Daily Archives: May 26, 2013

Dlamini Zuma encourages peace in Africa

Addis Ababa: African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has underscored the need for Africa to sustain unity and resolve its challenges through peaceful means.

This was particularly important as the continent celebrates 50 years of unity.

“We can only permanently silence the guns if we act in solidarity and unity. The self-reliance and economic independence that our founders spoke of remains significant as we seek to expand and modernise our infrastructure,” Dlamini Zuma said.

She was speaking at the opening of a debate on Pan Africanism and African Renaissance held at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa on Saturday.

She called on leaders not to ignore the call for unity made by the Organisation of African Union (OAU) founders.

Speaking at the debate, various Heads of State called for unity and rigorous policies to improve and maintain Africa’s growth.

President of Mauritius Kailash Purryagchallenged AU leaders to take advantage of the momentum and economic growth in Africa by implementing sound economic policies that would ensure further prosperity.

“This development is unprecedented in both scale and speed. From north to south, from east to west, the economies of our continent are growing faster than any other economies in the world,” he said.

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba echoed Purryag’s sentiments, saying Africa should adopt policies aimed at empowering women and youth to achieve true integration.

Leaders from across Africa and beyond are gathering for a special AU summit, which marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the OAU in 1963. A series of activities has been lined up to mark the day. These include a parade by young people from six regions to the National Stadium in Addis Ababa, where an estimated 10 000 people are expected to gather.

Heads of State and Government, who are meeting from 26 – 27 May in Addis Ababa, are expected to reflect on the achievements spearheaded by the AU and its predecessor the OAU.

African leaders meet behind closed doors

Addis Ababa: It was back to business for African Heads of State as they began their two-day African Union summit in Ethiopia on Sunday morning.

The weekend has been characterised by celebrations in various parts of the continent to mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity, now the African Union (AU).

But the 21st Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union, which is closed to media, will deliberate on more serious issues facing the continent and the ability of the so-called Vision 2063 document to help the continent become better in the next 50 years.

The high-level meeting will adopt several reports dealing with peace and security on the continent, and the political and financial position of the AU.

President Jacob Zuma will brief his fellow Heads of State on the outcomes of the BRICS summit, with a special focus on the BRICS Leaders’ Africa Dialogue Forum, held in Durban earlier this year.

Leaders will also look at a report on funding options for the AU prepared by Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Chairperson of the High–Level Panel on Alternative Sources of Funding the African Union.

While Africa has become home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world, the continental body has struggled to secure funding, with most of its member states struggling financially and dependent on external donors to supplement their own budgets.

Previously, the panel recommended a number of proposals for more sustainable funding, including a $2 tax on hotel rooms on the continent and a $5 levy on flights to and from African countries.

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency admits that delays in payment of contributions by member states, coupled with the difficulty in accessing partner funds, are increasingly impacting negatively on the pace of implementation of the union’s activities, projects and programmes.

“These are major challenges that deserve urgent attention and all the technical analyses conducted so far have confirmed that options identified as alternatives to the current system of financing will not only have a significant revenue impact for the Union, but will also be equitable and efficient,” the agency says.

The Peace and Security Council will table a report on its activities and the state of peace and security in Africa.

The council has had a busy year trying to put out fires in conflict-ridden states such as Sudan and South Sudan.

Leaders are also likely to discuss the political instability and conflict in Mali, the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Madagascar, which is in a political deadlock since a 2009 coup. Madagascar has been in crisis since Andry Rajoelina seized power from former President Marc Ravalomanana.

The UN says the instability of Madagascar’s political situation has resulted in an economic downturn in the country and international donors have been reluctant to continue with development aid, amid insecurities of how the money will be spent.

Cosmetics SMMEs workshops to be rolled to other provinces

_: The first two days cosmetics SMMEs Workshop, that was organised jointly by the department of Trade and Industry (the dti), and the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) in Gauteng, has called for such workshops to be rolled-out to other provinces.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe encouraged small entrepreneurs to formalise and grow their businesses. She said they can amongst others do that by accessing the financial and non-financial support that government and it’s agencies offer. Thabethe said that the formalisation would enable the small entrepreneurs to penetrate the formal sector and access the export markets.

The Deputy Minister said that the cosmetics sector is an important contributor to the economy of the country.

‘The latest estimated contribution to the manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP) is 1%, and a study commissioned by the dti estimated the contribution of the sector to be R25,3 billion at retail level. This estimate excluded the contribution of the informal sector, which is not measured,’ said Thabethe.

The cosmetic workshop was addressed by industry associations, incubators, government funded financial and non-financial agencies. The attendance at the workshop exceeded expectations, and the feedback from participants was that valuable information was provided, for the future growth of their businesses.

The courses presented addressed issues of business planning, financial management, branding and marketing and barcoding. Due to the useful and business oriented information that was provided, the participants felt that other small entrepreneurs outside Gauteng province should also be catered.

The same workshops are being planned for Kwa-Zulu Natal, Western Cape and Eastern Cape in the current financial year. Other provinces will be catered for in the next financial year.

Enquiries:
Sidwell Medupe, Departmental Spokesperson
Cell: 079 492 1774
Tel: 012 394 1650

North West Premier Thandi Modise condemns mob justice and domestic violence as three die

_: North West Premier Thandi Modise has condemned in the strongest terms possible vigilantism after a mob stoned to death a 34-year-old man who he had fatally stabbed 24-year-old former girlfriend in Majemantsho village outside Mahikeng on Saturday.

“We are saddened by the loss of lives and wish to convey our condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones. Vigilantism is lawlessness. There is no justification for people to take the law into their own hands .Our courts are the relevant institutions to dispense of justice,” said Premier Modise.

The Premier has expressed confidence that police will soon arrest those responsible and appealed to members of the community who witnessed this ghastly and barbaric act to assist them in their investigations.

According to Herminah Matsheng, her sister Motlalepula Matlala was accosted by her former boyfriend Boytjie Molefe at her home while she was cleaning the house at around 10h00. Matsheng alleges that her sister was stabbed on the chest and behind her back as she tried to flee but collapsed and died on the spot.

A mob that was attending a funeral in the neighbourhood rushed to the scene in response to her screams and chased Molefe before they caught him about and stoned him to death about 100 meters from Matlala’s house. Police who arrived at the scene were also stoned and had to fire three warning shots to disperse the rowdy and blood thirsty mob.

It is alleged that Matlala was in the company of her 9 year niece and her 6 year old daughter at time of the attack. Matsheng was part of the mourners who were attending the funeral.

In another incident, a woman died after her boyfriend allegedly assaulted her with a piece of firewood in Mooinooi outside Brits on Friday evening.

According to police, the 43-year-old woman and her boyfriend were having an argument at her parents’ house when he attacked her at about 8:00pm.

“It is alleged that the victim had open wounds on her neck, at the back of her head and on her shoulder. She was also bleeding from her left ear and died at the scene,” Spokesperson for North West Police, Captain Pelonomi Makau said.

In conveying condolences to the family of the deceased, Premier Modise appealed to the community to assist police in their search for the 38-year-old boyfriend. Modise appealed to couples experiencing tensions in their relationships to seek counselling and professional help before matters get out of hand.

Enquiries:
Lesiba Moses Kgwele, Spokesperson
Cell: 083 629 1987
Tel: 018 388 3705
Fax: 018 388 3157

South Africa to participate in the 56th Copperbelt Mining, Agricultural and Commercial Show – Zambia

_: The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe will be departing for Zambia where she will be leading businesspeople that will be participating at the 56th Copperbelt Mining, Agricultural and Commercial Show (CACSS). The commercial show will take place in Kitwe from 29 May to 2 June 2013.

The CACSS is a mining and agricultural expo taking place annually where national and multinational companies are provided with a platform and market to showcase machinery, equipment, technologies, services and supplies for the mining and agricultural sectors. This year’s show will be held under the theme ’Mining and agriculture for continued development and prosperity’.

Deputy Minister Thabethe’s programme will commence on 27 May 2013, where she will have meetings with the Minister of the Copperbelt province, Honourable Mr Mweya Musenga, the Kitwe Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Zambia Association of Manufacturers. She is also scheduled to officially open the South African National Pavilion Stand at the CACSS on 30 May 2013.

The companies that will be exhibiting at the expo have been assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA). The EMIA scheme develops export markets for South African products and services and recruits new foreign direct investment into South Africa.

“Our responsibility as government is not only to grow South Africa’s economy internally but externally as well. The CACSS provides us with a platform to market South Africa as an attractive investment destination and will provide our companies with an opportunity to test their products and services against the best in the world,” said Thabethe.

She added that the South African companies will also be able to network with prospective clients and partners. Thabethe stated that she was confident that by the time the expo concludes the South African business people would have gathered enough market intelligence to enable them to explore and trade in both the Zambian and international markets successfully.

“This will bring us closer to realising South Africa’s aim of stimulating South-South trade and cooperation amongst African countries,” she concluded.

Enquiries:
Sidwell Medupe, Departmental Spokesperson
Cell: 079 492 1774
Tel: 012 394 1650