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Loadshedding
Eskom likely to implement load shedding over weekend
7 March 2020, 3:33 PM

Eskom says the likelihood of load shedding today has increased significantly and this could continue throughout the weekend. It says this follows multiple generation unit trips overnight.

The power utility’s Spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshatsha, says they have lost seven power stations due to various technical faults which are being investigated.

“We lost seven generating units at four power stations due to various technical faults. The root causes of these incidents are being investigated and collective measures to be implemented. These have caused additional strains to our reserve capacity. It has reduced our reserve capacity and we may, this evening and throughout the weekend, go ahead and implement load shedding if there’s no improvement in the generation system performance,” says Mantshatsha.

Last month, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) called on Eskom to takes South Africans seriously and provides them with electricity.

Malema led a large crowd of EFF supporters on a march through Sandton to hand over a memorandum of grievances to Eskom CEO Andre De Ryter at the headquarters in SunningHill, north of Johannesburg.

The crowd gathered at the power utility’s headquarters, after a 4-hour walk from Sandton.

Malema appealed to all those who have the means to pay their electricity bills, or else face prosecution.

Gender inequality an overwhelming injustice of our age: Guterres
6 March 2020, 10:01 PM

The United Nations Secretary General calls gender inequality the overwhelming injustice of our age, while other speakers rallied governments to move beyond rhetoric in a year the world will mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform of Action to date – the most comprehensive blueprint for gender equality ever agreed.

“I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights” – that’s the theme of the official commemoration of International Women’s Day at the United Nations in New York, ahead of its observance on Sunday, March 8th.

A multi-Grammy award winner and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, using her voice and talent to bring attention to what the UN Chief, calls the biggest human rights challenge the world faces today.

Audio report by Sherwin Bryce-Pease: 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says, “I have said it before, and I will say it again: gender equality is a question of power. Men have used and abused power to control women and prevent them from achieving their potential for millennia. Deep-rooted patriarchy and misogyny have created a yawning gender power gap in our economies, our political systems, our corporations, our societies and our culture.”

He urges stakeholders and activists to keep up the pressure and to hold the world to account, arguing that Generation Equality means equal rights and opportunities for women and girls right now.

As the audience heard from Sanna Marin, the 34-year-old Finnish Prime Minister, less than 5% of women are heads of government on the planet.

“I argue that the best way to get gender transformative policies is to have more women in high-level political decision-making positions. I want to pay tribute to all strong women politicians and leaders in this room, in Finland and elsewhere who have pioneered in advancing the rights of women and girls. Without their hard work and without role-models I would not stand before you today,” says Marin.

Liberian Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee warned those in power that women’s rights should not only become popular during election seasons.

“Gender equality must be an understanding that equality is linked to our collective humanity. It is linked to peace and justice which for me means being willing to radically transform the systems and structures that hold women and girls down. This radical transformation must be actionable,” says Gbowee.

After a stirring musical performance, Angelique Kidjo, who’s been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 2002, added her voice to the urgent calls to action.

“I don’t think there’s any man has power without women having power, that’s the thing that we have to understand. We have to teach our boys, young boys, and young girls from an early age to respect one another. To tell a young boy your power is in the way you treat women. Not the other way around. So we have been sitting here, year and year talking about women empowerment, gender equality and we produce 75% of the world’s wealth. Why aren’t we going on strike for one month and see how the men to it, all around the globe? Because we talk and it doesn’t make a difference. Action is what they understand the best,” says Kidjo.

While 18-year-old trans-disabled fashion model Aaron Philip raised the key issue of violence against Trans and non-binary people, which continues to be a global phenomenon.

“I want to be nothing more but a teenage girl from the Bronx who just lives her life, does he job the way she wants to do her job and defies what people expect of her. But in a way, I truly am objectively a black-trans disabled model. I’m also a black-trans disabled girl and black-trans women are at risk right now in society for existing. We get shunned and shamed and discriminated against and our experiences are discredited, we get killed for existing as who we are and it would be wrong to not call action to that,” says Philip.

Progress towards gender equality faltering

UN Women earlier launched a report on the gaps that still needed to be filled in order to ensure the Beijing Platform becomes a reality in our lifetimes.

The report shows progress towards gender equality is faltering and hard-won advances are being reversed.

The report, which marks the 25th anniversary of the landmark Beijing Platform of Action, flags a lack of effective action to boost women’s representation at tables of power.

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says, “A lot of work has been done but our best is not good enough. We don’t want to squeeze into 25% because what has come out of this report is that women occupy 25% of the space in power and in places of influence. 75% of the parliamentary seats are held by men. 73% of managerial positions are held by men. 70% of climate negotiators arte men, so there’s this 25% that we’re being squeezed into. Today, we are breaking out. We want to march to 50% because 50% is what really matters.”

With calls for progress to be consolidated despite the push-back being experienced on the women’s agenda in some regions of the world.

UN Women new report on progress towards gender equality…

 

Joaquim Chissano
Still no suitable winner for Mo Ibrahim African Leadership prize
6 March 2020, 9:52 PM

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has announced that, for a second year running, it has not found a suitable winner for its annual Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

The award, launched in 2006 recognises former African leaders who have shown “outstanding governance of their country and brought peace, stability and prosperity to their people”.

The winner receives a 5 million US dollar cash award. The first winner was Mozambique’s former President Joaquim Chissano in 2007. Other winners include Festus Mogae of Botswana in 2008 and Ellen Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia in 2017.

