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

Image by instagram.com/@diressh_parbhoo  

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.

Call for equal access to health coverage

4 May 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa says a vital lesson learnt from the Coronavirus pandemic is the necessity for collective leadership, collaboration, solidarity and innovation among the countries of the world.

“As we prepare for future pandemics, we need to accelerate efforts to realise universal health coverage. We need to ensure that vaccines and other life-saving treatments are considered a public good,” President Ramaphosa said.

Addressing the Friends of Multilateralism’s roundtable on the work of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response on Tuesday, he said while the pandemic has highlighted the value of partnership, it has also demonstrated the damaging effects of unilateral action and unequal access to resources.

3rd May Constitution

by Andrzej Kanthak, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to South Africa and Dainius Junevičius, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to  South Africa

3 May 2021

Europe’s oldest constitution sees Poland and Lithuania commemorating 230th anniversary of their Commonwealth constitution adoption on 3 May 2021.

For 226 years (1569 - 1795), both Poland and Lithuania formed a common state known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In sixteenth and early seventeenth century the Commonwealth experienced its Golden Age, at the time it was the largest state in Europe.

Since the end of the 17th century, the political and economic power of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth began its fast and deep decline. The Commonwealth, surrounded by enemies, was unable to respond to the aggression of its neighbours. The destruction of the country and its economy was also related to political turmoil and the degradation of the political and social institution of the Commonwealth.

The pride of the Republic of Poland

The 230th anniversary of the enactment of the Polish Constitution, the first in Europe, should be an inspiring holiday for the whole of today’s Europe - by Andrzej Duda, President of Poland

3 May 2021

Filled with the joy of spring, we are celebrating a great Polish holiday whose origins date back to the 18th century. It marks the anniversary of the Constitution signed on the 3rd of May 1791 also known as the Government Act or the Constitution of 3 May. It was Europe’s first and the world’s second modern act of this type and a truly momentous piece of legislation. Its adoption by the Great Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth held in Warsaw was a historic breakthrough. The legacy of the Constitution, the idea of a political system it contains as well as its liberating and democratic message all make an important contribution to European heritage. Indeed, the 230th anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution should be an inspiring holiday for the whole of today’s Europe.

Hashimoto Seiko appointed as Tokyo 2020 President

28 April 2021

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) warmly welcomes the decision of the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board to appoint seven-time Olympian Hashimoto Seiko as the new President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. She took over as President on 18 February 2021, She was the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Minister in charge of Women's Empowerment and Minister of State for Gender Equality in the Government of Japan.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “My heartfelt congratulations go to my fellow Olympian Hashimoto Seiko on her appointment as President of the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020. With her great Olympic experience, having won a medal, participated in seven editions of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games, and having led Japan’s delegation to the Olympic Games multiple times, she is the perfect choice for this position. She will ensure that the focus in the final months of preparation remains on the athletes’ experience while planning all the necessary COVID-19 countermeasures.

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