Category Archives: News

South Sudan’s President, Rebel Leader Sign Peace Deal

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir signed a peace agreement with rebel factions in the Ethiopian capital on Wednesday to end a civil war that has killed at least 50,000 people, displaced two million and held up the country’s progress since it gained independence seven years ago.

South Sudan plunged into warfare two years after independence from Sudan in 2011 when a political dispute between Kiir and then vice-president Riek Machar erupted into armed confrontation.

A previous peace deal signed in 2015 fell apart a year later after clashes broke out between government forces and rebels. Machar, leader of the main rebel group the SPLM-IO, and other insurgent factions signed the new agreement with the Juba government after assurances that a power-sharing accord would be honored. The deal, mediated by Sudan, reinstates Machar to his former role as vice-president.

The stability of South Sudan is also important for Sudan and other neighbouring countries, who fear a new flare up of the conflict could flood them with refugees.

The civil war started in 2013, fuelled by personal and ethnic rivalries. The conflict has killed at least 50,000 people, many of them civilians, according to the United Nations.

An estimated quarter of South Sudan’s population of 12 million has been displaced and its economy, which heavily relies on crude oil production, ruined.

The secession of South Sudan also hit Khartoum’s economy hard, taking with it most of the region’s oil reserves. Khartoum and Juba agreed in June to repair oil infrastructure facilities destroyed by the war within three months to boost production and said a joint force would be established to protect oilfields from attacks by rebels.

The United States, Britain and Norway, known as the Troika which back peace efforts, welcomed the signing of the deal.

We hope discussions will remain open to those who are not yet convinced of the sustainability of this agreement, they said in a statement. We must seize this broader regional momentum to secure peace for the people of South Sudan.

Mahboub Maalim, executive secretary of the East African bloc IGAD, said the rivals had been at odds over security arrangements and governance but that the final version of the deal had addressed disagreements.

This is probably the best-negotiated proposal signed so far, he told reporter after it was signed at a meeting of IGAD leaders.

Asked what a failure to implement the deal would entail, Maalim said: We expect the South Sudanese sides to embrace the wind of change in the region.

The region has seen a series of stunning rapprochements over the past months, including a reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

IGAD had been expected to readmit Eritrea as a member on Wednesday, 11 years after Asmara walked out on the body in protest at Ethiopian forces entering Somalia. But that move was postponed for procedural reasons and was likely to take place in the bloc’s next gathering, officials said.

Source: Voice of America

Over one million worth of drugs recovered

WESTERN CAPE � A joint Hawks’ Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB) and Crime Intelligence disruptive operation on Tuesday morning led to the recovery of Mandrax tablets valued at just over a million rand.

The operation resulted in the recovery of about 24 000 Mandrax tablets from an apparently abandoned vehicle that was parked near a local hotel in the vicinity of the Cape Town International Airport. The vehicle and the drugs have been seized pending further investigations.

Source: South African Police Service

MEC Sihle Zikalala calls for unbundling of monopoly in ICT industry

MEC Zikalala calls for the unbundling of monopoly in the ICT industry

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala believes self-regulation with respect to ICT companies wasn’t working in the process of extending digital connection to poor & remote communities.

Government, he said has to come with regulatory mechanism that would unbundle monopoly by few companies that have footprint across the world to ensure there were meetingful partnerships in the development of new technologies to reach out to remote & poor communities.

Mr Zikalala was speaking during the Roundtable Discussion hosted by International Telecommunication Union in Durban. He however he highlighted the importance of skills development to empower young people to actively participate in the digital economy.

Some collaborations with different role players in the ICT sector especially educational and research institutions such as Durban University of Technology & Moses Kotane Institute, he acknowledged were contributing in addressing the digital divide.

Installation of wi-fi services in public facilities like Thusong Centres would go a long way in accelerating ICT connectivity particularly in less developed areas, Zikalala added.

The Minister of Telecommunication & Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele stated that government was making an effort to widen access to digital linkages through installation of the broadband to be able to meet the developmental goals as reflected in the Vision 2030 of the NDP.

But he admitted the rolling out of the broadband was costly in the face of other pressing developmental challenges hence he said government was working with private sector in broadening universal access to ICT services.

The ‘ITU Telecom 2018’ has attracted delegates from all continents and there seems to be a consensus that access to digital technology would influence pace of socio-economic development the world over. Partnership would be crucial in ensuring equitable deployment of new technologies.

Source: Government of South Africa


JOHANNESBURG– At least 24 babies have died following an outbreak of Klebsiella bacteria at the Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital in Vosloorus, about 30 kilometres south east of here, according to the South African nurses union, Denosa.

A union official, Bongani Ngxangase, said Monday that the Union leadership had been trying to get the Department of Health to pay attention to the outbreak for months now.

The Department, meanwhile, insists that five babies have died and that the situation is under control.

Ngxangase said that from July until now, we have about 24 babies who have died, we have that on record, names and file numbers that we have collated”.

“We can say it’s more, because other files have disappeared, data have been deleted � so that means there could be more. Why they are hiding, deleting data,we don’t know.


President Cyril Ramaphosa briefs NCOP on land reform, youth employment and SOE governance, 11 Sept

President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow, 11 September 2018, answer Questions for Oral Reply in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) that will touch on youth employment, governance of state-owned enterprises and lifestyles audits for senior public officials.

Holding regular question and answer plenary sittings with the President and other members of the Executive is one of the ways in which Parliament exercises oversight over executive action.

Among the issues President Ramaphosa will address is the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative which the President launched earlier this year and which brings together business, labour, civil society to create about one million job opportunities over three years.

President Ramaphosa will also brief NCOP members on progress in the process of conducting lifestyle audits on senior public officials as part of government’s commitment to fighting corruption – a commitment that arises from the 2018 State of the Nation Address.

The President will also address matters relating to governance of state-owned enterprises and their developmental role in helping to grow the economy. He will also address loan conditions attached to Eskom and Transnet from the Chinese Development Bank.

The President will provide an update on the land reform programme and government’s position on United States of America President Donald Trump’s recent remarks on land redistribution and the implications of the remarks to the diplomatic relations between South Africa and the United States.

President Ramaphosa had consistently indicated that the process of land reform would be undertaken within the confines of the Constitution and in a way that grew the economyS ensured food securityS and increased agricultural production.

Source: Government of South Africa