Monthly Archives: September 2016

UN refugee agency, African host countries agree on final steps on Rwandan refugees

The UN refugee agency and delegations from African countries as well as the African Union (AU) agreed today on final steps to end the protracted Rwandan refugee situation after seven years of negotiations.

This ministerial meeting, hosted by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, marks the last phase of a comprehensive solutions strategy for Rwandan refugees who fled their country between 1959 and 1998 to escape inter-ethnic violence and armed conflict, the agency said.

In a world where there are more than 21 million refugees, the focus should not just be on providing protection and humanitarian assistance, but on proactively identifying solutions. The meeting today constitutes a crucial step in providing solutions to the many Rwandans who sought refuge between 1959 and 1998, and in bringing one of Africa’s most protracted refugee situations to a close, said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The participants, who hailed from Rwanda as well as the major refugee host countries � Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, the Republic of Congo, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe � reaffirmed their commitment to bring the strategy, launched in October 2009, to its conclusion by the end of next year.

Highlighting the progress made since the last ministerial meeting on the Rwanda refugee situation, the governments reiterated their willingness to provide an alternative legal status to those refugees choosing to locally integrate and encouraged them to avail themselves of the opportunity.

All States confirmed that they will continue to promote the option of voluntary repatriation to Rwanda in safety and dignity, including by providing the refugees with comprehensive information on the conditions of return.

At the same time, UNHCR agreed to provide an enhanced return package, and to progressively transition from in-kind support to a more cash-based form of assistance to ensure their sustainable reintegration.

The countries that have invoked the cessation clause reassured that any refugee whose refugee status is maintained after an exemption process will continue to receive international protection and be supported.

The genocide in 1994, followed by armed clashes in the north-west of the country in 1997 and 1998, caused more than 3.5 million Rwandans to flee in search of safety. All but 268,500 of the refugees have found a solution, UNHCR said.

At the meeting today, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Turk, underlined that the agency stands ready to continue working with the States hosting Rwandan refugees to find solutions in accordance with the strategy and within the set timeline of December 2017.

Source: UN News Center

SOUTH AFRICA: CABINET RALLIES SUPPORT FOR 2016 MATRICS

As the final test of a long school career beckons for this year’s matrics, Cabinet says all stakeholders in education must work together to ensure that the country’s institutions of higher learning are in a position to receive the Class of 2016.

Speaking on Thursday, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, said Cabinet has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Basic Education that it’s all systems go for the 2016 National Senior Certificate examination.

For the 2016 examinations, there are 677 141 full-time and 150 183 part-time candidates, which is 9 000 more candidates than 2015, demonstrating government’s commitment to ensuring that more of our young people complete their basic education so that they are able to participate in the economy, he said.

The Grade 12 examinations will run from 26 October to 29 November 2016.

The Minister of Basic Education will announce the outcome of the 2016 Grade 12 exams on 4 January 2017.

Cabinet wishes the Class of 2016 well as they embark on the final phase of their school careers, Radebe said.

Cabinet further applauded South Africa’s teachers and commended them for their dedication and hard work in laying the foundation for the country’s future leaders.

The dedication and resilience of our teachers has uplifted our people and continues to propel our children to a brighter future.

World Teachers’ Day is commemorated on 5 October.

Source: Nam News Network

KwaZulu-Natal Finance on provincial finals of grade 11 speech contest

Provincial finals of grade 11 speech contest unearths gems in finance

The Philasande Shongwe, 17, from Little Flower Combined School in Harry Gwala District, walked away with a Bursary to study towards a Post Graduate Degree in Financial Planning, tablet, an iPad, a Chairman’s Trophy as well as R1000 prize money from Clivera for coming first during the finals of the Grade 11 Speech Contest held in Ugu District.

Shongwe outwitted 10 other contestants from various districts in a contest that was celebrating its 21 year Anniversary today.

Anele Khumalo from Sunnydale Secondary School, uThungulu District, came second and won herself a three-year bursary, laptop and tablet while Nokwanda Zimu from ML Sultan High School in uMgungundlovu District came third and won herself tablet and a laptop. All contestants walked away with tablets for participating while their schools got data projectors.

