Ghost workers more costly than Nkandla

iol news pic Supra Mahumapelo N West premierINDEPENDENT MEDIA North West premier Supra Mahumapelo Photo: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg - Trade Union, Solidarity said the amount of...

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Nigeria: I Remember the Day … I Designed the Nigerian Flag

opinion By A. Igoni Barrett Sixty-two years after a British journalist first suggested the name "Nigeria", a 23-year-old Ibadan-born student gave the new country its national flag. Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi was studying...

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Congo-Kinshasa: Govt Bans Film On Doctor Who Helps Rape Survivors

The Democratic Republic of Congo has banned a film about Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege, who has treated thousands of women raped during conflict, the government said. Belgian film maker Thierry...

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Ethiopia Willing to Learn From Japanese Experience

By Leulseged Worku

Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu said that Ethiopia is ready to further deepen its partnership with Japan in the area of climate change issues, renewable...

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Clear Strategies, Industrial Policies Said Important in Bringing Economic Success

By Robel Yohannes

African countries should look at Japan's experience in order to see how long clear strategies and industrial policies go in bringing economic success, a senior government official...

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Chaeli conquers Kilimanjaro

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iol news pic Chaeli Kili climbersFACEBOOK The Chaeli Kili Climbers 2015 group. Picture: Chaeli Kili Climbers 2015/Facebook

Cape Town – A student from the University of Cape Town on Thursday submitted Mount Kilimanjaro, making her the first female quadriplegic to do so.

Ability activist, 21-year-old Chaeli Mycroft, the co-founder of the non-profit Chaeli Campaign, made history on Thursday with the Chaeli Kili Climbers group.

“Chaeli ‘Kili’ Climbers have reached the Summit!!!” announced the group on Facebook, “We have received confirmation from Discover Africa that (seven) climbers, including Chaeli, reached Uhuru Peak between 7:28am and 8:37am”.

The climbing group had been planning the Kilimanjaro trip for two years before travelling from Cape Town to Tanzania in late August.

Mycroft, who has cerebral palsy, was awarded the 2011 International Children’s Peace Prize and in 2012, she became the first-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Laureate’s Medal for Social Activism.

She was also a youth keynote speaker at the 2012 Unesco conference in Paris on Inclusive Education, and in 2013 she was awarded the World of Children Youth Award in New York.

The Chaeli Campaign runs nine programmes: Wheels Are Big Deals, Therapies Programme, Inclusive Education Programme, Pay-It-Forward Ambassadors Programme, Chaeli Sports and Recreation Club, Advocacy Programme, Vocation and Rehabilitation, Resource and Therapy Centre, and the African Odyssey.

ANA

Ghost workers more costly than Nkandla

iol news pic Supra Mahumapelo N West premierINDEPENDENT MEDIA North West premier Supra Mahumapelo Photo: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg – Trade Union, Solidarity said the amount of money wasted on ghost workers in the North West province monthly was approximately 3,5 times more than the R246m spent on Nkandla.

The union has condemned the irregular spending in the province as revealed by the Auditor General (AG). This week, North West premier Supra Mahumapelo revealed that the ghost employees were costing his province R19-billion in salaries.

Solidarity said the revelations were unfortunate as the province was battling to meet its service delivery mandates.

“Hospitals and roads in the province are in such a dismal condition and in addition to that, hundreds of millions of rands are wasted,” said the union’s political analyst, Dr Eugene Brink.

The AG’s report also showed there were “alarming trends” regarding the misappropriation of funds and irregular expenditure, with only one department, Treasury, receiving a clean audit in the province.

Solidarity also drew parallels to the R1-billion needed to get the North West budget out of deficit, while R900m was spent on workers who weren’t employed by the province per month.

“Salaries are currently gobbling up 58% (R18,3 billion) of the budget while the remaining 42% (R13,5 billion) is all that is left to be spent on goods and services as well as on capital expenditure,” Brink said.

