Daily Archives: March 20, 2018

Mahlambi confident of good showing in four nations tournament

Bafana Bafana midfielder, Phakamabi Mahlambi believes the team will put up a good showing in the four nations tournament set to take place in Ndola, Zambia from 21 to 25 March.

Bafana Bafana safely landed in the copperbelt of Ndola on Tuesday, 20 March and hit the ground running with a light training session ahead of their opening match against Angola on Tuesday, 21 March at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium at 15h00 with the hosts taking on Zimbabwe later on at 18h00 at the very same venue.

Speaking to SAFA.net upon the team’s arrival in Ndola, Al Ahly midfielder, Phakamani Mahlambi said the spirit in the camp was high and believes the squad that has been called to represent the nation can put up a good showing.

We haven’t had a lot of preparation time but with the squad that we have, we can definitely put up a good fight. The energy in camp is very positive and everyone is in high spirits. Everyone is looking forward to playing and I am glad that the team has gelled will together said Mahlambi.

With a number of youngsters called up to the team, Stuart Baxter will be using this tournament to give a run to players like Maphosa Modiba, Teboho Mokoena, Siphesihle Ndlovu while experienced campaigners such as Itumeleng Khune, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Thulani Hlatshwayo will use their experience to guide the youngstars.

Representing the national team is a serious task and everyone is aware of the importance of making the nation proud. We want to assure the nation that we will give it our all in the tournament concluded Mahlambi.

Source: South African Football Association

Portfolio Committee on COGTA Meets with CRL Commission to Discuss Seven Angel Ministries

Parliament� The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs today met with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) to discuss the incident involving the Seven Angel Ministries church in Engcobo, Eastern Cape.

Committee Chairperson, Mr Richard Mdakane, said the committee and the CRL Commission agreed on a number of issues except for the unfortunate statement made by the Chairperson of the Commission, which accused the Portfolio Committee of ignoring recommendations of the CRL Commission.

The said statement had made suggestions that the recommendations could have prevented the tragedy at Engcobo, which resulted in the killing of police officers when a gang which included church members attacked the local police station, and some church leaders were also killed during a police raid at the church which resulted in an exchange of gunfire between police and church members.

We agree on self-regulation or peer-review mechanism by the religious sector, we also agree that there must be a consultative forum of the sector to develop a code of conduct and ethics, all the misunderstandings now are cleared, it was just an unfortunate statement and we have dealt with it and are happy now, Mr Mdakane said.

The Chairperson of CRL Commission, Ms Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, said the country must move with urgency to hold the consultative forum to curb the abuse of peoples’ beliefs and commercialisation of religion. Freedom of religion cannot be an endless freedom that can be used to exploit the poor and vulnerable in society, she told the Portfolio Committee.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

SARS Commissioner placed on suspension

President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Tom Moyane, on suspension with immediate effect.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has informed the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Commissioner Tom Moyane of his suspension with immediate effect pending the institution of disciplinary proceedings, said the Presidency on Monday evening.

President Ramaphosa said it was in the public interest to restore credibility at the revenue service without delay.

In a letter to Moyane, President Ramaphosa said: Developments at the SARS under your leadership have resulted in a deterioration in public confidence in the institution and in public finances being compromised. For the sake of the country and the economy, this situation cannot be allowed to continue, or to worsen.

The Presidency said concern was raised in particular about the manner in which Moyane handled the matter of former Chief Officer: Business and Individual Taxes (BAIT) Jonas Makwakwa, his treatment of the report given to him by the Financial Intelligence Centre, and his failure to immediately report this to the Minister of Finance.

The suspended Commissioner last Wednesday announced the resignation with immediate effect of Makwakwa.

Another concern that was raised was the management of Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds, which had brought the SARS into serious disrepute and potentially jeopardised the integrity of the SARS as collector of revenue and adversely affected tax morality among tax payers.

The decision to suspend Mr Moyane follows a meeting in which President Ramaphosa informed Mr Moyane that he had lost confidence in his ability to lead SARS and offered him an opportunity to resign with immediate effect, which Mr Moyane declined, said the Presidency.

In addition, President Ramaphosa indicated that as SARS Commissioner, Moyane holds a high position of trust in the management of the country’s public finances.

It was therefore necessary to act urgently and immediately to protect the institution and place it on a path to stability and recovery, said the Presidency, adding that the Minister of Finance will announce the appointment of an acting Commissioner.

Moyane has been at the helm of the revenue service with effect from 27 September 2014.

Appointment of acting Commissioner

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has announced the appointment of Mark Kingon as the acting Commissioner of the revenue service.

Mr Mark Kingon has been appointed as acting Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service following the suspension of Mr Thomas Moyane, the Commissioner of SARS by the President, said National Treasury.

