Bua Briefs 3 of 2011

3 March 2011

Second Biennial Substance Abuse Summit: 15 to 17 March 2011

The Department of Social Development and the Central Drug Authority (CDA) will host the second Biennial Substance Abuse Summit from 15 to 17 March 2011 at the Durban International Convention Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.

This summit is a follow-up to the first summit that was held in 2007 and all role players will provide feedback on how they have implemented the resolutions that were agreed upon. The theme for this summit is: An Integrated Approach: Towards a Drug-Free Society.

Government has adopted an integrated approach to address substance and alcohol abuse in ensuring that these societal ills do not erode the gains from government programmes.

  • Cabinet established an Inter-Ministerial Committee to coordinate and support the launch of a national campaign to strengthen measures to combat alcohol and substance abuse in South Africa
  • The national campaign was launched on 14 October 2010 under the theme: No Place for Drugs in my Community” andculminated in provincial summits which served as a build-up to the Second Biennial Summit.
  • Alcohol abuse in general and especially during pregnancy is also a worrying factor for government. Government, under the leadership of the Department of Social Development held the Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Indaba in November 2010 in partnership with the South African Breweries and the CDA. This indaba strengthened the collaboration of relevant players, where the outcomes of this indaba will also feed into the Second Biennial Summit deliberations.
  • The Second Biennial Summit will culminate into the adoption of a national declaration and a national programme of action that will guide the development of the new National Master Drug Plan. The plan will serve as a blue print for all stakeholders, including the Inter-Ministerial Committee, CDA, provincial substance abuse forums as well as local drug action committees.

The community mobilisation campaign against alcohol and substance abuse demonstrates government’s commitment to mobilising its people to take decisive action to deal with substance abuse.

  • The Anti-Substance Abuse Campaign, developed in partnership with the CDA, calls on all sectors of our society to help mobilise social conscience against alcohol and substance abuse.
  • Government calls on all South Africans to join the Anti-Substance Abuse Campaign. We all have a shared responsibility to fight against alcohol and substance abuse, which is a joint responsibility of government and civil society. Government is already in partnership with various non-governmental and civil- society organisations.
  • By increasing awareness and providing factual information on the negative socio- economic effects of substance abuse, the campaign aims to bring about behavioural changes of communities’ attitudes.
  • The campaign emphasises the importance of community support in prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and acceptance for those addicted to substances to help break the stigma and promote recovery.
  • Ke Moja (I’m fine without drugs) is a government programme that is aimed at creating awareness, increasing understanding and capacitating youth to deal with challenges relating to substance abuse.

The current legislative framework provides government with a basis for combating alcohol and substance abuse and this is augmented by specific international instruments and conventions.


IBSA Ministerial Meeting

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will participate in an India Brazil South Africa (IBSA) Ministerial Meeting from 5 to 6 March 2011 in India. The meeting falls within the context of strengthening South-South relations and is in preparation for the fifth IBSA Summit to be hosted by South Africa later this year. This is the first IBSA Ministerial Meeting since South Africa joined BRICS (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa).

South Africa will continue to build, strengthen and consolidate bilateral relations with its partners of the South to address common developmental challenges.

  • The IBSA trilateral development initiative provides a catalyst of impactful South-South cooperation.
  • IBSA has significantly improved bilateral as well as trilateral political and economic relations among the three countries.
  • IBSA aims to increase trade volumes between the three countries to US$ 25 billion by 2015. These three countries will also work towards finalising a trilateral Preferential Trade Agreement that will further stimulate trade.
  • South Africa’s diversified foreign policy objectives and interests allow for both groupings – IBSA and BRICS – to co-exist as they are highly complementary.

South Africa remains committed to the consolidation of the African Agenda and uses its IBSA membership to increase strategic cooperation among emerging market economies of the South in support of this agenda.

  • South Africa is dedicated to African unity and integration within the framework of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU). This includes the strengthening of continental institutions which are critical in responding to the challenges of poverty, underdevelopment, peace, security and stability on the continent.
  • In January 2011, South Africa joined the rest of the BRIC countries in their two-year non-permanent seats to the United Nations Peace and Security Council (UNSC), which augurs positively for enhanced cooperation efforts. South Africa will continue to make a significant contribution to deepening the relationship and cooperation between the UNSC and the AU.
  • Sudan is the latest African country set to benefit from a multimillion-dollar IBSA development aid programme initiated by South Africa. The initiative emanates from South Africa’s broader foreign policy objectives of stabilising the continent and contributing towards its economic development. The IBSA fund gained international recognition last year when it was awarded the UN Development Programme Millennium Development Goals Award for its projects in post-conflict reconstruction.
  • South Africa advocates for countries of the North to be more responsive to the needs of developing countries, and for countries of the South, which represent the majority of developing countries in the world, to play a more visible role in global affairs.