After his loot, an elated Shongwe said his performance during the contest means that he is a step closer to his dream of being a Financial Planner and Entrepreneur. I know there is still a lot of work that I need to do, but I am happy with how I am starting, said Shongwe.

The Provincial finals were made possible through the support of various partners which include a reknowned economist Clive Ntozabantu Ramathibela-Smith of Clivera, KZN Provincial Treasury, KZN Department of Education, Hibiscus Coast Municipality, Financial Palnning Institute of Southern Africa, Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology, Inseta, Assupol, Metropolitan, Kapenta Bay, Morar Incorporated, Albaraka Bank, HiFI Corporation and Premier Services Raisethorpe.

The KwaZulu-Natal Financial Literacy Association Trust was formed by KZN Provincial Treasury in a bid to roll out financial education in the province. Grade 11 Speech contest, a provincial competition, is one of the many programmes the Association has which sees 11 contestants from all districts compete under various finance-related topics. The 11 contestants are winners from various levels within their districts.

Speaking during the contest, Chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Financial Literacy Association Trust, Artwell Hlengwa, said the objective of this programme is to inculcate financial skills and planning in the minds of the learners so that they can grow and make a telling impact in developing the economy of this country.

In an attempt to address the general public’s lack of knowledge about financial products and acknowledging the importance to start financial education while children are still at school, the Financial Practitioners Development Trust started a speech contest on finance at some schools in Ugu District, 21 years ago. Today is the continuation of an effort to build the young minds and instil financial thinking, he said.

Source: Government of South Africa

Minister Siyabonga Cwele briefs media on ICT Policy White Paper, 2 Oct

The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr. Siyabonga Cwele and Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize to host a media briefing to unpack the ICT Policy White Paper on Sunday

Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele and Deputy Minister Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize will brief media to unpack the ICT Policy White Paper on Sunday 02 October 2016.

Members of the media are invited to attend.

Details are as follows:

Date: Sunday, 2 October 2016

Time: 11h00

Venue: GCIS Head Office, Tshedimosetso House, 1035 Francis Baard, Hatfield, Pretoria.

There will be a video-link to:

Imbizo Media Centre, 120 Plein Street, Parliament, Cape Town.

Source: Government of South Africa

Energy on fuel price adjustment for October 2016

Media statement issued by the Department of Energy on the adjustment of fuel prices effective from 5 October 2016

The Department of Energy informs the public of the fuel price adjustments for October 2016. South Africa’s fuel prices are adjusted on a monthly basis, informed by international and local factors. International factors include the fact that South Africa imports both crude oil and finished products at a price set at the international level, including shipping costs.

The main reasons for the fuel price adjustments are due to:

The contribution of the Rand/US Dollar exchange rate. The Rand strengthened against the US Dollar, on average, during the period under review but, was higher than the average of the previous review period. The reason for this is that the R/$ exchange rate was R14.60 at the beginning of the review period on 01 September 2016 and averaged to R14.01 on 29 September 2016.

The increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin, on average, in the international markets during the period under review. The Basic Fuel Price (BFP) of petrol (95 Octane), diesel and Illuminating paraffin increased by 43.0cpl, 23.0cpl and 22.0cpl respectively, during the same period. These increases were in line with the increase in the price of crude oil.

The increase in the prices of crude oil, on average, during the period under review. A key factor that contributed to the increase in the prices of crude oil was the sharp fall in US crude stocks which pushed the prices up ahead of an oil producers meeting in Algeria, which was planned to take place on 28 September 2016 and speculation of a production freeze.

Based on current local and international factors, the fuel prices for October 2016 will be adjusted as follows:

1. Petrol (93 ULP and LRP): 44.00c/l increase

2. Petrol (95 ULP and LRP): 43.00c/l increase

3. Diesel (0.05% Sulphur): 23.00c/l increase

4. Diesel (0.005% Sulphur): 23.00c/l increase

5. Wholesale price of Illuminating Paraffin: 22.00c/l increase

6. SMNRP of Illuminating Paraffin: 30.00c/l increase; and

7. Maximum Retail Price of LPGas: 58.00c/kg increase.

The fuel prices schedule for the different zones will be published on Tuesday, 4 October 2016.

Source: Government of South Africa