Labour Bureau

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Biko’s legacy more relevant than ever

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IOL bikoINDEPENDENT MEDIA A member of Azapo holds a banner during a march to Pretoria Central Prison in 2007 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Steve Bikos death. File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

It speaks to all of us on what can be done to free so many South Africans from the shackles of poverty, says Tutu Faleni.

Pretoria – The period of reflection on the time and life of Steve Biko puts those who cherish the Biko legacy in a precarious position. Many of us have resorted to throwing the Biko legacy into the dustbin of history and those who are privileged to possess the authority to write history have reduced the Biko legacy to the fringes of our collective national memory.

The true legacy of Steve Biko cannot be obliterated from our national memory and neither can it be thrown out of the broader political discourse on post-apartheid South Africa.

In fact the Biko legacy is more relevant to us as South Africans than ever before.

At the core of Steve Biko’s Black Consciousness messages is the need for those who are affected by political oppression and economic exploitation to change their mental attitude to free themselves from all forms of subjugation.

The Biko legacy speaks to all of us on what can be done to free so many South Africans from the shackles of poverty.

Ours is the most unequal society in the world and this is confirmed by the 2013 Global Wealth Report on global inequality.

The seriousness of the inequality challenge is further reinforced by the assertion made in the report that two of the richest people in South Africa own the same as 50% of the population.

Poverty and inequality have reduced most of the people to a state of economic exclusion and human degradation.

We need to articulate and act on the legacy of Steve Biko so that it prickles our consciences and propels us to collective action aimed at drastically narrowing the gap between the extremely rich and the poor. The warning to billionaires by American presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is relevant to the South African situation, that is: “Your greed is destroying South Africa, and we are going to end your greed!”

This would be Steve Biko’s message to the super wealthy people of South Africa. Such a warning should not only be a veiled threat but be accompanied by fierce contestation around what would be the best economic policies that would liberate our people from the degradation of poverty.

Biko’s legacy directs all of us to review the deteriorating economic situation in our country, which has left many families without food on their tables.

The decline of the mining industry which for years has been the backbone of our economy has left many people facing poverty. Despite the recent agreement between the industries, the looming retrenchment in both the mining and steel industries could ultimately result in more people becoming poor and more families starving.

A five-year study by the University of Cape Town’s African Food Security Unit Network in 2013 has revealed shocking information on the level of poverty and hunger gripping the country. It showed that more than 12 million South Africans go to bed hungry every night. It further exposed a food crisis that constitutes a “death sentence” for many and which the government has labelled as “serious”.

The plight of the poor and hungry was highlighted in 2011 when four children, aged between two and nine, died in a farmer’s field as they began an 18km walk in search of their mother and food in Verdwaal, North West. It was later discovered that they had not eaten for more than a week. The Biko legacy compels us to seek answers on how after 21 years of democracy we still have hunger and poverty at a scale that leaves all of us afraid that unless drastic measures are taken starvation will soon engulf the poor majority.

Professor Xolela Manqcu has proposed an alternative definition to Biko’s Black Consciousness where he argues that it should be seen as a historical experience instead of a racial one. But like all historical phenomena, historical experiences are subject to interpretation.

While history has created a majority of black people who have poor education and lack the required skills in the market, history again is creating a considerable number of white people who are beginning to experience a decline in their economic standard of living.

At the same time history in South Africa has given rise to a growing black middle class and a small super-wealthy class who are primarily beneficiaries of a misguided black economic empowerment economic philosophy.

Given such a situation, Steve Biko would compel all stakeholders to put their hand on deck and steer the country towards a situation where the economy would grow by double digits, industries would flourish and more people would get jobs, small business grow and employ more people than big industries.

The Biko legacy would direct all the stakeholders to grow the economy instead of some short-sighted politicians insisting on taking over mines and banks.

The important Biko legacy should not only redirect us towards seeking a balanced economy which provides security for employers and workers but also renew our focus as a nation on the complex issues of land restitution. It is commonly accepted that South Africa’s programme of land restitution and racial land redistribution (so-called “land reform”) have moved slowly over the past 21 years. Such an observation is based largely upon the failure of the ANC-led government to come close to reaching its redistribution target.

