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Bad weather blamed for SA military plane crash in DRC
9 January 2020, 9:23 PM

Bad weather has been blamed for the crash landing of the Defence Force C 130 transport aircraft in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The plane was carrying 58 SANDF peacekeepers and 8 air crew. It crash-landed at Goma in the eastern DRC.

However, it’s emerged that one soldier suffered a heart attack during the landing. The soldier is being treated in a local hospital and is recovering well.

The National Defence Force has opened an urgent inquiry into the crash landing.

SANDF Spokesperson, Siphiwe Dlamini says, ” We are relieved that there have been no casualties and no injuries. And a quick urgent board of inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident is presently being constituted by the Air Force. There are strict regulations as to when, who speaks on what and until the investigation is completed. We will only know then what actually happened.”

 

Videos on social media show smoke rising from the four-engined aircraft. The left wing appeared to have caught fire. Other reports suggest that one of the engines was on fire before the crash landing.

However, two sources at the airport say there did not appear to be major damage to the plane.

The plane was returning from the city of Beni.

‘Aging C-130’

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the Air Force’s C-130 transport aircraft that crash-landed in the DRC was the last remaining serviceable C-130.

The DA says the aging C-130s in the Air Force inventory require substantial maintenance.

DA Shadow Defence Minister Kobus Marais says more money needs to be spent on maintaining the C-130s.

 

SA manufacturing figures on a downward slope: Stats SA
9 January 2020, 6:40 PM

South Africa’s manufacturing sector is in decline and most of the decline has been attributed to Eskom’s load shedding which impacts production.

Data from Statistics South Africa also shows that manufacturing production has fallen for six consecutive months in November.

Production output slumped 3.6% in November 2019, following a 0.8% year-on-year fall in October.

Stats SA says the main decreases were recorded in production of wood and wood products, paper, publishing and printing, followed by textiles.

However, food and beverages were the only categories that recorded positive growth.

Stats SA’s Juan-Pierre Terblanche says, “Textile and clothing experienced its 12 consecutive months of decline, falling by 13.3%. … Six other divisions experienced slower growth most noticeable furniture and other manufacturing divisions which recorded a 9.2% drop. There was one division with positive growth and that was the food and beverages up 1.3% in November.”

The Manufacturing Purchase Managers Index which measures activity in the sector has declined to 47.1 index points.  This means there’s contraction in the manufacturing sector.

Anything below 50 index points signals a decline and possibly a recession.

Jannie Rossouw is Interim Head of Wits Business School. “The PMI index of course under 50, meaning it’s in a decline. If it is above 50, it means there’s some growth and it’s clear that the economy is going into contraction. Amongst others because of the problems we see at Eskom. We really need to get into grips with the Eskom problem very urgently to see any economic growth in South Africa going forward.”

There are growing fears that the ailing economy could fall into recession as some of the key sectors of the economy have been underperforming in the fourth quarter of last year.

The unpredictability of power supply will continue to compromise the manufacturing sector by reducing production output from local firms.

Motsoaledi defends Refugees Amendment Act
8 January 2020, 9:12 PM

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has defended the Refugees Amendment Act which came into effect on the first of January.

The minister was speaking in the wake of heavy criticism over the changes.

Some of the amendments include preventing asylum seekers from participating in any political activity, as well as clamping down on businesses and regulations on where they can work or go to school.

Minister Motsoaledi, speaking to the SABC, says, “Let me clarify one fact, I don’t know whether it also confuses, but I’ve heard others being confused as if everybody who is from another country, who is in South Africa is going to be barred from any political activity. We’ve got lots of people who are here. Some have got permanent residence. These rules do not apply to them at all. They apply only to people who are under the protection of the state.”

Earlier, Political Analyst Steven Friedman has warned that the South African government has tried to curtail the rights of refugees from protesting against the countries from which they fled.

“So, in other words, if you’re a refugee from a country which you consider to be a human rights abuser you may not campaign against that human rights abuse in SA unless you have the permission of the Minister of Home Affairs. There are some other restrictions, but those are by far, the most serious because they do seem to very seriously restrict the rights of refugees and to prevent refugees in this country doing what refugees from this country did during the apartheid period.”

For more watch Minister Motsoaledi’s interview below:

African Diaspora Forum condemns SA’s Refugees Amendment Act
8 January 2020, 6:55 PM

The Africa Diaspora Forum says changes in South Africa’s Refugee Amendment Act are nonsensical.

The Refugees Amendment Act came into effect on the 1st of January.

Some of the changes in the Act include preventing asylum seekers from participating in any political activity as well as clamping down on businesses and regulations on where they can work or go to school.

Doctor Vusi Sibanda from the Africa Diaspora Forum says the changes are very restrictive.

“Obviously, we find that to be quite nonsensical in the sense that refugees and asylum seekers are people that in the majority of the cases they are fleeing their countries mainly for political reasons and if you are going to disenfranchise them from taking active part in the politics, you are basically saying they cannot fix what is wrong in their countries.”

Meanwhile, Political Analyst Steven Friedman has warned that the South African government has tried to curtail the rights of refugees from protesting against the countries from which they fled.

“So, in other words, if you’re a refugee from a country, which you consider to be a human rights abuser, you may not campaign against that human rights abuse in SA unless you have the permission of the Minister of Home Affairs. There are some other restrictions, but those are by far the most serious because they do seem to very seriously restrict the rights of refugees and to prevent refugees in this country doing what refugees from this country did during the apartheid period.”

Peterhansel wins stage four of Dakar Rally
8 January 2020, 6:15 PM

Thirteen times champion, Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, has won the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally and by doing so, moved into contention for a record-extending 14th title.

The Mini driver completed the 453 kilometres from Neom to Al-Ula in four hours, four minutes and 34 seconds; two minutes and 26 seconds ahead of Nasser Al-Attiya of Qatar in a Toyota.

Spain’s Carlos Sainz in another Mini was third and retained his overall lead. He is now just three minutes and three seconds ahead of Al-Attiya in the overall classification with Peterhansel third, 11 minutes and 42 seconds back.

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