Category Archives: South Africa

Zuma son detained in Johannesburg airport

Duduzane Zuma, the son of former South African president Jacob Zuma, was briefly detained at Johannesburg main airport on Thursday relating to a corruption case, his lawyer said on Friday, July 6.

Duduzane Zuma, who was returning to South Africa to attend his brother’s funeral, is due at Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg next week to face separate charges of culpable homicide over a fatal 2014 car crash.

Zuma’s Porsche 911 sports car ploughed into a minivan taxi in Johannesburg, killing one woman and seriously injuring another who later died in hospital.

Zuma, who has previously said his car hit a puddle of water, will be contesting the charges.

His detainment at OR Tambo airport was in connection with a filed in Rosebank Johannesburg in 2016 corruption case, his lawyer Rudi Krause confirmed, adding that he didn’t have any other details.

Sibuya: lions ‘execute’ rhino poachers

A ranger with guests at the Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape on a safari drive on Tuesday afternoon discovered human remains close to a pride of lions.

We suspect two were killed, possibly three,” Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.

An axe and three pairs of shoes and gloves were found later when police and an anti-poaching unit arrived. The lions had been heard making a commotion in the early morning hours.

 

We thought they must have been rhino poachers but the axe confirmed it,” Fox said. “They use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn.”

South Africa is home the biggest population of the world’s rhinos, whose numbers has been depleted by poaching for buyers in Vietnam and China where rhino horn is coveted as an ingredient in traditional medicine as an ‘effective remedy’ from impotence and prostate cancer.

More than 1,000 rhinos were killed in South Africa last year.

Iceberg to quench Cape Town thurst

“Icebergs are made of the purest freshwater on earth,” Nick Sloane, the founder of Sloane Marine Ltd says, reflecting upon possible ways to save Cape Town from drought. “Thousands break off every year. Mother Nature has been teasing mankind with this for a long time, saying ‘this is here’.”

Nick Sloane estimates it would cost $100 million (S$137.3 million) to tow an iceberg to Cape Town that could take up to three months, and another US$50-60 million to harvest the water for one year as it melts.

In Russia, they have pushed icebergs away from oil installations, Sloane continues to explain his plan, pointing at existing experience. However Russian engineers managed  to push away only small icebergs of half-a-million tons. But Cape Town challenge requires a 100 million tons of ice to quench residents thrust.

Dr Chris von Holdt from Aurecon advisory practice, who has done a technical assessment and economic evaluation of the iceberg proposal, said: “I believe it has sufficient technical feasibility and economic merit to be considered seriously as a supply option for filling the supply gaps during periods of drought.”

Dr Olav Orheim, a former director or the Norwegian Polar Institute has analysed 271 000 icebergs, of which only 7% would be suitable, because the shape must be tabular, with a flat top and steep sides, and a thickness of 200m to 250m.

Once a suitable iceberg has been assessed, it will be “hacked”.

Two tugs will encircle the iceberg, pulling an enormous piece of geotextile material around it as a “skirt” that reaches down the sides of the iceberg beneath the sea.

A third tug stands by as back up. A tanker will then tow the iceberg, with the distance between the tanker and the iceberg about 1.5 km.

The two tugs will steam alongside, ensuring the iceberg stays on its course to Cape Columbine north of Saldanha Bay.

For reasons of the severe drought, the iceberg cannot go close inshore but will “anchor” itself on the seabed about 40 km offshore.

It will then be moored using a system similar to that used by certain offshore oil rigs.

In a way it will resemble one of the giant installations of artists Christo and Jean-Claude wrapped in fabric.

 

 

EU sends observers to Zimbabwe elections

Following an invitation by the Zimbabwean authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Zimbabwe to observe the harmonised elections, scheduled for 30 July 2018. This is a further demonstration of the European Union’s long-term commitment to support credible, transparent and inclusive elections worldwide.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Elmar Brok, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to Zimbabwe.

“These elections will be key for the future of Zimbabwe. The future president, parliament and local government councils will have the responsibility of steering the transition process in the country. Zimbabweans can count on the strong support of the European Union and of the international community. Its stability and economic growth are key for the entire region and for the European Union as well. I am confident that the mission under the leadership of Chief Observer Elmar Brok will make an important contribution to this electoral process,” said the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini.

Drought impacts grapes harvest in Western Cape

South African Distell Group 2018 wine grape harvest was 30% down on the previous year due to drought in the Western Cape but grape quality was promising, its head winemaker conveyed.

South Africa has declared Western Cape and other regions as disaster areas as a prolonged dry spell decimated the wheat crop and reduced apple, grape and pear exports to Europe.

“The ongoing drought in the Cape has certainly had an impact on this year’s harvest,” Niël Groenewald said in a statement. “We have seen slower ripening of the grapes than usual due to smaller canopies, limited water in the soils and that which is available for irrigation.”

Ramaphosa sends mixed signals on land grabs

Contradictory information comes from South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa, who delivers different narratives to different players. Previously Ramaphosa said he intended to organise land summit in April, but the event did not take place. However during his visit  to London he reassured Queen Elizabeth there won’t be such expropriation without compensation.

During his first official visit to Britain as South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa met Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Theresa May. At present Ramaphosa is in London for the Commonwealth summit starting on Thursday, April 19.

The President is using his visit to Britain to launch his plan for attracting a trillion in foreign direct investments to South Africa.

 

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South Africa joins sugary drinks tax

South Africa has joined the international trend of taxing sugary drinks to reduce high rates of diabetes, hypertension and obesity. But the long-anticipated measure recommended by the WHO was fraught with controversy.

South Africa and the UK are the latest in a string of countries around the world to impose a soda surcharge, together with Ireland, Canada and the Philippines among those expected to follow in due course.

Efforts to raise the tax on sugary drinks — by up to 50% in some countries — have sparked standoffs between the beverage industry and the health lobby.  It was no different in South Africa.

The protracted debate in the run-up to the new law saw Coca Cola executives suggest taxes don’t work in solving obesity.

However, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the 11% surcharge levied on a can of soda since April 1 was long overdue.

“We are not banning sugar. We are just saying take them in moderate amounts. Every life minute of our existence we are being fed with these substances. It’s an overload on the human body,” Motsoaledi said.

The government said it was acting in the interests of the public in a country with a diabetes epidemic fueled by sugar and an overburdened health system.

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