Monthly Archives: November 2016

Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza condemns murder of Hawks member

Hawks National Head appalled by police killing

The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza has strongly condemned the murder of Warrant Officer Colbern Mashego, a Hawks member, who was gunned down on Sunday.

Warrant Officer Mashego was brutally murdered after he was following information of a drug deal allegedly perpetrated by police officers based at OR Tambo International Airport. The circumstances of the incident is now in the hands of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Lieutenant General Ntlemeza said it was clear that Mashego lost his life due to his occupation and indicative of the risks and sacrifices our law enforcement officers face while serving and protecting this nation. He noted that it is particularly sad for his family and associates to lose him as we approach the festive season.

The Hawks will not be deterred by this attack on its membership and will maintain their increased presence throughout the season and beyond. This incident is a sober reminder that notwithstanding encouraging reductions in crime, there is still much to be done to achieve a safe and secure environment.

I am going to request an urgent meeting with the Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane with a view to look into the deployments at OR Tambo Airport and other ports of entries in the republic. There is a serious need for a serious shake up at all this ports of entries and the deliberations will include all other law enforcement agencies in those locations, Ntlemeza said.

Lieutenant General Ntlemeza said even as the SAPS family is mourning the loss of another member under such tragic circumstances, which seems to be a blatant attack on its members. He has implored officers to remain resolute in the performance of their duties, be vigilant, take swift decisive action to protect themselves, family, colleagues and members of the public within the remit of the law.

Ntlemeza has expressed his deepest condolences to Constable Mashigo widow and children, his community, and his colleagues in the Hawks.

Source: Government of South Africa

Limpopo Education commemorates World Aids Day 2016 in Mokopane, 2 Nov

December 1st marks World Aids Day where people around the world unite against HIV and show the support for those infected and affected by the virus. The theme for this year’s World Aids Day Commemoration is Hands up for #HIV Prevention

The objective of the World Aids Day commemoration 2016 is to share with learners and all other people the knowledge on the link between tobaccos, alcohol and drug abuse which cause the risk of HIV and TB.

The Department of Education will not be left behind in marking and commemorate World Aids Day. The department will join all other departments and private institution in contributing in the awareness campaign.

In its campaign, the Department of Education will Target teenage learners in special and in full service schools as they are mostly likely to engage in risky behaviors.

The department will strengthen the campaign by coming with strengthened messages embolden in the theme, Zero HIV, TB, teenage pregnancy, alcohol, drugs, stigma and discrimination: Am part of change makers for the 2016 WAD Commemoration 2016. MEC for Education, Honarable Ishmael Kgetjepe will address delegates during the Gala Dinner to start at 17h00.

Source: Government of South Africa

MEC Alan Winde: African Agri Investment Indaba

In 2015, the value of exports from Africa’s agricultural produce reached R700 billion, which translates into an annual growth rate of 17% over the past decade.

Approximately 65% of the continent’s working population is employed in the agricultural sector.

This continent has the world’s largest share of underutilised arable land. And Africa, along with Latin America, is seeing the fastest growth in the share of global farmland under cultivation. Between 2000 and 2008, African countries have cut their foreign debt by a quarter and trimmed their budget deficits by two thirds.

Investment flows into Africa reached more than US$200 million in 2014 and projections show the upward trend is set to continue.

We are also making it easier to do business in Africa. Here in the Western Cape, we have a dedicated Red Tape Reduction Unit to clear the way for economic growth. Across the continent, there is an undertaking to make the regulatory environment easier for businesses.

According to the World Bank’s Distance to the Frontier scores, the majority of African countries have put measures in place to create enabling environments for entrepreneurs.

The Enabling the Business of Agriculture index shows countries such as Mozambique and Uganda are making significant progress in streamlining the imports of farming equipment.

Africa Rising also presents increased pressure on our resources.

Over sixty percent of Africa’s population is under twenty-five years old, and it is expected than seventeen million young people will enter the labour force each year for the next ten years.

Research shows that while employment opportunities on nonfarm sectors will increase, agriculture will remain the main source of employment in many African countries for the next several decades.

Here in the Western Cape we have selected agriculture and agri-processing as focus sectors. Our Project Khulisa growth strategy has the goal of adding up to a further 100 000 jobs to the economy, and increasing the Gross Value Add of the agri-processing sector to R26 billion.