IBSA prioritises the role of emerging economies in the international developmental agenda.

  • IBSA campaigns for the reform of multilateral institutions, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the UNSC.
  • IBSA countries, together with China (BASIC), work towards advancing a legally binding climate-change agreement that supports developmental imperatives of the South. The countries will work towards using their significant natural resources to develop renewable energy capacity.
  • All three countries support South Africa, and have called for the revival of the Doha Round of WTO negotiations. They advocate for the removal of agricultural subsidies, as well as other restrictive and trade distorting practices by the developed world that have a direct consequence on the developmental agenda of the south.
  • In November 2010, IBSA introduced the South-South Cooperation Programme to assist developing countries to alleviate poverty and hunger.



State visit to France

President Jacob Zuma is in France on a state visit at the invitation of the President of the French Republic, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy. President Zuma said that France's commitment to democracy and respect for human rights and social justice made it a natural partner for South Africa. Bilateral trade between the two countries is sound, and despite the effects of the world economic and financial crisis, France continues to be one of South Africa's biggest trading partners and investors. French companies provided employment to more than 30 000 people in South Africa. During the state visit, three agreements for a total amount of €370 million were signed. The French Development Agency would commit about €1 billion over the next three years to support, among other things, "major public infrastructure projects".

2010 tourist numbers

Tourist arrivals to South Africa increased to more than eight million in 2010. According to the figures, tourist arrivals rose to 8 073 552, compared with 7 011 865 in 2009. The Minister of Tourism, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, said that the "particularly good growth" in tourist arrivals figures was boosted by the 2010 Soccer World Cup. South Africa in fact recorded a peak in tourist arrivals in June and July 2010, which is traditionally low season.

Schools moot court competition to encourage law as a career

South Africa’s top students will be gearing up for the first annual National Schools Moot Court Competition this month, which is aimed at increasing awareness of the Constitution among the country's youth and preparing them for careers in the legal field. The universities of Pretoria, Venda and the Western Cape joined hands with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Department of Basic Education and the Foundation for Human Rights to make the Moot Competition possible.Rail “the future of SA public transport”

South Africa is embarking on a comprehensive rail upgrade aimed at putting rail "at the centre of our freight and commuter movement, which will be done through the modernisation and upgrade of South Africa's long-distance passenger and freight infrastructure.

New energy plan to become law in April

South Africa’s new energy resource plan, which will determine the country’s electricity mix over the next 20 years, will be passed into law by the start of next month. The draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2) has called for nuclear and renewable energy to play a bigger role in plugging the country’s power deficit as it seeks to halve its reliance on coal, which supplies 95% of South Africa’s power.

Budget: Impact on commercial property

The latest budget changes are expected to have a positive effect on smaller commercial property deals, which will be a boost to entry-level investors. The transfer duty exemption and a new sliding scale rate will now apply to non-natural persons such as close corporations, companies and trusts.

Water delivery

The new desalination plant in the Garden Route town of Mossel Bay will be up and running by the end of March. The Southern Cape has been experiencing a severe drought. The plant is being erected at a cost of R210 million, and will produce 15 mega litres of water daily.

Health Testing and Counselling (HCT) Campaign

More than 6 000 Eskom site workers currently building Medupi Power Station are scheduled to undergo HIV tests on the construction site during the Department of Health’s three-day HCT Campaign. This comes after the official extension of the HCT Campaign to the corporate industry by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. The three-day testing campaign  from 1 to 3 March 2011 is a partnership between the Department of Health, construction giant Murray and Roberts and power utility Eskom. The campaign that aims to get 15 million South Africans to know their HIV status was launched in May last year by President Jacob Zuma.

“Make Roads Safe” Campaign and new National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP)

More than 5,5 million vehicles and drivers have been checked, 2,3 million fines issued, at least 10 000 drunk drivers arrested and more than 24 000 unroadworthy vehicles discontinued from use over the past four months. This far exceeds the million-a-month vehicle check target announced by the Minister of Transport, Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, on 10 September 2010.