Category Archives: Politics

SAA extends its Luanda offering

South African Airways (SAA) has added two extra weekly flights to the Angolan capital of Luanda as part of enhancing its footprint on the African continent.

The extra flights will commence on Sunday, bringing the national carrier’s total weekly operation between Johannesburg and Luanda to four flights per week.

As part of our Africa growth strategy, we are enhancing our footprint on the continent by expanding our route network to enable seamless connections for our customers.

We are especially pleased to offer our customers from Angola more travel options to connect them to the world through Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. East and Southern Africa, and the rest of the continent and the world are easily within reach, said SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali on Wednesday.

SAA has been operating flights to Luanda for over 30 years, making it one of the leading airlines in Angola. The route is very popular with not only Angolans, but with most of the guests travelling from and to Luanda and then connecting on SAA’s route network to various destinations such as Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, New York, Washington and the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Tlali said both narrow and wide body aircraft (A330-200, A330-300 and A320) operate on this route.

The additional frequencies that take effect from 9 September will be operated with the A320 two class configured aircraft.

The carrier said its Network Development Plan is aligned to the Alliance Strategy by strengthening its position in sub-Saharan Africa through forming new partnerships.

SAA customers can also fly with TAAG Angola Airlines, as the two carriers code share between Johannesburg and Luanda, as well as Cape Town and Luanda.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Media Advisory: Launch of South Africa Chapter of Global TB Caucus of Parliamentarians

Parliament� Tomorrow, plenary sittings of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces are scheduled to debate draft resolutions to launch the South Africa Chapter of the Global TB Caucus of Parliamentarians.

This is a worldwide network of parliamentarians which Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi co-chairs and which galvanizes parliamentarians to become champions in the fight against tuberculosis (TB). TB is the world’s leading infectious disease killer, although it can be treated and cured. South Africa made world history in June when the Department of Health announced that drug-resistant TB patients would be eligible to receive a new oral medicine, bedaquiline. Treating such patients has been difficult because of the many negative side effects of older medicines.

Parliament’s Presiding Officers, National Assembly Speaker Ms Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Ms Thandi Modise, are patrons of the South African TB Caucus. The launch of this caucus follows the launch of a regional African TB Caucus in 2016 in Durban and the launch of the Global TB Caucus of Parliamentarians in 2014 in Spain.

Membership of the South Africa TB Caucus is open to any parliamentarian or legislator from any political party and the caucus will seek to strengthen ties with other such groups around the world to achieve its overall goal of eliminating the TB epidemic. It will also collaborate with other parliamentary structures to address health and socio-economic matters, such as, HIV/AIDS, housing and other issues associated with TB.

In September, the United Nations General Assembly meets in New York at the first ever high-level meeting on TB. The theme of the meeting, which President Cyril Ramaphosa will attend, is aimed at accelerating efforts to end TB by reaching all affected people through prevention and care. Heads of State attending the September meeting are expected to endorse a Political Declaration to strengthen action and investment to end TB and save millions of lives.

Media are invited to the launch of the South Africa Chapter of the Global TB Caucus of Parliamentarians tomorrow evening, 4 September.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

FOCAC a transformative tool: Sisulu

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the time has come for China and Africa to make FOCAC a transformative tool to change the lives of people and future generations for the better.

Speaking at the Luncheon of the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), in Beijing, China, on Sunday, Sisulu said they need to utilise FOCAC as an important mechanism to strengthen efforts to address the various emerging challenges besetting the world today, specifically the rising nationalistic ethos, populism, unilateralism, protectionism and the emergence of global trade wars.

I believe that Africa as a continent on the rise, has a lot to learn from the Chinese experience and that FOCAC, as a platform for our continued closer cooperation, provides us with an opportunity to share these experiences to chart a path for Africa’s sustainable development and future prosperity.

We have seen the successes of this relationship; with African countries becoming more integrated and connected through the continued assistance of the People’s Republic of China.

We also continue to see an increase in exchanges of business people, students, academics and scientists between China and our various African countries, which not only contributes to the development of skills but also validates further the enormous value of our relationship, Sisulu said.

She said the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan (2019-2021) that both countries have adopted and proposed for the Summit’s consideration are a further true reflection of the growing comprehensive strategic bonds of friendship between them.

