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Chippa to take on Wits on the weekend
12 January 2018, 9:30 AM

Chippa United will be playing against the defending Premier Soccer League champs Bidvest Wits this weekend.

Chippa has noted that it is wary of the struggling Johannesburg team.

Wits beat Supersport United on Wednesday to move away from the bottom of the log and still has a very good reputation.

Registration at Capricorn TVET college to resume on Monday
12 January 2018, 9:29 AM

The registration of students at the Capricorn TVET college in Polokwane will reopen on Monday after Thursday’s stampede in which six students were injured.

Registration was suspended after thousands of returning students and new applicants tried to push through the gate to gain entrance to the campus.

Two other applicants were hit by a car. The police are still trying to trace the driver of the white Mercedes who drove away after the incident.

Registration will now take place at the Peter Mokaba stadium to accommodate the large number of applicants.

The college’s management says the institution will only be able to accommodate about one-thousand-200 new students.

Pressure on Ramaphosa to sustain positive business mood: Analyst
12 January 2018, 9:24 AM

Investment analyst Nadir Thokan says there’s pressure on ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver on issues such as employment and reducing inequality to sustain the current positive business mood.

On Wednesday, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Confidence Index improved again in December.

It went up by a further 1.3 index points to 96.4 following on the improved business mood the month before.

Thokan says the political developments in the country have contributed to raised expectations.

“Now the pressure is fairly and squarely on Ramaphosa. Let’s see how he performs in the course of this year and leading into next year as president of the ANC. Improved business confidence is really on the back of an expectation for an improved policy certainty because of the election of Ramaphosa to the ANC presidency as he’s seen to be pro-business, pro-policy certainty and rooting out corruption in the ruling part and in South Africa.”

Official fired for wrongfully influencing tender allocations
12 January 2018, 8:00 AM

The City of Johannesburg has terminated the contract of a senior official, responsible for trade and investment projects.

This after he was found guilty of dishonesty and wrongfully influencing the allocation of tenders.

The City says the official engaged in private business without prior consent, breached their code of ethics, influenced procurement decisions for their own benefit and acted against the interests of the City.

The City says it remains committed to ethical standards in running a clean Johannesburg.

 

Hundreds arrested in week of Tunisia unrest as clashes continue
12 January 2018, 6:46 AM

Sporadic unrest continued to shake parts of Tunisia Thursday, as authorities said more than 600 people had been arrested in a week of protest as anger at austerity measures boils over on the streets.

Tunisia, whose 2011 revolt sparked the Arab Spring, has been convulsed with sometimes violent demonstrations since late Monday that have seen protesters clash with security forces and left dozens injured.

The North African country is seen as a rare success story of the uprisings seven years ago that toppled autocrats across the region, but its failure to tackle poverty and unemployment have stirred economic resentment.

In the latest violence young people in the northern town of Siliana hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at security forces, who responded with tear gas, an AFP correspondent said.

Police detained 328 people on Wednesday for theft, looting, arson and blocking roads, the interior ministry said Thursday, after arresting more than 280 people over the previous two days.

Ministry spokesman Khalifa Chibani said the violence was less intense than in previous days.

Twenty-one members of the security forces were injured, according to Chibani, who said no civilians were hurt.

AFP correspondents said most areas were calm late Thursday, and the presidency said the main political parties, unions and business organisations will meet on Saturday to discuss the situation.

Tunisia is often seen as having had a relatively smooth transition since the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

But Tunisians have expressed frustration since the start of the year over austerity measures expected to further increase prices in a struggling economy.

The country has introduced hikes in value-added tax and social contributions as part of a tough new budget.

Activists campaigning against the austerity measures have called for a huge protest on Friday.

Political scientist Olfa Lamloum called the measures “the straw that breaks the camel’s back”.

“Young people are disappointed with the revolution, especially because of the high cost of living,” she said.

Lamloum pointed to “deepening social inequalities” highlighted by official figures showing rising poverty, unemployment and illiteracy, particularly among young people.

In Tebourba, where a man died during the first unrest overnight Monday to Tuesday, the mood was grim.

“The political class is responsible for all this,” said teacher Fatma Ben Rezayel in Tebourba on Thursday. “The region is totally marginalised.”

She deplored that “unemployed young people fed up with their poor lives” were being branded criminals by the authorities.

The unrest started with peaceful protests last week, but escalated into clashes with police overnight Monday to Tuesday.

Unrest hit several areas including the central city of Kasserine, and Siliana, Tebourba and Thala in the north.

Scuffles also broke out in some Tunis neighbourhoods.

On Thursday, several dozen unemployed people protested in the central town of Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of the protests that sparked the 2011 uprisings.

In Kasserine, youths tried to block roads with burning tyres and hurled stones at police, another AFP correspondent said.

The main police station in the northern town of Thala was also torched, Chibani said.

In Tebourba police fired tear gas at dozens of protesters, a resident said.

One protester recalled what had happened to him.

“I wanted to express my anger about being poor, and they responded with tear gas at my head,” said Mohamed Rahmani, 21, his head in bandages because of 10 stitches.

Rail services were cancelled in some areas after a train was attacked in southern Tunis on Wednesday, local media reported.

The opposition Popular Front party, accused by the authorities of supporting the rioters, urged the government to “find solutions for young Tunisians”.

“Peaceful demonstrations are part of the democratic equation, but damaging public property and harming citizens is illegal,” said Hamma Hammami, spokesman for the leftist party.

Tunisia has been under a state of emergency since 2015 following a series of deadly jihadist attacks.

Conflict analysts International Crisis Group (ICG) warned the country’s political class Thursday against succumbing to “authoritarian temptation”.

While politicians had so far resisted the urge to backtrack on reforms, the ICG said “in the context of an economic slump, the nostalgia for a strong state, like the one that the former regime claimed to defend, is spreading”.

Protests are common in Tunisia in January, when people mark the anniversary of the 2011 revolution.

The uprising began in December 2010 after street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire and later died in a protest over unemployment and police harassment.

At a cafe in Tebourba on Thursday, 41-year-old Sami shared coffee and a cigarette with a friend.

“There’s no work and no future here,” he told AFP. “I don’t have a dinar on me.”

 

 

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