Daily Archives: October 23, 2017

President Jacob Zuma officiates at national OR Tambo Centenary Celebrations in Mbizana, 27 Oct

President Jacob Zuma will on Friday, 27 October 2017, officiate at the OR Tambo Centenary national celebrations to honour the legacy and life of the liberation struggle icon, African humanist and the longest serving President of the governing party, Mr Oliver Reginald Tambo, in his hometown of Mbizana, in the Eastern Cape Province.

The year 2017 was declared a ‘Year of OR Tambo’ by government to mark the centenary birthday of Mr Tambo and to remember his principled leadership and ideals which inspired many liberation struggle and anti-colonialism activists not only in South Africa but across the continent and the world. The national centenary celebrations will be held under the theme “Life and Legacy of Mr OR Tambo”.

Mr Tambo was born in the Nkantolo village in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape on 27 October 1917 and he sadly passed away on 24 April 1993, aged 75, after he suffered a stroke.

President Zuma has defined the centenary celebrations as one of the most significant occasions for the country and the African continent and encouraged South Africans to draw lessons from Mr Tambo’s life, leadership and to understand the qualities that made him one of the most internationally respected leaders and founding of father of the democratic South Africa.

On this occasion we should remember and honour a life of a patriot, a solid and principled leader that sacrificed everything and endangered the lives of his family to liberate South Africa and African people from colonialism and imperialism. As we celebrate the life of this liberation struggle giant, we should also draw lessons from OR Tambo’s exemplary leadership and advance his ideals and his belief in a peaceful, equal, non-racial, non-sexist democratic South Africa, said President Zuma.

This occasion should further remind all South Africans of where we come from as a country and also encourage all of us to preserve and advance the progressive ideals of OR Tambo which were centered around the struggle for justice and equal social and economic rights of all our people.

The ideals of this visionary and freedom fighter should inspire all of us as we advance our struggle for radical socio-economic transformation that will reverse the legacy of apartheid and liberate our people from economic hardships and address the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, a struggle that OR Tambo lived and fought for, said President Zuma.

President Zuma has characterized Mr Tambo as a visionary and a true African humanist who was loved by many in the continent and who shaped the foreign policy of the democratic South Africa as well as laid a foundation as the foremost diplomat and highly respected leader during difficult time in the country’s history.

Mr Tambo is respected throughout the world as a true internationalist and an embodiment of the highest values. He is recognised as an eminent leader who succeeded in mobilizing his people and the international community to the national cause of South Africa and to the international cause of fighting racism, xenophobia and the consolidation of an international human rights movement, he said.

Through his solution-oriented leadership, which sought to move forward on the basis of building consensus, he also led key processes from the Harare Declaration to the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the President added.

Government has hosted a number of activities and build-up events throughout the year to celebrate Mr Tambo’s life and legacy. Early this month, President Zuma officially launched the Oliver Tambo National Heritage Site in Lusaka, Republic of Zambia during his State Visit to the country.

Whilst exiled from South Africa during the apartheid era, Mr Tambo lived in Zambia from 1965 to 1991, where he was accommodated in various locations including Chelstone Green in Lusaka in a house which was allocated to him by Zambia’s first democratic President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda. The house has been renovated by the South African government and declared as a National Heritage Site by the Zambian government.

Last week President Zuma has also unveiled a life-size statue and a bust of Mr Tambo at OR Tambo International Airport which was named after him, in honour of his immense contribution in the liberation struggle.

Source: Government of South Africa

Report statement on President Zuma attending the 500 years commemoration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church

President Jacob Zuma yesterday, 22 October 2017, addressed the 500 years commemoration of the launch of the reformation of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa and sent good wishes to the Matric class of 2017 at the ABSA Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

When addressing over twenty thousands Lutherans, President Zuma asked the congregants to pray for leaders and society at large to have good hearts. He also extended his condolences to people of Somalia who had perished during a bomb attack which killed over three hundred people recently.

The President thanked the church for their role over the years in the rural development by building schools and assisting in health care institutions.

President also had a special message for the Matric class of 2017 who began writing their examinations today, 23 October 2017.

We need to join hands and pray for our matriculants. This is the most defining moment and a critical period for our 2017 matric leaners and the country at large. We wish our Class of 2017 all the best in their National Senior Certificate final examinations. We urge all our learners to remain focused and to give their best as they have reached this critical phase of their education and ensure that they make the country proud by producing the best matric results ever, said President Zuma.

We wish to also remind all our learners that the future of this country is in their hands and it is only education and their sharp minds that will assist us to fight the challenges facing their communities and the country particularly those of poverty, unemployment and inequality, the President added.

President Zuma has called on parents, relatives and all South Africans to provide maximum support to all matric leaners to ensure that they are well equipped as they prepare for their examination.

President Zuma also appealed to matric learners to abstain from copying and cheating as these acts had the potential of destroying their future and called for authorities to take necessary precaution to avoid such acts.

