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Government will continue to root out illegal immigrants: Zuma
May 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

President Jacob Zuma has told the National Council of Provinces that government will continue to root out illegal immigrants but that those here with proper documentation were “welcome”   [caption id="attachment_18136" align="alignleft" width="630"]President Jacob Zuma. File photo Image by: UESLEI MARCELINO / REUTERS President Jacob Zuma. File photo
Image by: UESLEI MARCELINO / REUTERS[/caption] Zuma said: “We are not generally xenophobic as South Africans. We value the presence of foreign nationals in our country as many bring much needed skills. We have a responsibility to protect refugees and asylum seekers.” He said the presence of foreign tourists and businessmen was “much appreciated”. He defended government Operation Fiela which has led to the arrest of hundreds of illegal immigrants who are to be deported describing it as an “anti-crime clean up operation”. Government was “ensuring that all traders do so legally‚ which is why the police among others are targeting trade in contraband. Government will not tolerate illegal immigrants. All people should be in the country legally and be documented as required in any country.” Zuma said he did not understand why human rights organisations were opposed to the deportation of foreigners‚ saying it reminded him of the peasant saying: “God decided not to listen to us because when it was sunny we said we want rain and when it was raining we said we want sun.” “The security forces are dealing with it‚ why do we complain? The crime is too high and we must do something.” *Source Times Live/RDM News Wire]]>

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The day a South African politician 'broke' twitter
May 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

DA LEADER MMUSI MAIMANI. PHOTO©DA.ORG DA LEADER MMUSI MAIMANI. PHOTO©DA.ORG[/caption] A South African politician, as they say, “broke” the internet on Wednesday, after he took to answering questions on micro-blogging site, Twitter, with close to 100,000 tweets generated by the hash tag #AskMmusi. The newly elected leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane said he wanted to talk directly to the people and in the process set a new record number of tweets and for trending for hours this week. Following his victory last weekend as the first black leader of the historically white party, Maimane decided to host a “virtual town hall” debate via Twitter, asking people to tweet their questions to him. While some questions were genuine, Maimane faced some rather bizarre, interesting and at times funny questions. Questions included what his favourite soap opera is, to his favourite football team and his thoughts on American pop star, Beyoncé. With power shortages a reality for South Africans one tweet read: “The guy who presses the load shedding button, where does he live”? The race issue was also a popular question with one asking: “Why do white people refer to us as ‘you people?'” another one read: “Do you eat black jelly babies?” There were the more serious questions with tweets asking him about the state of politics in the country, education, and his vision for the party and the state of the economy. Questions included, “If you could serve in cabinet, excluding the presidency, which portfolio would you prefer and why?” “Twitter is the most direct way I can engage with South Africans, who I am accountable to,” Maimane explained his reason for taking to the social networking site. “It was also an opportunity to give South Africans my vision for South Africa and the DA. “I laughed a few times. “The only thing that prevented me from answering all the questions was the volume and time.” Speaking to a local newspaper, The Mercury, the DA’s communications director, Jamie Turkington, said they were happy with the Twitter response. “He wasn’t expecting such a response, but he is more familiar with Twitter than Facebook, so he was able to respond quite quickly to most of them,” he said. “We will be going through each tweet to see if there are issues that he may need to delve deeper into.” A day later #AskMmsui was still trending on social media and took seventh place in the top 20 United Kingdom trends as well. Maimane also gained more than 7,000 new followers after he displayed both his funny and more serious side in the one-hour engagement. *Source The Africa Report]]>

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Maimane: black leader of S.Africa's 'white' opposition
May 11, 2015 | 0 Comments

Mmusi Maimane, the newly elected leader of South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance party, gives his maiden speech following his election in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on May 10, 2015 (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia) Mmusi Maimane, the newly elected leader of South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance party, gives his maiden speech following his election in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on May 10, 2015 (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)[/caption] Port Elizabeth (South Africa) (AFP) – South Africa’s new opposition leader is a young, black politician with a talent for oratory and slick campaigning — leading some local press to dub him the “Obama of Soweto”.

Mmusi Maimane, 34, dismisses such comparisons, but he is set to play a major role at an uncertain time in South African politics after being elected leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) party on Sunday.

Raised in the township of Soweto — heartland of the anti-apartheid struggle — Maimane joined the DA only in 2009.

He was soon identified by senior party figures as a man who could help it break out of its white-dominated support base.

Maimane was born in a district west of Johannesburg and moved to Soweto as a boy, experiencing the cruelties of apartheid and racial segregation laws at first hand.

A devout Christian, he has a Masters Degree in Theology and regularly preaches at church.

He met his white wife Natalie in church, and lists an Irish priest who stayed in the township as one of the people who had an influence on his early life.

As parliamentary leader of the DA, he has bared his teeth during debates, calling President Jacob Zuma a “thief” and a “broken man” during one of many heated clashes.

