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City of Ghent in Belguim to celebrate Nelson Mandela
21 January 2018, 9:11 PM

The city of Ghent in Belgium is celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela. City authorities are planning to erect a monument of the former South African President.

Three South African artists are on the shortlist to create the artwork.

The monument of  Mandela will be erected in one of three locations next to the brand new city library. It will either be on the bend of the river, a bridge facing the library or on a green overlooking the water.

Daniël Termont, Mayor of Ghent says the city has a number of historical links with South Africa.

“We have done a lot of initiatives in the field of anti-apartheid activities. As the mayor, and the other people of the city of Ghent, we are very happy to do a new project around Mandela.”

The project has various organisations including, the South African embassy to Belgium and an African arts organisation called Africalia.

Bjorn Maes, Programme Manager Africalia says: “We’re really hoping that a celebration of this in a contemporary context through art will bring a lot of people together.”

In 2007 a monument of Mandela was opened in Parliament square in London, and the project for the Mandela monument in Ghent isn’t the only South African influence in the city. In 2014 a number of streets, squares and bridges were named after anti-apartheid figures, like the Ablertina Sisulu bridge.

The square which forms the entrance to the library is named after singer, Miriam Makeba.

Along the side of the river they’re building what will be known as the Nelson Mandela promenade, linking the city centre to the university, which prides itself on strong links with South African universities.

Professor Mieke Van Herreweghe, Vice-rector of Ghent University says: “There was not a lot of contact with South Africa in general, but in 1994 already a number of professors started setting up bilateral agreements and we just followed that, because if that grows bottom up, this is what you feel you need to do because people feel it’s important.”

The project hopes to get the monument of Mandela in place by October and is currently fundraising to ensure the highest quality artwork can be installed.

 

DA adamant they will rid the party of corruption
21 January 2018, 8:04 PM

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says the party will remove and expose all DA officials found guilty of wrongdoing, regardless of their position.

He made the statement while doing the People’s Forum Tour in Lindelani, north of Durban on Sunday.

The DA leader received a warm welcome while engaging hundreds of residents ahead of the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Many of them raised the issue of corruption as a major concern.

Maimane says the DA will not shy away from holding it’s own leaders accountable.

He was answering questions about the City of Cape Town.

“In the administration, the Department of Transport in the city of Cape Town, where there are challenges, we are exposing them. We are dealing with them. We will remove them. It’s in the DA’s brand. Part of government is about accountability.”

Maimane also welcomed the newly elected Eskom board and says he has full confidence in its leadership.

In less than two weeks the DA in KwaZulu-Natal will head for its elective conference.

Current provincial leader Zwakele Mcwango will go up against Emmanuel Mhlongo.

The DA’s provincial conference takes place on the 3rd of February.

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Mourinho hails Anthony Martial
21 January 2018, 7:01 PM

Jose Mourinho has hailed a “great improvement” from forward Anthony Martial as competition in attacking areas looks set to hot up with the expected arrival of Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.

Martial, 22, has scored in each of United’s past three Premier League games, netting the winner against Burnley on Saturday and now has 11 goals for the season, three more than he managed last season.

“We know the talent,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “It’s just about consistency, and not just consistency in the goals he scores but also consistency in the way he plays overall.

“But (there are) no doubts that from last season to this season there has been a great improvement from Anthony and we need that.”

Mourinho, whose side are second in the Premier League, 12 points behind Manchester City, is keen on attacking reinforcements and is expected to have another option soon as Sanchez closes in a move to Old Trafford.

Frenchman Martial’s form means he could keep his current berth on the left of the attack with Sanchez stationed on the opposite flank either side of central striker Romelu Lukaku.

Mourinho highlighted Lukaku’s contribution for the winner against Burnley.

“Sometimes people look at strikers and analyse just the number of goals, and it’s not fair because Lukaku is a team player and the quality, the vision, the pass to make Martial face the one-against-one was fantastic,” he told MUTV, the club’s in-house TV station.

Gigaba to sell change of ANC leadership at WEF
21 January 2018, 5:26 PM

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says the South African delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, will emphasise to investors that the African National Congress (ANC) has changed as the country’s governing party.

Gigaba will be a key member of the delegation, which will be led by Deputy President and new ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa.

They head to Davos after the end of the ANC Lekgota, which is winding up at Irene outside Pretoria.

Gigaba explains the message they’ll have for investors at the WEF:

“We’re not just going there to say South Africa is committed to the fight against corruption. We’ve got concrete decisions that we’ve taken, we must be confident the ANC is dealing with the transition, and how the party and the government align during this transition – and the fact that the delegation is led by Deputy President who is the future president allows him to begin outlining his vision.”


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Military Veterans’ reduces beneficiary funding
21 January 2018, 5:12 PM

The Department of Military Veterans (DMV) has reduced its educational funding for the dependants of military veterans by a more than 50 % from R 42 500 a year to only R 20 000 a year per student.

The announcement was made by the Department’s Deputy Minister Kebby Maphatsoe at a media briefing in Pretoria.

According to the Military Veterans Act, the Department must provide several benefits, among them medical aid, housing and education support.

The Department says increase in demand for benefits has resulted in a serious budget shortfall.

The Department’s Chief Financial Officer Sim Ndlovu explains how allocated budget is managed to ensure that department keeps running:

“From the 622 for the current financial year, 18% goes to costs of employment which is the payments of salaries. 2% goes into capital expenditure, and the 56% of the 622 is currently allocated towards the provisioning of benefits,  among others including education support, housing etc… Then it means that the remaining balance, which is a small portion of about 24% is then left to then provide admin support for the department.”

In the previous financial year the Department had financially assisted 7 712 beneficiaries.

The Department says for this academic year the number of applicants increased with about 4 000 to 11 600.

Maphatsoe says his department has been forced by dwindling finances and increasing number of applicants to revise its funding model.

“The increase in demand for benefits has resulted in a serious budget shortfall for the Department of Military Veterans as from the previous financial year. The further budget cuts announced by National Treasury in December 2017 of 5% in the case of the Department of Military Veterans further increased this shortfall.”

The department further announced that it is going to negotiate with National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in a bid to source funding for military veterans and their dependents studying at tertiary institutions.

The department’s Director for Social Economic Support Carol Mongale explains:

“Currently we have around 1 900 beneficiaries in public institutions, and around 980 in private institutions. We are still going to have negotiations with NSFAS to see what the process will be going forward, but to answer directly, yes we’re trying to get them to be absorbed through NSFAS, but that has not been finalised.

We’re still going to be having discussions with them.”

The department, however, has committed to ensuring that it assists all deserving military veterans and their dependents to continue to receive benefits due to them.

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