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Kofi Annan passed away last month after a short illness at the age of 80.
UN pays tribute to Kofi Annan
22 September 2018, 7:21 AM

The United Nations General Assembly has paid tribute to late Secretary General, Kofi Annan in a moving two-hour tribute.

The global statesman passed away last month after a short illness, aged 80 .

The event featured a number of speakers including current and former UN Chiefs, former colleagues and members of the Annan family.

Former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon says, “He was a diplomat but also a very inspirational leader and he was always thinking of how he could inspire courageous leadership in others so that they could go on to overcome human suffering to right the wrongs in the world. This is what he continued to do right up until the very end of his brilliant life.”

Leading world figures and members of Annan’s family have also paid tribute to the late United Nations secretary general at an event in the UN General Assembly in New York.

Among those who praised Annan was former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, who was also Irish President and a colleague of Annan among the Elders group.

Robinson says, “Kofi led the UN through some of most difficult times in its history, Rwanda Srebrenica, the Gulf War and 911, it was a time when the organisation’s continued relevance was being continually challenged as the new millennium dawned. This must have been a huge professional burden, such a formidable task with tremendous personal pressure and yet Kofi steered the UN through this period with assured calmness, grace and dignity. He left the organisation with a sense of purpose, a vision and a mission that he was struggling to define or defend when he arrived.”

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Goolam Ballim say South Africa can ill afford further borrowing.
Reprioritising spending will help govt stabilise public finances: Economists
22 September 2018, 6:56 AM

Economists say reprioritising spending will help government to stabilise public finances and prevent further ratings downgrades.

President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled an economic recovery plan on Friday. He fell short of announcing a stimulus package, saying there was no room for increased spending or borrowing.

One of the plan’s main features is a more than R400 billion for infrastructure development to be financed by a private-public partnership.

Chief economist at Standard Bank Goolam Ballim says, “South Africa can’t afford further borrowing and therefore reprioritisation is critical in the sense that government is simply going to shift existing revenue expectations around.”

“It is going to alter its existing expenditure profile without necessarily engaging new borrowing and that’s critical quite simply because South Africa risks falling into sub-investment status through the lens of Moody’s, the rating agency,” He adds.

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Johannesburg residents have to separate waste and put it into plastics.
Joburg residents have embraced recycling rules: Pikitup
31 August 2018, 2:14 PM

Waste management company Pikitup says Johannesburg residents have embraced new recycling rules.

The rules, which require residents to separate their refuse before collection, commenced on July 1.

They come as the City is running out of landfill space.

Pikitip spokesperson Muzi Mkhwanazi says in five to six years’ time the City might run out of landfill sites.

Mkhwanazi says, “That means we won’t have space where we will deposit waste. The waste management act also requires us to look at alternatives means of disposing waste, ensuring that waste does not land on our landfill site. The strategy maintains that in 2040 at least 97% of all waste must not land up at landfill sites, only 3% of waste must land up there. “

He says, “Recycling is one of the means and ways which waste can be diverted away from landfill sites.”

Mkhwanazi says, “If Johannesburg runs out of space, Pikitup might be forced to transport waste to nearby provinces and this will have financial implications. There will also be financial implications for residents if they don’t adhere to the rules.”

“As Pikitup we are pleased that residents are proactive in terms of the separations of waste and they have actually embraced the concept of separation,” he adds.

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The breath analyser technology was among some of the technologies displayed at the media briefing held in Pretoria on Wednesday.
New tech developed to monitor sugar levels in diabetics
30 August 2018, 3:05 PM

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed breath analyser technology to monitor sugar levels in diabetes patients.

In South Africa, 3.85 million people between the ages of 21 to 79 have diabetes.

Currently, most patients who are diagnosed with diabetes have to prick their fingers at least three times a day to check their sugar levels. This method of monitoring and detecting diabetes is painful for the patient and could potentially introduce infections.

The new technology offers an alternate pain-free option.

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John Block received a confiscation order of R 2 million for his assets.
D-Day for John Block’s appeal
21 August 2018, 6:42 AM

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein is expected to hand down judgment on Tuesday in the appeal by former Northern Cape ANC Chairperson John  Block and his business associate Christo Scholtz.

The two have appealed against a 15 year sentence imposed by the High Court in Kimberly for money laundering and corruption.

Block and his co-accused, the CEO of Trifecta Investments, Scholtz were granted bail of R 150 000 each.

The duo were involved in leasing office space to the Northern Cape Social Development Department at inflated prices.

Scholtz was a director in Trifecta Holdings, which secured the tenders for the leases.

Block also received a confiscation order of R 2 million for his assets while Scholtz received one for R 53 million.

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