– The role of race –

By joining the DA, he has provoked some supporters of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) — the party that led the struggle against white-minority rule.

ANC lawmaker Lindiwe Sisulu once called him a “hired native” – an explosive term she was forced to withdraw.

Maimane’s parents still live in Soweto and used to belong to the ANC, though he says they now support his choice of party.

Before getting into politics, the lanky, smart dresser, who was in the 2014 GQ Magazine’s list of best-dressed men, ran his own management consultancy and lectured at a business school in Johannesburg.

In 2014, he lost elections for premier of Gauteng province, of which Johannesburg is the capital.

His glitzy campaign appeared closely modelled on US President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential race, complete with a similar blue poster and the slogan “Believe”.

[caption id="attachment_18064" align="alignright" width="300"]South Africa main opposition party Democratic Alliance supporters of Candidate Leader Mmusi Maimane dance and sing in his support during the party leadership elections on May 10, 2015 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia) South Africa main opposition party Democratic Alliance supporters of Candidate Leader Mmusi Maimane dance and sing in his support during the party leadership elections on May 10, 2015 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)[/caption]

The downside of public life was underlined this week when his wife, with whom he has two children, was forced to react to anonymous allegations about his private life.

“He’s the real deal. The mud will simply wash off,” she tweeted.

South Africa looks set for some difficult years ahead as the economy wallows in the doldrums and poor blacks vent their increasing frustration against Zuma and the ANC.

The DA took 22.2 percent of the vote in the 2014 general election.

The test for Maimane will be to boost that figure by drawing in more of South Africa’s middle-class black voters.

*Source AFP/Yahoo]]>

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South Africa: The Entrepreneur Behind the Schoolbag That Transforms Into a Light At Night
May 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

Thato Kgatlhanye and her school friend pioneered a schoolbag made from plastic shopping bags with built-in solar technology that charges up during the day and transforms into a light at night. Thato Kgatlhanye and her school friend pioneered a schoolbag made from plastic shopping bags with built-in solar technology that charges up during the day and transforms into a light at night.[/caption] When South African childhood friends and later entrepreneurs Thato Kgatlhanye and Rea Ngwane finished high school, they knew they wanted to start something that impacted young people and underprivileged communities. At age 18, they founded Rethaka, a social enterprise they hoped would do just that, although it would be two years before they figured out how. “Yes, it is a bit funny that you would register a business without a business idea,” notes Kgatlhanye. “But at the heart of it we actually wanted to do great things. And when the idea of the Repurpose Schoolbags came to us, we worked on it tirelessly.” Repurpose Schoolbags is an environmentally-friendly innovation made from ‘upcycled’ plastic shopping bags with built-in solar technology that charges up during the day and transforms into a light at night. The initiative targets school children in underprivileged communities and looks at addressing a number of problems. Firstly, the bags allow them to study after dark in homes without electricity. Secondly, the bags are designed with reflective material, so that children are visible to traffic during their walk to and from school. The production of Repurpose Schoolbags also involves the collection and recycling of plastic bags that typically litter the South African landscape. Introducing a sustainable solution The first eight months of last year were spent piloting the schoolbags, followed by producing 1,000 bags from August to December. The company currently has eight full-time employees in their factory in Rustenburg, but Kgatlhanye says they will employ an additional 12 people this year in order to meet their production target of 10,000 bags for 2015. One of the ways the initiative gets its schoolbags to these children is through targeting corporate social investment budgets where companies can sponsor the production of bags. Each bag costs R250 (US$20), and covers the cost of employee wages and production, so the initiative can remain sustainable and continue to grow. Another model is to produce bags for delegate packs at corporate events where delegates can then choose to give the bag to underprivileged children after events. The company has already gained some major clients, including the likes of Standard Bank and PwC. According to Kgatlhanye, there is room to develop additional products along the same idea, such as raincoats. However, she added this is something the team will think about at a later stage, as they are still trying to ramp-up production of the schoolbags and expand to other communities. More ‘social’ than ‘entrepreneur’ While the co-founders (now both 22) have to think like entrepreneurs to ensure the business remains sustainable, Kgatlhanye says becoming an entrepreneur was almost a by-product of Repurpose Schoolbags. She admits that as a kid she never dreamed of owning her own business. “That is not my story.” However, from a young age she did realise she wanted to have a positive impact on the society that surrounded her, a trait she owes to her upbringing and particularly her mother. “My mom cares about people like you wouldn’t imagine… so I grew up in an environment where I was always conscious of actually caring for other people and having a sense of empathy,” she says. “And thank God I had that upbringing – where I could understand there are people out there that don’t have as much as I do. And that if I find creative ideas on how to give them what it is they need, then we could both be fine… and brave the world [together].”

