Bua Briefs 16 of 2010

25 November 2010

16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children

Government and all sectors of society have embarked on the national 16 Days of Activism Campaign to fight violence against women and children. The United Nations-endorsed campaign starts on 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) and ends on 10 December (International Human Rights Day) each year with the aim of reinforcing the year-long 365 Days Programme.

Government is committed to stop all forms of abuse of women and children

  • Our campaign of no violence against women and children has recorded important progress over the last 11 years. However, the levels of physical, emotional and sexual abuse experienced by women and children still remain unacceptably high.
  • We call on all sectors of society to condemn any form of violence against women and children.
  • The 16 Days of Activism Campaign allows us to recommit our efforts to ensure safer communities in which women and children are free to live without fear.
  • This year’s campaign also lays the foundation for the implementation of the 365 Days National Action Plan, which will ensure that issues of abuse of women and children are attended to every day of the year.
  • We will continue to improve access to criminal justice services to communities to ensure women and children reporting violence are treated with respect and perpetrators are convicted.
  • Government is committed to improving the socio-economic conditions of women and children to reduce their susceptibility to abuse.

Any form of violence against women and children is unacceptable and will not be tolerated

  • Perpetrators of violence against women and children will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
  • The police and the courts are empowered under the Domestic Violence Act, Sexual Offences Act and Children’s Act to arrest, prosecute and convict perpetrators.
  • Perpetrators are warned to leave our children alone or face the full might of our law and justice system.
  • The Department of Police is reintroducing the family violence, child protection and sexual offences units to ensure dedicated investigators and other resources are assigned to cases where women and children are affected by violence.
  • We welcome the severe sentences that are being imposed on those convicted of these forms of abuse and violence.

Communities and social partners play a critical role in the fight to prevent and stop the abuse of women and children

  • We call on our communities and social partners during this 16 Days of Activism Campaign to step up the fight against the abuse of women and children.
  • We encourage people to get involved in local initiatives to combat violence against women and children as many victims are abused by people they know and trust.
  • All South Africans have a responsibility to report the abuse of women and children to relevant authorities. Perpetrators cannot be protected by silence.
  • Partnerships and collaboration with non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, faith-based organisations and traditional leadership will be strengthened to address the abuse of women and children.

Government is providing the necessary support to women and children impacted on by violence

  • We are continually aiming to create a climate which allows victims of violence and abuse to come forward and report such crimes.
  • Our services and facilities to victims, such as healthcare provision, counselling services, shelters and legal support have been strengthened.
  • We have established 26 Thuthuzela care centres around the country that provide an integrated response of care and support to the victims of violent sexual acts against women and children.
  • In communities where the incidence of rape is particularly high, our Thuthuzela care centres are found in public hospitals and linked to the sexual offences courts.
  • Our specialised sexual offences courts are staffed by committed prosecutors, social workers, investigating officers, magistrates, health professionals and police.


World AIDS Day 2010

1 December 2010 is the 22nd commemoration of World AIDS Day. The national event will be held at Gert Sibande District Municipality, Mpumalanga, under the theme We are responsible.

World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for government to demonstrate delivery on commitments made in 2009 and communicate government’ leadership in addressing HIV and AIDS issues

  • Since the 1 April 2010, government has begun to expand the programme for the prevention of mother to child transmission, and antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for children as announced by President Jacob Zuma on 1 December 2009.
  • A massive HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) Campaign was launched at the end of April 2010, calling on each and every South African to demonstrate that they are responsible by taking an HIV test. The drive seeks to test 15 million South Africans by the end of June 2011.
  • Children under the age of one year are treated regardless of their CD4 count.
  • All tuberculosis (TB) treatment sites also test and treat for HIV and vice versa.
  • All pregnant HIV-positive women with a CD4 count of 350 or less are provided with ARV treatment.

On 1 December 2010, South Africans will demonstrate collective responsibility in the fight against HIV and AIDS

  • We need to support and influence people within our communities to reduce risky sexual behaviour to prevent the spread of HIV.
  • We need to continue to test and influence others to test for HIV and TB as a routine way of ensuring healthy lifestyle choices, irrespective of status.
  • We should begin a dialogue among South Africans – in our homes, communities, workplaces and place of worship – to support the country in the development of the next National Strategic Plan 2012 – 2016, the blueprint that will guide South Africa on the journey towards an AIDS-free society.
  • All sectors of society will have to interrogate their role in addressing the epidemic and show that WE ARE RESPONSIBLE for each other in ensuring a healthy society.

We are responsible calls on:

  • men, women, families and healthcare workers to support pregnant women so that they can make decisions to protect their children from HIV
  • couples to talk about their relationships and how they can protect themselves by remaining faithful, including those who are in multiple-partner relationships
  • communities to stop stigma and discrimination around HIV testing by beginning to normalise HIV counseling and testing
  • communities to take action and speak out against violence against women
  • communities to provide care and support to those living with and affected by HIV, in particular orphans and vulnerable children

"Working together we can create an AIDS-free society”


Launch of the National Space Strategy and the South African National Space Agency

The National Space Strategy and the South African National Agency (Sansa) will be launched by the Department of Science and Technology on 9 December 2010. The strategy and agency form part of the department’s Ten-Year Innovation Plan, which aims to develop an innovation path that will help transform the economy into a knowledge-based economy.

The launch of the strategy and Sansa is a significant achievement and will place South Africa among a select few African countries that have a formal space programme

  • South Africa’s interest in space and associated technologies is part of the effort to transform the economy from one that is resource-based to one that is knowledge-based.
  • Some of the key objectives of the agency include: fostering research in space science, navigation and positioning; communication; and promoting international cooperation in space-related activities and advancing scientific, engineering and technological competencies through human-capital development and outreach programmes.
  • Sansa will coordinate all space-related activities in the country.
  • Government established the National Space Strategy based on the premise that the country’s growth targets require significant investment in innovation.
  • The National Space Strategy, which will be implemented by the new agency, will place South Africa among leading nations in the innovative use of space science and technology.

Existing infrastructure and a skilled workforce allow South Africa to position itself as a regional hub for space science and technology

  • South Africa has some of the best space infrastructure in Africa, and the agency will incorporate existing institutions such as the Satellite Applications Centre of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
  • South Africa has a variety of institutions, situated in academia, the science councils and industry, that play a significant role in the scientific study, exploration and utilisation of space.
  • The country is signatory to several international space treaties governing the space activities of individual states and South Africa has adopted legislation in accordance with these treaties.

South Africa has a rich heritage of involvement in space science and technology

  • South Africa’s involvement in modern astronomy dates to 1685. In 1820, a permanent observatory was established outside Cape Town.
  • From the 1950s to the 1970s, satellites were tracked to determine the effects of the upper atmosphere on their orbits. Lunar and interplanetary missions were supported from a tracking station at Hartebeesthoek near Krugersdorp.
  • In 1999, South Africa launched its first satellite, Sunsat, which was built by staff and students at the University of Stellenbosch.
  • South Africa launched the second indigenous satellite, SumbandilaSat, onboard the Soyuz launch vehicle at the space facility in Kazakhstan in September 2009.
  • Satellites support sustainable development by providing up-to-date and comprehensive geospatial information to support planning and decision-making.
  • South Africa is leading Africa’s bid to host the world's most powerful radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA will foster immense economic growth, and growth in science and technology on the African continent.

Leveraging the benefits of space science and technology for socio-economic development


2010 United Nations Framework Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC)

The 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the UNFCCC will take place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. Next year’s COP 17 will be hosted by South Africa. These two conferences aim to reach a new global climate agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force in 2005 and commits developed countries to cut their emissions by 2012.

Climate change should no longer be seen as solely an environmental challenge but rather a sustainable development challenge that affects all of us

  • Government’s draft National Climate Change Response Green Paper will guide all stakeholders – government, business, labour, civil society and individual citizens – on action required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change.
  • As a responsible global citizen, South Africa committed at COP 15 in Copenhagen to reduce its carbon emissions by 34% in 2020 and 42% by 2025, conditional on finance, technology and capacity-building support from the international community. We will continue the use of fossil fuels in the short to medium term while making a gradual shift to non-fossil fuel energy sources over the long term. In this regard, South Africa is committed to its emissions peaking between 2020 and 2025, plateauing for a decade and declining in absolute terms thereafter.
  • The green economy is central to South Africa’s plan to grow its economy and create jobs through green industries and climate-friendly initiatives.
  • Industry and infrastructure development programmes must ensure the long-term sustainability of natural systems and the environment. Our transport industry has already started reducing the country’s carbon footprint by introducing a carbon tax policy.

Climate change demands an urgent global agreement that takes into account different historical responsibilities in forging a shared common responsibility for the future

  • South Africa and its key allies in Africa, the G77 and China and the BASIC countries – South Africa, India, China and Brazil – appeal for an inclusive, fair and effective climate change deal, which is favourable to both developed and developing countries.
  • We seek quantified and legally binding emission reduction targets for developed countries that address their historical responsibilities to climate change.
  • Government calls for an agreement that recognises the common responsibility of all nations to commit to the reduction of emissions, while not retarding the development of developing countries.

South Africa holds developed countries to their commitment to support developing countries with financial and technology capacity-building support to deal with climate change

  • Developed countries, which historically were responsible for the current emissions should provide finance for developing countries to cope with the double burden of sustainable development and adapt to the effects of climate change.
  • This finance should support research and development, early-warning and disaster-response systems, the building of emergency response systems and follow-up response, as well as developing sectoral resilience for slow longer-term changes in climate.
  • We call on developed nations who pledged $30 billion of fast-track funding for developing countries through 2012 and committed to raise $100 billion annually by 2020 at COP 15 in Copenhagen to honour their commitments.


President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to Cuba

President Jacob Zuma will pay a state visit to the Republic of Cuba from 6 to 7 December 2010. The visit takes place within the context of strengthening South-South relations and exploring possible new areas of cooperation between the two countries.

South Africa is committed to consolidating bilateral political, economic and trade relations with Cuba with a focus on common positions on issues of mutual concern

  • South Africa and Cuba forged strong political ties during the years of the struggle against both apartheid in South Africa and decolonisation in southern Africa. Formal diplomatic relations were established in 1994.
  • South Africa supports Cuba in calling on all countries, especially the United States of America, to end the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed on the country. This position was supported by all members of the 15th Summit of the African Union (AU) held in Kampala earlier this year.
  • The eighth South Africa-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism was held in South Africa in July 2010 and the next will be hosted by Cuba in 2011. The Joint Bilateral Commission was established in 2001 and is one of the most significant agreements signed to date, which provides the countries with a constructive forum through which bilateral cooperation can be conducted and enhanced.
  • Through its bilateral relations with Cuba, South Africa has benefited significantly. Of note is the area of health, where Cuba seconds medical doctors to South Africa’s rural hospitals and trains South African medical doctors in Cuba. Other areas of benefit include cultural and academic exchange programmes, technology transfer and capacity-building in the areas of energy generation.
  • Although bilateral trade remains low, there has been a steady increase in trade over the past few years. The two countries are working at a strategy to address the trade gaps.
  • In 2008, total bilateral trade between South Africa and Cuba stood at R98 million. In the wake of the global economic crisis, trade decreased to R27 million in 2009.

South Africa and Cuba, as members of the developing world, are committed to advancing the Agenda of the South on the global stage

  • As a long-time friend and supporter of anti-colonial liberation struggles in Africa, Cuba shares with South Africa an interest in the AU and African initiatives such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
  • South Africa and Cuba are active members of the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) and G77 plus China. Both countries view NAM as a vehicle that developing member countries could use to establish critical consensus around fundamental issues such as poverty alleviation, debt reduction and sustainable development.
  • Both countries have similar approaches to the various issues collectively embodied in the South’s Agenda, which include increased cooperation between countries of the South and a redefinition of relations between North and South.
  • South Africa and Cuba are committed to the reform of institutions of global governance, including the comprehensive reform of the United Nations (UN) which includes the expansion of the UN Security Council, to better represent the interest of developing countries.


State visit by the Republic of Zambia

The state visit by Zambian President, Rupiah Banda, from 2 to 3 December 2010 follows on President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to Zambia from 7 to 9 December 2009. The visit takes place within the context of strengthening bilateral relations, the consolidation of the African Agenda and the acknowledgement of longstanding Zambian support of the liberation struggle in South Africa. South Africa and Zambia are both members of the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

South Africa is committed to strengthening its political, economic and trade relations with Zambia

  • South Africa and Zambia have a well-established trade relationship and Zambia is South Africa’s number one trading partner on the continent. The major exports from South Africa to Zambia include mineral oils and fuels, autos and components, chemicals, steel and capital equipment.
  • South African imports and exports to Zambia have increased between 2006 and 2008 and with a positive trade balance in favour of South Africa.
  • A Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation was signed between the two countries in 2005 and during President Zuma’s state visit several other agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation by increasing economic cooperation and trade. These include agreements on energy, and mining and geology; and MoUs on regular diplomatic consultations; trade and industrial cooperation; health; and agriculture and livestock farming.
  • The countries are committed to further strengthening bilateral economic cooperation, especially regarding investment opportunities, increased people-to-people contact through cultural, scientific and education exchange programmes, as well as encouraging two-way tourism.

South Africa and Zambia remain committed to the consolidation of the African Agenda in a manner that will ultimately advance Africa's collective cause

  • South Africa and Zambia are committed to African unity and integration within the framework of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU). They are also committed to SADC regional integration and promoting the SADC Agenda.
  • South Africa values Zambia’s strategic location in the region to advance regional integration and development and contribute towards the attainment of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development programmes. Cross-border national parks and other cross-border projects can benefit both countries and the region, especially in areas such as food security and hydroelectric power generation.
  • The countries are committed to the unification of the African continent within the framework of the AU and support the strengthening of continental economic integration through the regional economic communities. As members of the SADC, South Africa and Zambia have a solid platform for advancing regional economic integration and development, which could serve as another catalyst towards the envisaged SADC Customs Union.
  • South Africa will continue to work to minimise the negative impact of the interim economic partnership agreements on the region with a view to a prompt and mutually satisfactory conclusion that supports regional integration and development in southern Africa.

South Africa and Zambia, as members of the developing world, share common positions on the reform institutions of global governance and achieving global priorities

  • South Africa and Zambia have a common view on the need to reform the multilateral institutions, including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the Bretton Woods institutions to better represent the interest of developing countries.
  • As a non-permanent member of the UNSC, South Africa is guided by its commitment to multilateralism, advancement of the African Agenda and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
  • South Africa supports post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCDR) in Africa, in among other countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Burundi. Within the context of the AU Peace and Security Council, South Africa will continue to support initiatives to ensure peace and security on the continent. Zambia also contributes and is committed to international and regional peacekeeping efforts in the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • As developmental states, both countries share similar challenges including, among other things, the improvement of living conditions of all their peoples in line with the millennium development goals, climate change and energy security.


Third Africa-European Union (EU) Summit

Africa and the EU will hold the third summit in Tripoli, Libya from 29 to 30 November 2010 under the theme Growth, Investments and Job creation with the aim to discuss concrete ways to create more and inclusive growth. Heads of state will address key issues such as peace and security, climate change, regional integration, private-sector development, infrastructure and energy, agriculture, and food security and migration. The summit takes place at a crucial moment of the discussions on major global challenges, a few weeks after the New York Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and just before the Cancun Conference on Climate Change. The summit will provide a unique opportunity to discuss these and other challenges affecting today’s global environment.

The Africa-EU Summit offers a unique opportunity to heads of state of the two continents to strengthen their relations to jointly tackle continental and global opportunities and challenges

  • The second EU-Africa Summit, held in December 2007 in Lisbon, cemented a new Africa-EU strategic partnership, when the two sides agreed to move from donorship to partnership, symbolised by the first-ever Joint Strategy. The first summit took place in Cairo in 2000.
  • The third summit is a unique opportunity for Africa and Europe to demonstrate their ability to pool their efforts and to reaffirm their ambitious Lisbon commitments. The Joint Africa-EU Strategy’s first Action Plan, covering 2008 to 2010, include eight strategic partnerships. These cover peace and security; democratic governance and human rights; trade, regional integration and infrastructure; MDGs; energy; climate change; migration, mobility and employment; and science, information society and space.
  • The progress made in the eight thematic partnerships will be assessed three years after the Joint Strategy was launched. African and European partners will also define the priorities of their cooperation in the years to come and will translate their ambitions into tangible actions to be contained in the second Action Plan.
  • The second Action Plan for 2011 to 2013 is expected to be adopted during the summit. It will focus on activities with regional, continental or global dimensions with clear added value as well as on activities involving competent actors on both sides, with the necessary political, human and financial resources. It seeks to remedy some of the remaining implementation challenges identified since Lisbon, and to promote further the participation of key African and European partners.

Africa has the support of the EU in advancing its Development Agenda

  • One of the main objectives of the EU relations with Africa is to promote the achievement of the United Nations’ MDGs in Africa.
  • This objective is strengthened and complemented by the specific objectives pursued within the Cotonou Agreement, the Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, and the European Neighbourhood Policy, including the support to political reform and economic modernisation.
  • Some early results of the first Action Plan has resulted in dedicated EU political and financial support towards several priority areas, including the African Peace and Security Agenda and Architecture, the AU’s Electoral Assistance Fund with the aim to improve the AU’s capacity to lead election observation on the African continent, and the African Peer Review Mechanism.
  • Among other things, funds have also been mobilised towards African food security, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Global Fund for Vaccines and Immunisations, and the catalytic Fund of the Education for All Fast-Track Initiative (EFA), benefiting 21 African countries.
  • Supporting the collective commitment made by developed countries at the Climate Change Summit Copenhagen in 2009, the EU has committed fast-start funding to Africa, which will include in a balanced way, support for adaptation, mitigation, including forestry and capacity- building

Europe and Africa are connected by strong trade links, making the EU the biggest export market for African products

  • Given their role as building blocks of African integration, substantial engagement of African regional and subregional economic communities (RECs) is crucial for the Africa-EU Partnership. The RECs in Africa group together individual countries in subregions for the purposes of achieving greater economic integration. They are described as the “building blocks” of the AU and are also central to the strategy for implementing the New Partnership for Africa's Development.
  • As part of the built-in agenda of the Cotonou Agreement between the EU and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries, a commitment was made to conclude economic partnership agreements (EPAs) aimed at developing a trade relationship based on reciprocity in accordance with World Trade Organisation obligations.
  • Specific negotiating configurations were formed, based on regional affiliations. South Africa participated as an observer as a result of the country’s special relation with the EU in terms of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement
  • South Africa will continue to work to minimise the negative impact of the interim EPAs on the region with a view to a prompt and mutually satisfactory conclusion that supports regional integration and development in southern Africa.
  • Approximately 85% of Africa’s exports of cotton, fruit and vegetables are imported by the EU.


Working visit to Kenya by the Deputy President

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is paying a working visit to the Republic of Kenya from 25 to 26 November 2010. The visit takes place within the context of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and consolidating the African Agenda. South Africa is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) while Kenya is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African States (Comesa) and the East African Community (EAC). South Africa and Kenya are members of the African Union (AU).

South Africa is committed to strengthening political, economic and trade relations with Kenya

  • Kenya is the regional hub for trade and finance, and provides transport infrastructure to the inner parts of the East African region.
  • Bilateral relations between South Africa and Kenya focus on reducing the import-export deficit that currently exists. Both countries have agreed to analyse the status of bilateral trade to provide directions on fair trade development. The trade balance is in favour of South Africa.
  • Kenya’s economy distinguishes itself from the other economies in the region by being one of the most diversified. The country has a relatively high level of development, good infrastructure and higher economic growth rates compared to other countries in the East African region. In 2007, Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at about $27 billion, placing it among the five biggest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • With regard to South Africa’s world trading partners in terms exports, Kenya was ranked 24th in 2008 and 15th in 2009, which contributed 1% towards South Africa’s global exports. In terms of imports, Kenya was ranked 76th in 2008 and 68th in 2009.
  • In September 2008, South Africa and Kenya entered into the Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation. Under the TCA, a joint trade committee will be established to ensure that signed agreements between the two countries create space for enhancement of trade relations, target barriers and put structures in place that will support and facilitate trade.
  • In March 2010, the countries agreed to facilitate the establishment of the Joint Business Council to facilitate dialogue between businesses. It will not only look at issues of interest among businesspeople, but also ensure that proper codes of ethical business conduct in intercountry engagement is developed and enhanced.

South Africa remains committed to the consolidation of the African Agenda in a manner that will ultimately advance Africa's collective cause

  • South Africa and Kenya are economic and political powerhouses in their respective regions and must work on driving development and regional integration. Common challenges facing the two countries include underdevelopment, skills shortages and unemployment.
  • South Africa and Kenya are committed to the unification of the African continent within the framework of the AU and support the strengthening of continental economic integration through the regional economic communities (RECs).
  • Under the SADC umbrella, South Africa is committed to intensifying efforts to deepen developmental regional integration in southern Africa as well as extend integration across Africa. Africa's three main regional blocs namely SADC, Comesa and the EAC are making significant progress in harmonising their projects to promote full regional integration.
  • The major highlight of the RECs is the ultimate creation of a free trade area, literally from Cape to Cairo, with a combined GDP of about $625 billion and a combined population of 527 million.
  • Regional integration has enormous benefits for Africa, such as boosting trade as well as allowing the region to negotiate global trade deals as a single bloc. Other areas of cooperation for the three blocs include infrastructure development, energy, investment promotion and air transport liberalisation.

South Africa remains deeply committed to achieving global priorities to ensure a better world for all who live in it

  • South Africa supports post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa, in among other countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Burundi. Within the context of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), South Africa will continue to support initiatives to ensure peace and security on the continent. South Africa and Kenya were elected for a two-year and three-year term, respectively, on the AUPSC in 2010.
  • South Africa was re-elected non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2011/12 in October 2010. South Africa’s bid was endorsed by the AU in January 2010.
  • Kenya serves as a major host for refugees from Somalia and Sudan and currently has troops in several UN peacekeeping operations. To date, Kenyan UN peacekeepers have served in 16 different countries in Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and Asia.
  • As developmental states, Kenya and South Africa share similar developmental challenges including, among others things, the improvement of living conditions of all their peoples in line with the millennium development goals, climate change and energy security.



Home Affairs

Quicker permits for foreigners
South Africa has centralised the issuing of study, work and business permits – and is looking at extending the period of their validity – to make it easier for foreigners to work and study in the country, and for businesses to import scarce skills. The Department of Home Affairs reported that work, study and business permits would now be issued from its headquarters in Pretoria.

Environmental Affairs

Johannesburg City Parks scoops international greening award
Johannesburg City Parks, responsible for greening in the City of Joburg, scooped the first-place Gold Award at the United Nations-endorsed Liveable Communities Awards in Chicago, United States of America. Competing against 37 projects from over 35 countries the “Bridging the Green Divide 2010Greening Joburg Legacy Project received special mention by the judges for its cutting-edge concept, design, consultation, maintenance, implementation and monitoring – all aimed at addressing environmental disparities in the City of Johannesburg.


South Africa to commercialise electric car
Initiatives are underway to commercialise a domestically developed electric car. The Minister of Transport, Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, made the announcement while addressing a G8 Ministerial Conference on Global Environment and Energy in Transport in Rome. This is part of South Africa's plan to move towards a low-carbon economy across all modes of transport.

Anti-corruption initiative

University offers anti-corruption course as government puts spotlight on corruption
The University of Stellenbosch has created a centre for anti-corruption education and research. Public servants will be taught work ethics as a step to achieve effective governance.

Anti-corruption hotline gets thumbs up
President Jacob Zuma recently announced that since the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline in 2009 and due to the successful investigation of cases, 235 officials have been found guilty of misconduct, 35 officials were suspended, 120 officials were given final written warnings and 80 officials are being dismissed. Some R100 million was recovered from perpetrators guilty of fraud.


Johannesburg to host international sporting conference
The World Anti-Doping Agency announced that its Foundation Board had selected the City of Johannesburg as the host city for the fourth World Conference on Doping in Sport in 2013.

Over a million have used Gautrain
In the first five months of its existence, 1,2 million people stepped on board the high-speed Gautrain. Of those, about 50% were airport commuters, travelling to OR Tambo International Airport at speeds of up to 160 kilometers an hour.

Quicker student loans on the cards
For the first time since qualification verification became available in South Africa, university students will be able to instantly verify the fact that they have registered. According to the Qualifications Verification Services, student loans can be granted much quicker so that individuals can pay for tuition and buy books sooner than before.