Following the immediate resignation of Makwakwa, SARS announced the appointment of Kingon as the acting Chief Officer (BAIT).

He has been with SARS since its establishment and worked his way through the ranks to become the Group Executive: Relationship Management within Business and Individual Taxes. We wish to thank Mr Kingon for availing himself to serve SARS and the country in this capacity, said Treasury.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Gauteng Provincial Legislature elect new Deputy speaker and swear in new members, 20 Mar

Election of the new Deputy Speaker of the Gauteng Legislature and swearing-in of the new member of the Legislature

Members of Gauteng Provincial Legislature will elect a new deputy speaker and swear-in a new MPL at the house sitting to be held tomorrow Tuesday 20 March 2018 at 10h00.

The position of the deputy speaker became vacant after the resignation of Hon. Dikgang Uhuru Moiloa who has joined the Gauteng Provincial Government as the MEC for Human Settlements and COGTA.

The election of the deputy speaker will be preceded by the swearing-in of Mr Matome Chiloane, who is the current Chairperson of ANC Youth League in Gauteng. Mr Chiloane replaces Hon. Paul Mashatile who resigned as a Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

Source: Government of South Africa

Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane launches Biorefinery Industry Development Facility

Biorefinery facility launched to address biomass waste challenges, boost industry competitiveness

The South African government has launched a R37.5 million biorefinery facility in Durban, which is set to extract maximum value from biomass waste. The facility, which is a first for South Africa, will support innovation in a range of industries, including forestry, agro processing and other biomass-based industries.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, launched the Biorefinery Industry Development Facility (BIDF) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) campus in Durban today, 20 March 2018.

The initial focus of the BIDF is the forestry sector, which is under financial strain globally. Technology innovations have been earmarked to help prevent job losses and enable growth in this sector.

Biorefinery in South Africa’s pulp and paper industry is practiced on a very limited scale. Wood, pulp and paper waste ends up in landfill sites or is burnt, stockpiled or even pumped out to sea. The potential to extract value from it, is not realised, which means lost opportunities for the country’s economy.

Additionally, the country is running out of landfill space. High-value speciality chemicals can be extracted from sawmill and dust shavings, while mill sludge can be converted into nanocrystalline cellulose, biopolymers and biogas.

The facility is the third Industry Innovation Partnership Fund (IIPF) initiative to be launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and its entity, the CSIR. The other two are the Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre and the Nanomaterials Industrial Development Facility. The purpose of the IIPF is to support research and development programmes that enhance industry competitiveness.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said a ministerial review report highlighted several challenges that impeded the growth and strengthening of the country’s national system of innovation, one of which was low levels of investments in research and development by the private sector.

A key recommendation of the report was for government to put in place effective measures and mechanisms to attract the private sector to invest in R&D and innovation, said the Minister.

The Minister further stated that the Industry Innovation Partnership (IIP) was a response to those recommendations whose key objectives were to leverage industry investment in RDI by stimulating increased co-funding and participation by industry players in projects to maintain and increase their export market share and mitigate under-spending in technology and innovation in identified niche or strategic sectors in the South African economy.

A key long-term outcomes measure would be increased sector contribution to the GDP through stronger RDI-based industrial development, said the Minister; adding that the IIP should support initiatives, such as satellite development and manufacturing and titanium powder development, among others.

Talking about the need for science to support industrial development, CSIR CEO, Dr Thulani Dlamini said making South Africa more competitive was at the heart of the CSIR.

Our mandate requires us to use science and technology to contribute to scientific and industrial development, which will improve the competitiveness of the South African industry and also create new industries. The CSIR is using innovation to contribute to economic growth and thus assisting in the fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment, said Dr Dlamini.

Prof Bruce Sithole, CSIR Manager for Forestry Products, emphasised the potential of the BIDF to be of service to other sectors, for example, exploring the use of chicken feathers in high-value products.

Small quantities of waste chicken feathers are processed into feed for livestock, but the majority of the waste is traditionally disposed of by burning or landfilling. However, the BIDF is demonstrating that keratin can be successfully extracted from the poultry by-product to be used in high-value applications, such as nanostructured materials for biomedical applications.

The BIDF is accessible to large industry and Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) for their research and development, analytical and pilot scale testing, evaluation, processing and development of technologies for processing biomass.

Some of the equipment at the BIDF is unique in South Africa. The facility is home to highly-skilled chemists, engineers and biologists who are well-versed in technologies for beneficiation and valorisation of biomass, said Sithole.

Significant investments are being made to develop the human capital required to support the sector. The CSIR has partnered with the University of KwaZulu-Natal to develop the required skills and expertise that will enable and promote biorefinery technologies in South Africa.

Ms Jane Molony, Executive Director of the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Association of South Africa, expressed confidence in the potential of the facility to make a meaningful contribution to the sector and the South African economy.

Source: Government of South Africa