Daily Archives: October 14, 2016

X Infotech Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Electronic Identity and Payment Card Industry

RIGA, Latvia, Oct. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — X Infotech, (www.x-infotech.com), a global provider of software solutions for identity documents and payment smart cards, officially marks 10 years in business with an anniversary celebration at its headquarters in Riga.

X Infotech was founded in 2006 by passionate and highly skilled IT professionals — Sergey Yeliseyev, Vadim Tereshko, Alexander Popov and Maris Birgelis. The company started with the distribution of partner products, quickly gaining the reputation of a trusted market player. A few years later the company self-invested in R&D, opening the development of its proprietary software products for electronic identity documents and smart cards. Today, X Infotech has immensely broadened the reach and sharpened the vision, evolving a strong track record and serving hundreds of customers in 45+ countries – Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

“We grow and mature in different areas – whether turnover, increased customer satisfaction, market share or the number of the employees,” said Vadim Tereshko, Co-owner and Business Development Director, Banking & Mobile at X Infotech. “After all, our success would not be possible without our team, partners and clients with whom we work together to develop software and lead the industry. On behalf of our Board I would like to express our confidence for many more years of growth and prosperity.”

Within 10 years X Infotech has gathered an impressive success-stories portfolio, from social projects in Africa and payment card programs in the EMEA region to eID documents in Uruguay, as well as the European Union laissez-passer and ePassport/eID card in Ireland. Governments, financial organizations and banks choose X Infotech’s comprehensive software solutions for exceptional quality and robust functionality, complemented with ultimate flexibility and guaranteed delivery.

“This is a very exciting time for me, personally. From our first day in business to today, X Infotech experienced significant growth in government eID,” said Sergey Yeliseyev, Co-owner and Business Development Director, Government eID at X Infotech. “We face the ever-increasing competition in the industry, but together with our extra-dedicated team and reliable partners, we keep climbing to the top of the hill – everyday higher and higher.”

About X Infotech

X Infotech (www.x-infotech.com) is a global provider and integrator of software solutions for identity documents and smart cards. The company helps governments, local document producers, banks and financial institutions to implement eID and smart card programs, providing the IT infrastructure and empowering them to take full and autonomous control of their projects and businesses. X Infotech’s solutions are easily modified, making them compatible with any type of chip and personalization equipment, document verification and biometric enrolment devices.

Headquartered in Europe, X Infotech boasts of having 100% projects successfully implemented in 45+ countries worldwide.

Ksenia Egorova 
Marketing Communications Director 
ksenia.egorova@x-infotech.com 
+371 67930171

MEC rings warning on house invasions

Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements Paul Mashatile has warned the community of Nellmapius in Mamelodi against occupying houses illegally.

I am not going to tolerate housing invasion. It is wrong and it should not be done. Government is going to allocate houses properly. Do not allocate yourselves, said MEC Mashatile.

He was addressing the community of Nellmapius during the handover of more than 900 houses on Thursday.

He condemned the house invasions that occurred earlier this year in Nellmapius Ext 22.

The Nellmapius project will yield more than 1 800 houses on completion and 500 houses will be for rental stock to accommodate people who do not qualify for RDP houses.

There are more than 900 families who qualify to benefit from this project without any dispute. Government must be able to explain to those people who are not getting their houses why they are not getting them.

Priority will be given to people who applied in 1996, people with disabilities, special cases, the elderly and military veterans, MEC Mashatile said.

A mixed housing project has been approved for Nellmapius, which will form part of Mega City Projects that is in the pipeline. The project will yield 12 500 houses upon completion.

Government will also introduce a biometric system to end corruption in the allocation of houses.

Government is going to use fingerprints to verify the identity of beneficiaries and in the allocation of stands so that people can monitor the development of their houses, said MEC Mashatile.

He urged the community of Nellmapius to take ownership of their homes by ensuring that they do not allow anyone to invade vacant land because it might be earmarked for development.

If we don’t work together, we will not be able to eradicate informal settlements because the numbers keep increasing, he said.

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga, who was among the principals accompanying MEC Mashatile, said there must be transparency in the allocation of houses and people should know where they are on the waiting list.

Let us try to restore the dignity of our people. Let us be transparent and work together and we will not fail. We also need to ensure that we speed up the provision of services to our communities, said Mayor Msimanga.

Queen Mnguni, a beneficiary, said she was excited to have her own house because she has been living at the back room of her parents’ house with her two children.

I am very excited. It was not nice to stay at my parents’ house at the age of 54. God has answered my prayers. I would like to thank the government of Gauteng for giving me a place I can call home, said Mnguni.

Source: South African Government News Agency

South African Human Rights Commission on student protests

SAHRC calls for calm and for a commitment by all stakeholders to resolve the current crisis on South African campuses

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC, the Commission) notes with concern the growing intensity of student protests and related action at various universities across the country.

Whilst the protests point to underlying and systemic factors that require urgent resolution, the Commission urges all stakeholders to commit to and undertake these efforts in an environment where the best possible outcomes are more likely. Without detracting from or diminishing in anyway the powerful significance of peaceful protest in our country, the Commission condemns protest related action which is destructive and which impacts adversely on others inside and outside universities.

The right to protest should not be exercised with disregard for other rights, such the right to dignity (Section 10), the right to life (Section 11), the right to property (Section 25) and the right to security of the person (Section 12) within the framework of the respect for the rule of law.