 Alternative sources of funding
  Kgatlhanye describes her business journey as “instinctive” and has learnt some great tips that can help young entrepreneurs grow their business without capital. For starters, she believes there are alternatives for funding that don’t require involving investors, with the trade off of giving away equity in the business. For example, Kgatlhanye has benefited from a number of mentorship and entrepreneurship programmes. She was selected for an internship in New York with marketing guru and American best-selling author Seth Godin, and was picked as one of 18 South African social entrepreneurs to attend the 10-day Red Bull Amaphiko Academy last year. Furthermore, she was also selected as the 2014 first runner-up of the Anzisha Prize, where she won $15,000. “My advice is simple: bootstrap and find competitions to enter your business idea into,” she highlighted during an online Q&A session on the Anzisha Prize’s Facebook page earlier this year. “Firstly, it is a great way to get free business support and advice. Secondly it’s a great networking opportunity to meet high-profile business people – who usually judge these competitions – and potentially get mentorship from them. Finally, if you end up a winner, you will not only get a cash prize but also get some PR out of it.” However, most importantly, Kgatlhanye advises young entrepreneurs to trust their gut and admits that she has decided to lose mentors in the past simply because they shared different visions. Separating business and friendship As friends, Kgatlhanye and Ngwane have managed to work well as business partners. But for many, going into business with a friend has led to the death of a friendship. “One thing that’s key is when you form a business partnership with your friend, act as though you met that person that day,” noted Kgatlhanye. “So you can’t say because you’ve known your friend since grade 4, you’ll work well together in business. No – you have known them since you decided to start a company together. So get to know your business partner as a business partner, not as a friend, because business and friendship is a different ball game.” Another trick that proved beneficial for the co-founders was to get a business coach to help them get comfortable in their business relationship. “And I think that’s the best advice. Get a business coach, be honest, leave the ego at the door and hustle.” *Source Allafrica]]>

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S.Africa opposition begins congress expected to elect black leader
May 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

A Democratic Alliance supporter waves the party's flag outside the Colorado polling station in Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats on May 7, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jennifer Bruce) A Democratic Alliance supporter waves the party’s flag outside the Colorado polling station in Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats on May 7, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jennifer Bruce)[/caption] Port Elizabeth (South Africa) (AFP) – South Africa’s official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party was expected to elect its first black leader at a congress starting Saturday, billed a watershed moment for the predominantly white party.

“This congress is a turning point, not only for the DA but also for South Africa,” the party’s outgoing leader of eight years, Helen Zille, said in her farewell speech.

All eyes are on Mmusi Maimane, 34, the party’s parliamentary leader, who is tipped to succeed her in a vote by 1,425 delegates on Sunday.

Maimane, raised in the township of Soweto — heartland of the anti-apartheid struggle — joined the DA only in 2009.

In 2014 he was elected as the party leader in parliament, with Zille’s backing and has on several times locked horns with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) lawmakers, including President Jacob Zuma.

In 2014 unsuccessfully ran for position of premier of Gauteng province, South Africa’s economic hub which includes the city of Johannesburg.

The Sunday vote is expected to be a duel between him and Maimane and Wilmot James, a 61-year-old mixed-race party veteran who is current the party’s chairman.

“The DA new leadership to be elected tomorrow can count on every ounce of my support,” said Zille.

The charismatic former journalist and anti-apartheid activist has not endorsed any candidate to succeed her.

“This congress marks a new chapter for South Africa,” she said, predicting the party would be in government in the forseeable future.

“As we head towards net year’s local government elections, an then onto 2019, we must remain unified and unwavering….and, if we stick to the plan, the DA will form the backbone of a new national government in the foreseeable future.”

During her speech, supporters held up blue and white posters marked “Thank You Helen Zille” as images from various stages of her political career were displayed on a big screen behind the stage.

Delegates lauded her for growing the party’s base in the last eight years at the helm.

“Under her leadership, the DA has become the most diverse party in South Africa…the DA is better off than it was before,” said Patricia de Lille, mayor of Cape Town, which is governed by the party.

Under Zille the DA made inroads in areas long dominated by the ANC, and is looking to grow its support in the next local government elections in 2016.

The DA boosted its share of the vote from 16.6 percent in 2009 to 22.2 percent in 2014 elections, but still struggles to present itself as a credible alternative to the ANC, which has ruled since the formal end of apartheid in 1994.

“We lived from election to election, pursuing our vision and implementing our strategies. That is how we grew from a party of 338,000 votes in 1994, to over 4 million last year,” she stated.

The DA has its roots in the now defunct Progressive Party, co-founded by the late anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman in 1959.