We are driving a suite of initiatives to grow agri-processing to reach these goals. These include efforts to boost halal and wine exports, and to create an enabling environment for all agri-processed products to flourish. We have made headway, together with our partners, in our drive to increase water storage in the Brandvlei Dam, and we have commissioned the equipment we require for our residue testing facility.

All of the initiatives under Project Khulisa are designed to open international markets for our produce, and I am pleased with the progress we have achieved thus far.

Wesgro, the Western Cape’s tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, also has a dedicated agri-business unit which has played a significant role in facilitating investment in this sector into our region.

To ensure that agriculture can continue to deliver on its potential, we have developed an urgent and co-ordinated response to climate change.

Last year, Ethiopia recorded its lowest annual rainfall in thirty years. In South Africa, annual rainfall dropped to the lowest level since 1904.

We have partnered with the private sector and African Climate and Development Initiative of the University of Cape Town to launch the Smart Agri climate response framework and implementation plan.

Smart Agri identified four focus areas and six priority projects which are being driven by the private sector and government.

Briefly, these include:

Priority #1: Conservation agriculture

This approach includes minimum tillage, year-round soil cover and crop rotation.

Priority #2: Restoring degraded landscapes

The benefits of this action include improved soil conservation. It is suggested to pilot a restoration plan in three regions, and there are significant employment opportunities under this priority project.

Priority #3: Improved catchment management for water security and job creation

One strategy here is the removal of invasive alien plants, which reduces the flow of water and impacts water purification.

Priority #4: Energy efficiency

This step was prioritised across the province and particularly for regions with substantial irrigation farming and processing and cooling of fresh produce. It is also relevant to export-orientated, fruit and wine industries and intensive life-stock industries, such as dairy. Under this step, clean forms of energy are promoted through the use of case studies as success stories.

Priority #5: Climate-proofing the Western Cape’s agri-processing sector

This priority project includes prioritising climate-resilient crops and livestock.

Priority #6: Integrated knowledge system for climate smart practices

Through this priority project, we are seeking to ensure our extension officers become the first port of call for farmers requiring information on smart agriculture practices.

We are already seeing the success these principles can have. Due, in part, to conservation agriculture farmers in the Swartland have seen good yields in the wheat crop, despite a challenging year.

With the introduction of no-till seeding methods, combined with crop rotation practices that were pioneered through the Long Term Crop Rotation Trial at Langgewens Research Farm in the Swartland, we are currently producing nearly double the amount of wheat on less than half of the area previously planted to this crop.

The results of the Langgewens long-term crop rotation trial speak directly to the increase of wheat production within crop rotation systems. A recent study on the impact of this research project has shown that 98.8% of farmers in the middle Swartland are implementing crop rotation.

We also recognise that to support agriculture to grow, we must embrace innovation.

Farmers here are using smart technologies and artificial intelligence. In the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, we are pioneering several smart agricultural instruments. One example is Cape Farm Mapper which is a combination of geospatial tools.

With the Cape Farm Mapper, which you can download to your phone, you can search for a farm, view climatic parameters, determine broad agricultural potential or even draw and measure features for farm planning.

With this African Agriculture Investment Indaba, we’re coming together to provide a platform to connect the most innovative agriculture projects to funders.

These projects illustrate how this sector is delivering inclusive growth and real job creation.

We have been delighted to partner with these businesses on key milestones.

I’d like share with you some of the successes these agri-business ventures have already achieved.

Marketplace Energy (MPE) is a Biotechnology Start-up specializing in the development of biotechnology process platforms. Based in Cape Town, MPE is spearheading the development of a bioprocess technology to sustainably produce biomass feedstock; specifically, algae biomass.

This will convert biomass feedstock into bio-based raw materials for food supplements and they have set their sights on producing for Africa.

Following the award of a grant by the National Department of Trade and Industry’s Employment Creation Fund, the company is set to construct a pre-commercial scale Algae Bio-Refinery in Philadelphia, Cape Town. This refinery, with a footprint of two thousand square meters will be constructed on a one hundred and four hectare farm. This facility is the first step towards an Algae Biotech Innovation and Business Centre which is set to create 600 direct permanent jobs in the first five years in the Western Cape.

Another one of the projects being featured is AGRi-Life Fruit, a black-owned company focussing on agro-processing and based in the rural town of Wolseley. It provides fruit packing and logistical services to fruit farmers and fruit export companies in the Witzenberg region.

