Daily Archives: February 18, 2017

At Munich Security Conference, UN chief Guterres highlights need for ‘a surge in diplomacy for peace’

Highlighting the complex and interlinked challenges confronting the global community that also compound the suffering of the most vulnerable, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a boost in preventive diplomacy and mediation efforts, as well as for a strategy to address root causes of such conflicts in the world.

“There are things that are obvious: the alignment of the sustainable and inclusive development with the sustaining peace agenda,” said Mr. Guterres in his remarks to the Munich Security Conference, noting also their importance in preventing conflicts.

He also drew attention to the need to address the fragility of states and to support states, institutions and civil societies to become stronger and more resilient to diminish the tendency for states to be involved in conflict situations.

Noting the centrality of climate change and strain on resources in increasing the probability of conflicts and dramatic humanitarian crises, Secretary-General Guterres called on the international community to rally behind the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as to focus attention on population growth, especially in Africa.

“And for me, a key condition to address it is the combination of education and the empowerment of women and girls,” he said, noting: “This is probably the best way to be able to address the problems of excessive population growth that is impacting dramatically in some parts of the world.”

Further in his remarks, the UN chief noted the need for strengthened global multilateralism and the need for responsive reform to enhance confidence and capacity of multilateral institutions to better respond to global challenges and to meet the expectations of the world’s peoples.

In the case of the UN, the Secretary-General noted that the organization has been engaged in reforms to its peace and security strategy, operational setup and architecture; its development system; and its management.

Also in his address, Mr. Guterres said that while the world prepares for responding to the crises it faces today, it is equally important that it is prepared to deal with new dimensions and problems of peace and security it could face in the future.

Noting the already existing challenges related to cyberspace and lack of mechanisms to address those, the UN chief highlighted that development of a analytical capacity and governance models for new areas of scientific and technological development, such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering will be crucial in the days to come.

“I believe that when people will meet herein 10 or 20 years’ time in Munich, we will probably be discussing other things in relation to the priorities of today, but I hope we don’t get to those discussions too late and [having done] too little,” he said.

Source: UN News Centre


PRETORIA, The Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has signed 61 new investors with a combined investment value of R35.8 billion in the Eastern Cape, says Premier Phumulo Masualle.

“The recent investment of R11 billion by Chinese OEM (BAIC) and R4 billion by VW has consolidated the province’s dominant position as the strategic auto sector HUB,” Masualle said.

Delivering his State of the Province Address on Friday, Masualle said Coega IDZ has created 18 366 jobs thus far, of which 7 174 are operational jobs and 11 192 are construction jobs.

“The East London IDZ signed three new investors for the year 2016/17 with an investment value of R779 million, thus creating 417 direct manufacturing jobs.

“Furthermore, the East London IDZ has awarded R30 million of its total expenditure during the 2016/17 financial year for Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) development. Moving forward, we are consolidating our IDZs in order to achieve synergies and efficiencies,” Masualle said.

The Eastern Cape Economic Development Department has developed a strategy based on six economic sectors on which the province has a comparative advantage, namely, agricultural development, oceans economy, tourism, renewable energy, light manufacturing and automotive industry.

“Our Industrial Development Zones and State Owned Entities, COEGA IDZ, ELIDZ and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation have amongst themselves signed new significant investment deals, promoted trade exports and funded new businesses.

“The IDZs have attracted investment in the agro-processing, automotive, aquaculture, energy, metals logistics and business process services sectors. This has advanced socio-economic development in the Eastern Cape region through skills development, technology transfer and job creation,” he said.

Furthermore, the Eastern Cape province has improved the provision of water and sanitation to schools.

According to a Community Survey conducted by Statistics SA, there has been an improvement in the provision of water to schools, from 23 schools in 2014, to 342 schools currently.

“In terms of provision of sanitation facilities to schools, there has been an improvement from 47 schools in 2014, to 287 schools currently,” Masualle said.

He said government’s efforts to improve early childhood development (ECD) was beginning to yield results as more children have been enrolled at ECD centres throughout the province.

“As we speak, ECD coverage in the province has improved to reach 98% of public schools.

