Hammanskraal residents warned against using tap water

The City of Tshwane has warned residents from Hammanskraal and surrounding areas not to use water from taps for drinking following the outbreak of gastrointestinal infection or diarrhoeal disease in the area.

The outbreak has claimed the lives of at least seven people with more than 60 receiving treatment at the Jubilee Hospital for the infection.

It can be spread through contaminated water.

“While the water supplied by the city in Hammanskraal is not potable…the city does provide potable (drinkable) water through 52 water tankers to informal settlements three times a week and 40 water trucks to formal areas daily in Region 2. This is done to ensure that communities drink safe water

“The city regularly conducts tests on the quality of water provided to our communities, and following this outbreak, comprehensive tests will be done on the entire water distribution network.

“Water samples have been collected in the affected areas and taken for tests and results are expected on Wednesday to determine the cause of the outbreak. The city is eagerly awaiting the confirmatory test results from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) to establish the cause of the outbreak,” the City said in a statement on Sunday.

Officials from the city’s health department are expected to collect further samples from water tankers that supply informal settlements.

“The Outbreak Response Teams (ORT) are on the ground conducting surveillance monitoring and doing sampling of the water. Communities are urged to present themselves to the nearest health facility immediately when they experience symptoms. Health facilities are on high alert to urgently attend to the patients with symptoms.

“The city would like to encourage residents in the affected areas to regularly wash their containers they use to draw water from the water tankers with Jik detergent, and to boil water drawn from other sources before drinking it. Communities are also urged not to conduct religious activities such as baptism in the rivers or streams,” it said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Gastrointestinal infection outbreak claims seven lives

The Gauteng Department of Health has confirmed the death of seven people due to an outbreak of diarrhoeal disease or gastrointestinal infection in Hammanskraal near Pretoria.

The highly infectious condition is spread through contact or contaminated food or water and affects the stomach and intestines.

While not deadly to healthy persons, the infection can cause fatal complications to children, the elderly and those who are immunocompromised.

The department said since Monday last week, more than 60 people have been receiving treatment at the Jubilee Hospital with watery diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.

“Of all of these patients, 26 had symptoms of both diarrhoea and vomiting, while 16 only had diarrhoea and 10 were vomiting. Most of these patients showed signs on arrival to the [Jubilee Hospital].

“The provincial and district outbreak response teams have been dispatched to Jubilee Hospital and the affected areas to further investigate the source of the gastrointestinal infection. Already, stool specimen has been collected from some of the affected people. The results are expected from the laboratory during the course of the weekend,” the department said.

The department called on citizens to take extra care during this time and to report to hospital if they experience symptoms.

“People are urged to ensure proper hand hygiene which includes thorough washing of hands with water and soap before and after using the bathroom/toilet and preparing or eating food. Make use of only safe or disinfected water for preparing food, beverages and ice in order to prevent possible transmission of the infection.

“The [department] is urging the public to report to their nearest health facilities when they present with mild to severe and water diarrhoea and dehydration symptoms so that they can receive treatment.

“Symptoms may appear within one to three days after being infected and ranges from mild to severe. Symptoms usually last just a day or two, but occasionally, they may last up to 14 days,” the department said. – SAnews.gov.za

Source: South African Government News Agency

DIRCO Deputy Minister arrives in China for Official Visit

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, is on an official visit to the People’s Republic of China.

The Deputy Minister is expected to co-chair the 12th South Africa–China Strategic Dialogue with her Chinese counterpart, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deng Li. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.

“The Strategic Dialogue was established in 2008 as a platform for a review of bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries at Ministerial level. The Strategic Dialogue Mechanism forms part of the South Africa-China Bi-National Commission (BNC) and provides a framework for the implementation of the comprehensive strategic partnership. The previous Strategic Dialogue was last held in 2021 virtually.

“The meeting will provide an opportunity for the Deputy Minister to continue with the momentum of positive bilateral relations, particularly in the context of South Africa and China celebrating 25-years of diplomatic relations,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said in a statement.

The department also explained the importance of the Asian nation to South Africa’s economy.

“Formal bilateral relations between South Africa and China were established in 1998 and are underpinned by the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed in 2010 as well as the new 10 Years Strategic Programme on Cooperation between South Africa and China (2020-2029).

