Daily Archives: October 16, 2017

Minister Jeff Radebe addresses 78th Annual Conference of South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, 16 Oct

Minister Radebe to deliver a keynote address at the 78th Annual Conference of the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors

Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, Jeff Radebe, will deliver a keynote address at the 78th Annual Conference of the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC).

SAFCEC is an important organization in the economic and infrastructure space, with many of its members involved in key projects to build roads, bridges, railway, airports, harbours, power stations, and dams.

The Conference, which will be hosted under the theme Ready to Deliver, will focus on how the civil engineering industry align itself to the country’s infrastructure developmental goals. The Conference is significant in the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP), which advocates for inclusive economic growth.

Source: Government of South Africa

UCT AND STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITIES BRIEF COMMITTEE ON INQUIRY INTO ESKOM

The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises will tomorrow begin its inquiry into Eskom.

The Committee will be briefed by the universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

The Acting Chairperson for the Committee, Ms Zukiswa Rantho, said the Committee has invited the two institutions because the two institutions have published a book on the Eskom matter. The book highlights and reveals the activities that are linked to the capture of Eskom by the Guptas and mismanagement of state funds. The institutions will detail the activities that happened in Eskom, said Ms Rantho.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Western Cape Agriculture celebrates World Food Day with water-wise food gardens

Western Cape celebrates World Food Day with water-wise food gardens

World Food Day is celebrated globally today.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the Western Cape Department of Agriculture had hosted its World Food Day programme in Villiersdorp last week, with a focus on water-wise food gardens.

This year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has selected migration and its impact on food security as the global theme for food security and rural development.

In the Western Cape, we are experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than 100 years. Like the FAO, we recognise that climate change is one of the major threats facing agriculture and food security. That is why we decided to make sure that residents were able to grow their own food with limited water. In our Villiersdorp project, all residents received training on how to use grey water. Food garden projects were fitted with greywater systems. A pipeline links the community gardens to a borehole water supply, meaning no municipal water is being used. We have also partnered with the BGCMA (Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency) to install 28 rain harvesting water tanks.

The following initiatives form part of the R2m food security project:

Three community gardens have been upgraded in Lebanon, Klein Begin and Nuweberg and another 3 new community gardens were established in Villiersdorp.

Two school gardens in Viliiersdorp have been established;

50 families will benefit from household gardens, including drip irrigation, greywater systems and rain harvesting tanks;

160 residents received training in vegetable gardening, focusing on water-wise practices.

Experts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture have shared the following advice on growing water-wise food gardens:

Drip irrigation systems

Drip irrigation is a network of pipes delivering water at a steady pace. Residents can use normal black plastic irrigation pipe, bore a hole through it and put a rope through the holes so that it is visible on both sides of the pipe. Should this handmade dripper get blocked, pull the rope up and down to unblock it.

Grey water

Make your own greywater-filter by using a plastic bucket and filling it with different layers of rock, gravel, sand and charcoal. Make a hole at the bottom and put a funnel in it. Put a cloth or stocking at the bottom of the bucket to prevent the sand from draining through the funnel.

Opt for organic

When planting your own vegetables, use organic principles to prevent pests and diseases from taking over. Remember diversification with different types of vegetables, herbs and insect repellent plants, is optimal for food gardens.

Source: Government of South Africa

Kisumu Protesters Renew Pressure on Kenya’s Electoral Commission

KISUMU, KENYA � Protesters in the Kenyan city of Kisumu defied a local government ban on rallies Monday to demand reforms in the country’s electoral commission. This is the fourth Monday in a row demonstrators have marched on the commission’s offices.

The morning was relatively peaceful when protesters marched to the offices of the electoral commission offices in Kisumu’s city center. But in the afternoon, police used teargas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. One person was killed.

John Omondi, a local businessman, was among those rallying in support of opposition leader Raila Amolo Odinga.

We are in the street because we want change in Kenya, because Raila Amolo Odinga has fought for change for so long and we have not managed or [have been] able to get that change. We will still push on for the demonstration so that we get that change, Omondi said.

Kisumu is Odinga’s hometown and he enjoys strong support in the city.

Odinga, who ran against incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta in an August election, challenged Kenyatta’s win in the poll. The Supreme Court overturned the results, saying they were neither transparent or verifiable.

The court ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, or IEBC, to conduct a re-run election within 60 days of its September 1 ruling.

Since then, Odinga has demanded the commission fire members who were allegedly involved in the August electoral irregularities. The commission has said it has no time to make personnel changes.

Last week Odinga withdrew from the October 26 re-run election blaming the commission and the ruling Jubilee party of planning to rig the vote.

Protester Omondi said Odinga has not gone away from the country’s political scene.

The fact that Raila Odinga withdrew from the presidential race doesn’t mean that he withdrew it completely because he is still waiting for reforms at the IEBC and when any change takes place at the IEBC he still will be in the race, Omondi said.

However, the opposition has vowed to continue with its weekly protests at the commission offices.

Protester Joseph Otieno says more pressure must be put on the electoral commission.

“This demonstration is not that big as we wanted it. We want one that will take place every day and night. This is a joke and the only way we can get change is pushing for daily demonstrations.”

Meanwhile, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have accused Kenya’s police of killing 33 people while breaking up post-election protests.

In a report titled Kenya: Kill those criminals: Security forces violations in Kenya’s August 2017 elections, Amnesty documents what it calls the use of excessive force by authorities in quelling protests in opposition areas.

Police have previously denied killing protesters. The Interior Ministry did acknowledge nine people have died since August and three more on Friday in Bondo, in the west of the country.

Source: Voice of America