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President Jacob Zuma meets with senior business leaders

President Jacob Zuma met with business leaders at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House yesterday, 28 April 2017.The President had asked to see the CEOs ahead of the World Economic Forum Africa meeting that will take place in Durban on 3-5 May, ...

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Finance Minister Malusi Gibaba hosts media excursion ahead of the World Economic Forum on Africa

Join South Africa's Finance Minister � Mr Malusi Gigaba who will be accompanied by a high level South African delegation, on a tour to experience the work that has been done to drive inclusive growth, ahead of the World Economic Forum on Africa conference scheduled from 03-05 May 2017.

Team South Africa will host this media excursion on 02 May 2017 - to highlight projects that address South Africa's approach to inclusive economic growth, by showcasing South Africa as an attractive, innovative and competitive investment destination, while displaying uniquely South African attributes that build the nation brand.

The media tour would introduce journalists to some unique aspects of the province including:

technological innovations;

infrastructure capabilities and

manufacturing capabilities

You are cordially invited to RSVP to participate in the tour, scheduled for 02 May, 2017 which will include:

Profiling the Durban City's Inner City Project which aims to restore the inner City to its former glory and attract businesses and economic growth back to the area.

Profiling one of South Africa's top 10 investment opportunities, the Dube Trade Port, a business entity of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, charged with the responsibility to develop the province's biggest infrastructural project.

Site visit costs and logistical arrangements will be borne by your hosts. The pick-up and drop off points will be communicated closer to the time.

Space is limited so we look forward to your responses before Monday 01 May 2017.

Source: Government of South Africa

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Chief Justice: Judicial independence is key in a democratic state

Cape Town � Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says judges should do everything within their power to ensure that they uphold judicial independence under any circumstances.

The Chief Justice delivered a closing address at the 4th Congress of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) on Wednesday, which took place from 24 April at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Let us avoid anything that has the ability to compromise the independence of the judiciary, the Chief Justice said.

Chief Justice Mogoeng was on the night elected as the incoming President of the continental body for the next two years, a position that was previously held by Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo of Gabon.

It is with a deep sense of humility and immeasurable gratitude that I assume the responsibility of being President of the Conference of Constitutions of Jurisdictions of Africa. I do so not naA�ve about the responsibilities and challenges that this by extension throws my way, Chief Justice Mogoeng said.

The CCJA is an independent institution established by Constitutional Judiciaries in Africa to ensure that the Judiciary in each member state supports and deepens democracy by upholding constitutionalism and the rule of law.

The conference attracted about 200 judges from 35 countries within the continent.

President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Chief Justice Mogoeng on his appointment as President of the CCJA.

We wish to heartily congratulate the Chief Justice on his election and wish him all the best in his new responsibilities. This election to such a key continental position demonstrates confidence and high regard for South Africa's judiciary on the continent. This is a great honour for our country, which happened on the eve of Freedom Day and just a few days before the beginning of Africa Month, said President Zuma.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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Arrive alive this weekend

Pretoria - Drivers, passengers and pedestrians have been urged to be vigilant and to prioritise road safety during this long weekend.South Africa celebrates Freedom Day and Workers' Day, making it a bumper long weekend from 26 April to 2 May.We ... can...

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Cape granny finally tastes freedom

Siena Van Niekerk, now 75 years old, has lived in a house made up of asbestos ever since she moved to the area of Morningstar, Durbanvile, in the Western Cape, 48 years ago.

She had long wanted to own a decent house and this has always been her wish that she dies in a proper home. Extremely cold during winter nights, the asbestos house was not good for her health.

But life is about to change for the 75-year-old. She is one of many residents of Morningstar who were this past weekend handed the keys to their new homes on the eve South Africa is to commemorate Freedom Day.

I am happy with my new home. It has given me the space to move around the house to different rooms. It's an improvement compared to the asbestos house I stayed in before, Van Niekerk said upon receiving keys to her home from Deputy Minister of Human Settlements Zou Kota-Fredericks and a local NGO this past weekend.

The country's Bill of Rights enshrines the rights of all people in the country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. It commands the State to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights of all its citizens. One of the rights highlighted in that section of the Constitution is the right to housing. And so when Van Niekerk and others in Morningstar received the keys to their new homes, nobody was doing these residents a favour. It was a fulfilment of a right that is enshrined in the Constitution � that is, every South African has a right to decent shelter.

The Group Areas Act, a legislation imposed by the apartheid government, had condemned the people of Morningstar to asbestos houses for over 50 years.

While achieving political freedom remained a priority leading up to 1994, the needs of the citizens changed after the country's first ever democratic elections in April of that year. Addressing poverty and socio-economic challenges emerged as an urgent task for the incoming administration as it embarked on a task to rebuild the nation. Providing housing became one of the immediate tasks the government had to face up to.

Over three million houses delivered since 1994

The statistics don't lie � South Africa is undoubtedly a world away from the place it was 23 years ago. Since 1994, more than three million houses have been built to benefit millions of poor households. But there are still many people who require houses. Many of these people live in dire conditions and are battling to stay warm every day.

Eager to change this situation in Morningstar, The Department of Human Settlements, the Western Cape Provincial government and the Morningstar Development and Upliftment Initiative went ahead to demolish and rebuild twenty asbestos houses in the area replacing them with proper homes.

Residents founded the Morningstar Development and Upliftment Initiative to carry out projects that are aimed at ridding the area of socio-economic challenges through development and job creation for the youth. One of the projects that the non-profit organisation has taken up is improving the living conditions of some of the elderly residents who continue to live in asbestos houses after all these years.

Speaking at the handover of the houses recently, Deputy Minister Kota-Fredericks said projects like these � that allow government to work together with civic society organisations and the private sector � assist in creating opportunities, especially for the youth.

There is an opportunity which can be driven by the Morningstar Development and Upliftment Initiative to capacitate our youth, to uplift our youth free from the shackles of unemployment and poverty. Even to have them accredited with certain skills.

So yes, this is the vehicle to address those issues, she said.

More partnerships to roll out projects

The Deputy Minister roped in the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) to spearhead the project, together with the Morningstar Development and Upliftment Initiative.

The Deputy Minister further reminded the beneficiaries of the houses of what the country's constitution promises.

As we celebrate this day [and later] Freedom Day, let's all remember and pay tribute to the country's unique and remarkably detailed and inclusive constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Our Constitution is recognised globally as one of the most developed in the world and guarantees all the country's citizens freedom from all inequalities of the past.

Zane Williams, chairperson of the Morningstar Development and Upliftment Initiative says to break free from the shackles of the legacy of apartheid, change starts with everyone.

Only we can free ourselves with the help and assistance, the guidance and the keenness of our national government, he says.

It is this partnership Williams is referring to that has helped people like SienaVan Niekerk to have a place they can finally call home even if it happens at the age of 75.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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South Africa and China launch cooperation agreements on science and technology

South Africa has launched a cooperation agreement that will see the country looking to China for its expertise in constructing high technology facilities with global growth potential.

South Africa is confident it can build an industrial development partnership with global growth potential in areas such as ICTs, advanced manufacturing, bio-economy, and renewable energy, among others.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, and the Vice Premier of China, Liu Yangdong, launched the South Africa-China Science Park Cooperation in Pretoria on 24 April, during the inaugural China-South Africa High-Level People-to-People exchange mechanism.

A high-level Chinese delegation arrived in South Africa this weekend, to co-host the three-day mechanism expected to create opportunities for both countries to benefit from the sharing of social, cultural and economic capital � across government, academia, business and civil society.

The two countries hope that the mechanism will deepen mutual understanding between the peoples of South Africa and China, and enhance people to people exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture, education, communications, health, science, technology, sports, tourism, women and youth.

Welcoming the launch of the science park initiative, Minister Pandor South Africa appreciated the global leadership provided by China on how to turn science and research effectively into innovation and production.

Minister Pandor said South Africa was committed to the development of a network of science parks and special economic zones at a scale and pace that matched the country's fiscal and other resource realities.

Worldwide, science parks support university-industry and government collaboration with the intent to advance knowledge and promote technological and economic developments.

One of the most advanced in China is the Zhongguancun Science Park which is one of the technology centres in the world and is growing fast, gathering thousands of high and new-tech enterprises featuring electronic information, biomedicine, energy and environmental protection, new materials, advanced manufacturing, aerospace engineering, R&D and services.

Minister Pandor said South Africa was looking to the development of multiple research and innovation spaces in a rational and sustainable way, which would tackle the spatial legacy left by apartheid planning.

In parallel to advancing a long-term high-technology industrial development partnership, South Africa has identified short-term opportunities which will offer significant opportunities for China to expand its R&D and innovation activities into South Africa.

This will include the development of new R&D facilities and infrastructure as well as strengthening existing facilities and infrastructures at universities, science councils and a number of private sector R&D efforts.

With the establishment of over a hundred science and technology parks across China, Ms Liu Yandong said the cooperation was the highlight of the strategic partnership which offered a new mechanism for both countries to catalyse growth and development.

The Vice Premier said innovation was a driving force behind development which has seen China's economy grow enourmously. For this reason, China was committed to sharing expertise with South Africa to promote high-tech innovation that would lead to more benefits to the people.

As an action to implement the cooperation, business, scientists and government conducted a workshop during they exchanged information and researches on science parks.

The two countries also signed two other cooperation agreements, to establish a young scientists exchange programme and to establish joint research centres.

Source: Department of Science and Technology

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