If the ANC government had chosen as its objective a sensible target rather than an absurd one for land redistribution it would be able today to proclaim its great success. Biko’s legacy would require all of us to accelerate the distribution of land, which will in the end help uplift the majority out of poverty.

In our quest to reconstruct Steve Biko’s legacy we need to go beyond and locate it within the harsh socio-economic challenges of the country.

* Dr T Faleni is a DA member of the North West Provincial Legislature.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Pretoria News

Suicide, mutilation shocks community

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IOL pic july1 eskom pylonBLOOMBERG File photo: Dean Hutton

Motherwell – Police are investigating a case of suicide and attempted murder in Motherwell, Eastern Cape police said in a statement on Thursday.

A community member was feeding his pig on Thursday when he saw the body of a 35-year-old man hanging from an electricity pylon, said police spokesperson Warrant Officer Dumile Gwavu.

“There was no suicide note that could be found.”

Another community member was able to lead police to the man’s address, he said.

“The house was locked with a padlock and the police opened the front window and saw a 26-year-old woman lying on the bed. The police managed to open the door from inside and found the woman severely injured on her face but she was still alive”.

The victim was taken to the Livingstone hospital.

ANA

Zuma and al-Bashir meet in China

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iol news pic Bashir and Zuma 2GCIS President Zuma met with Sundanese President Omar al-Bashir in China. File Photo: Elmond Jiyane

Cape Town – Relations between South Africa and Sudan remained “warm” said the office of President Jacob Zuma on Thursday, following a meeting between the nations’ two presidents in China.

“South Africa and Sudan enjoy warm bilateral relations,” said the South African Presidency’s spokesperson Bongani Majola.

This, despite the controversy surrounding Sundanese President Omar al-Bashir’s visit to South Africa in June for the African Union Summit.

A wanted man by the International Criminal Court (ICC) – to which South Africa is a signatory – al-Bashir was allowed to leave South Africa despite a court order by the North Gauteng High Court barring his departure.

The high court had ordered the South African government to ensure al-Bashir remained in the country until the international warrant for his arrest had been reviewed.

Al-Bashir, who is wanted by the ICC for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide during the Darfur conflict, was however allowed to leave before the high court ordered his arrest.

According to the ICC, as a member-state, South Africa was obliged to arrest al-Bashir, as should be the case with any wanted person.

The South African government has, however, argued that al-Bashir was in the country on an AU invite, which made the obligation null and void.

Furthermore, government has argued there exists complexities and contradictions which prevented them from arresting al-Bashir. This is still to be presented by government in an appeal application against the North Gauteng High Court ruling.

Majola said Thursday’s meeting between Zuma and al-Bashir was to strengthen ties between the two African states. To date, 16 bilateral agreements already exist between the two nations.

“South Africa seeks to further strengthen cooperation with Sudan in the fields of agriculture, agro-processing, science and technology, energy, infrastructure development, mining and retail,” said Majola.

The two leaders had recommitted themselves to “elevating the bilateral Joint Co-operation Commission (JCC) to a Ministerial level”.

Majola added that al-Bashir had extended an invitation to Zuma to visit Sudan, which he had accepted. The last time Zuma made a presidential working visit to Sudan was in February 2015.

The meeting between South Africa and Sudan took place during the the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese Peoples’ War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War which was taking place in Beijing, China.

ANA


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Court bid to stop ANCYL conference

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ANCYL logo

Rustenburg – An urgent court application to stop the ANC Youth League’s elective conference from going ahead will be heard at the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Disgruntled members from North West approached the court on the eve of the congress seeking the court to stop the conference, alleging the irregular auditing of branches.

“There is what we call gate-keeping where certain members are denied the opportunity to attend the conference to influence the outcome. We learnt that registers during ward meeting were signed in the streets,” said Arafat Molamu, one of the disgruntled members.

He said most of the branches in North West were not active and he wondered how they had managed to attend the provincial general council.

“We want the court to help in understanding the league constitution. Our application will be heard at 4pm.”