We believe that we should continually strengthen these bonds through the sustained deepening of political and economic relations within the China-Africa FOCAC framework, the Minister said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Public servants urged to be top service provider

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has urged public servants to aim high and put their best foot forward when carrying out their duties and serving the nation.

We must be the services or goods providers of choice for our people. Citizens must want to use public institutions to receive services because we are the best. We need to provide better services than the private sector, says Public Service and Administration Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo.

The Minister made this call as she launched Public Service Month at Velmore Hotel in Pretoria on Friday.

The launch kick-starts a month-long programme that will be rolled out across the country from 1 to 30 September.

Public Service Month, which is annually observed in September, was marked by Cabinet to reignite, instil and rebuild good ethics and professionalism in how public servants do their work.

During the month, service delivery improvement initiatives are highlighted across the public service.

This year’s commemoration takes place under the theme: Thuma Mina: taking public service to the people: we belong, we care, we serve.

Dlodlo reminded public servants to put the public interest first in the execution of their official duties.

They [public servants] must also be committed through timely service to the development and upliftment of all South Africans as per regulation. Public servants must not engage in any transaction or action that is in conflict with or infringes on the execution of his or her official duties, she said.

The Minister urged government officials to report corrupt activities and in so doing return resources back to the public purse.

When the government’s anti-corruption drive eliminates corrupt activities from the system, the resources saved will enable it to efficiently and effectively deliver services to you, [the] citizens of our country, said Dlodlo.

During the launch, the Minister engaged with public servants from various departments and fielded questions on burning issues and matters that stifle the public service.

Among the questions were: ” What is government’s plan for a skills transfer for public servants who are willing to exit the public service but fear leaving a skills gap?” and about the recruitment and retention of interns in the sector.

In a bid to find solutions, public servants raised the need for government to partner with the higher education sector to ensure new graduates are adequately prepared for the workplace.

To boost morale, a proposal to acknowledge and upgrade workers who are on lower levels but have acquired sufficient experience was tabled.

Allaying fears of retrenchment in the public service

Following media reports that government wants to retrench 30 000 workers, Dlodlo took the opportunity to reiterate government’s message on the matter.

There is no plan in this government to retrench people. I don’t want to retrench people, my objective is to align skills with the jobs that exist, said Dlodlo, allaying the fears of public servants.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Public servants urged to be top service provider

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has urged public servants to aim high and put their best foot forward when carrying out their duties and serving the nation.

We must be the services or goods providers of choice for our people. Citizens must want to use public institutions to receive services because we are the best. We need to provide better services than the private sector, says Public Service and Administration Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo.

The Minister made this call as she launched Public Service Month at Velmore Hotel in Pretoria on Friday.

The launch kick-starts a month-long programme that will be rolled out across the country from 1 to 30 September.

Public Service Month, which is annually observed in September, was marked by Cabinet to reignite, instil and rebuild good ethics and professionalism in how public servants do their work.

During the month, service delivery improvement initiatives are highlighted across the public service.

This year’s commemoration takes place under the theme: Thuma Mina: taking public service to the people: we belong, we care, we serve.

Dlodlo reminded public servants to put the public interest first in the execution of their official duties.

They [public servants] must also be committed through timely service to the development and upliftment of all South Africans as per regulation. Public servants must not engage in any transaction or action that is in conflict with or infringes on the execution of his or her official duties, she said.

The Minister urged government officials to report corrupt activities and in so doing return resources back to the public purse.

When the government’s anti-corruption drive eliminates corrupt activities from the system, the resources saved will enable it to efficiently and effectively deliver services to you, [the] citizens of our country, said Dlodlo.

During the launch, the Minister engaged with public servants from various departments and fielded questions on burning issues and matters that stifle the public service.

Among the questions were: ” What is government’s plan for a skills transfer for public servants who are willing to exit the public service but fear leaving a skills gap?” and about the recruitment and retention of interns in the sector.

In a bid to find solutions, public servants raised the need for government to partner with the higher education sector to ensure new graduates are adequately prepared for the workplace.

To boost morale, a proposal to acknowledge and upgrade workers who are on lower levels but have acquired sufficient experience was tabled.

Allaying fears of retrenchment in the public service

Following media reports that government wants to retrench 30 000 workers, Dlodlo took the opportunity to reiterate government’s message on the matter.

There is no plan in this government to retrench people. I don’t want to retrench people, my objective is to align skills with the jobs that exist, said Dlodlo, allaying the fears of public servants.

Source: South African Government News Agency