*Source AFP/Yahoo]]>

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Philips to embark on annual roadshow across the African continent for sixth consecutive year – covering 12,000 km, 11 cities and 8 countries
May 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

Philips’ Cape Town to Cairo roadshow retains a strong focus on advancing healthcare, and energy efficient lighting solutions; •          Roadshow demonstrates Philips commitment to Africa, and its ambitions to further progress its business footprint across the continent; •          Over the past five years the roadshow has championed the UN Millennium Development Goals (4 and 5) with many successes along the way – in 2015, maternal and child health and non-communicable diseases will continue to remain a focus, aligned to the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); •          Since 2010 the roadshow has spread light across Africa– improving and beautifying cities, illuminating iconic landmarks and extending the day for rural life with solar lighting; new LED innovations will be introduced once again this year. [caption id="attachment_17910" align="alignleft" width="300"]Philips’ Cape Town to Cairo roadshow Philips’ Cape Town to Cairo roadshow[/caption] Cape Town, South Africa – Philips’ Cape Town to Cairo roadshow  is back for the sixth consecutive year! On Monday 11th May, Philips will embark on its annual journey across the African continent, covering 12,000 km, 11 cities and 8 countries over a period of 4.5 months. The roadshow has gained significant momentum over the past five years, and as a result Philips has got to the very heart of some of the key issues facing Africa. This year too, the roadshow will continue to listen to the markets and focus on advancing healthcare and energy efficient lighting solutions. Highlights and key areas of focus The roadshow’s ambition from the beginning has been to collaborate and engage with customers, government, NGOs and media on challenges facing Africa. This has included – Mother and Child Care, the rise of non-communicable diseases, energy efficient LED and solar lighting solutions, as well as shining a spotlight on the need for clinical education and training. Since 2010, the roadshow has evolved and advanced considerably, however the ethos and focus remains the same.  Over the past 5 years Philips has advanced many of its goals, and reached countless milestones along the way. Clinical Education and Training During the 2014 roadshow, Philips and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) inaugurated a high-tech Medical Simulation Lab  to support clinical education; providing medical students direct access to real life situations, and technical know-how behind medical equipment in a contained setting. Since the roadshow began in 2010, Philips has trained over 3,100 healthcare professionals across Africa, organizing structured training workshops around maternal and child care, training practitioners where to look and what to look for, and preparing them on how to use this information to guide diagnoses and treatment decisions. In 2015 clinical education and healthcare training will continue to remain a priority. Ongoing commitment to maternal and child health WordmarkSince the inception of the roadshow, Philips has championed the UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 , related to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. Several innovations and partnerships have resulted from this dedicated commitment. Philips introduced its innovative ultra-mobile ultrasound system “VISIQ”  during the roadshow in 2014. VISIQ is the size of a tablet and has been designed specifically to address the critical issue of maternal and infant care in remote areas. During the 2013 roadshow the Gauteng Department of Health, University of Johannesburg, and Philips launched a life-saving ambulance and response vehicle pilot project in South Africa. These are some amongst several successes.  As the Sustainable Development Goals supersede the Millennium Development Goals in September 2015, Philips will continue to advance the healthcare agenda for Africa, providing solutions, innovations and collaborations – with a strong focus on Mother and Child Care and Non Communicable Disease (NCDs). Spearheading the LED and solar lighting revolution As the number one LED lighting company in the world, Philips has spearheaded the LED lighting revolution in Africa – enabling efficient energy management, reducing costs, improving city life, and extending the day for rural areas with solar lighting. The roadshow has provided the forum for introducing several breakthrough energy-efficient LED lighting innovations. In 2012, Philips announced an initiative to provide solar powered LED lighting for 100 small football  pitches or “light centers” for rural communities across Africa;  to date 85 “light centers” have been inaugurated in off-grid communities. Last year, Philips illuminated one iconic monument in every city visited during the roadshow with the latest LED technology leaving behind a permanent legacy and enhancing the attractiveness of these stunning monuments while reducing energy consumption by up to 80%. Following the 2015 journey [caption id="attachment_17914" align="alignleft" width="300"]Hands-on clinical training in progress Hands-on clinical training in progress[/caption] The sixth Cape Town to Cairo roadshow  will kick off on 11th May in Cape Town, concluding in Cairo on 15th October 2015. Throughout 2015 the priorities will remain the same, to revitalize Africa’s healthcare system with a strong focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); lead the way for the LED lighting revolution, and provide products and solutions that meet the aspirational needs of the rising middle class in Africa. Commenting on the 2015 Cape Town to Cairo roadshow, JJ van Dongen, Senior Vice President and CEO Philips Africa said, “It is with great honor and pride that we bring the sixth consecutive Cape Town to Cairo roadshow to Africa. I never imagined how successful this project would be when we embarked on it five years ago. During this time we have consistently engaged in an open dialogue with the people of Africa, and we have sought to adapt our technologies and services to better serve the continent.” “We have learned an enormous amount, our focus has not wavered, and we will continue to play an integral role in the development of Africa. We are hugely excited about the 2015 roadshow, and we look forward to launching even greater innovations, products and partnerships that precisely address and get to the heart of Africa’s needs.” Royal Philips  (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 108,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at *Source APO]]>

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Azania: when foreigners must leave, invaders must be deported.
April 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

By Jacques Sotero Agboton*

Jacques Sotero Agboton

Jacques Sotero Agboton

The hopes of a generation of combatants against apartheid were soon dashed when they realized that they were bamboozled to believe that the celebration of independence brought an end to their liberation struggle.

