because inequality and poverty has not declined but grown in post-apartheid South Africa. Nelson Mandela’s former party of liberation suffers from infighting and loss of credibility.

Scandals

“This is a critical election for the ANC. The party has been racked by a variety of scandals, many associated with the leadership of Jacob Zuma himself,” political commentator Daniel Silke told DW. “Zuma is now a controversial figure in South African politics and even within his own party, he seems to be facing a degree of opposition.”

Political scandals, cronyism and corruption have damaged the ANC’s prospects. It is fighting these elections with a president who fired two finance ministers in the space of a week at the end of last year, and who was embroiled in a scandal over the misuse public funds for the modernization of his home in Nkandla in rural Kwazulu-Natal. Just this week the Constitutional Court ruled that the president has to pay back about $500,000 (450,000 euros) in taxpayers’ money within 45 days. The move came after lengthy legal proceeddings initiated by opposition parties. Zuma defeated an oppostion bid to impeach him and apologized to the nation.

Inequality breeds frustration

Africa’s most industrialized country suffers from slow economic growth and the official unemployment rate is now as high as 27 percent. Inequality is a source of deep frustration among South Africans. “We have underperformed economically since 1994. We have succeeded in some aspects of social redress but we were unable to grow the economy and absorb new job seekers,” Silke said.

Economic stagnation paired with mismanagement is scaring away foreign investors. South Africans showed their dissatisfaction with their government by joining daily social delivery protests that grew more and more violent and destructive. Schoola and libraries have been burned down and people have been injured in many townships.

Violence is also challenging the integrity of the elections. Several candidates, most of them from the ANC, have been murdered over the past few months. At least 12 were killed in KwaZulu-Natal. Fourteen people have been arrested following a parliamentary probe into what are believed to be politically motivated killings.

Ruling party vulnerable

South Africa may be voting in local elections next week, but, according to Silke, they also amount to an unofficial referendum on the quality of political leadership and the broader economic direction in which South Africa is heading. “The ANC is probably at its most vulnerable since 1994 and its support has been slipping marginally. As a result we are seeing a much more competitive election then ever before,” he said.

Aubrey Matshiqi, political analyst with the Helen Suzman Foundation, has his doubts about some of the forecasts being made about the outcome of these elections.

“We only know the ANC will lose some level of support, but I am not sure if it is as deep as analysts are assuming,” she said.

The image crisis surrounding Jacob Zuma will not determine the outcome of these elections on its own. There are many reasons why South Africans might vote, or not vote, for the ruling party. “If people vote for the ANC, it does not mean they are expressing their approval for Zuma, the party leader,” Matshiqi added.

Support for the ANC is declining. In 2009 the party received 66 percent of the vote nationwide; in 2014 it won 62 percent, but in some major urban areas the ruling party barely garnered 50 percent. Silke said the ANC still has a secure grip on power nationwide. The political battleground next week will be the metropolitan areas, especially the capital Pretoria and the Nelson Mandela Bay area around Port Elizabeth, where the ANC could face heavy losses. If the ANC polls less than 50 percent, it might be forced to enter a coalition with one of its opponents in several metropolitan municipalities, including areas in Johannesburg, for the first time.

Matshiqi insists, though, that the prospect of coalitions be kept in its proper perspective. There are more than 200 municipalities. “In the majority of cases, there will be no need for a coalition,” she said.

Opposition parties set to gain

Silke said many South Africans are disillusioned and more prepared then ever to vote for other parties. What do opposition parties have to offer them? “The DA has shown in the Western Cape and the city of Cape Town that they can govern successfully, that is their trump card,” said Silke. “They show greater efficiency and ability to roll out services to the people and have a cleaner administration than the ANC.” They were long seen as a party of big business dominated by white people, but the election of Mmusi Maimane as its first black leader after the 2014 elections could draw votes especially from middle-class blacks.

The far left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with its radical leader Julius Malema is a relatively new group in the political arena and claims to represent the poor. Since its formation in 2013, the EFF has grown to become the third largest party in parliament. It has no track record in government, but could play the kingmaker in local councils that need a coalition to govern, Silke said.

Zuma’s leadership

Sileke believes the long term challenge for the ANC is how to resolve factionalism. “There is a substantial body of senior members of the party who like to reboot and reform the economic policies to become more investor friendly and others who want to protect their vested interests that have become part and parcel of ANC politics in the last 20 years,” he said.

Silke also said the ANC will “see some electoral shocks” which could mean “reviewing policy lines” and “perhaps the end to Jacob Zuma’s leadership.”

Matshiqi disagrees and is “not persuaded that this election will deliver political realignment and a dramatic shift in support for the ANC.”

Source: Deutsche Welle.

South African Win At Google Science Fair

Using orange and avocado peels, a 16-year-old South African could hold the solution to the country’s water woes.

Kiara Nirghin, who is from Johannesburg, has won the Google Science Fair Community Impact Award in the Africa/Middle East region with her entry, “No More Thirsty Crops”. She is also one of the 16 global finalists for the annual awards, to be held at the Google headquarters in the US in September.

