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SA concerned by incident at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility

The South african government says it has noted with concern the incident at the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran on Sunday and the external factors that may have caused it. The BBC quoted one of Irans top nuclear officials as saying a nuclear facility in Iran was hit by 'sabotage" a day after it unveiled new uranium enrichment equipment, which caused a power failure at the Natanz complex, south of Tehran, on 11 April 2021. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said South Africa notes that this incident occurred as the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, is meeting in Vienna. JCPOA is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement. As negotiations on the JCPOA continue this week in Vienna, South Africa hopes that the discussions will focus on the full and effective implementation of the agreement and not be overshadowed by any implications and consequences of the recent incident at the Natanz nuclear facility. It is crucial for all parties to continue the momentum created during the JCPOA discussions last week in Vienna, in pursuit of positive steps towards a multilateral diplomatic outcome, said DIRCO. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the Iran nuclear agreement is a landmark accord reached between Iran and several world powers, including the United States, in July 2015. Under its terms, Iran agreed to dismantle much of its nuclear programme and open its facilities to more extensive international inspections in exchange for billions of dollars worth of sanctions relief.

apr 16 2021 5:45pm
'We are not sleeping on the job': Zweli Mkhize reveals tough Covid-19 vaccine negotiations

Health minister Zweli Mkhize has laid bare the extent of challenges faced by the South african government during negotiations to procure Covid-19 vaccines.

apr 14 2021 9:47pm
politics News : Mixed
New research highlights major flaws in South Africa's lockdown alcohol bans

The liquor industry says that the South african government will have to change its approach and consider new data before choosing to implement future alcohol bans.

apr 8 2021 6:45pm
business News : Mixed
Mkhize: Africa should produce its own vaccines

Africa should be able to have capacity to manufacture and distribute its own biotechnology to develop vaccines as COVID-19 continues to sweep the globe. Speaking during the webinar on World Health Day on Wednesday, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said depending on other continents should be the thing of the past. We should take it as an urgent assignment to make sure that come other pandemics in the future, Africa is capable of manufacturing its own requirements, whether its protective gear, pharmaceutical products, diagnostic vaccines and equipment, he stressed. Mkhize believes that the continent should not be reliant on other countries as this poses challenges to better respond to the outbreak as many african countries scrambled to get their hands on lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. Its quite a challenge to rely on other various countries when the entire continent has no access to the manufacturing capacity for vaccines," he said. "I think this is a lesson that we must learn now and never be put in a situation where our response is very much dependent on other countries serving their own domestic interests first, while the continent benefits last in the queue. He has called for Africa to be self-sufficient, citing Aspen Pharmacare, which is the only drug manufacturer in the continent that is currently producing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 jabs. This needs to be changed for the future, he added. Meanwhile, the Minister called for action and pleaded that complacency and individualism be left behind. Universal healthcare In addition, he said african governments should continue to lift the most vulnerable from poverty and disenfranchisement by elevating economies, culture and identity. He said no one should be left behind as governments work towards combating the spread of COVID-19. In the meantime, nations should secure a reputable, accessible, and sustainable social safety net to protect the vulnerable from the pandemic. Mkhize acknowledged that South Africa remains one of the worlds most unequal societies, plagued by income disparities. The most vulnerable of our people still struggle to access quality health and services, while those in higher-income groups benefit significantly from the health system, irrespective of whether they utilise public or private services. He said the public sector serves 84% of the countrys population, while the private sector primarily through medical aid schemes caters for the remaining 16%. He told the delegates that the key health professionals including general practitioners, specialists, dentists and audiologists, mostly work in private practice and serve households with higher income. This is despite the need for their services being greatest amongst the lower-income and vulnerable groups, he said. He told delegates that 24.8% of the much-needed specialists are employed in the public sector, while 75% are in the private sector. Therefore, the universal healthcare coverage agenda is critical for our context as further highlighted by the pandemic. He believes the implementation of the National Health Insurance is a critical intervention to restructure the core components of the healthcare system, which will allow better use and access to medical care. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, inequality is not a new problem. But COVID-19 has brought it into sharp focus. The pandemic has pushed an estimated 120 million people into extreme poverty, and significantly increased gender inequalities, with more women than men leaving the labour force. Ghebreyesus said health inequalities make the world less safe and less sustainable. As we build back from COVID-19, its vital to invest in better health services and remove the barriers that prevent so many people from using them so more people have the chance to live healthy lives.

apr 7 2021 6:49pm
DA to approach SAHRC to probe govt's slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy

The party said that this was in addition to the decision it took to explore further legal challenges against the South african government on the matter.

apr 6 2021 11:33pm
politics News : Mixed
Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma briefs media on revised Covid-19 regulations, 1 Apr

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will virtually address the media on the revised Covid-19 regulations.The briefing follows the address by President Cyril Ramaphosas address to the nation on Tuesday, 30 March 2021, on developments regarding the countrys response to the Covid-19 pandemic.Details of the virtual media briefing are as follows:Date: Wednesday, 01 April 2021,Time: 10:00Media Participation: Journalists may view the briefing via live streaming on the South african government social media channels on the links below:Facebook: Twitter: YouTube: Media Enquiries:Lungi Mtshali082 088 5060

apr 1 2021 7:08pm
event News : Govt
Minister Nathi Mthethwa briefs media on the Presidential Employment Stimulus Package, 29 Mar

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, invites members of the media to a briefing to give update on the Presidential Employment Stimulus Package (PESP) programme, which is designed to acts as an aggressive injection of income into the economy that enables ambitious proposals that create opportunities for employment and collaboration.The Presidential Stimulus Programme aims to assist practitioners and their projects as well as companies that incurred losses (actual and planned/existing, new and those that were at concept stage) during the COVID-19 lockdown period. The department entrusted the administration of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme to the National Arts Council (NAC).Members of the media are invited as follows;Date: 29 March 2021Time: 12h30-13h30Venues: GCIS Offices in Hatfield (Tshedimosetso House;1035 cnr Frances Baard and Festival streets)Media Participation: Journalists may view the briefing via live streaming on the South african government social media channels on the links below:Facebook: Twitter: YouTube: SABC will provide pool feed as follows:Satellite Amos7 @ 4 WestDownlink 12649.5 Mhz VSymbol Rate 2.7 MSym/sModulation 8PSKVideoHD H.264 @ 4.2.0RSVP: Contact Mthuthuzeli Nqumba on 0663025397 or Email: [email protected] Media enquriesZimasa VelaphiCell: 072 172 8925Email: [email protected]

mar 30 2021 9:06am
event News : Govt
government to rebuild state capability

The South african government is committed to rebuilding state capability destroyed by state capture. This goal was on Thursday outlined by PresidentCyril Ramaphosa during a National School of government (NSG) Master Class for Members of the Executive, Heads of Departments and senior leaders from the local government sphere, the legislative sector and organs of state. The Master Class was also addressed by Professor Mariana Mazzucato, who is a world-renowned economist and member of South Africas Presidential Economic Advisory Council. Responding to Mazzucatos address, President Ramaphosa said the South african government was faced with the mammoth task of implementing economic reforms that would benefit all citizens. In dealing with the realities of South Africas own situation, much-needed state capability has been weakened by state capture. We see it, we dont even need to explain it in so many words, he said. He said many countries faced with similar predicaments often resorted to outside help in the form of consultants. This, he said, meant the states capability had been weakened. That happens to be the problem here as well and weve seen how outsourcing has also weakened our state and how those entities we tended to outsource to were themselves captured and deeply involved in the challenges that we had to face of corruption, said President Ramaphosa. Corruption destroyed the states ability to get things done. Through that, the financial capability was weakened. There was overpricing, the skills that we had within the state started migrating outside of the state and then acted as consultants. The accountability and discipline that is needed immediately just goes down and there is a loss of focus and the focus is then around just how we manage contracts. In a way, in some areas of the state we became contract managers and managing and dishing out tenders. The drive was about another objective that we sought to address, which is empowering black entrepreneurs so they can do business with government. Theres nothing wrong with that. We lost purpose, it got diluted. We are addressing it because weve become acutely aware of it and (this session) helps us better understand what has happened to us and how we navigate through, said the President. Redesign policy He said the country has to redesign policy in order to approach what government does in a different way. To achieve this, the state has to get capability back and attract talent. Therefore, government was embarking on an extensive drive to attract more qualified people into its machinery. People should not be brought in just because they know so-and-so, they are well-connected with so-and-so. We want to focus on professionalising the public service, bringing in more qualified young people,... Part of that is also with the school of government, he said. To further improve government effectiveness, measures have been put in place to ensure that all levels of government work in synergy. In this regard, government in 2019 launched the district development model to ensure that government at all levels had one plan. South african economy During the event, President bemoaned what he termed as the financialisation of the South african economy. We are no longer investing in the productive side of the economy, were not focusing on industrialisation, manufacturing - were just focusing on the financial sector. And theyre growing in bounds but quite a lot of that money is in assets that we see producing jobs, he said. He emphasised that South africans needed to build a more inclusive economy that was people-centred. "We need to engage our people in an overarching way. We need durable partnerships, our DNA is about collaboration, working together. We need citizen engagement on things such as budgeting," he said. We need the citizenry to understand the structure of our budget so that it is not just the Minister of Finance who understands it. They need to understand both sides: revenue and expenditure and understand that at times you have to make choices.

mar 25 2021 9:21pm
Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke briefs media on on Audit Outcomes, 31 Mar

Auditor-General, Tsakani Maluleke will host a media briefing to release the audit outcomes of national and provincial departments as well as their entities.Details of the briefing are as follows:Date: Wednesday, 31 March 2021Time: 11:00Venue: GCIS Ronnie Mamoepa Press Room, Tshedimosetso House, 1035 Francis Baard Street, Hatfield, Pretoria. NB: There will be a video link to Imbizo Media Centre, 120 Plein Street, Parliament, Cape TownMedia Participation: Journalists may view the briefing via live streaming on the South african government social media channels on the links below:Facebook: Twitter: YouTube: OrYouTube: Facebook: Enquiries:Africa Boso,Email: [email protected] Cell: 071 365 3024 Khutsafalo MnisiEmail: [email protected] Cell: 071 8935381

mar 25 2021 6:33pm
event News : Govt
Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni briefs media on outcomes of the Cabinet Meeting, 25 Mar

Acting Minister in The Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will tomorrow, Thursday, 25 March 2021, brief media on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, 24 March 2021.The details of the briefing are as follows:Date:Thursday, 25 March 2021Time:10h00Venue: GCIS Ronnie Mamoepa Press Room, Tshedimosetso House, 1035 Francis Baard Street, Hatfield, Pretoria.NB: There will be a video link to Imbizo Media Centre, 120 Plein Street, Parliament, Cape TownMedia Participation: Journalists may view the briefing via live streaming on the South african government social media channels on the links below:Facebook: Twitter: YouTube: Enquiries: Phumla Williams, Cabinet Spokesperson Cell: 083 5010 139

mar 24 2021 9:05pm
event News : Govt