Alas, the liberation struggle was misdirected for some pseudo-independence in which another 30 million Blacks have joined 800 million already in enclaves as modern slaves under the tutelage of a Commonwealth; a Francophone or Lusophone Union which were no different than reservations for native Indians in the USA.

Even when not acknowledged or when not recognized, this deception can explain in part, the xenophobic fury misdirected against foreigners when they, too, were victims of a larger and overwhelming system of oppression.

Here again, there is a need to overstate how Apartheid dissolved into this greater deceptive monster of a “rainbow nation” just like a cancer metastasis from one organ to other organs of the body. One has to understand the psychology of a post-traumatic syndrome because the consequences of the recent xenophobic attacks of Blacks on Blacks- of nationals against foreigners- was symptomatic of the regressive attributes of this rainbow nation which took one of the cancer of Apartheid –perfidious hate against the other people, to its inevitable conclusion.

The murders, repression and oppression of other Blacks, thus making another wave of victims to the advantage of Whites left the latter as the only victor of another psychological warfare in which Blacks lost the battle. These so-called Statesmen and pacifists must have been without foresight to have imposed the absolution of the “white race” when vengeance would have brought justice.

Today, the Black victims of these disoriented Brothers and Sisters in Azania; these foreigners who had no control of the war game in which they were ultimately positioned as a rampart between the true landowners and white invaders by far-seeing strategists for the length of time or until the illusions of the rainbow nation dissipated.

These foreigners cannot be blamed, but for filling positions in the social and economic order. Above them in the hierarchy, were plantation overseers like many political cadres of the ANC and the Caucus of demagogues in power who remain disloyal members of our race. This is stated in so far as there is neither a black middle class, nor a bourgeoisie in economic slavery.

The fury of the oppressed or rather, the impoverished citizens towards these castes of foreigners can be understood because they held a part of the national wealth (as insignificant it may be) which should accrue to them.

However, it is now that the impoverished citizens of Azania will come to the realization that the greater part of this nation’s wealth is held in agencies, corporations and institutions on behalf of whites since the latter are the main beneficiaries of exclusive rights as well as dividends guaranteed to them in the various agreements and protocols signed before the so-called independence.

What is in a “South Africa”; what is South African is still in the hands as the heritage of Apartheid’s icons- the Boers and the so-called, Afrikaners. Behold their ancestors were invaders who committed the most heinous, criminal and inhuman monstrosities against indigenous Azanians such that their progeny today must be deported now that foreigners cannot serve them as ramparts or as guard dogs.

Nelson Mandela at his presidential inauguration with his deputies, FW de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki, what happened to the South African promise?

Nelson Mandela at his presidential inauguration with his deputies, FW de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki, what happened to the South African promise?

The inevitable showdown of Whites in the apartheid fortresses of corporations, institutions and agencies with Azanians is imminent because every generation will demand its rights to a free and proper education from kindergarten to the University; proper guidance in vocational or professional training; a preventive health care; work because so infrastructures need to be built, constructed and developed; housing with basic amenities as electricity and water as well as assistance by innovative communications and transportation.

The Azanians are the owners of the land which is immensely rich to provide for every citizen the highest standard of living no other country on any continent of the world can attain. It is now and once again, within the ultimate reach of those whose brave ancestors sacrificed their lives to liberate their land from European invaders and their descendants whose callousness is in the image of Europe’s depravity.

The foreigners are gone, and so must be deported the invaders for justice is still in the twilight of a Renaissance of the African people.

*Jacques Sotero Agboton is an international political analyst and can be reached at institutresearchdevelopment@gmail.com. Views expressed are those of the author.

 

 

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Southern African leaders discuss industrialization strategy
April 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

By FARAI MUTSAKA* [caption id="attachment_17837" align="alignleft" width="300"]Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, right, hands over a ceremonial key to SADC Excecutive Secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax during the official opening of the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation in Harare, Wednesday, April, 29, 2015. The summit was called by heads of state in an effort to craft a strategy for industrialisation in the region through value addition and beneficiation of abundant natural resources in Africa. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, right, hands over a ceremonial key to SADC Excecutive Secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax during the official opening of the Southern African Development Community(SADC) Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation in Harare, Wednesday, April, 29, 2015. The summit was called by heads of state in an effort to craft a strategy for industrialisation in the region through value addition and beneficiation of abundant natural resources in Africa. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)[/caption] HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Southern African leaders met in the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Wednesday to discuss how to maximize profits from their countries’ natural resources.

