Bua Briefs 3 of 2010

24 March 2010

HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment programme

The National HIV and AIDS Counselling and Treatment (HCT) Campaign will be launched in April 2010. This campaign will build on the South African National AIDS Council endorsed theme for World AIDS Day 2009, which emphasised both the individual and collective responsibility of South Africans to stop new HIV infections, and provide treatment, care and support to people living with HIV.

All South Africans are encouraged to interrogate the roles that they can play towards an effective national response to HIV and AIDS

  • HIV testing is free at all public health facilities.
  • Individuals have the right to:
    • the highest level of quality service from testers and counsellors
    • pre- and post-testing in a confidential manner and with informed consent.
  • Don’t just test once – make HIV testing a regular practice, especially if you are sexually active.
  • Just like diabetes and high blood pressure, HIV can be managed through healthy living and treatment.

Government, in partnership with various sectors of society, is taking responsibility and leadership to ensure that every South African has access to HIV treatment

  • All children under one year of age will get treatment if they test HIV positive, regardless of their CD4 count levels; and patients with both TB and HIV will be treated with antiretrovirals if their CD4 counts are 350 or less.
  • All HIV positive pregnant women will be put on treatment at 14 weeks of pregnancy to protect the baby.
  • The use of smarter technology allows a greater reach of people to access the right information to help understand how to prevent infection, how to manage HIV and AIDS and how to help others cope.

“I am responsible. We are responsible. South Africa is taking responsibility”


Local protests

Citizens have the democratic right, as contained in the Bill of Rights, to express their grievances. However, this right is accompanied by a responsibility to ensure that the rights of others are not infringed upon.

  • No one has the right to attack other people, destroy public and private property or embark on any criminal activity.
  • If communities deem that their rights to service delivery are not realised, they have the right to express their dissatisfaction in a responsible and constructive manner and with respect for the rights of others.
  • The plethora of protests is a symptom of accumulated dissatisfaction, particularly against the local sphere of government, on a range of issues.

Since 1994, basic service-delivery programmes have been pursued to restore the lives and dignity of South Africans

  • By March 2009, 2,8 million houses have been completed, including those under the Housing Subsidy Programme. Government is pursuing a more comprehensive service-delivery model within the context of sustainable human settlements.
  • The percentage of household with access to water infrastructure for potable water above or equal to Reconstruction and Development Programme standards increased from 61,7% in 1994 to 91,8% in March 2009.
  • More than 10 million households (77%) had access to sanitation as of March 2009 compared to five million (50%) in 1994.
  • The estimate number of households with access to electricity increased from 4,5 million (50,9%) in 1994 to 9,1 million (73%) in 2008.

Government remains committed to finding an amicable solution in being responsive to its citizenry. We must work together to build an effective local government.


Energy infrastructure and World Bank loan

South Africa is urgently scaling up its investment in energy generation to secure energy supply for the country and the region

  • South Africa is investing over R385 billion in electricity-generation infrastructure to secure future energy supply.
  • Our energy balance remains delicate. There are no other viable alternatives to safeguard the country’s energy security at this particular time.
  • We require additional base-load capacity by 2013 to prevent blackouts and the resulting negative economic impact.
  • The plan is to deliver 16 304 MW in power station capacity by 2017.
  • Eskom generated power is key to the region. South Africa generates more than 60% of all electricity produced in Sub-Saharan Africa.

South Africa has applied for a $3,7-billion loan from the World Bank to help fund its electricity- generation programme.

  • A loan from the World Bank is more competitive than those offered by commercial banks.
  • The favourable rates are already factored into our energy tariffs and will help keep electricity prices lower than they would have been otherwise.
  • Access to commercial finance has also largely dried up as a result of the global financial crisis.
  • The World Bank loan is a specific investment loan and therefore has no preconditions to our policy development or macro-economic policy.
  • A large portion of the loan, $3,05 billion, will be used to build the 4800-MW Medupi Power Station.
  • Up to $260 million of the loan will be used for renewable energy projects – 100 MW for wind and 100 MW for concentrated solar power.
  • Another $490 million will be spent on low-carbon energy-efficiency projects and power-plant efficiency improvements.

South Africa takes climate change and the need to reduce fossil fuel emissions extremely seriously

  • We aim to structurally transform our economy from an energy-intensive to a climate-friendly path as part of a pro-growth, pro-development and pro-jobs strategy.
  • We are using every tool at our disposal, legislative, regulatory and fiscal, to promote clean and renewable energy and manage demand.
  • Under our robust Long-Term Mitigation Scenarios, it is agreed that emissions would peak around 2020 to 2025, plateau for a decade and then decline in absolute terms from around 2035.
  • The country is taking concrete actions that will see our carbon emissions 34% lower in 2020 than they would have otherwise been and 43% lower in 2025.
  • The Integrated Resource Plan will respond to energy security, climate change and financing consideration with respect to base load.
  • South Africa’s investment in renewable energy aims to add 1,667 MW of clean energy by 2013.

Local projects to cut carbons emissions are already being rolled out to negate the impact of climate change

  • We have begun rolling out compact fluorescent lighting and introduced a new subsidy to retrofit electric motors.
  • Over one million solar water heaters will be introduced to local users while industrial users will be offered incentives to reduce electricity consumption.
  • We are finalising regulations to ensure that government buildings are energy efficient. This will be expanded to the construction sector next year.
  • South Africa’s new Medupi Power Station will use flue gas desulphurisation technology to reduce its emissions.
  • We are using more efficient supercritical and ”CCS-Space ready” design technologies at Medupi, methods used by most Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.




  • South Africa’s fourth-quarter data fuels recovery hopes
    South Africa's current account deficit narrowed to a four-and-a-half-year low in the last quarter of 2009, while household spending and employment rebounded. The current account gap dipped to a smaller-than-expected 2,8% of gross domestic product from a downwardly revised 3,1% in the previous quarter, aided by higher exports and a drop in dividends paid to foreign investors.

Safety and Security

  • South Africa safer for tourists than Spain and Germany
    South Africa has been declared a safer tourist destination for British tourists than Spain, Thailand and Germany. This is according to a report released by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which examined the behaviour of British tourists from April 2008 to March 2009.

Water Affairs

  • 2010 Host Cities Drinking Water Quality Management Audit Report
    The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, has given tap water in all 2010 FIFA World Cup host cities a clean bill of health. The minister said the world could rest assured that tap water in all host cities was safe to drink.

Aerospace and Defence

  • South Africa identified as a partner country in new Brazilian aviation programme
    According to the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force, General Juniti Saito, South Africa has been confirmed as a partner in the $1,3-billion Embraer KC-390 Military Transport and Tanker Aircraft Programme.

2010 World Cup

  • Free 2010 tickets and financial advice
    Five thousand low-income workers in the hospitality and tourism industries will receive free World Cup tickets. World Cup partner company, Visa, launched the Visa Ticket Fund, which will distribute free World Cup tickets through a financial literacy roadshow programme that is currently rolling out across South Africa. Charles Niehaus, General Manager of Visa, said they chose the tourism and hospitality industries because the workers had played a pivotal role to ensure that South Africa was ready to host the world.