Kiara, a St Martin’s High School pupil, admitted she had a natural curiosity and questioning nature which had led her down the path of science.

“I have always had a great love for chemistry since I was young,” she told the Google Science Fair. “I vividly remember at the age of seven experimenting with vinegar and baking soda solutions in plastic cups.”

Food and chemistry were linked in the intertwined science web, she added. “I love molecular gastronomy and the application of scientific principles in food creation.”

It seemed natural then that she could have found a possible solution to South Africa’s drought in, what else, but food.

Kiara created an absorbent polymer from orange and avocado peels that was able to act as a water retainer in soil.

According to the Google Science Fair website, it should be able to “to retain large amounts of water and combat the effects of drought on crops by retaining soil moisture, whilst still recycling waste products of the juice manufacturing industry”.

She hopes because it is low cost, it will be able to help farmers save both money and crops.

If she won the competition, Kiara said she would be wonderfully elated. “With the prize I will hope to continue my studies in science, but also further the scientific development and application of my idea, and in addition extend scientific progress in elevating the problems that South Africa faces in food security and sustainable agricultural development,” she said.

Source: SouthAfrica.info.

Zimbabwe: Government Issues 6 000 Import Licences, 75 Percent to South African Products

GOVERNMENT has issued over 6 000 import certificates, with three quarters of those for South African products, five months after it tightened the flow of imports to curb dumping of substandard products onto the local market.

The southern African country enforced a Consignment-Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) programme in March this year under Statutory Instrument 132 of 2015 to ensure that the goods imported into Zimbabwe comply with accepted quality.

A French company Bureau Veritas, has been contracted to enforce the import standards.

South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner, accounting for about 70 percent of imported goods in the southern African country and over 60 percent of its total trade, official figures show.

“It has been observed that most certificates were issued on imports coming from South Africa constituting 75 percent, followed by China, and the rest of the world,” said the minister of Industry and Commerce Mike Bimha at the launch of Bureau Veritas office in Harare.

A total of 6,004 CBCA certificates have been issued so far, Bimha added.

The import policing programme has seen a general improvement in quality and the number of consignments failing to meet standards has fallen to 44 percent from 67 percent since March when it started.

About 58 percent of the accepted imports are for chemical, machinery and food products as well as electrical equipment.

The majority of failures are mostly electrical equipment and machinery, plastics and chemical products, Bimha added.

Zimbabwe has been battling a tide of cheap and predominantly substandard products from China and neighbouring countries, which has pushed its own manufacturing industry on the brink and widened its trade deficit.

In 2015, it registered a trade deficit of US$3,3 billion, about a fifth of its GDP, after exports for the full year to December amounted to $2,7 billion against imports of $6 billion.

A similar trend is expected this year as the manufacturing sector remains flat amid a worsening cash shortage.

Source: Financial Gazette.

South Africa: LGE 2016 – All DA Mayors and Councillors Will Sign Performance Agreements Before Assuming Office

Heading into the 2016 Local Government Elections on Tuesday, 03 August 2016, the DA commits unequivocally that all DA Mayors and Councillors elected will be held accountable for the delivery of services to the millions of South Africans desperately in need. This will be by having all elected Mayors and Councillors sign performance agreements committing to delivering better services and creating jobs through stopping corruption.

To this end the DA will not hesitate to take swift action against those who fail to deliver for the people they have been elected to serve.

DA Councillor and Mayoral Candidates have gone through the DA’s rigorous selection process to emerge as the best and most diverse candidates to bring the change that so many municipalities need, and to keep making progress in the municipalities where we already govern.

All DA candidates will sign a pledge undertaking to put the needs of residents first through the implementation of good, clean and efficient governance practices.

It is the DA’s pledge to South Africa that all DA candidates will face thorough internal assessments and those who are not performing will be dealt with in accordance with the party’s Federal Constitution.

Following the 03 August Local Government Elections, the DA will bring good, honest government which is close to the people and responsive to their everyday needs. To do this, the DA has waged war on corruption that steals from our people and we expect our candidates to live this mantra in every day of their service to the people.

Further to this the DA believes that our role is both to redress the past and to build one nation with one future, based on the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity. This vision and these values guide our selection of candidates. Our candidates understand our country’s painful past and must understand the role that they ought to play in redress and reconciliation.

Since 2011, ANC-run municipalities have plainly shown in this 5-year term of local government that they have abandoned the communities which they vowed to serve in pursuit of self-interest and self-enrichment.

To the contrary, the DA’s flagship Metro government in Cape Town has delivered the best services, while ANC governments in many municipalities have been marred by maladministration and billions of rands in wasted public money. The exorbitant R19.4 billion in irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in ANC Metros shows how little the ANC cares for effective delivery.

The DA is an evolving and changing party, and where we govern, we govern well. We are ready to bring change to Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and other municipalities across South Africa – change that will move South Africa forward again.

Source: Democratic Alliance.