Premier Alan Winde and MEC Mireille Wenger attend ground-breaking at Atlantis Special Economic Zone’s civil infrastructure construction project, 5 Jun

Premier to attend ground-breaking at Atlantis Special Economic Zone’s civil infrastructure construction project

Premier Alan Winde, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, and Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth in the City of Cape Town, Alderman James Vos, will attend the official ground-breaking ceremony for the civil infrastructure construction in zone 1 at the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (ASEZ).

“This project demonstrates our commitment to working with our partners in our drive towards energy resilience in the Western Cape. We look forward to celebrating the continued development of the ASEZ especially as this economic hub is key to the expansion of green energy in the province” said Premier Winde.

Source: Government of South Africa

MEC Anton Bredell on commemoration of World Environment Day

Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning said that protecting the environment is of critical importance, as all the scientific data confirms that our current way of life is putting unsustainable strain on the environment. “Threats like climate change and ongoing biodiversity crime require urgent attention, and if we do not provide the needed budgets and human resources, we won’t be able to mitigate against it,” Minister Bredell warned.

Minister Bredell was responding to the fact that the 5th of June is recognised as World Environment Day, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972.

“101 of the 138 freshwater ecosystems in the Western Cape are threatened, of which 73 are Critically Endangered. This is causing concern for our indigenous freshwater fish species. If we do not remove invasive alien vegetation from catchment areas, it could lead to the total collapse of agricultural economies in areas such as the Olifants, Breede and Berg River Valleys. However, a mere R1million investment in alien clearing can support economies worth billions of rands,” Minister Bredell said.

This year’s World Environment Day theme is plastic pollution. Minister Bredell said South Africa generates 2.4m tons of plastic waste per year, which translates to approximately 41kg per person, of which only 14% is recycled.

“Not only is plastic manufacturing highly resource intensive and dependent on fossil fuel extraction, but the plastics discarded persists in nature long thereafter. The impacts of plastic pollution on the marine environment are globally recognised, and as a coastal province, the Western Cape is also not immune to its impact,” Minister Bredell said.

The Western Cape Province has developed a strategy to reduce illegal dumping, and reports quarterly on the interventions. The province is also planning to establish hubs to valorise waste plastics that are illegally dumped, which will be processed and recovered for recycled products. Not only should this improve the aesthetics of the area, but will also empower and foster SMME entrepreneurship, with job opportunities within the communities that are impacted upon, Minister Bredell said.

Minister Bredell congratulated the work CapeNature, as the conservation authority in the Western Cape, has done in the past 23 years to ensure that the natural environment and provincial nature reserves are conserved for generations to come.

Currently the entity manages 1 030 429ha of protected areas including formal stewardship sites and six marine protected areas. In the past 10 years more than 300 000ha of private land was added to the conservation estate thanks to land acquisition by WWF-SA’s Leslie Hill Succulent Karoo Trust and CapeNature’s Stewardship Programme.

To combat threats to biodiversity like climate change, habitat loss, and overconsumption, CapeNature identified several biodiversity corridors which allow for both fauna and flora species to find safe refuge and improve resilience against these threats. Protected Area Management Plans address concerns in terms of endangered species and water management. Currently 16% of indigenous fauna and flora in the Western Cape is threatened ranging from Vulnerable to Endangered and Critically Endangered.

CapeNature prioritises clearing invasive alien plants, especially in demarcated strategic water source areas, working closely with the Greater Cape Town Water Fund to target key City of Cape Town water catchments to improve water supply, Minister Bredell said.

Source: Government of South Africa

South Africa sends condolences to India following horrific train accident

On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent a message of condolences to India following the train accident that claimed the lives of more than 200 people in the state of Odisha.

The three-train collision happened on Friday and reportedly left more than 850 injured.

“The South African Government and people stand in solidarity with those effected by this tragedy and laud the emergency rescue and medical personnel for their tireless efforts,” said the Presidency in a statement.

President Ramaphosa added that the thoughts of the South African people are with the people of India, particularly the affected families, during this time of mourning.

South Africa and India enjoy strong historical, political, diplomatic, economic and people-to-people relations. The two countries established full diplomatic relations in 1993.

South Africa and India share several common interests, including the reform of the United Nations (UN) and Bretton Woods institutions. The two countries also cooperate in a number of multi-lateral forums, including BRICS, the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum and the G20. – SAnews.gov.za

Source: South African Government News Agency

President Ramaphosa to host Portuguese President on a State Visit

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Tuesday host the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa, on a State Visit to South Africa.

President Ramaphosa will in honour of President Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa host a welcome ceremony at the Union Buildings in Tshwane on Tuesday morning.