Heads of state of the 15 countries that make up the Southern African Development Community came together, marking the official opening of the summit that began on Monday when cabinet ministers gathered.

In meetings before the summit, officials presented a strategy to achieve economic growth by exploiting mineral resources through industrialization.

“The potential benefits we stand to reap are immense,” said Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in a 15-minute opening speech.

About 70 percent of southern Africa’s population lives in poverty, Mugabe said. Most southern African countries are rich in minerals such as gold and diamonds, while Angola is the second largest oil producer in sub-Sahara Africa, behind Nigeria. The majority of these resources are exported in their raw form, Mugabe said.

Officially named the Regional Strategy and Roadmap for Industrialization, the plan to modernize southern Africa is meant encourage economic growth until 2063. Analysts say the plot is ambitious because of the wealth gaps and policy differences between countries.

South African President Jacob Zuma, whose country has the largest economy in the group, recently blamed the political and economic conditions in nearby nations for the influx of immigrants into his country.

The recent spate of attacks on foreigners in South Africa was not on the official agenda for discussion, but Mugabe did comment on efforts to return Zimbabwean immigrants during a press conference. He said the Zimbabwean government sent free buses to repatriate citizens during the attacks, but only about 800 chose to leave South Africa.

“We, the neighbors, must do what we can to prevent more people into South Africa and get those in South Africa to get back home,” he said, adding that industrialization would make southern African nations “equally attractive.” *Source AP/Yahoo]]>

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An African version of Spartacus ballet to hit the stage
April 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA* JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Spartacus is getting an African makeover. [caption id="attachment_17826" align="alignleft" width="300"]South African choreographer Veronica Paeper, right, watches dancers rehearse for the show "A Spartacus in Africa" in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, April 2, 2015. A new South African production of the ballet, "A Spartacus in Africa," will incorporate African dance styles with classical and contemporary dance for a story that its producers say resonates on a continent with its own history of oppression. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam) South African choreographer Veronica Paeper, right, watches dancers rehearse for the show “A Spartacus in Africa” in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, April 2, 2015. A new South African production of the ballet, “A Spartacus in Africa,” will incorporate African dance styles with classical and contemporary dance for a story that its producers say resonates on a continent with its own history of oppression. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)[/caption]

In the 1960 movie “Spartacus,” Kirk Douglas played the gladiator who led a slave revolt against the Romans. A ballet version with music by composer Aram Khachaturian was first staged in the 1950s and has also been a crowd favorite over the decades.

A new South African production of that ballet, titled “A Spartacus in Africa,” will feature Khachaturian’s music and will incorporate African dance styles with classical and contemporary dance for a story that its producers say resonates on a continent with its own history of oppression.

“It’s almost totally new,” said South African choreographer Veronica Paeper, who first worked on a Spartacus ballet in 1984, when the white minority ruled South Africa.

The sets and costumes of that earlier version followed the ancient Roman theme, while the production starting in June is inspired by West African dance, East African designs and other aspects capturing the continent’s diversity in a “mythical” setting, Paeper said.

“I’m not setting it in any specific area or any specific genre of Africa,” she said.

The story features conflict between African tribes, according to its producers.

Ballet scenes include a triumphant march and a big battle. During a Cape Town rehearsal, couples moved languidly during an “orgy” scene, and male performers soared and stomped through a war dance.

Brooklyn Mack, an American with The Washington Ballet, will play Spartacus in the cast of about 120.

“I love the story, and his tenacity and perseverance and bravery, and it’s just extremely powerful,” said Mack of Elgin, South Carolina.

Mack will alternate in the role with South African dancers Andile Ndlovu and Casey Swales. Marcus Licinius Crassus, the rebel’s Roman foe, is among other ballet characters.

The ballet opens at the Joburg Theatre in Johannesburg on June 4 before moving to the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town. Each city will host 12 performances with an orchestra.

Paeper said “A Spartacus in Africa” would be something different.

“I’m going to tread on a lot of toes and I’m quite prepared for that,” she said.

