Daily Archives: March 22, 2017

Labour hosts Unemployment Insurance Fund media networking session, 28 Mar

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) invites you to the media networking session scheduled to take place on the 28th March 2017 at Bon Hotel Bloemfontein central at 10h00.

The purpose of the session is to provide an opportunity to share information about the progress on the Unemployment Insurance Bill that seek to improve the provision of benefits to the unemployed; Labour Activation schemes that are aimed at re-integrating unemployed UIF beneficiaries back to the labour market, provide skills training for unemployed youth, and assisting struggling companies with turnaround solutions.

The session will also shed some light on claims processes for various benefits and highlight obligations of employers under the Unemployment Insurance Act.

Senior officials from the UIF will present on the following topics:

Claims processes and Employer Obligations:

Labour Activation Programme

Amendment of UI Bill

Other branches of the Department of Labour will also make presentations pertaining their core mandates. These branches include the Inspection and Enforcement Services, Public Employment Services and Compensation Fund.

Source: Government of South Africa

President Zuma to officially open the United Nations World Water Day Summit and Expo

President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Heads of State Committee on the United Nations (UN) High Level Panel on Water, will today, 22 March 2017, officially open the United Nations (UN) World Water Day Summit and Expo in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

The Summit will be held under the theme Water and Sanitation is a Human Right in line with the South African government’s calendar of activities with March celebrated as a Human Rights Month.

South Africa will host the Summit and Expo through the Department of Water and Sanitation, in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and United Nations Water.

The Summit will also provide an opportunity to launch the 17th edition of UN’s World Water Development Report, which focuses on the critical role of wastewater management for vibrant economies, resilient societies and the maintenance of healthy environments across the globe.

President Zuma will also present a Declaratory Statement on roll-out activities of the High Level Panel on Water at domestic, regional and global levels.

The Summit will further provide South Africa with an opportunity to outline progress that the country has made in meeting water and sanitation goals since 1994 and will also be a platform for sharing knowledge and experience on risks in water provision induced by drought and climate change.

The South African Government continues to call on all communities to conserve water in order to ensure sustainability of water supply.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa


DURBAN– The South African Football Association (SAFA) has named Itumeleng Khune to captain Bafana Bafana in the national team’s two upcoming international friendly matches against Guinea-Bissau and Angola.

The announcement was made on Tuesday at the squad’s base camp in Durban. Thulani Hlatshwayo, Dean Furman and Hlompho Kekana have been appointed as vice-captains.

Khune is the captain of the Kaizer Chiefs football club, while the trio of Hlatshwayo, Furman and Kekana hold similar positions at Bidvest Wits, SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns respectively.

All have previously worn the Bafana Bafana armband with the exception of Kekana. Both Khune and Hlatshwayo have been alternating as captains in the South African senior men’s national team in the last few months.

Bafana Bafana faces Guinea-Bissau at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday and will play Angola three days later at Buffalo City Stadium in East London, Eastern Cape Province.


Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane hosts stakeholder engagement in North West, 23 to 24 Mar

Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane will this week be in the North West to hold unmediated talks with a variety of stakeholders in the province.

Adv. Mkhwebane is scheduled to address the Provincial Legislature on Thursday before proceeding to have an engagement with communities of Madibogo and surrounding areas in the Ratlou Local Municipality the following day.

The visit is part of a four-month roadshow during which she introduces herself to stakeholders as the country’s fourth Public Protector, spells out her vision for the office over the next seven years and grants audiences an opportunity to raise with her any matter of concern relating to her office and the work it does.

Mahikeng and Madibogo will be the tenth and eleventh towns Adv. Mkhwebane visits since the nationwide tour started in mid-February. She has already been to Johannesburg, Ratanda, Thohoyandou, Polokwane, Nelspruit, Ermelo, Pietermaritzburg, Bloemfontein and Thaba Nchu.

When she wraps up the roadshow in May, Adv. Mkhwebane hopes to have had a meaningful dialogue with stakeholders, including government leaders, lawmakers, political parties, civil society and the general public.

I have taken note of some of the concerns you have been expressing through various avenues, including social media and phone-in programmes on radio. I call on you to use these meetings as to engage me directly for answers, Adv. Mkhwebane said.

She added that members of the public will be given an opportunity during the engagements to lodge service and conduct failure complaints for investigation. A team of investigators will accompany her for this purpose.

The engagements, held under the theme Broadening Access: Taking the Public Protector to the Grassroots, will take place as follows:

Source: Government of South Africa

Partially Effective HIV Vaccine Could Help Turn Corner on Pandemic

WASHINGTON � When it comes to the deployment and use of an HIV vaccine, researchers say even a partially effective vaccine, although not perfect, still could prevent millions of infections each year.

There are no AIDS vaccines in use, but many are in the development pipeline or clinical trials. The problem is the vaccines are turning out to be less effective than hoped.

To get a handle on what the future might hold, scientists at Oregon State University developed a mathematical model of HIV progression, transmission and intervention, tailored to 127 countries around the world.

According to the model, using current interventions, the world might expect to see about 49 million new cases of HIV in the next 20 years.

But the study concluded that 25 million of those infections might be prevented if ambitious targets for diagnosis, treatment and viral suppression set by the United Nations are met.

And that’s where an HIV vaccine comes in.

Jan Medlock, the study’s lead author, said adding a vaccine to the mix — even one that is only 50 percent effective — by 2020 could prevent another 6.3 million new infections, potentially reversing the HIV pandemic.

Partial efficacy is still better than zero efficacy, and it really becomes (a matter) of thinking about the cost and trade-off,” she said. “Are you taking away money from treatment or some other health program to buy these vaccines? If not, then they’re probably worth doing, even at very low efficacy.”

Medlock’s model — reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — input clinical data from a vaccine that’s now in large-scale trials in South Africa.

Until it was modified for the phase-three trial in the hopes of boosting its effectiveness, the vaccine candidate showed about a 60 percent efficacy in preventing infection for the first year. The effectiveness dropped to 31 percent 3� years later.

Even without an improvement in current levels of HIV detection and treatment globally, a vaccine that’s only 50 percent effective has the potential to avert 17 million new cases during the next two decades, Medlock said.

Medlock added an even less effective vaccine could make a sizeable dent to slow the pandemic.

Twenty percent efficacy at the global population scale is still going to prevent several million infections,” she said.

Medlock said many countries will inevitably fall short of the U.N.’s ambitious goals to contain the HIV pandemic.

That’s why researchers believe the firepower of imperfect HIV vaccines should be brought to bear in the fight against the AIDS virus.

Source: Voice of America