Following the welcome ceremony, President Ramaphosa and President Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa will lead their respective delegations in official talks during the occasion of the State Visit, followed by a media briefing.

The two Heads of State will further witness the Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation.

“Engagements will focus on the enhancement of cooperation in agriculture; basic education; defence; ocean economy; science and technology; tourism; and trade and investment.

“The state visit to South Africa by the Portuguese Republic occurs in the same week Portugal celebrates its National Day on 10 June 2023. Each year, the Portuguese President visits a different country to celebrate the Day of Portugal with the Portuguese Diaspora,” the Presidency said in a statement.

South Africa and Portugal maintain friendly political relations. According to the Presidency, there are approximately 500 000 South Africans of Portuguese descent and about 200 000 Portuguese nationals who reside in South Africa permanently, serving as an important economic link between South Africa and Portugal.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Portugal remain strong, covering a wide range of areas of cooperation.

The 7th Bilateral Consultations were hosted in Portugal on 24 June 2022 and co-chaired by South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation, Deputy Minister, Alvin Botes and Portuguese Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Francisco Andre.

The Presidency added that South Africa and Portugal have well established trade relations which are abound with potential for further growth and diversification in 2023 and beyond.

Bilateral trade figures for 2020 and 2021 have been positive. South African exports in 2021 were valued at approximately R2.8 billion while imports from Portugal were approximately R4.6 billion in the same year.

Food constitutes about 50% of South African exports to Portugal. – SAnews.gov.za

Source: South African Government News Agency

SA to mark World Environment Day

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will on Monday host World Environment Day (WED) 2023 in Cape Town.

The WED 2023 will be commemorated under the theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution” with a strong focus on eliminating all forms of waste/pollution, particularly plastic.

In a statement on Sunday, the department said this year’s WED is aimed at seeking innovative ways to end plastic pollution.

“Plastic pollution is now a global problem with an estimated 353 million tonnes of plastic waste produced in a year and finding itself polluting our oceans because of its durability and taking a much longer time to disintegrate.

“To mark the World Environment Day 2023, Minister Creecy will embark on a tour of two recycling plants in Cape Town that are supported through Producer Responsibility Organisations – POLYCO and PETCO to gain further insight into the benefits of Extended Producer Responsibility in support of plastic recycling,” the department said.

The Minister will start her tour at Waste Want which is located in Kraaifontein.

Waste Want started out as a small collections company, selling collected recycling material to recyclers.

Through this project around 200 people have been employed, recycling in the local community has improved and backlogs in waste processing addressed. Waste Want diverts 1 000 tonnes of waste per month.

The Minister will then go to CRDC SA RESIN8 situated in Blackheath Industrial.

CRDC SA RESIN8 is a site where plastic is mixed and converted into an aggregate modifier for the construction industry.

At its pilot plant facility, CRDC processes about 420kg of plastic waste per day enabling it to test various waste streams in its process.

At the new facility, CRDC will be able to process 610 tonnes of plastic waste per month and thereby produce 725 tonnes of RESIN8. The project has partnered with various existing waste reclaimers.

Minister Creecy will conclude the World Environment Day 2023 commemoration with a beach clean-up at Macassar Beach. – SAnews.gov.za

Source: South African Government News Agency

Minister Zulu closes Child Protection Week

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has closed Child Protection Week calling for communities to be more vigilant for possible perpetrators at an event at the Manzini Community Hall in Mpumalanga.

The annual Child Protection Week campaign, which was launched on 28 May 2023 in Hout Bay, Cape Town, seeks to mobilise all sectors and communities towards embracing the holistic development, care, and protection of children under the five-year theme: “Let us Protect Children during COVID-19 and Beyond”.

Speaking to the children gathered at the event, the Minister said she was deeply concerned at the recent cases of abuse and crimes against children in the country.

She said that in Mpumalanga, the areas of KaNyamazane, Matsulu, KaBokweni, Mnganduzweni, Chochocho, Nkomazi and Bushbuckridge have been identified by police as hotspot areas for child killings after numerous children went missing and were later found murdered.

Minister Zulu told the children to be aware of possible perpetrators in their communities.

“When we talk about abuse, rape and violence we talk about any perpetrator that might be in your schools, communities, streets and homes. Beware of these kinds of people and never allow them to touch you where they are not supposed to.

“Today we are closing the campaign but we do not stop the work, the campaign to protect children continues for 365 days.

“The brutal killing of children cannot be a normal thing. If you notice anything wrong with your peers, do not laugh at them. It is important that you as children protect each other. The protection of children must not be the responsibility of adults only, you must also protect each other when you walk together,” the Minister said.

She thanked the department and its partners for their contribution towards making the Child Protection Week campaign a success.

She said the Social Development Department will be launching its own TV channel, which will communicate the department’s services and get information to the people without it being distorted.

This year, the department aimed to raise awareness about its community-based prevention and early intervention programme RISIHA. As the name, which is XiTsonga meaning Resilience, suggests it is aimed at moving orphaned and vulnerable children from vulnerability to resilience.

To date, the programme has reached 181 569 orphaned and vulnerable children across the country through the provision of a basket of child protection services by 6 052 Child and Youth Care Workers across the country.

Eight hundred and sixteen Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) are implementing the program and 26 of them are in the Western Cape Province. – SAnews.gov.za

Source: South African Government News Agency

Health Department warns of rising cases of influenza

The Department of Health has alerted the public of an increasing circulation of influenza, also known as “flu”, around the country since the beginning of May 2023.

The department was notified by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) about the rising cases.

In a statement on Saturday, the department said the cases have been steadily increasing since 10 April 2023 and the NICD has received reports of influenza clusters in schools and workplaces.

An increase in case numbers has been identified in six provinces namely KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and North West, where surveillance is conducted.

Influenza or flu is an acute respiratory illness caused by an infection of the respiratory tract with the influenza virus.

“There are two types of influenza viruses that commonly infect humans namely A and B. The flu viruses are typically in circulation before the winter season in South Africa.

“The virus spreads from person to person through inhalation of infected respiratory droplets when people are sneezing, coughing or talking. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated objects or surfaces that the flu virus is on and then touching their mouth, eyes or nose,” the department said.

People who are infected with influenza can prevent spread by covering their mouth when coughing with a tissue or cough into the elbow; wearing a mask, washing their hands frequently with soap and water or cleaning hands using an alcohol-based sanitiser; or staying at home and trying to keep a distance from others.

“Although majority of people with influenza will present with mild illness, influenza may cause severe illness, which may require hospitalisation or cause death, especially in individuals who are at risk of getting severe influenza illness or complications,” the department said.

People at increased risk of severe health complications of influenza include pregnant women, people living with conditions like HIV and others chronic illnesses or conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, tuberculosis, heart disease, renal disease and obesity.

Elderly people, who are 65 years and older, and children younger than 2 years old are also at increased risk of severe health complications.

The department said these groups should be encouraged to seek medical help early.

The most common symptoms include fever, muscle pains and body aches, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, feeling tired or unwell and headache.

These may develop 1 to 4 days after infection and last for 2 to 7 days. For the majority of people, the symptoms commonly resolve without treatment.

“The influenza vaccine remains the primary means for preventing seasonal influenza infection, and should be administered at least before the influenza season (March to April).

“However, even if the season has already started, it is never too late to get vaccinated, especially individuals who are high risk of severe influenza illness or complications,” the department said. –SAnews.gov.za

Source: South African Government News Agency

Brain drain: Nigeria must increase capacity to train more doctors – Hamzat

The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, says medical colleges in Nigeria must develop the capacity to train more doctors to bridge the brain drain gap in the sector.

Hamzat spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday while reacting to the issue of the brain drain of medical experts in Nigeria.

He said since many medical practitioners had decided to leave Nigeria for other developed countries, it had become necessary for Nigeria to increase its capacity to produce more doctors to serve the nation.

The deputy governor said that human migration was inevitable, adding that people moved around the world all the time.

“Human migration is normal. People would leave, and people would come. But as a country, we can train more doctors.

“I am not against the brain drain of medical doctors, but what we need is to create a pipeline to train more doctors instead of complaining that medical personnel are leaving the country.

“If we train 5,000 doctors yearly, let us increase the numbers to 15,000, by doing so, the country benefits.”

Hamzat said the government could not stop people from going wherever they wanted to go.

According to him, in 2022, 197 Americans threw away their passports and became Singaporeans, so people will continue to move around the world.

“The Nigerian government should rather, look for a way to benefit from the countries our doctors are moving to.

“For example, if 1,000 doctors go to the United Kingdom, the UK Government must pay us something back in return.

“Therefore, our medical colleges need to increase their capacity by training more people.”

On Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led second term administration, Hamzat said that the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the first tenure would continue.

The acronym stands for :Transportation and Traffic Management; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos State a 21st Century Megacity, Entertainment and Tourism; and Security and Governance.

He said the ‘Plus’ added to the agenda for the second term was to enhance more social inclusion.

“There are many people that we need to lift out of poverty.

“We need to make sure that people can at least run a business no matter how small, based on their skills, and interests.

Hamzat said the administration would also focus on youth engagement, and gender equality, adding that they would try to access women in the rural areas.

“It is necessary that we bring them in and elevate everyone so that they can be part of the Lagos Agenda.”

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Trust in govt. policies, programmes, CCPT chair urges Nigerians

Nigerians have been urged to continue to have trust in various government policies and programmes established to ease their daily life challenges.

Hajiya Saratu Shafi’i, Chairman of Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT), stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

She said that the efforts of government to make life comfortable for Nigerians led to the establishment of agencies and commissions that would directly impact on them.

Shafii said that the CCPT was such body charged with reviewing the decision of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and other sector regulators.

The Tribunal consists of the Chairman and six members from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

It is a court of record set up to review the decisions of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and other sector regulators on matters relating to Competition and Consumer Protection.

Shafii said that the CCPT was such body charged with responsibilities of providing ease of seeking redress and justice to both service providers and consumers.

“Once Nigerians realise and enforce their rights as consumers, service providers and producers will sit up and give better services to them, and the Tribunal will ensure justice.

“As a pioneer chairman, I will want to leave a Tribunal with a strong law, procedure rules, dynamic institutional framework and efficient workforce that will position and maintain the Tribunal as a veritable tool in National Development Spectrum.

“My tentative plan is to position the Tribunal in a pedestal where justice to the producers/service providers, justice to the consumers and justice to Nigeria will not only be done but will be seen to be have been done,” she said.

Shafii said that many expectations followed her appointment as the chairman of the tribunal as a person with lofty objections and visions.

“As a person that went for a 29 years training and retraining such as leadership skills, workplace ethics, value proposition, creativity and innovation, I felt the need to up the game in the new establishment.

“I joined CAC as a Senior Legal Officer and rose through the ranks to a Director. One would inevitably assumed that I must have built knowledge capital, social capital and emotional intelligence overtime.

“Therefore, the expectations is that of an integrated toolkits full of resilience and critical thinking as expected of a pioneer Chairman that must lay a solid foundation to achieve the Tribunal’s mandate.”

She said that the Tribunal was established with the normal challenges of building something from scratch, adding that the members of the tribunal were all committed to the take off due to its importance to Nigerians.

“Generally speaking, I had no challenges in its strict sense. However, where a new Tribunal is established as a novel agency with no existing Rules, Practice Direction or manual to function and you as a Chairman have the directive of the Federal Government to commence work immediately, then this must indeed call for a strategic and critical actions which some people may think as challenging.

“In this case, with my background as a Legal Practitioner I leverage on my educational background, professional network, the partnership of my six members of the Tribunal and the team spirit of my pioneer staff to come up with an action plan, set a milestone and provide an implementation strategy,” she said.

Some of the CCPT mandate under section 39 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018 is the mandate to adjudicate on all matters prohibited under the Act.

The CCPT mandates include the following; To adjudicate on all matters bordering on Unfair Competition, Unlawful Merger, Price Fixing, Monopoly and Consumer Rights Protection.

To hear appeals from or review any decision of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) taken in the course of the implementation of any of the provisions of the (FCCPA) as may be referred to it.

To hear appeals from or review of any sector of specific regulatory authority in a regulated industry in respect of competition and consumer protection matters, issue such orders as may be required of it under the (FCCPA).

And make any ruling or such other orders as may be necessary or incidental to the performance of its functions under the (FCCPA).

The Chairman added that the Tribunal was proud of four judgments since its establishment and would do more in the future as well as undertake the amendment of the Act.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Insecurity: Group hails military, security agencies over enhanced synergy

Awareness Initiative (AI), a civil society group, has commended the current leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria for promoting synergy towards restoring peace and stability in the country.

The group said the enhanced synergy was in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive to the military and other security agencies to work in synergy towards ending the nation’s security challenges.

This is contained in a statement by the Convener of the Group, Adeshida Bankole, on Sunday in Abuja.

The group also expressed optimism that the jointness in dealing with the security threats will remain a constant feature in the AFN.

They said the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor,, on assumption of office in 2021, emphasised the importance of collaboration between the military and other security agencies in defeating security threats.

The group said the services had worked harmoniously in tackling the security challenges across the country since 2021.

“Without doubt, the successes recorded across the various theatres of operation can be linked with the enhanced synergy under the present leadership of Gen. Irabor.

“The leadership has drawn a template for cooperation in dealing with the challenges; this falls in line with the current demands of President Tinubu.

“We are very sure this template will be maintained and serve as modus operandi for future operations.

“We also note the successes been recorded by the armed forces in the fight against crude oil theft in the Niger-Delta, this indeed is another area that the president was particular about.”

The group said the military had done well in combating the menace of economic saboteurs in the Niger Delta.

They urged the military to continue to maintain the template on synergy and anti-crude oil operations.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that Tinubu had during his first meeting with the service chiefs directed them to work together to strengthen the fight against insecurity.

The president also mandated the security agencies to develop a blueprint to deal with the issue of crude oil theft.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria