Daily Archives: July 18, 2017

Zimbabwe Temporarily Lifts Ban on Foam Food Containers

HARARE � Zimbabwe's Environmental Management Agency has temporarily lifted its ban on the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) as food packaging material to allow businesses to clear their stocks.

The Agency says it has given businesses until October 17 to stop using existing containers and replace them with recyclable or biodegradable ones. The reprieve follows an outcry from businesses last week when the government board imposed an immediate ban of EPS, also known as kaylite.

Environmental Management Agency spokesman Steady Kangata says the new deadline won't affect the ban itself.

"The ban still stands, it was only a reprieve of three-months given just to allow businesses to [tidy] up. It is also in line with the principle of natural justice to give them time to mop up their kaylite. Furthermore there are conditions that they were given, that within three months they are supposed to initiate a water management program that would ensure that the environment is clean. Not that kaylite would be seen all over," Kangata said.

The EPS containers are among the garbage clogging drainage in Harare and contributing to flooding.

The government also says EPS emits toxic chemicals when the containers are burned, and garbage is routinely burned in Zimbabwe. Environmentalists in Zimbabwe are applauding the ban, but say the government has not gone nearly far enough. Other African countries, including most recently Kenya, have banned the use of plastic bags.

The president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, Denford Mutashu, welcomes the three-month reprieve given to his members.

"It is not enough but at least it is a breathing space. There are some companies that have invested into the production of kaylite. We will also be helping them to lobby through the government to ensure that they get a reprieve. Because it is not easy for someone to bring their machinery here and two years down the line they are asked to move out or to stop production. So this is a serious area of concern."

But the Environment Management Agency maintains the law under which the ban of EPS is being put in effect was enacted in 2012, and businesses had time to switch to other food packages or ask customers to it in instead using EPS.

When the reprieve ends, the government says anyone found breaking the EPS ban could be fined from $30 to $5,000.

Source: Voice of America

Leaders must unite to build a better world

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Mandela Day: Do your bit to make a difference

With the world marking Nelson Mandela International Day today, ordinary citizens and Cabinet Ministers are going out into communities to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.

Every year on 18 July, South Africans and the global community honour South Africa's late former President and international icon, Nelson Mandela. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed Mandela's birthday, 18 July, as Nelson Mandela International Day in 2009.

Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson will today roll up her sleeves and participate in a clean-up event to raise awareness about waste management issues within the community.

The Deputy Minister will also donate educational toys and books to the JC Joshua Pre�Primary School and Eastwood Community Hall in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. She is also expected to hand over soccer and netball kits, while also giving gifts to the elderly.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi will celebrate Nelson Mandela Day at Kgalushi Secondary School in Eldorado village in Bochum, Limpopo, where he will paint the school and distribute sanitary towels to learners.

The Minister will be accompanied by officials from various transport entities, who will educate learners about aviation, maritime, rail and road safety issues. The Minister will also donate food parcels in Eldorado village.

To mark the day, Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize will interact with over 30 expectant mothers and hand out birth certificates for newly-born babies at Sebokeng Hospital. This is in a bid to promote early child birth registration and reiterate the call to register births within 30 days.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini will commemorate Nelson Mandela Day in Kliptown, Soweto.

Minister Dlamini will hand out sanitary towels to women and girls from poor families.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Labour on Uber drivers and CCMA ruling

Department of Labour's position in terms of Uber drivers and CCMA rulingThe Department of Labour acknowledges and applauds the ruling by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration that Uber drivers are the employees of the company. The ...