The ANCYL conference is scheduled to start in Midrand on Friday.

ANA

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Nigeria: I Remember the Day … I Designed the Nigerian Flag

opinion
By A. Igoni Barrett
Sixty-two years after a British journalist first suggested the name “Nigeria”, a 23-year-old Ibadan-born student gave the new country its national flag.
Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi was studying engineering at Norwood Technical …

Ethiopia Willing to Learn From Japanese Experience

By Leulseged Worku

Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu said that Ethiopia is ready to further deepen its partnership with Japan in the area of climate change issues, renewable energy and other areas where Japan has accumulated century-old experiences.

Speaking at the Africa-Japan Business Investment Forum underway on creating sustainable solution in the energy agenda, Alemayehu said that the fastest economic development of countries must be supported by reliable access to modern renewable energy. Using Japanese best experience Ethiopia can benefit a lot from its success stories, he said.

According to him, Ethiopia considers Japan as a major partner in the realization of sustainable development visions particularly in the area of renewable energy and climate issues.

Alemayehu said that Ethiopia has already formulated a climate resilient green economic development strategy that leads to a sustainable economic development.

Using its viable energy programmes and projects Ethiopia has undertaken various energy projects in Africa which were constructed with locally generated finance, he said.

As part of its vision the country is developing different source of energies hydro power, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass, the Minister said. “A good example to this strategy is the 6,000 MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project which is under construction.”

As to Alemayehu seeing the benefi of working with other partners, Ethiopia is actively engaging with international partners to develop its renewable resources.

He also said that the country is working closely with various international partners to adopt renewable energy technologies — solar home system, improved efficiency stoves, biogas digesters and the like.

The provision of sustainable renewable energy is a crucial ingredient in achieving economic growth and poverty reduction. In this regard, Africa must develop its abundant renewable resource, he added.

He also said that access to technical and financial limitations have crippled Africa from fully utilizing its renewable source that could have been used to alleviate poverty.

The financial and technical capability of Japanese public and private actors will have a great role in this regard.

Copyright © 2015 The Ethiopian Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

Clear Strategies, Industrial Policies Said Important in Bringing Economic Success

By Robel Yohannes

African countries should look at Japan’s experience in order to see how long clear strategies and industrial policies go in bringing economic success, a senior government official said.

Presenting a paper entitled ‘Made in Africa – A Case in Ethiopia’ at the Africa-Japan Business Investment Forum 2015′ Tuesday, Dr. Arkebe Oqubay Special Adviser to the Prime Minister with the Rank of Minister said that Ethiopia’s case is a demonstration to the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative and some of its challenges juxtaposing it with Japanese dimension.

Dr. Arkebe said that Ethiopia’s economy has been growing rapidly for over a decade without a resource boom because the government formulated a development path that reflects its own peculiar conditions, and mobilized all resources for major development goals.

He also said that each country has to design its own policies without any outside interference. “Policy independence has been our success,” he added. A case in point; the government’s decision to direct huge budget on education and infrastructural development to be competitive at international level is bearing fruit. Basically, the key point is every African country has to look at its own peculiar condition and the advantages it has and then aim at structural transformation, Arkebe said.

According to Dr. Arkebe, pursuing an active industrial policy is important for the success of Ethiopia. Further elaborating on this, he said that Ethiopia has been making bold and decisive experimentation in this regard with mixed results.

He said that they have found the process to be quite important and other African countries should learn that industrial policy is important area that needs focus. “There is no other way or short cut to master industrial policy.”

Coming to the Japanese dimension, Dr. Arkebe indicated that the government has put Japan in top list countries to attract manufacturing investment. The key aspect Japanese will focus in investing is availability of trainable workforce, and the government is determined to create the conditions to mobilize the skills in manpower and infrastructure. “We have basically agreed to build a special industrial park”, he noted. The industrial park will be designed and managed by Japanese and is expected to meet the requirements of Japanese and be able to attract manufacturing investment.

Copyright © 2015 The Ethiopian Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.