Daily Archives: April 9, 2019

Sudan Police Ordered Not to Shoot Protesters

KHARTOUM/WASHINGTON/JUBA Protesters in Khartoum are continuing to demand the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, staging a sit-in Tuesday outside army headquarters, where heavy gunfire was heard. Reported attempts by government security forces to break up the crowds led to the intervention by soldiers to protect the demonstrators, according to eyewitnesses.

“Student militias, security forces and riot police are trying to move protesters away from army headquarters by attacking them every six hours,” Khartoum reporter Dama Moheideen told South Sudan in Focus.

Police forces issued a communique saying they will never attack protesters. Thousands of people are taking part in the sit-in, Mohiedeen told VOA.

“An eyewitness has noticed that riot police today did not attack people, so only security forces and student militias are attacking protesters,” Mohiedeen added.

While official Sudanese television aired pictures and video of army headquarters appearing to be quiet and devoid of protesters, witnesses said the video and photos are old and do not reflect what is happening in real time.

The Sudanese military headquarters are open to the protesters, who are now camping on the premises.

“They are camping inside and they are protecting the bridges and the main streets leading to the army headquarters. They (the soldiers) are protecting (people) from security (forces),” Mohiedeen told VOA.

“No one is certain about where he (Bashir) is, but yesterday he had a meeting with NCP and they issued a communique at 9:30 p.m., and said that they would sustain the security in the country,” Mohiedeen said.

Sudanese citizens on social media are reporting that Sudanese army forces are standing with the protesters.

Two protesters killed

Two protesters, one government soldier and one security officer were killed Tuesday morning, according to eyewitnesses, while dozens of people were injured.

“From 4 p.m. to midnight every day, the protests are getting bigger because people from the other states come to join the sit-in whenever the army is protecting the protesters,” Mohiedeen told VOA.

Protesters have been responding to calls by the Sudanese Professional Association to take part in the sit-in and to continue the protests outside army headquarters but “there is no real leader,” Mohiedeen said.

The protests began Dec. 19 over high prices for bread and fuel, and have since morphed into calls for President Bashir to step down after 30 years in power.

Women’s role

“Women have been very active. They have been the fuel of this resolution. They participated in planning, they have been actively protesting, facing the brutal attacks from the government,” Sudanese American citizen Fatimah Haron told South Sudan in Focus while attending a Sudan protest in New York over the weekend.

Haron says women have become the leaders of their families because in the past, they have been looked down upon. “So for a woman to go out, it’s a big thing and they have no fear.”

Sudanese American Mohassi Mohammed organizes Sudan protests around America. “They (women) are always at the top and they always support Sudan. I am really proud,” Mohammed told South Sudan in Focus.

“Women in Sudan, through history, they played a big role through the revolutions, and this one is a big concern for the whole country because this is a dictatorship regime. They treated women brutally, they tortured women,” Sudanese activist Amir Zahir told South Sudan in Focus.

Sudanese in Juba

Sudanese traders in Juba say they stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters back home.

Trader Isim Asam Abdallah said his brother was abducted in 1999 by Bashir’s government and has never been released.

“I support with all my power the change in Sudan because change must be now, at this time on these days. (We) must take al-Bashir out,” Abdallah told South Sudan in Focus.

Juba trader Abdallah Haman said he was born and raised during Bashir’s regime, and many people have been killed in Sudan during that time.

“We want justice and freedom. The government of Sudan is the government of destruction. The government has killed innocent people and has killed many in Darfur since 2004,” Haman told South Sudan in Focus.

Sudanese Defense Minister General Awas Ibnouf vowed the army would prevent any slide into chaos.

“The Sudanese ministry came to such a conclusion: They want to just get rid of Mr. al-Bashir after 30 years of failed politics and dividing the south of Sudan. So many factors have generated the slogan ‘Just fall, that’s all,’ ” political analyst Nabil Nigm in Cairo told VOA.

Source: Voice of America

Minister Siyabonga Cwele briefs media on Easter season plans for ports of entry, 10 Apr

The Minister of Home Affairs Dr Siyabonga Cwele, will on Wednesday, 10 April 2019 address members of the media on the Department’s plans for the upcoming Easter Season holidays.

The Minister will outline the department’s state of readiness, including additional number of personnel as well as increased operational hours to ensure smooth facilitation of movement for travellers and goods.

Source: Government of South Africa

Parliament send condolences to Theunissen-Fourie and Jantjie families

Committee saddened by passing of former Proteas Cricketer Ms Theunissen-Fourie and PSL star Mr Jantjie

The Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation has learnt with profound sadness of the passing of former Proteas Women’s cricketer Ms Elriesa Theunissen-Fourie.

The 25-year old Ms Theunissen-Fourie was an international cricketer, who represented the South African women’s team in three one-day internationals and a T20 international in 2013. It is believed that Ms Theunissen-Fourie and her child tragically passed away in a car accident in the North-West Province on Friday, 5 April 2019.

Ms Theunissen-Fourie’s passing came barely a week after South Africa lost another of its sporting heroes, Mr Sinethemba Jantjie, in a car accident in the Free-State on Monday, 1 April 2019. Mr Jantjie was one of the top wingers of the Free State Stars and was also well-known for the contributions he made to the Mbombela United in the National First Division, as well as the Masiphumelele FC in Cape Town.

Chairperson of the committee Ms Beauty Dlulane said, The passing of Ms Theunissen-Fourie and Mr Jantjie is an immense loss. They will be remembered for their commitment and contributions to South Africa and the role they played in the lives of many aspiring young sports stars.

The committee extends its sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Ms Theunissen-Fourie and Mr Jantjie.

Source: Government of South Africa

Social Development launches State of the World Population 2019 Report, 9 Apr

The State of the World Population 2019 Report which focuses on reproductive health is launched in Pretoria

The National Department of Social Development, together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), will on 10 April 2019 launch the State of the World Population 2019 Report in Pretoria, Gauteng.

Titled: Unfinished Business: The Pursuit of Rights and Choices for All, the 2019 report focuses on the improvements made in reproductive health and it is being launched on the anniversary of two key milestones. The year 2019 marks 50 years since UNFPA began operations in 1969 as the first United Nations agency to address population growth and reproductive health needs.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) where 179 governments called for all people to have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare – including voluntary family planning and access to safe pregnancy and childbirth services.

The State of the World Population 2019 Report shows that there has been substantial improvement in the aforementioned areas from 1969 to date. According to statistics in the report, the average number of births per woman was 4.8 in 1969, compared to 2.9 in 1994 and 2.5 in 2019. The fertility rate in some of the least developed countries dropped from 6.8 in 1969, to 5.6 in 1994 and 3.9 in 2019.

The number of women who died from pregnancy-related causes decreased from 369 per 100,000 live births in 1994 to 216 in 2015. In addition, 24% of women used modern contraceptives in 1969 compared to 52% in 1994 and 58% in 2019.

However, reproductive rights are still out of reach for a substantial number of women, including the more than 200 million women who want to prevent a pregnancy but cannot gain access to modern contraceptive information and services.

The State of the World Population 2019 Report includes data on women’s ability to make decisions on three key areas:

sexual intercourse with their partner;

use of contraception; and

health care.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa protects the right of persons to make decisions concerning reproduction and to security in and control over their bodies. In 1997, Parliament enacted the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (Act No. 92 of 1996), which places an obligation on Government to provide reproductive health services to all, including safe conditions under which the right of choice can be exercised without fear or harm.

In 2015, Cabinet approved the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy (2014-2019). The strategy resonates with the vision of the Population Policy of South Africa (1998) and seeks to pave the way for addressing challenges relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.

In July 2018, the National Department of Social Development in partnership with the Rhodes University Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction Research Programme, the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition and the International Campaign for Women’s Rights to Safe Abortion, hosted an international conference titled Abortion and Reproductive Justice: The Unfinished Revolution III to assert the Department’s stance.

Source: Government of South Africa

Western Cape Economic Development and Tourism focuses on manufacturing sector

Western Cape to focus on developing manufacturing sector to stimulate job creation and economic growth

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape will be focused on developing the manufacturing sector in the province in the 2019/20 financial year as a way to stimulate the economy and create new jobs.

The department has allocated R132 million in stimulus funding over the next three years to support manufacturing in non-metro municipalities across the province.

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley SchA�fer said we import too much and we produce too little. As a country, our imports of clothing, textiles and leather goods have sky-rocketed from just over R5 billion in 2000 to almost R60 billion now.

Minister SchA�fer said: South African labour is considerably cheaper than elsewhere in the world. In the clothing and textile sector, South African labour is 45% cheaper than in China at the moment and it makes no sense that we are not producing more locally. This region used to be well known for its clothing and textiles production and we want to rebuild this industry and use the skills we already have, while developing new ones.

We must produce more locally, import less and export more, she said.

Our energy costs, notwithstanding energy price increases are still cheaper than many of our trading partners. What we are however not seeing is investment by businesses into machinery and management techniques that lead to an improvement in the productivity of their labour force. We must create incentives for firms to invest in new machinery and productivity techniques and that is what this stimulus allocation will seek to do, Minister SchA�fer said.

The Western Cape is already home to several local and international companies that have invested in manufacturing facilities in the province. Among them are Hisense who manufacture home appliances at their facility in Atlantis and the Foschini Group (TFG), which has set up a factory in Caledon which now employs 500 people.

In the case of TFG, they benefit from speed to market and the flexibility of producing their own goods. Their strategy shows a 150% increase in production by 2025, which has the potential to create more than 1000 new jobs that do not require matric, Minister SchA�fer said.

Manufacturing remains one of the few sectors that can absorb people without a matric qualification.

While we must also focus on the new economy, we cannot lose sight of the fact that more than half of our population does not have a matric. There are 600 000 people in the Western Cape who are unemployed and our focus on the manufacturing sector is aimed at addressing unemployment for all people in our province, Minister SchA�fer said.

As a province, we are also driving green manufacturing, and developing the green manufacturing hub at the Atlantis SEZ, which provides more opportunities to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in areas outside of the metro, she added.

Non metro municipalities have additional value propositions for investors: lower traffic congestion, lower crime rate, lower property costs and a generally lower cost of living.

StatsSA data for the fourth quarter of 2018, indicates that manufacturing was the fourth largest contributor to the country’s GDP, contributing 14% towards the country’s GDP and creating over ten percent of jobs in South Africa.

Source: Government of South Africa