*Source AP/Yahoo]]>

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Xenophobic attacks: Why are your citizens in South Africa? – President Zuma asks Africa
April 28, 2015 | 1 Comments

Jacob Zuma Jacob Zuma[/caption] SOUTH AFRICA President Jacob Zuma Monday lashed out at Africa governments who “criticise the South African government but their citizens are in our country”, even he took a firm stance against stance on the wave of xenophobic violence that has gripped the country. Addressing the public on Freedom Day at  the Union Buildings South Lawn, Zuma chastised governments who have criticised the South African government for the violence that has claimed seven lives. “As much as we have a problem that is alleged to be xenophobic, our sister countries contribute to this. Why are their citizens not in their countries and are in South Africa?” he asked. This comes in the wake of Nigeria recalling its ambassador to South Africa in protest at the xenophobic violence. Nigeria has summoned Acting High Commissioner Martin Cobham and Deputy High Commissioner Uche Ajulu-Okeke “for consultations” over the “ongoing xenophobia”, Minister of Foreign Affairs Aminu Wali said in a statement on Saturday. Zuma said a frank conversation on illegal immigrants needed to take place within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as the African Union. Zuma mentioned the murder of Mozambican citizen Manuel Jossias—first identified as Emmanuel Sithole—in the Alexandra township. “He used a false name to avoid detection by authorities as he was an illegal immigrant,” he said. Zuma paid tribute to the three South Africans who were killed in the attacks in Durban: Ayanda Dlamini, Msawenkosi Dlamini and Thabo Mzobe, who was 14 years old. He said South Africans were angry, adding; “We need to be cured, we are sick”. “The latest outbreak of violence necessitates more comprehensive action from all of us to ensure that there is no recurrence. We have to address the underlying causes of the violence and tensions, which is the legacy of poverty, unemployment and inequality in our country and our continent and the competition for limited resources,” Zuma said. South Africans need psychological cure He also spoke at length of how violent South African communities are, adding that “we need a psychological cure”. “Apartheid was a violent system and it produced violent countermeasures to it. So people still believe that to fight authority you must fight government … even now, when it is your own government. We need to be helped as a society,” he said. “They get excited. They burn the tyres; they block the roads; they destroy property; exercising their rights but interfering with the rights of many.” Zuma then lashed out at the Economic Freedom Fighters and their trademark militancy  in Parliament. “Look at the institution that is said to be the apex of democracy, Parliament. Look at the politicians whom you have voted for, how angry they are. How defiant they are, even in Parliament,” he said to thunderous applause. Zuma said Parliament and the office of the Speaker should be respected. He was taking exception to the behaviour of EFF Members of Parliament who often disobey the orders of the Speaker in the national assembly. “If the Speaker says ‘Out of my house’, you must get out. But what do some of the members of Parliament do when the Speaker says ‘Sit down’, they say ‘Speaker, I want to address you’. They will continue addressing the speaker. If the speaker says ‘Withdraw’ they say ‘I won’t withdraw’. If the speaker says ‘Out’ they say ‘I won’t go out’,” Zuma told the crowd. He said this was a glaring example of what he called the “violent culture of apartheid”. “Imagine if politicians are so angry then who will rule the country.” *Source Mgafrica  ]]>

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S. Africa braces for economic backlash from xenophobic attacks
April 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

By Jean Liou* [caption id="attachment_17746" align="alignleft" width="300"]The hands of displaced foreign nationals are photographed as they stand outside a shelter for displaced foreigners in east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The South African army has been deployed to areas in that remain volatile after a spate of attacks targeting immigrants, the defense minister announced on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe) The hands of displaced foreign nationals are photographed as they stand outside a shelter for displaced foreigners in east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The South African army has been deployed to areas in that remain volatile after a spate of attacks targeting immigrants, the defense minister announced on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)[/caption] Johannesburg (AFP) – A wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa could provoke reprisals from neighbouring countries, raising concerns among South African business leaders and officials that the violence against foreigners could further damage the weak economy.

Calls for a boycott of South African products have multiplied amid anger in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and elsewhere on the continent over their citizens being attacked by mobs in Johannesburg and Durban.

At least seven people have been killed in the violence and thousands of immigrants forced to flee their homes, making headline news around the world as soldiers were deployed to restore order in the impoverished townships.

 

“Since the start of the attacks, our country has lost billions of rands in export foreign revenue,” trade and industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina said Wednesday, without giving further details.

Calling the situation “untenable,” he added that the government was “worried about the cost and the negative impact of the attacks on foreign nationals on the country’s image and its economy”.

“We cannot have these attacks continuing,” he said.

Nigeria’s foreign ministry summoned South Africa’s high commissioner over the attacks, while influential Zimbabwe National Students Union president Gilbert Mutubuki called on youths to target local South African businesses.

Mutubuki was reported to have named the supermarket chain Pick n Pay as one possible target.

Other South African brand names operating across southern Africa include such giants as the MTN telecoms group, Shoprite, Old Mutual insurer and the Standard Bank and Nedbank.

“We are appealing to different African countries not to retaliate… because it won’t help anybody,” Bene M’Poko, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s ambassador to South Africa, said this week.

In Mozambique, South African petrochemicals group Sasol evacuated 340 staff and sent them back home, while Irish mining firm Kenmare Resources repatriated 62 workers.

– Exports to Africa –

“What’s been going on in South Africa is of grave concern and it’s disheartening. Sasol is a South African company, but we are global,” Sasol spokesman Alex Anderson told AFP.

“Sasol became aware of unrest by the Mozambican employees of our contractors.”

Last week, about 200 people in Mozambique briefly blockaded the border and threw rocks at South African vehicles.

South Africa’s economic growth slowed to 1.5 percent last year from 2.2 percent in 2013, and far from the five percent growth rate before the global economic crisis. The country runs a large trade balance surplus with the rest of Africa.

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said South Africa relied on exports of cars, clothes and textiles.

“We sell 260 billion rand (20 billion euros, $21 billion) worth of goods to other African countries… that creates more than 160,000 jobs in South Africa,” he said.

Patel addressed the thorny issue of immigrants taking jobs for less pay than locals, fuelling frustration that immigrants “steal” South African jobs.

“We must make it clear to companies: don’t exploit foreign workers,” he said.

“Don’t pay them less than South African workers… so much so that South African workers are put aside.”

For Nedbank analyst Dennis Syke, government action in the coming weeks is key to limiting the damage.

“Government response initially was I think fairly weak, but it is improving now and there seems to be more determination to try and get things sorted out,” he said.

Tourism — a major industry in South Africa — remains vulnerable, despite the unrest not spreading to Cape Town, the wine-growing regions or safari resorts.

Several foreign ministries, including Britain and Australia, have updated their travel advisories to highlight the unrest.

“The xenophobic violence you hear about in South Africa does not target tourists and does not affect tourist regions,” tour operator Onne Vegter wrote in an editorial for the specialist Tourism Update website.

But it added that the situation is “a PR disaster for us, as our country is once again in the news for all the wrong reasons”.

*Source AFP/Yahoo]]>

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South Africa, Nigeria trade barbs over attacks on migrants
April 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

Johannesburg (AFP) – The South African government reacted angrily Sunday to Nigeria’s decision to recall its ambassador from Pretoria over a wave of mob attacks on African migrants that killed at least seven people.
  [caption id="attachment_17742" align="alignleft" width="300"]A demonstrator holds a banner in Johannesburg, South Africa, on April 23, 2015 during a protest against the recent wave of xenophobic attacks (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia) A demonstrator holds a banner in Johannesburg, South Africa, on April 23, 2015 during a protest against the recent wave of xenophobic attacks (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)[/caption]

“We are not sure which actions or behaviour of the South African Government the Nigerian Government is protesting,” the South African foreign ministry said in a statement.

“If this action is based on the incidents of attacks on foreign nationals in some parts of our country, it would be curious for a sisterly country to want to exploit such a painful episode for whatever agenda,” the ministry said, lamenting Nigeria’s “unfortunate and regrettable step.”

Taking aim at its rival for economic and political dominance in Africa, Pretoria said it had held off blaming Nigeria’s government when 84 South Africans were killed in the collapse of a church building in Lagos last year.

South Africa had also refrained from blaming Nigerian authorities for the “more than nine months delay” in the repatriation of the bodies “or for the fact that when these bodies eventually returned, they were in a state that they could not be touched or viewed as required by our burial practice.”

The testy statement from Pretoria comes a day after Nigeria announced it was recalling its ambassador in Pretoria for consultations over “the on-going xenophobia” in the country.

South African President Jacob Zuma deployed troops last week to quell the violence in Johannesburg and the port city of Durban, which forced thousands of people from their homes over the past few weeks.

No deadly attacks have been reported in the past week.

– ‘Fear and uncertainty’ –

The Nigerian foreign ministry said the attacks by mobs accusing foreigners of stealing their jobs had “created fear and uncertainty” among African migrants in “the former apartheid enclave.”

[caption id="attachment_17743" align="alignright" width="300"]A man runs holding a Nigerian flag as thousands march against the recent wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa through the streets of Johannesburg on April 23, 2015 (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia) A man runs holding a Nigerian flag as thousands march against the recent wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa through the streets of Johannesburg on April 23, 2015 (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)[/caption]

On Wednesday, the country’s junior foreign minister Musiliu Obanikoro summoned South Africa’s High Commissioner in Abuja to demand Pretoria take “concrete steps to quell the unrest”.

Obanikoro also demanded South Africa compensate the victims of the attacks.

Hundreds of Zimbabweans, Malawians and Mozambicans have been repatriated by their governments over the unrest, which has drawn fierce criticism of South Africans from Africans in other parts of the continent.

In its statement Sunday, South Africa’s foreign ministry hit back, reminding Nigeria of its own security shortcomings, as laid bare by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“We hope that the more than 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram will someday be reunited with their families,” South Africa said referring to a group of students kidnapped in the northern Nigerian town of Chibok that have been missing for over a year.

*Source AFP/Yahoo
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