4 May 2009
The general elections that were held on 22 April 2009 went off very well with no major incidents reported. The Executive, at its last meeting of this administration, congratulated the Independent Electoral Commission for delivering yet another successful general election in the most efficient and effective manner.
The Executive expressed confidence in the country’s ability to handle any cases of swine flu. Although no cases of the flu have been reported in this country, South Africans should neither panic nor become complacent. Health authorities and all officials at all ports of entry are ready to handle any cases of the flu.
South Africans celebrated Workers Day on 1 May 2009. The celebrations took place against the backdrop of the global economic meltdown. The recent release of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) Annual Report has made some interventions, which will go some way towards reducing the impact of the meltdown. Some of the interventions include the R787-billion ASgiSA infrastructure development programme; the Expanded Public Works Programme, which created more than a million work opportunities ahead of its deadline and a further R4,2 billion has been set aside for phase 2 of the project; over 37 000 unemployed and unskilled young people have participated in the National Youth Service Programme; 190 civil engineers were deployed into municipalities as part of the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Siyenza Manje project; and over 18 000 artisans were trained in various fields.
South African government allocates R7,5m for critical water pumping: The Department of Minerals and Energy deposited R7,5 million into the account of the Pamodzi Gold East Rand to enable it to fight off the dangerous rising water onslaught at the Grootvlei gold mine.
Rate cut spells further relief for homeowners: The Monetary Policy Committee of the South African Reserve Bank has cut the repo rate by 100 basis points, offering further relief for homeowners on the back of the 2,5% cuts earlier this year. The repo rate now stands at 8,5% while prime has been reduced to 12%.
Ticketing centres for Confed Cup: With only 45 days to go before the kick-off of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, South Africa's 2010 Organising Committee (OC) says the country’s stadiums, ticket sales, transport and security are on track for the tournament’s first game on 14 June. From 1 May, ticketing centres were available to make it easier for South African football fans to buy tickets for this year's tournament.
Five South African restaurants in global Top 100: Five South African restaurants rank among this year’s global best in the 2009 S. Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants. All five South African restaurants featured in the 2009 rankings are based in the Western Cape.
South African passport made more secure: From 8 April 2009, as part of the Department of Home Affairs' turnaround strategy, South Africans applying for a passport will receive a document with improved security features, making it more difficult to forge.