Because we recognise the potential this company had to add jobs in our rural areas, this project received initial grant funding from the Western Cape Government.

The company’s shareholders include sixty-six farm workers who jointly own four farms.

The final project I’d like to highlight is Buffalo Ridge. It is unique in that it is the first and only water buffalo dairy and buffalo mozzarella producer in Southern Africa.

The Buffalo Ridge buffaloes are milked naturally, with no routine medication permitted. The milk yield of the buffalo is not artificially enhanced and certified biodegradable products are used in the cleaning of the dairy and all milking equipment and all water used is recycled for irrigation of the pastures.

Buffalo Ridge intends raising finance for capital expenditure to cater for the large increase in capacity.

These projects make plain how agriculture is bringing hope to communities. I am confident that the African Agri Investment Indaba will facilitate valuable partnerships which will contribute to Africa’s sustained success in this sector.

Source: Government of South Africa

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane: Address on occasion of joint press briefing with Minister Elmar Mammadyarov

Remarks by Minister Nkoana-Mashabane on the occasion of the joint press briefing with Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Baku, Azerbaijan

Minister Mammadyarov and your delegation,

Members of the media,

I would like take this opportunity to once again thank you, Excellency Minister Mammadyarov, for the kind welcome and hospitality extended to me and my delegation since our arrival in your beautiful capital city, Baku.

This morning we had the honour and privilege to pay a courtesy call on your President, His Excellency Ilham Aliyev.

We conveyed to His Excellency President Ilham Aliyev the greetings of his brother and colleague, His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa. We reiterated the commitment of the South African government to strengthen relations with Azerbaijan, founded on our joint desire to pursue areas of cooperation for mutual benefit.

We just had the first meeting since we signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Regular Diplomatic Consultations in Pretoria, South Africa, in February 2014. I am encouraged by our mutual recognition of the importance of values of the centrality of multilateralism.

We are committed to strengthening bilateral relations through dialogue and through exchange of knowledge in different areas of expertise. To this end, we have agreed to form a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC).

I have noted with satisfaction that the sectors we are pursuing will allow both our countries to grow our trade and investment portfolio and show tangible results, reflective of our sound political relations. We agreed that there is scope for cooperation between our two countries in areas such as energy, skills development, defence and aviation.

Our engagement today was both valuable and productive. We have managed to discuss a number of issues related to critical areas in our bilateral relations and in the interests of our respective countries, as well as areas of mutual interest in regional and global affairs.

Our coming together today has no doubt contributed to the further enhancement of our bilateral relations and demonstrates the value of dialogue to promote mutual understanding on the strategies to adopt in order to implement our programme of action.

As I stated in our meeting, we again look forward to our further engagements in the pursuit of our common goals of collaboration. I trust that our officials will commence with the programme of action in implementing the objectives we have discussed and agreed upon.

Once again I would to thank you, Minister, and to all the officials who contributed to making our stay and our engagements today a success.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu briefs Parliament on New Urban Agenda

The Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu briefed the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements on South Africa’s participation at the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) which ended with the adoption of the New Urban Agenda.

Habitat III is hosted by the United Nations every 20 years to secure a renewed global commitment to addressing housing and sustainable urbanisation through the adoption of a forward-looking, action orientated outcome agreement expected to be implemented by all member states including the Republic of South Africa.

Minister Sisulu was responding to a request from the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements that wanted a briefing on the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Habitat Conference which took place in Quito, Ecuado last month, October.

As part of implementing the New Urban Agenda, South Africa will over the next few years be expected to amongst others, ensure that transformation is realised. The transformative commitments include sustainable urban development for social inclusion and ending poverty, sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all and environmentally sound and resilient urban development.

We are very much committed to integrating our communities, the basis is laid in our policy and evident in the work we do. It might take time but we are on track and the results which include COSMO City and Cornubia are there for everyone to see that integration is central in our work, said Minister Sisulu.

Minister Sisulu added that her Department continues its work towards to reducing economic inequalities. We are transforming the economy through SMMEs development. For instance our intervention in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM) we have been paying our contractors within fourteen days.

Over the last few months we have been paying over R16 million to our NMBM contractors on a weekly basis added Minister Sisulu.

Minister Sisulu also told Portfolio Committee members that 61% of South Africans now lived in urban areas. We together with the entire Globe have a responsibility to respond to this phenomenon, she said.

Source: Government of South Africa