South Africa

#SONA2017: Land and Economy Issues

National Spokesperson of the African National Congress (ANC) Zizi Kodwa says 12 urgent tasks have been put up which the President Jacob Zuma needs to reflect in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night.

The 2017 SONA comes amid renewed calls from opposition parties on the president to step down following the Constitutional Court ruling on Nkandla and the former Public Protector's report on the State of Capture.

Proudly South Africa

It is well-known that many South Africans drive Toyotas and equally large numbers eat sushi.

It is harder to say for sure if many Japanese like a glass of pinotage with their biltong while they are watching, say, a game of rugby.

That may be easier to comment on after the 4th Japan Seminar, themed "Proudly South African", which is scheduled to be held in Johannesburg on January 31.

Ramaphosa to Lead Delegation at WEF2017

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to lead a government, labour and business delegation on the second day of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.

In a statement issued by government, GCIS said on Wednesday Team South Africa will share with international delegates how South Africa aims to respond to the theme of “Responsible and Responsive Leadership” at the 46th iteration of this conference.

“The National Development Plan is a key driver of how South Africa will enable the creation of an increasingly equitable and inclusive society,” GCIS says.

HIV Vaccine Trial in SA

A new clinical trial is underway in South Africa on an experimental vaccine that could safely prevent HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

According to a statement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the HVTN 702 is the largest and most advanced HIV vaccine clinical trial to be undertaken in South Africa, where some seven million people are living with the virus.

SA Economy Grows Stronger

Finance Minster Pravin Gordhan has said South Africa’s economy would survive the “political noise” after the ANC stopped short of voting out President Jacob Zuma in a national executive committee meeting this week.

Briefing media ahead of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos in January, Gordhan said that political turmoil was not unique to South Africa.

“Political uncertainty is the new normal in the world – the question is how we deal with it. Ours, relatively speaking, is minor compared to the world trends that are developing,” he said.

Table Mountain Burns

A blaze which broke out on the lower slopes of Table Mountain in the early hours of Wednesday morning has been contained, the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed.

Spokesperson Theo Lane said the fire broke out at 03:00 on Wednesday morning at Molteno Road, Oranjezicht, and 42 firefighters, assisted by staff from Table Mountain National Parks, responded.

The fire has been contained and crews were carrying out mopping up operations.

Social Grant Scam

Social security agency SASSA has again warned that a new card scam has emerged as the festive season draws nearer.

The new scam involves beneficiaries receiving an sms saying that they needed to change their SASSA card to a new one.

Speaking on Morning Live Head of Communications at the agency, Paseka Letsatsi says there is no new card for SASSA and they are investigating the scam.

SA Credit Rating on the Brink

SA has made some progress in fixing problems identified by ratings agencies, but there are outstanding issues that might mean the country is given 'junk' status, warn economists Fatima Bhoola and Nimisha Naik.

Rating agencies are shortly expected to announce their decision on whether to retain South Africa’s sovereign credit rating, or to downgrade it.

The current rank assigned by Moody’s is two notches above sub-investment grade (with a negative outlook).

Fellow agencies Fitch and Standard and Poor’s both rank South Africa just one notch above “junk” status.

Cheaper‚ Faster Internet Reaching More South Africans‚ Study Finds

Internet access reached 52% of South Africa’s 55-million population in 2015‚ up from 49% in 2014. This is according to a report on Freedom of the Internet‚ compiled by Freedom House.

The report classifies the status of the internet in South Africa as “free” however it classifies the status of press freedom as “partly free”.

The report further notes that access to quality and relatively affordable internet is growing‚ primarily among low income communities through government-subsidized WiFi projects across the country.

Water Crisis in South Africa

South Africa is a country located at the Southern Tip of Africa. About twice the size of Texas it is home to 49 million people. This country has been stricken by affects from the long standing apartheid to the devastation that diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB have caused. Now another crisis looms in the distance: Water. As more and more people migrate into cities from rural villages the pressure for the city to meet the water demands is ever increasing.

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