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Wed, 26 Jun 2019
Deep appreciation for China in Africa, says Naledi Pandor

South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, was on Tuesday positive about the progress made in fostering ties between China and the African continent at the conclusion of the two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) coordinators meeting in Beijing, China.

“There was a very significant turnout and of course the participation of China was at the highest level, including ministers of foreign affairs as well as commerce.

“Part of the successful aspect is the cementing of the idea that the forum for Africa-China cooperation has become an important platform of advancing the development cooperation between African countries, and the government and people of the Republic of China,” Pandor said.

“This cooperation is taking a wide range of forms. Linked to it is an independent definition of projects by African countries.

China collaborating with Africa

“I got an interesting insight into how African countries are perceiving their collaboration with China. It seems that there is a deep appreciation of the manner in which China interfaces with African governments on their selection of projects, on the funding platforms, [and] on the nature of contract entered into,” the minister said

Pandor said she has had the opportunity to discuss issues with some of her African counterparts who were also in Beijing for the summit.

“From a number of countries, I got quite positive feedback. Clearly this relationship is thriving and countries believe and state that they are getting infrastructure that they need, from roads to bridges, to railways, carriages and to renewed airports – a wide range of infrastructure [is] being provided,” she said.

In line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063, Pandor said most African countries are pushing for industrialisation and a practical implementation of the deals with China.

As part of the FOCAC coordinators’ meeting, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held respective meetings with foreign ministers from at least nine African countries this week in Beijing.

The African foreign ministers included Pandor, Palamagamba Kabudi from Tanzania, Ezechiel Nibigira from Burundi, Aurelien Agbenonci from Benin, Nhial Deng Nhial from South Sudan, Mamadou Tangara from Gambia, Joseph Malanji from Zambia, Luis Filipe Tavares from Cape Verde and Gbehzohngar Findley from Liberia.

The purpose of the Beijing meeting was to accelerate the implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 FOCAC Summit. The gathering was co-chaired by foreign ministers of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Senegal.

During the Beijing summit in 2018, it was agreed that eight key areas would be prioritised between 2019 and 2021. They include infrastructure connectivity, industrial promotion, green development, healthcare initiatives and trade facilitation between China and its African trade partners.

Chinese economic and trade delegation

Last week, a Chinese economic and trade delegation, led by Ren Hongbin, assistant minister of commerce in China, consisting of 60 entrepreneurs from more than 40 major companies, signed 93 co-operation agreements with their South African counterparts during a prestigious signing ceremony held in Cape Town.

The Chinese delegation was supported by Ambassador Lin Songtian. Several South African Cabinet ministers including Pandor, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel and Thoko Didiza, Minister [...]

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Fri, 21 Jun 2019
Ramaphosa announces 7 priorities to take South Africa forward

In a speech delivered at a time of great economic difficulty, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced seven priorities that will fast track South Africa’s path to prosperity.

Delivering his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Thursday evening, the President said the time for idle talk was now over — everything comes down to implementation if the country is to realise the vision of the National Development Plan (NDP).

“Unless we take extraordinary measures, we will not realise Vision 2030. This means that we need to prioritise. We need to focus on those actions that will have the greatest impact, actions that will catalyse faster movement forward, both in the immediate term and over the next 10 years.

“Now is the time to focus on implementation. It is time to make choices.  Some of these choices may be difficult and some may not please everyone,” he said.

The President said that in an economy that is not growing and at a time when public finances are limited, government will not be able to do everything in one go.

Announcing the seven bold priorities, he said the focus will be on:

– Economic transformation and job creation;

– Education, skills and health;

– Consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services;

– Spatial integration, human settlements and local government;

– Social cohesion and safe communities;

– A capable, ethical and developmental state and

– A better Africa and World.

The President said all the country’s programmes and policies across all departments and agencies will be directed in pursuit of these overarching tasks.

“At the same time, we must restore the National Development Plan to its place at the centre of our national effort, to make it alive, to make it part of the lived experience of the South African people,” he said.

The South Africa we want

The President said as the country enters the next 25 years of democracy, there was a need to proclaim a bold and ambitious goal – a unifying purpose – to which everyone dedicates their resources and energies.

“As we enter the last decade of Vision 2030, let us even more clearly define the South Africa we want and agree on the concrete actions we need to achieve them.

“To ensure that our efforts are directed, I am suggesting that within the priorities of this administration, we agree on five fundamental goals for the next decade,” he said.

The President said some of the goals — aimed at tackling poverty, inequality and unemployment, the pillars of the National Development Plan – will mean that:

– No person in South Africa will go hungry.

– The economy will grow at a much faster rate than the population.

– Two million more young people will be in employment.

– Schools will have better educational outcomes and every 10-year-old will be able to read for meaning.

– Violent crime will be halved.

“Let us make these commitments now – to ourselves and to each other – knowing that they will stretch our resources and capabilities, but understanding that if we achieve these five goals, we will have fundamentally [...]

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019
Another Sona? Here’s what you need to know

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to deliver the first state of the nation address (Sona) of the 6th Parliament on Thursday in Cape Town.

This is the second Sona in just over four months. It marks the start of the 6th  democratic Parliament after the country’s general election in May.

Ramaphosa will deliver the address under the theme “Let’s grow South Africa together as we celebrate 25 years of freedom”, since the country commemorates 25 years of freedom and democracy after the historic 1994 elections.

The celebration is said to reflect on the country’s successes and challenges, as well as find ways to improve the lives of people.

What to expect

Although much has been achieved over the past 25 years of freedom, TimesLIVE reported that South Africans are eager to hear how the reversing economy can be tackled, as citizens are now demanding more than a plan but actions and tangible results.

Time for Ramaphosa’s address

The address will start at 7pm and will be broadcast live across a number of television and radio stations.

After the Sona, Parliament will meet again on Tuesday in a joint sitting of both houses to debate the content of the president’s address and on Wednesday for the president’s reply.

Road closures

According to the City of Cape Town, road closures will take place on the following times:

From 6:00 to 23:45 (for rehearsals):

Church Square Roeland Street: between Plein and Buitenkant Street Company Gardens Government Avenue from Orange Street to Wale Street Plein Street from Longmarket Street to Roeland Street St Johns Street from Roeland Street to Vrede Street Gallery Lane Bouquet Street Hope Street between Roeland and Glynn Street Wesley Street between Buitenkant and Hope Street Glynn Street between Buitenkant and Hope Street Wale Street between Queen Victoria and Adderley Street Bureau Street between Adderley and Parliament Street Spin Street and Mostert Street between Corporation and Parliament Street Parliament Street from the gates of Parliament to Longmarket Street.

Roads to close on Thursday evening only

From 17:00 to 20:00:

Buitenkant Street between Roeland and Strand streets.

From 17:45 to 19:30:

Klipper Road, Newlands, from Main Road (M4) to Newlands Avenue Princess Anne Avenue, Newlands, from Newlands Avenue to Union Avenue Newlands Avenue, Newlands, from Dean Street to Princess Anne Avenue Dean Street, Newlands, westbound from Main Road (M4) to Newlands Avenue M3, Union Avenue, Rhodes Drive, Philip Kgosana Drive (De Waal Drive), Roeland Street,  city-bound carriageway from Newlands Avenue to city centre Woolsack Drive, Rondebosch, westbound between Main Road (M4) and Rhodes Drive (M3) Anzio Road, Observatory, from Main Road (M4) to Philip Kgosana Drive (De Waal Drive) (M3) N2, Settlers Way city-bound carriageway from Main Road (M4) to city centre.

From 18:00 to 19:30:

Roeland Street, between Buitenkant and Brandweer Street.


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