“China is South Africa’s largest global trading partner, which has increased from less than R1 billion in 1998 to R544 billion in 2021. By the end of 2022, the total volume of bilateral trade stood at R614 billion. There are approximately 42 South African companies invested in China in various sectors,” the statement read.

During the visit, Mashego-Dlamini is expected to also host a tourism workshop to promote South Africa as a tourist destination of choice and also visit Shanghai “where she will chair a meeting with South African and Chinese companies which aims to explore new investment opportunities between the two countries”.

Meanwhile, DIRCO Minister Dr Naledi Pandor is expected to host a meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations next month.

“The mid-term meeting provides an opportunity for BRICS Foreign Ministers to reflect on regional and global developments. Minister Pandor, as the Chair of the BRICS Ministerial Meeting, will continue with the policy of inclusive engagement by inviting 15 Foreign Ministers from Africa and the global south to a “Friends of BRICS” meeting to be held on 02 June 2023.

“The ministerial meetings will be preceded by the meeting of Sherpas and Sous- Sherpas from 29-30 May 2023,” the department said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Minister Pandor to attend launch of ninth Pan-African Congress

Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Dr Naledi Pandor, has arrived in Lomé, Togo for the launch of the ninth Pan-African Congress that is expected to be held on Monday.

The department said Pandor will attend the session following the invitation of Togo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Togolese Abroad, Professor Robert Dussey.

“The ninth Pan-African Congress Launch Ceremony comes after the African Union Assembly adopted in February 2023, a decision to endorse the Progress Report on activities and prospects for the establishment of the High Committee in charge of the Agenda for the Decade of African Roots and Diaspora.

“South Africa played a key role in getting the Diaspora process on the agenda of the African Union. South Africa sponsored a decision, which was adopted by the first Extra-ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to amend the Constitutive Act to invite and encourage the full participation of the African Diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union.

“South African support of the African Diaspora agenda has, in recent times, seen several developments, most notably the African Union’s Declaration of 2021-2031 as the Decade of the African Roots and Diasporas and The Africa and African Diaspora (AAD) Virtual Conference, held on 23-29 October 2021, in South Africa,” said the department in a statement on Sunday.

Minister Pandor will also use the visit to hold bilateral meetings with Dussey and other Ministers in a bid to deepen already existing “good diplomatic relations” between the two African nations established more than 25 years ago.

“Togo is hoping to benefit from South African expertise in areas such as industry, agro-processing, energy and the port and airport sector. Asky, the Togolese airline, is now flying between South Africa and Togo.

“Bilateral trade between South Africa and Togo total totalled USD $67 398 000 in 2021. Bilateral trade is in favour of Togo. South African exports to Togo totalled USD $24 829 000 in 2021. South African imports from Togo totalled USD $42 569 000 in 2021 (trade map, 2023).

“South African imports are in the main, mineral fuels from Togo. Togo’s investment attractiveness in terms of foreign direct investment flows (FDI) is positive. Total FDI inflows increased from USD $46.31 million in 2016 to USD $129.89 million in 2021 (Investment map; 2023),” the department said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Deputy President meets with business leaders

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has held a dialogue with business leaders hosted by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)

During Friday’s meeting, captains of industry, CEOs, senior executives and business associations agreed to collaborate to rebuild business and investor confidence and acknowledged that they can play a role in resolving some of the challenges South Africa faces.

The Deputy President welcomed the engagement with private business and called for an annual meeting of the type be held annually.

“As a means of moving forward, engagement with the JSE-listed companies will be institutionalised for future engagement and as a platform to expedite the implementation of the commitments made,” he said.

In a statement, the Presidency said the dialogue was focused on how government and business can work together to address the country’s socio-economic challenges.

“The dialogue focused on issues affecting and hindering the private sector’s ability to play a meaningful role in working with government to create a conducive environment for economic prosperity.

“The event provided the Deputy President an opportunity to speak to the major deliverables of his portfolio, policy reforms as well as steps being taken to enhance investor confidence, which touches on energy security, the economy, social compacting, crime, corruption, foreign direct investment and international relations and trade.

“The captains of industry raised issues of concern affecting their constituents, particularly those relating to their ability to operate efficiently. They urged government to work with a greater sense of urgency in attending to the current energy crisis, crime and corruption, and processing of applications relating to statutory obligations hindering their ability to conduct business effectively,” the statement read.