The Commission therefore urges the universities and student bodies to restore calm. The Commission as a constitutional body is vigilant about the realisation of the right to education in South Africa. The Constitution protects this right, together with other basic rights. These rights include the right not to be subjected to violence by the state through bodies like the SAPS.

Allegations and scenes of police heavy-handedness need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Police conduct, public order policing in particular has attracted international scrutiny in recent times. The United Nations Human Rights Committee raised serious concerns about the state of policing in the country, especially during public protests.

The South African Constitution promotes a vision of a human rights compliant policing and the Commission calls on the SAPS to remain cognisant of this vision in exercising their duties with respect to the current protest action across campuses.

Education is a facilitative right, potentially catalysing the realisation of other rights. In the South African context, and within the continent, education is an identified goal in the regions Vision 2060. This recognition is embedded in the recognition that both transformation and development resides on pillars such as education for accelerated success.

All stakeholders working on the concerns expressed by students to secure the realisation of this right must therefore be mindful of this broader commitment and need.

The Commission acknowledges that the need to make tertiary education financially accessible to all has occupied our attention in recent days. However, the Commission cautions that the need for transformation should not be approached in a fragmented way. Models which are adopted must be sustainable and address systemic challenges which continue to hinder the attainment of substantive transformation in higher education.

The Commission intends providing its report on transformation at public universities to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry and other stakeholders to support this process shortly.

Source: South Africa Government

AFDB APPROVES 570 MLN RAND LOAN TO FINANCE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN SOUTH AFRICA

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a senior loan of 570 million Rand (about 40 million US dollars) to the Housing Investment Partners Trust, also known as Vulumnyango Trust, to help finance affordable housing programmes in South Africa.

In a statement received here Wednesday, the AfDB said the loan would help improve access to long-term affordable housing finance to South Africa’s lower-middle income earners who currently had limited opportunities to access affordable mortgages.

According to the Department of Human Settlements, the South African government has built 4.3 million houses, including hostel and community residential units, social, rental and institutional units since the 1994 at a cost of more than 500 billion Rand, benefiting more than 20 million people.

Despite this, the country still faces an acute shortage of affordable housing in its main urban areas, resulting in more than 2,600 informal settlements springing up around 70 of South Africa’s major urban areas.

The Housing Investment Partners Trust, which has now raised 1.82 billion Rand from National Housing Finance Company, Old Mutual Group, Future Growth and AfDB, is targeting to offer more than 4,000 affordable mortgages to South Africa’s lower-middle income earners.

The AfDB said this intervention would generate other significant benefits, including moving 2,500 to 6,500 out of informal settlements and create about 3,250 permanent jobs, mainly for the youth.

Overall, financing 4,386 affordable housing units was expected to generate more than 10,000 jobs, including 950 to 1,296 direct jobs for women.

Stefan Nalletamby, the acting AfDB Vice-President for Infrastructure Private Sector, said this intervention would improve the lives of South Africans, whilst also assisting in creating new employment opportunities.

“The approved intervention will assist Housing Investment Partners Trust in expanding and deepening South Africa’s housing finance sector and encourage orderly urban development for the provision of basic utilities such as water, sanitation, roads and electricity,” Nalletamby said.

The AfDB’s intervention is in line with its High 5 priorities which build on the Ten Year Strategy for 2013-2022, and specifically the 5th priority of Improving the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.

Source: Nam News Network

NO UNIVERSAL FREE EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA ANYTIME SOON

South Africa has long offered free education but it has not reached everyone who needs it, says Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande when he briefed the Fees Commission here Thursday.

Nzimande has also clarified that free education for all would not happen anytime soon. He told the Fees Commission that government subsidies to universities now benefits all students.

The minister said loans under the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to students who successfully complete their third year of university studies are automatically converted into a full bursary for that year, which amounted to free education.

“Some students are on NSFAS and they don’t have to pay a cent back and so education is free for them. Free education is government policy, and it has been government policy for some time now. We are committed to this, but funding only for the poor.”

Nzimande said it was simply not true that the country’s Freedom Charter and that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) government promised free education for all.

“Read the education section of the Freedom Charter; it does not talk about free education for all, but only for the poor and NSFAS is already providing for the poor.”

Nzimande said the government did not have tangible solutions yet but agreed that they needed assistance.

Nzimande praised the “Fees-Must-Fall” student movement for raising the issue of Higher Education funding shortfalls, but said free education for all was not on the horizon just yet.

Meanwhile protests, chaos and violent clashes again gripped several universities around the country on Thursday, but relative calm returned to others, as the academic programme continued.

The situation at North West University’s Mahikeng campus remained calm, but tense, with several students being arrested. The university says it will look into the police’s conduct. Students allege police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades into their residences.

Another building was set alight at the University of KwaZulu Natal’s Westville campus. Two police officers were injured by rocks allegedly thrown by students and several students were arrested.

In Cape Town, 26-year-old Byron Dick faces a myriad of charges, including attempted murder. He is accused of torching the Cape Peninsula University of Technology campus’ control room. Two security guards were allegedly locked inside the burning building and suffered smoke inhalation.

However, the Democratic Alliance party in Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape Province believes corruption and poor allocation of NSFAS funds are the main reasons deserving students are not benefiting. It says it has presented measures to parliament on how monies could be better utilised, but this was rejected by the ruling ANC.

The party has launched an online portal to allow unfunded qualifying students to raise their concerns.

Source: Nam News Network