“Africa is facing some of the toughest challenges in the world – ranging from those connected to population growth, and economic development, to environmental impact. We need leaders who can govern democratically and translate these challenges into opportunities. With two-thirds of our citizens now living in better-governed countries than ten years ago, we are making progress. I am optimistic that we will have the opportunity to award this Prize to a worthy candidate soon,” says Dr Ibrahim who is the Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was given an honorary award in 2007.

Kaizer Chiefs
Middendorp admits league title far from over
6 March 2020, 8:48 PM

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp admits that the race for the ABSA Premiership title is far from over.

Chiefs have an opportunity to stretch their lead to ten points when they host bottom of the log Amazulu at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.

Amakhosi will be looking for their second win in a row after a morale-boosting one-nil victory against bitter rivals Orlando Pirates last Saturday.

With just 9 games remaining before the end of the season, Kaizer Chiefs are still the overwhelming favourites to clinch the league title.

Amakhosi have been at the summit of the log since the beginning of the season, and expectations are very high from the club’s supporters.

Having already earned 48 points from 21 matches, Chiefs still have 27 points to play for. Some of them are tricky fixtures against other title contenders, while AmaZulu who are in the relegation zone, will be desperate for a win this weekend.

“We said it before and why should we start now to do the mathematical logistic of where it can be, in one week in two weeks. We all play each other Wits twice, we play Sundowns, we have to watch Sundowns playing against Pirates, Wits is playing against Sundowns if I ‘am not mistaken. So it’s really difficult believe me to be a mathematician and to do it right. Therefore, let’s not do this,” says Ernst Midderndorp Kaizer Chiefs coach.

Meanwhile, Bidvest Wits have lost ground after a string of poor results and are now almost out of the title race.

The Students who were playing catch-up as far as fixtures were concerned due to CAF Confederation Cup commitments, failed to make use of their advantage. Wits trail log leaders Chiefs by fourteen points having played just two games less. They will be host Chippa United on Saturday evening.

“You know upfront obviously again it is what it is but to just got to battle on we haven’t scored goals the whole year because you’ve got players who have played twenty eight, twenty nine games and scored one goal upfront. So where we are it’s a miracle, for what we’ve got we’ve done really well but we have to keep clean sheets,” says Gavin Hunt Bidvest Wits coach.

With just seven league matches remaining this season, SuperSport United have already counted themselves out of the title race. They are currently fourth on the log with 37 seven points. They visit a stubborn Highlands Park in Tembisa on Sunday.

“For us I think it’s better we take it game by game because we coming off a difficult three games so we needed to dig ourselves out of that and you know focus on ourselves first. One game at a time, and I think our next focus now is highlands park,” says Kaitano Tembo who is the Supersport United Coach.

With Mamelodi Sundowns focussing on the CAF Champions League this weekend, Orlando Pirates have an opportunity of returning to second spot on the log if they beat Golden Arrows in Durban on Saturday evening.

In another match on Sunday, Cape Town City will be at home to Bloemfontein Celtic.

 

Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Judgment reserved in SARS-Public Protector’s case
6 March 2020, 7:43 PM

The High Court in Pretoria has reserved judgment in the case involving the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Public Protector Busisiswe Mkhwebane.

SARS is challenging the procedure that Mkhwebane followed in obtaining a subpoena allowing her access to the tax information of former President Jacob Zuma in 2018.

Mkhwebane is investigating a 2017 complaint by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that Zuma allegedly received an undeclared R1 million from a security company during the first four months of his presidency.

SARS has approached the High Court asking it to set aside the subpoena issued to Mkhwebane in order for her to access taxpayer information of former President Jacob Zuma.

Mkhwebane’s lawyer Dali Mpofu says SARS is hiding behind the secrecy clause, arguing that Mkhwebane should be allowed to access information that will assist her in the probe to fight corruption.

“The purpose of the secrecy must not be used where she may not access information that can be accessed by NSFAS, auditor general, the police and so on. And it is no answer my lord with the greatest respect what my learned friend is saying that if the public protector access the information must account to parliament. To show that it is none issue so must the Auditor General, police, national intelligence, NSFAS must also account to parliament so the fact that she must account to parliament cannot be used,” says Mpofu.

Mpofu went on to say if such information could be made available to other institutions, it shouldn’t be a problem for the Public Protector to access it too.

“Can anybody honestly say that the law allows SARS to give tax information to NSFAS some student bursary scheme but when it is needed for a constitutional of fighting corruption and so on it should not be given. That is why there’s a great misunderstanding. My learned friend misunderstands the nature of the counter application,” says Mpofu.

SARS lawyer Jeremy Gauntlet has questioned the procedure Mkhwebane followed in obtaining the controversial subpoena. Gauntlet has argued that Mkhwebane’s actions are misguided.

“So effectively she’s caught on the horns of a dilemma. On this basis alone the attempt which we say is incorrect because there no counter application, then we say my Lord to ask my lord to make an order against SARS must fail. This is because A is not met. Absolutely my lord. So we respectfully submit my lord that those preconditions are not met,” says Gauntlet.

Details of Zuma’s alleged irregular payments by the security company in question were first made in Jacques Pauw’s book “The President’s Keepers”. It alleged that Zuma received R1m a month from Royal Security, a company owned by Roy Moodley. Judgement has been reserved.

 

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