A meeting with Western Cape-based JSE-listed companies is expected to be held soon.

Source: South African Government News Agency

First signs of tourism recovery emerge, as bookings pick up 30% compared to 2019 (FTAV president)

The first signs of tourism recovery have been recorded during the new season, as bookings picked up 30% compared to 2019, said the president of the Tunisian Federation of Travel and Tourism Agencies, Ahmed Betaieb.

In a statement to TAP, Betaieb pointed out that the Tunisian destination has regained its attractiveness thanks to the efforts made by all parties concerned, expecting the number of overnight stays in hotel units in Tunisia to increase at rates between 20 and 30% compared to 2019 (reference year).

The President of the Federation said the number of tourists from traditional European markets (Germany, France and England) has returned to the 2019 level, while a new market, Armenia has emerged. The Russian market which, together with the Algerian market, had saved the tourist season in 2019, is absent because of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The positive indicators should not overshadow the challenges and problems faced by travel agencies and the tourism sector, he said.

These problems include the shortage of the bus fleet, the difficulty in obtaining licences to supply and renew the transport fleet, the lack of “qualified” manpower in several tourism specialities to further improve the quality of services, as well as the inability to involve the private sector in solving and discussing issues related to the tourism sector in Tunisia before taking decisions.

He called for exceptional measures to be taken in order to avoid any shortcomings that would hamper the work of Tunisian travel agencies and prevent them from meeting the high demand, especially during the high tourist season.

Tunisia had attracted about 9 million and 30 thousand tourists until December 20, 2019 (the reference year before the COVID-19), at a time when the sector’s revenues had risen to more than 5,350 million dinars, according to data provided by the then Minister of Tourism, Rene Trabelsi.

As of November 30, 2019, the number of overnight stays in hotel units increased by 11.3% compared to the same period in 2018, reaching 28.8 million overnight stays.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Investment intentions in services fall by 33.72% (APII)

Investments reported in the service sector have decreased by 33.72% to TND 245.1 million at the end of April 2023, from TND 369.8 million in the first quarter of 2022, the Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation (APII) said in a report Sunday.

The number of reported projects fell from 3,215 to 3,080 in first four months of 2023. On the other hand, the number of jobs to be created rose by 3.2% to 10,408.

At the end of April 2023, the investment intentions in the activities of total export services did not exceed TND 18.5 million, against TND 30.5 million in the same period of 2022.

The investments with foreign participation declared in the services activities represent only 9% of the total investment intentions. These investments decreased from TND 43.1 million in the first four months of 2022 to TND 20.7 million in the same period of 2023.

The number of projects with foreign participation decreased from 428 projects in 2022 to 387 in 2023, and the number of jobs to be created reached 1783 against 1838 in the first quarter of 2022.

Investments in industry-related services, which represent 28.4% of the total investments reported in service activities, decreased from TND 153.7 million in the first four months of 2022 to TND 69.5 million in the same period of 2023.

The number of projects related to industry also posted a decrease from 2111 to 1912 in the first four months of 2023.

The same downward trend is observed for the number of related jobs, which reached 5349 jobs in 2023, compared to 5661 jobs during the same period of 2022.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Reported industrial investments increase by 16.7%. (APII)

Reported industrial investments increased by 16.7%, to TND 915.1 million, during the first 4 months of 2023, compared to the 1st quarter of 2022, according to the Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation (APII) said Sunday.

The number of reported projects went up 3.8%, to 1,087, at end April 2023. These projects will help create 14,151 jobs, compared to 17,336 jobs in 2022 (4 months).

The sectors which saw increases in terms of investment intentions are mainly, building materials, ceramics and glass (+395.1%), mechanical and electronic (+14.4%), chemical industries (+29.9%), textiles and clothing (+104.5%) and miscellaneous industries (+3.3%).

On the other hand, reported investments in the other sectors went down compared to the same period of 2022. These are the agri-food industries (-21.3%) and the leather and footwear industries (-77 .7%).

It should be noted that 66% of the reported investments during the first four months of 2023 are part of creation projects. These investments soared 90.3%, to TND 601.5 million in April 2023.

Investment intentions within the framework of projects other than creation (extension, renewal of equipment, etc.) fell by 8.8%, to 313.6 MD. The related jobs followed the same downward trend to 4,235 jobs (i.e. -46.9%).

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse