South Africa

SA to Start Nuclear Process in 2012

The Department of Energy says South Africa must start the procurement of new nuclear power next year if it is to meet the government’s target of commissioning the next nuclear reactor by 2030.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters says that a delay in the procurement of new nuclear power will put the security of electricity supply at risk because nuclear technology is the country’s next hope for so-called baseload capacity, after coal.

Earthlife Africa Slams SA Nuclear Energy

Earthlife Africa (ELA), a Johannesburg-based environmental NGO, says South Africa is not in any kind of energy crisis, despite the unfolding crisis at nuclear plants in Japan.

ELA Cape Town branch coordinator, Muna Lakhani, points out that, "Nuclear is a false dichotomy - it's blackmail. We are told to choose coal or nuclear: It's nonsense; there are many myths about energy."

Lakhani further argues that on a simple economic basis, solar power became cheaper than nuclear in 2010, adding that “In pure Rand for Rand basis nuclear is a stupid idea."

Provinces Struggle to Reach HIV-Testing Targets

With only seven weeks to go until the end of the government's campaign to give 15 million people HIV counselling and testing, most provinces are behind schedule and only North West is on target.

North West is the only province on target with 89 percent tested already and the Western Cape provided its figures to the end of March.

On April 25 last year, President Jacob Zuma and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi launched the HIV counselling and testing campaign at Natalspruit Hospital, on the East Rand, and urged people to "know your status".

Number of Orphans on the Increase – NMF

The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) says the number of orphans in Southern Africa is growing at an alarming rate.

According to surveys, 17 million children in the Southern Africa region do not have parents. They are also susceptible to violence, hunger and other abuses.

NMF spokesperson, Oupa Ngwenya, points out that, “All member states (of the Southern Africa Development Community) have more than 50 percent of the population below the age of 18 years, of which over 17 million are orphans."

World Bank Job for SA Academic

Professor Barney Jordaan, adjunct faculty member of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, will serve as a mediator with the World Bank Group Office of Mediation Services.

In a press statement, the faculty points out that, “Prof Jordaan is among only a handful of people who are selected  as external consultants to the bank based on their extensive knowledge of workplace and labour law, civil rights law, dispute resolution theory, and practice and mediation.”

ARVs Can Protect the Uninfected, Study Found

A multi-national study shows that if an HIV-positive person starts taking antiretroviral therapy early on, that is, when their CD 4 count is still high, their chances of infecting their HIV-negative partner can decrease by as much as 96 percent.
 
The results of the study are viewed as confirmation of untested wisdom among clinicians who have for a number of years thought that people on combination antiretroviral therapy have a lower chance of transmitting HIV to their uninfected partners.
 

NGO Plans to Hold Govt Officials Accountable

Afesis-corplan, an Eastern Cape-based NGO contributing to community-driven development and good local governance in the Border-Kei region, has embarked on initiatives aimed at holding public officials accountable.

The organisation’s contention is that despite extensive legal and policy provisions geared towards ensuring the practice of good local governance in South African municipalities, the reality of local governance practice often falls well short of the policy ideals.

Johannesburg Clinics Run Low on AIDS Drugs

The Gauteng Department of Health says it is dispatching an antiretroviral drug to clinics around Johannesburg that have run low on stock.

The department spokesperson, Simon Zwane, points out that, “We have done a quick investigation and established that the clinics have not kept sufficient stock.”

Zwane states that the department will be dispatching more drugs to those clinics starting today already and continuing tomorrow.

Motsoaledi Launches a Wellness Centre

Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has launched the 21st Trucking Wellness Centre in Epping near Cape Town, in yet another bid to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS among truck drivers.

Motsoaledi told partners from the private sector, truck drivers and other dignitaries that similar centres along the country's major trucking routes have been extremely successful in combating the disease.

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