Daily Archives: September 22, 2017


PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA, An estimated two million egg-laying chickens have been culled since the outbreak of Avian influenza in South Africa about three months ago.

This emerged at a South African animal science conference this week in Port Elizabeth in eastern Cape Province where the impact of the bird flu on the poultry industry was discussed.

About 50 cases have been reported at commercial chicken and ostrich farms, while wild birds and backyard chicken farmers have also been affected.

Dr Charlotte Nkuna from the South African Poultry Association has downplayed some common fears about bird flu, saying: “One of the things that we really keep stressing is the fact that the disease has not affected humans, there are no human cases reported globally. Also that the products — meat and eggs — are still fit for human consumption.”

She added that is was of concern is that the more the chickens are affected, the more South Africans may start seeing an impact on supply and that is something which is being tracked closely to make sure that measures are in place to plug the gap.


Call to address unemployment by working together

Deputy Minister of Communications Tandi Mahambehlala has called on business, civil society and government to work together towards creating job and empowerment opportunities for communities that are experiencing high levels of unemployment and crime.

Job creation and entrepreneurial development will help to manage or end these social ills, Deputy Minister Mahambehlala said.

She was addressing the third annual Owami Women Play Your Part Recognition Awards on Thursday.

The Deputy Minister encouraged the women attending the awards to be bold and continuously contribute to the better development of the country.

Our country is facing difficult times of women and child abuse; misogyny and patriarchy are rampant. It is imperative that we have such organisations as Owami who emphasise the need to recognise and have meaningful conversations, identify opportunities that acknowledge unity and strength in overcoming these social ills.

Every case of abuse suffered by a child or woman reflects our collective failure to respond to the cries of the most vulnerable in our midst. It is in our hands and within our means to contribute to the fight against abuse of women and children, she said.

The event recognises and celebrates South Africans who continue to make a positive contribution in their communities towards education, skills development and empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Owami Women is a not-for-profit organisation, with the sole purpose of developing and empowering women in South Africa through deep and meaningful conversations on key societal issues, the sharing of information, and networks among women in business and at home.

Source: South African Government News Agency

KPMG auditing practices a concern: Reserve Bank

The Reserve Bank on Thursday expressed concern at the regrettable auditing practices involving KPMG.

The South African Reserve Bank [SARB] has noted with concern the regrettable auditing practices and serious errors of judgment that occurred at KPMG, which led to enormous damage being inflicted on certain individuals, organisations, and the country as a whole, said the central bank.

It further added that the country has over many years been ranked highly because of, among other factors, the strength of our auditing standards and the soundness of our banks.

As the regulator of banks, the SARB would obviously be concerned about any developments that question auditing standards or could potentially cast a shadow on the quality and reliability of sets of audited financial statements.

This, as each of the big four banks [Barclays Africa, FirstRand, Nedbank and Standard Bank] are required to have two auditors. KPMG is one of two auditors in three of the big four banks.

KPMG is also the sole auditors for two other banks and a number of insurance companies.

The bank’s concerns come following the fallout as a result of the work done by the company on behalf of the controversial Gupta family. This resulted in several resignations at the company and the appointment of Nhlamu Dlomu as Chief Executive Officer.

The SARB has also noted the commitment by the new management team of KPMG South Africa to fully own up to previous malpractices, and to engage with relevant parties and the South African public in order to regain their trust.

The Reserve Bank said announcements made on Wednesday and last Friday, namely to have an independent investigation in addition to the internal investigation already undertaken, represent important first steps in regaining public trust.

The success of these measures will greatly depend on the credibility of the initiatives embarked upon. The SARB’s interest in this matter is from a public policy perspective, arising from our mandate to regulate banks and ensure the stability of our financial system, said the Reserve Bank.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Kenya Opposition Questions Electoral Commission’s Role in October Elections

NAIROBI The same institution responsible for the failures in Kenya’s August’s presidential poll is expected to organize a fresh vote in fewer than five weeks. Briefing reporters Friday, the attorney general sought to stave off fears of an impending constitutional crisis.

Kenya’s opposition has given the director of public prosecutions three days to file charges against electoral commission officials accused of bungling the August presidential vote. The results of that poll were nullified by the Supreme Court.

Opposition member of parliament Godfrey Osotsi said his party cannot allow the same officials to conduct the rerun election, now scheduled for October 26.

“We are going to provide evidence from our ICT people and from our lawyers to support our case because this election cannot be free if those individuals are still going to preside over a fresh election,” he said.

This kind of demand has legal experts worried about a constitutional crisis if the electoral commission fails to hold the new election within the required 60 days of the Supreme Court’s September 1 ruling.

Attorney General Githu Muigai said Friday there will be no crisis.

“Even in the unlikely event that for whatever reason the election wasn’t held on the 60th day, that does not delegitimize the constitutional order of the day,” he said. “And in many countries, there have been various methods of expanding the time within which something is to be done.”

Some legal professionals argue that if the October 31 deadline is missed, President Uhuru Kenyatta will have to make way for a caretaker administration.

Muigai disagrees.

“To establish any form of government other than compliance with this constitution is declared by the constitution unlawful,” he said. “There is no government known to the constitution of Kenya called a transitional government or a caretaker government or any other form of government other than what is defined in this constitution.”

Kenyans are divided over the court’s decision to throw out the presidential results.The court said electronically transmitted results released by the electoral commission were neither transparent nor verifiable, as required by law.

The ruling Jubilee Party says the court failed to consider the voters and the final result, which showed Kenyatta winning by 1.4 million votes.

Constitutional expert Nelson Havi said the court focused on the electoral process.

“What the constitution wanted to achieve was to have a very simplistic process where the common man would be in a position to understand how a determination as to who won the election was arrived at,” he said. “It was meant to be a simple and a straightforward [way] everybody would understand.”

The voiding of the presidential vote has sparked appeals for the courts to nullify other results from the August general elections.More than 300 lawsuits have been filed so far, mostly by candidates who lost their bid for office.

Source: Voice of America