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International Charlotte Maxeke honorary initiative launched

Minister Naledi Pandor delivering the Budget Vote speech for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Photo: Jacoline Schoonees/Dirco)

20 May 2021

Government will launch the Charlotte Maxeke African Women’s Economic Justice and Rights Initiative in honour of the remarkable role the late social and political activist and icon played in promoting South Africa abroad.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), the initiative’s objective is to mobilise the global community behind the Gender Equality Forum’s Global Acceleration Plan, particularly the Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights.

Addressing media ahead of her department’s budget vote in Parliament, Minister Naledi Pandor, said this year’s theme is ‘Building back better to advance the legacy of Charlotte Maxeke’.

South Africa to close 10 diplomatic missions abroad

20 May 2021

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) says it has taken the hard but necessary decision to shut down 10 diplomatic missions abroad.

According to the department, this was in response to the country’s fiscal constraints, exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the media ahead of her department’s budget vote in Parliament, Minister Naledi Pandor said Cabinet made the resolution after a series of consultations that culminated in a decision.

According to the Minister, the missions, which include embassies, high commissions and consulates, are being closed systematically during the 2021/22 financial year.

Investing in science vital for SA’s future, development
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19 May 2021

The devastation brought about by COVID-19 and the manner in which South Africa responded to the pandemic has shown how important it is to invest in science to safeguard the nation’s future.

This is according to Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, who tabled the Science and Innovation budget Vote on Tuesday.

“One of the lessons is that investing in science is vital for South Africa's future and its development.

Africa should mobilise external financing for sustainable growth

Paris Summit on the financing of African economiesPresident Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa arrives at the Élysée Palace and is received by President Emmanuel Macron of France (Photo: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS)

19 May 2021

To boost the prospects for a strong and sustainable recovery from the impact of COVID-19, African governments need to mobilise significant additional external financing, with the assistance of the international community, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The President made the remarks during his address at the Paris Summit on the financing of African economies on Tuesday, convened by French President Emmanuel Macron.

President Ramaphosa last night successfully concluded the visit where he was joined by African Heads of State and government. At the summit, they were joined by leaders of financing institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and representatives of G7 and G20 countries.

State Security Agency has become a source of embarrassment — it’s time for our spies to come in from the cold

By Dr Nel Marais, Managing Director, Thabiti

19 May 2021

Recent years have seen a steady deepening of the relationship between politics and intelligence — one that has encroached upon the latter’s essential independence. As a result, South Africa’s official intelligence capacity can no longer be regarded as a national asset: rather, it seems to be the source of never-ending embarrassment, corruption and political shenanigans. It can — and must — be fixed.

In December 2018, the High-Level Review Panel into the State Security Agency (SSA) appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa published its highly critical findings, saying that the growing contagion of the civilian intelligence community by the factionalism in the African National Congress (ANC) had progressively worsened from 2009.

The pain and humiliation being inflicted on the Palestinian people echoes our own, says Ramaphosa
A protest march in Cape Town (Photo: @facebook Embassy of the State of Palestine South Africa)

17 May 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa is committed to being part of international efforts aimed at reviving a political process that will lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, existing side-by-side in peace with Israel, and within internationally recognised borders.

In his weekly newsletter on Monday, the President said the two-state solution remains the most viable option for the people of Israel and Palestine, and must continue to be supported.

“The escalating situation in Israel and Palestine affirms once more what we South Africans know too well, that intractable conflicts can only be solved through peaceful negotiation.

Ramaphosa needs to move from tinkering to reforming

Cyril Ramaphosa’s move against corruption is a small step in a bigger project to clean up the country after the Zuma years. His challenge now is to reform and to get the state to exit from the things it is demonstrably unable to run. (Photo: GCIS)

by Greg Mills and Ray Hartley

17 May 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa is finally walking the talk when it comes to fighting corruption. Since his ascent to power in 2018, he has appointed new leadership for the prosecution service and talked big about the need to combat the “nine wasted years” under President Jacob Zuma.

But, as the mountain of evidence of theft, graft and patronage unearthed by the Zondo Commission appeared to grow a mile higher every day, the public has asked why no action appears to have been taken against the ANC bigwigs named and shamed in the evidence.

Cabinet welcomes R3 billion COVID-19 technology transfer

13 May 2021

Cabinet has welcomed the R3 billion commitment, to transfer the latest technology for producing vaccines and biological therapies to South Africa, announced by Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Soon-Shiong, who is a South African born biotechnology entrepreneur, now based in the United States, announced this during a meeting organised by the World Health Organisation, on Wednesday.

“Cabinet applauds the active support of Dr Soon-Shiong and other philanthropists for equitable distribution of COVID 19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics,” Cabinet said in statement on Thursday.

ULEMASA – Upholding worker’s rights through building bridges

Darlington Karumbidza - President of ULEMASA

11 May 2021

In his inaugural address Mr Darlington Karumbidza, recently elected President of ULEMASA - Union for Local Employees in Missions Accredited to South Africa expressed gratitude for the support and confidence for his presidency. He also congratulated the rest of the members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) for their election.

“As the current democratically elected President of ULEMASA, I am proud to reiterate our mission once more and the vision we are espousing in the interest of local employees working under diplomatic missions accredited to the Republic of South Africa.

South Africa monitoring COVID-19 spread

5 May 2021

South Africa’s teams remain on high alert to survey, detect and contain the spread of COVID-19 in general, with heightened awareness of travellers from countries where variants of concern (VOCs) are dominating.

“We confirm that the B.1.617 variant, circulating widely in India, has not been detected; however, the genomics teams are working on some samples and we will need to allow the time it takes to sequence before we get an answer,” Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said on Tuesday.

Mkhize has noted the concern expressed by South Africans over the possible recent importation of VOCs.

SANParks welcomes report on wildlife management

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4 May 2021

The South African National Parks (SANParks) has welcomed the report of a High Level Panel into the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros.

The panel was appointed by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy to review policies, regulatory measures, practices and policy positions that are related to the hunting, trade, captive keeping, management and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros.

SA's ports remain on high alert for COVID-19

4 May 2021

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has assured the public that South Africa is on high alert for the B.1.617 Coronavirus variant.

“All our ports of entry employ stringent containment procedures to minimise the importation of COVID-19,” he said, adding that government remained on high alert to screen passengers and test those who require further assessment.

He said while the variant was yet to be detected in South Africa, members of the genomics team had informed government that they had intensified surveillance to not only ensure detection of the virus but to also understand its implications.

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