“Similarly, 1 599 046 learners benefitted from ‘no fee schools’ by the second quarter of 2016, and 1 476 479 qualifying learners also benefitted from the school nutrition programme,” he said.

The Premier further said that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges in the province will realign their curriculum to bolster agricultural development and economic initiatives within the province.


Correction of stadium venue for the CAF Super Cup Match between Mamelodi Sundowns and T P Mazembe

The Presidency wishes to correct the venue of the football match between Mamelodi Sundowns and T P Mazembe today.

It is Loftus Versfeld Stadium and not Lucas Moripe Stadium as stated in our earlier communication on the courtesy call on President Jacob Zuma earlier today by the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr Issa Hayatou at Mahlamba Ndlopfu residence in Pretoria.

The CAF delegation, led by Mr Hayatou, is in South Africa to attend the 25th edition of CAF Super Cup between Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo scheduled to be played this afternoon at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.

The courtesy meeting was also attended by Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula, South African Football Association President, Dr Danny Jordaan and Mamelodi Sundowns President, Mr Patrice Motsepe.

“We are very pleased to have met this delegation of our leaders in African Football and we have assured them of our utmost support in making football one of the leading sports in the continent and the world. We have also noted that the standard of football in the continent has grown very high and we appreciate the work that you continue to do in the promotion and management of the sport,” said President Zuma.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa


PRETORIA, Government has called on NGOs, civil society, communities and other stakeholders to raise awareness about wetlands to protect and conserve them.

Speaking on Friday at the Esselen Park Wetlands Pan in Tembisa, Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudafhasi said wetlands have enormous economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits for the country.

She led a public awareness drive to commemorate World Wetlands Day on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson.

“It is, however, sad to note that, to date, we have lost an estimated 50% of wetlands in the country due to unsustainable use and poor land management.

“We also need to highlight that if sustainably managed, wetlands play a significant role in protecting and improving water quality, providing habitat for fish and wildlife, flood reduction and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods, among others. These valuable functions are a result of the unique natural characteristics which wetlands provide,” Mabudafhasi said.

She said the Esselen Park Wetland was once a degraded wetland.

“As part of government’s commitments and in its efforts to address poverty, fight unemployment and enhance economic opportunities, especially in poor townships and rural communities, the Gauteng Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in collaboration with the National Department of Environmental Affairs, partnered to restore and rehabilitate the Esselen Park Wetlands,” Mabudafhasi said.

She said the rehabilitation was done through the Expanded Public Works Programme, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Rand Water Foundation, and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

“During the period when this wetland was rehabilitated, over 50 job opportunities were created for a period of nine months and amongst the beneficiaries were women and youth.

“Government spent over R2 million in two financial years as part of the rehabilitation of this important wetland,” Mabhudafhasi said.

The Department of Environmental Affairs said it will continue to make significant investments in the conservation, management and restoration of wetlands through implementation of the Ramsar Convention and the Working for Wetlands Programme, to ensure healthy wetlands that will improve water quality and water supplies.


President Zuma calls upon departments to pay the Special Investigating Unit

President Jacob Zuma has called upon government departments and entities that owe the Special Investigating Unit, (SIU), to pay their debts without delay to enable the SIU to continue functioning optimally.

The President met with the Head of SIU, Adv Andy JL Mothibi, at his Mahlamba Ndlopfu residence in Pretoria yesterday, 17 February. It was their first meeting since Mr Mothibi was appointed as Head of the SIU last year.

The SIU’s mandate is to recover and prevent financial losses to the state caused by acts of corruption, fraud and maladministration. The SIU also assists departments with systemic improvements that improve service delivery.

Adv Mothibi informed the President that the SIU is owed R388 966 514 by state institutions.

The President said it was unacceptable that the institutions would withhold much-needed funding to the SIU and that they should pay up without delay.

The SIU is currently undertaking many investigations based on proclamations signed by the President.

In particular, between 2010 and 2016, a total number of 69 SIU proclamations were signed, with 10 Proclamations signed in the 2016/2017 financial alone, to investigate a number of allegations of corruption.

The actual value of the money and/or assets that has been recovered for the State and/or relevant third parties by the SIU is R22.5 million to date in 2016/17. Since 2011/12, the total value of money that has been recovered for the State to date is R279.5 million.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa