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President Ramaphosa urges South Africans to take a firm stance against racism
9 September 2020, 8:20 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says in order to move forward in unity the country must take a firm and unrelenting stance on combating racism in all forms. Ramaphosa was engaging in a question and answer session with the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) this evening.

The engagement was part of the President’s ongoing dialogue with different sectors of society.

Health and lifestyle retailer Clicks has come under fire over a controversial online advertisement that denigrated the hair of black women.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has protested at Clicks stores nationwide.

Clicks and Checkers have removed Tresemme products from their shelves over the company’s involvement in the saga.

Ramaphosa says the gains made since the dark days of apartheid must not be allowed to be diminished.

Racism continues to rear its head in our country where the basic human rights of sections of our populations are being degraded and undermined. Much as we have made significant progress over the last 26 years in building a non-racial South Africa and we have taken a lot of actions, but there are few who are seeking to take us backward. As a country, we must take a firm and unyielding stance against all forms of racism.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks against racism: 

Harrasment of journalists 

South African National Editors’ Forum Chairperson Sbu Ngalwa has raised the issue of the harassment of journalists in the country and in the Southern African Development Community region with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ngalwa has urged that journalists received greater protection particularly in light of the recently adopted principles on the freedom of expression by the African Union which Ramaphosa chairs.

“As we have seen in the last few days the harassment of our SABC colleagues Foreign Editor Ousi Sophie Mokoena and anchor Peter Ndoro who were abused by officials linked to Zanu-PF and are part of the Zimbabwean government and we have seen over the last few days incidents of corruption particularly around the protest at Clicks and as an organisation we have issued a statement,  we have asked for Parliament to investigate some of the members,” adds Ngalwa.

 

Tsotsi testifies on how he was removed as Eskom board chair
9 September 2020, 7:35 PM

Former Eskom Board Chairperson Zola Tsotsi says he found himself standing alone as he defended the mess at the power utility after the suspension of three senior executives.

Tsotsi was testifying at the State Capture Inquiry.

He says he had a teleconference meeting with more than 52 international investors who wanted to know what was happening at the power utility and wanted answers on why the financial director had been suspended.

He says they were also worried about the company’s capacity to protect its investments.

Tsotsi earlier testified that he had been instructed by former South African Airways Board Chair, Dudu Myeni, and former president Jacob Zuma in a meeting that an inquiry be instituted, and Eskom executives be suspended for the inquiry to do its work.

Tsotsi said he felt completely drained and was defending the undefendable.  He says he also felt complete betrayal by his fellow board members who had turned against him after they had supported the idea of an inquiry to expel some executives.

Tsotsi told the commission he was uncomfortable with the idea that the executives be suspended as they had done nothing wrong:

Tsotsi removed as board chair 

Tsotsi detailed to the commission how he was unceremoniously removed from his position as board chair and replaced by Ben Ngubane while he was outside waiting, after being asked to recuse himself from that board meeting.

The former board chair says he left the power utility after being forced to resign. He says Ngubane gave him an ultimatum to either resign or face disciplinary hearings.

Tsotsi says he decided to resign because fighting the board would have destroyed the reputation of the organisation. He also says the minister refused to sign documents to allow him to collect money owed to him for the remainder of his fixed-term contract.

Tsotsi says he is still paying his legal fees.

Clicks saga shows the country has not totally eradicated racism: Mandela Foundation
9 September 2020, 5:30 PM

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has condemned the Clicks saga saying institutions that seek to further the systemic nature of apartheid have no place in South Africa. The health and lifestyle retailer has come under fire for an online advertisement that denigrated the hair of black people.

 Clicks closed its doors today in order to offer counselling services to staff amidst protest action by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) that began on Monday.

Mandela Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Sello Hatang, says the incident shows that the country has not properly eradicated the racist heritage of apartheid.

“The denouncing of apartheid, the actions of Clicks in this day and age,  it’s a time like this that you then ask yourself have we dealt with the systemic nature of apartheid and all that it brings with it. The answer should be no and if we are to reflect on people like Ahmed Dangor for example who fought so hard against apartheid in this day and age,  in his honour having passed recently, we must then be saying the likes of Clicks have no place in our country. We can’t continue as if this is normal.”

Yesterday, EFF leaders welcomed Clicks’ decision to close its doors.

eThekwini Municipality launches council to revive economy
9 September 2020, 4:45 PM

The eThekwini Municipality says it is prepared to revive the economy of the city that has been affected by COVID-19. Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has formally launched the eThekwini Economic Council to drive programmes aimed at promoting the economy and creating jobs. The council consists of different sectors of society.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the economy negatively. During the second quarter of 2020, South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed a 51% annualised decrease. At a micro level, the operation of municipalities has also been affected.

In light of this, the eThekwini Municipality is in the process of reviving its economy.

“The eThekwini ECC is an important platform to social partnership and consensus building among key stakeholders as we seek to build a resilient economy. (The) kind of resilience we are talking about is an economy that will be inclusive, that won’t be entertaining the entry through racial standing and those who are disadvantaged should be welcomed to partake in the mainstream economy. It is an economy that will resist the temptations, where others think that to get a business opportunity you meet the mayor at the hotel and make a deal,” says Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.

Manufacturing

Kaunda says the municipality will also implement programmes to fast track manufacturing in the city.

“Firstly, increasing manufacturing capacity of local industries, there is a dire need to ensure that we reach out to communities where they are in deep rural areas and in the township so that we become an industrial city. You cannot be boasting with a port but you are not producing. Therefore we need to enhance our manufacturing capacity in our city.”

He says the focus on infrastructure reform programmes will also help capacitate small businesses.

“A minimum of 30% of the city’s procurement spend must be utilised to establish sustainable social stability. To introduce an infrastructure social reform will help to drive the emerging contractor development programmes. There must be deliberate programmes from this city for the emerging contractors to give the necessary support so that they start to develop the local capacity we are looking for.”

Role of academics 

Member of the council and lecturer at the Durban University of Technology, Professor Sbusiso Moyo, calls on academics to play a significant role in skills development.

“As academia, we have a big role to play. I believe that we will come with solutions that will allow the population to have access to information, skills that are available and scientific literacy.”

eThekwini Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Palisa Phiri, says she believes that a partnership between the city and its business community is a strong way forward.

“The business community is the one that creates jobs, not the government. So, government, working together with us, will make sure that we grow the economy of the city. We do believe that the business community and the municipality will rise above the competing interests and unite in the creating of those needed jobs.”

SABC-News-IllegalConnection-Eskom-website-1
London Road in Alexandra opened after protest
9 September 2020, 3:25 PM

The busy London Road in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, is open to traffic again after it had been barricaded with rocks and burning tyres earlier today. Police used rubber bullets to disperse an angry crowd that had been protesting over electricity cut-offs to about 500 houses.

Residents of River Park in Alexandra are up in arms over City Power’s clampdown on illegal connections in the area.

Two trucks belonging to City Power contractors were vandalised.

City Power says the theft of electricity has resulted in losses of more than R2 billion.

“The police from public order policing were called to open the road. Community members were resisting. Police used rubber bullets to disperse them. However, we have engaged with them and called the relevant authorities to talk to them. But the road, which is London Road, is now open,” says Spokesperson, Kay Makhubele.

The residents have vowed to restore the illegal electricity connections:

Weather

 

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