Monthly Archives: February 2018

International Relations and Cooperation hosts Inaugural Drought Core Group meeting

South Africa, through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), has been bestowed with the singular honour of hosting and Chairing the inaugural meeting of the Drought Core Group (DCG), which is being held today, 28 February 2018, at the OR Tambo Building, DIRCO’s Headquarters.

The DCG is the outcome of the UN High-Level Partnership Mission co-led by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the African Union Commission (AUC). The DCG is a coalition of key humanitarian and development donors that has been formed to keep the focus and attention on the issue of tackling drought and preventing famines.

Through the DCG, the members will consolidate their support and leverage urgent international assistance to not only provide immediate relief to affected people, but also to build their long term resilience.

South Africa is the only African country that had participated in the High-Level Partnership Mission and subsequently stepped up its humanitarian support and the Chair is a recognition of that effort.

The inaugural meeting is focussing on the outlook and risks for drought and famines in the African continent in 2018 and also deliberate on the Terms of Reference and future strategy of the Group.

The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Partnerships with Middle-East and Central Asia, Mr. Rashid Khalikov and the UN Secretary-General’s Humanitarian Envoy, Mr. Ahmad Al-Maraikhi are among some of the participants.

Source: Government of South Africa

KZN committed to fighting corruption

The KwaZulu-Natal province has affirmed its commitment to fighting fraud and corruption, reducing unauthorised, irregular, fruitless as well as wasteful expenditure.

We will apply a zero tolerance approach in dealing with those who are found guilty of these transgressions, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu said.

Delivering his State of the Province Address on Wednesday, he said the province will conduct lifestyle audits of officials in high risk positions and they will be starting with the Supply Chain Management Units. This will be done in collaboration with South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Prevention programmes to reduce HIV infections

Over a three year period, the Provincial Government mobilised R419 million from the Global Fund to implement prevention programmes to reduce new HIV infections and fight TB among adolescent girls, young women and vulnerable populations and to improve the quality of their lives.

Through this Programme, we provided 16 574 young women and boys with life skills-based HIV education, counselling and testing, peer support, teen parenting and child protection programmes, Premier Mchunu said.

In the year to come, the province will reach 20 000 young women in ages 19-24 with comprehensive risk reduction package of services including empowerment incentives.

Additionally, the province will deliver a combination prevention package to 141 191 vulnerable people living in informal settlements, on farms and targeting young women and their families in the identified high burdened areas of the province.

The province will also provide much needed additional infrastructure in the form of 10 Mobile Units, 1 Mobile X-ray unit, 8 Motor cycles and IT equipment.

The programme will also create more than 600 job opportunities for both professionals and non- professional staff. More than 10 non-governmental and community based organizations will be subcontracted to implement interventions for the programme, he said.

Universal Test and Treat (UTT) programme

The drive for the reduction in new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women is further supported by the Dreams initiative, in partnership with PEPFAR, the Gates Foundation and the Nike foundation, which is now ready for implementation in the uMgungundlovu and Umkhanyakude districts, as well as in eThekwini.

The 90-90-90 HIV management strategy is being implemented through the Universal Test and Treat (UTT) programme which is aimed at reducing the number of new infections, Premier Mchunu said.

UTT started in September 2017 and aims to increase access to HIV testing and initiation of treatment for those who test HIV positive.

In the last year, the province recorded 11 284 597 patients receiving Anti-Retroviral Treatment; 2 047 449 HIV Tests done; and 150 918 Male Medical Circumcisions were performed.

The province is now approaching the one million mark.

We have also followed through on our commitment to intensify our fight against TB and our treatment success rate over the last year reached the 88% mark, Premier Mchunu said.

The province has also made progress on the rollout of the Phila Mntwana Centres in which it continues to provide post-natal care and education, as well as the identification of children with incomplete immunisation schedules.

A total of 1 045 of these centres have been established throughout the province and more than 300 000 children were scanned at these centres over the last year.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Provincial work session on the implementation of the Rural Safety Strategy

Following the Provincial launch of Rural Safety Strategy, the implementation is now rolling in all the Clusters through the ongoing Joint Crime Prevention Operations and outreach programmes which are still unfolding in an endeavour to eradicate all the criminal elements within the Farming communities.

Today, a two-day work session on the implementation of the rural safety strategy commenced at Seshego outside Polokwane facilitated by Lieutenant Colonel Simon and Captain Nkwadi from the SAPS National Head Office of the Division Visible Policing.

The session was attended by the following: The Cluster Commanders, Station Commander, Rural Safety Coordinators from Bela Bela, Polokwane, Groblersdal, Thohoyandou, Lephalale, Burgersfort Clusters and the Provincial Rural Safety Forum.

The implementation of this Strategy is driven by the Deputy Provincial Commissioner Policing Major General Jan Scheepers and the remaining Clusters will be in attendance tomorrow, 1 March 2018 at the same venue.

The work session included the inspection of the Rural Safety Strategy files from all the Clusters and Stations.

Source: South African Police Service

CABINET RESHUFFLE BRINGS CHANGE TO SOUTH AFRICA’S ECONOMIC PORTFOLIO

PRETORIA, The Cabinet reshuffle announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night will bring changes in the economic portfolio with Nhlanhla Nene returning as Finance Minister after being dropped by former president jacob Zuma in December 2015.

Nene, who served as Finance Minister from 26 May 2014 until 9 December 2015, takes over the reins at the National Treasury from Malusi Gigaba, who last Wednesday made his inaugural State of the Nation Address in Parliament.

The Minister had also been co-chairperson of the Joint Budget Committee of parliament from October 2002 to August 2005, and chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance from August 2002 to November 2008. He was a member of the local organizing for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

Nene, who is taking over from Gigaba, who has been moved to the Department of Home Affairs (Interior), will be assisted by incoming Deputy Minister Mondli Gungubele, a former Mayor of Ekurhuleni Municipality. He also headed the Economic Affairs Portfolio Committee in the Gauteng provincial legislature (2004 – 2007).

The Executive’s economic portfolio has also gained a change in the Department of Public Enterprises with the appointment of Pravin Gordhan, who had served two stints as Finance Minister.

Gordhan takes over a portfolio which has among the biggest State-owned companies in the country such as logistics group Transnet and power utility Eskom, from former Minister Lynne Brown, who has been dropped from the Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Jeff Radebe, the former Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation will take over the Energy portfolio from former Minister David Mahlobo.

He has served in every administration since being appointed to South Africa’s first Cabinet under President Nelson Mandela as Minister of Public Works from 1994 to 16 June 1999.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

New Permanent Observer for International Seabed Authority Presents Letter of Appointment

The new Permanent Observer for the International Seabed Authority to the United Nations, Michael W. Lodge, presented his letter of appointment to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today.

Prior to his latest appointment, Mr. Lodge was the Authority’s Secretary-General, a position to which he was elected in July 2016, having previously served as Deputy to the Secretary-General and Legal Counsel to the Jamaica-based body.

Earlier, he was Counsellor to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Round Table on Sustainable Development from 2004 to 2007. He served as Legal Counsel to the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency from 1991 to 1995.

With 28 years of experience as a public international lawyer, Mr. Lodge has acted as a consultant on fisheries, environmental and international law in Africa, Asia, Europe and the South Pacific. He helped to create and implement the first international regulatory agreement for seabed mining, and served as a lead negotiator for South Pacific island States for the 1995 United Nations Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.

A citizen of the United Kingdom, he holds a Master of Science in marine policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Law from the University of East Anglia.

Source: United Nations