Government will continue to provide necessary support to all our matriculants and teachers during this critical period and beyond. We wish to also remind our matriculants of the many opportunities provided by Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs) colleges and other vocational training centres. Our youth must look beyond academic careers and also consider technical fields that will contribute to improving economic growth of our country, President Zuma said.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Finance Minister to table his first mini-budget

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will this week table his maiden Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in Parliament.

Appointed to head National Treasury following President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle in March, Minister Gigaba is set to deliver the MTBPS, also known as the mini-budget, in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Minister Gigaba’s tabling of the MTBPS comes after Statistics South Africa’s announcement last month of the country’s emergence from a technical recession. In the second quarter of 2017, South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2.5%.

On Wednesday, Minister Gigaba is expected to brief the nation on how South African Airways (SAA) will be funded.

The national carrier, which was moved from the portfolio of Public Enterprises to National Treasury in 2014, has been struggling to pay its lenders and service providers.

Minister Gigaba had previously announced that government is exploring options of establishing a proper capital structure for the airline

At the end of September, National Treasury announced that government has had approved a R3 billion transfer to SAA to allow it to meet its debt obligations to Citibank.

The funds, which were also to be used to assist the airline with its immediate working capital requirements, were from the National Revenue Fund (NRF).

The bailout was done in terms of section 16 of the Public Finance Management Act. This section of legislation states that the Minister can authorise the use of funds to defray expenditure of an exceptional nature, which is currently not provided for and which cannot, without serious prejudice to the public interest, be postponed to a future Parliamentary appropriation of funds.

A default by the airline on the R3 billion would have triggered a call on the guarantee exposure totalling R16.4 billion, leading to an outflow from the NRF and possibly resulting in elevated perceptions of risk related to the rest of SAA’s guaranteed debt, Treasury said at the time.

This was the second transfer of funds since July.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said an Inter-Ministerial Committee on SOEs was looking into strengthening SOEs that need support, including SAA, in order to return to their profitability.

Answering questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) earlier in September, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said challenges faced by the airline were quite complex.

Last week Treasury announced the appointment of six new members to SAA’s board.

The airline further announced network changes both for domestic and regional segments as part of its newly developed five-year plan that seeks to return the company to financial sustainability.

Minister Gigaba has also indicated that the process of assessing the viability of a merger between SAA and SA Express is done, pending a government review.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Gauteng Roads and Transport invests R55 million in Sedibeng road projects

The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport has completed two rehabilitation and maintenance projects in the Sedibeng District Municipality.

Sebe and D904 Roads projects – both in the southern corridor – were undertaken at a cost of approximately R55 million.

This is in line with the provincial government’s commitment to improving and providing road infrastructure that facilitates access to economic opportunities and improves lives.

The D904 road project, which runs between De Deur and Evaton, was undertaken at a cost of R32 million. The works included maintaining and rehabilitating a two-lane single carriageway between the R82 and Evaton.

It also covered the cleaning of existing storm-water pipes, installing sub-surface drainage system, installing road signs and markings as well as constructing pedestrian concrete lined V-drain.

Sebe Road in Evaton was rehabilitated at a cost of R25 million. The road links Sebokeng Zones 3, 6 and 7, Residensia, Evaton Proper and Ironside towards Midvaal and Johannesburg.

The scope of work included construction of seven metre wide surfaced roads and upgrading of two intersections between Union and Station Roads, construction of pedestrian sidewalks and storm-water pipes with kerb inlets as well as installation of road signs and markings.

The upgrades are envisioned to provide road users with improved mobility, increased roadway capacity, reduced travel times, easy access to business and residential areas as well as improving general road safety.

Source: Government of South Africa

Kenyatta: Kenya’s Presidential Election Must Go On

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says Thursday’s presidential election must go on ´┐Ż with or without opposition candidate Raila Odinga.

“We are here requesting you, with a lot of respect … Kayole residents, please let’s agree to come out in large numbers and vote for me,” Kenyatta said at a rally Monday in a Nairobi neighborhood.

Thursday’s vote is Kenya’s second try this year to elect as president. The Supreme Court threw out the results of the August 8 election because of what it called “irregularities and illegalities.”

Opposition leader Odinga has withdrawn his candidacy, saying Kenya’s electoral commission has failed to undertake election reforms. The opposition coalition has expressed doubts the commission is ready to “conduct free, fair and credible elections.”

Kenyatta said Monday his administration has provided the commission with the funds it needs to do its job. “Now they really should deliver,” he said.

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, read a statement Monday on behalf of 20 western nations, including the European Union, urging all sides to come together in Kenya for a credible election.

But Godec said Kenyan courts should order a postponement if justices feel the commission is not ready.

“The deteriorating political environment is undermining preparations for the new presidential election,” the statement said. “Inflammatory rhetoric, attacks on institutions, and growing insecurity all make holding a credible and fair poll more difficult … it is dangerous and it must stop.”

Ruth Odinga, the opposition leader’s sister, has been accused of damaging election commission property and encouraging violence.

Kenyatta is daring anyone to try to threaten or attack voters.

Source: Voice of America