Daily Archives: March 17, 2018

President Ramaphosa concludes working visits to Mozambique and Zimbabwe

President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded working visits to the republics of Mozambique and Zimbabwe on the second leg of what he has described as his pilgrimage to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states following his election as President in February 2018.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied today, Saturday 17 March 2018, by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu and the Minister of State Security, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba as he paid courtesy calls on Presidents Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique and Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe.

The visits formed part of a longstanding SADC tradition, in terms of which newly elected Heads of State pay courtesy calls on neighbouring countries.

In Maputo, Presidents Ramaphosa and Nyusi underscored the strength of the bilateral relations between South Africa and Mozambique. The leaders emphasised the need for the two countries to deepen economic cooperation during the third session, in South Africa later this year, of the Binational Commission that oversees relations between the two states.

The Presidents identified agriculture, energy, investment in rail and road infrastructure, tourism and the movement of people between the two countries as areas for engagement during the forthcoming Binational Commission.

President Ramaphosa’s visit to Harare follows President Mnangagwa’s visit � his first abroad – to South Africa in December 2017, soon after his inauguration as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is due to hold elections towards the middle of 2018.

During today’s deliberations the two Heads of State reviewed bilateral relations between the two countries. They acknowledged the historical and fraternal relations that exist between the two sister republics.

They further noted the depth and extent of bilateral cooperation as evidenced by the existence of more than 40 bilateral agreements covering a broad range of sectors, including mining, agriculture, retail, transport, communications, energy, tourism, labour, immigration and security.

President Ramaphosa commended President Mnangagwa on his efforts to revitalise the Zimbabwean economy. In this regard, President Ramaphosa committed to support Zimbabwe in this endeavor by encouraging South African state-owned companies and the private sector to invest in the Zimbabwean economy, noting that Zimbabwe is one of South Africa’s top five trade partners. More than 120 South African companies are doing business across a broad range of sectors in Zimbabwe.

The Presidents reaffirmed the strategic importance of the Beitbridge border post. In this regard they committed themselves to the establishment of a one-stop border post to facilitate the easy movement of people, goods and services, acknowledging that Beitbridge is the busiest border crossing in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Presidents further reaffirmed the need to prioritise economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of the respective countries and peoples.

They identified the following sectors as key in strengthening economic cooperation: agro-processing, mining, tourism, energy and infrastructure development.

The two Heads of State further reviewed the political and security situation in the SADC region and the Continent.

In this regard, they noted that SADC is generally politically stable, with the exception of a few challenges in the region which are attended to by the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. The two Presidents agreed to consult regularly on issues of mutual concern.

President Ramaphosa wished President Mnangagwa and the people of Zimbabwe well as they prepare for mid-year elections.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa


LUANDA, Angola- Angolan Petro de Luanda, were eliminated from the African Confederations Cup, on Friday, after losing to South African SuperSport United, 2-1, in the second leg of the qualifier.

SuperSport won the series by 2-1, on aggregate, after a 0-0 draw in the first encounter.

Played at the Atteridgeville Super Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa, the Angolan team took a 1-0 lead, on a goal by Elio, in the 50th minute.

The away goal meant SuperSport United had to score at least two goals, to advance to the next round.

Thabo Mnyamane, single-handedly saved the home team, as he scored a brace, in the 71st and 82nd minutes.


Thousands of CAR Refugees on ‘Starvation Diet’ in Chad

The U.N. refugee agency reports thousands of Central African refugees who fled to southern Chad late last year to escape escalating violence are short of food, shelter, medical care and other essential relief.

UNHCR reports fighting between armed groups in northwest Central African Republic last December displaced some 65,000 people and prompted more than 22,000 others to flee to Chad in search of refuge.

UNHCR finds the big refugee influx is adding an enormous burden on an area already hosting nearly 90,000 refugees and Chadian returnees from the CAR. Southern Chad is considered one of Chad’s poorest and most underdeveloped regions.

UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch says food shortages and rising prices are putting the lives of the refugees and host communities at risk.

Since last December, more than 15 Central African refugees have been killed on both sides of the border and at least 67 have been subjected to sexual and gender-based violence while trying to go back to CAR to gather food and complement their scarce resources in exile, he said.

UNHCR and partners have been providing protection, health care, water and sanitation, shelter, food and other basic relief to newly arriving refugees. But Baloch tells VOA this is no longer possible because the money has run out.

Our worry is the funding. With no resources in our hands, it is really difficult to support refugees where humanitarian needs are so immense … many refugees are living among the local villages. Many of the host communities are hosting them, but resources are needed to support both refugees, as well as the host communities, he said.

Baloch says UNHCR has received only two percent of the $149 million it urgently needs for this year’s operation in Chad. He says severe flooding has badly affected this season’s harvest and food reserves are nearly exhausted.

As a consequence, he says many refugees and local residents are eating leaves and wild fruit, which often are toxic.

Source: Voice of America

President Ramaphosa arrives in Zimbabwe for working visit

President Cyril Ramaphosa has this afternoon, 17 March 2018, arrived in Harare, Republic of Zimbabwe, to hold a consultative meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The meeting aims to further strengthen the strong economic, political and social relations that exist between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The Heads of State are anticipated to exchange views on important regional, continental and global issues of mutual concern.

South Africa and Zimbabwe enjoy excellent bilateral relations which date back to the days of the liberation struggle.

President Ramaphosa, who is also Chair of the Southern African Development Community, met earlier today with President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique in Maputo where the two leaders held talks that aim to deepen bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries.

The visits form part of a long-standing tradition in the region, in terms of which newly elected Heads of State pay courtesy calls on neighbouring countries.

President Ramaphosa is accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu and the Minister of State Security, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Breakthrough Reported in South Africa’s Worst Listeria Outbreak

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports a major breakthrough in efforts to contain South Africa’s longest and largest recorded listeria outbreak.

The current outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa began more than one year ago in January 2017. As of March 12, the WHO has recorded 978 lab-confirmed cases of this foodborne disease, including 183 deaths.

WHO food safety expert Peter Ben Embarek says it is very difficult to investigate outbreaks of listeriosis because the disease has a very long incubation period. He says it can take several weeks before people show any symptoms, get sick and are hospitalized.

Two weeks ago, food was identified as the primary source of this large outbreak. It is a meat, ready-to-eat meat product, a type of sausage very commonly consumed in South Africa and in the region – Polony product. Since then, recall of the incriminated product has been initiated both in South Africa, but also in 15 countries that have imported this product from South Africa, he said.

Embarek said the WHO is facilitating the exchange of information between South Africa and countries who have imported this contaminated product. He says it is important to recall the sausage and remove it from the shelves to prevent further cases from occurring.

Now that the source of this foodborne disease has been identified, he told VOA he expects the number of new cases to quickly drop.

With regard to the case fatality rate in this outbreak, among the cases where they have been able to follow them and see the outcome of their disease, it is about 27 percent. And it is within the norms. Listeriosis outbreak has a case fatality rate of between 20 and 30 percent. It is a very severe foodborne disease he said.

Embarek said listeriosis can be effectively treated with antibiotics if caught promptly, particularly in the case of high-risk populations, such as newborn babies, pregnant women and the elderly.

He says the WHO is not recommending any restrictions on travel or trade.

Source: Voice of America