Government to launch 30 Years of Democracy logo


Government, through the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, this week officially launch national Freedom Month, celebrating 30 years of democracy.

The launch will be held on Tuesday at the Freedom Park and Museum Amphitheatre.

The year’s celebrations will be held under the theme: ’30 Years of Democracy, Partnership and Growth’.

Hosted in collaboration with Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, government will as part of the national launch unveil the 30 Years of Democracy official logo and outline the overall programmes for the month of April and throughout the year.

A national dialogue will also be hosted on 30 years of democracy at the auditorium later in the afternoon.

During the dialogue, academia, and representatives from business, labour, civil society and media will deliberate on both successes and challenges of the past three decades of the country’s democracy and freedom.

Source: South African Government New
s Agency

Recruitment process for new vice president of NDB underway


The process of identifying a replacement for Leslie Maasdorp, current Vice President of the New Development Bank (NDB) has started.

Cabinet will announce the new Vice President to the NDB after the recruitment process has been completed.

Maasdorp will at the end of his nine years of service at the NDB step down in July 2024.

In July 2015, Cabinet appointed Maasdorp as Vice President to represent South Africa at the New Development Bank in Shanghai.

Maasdorp was then appointed by the Bank to the role of Chief Financial Officer and was a member of the founding management team of the institution, under the leadership of Mr. KV Kamath, the first NDB President.

At the expiry of his contract in 2021, Maasdorp was reappointed by Cabinet for a second term of three years.

‘On behalf of my colleagues, I wish to express our sincere gratitude to Maasdorp for the distinction with which he has served South Africa in this role. As CFO, he led the treasury and capital markets activities of the Bank, having established
the global and domestic bond programs for the institution, raising more than USD 15 billion during his tenure.

‘He also led the process of obtaining the inaugural credit rating of the Bank in 2018, which established the institution as a leading new emerging markets focused multilateral development bank. I want to wish him well in his future endeavours,’ said Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana.

Maasdorp said it has been a distinct pleasure and honour to serve South Africa over the past nine years as Vice President and CFO of the NDB.

“I wish to thank Minister Godongwana, his predecessors during these nine years, as well as the Cabinet colleagues for having afforded me this incredible opportunity to be part of a historic mission to create a new global financial institution from scratch.

‘Over this period, the NDB approved over USD 6 billion of loans to South Africa, contributing significantly to the rollout of sustainable infrastructure, including in rail, ports, power, roads and water projects,’ said Maasdo
rp when commenting on his imminent departure in July.

Source: South African Government News Agency

NCC investigates virtual pig farming enterprise


The National Consumer Commission (NCC) is investigating the affairs of Piggy Farm Trading, an entity that promotes and sells ‘virtual pigs”.

This was after the Commission received complaints that Piggy Trading Farm might be a multiplication scheme.

Promoted on its website and various social media platforms, Piggy Farm Trading provides potential buyers with two options, buying from the farm and virtual buying and owning.

The second option is processed through what is called digital Metaverse Farming. The entity claims that this option is ‘risk-free’, as they farm on behalf of the participants. This includes feeding, insurance of the pigs, vaccination, and regular cleaning of pigs.

According to Piggy Farm Trading, participants can purchase between one and 50 pigs per annum at R2 200 per pig. Each pig gives its owner a minimum of R500 per month over a year as profit.

The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) describes a multiplication scheme as a scheme that promises or guarantees participants an effective annual i
nterest rate, as calculated in the prescribed manner that is at least 20% above the repo rate.

The Commission has warned consumers to exercise caution when dealing with this entity.

‘Consumers must be honest with their dealings, as the CPA prohibits any participation, recruitment, joining or promoting a multiplication scheme and other schemes.

‘The NCC has noticed a spike in agricultural schemes like this one, which lure participants into joining the scheme and promise high returns. If a consumer buys livestock, they should be able to take possession of that livestock,’ said the NCC’s Acting Commissioner.

The latest trends of pyramid schemes, multiplication schemes, and chain letters indicate that the owners have designed these schemes to buy into the idea of ‘investing’ while they (consumers) are participating in prohibited conduct. Consumers are reminded of the dangers of joining, promoting and recruiting others into such schemes. These schemes always collapse and leave consumers out of pocket.

Source
: South African Government News Agency

President Ramaphosa in Rwanda


President Cyril Ramaphosa is in Kigali, Rwanda, to attend the 30th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

This year, Rwanda marks 30 years since the Genocide against the Tutsi, which began on 7 April 1994 and lasted for 100 days, leading to more than a million deaths of mainly ethnic Tutsis.

Every year, on this date, the government of Rwanda hosts an official ceremony to mark the beginning of the 100 days of commemoration.

The ceremony of remembrance will take place in Kigali today.

President Ramaphosa will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, followed by the National Commemoration ceremony, which will conclude with a Night Vigil at BK Arena in Kigali.

On arrival in Kigali on Saturday, President Ramaphosa had a bilateral meeting with President Paul Kagame.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Rwanda were established in 1995, which were further strengthened through the signing of a General Cooperation Agreement in 1999.

Since the inauguration of
the Joint Cooperation Commission in Pretoria on 22 June 2001, significant progress was recorded in areas such as institution and capacity building, health and education. South African companies have also invested in Rwanda.

Source: South African Government News Agency

April marks major milestone in South Africa


Deputy President Paul Mashatile says the month of Aril is a very important month in the country’s calendar because it marks Freedom Month, as well as an incredible milestone of 30 years of democracy.

‘This month offers us an opportunity to reflect on the progress made thus far in transforming our society, while also examining our challenges,’ Mashatile said.

Addressing the Muslim Judicial Council Iftar Dinner in Rylands in Cape Town on Friday, Mashatile said although government has made great strides since 1994, inequality, poverty, and unemployment remain major obstacles to South Africa’s national unity and social cohesion.

‘We should be in one accord in addressing the remaining challenges that threaten our society’s social fabric,’ the Deputy President said.

Mashatile said South Africans should unite as they did when they fought apartheid, and when political leaders stray from their objectives, religious leaders should steer them in the right direction to make the country better.

He commended the role
played by the Muslim community in building the country.

‘Muslims have played an important role in shaping South Africa’s history, a role that has continued to this day.

‘They fought selflessly for the freedom we have today. Let us reciprocate our forefathers’ selflessness with kindness and humility and replicate their spirit of fighting for the good of others.

‘Let us do good deeds to improve one another’s health and wellbeing. Let us do good to provide shelter and a meal to the homeless. Let us do good by keeping young people out of the streets and providing them with quality education,’ Mashatile said.

He further commended the leadership of the Muslim Judicial Council for their dedication to education in the community by offering excellent education in their schools.

‘By prioritising skills development, you empower people and provide them the opportunity to make important contributions to our country.

‘Furthermore, by promoting social cohesion, you lay the groundwork for a society in which mutual resp
ect and understanding serve as the foundation for all relationships,’ the Deputy President said.

Mashatile urged urge all other religious communities to engage in charitable work and community service, benefiting not only their members but society as a whole.

‘We must unite as a society to help the less fortunate, support those in need, and foster a culture of compassion and generosity.

‘These acts of service promote inclusion and caring communities. Through such religious communities, we are also able to instil moral values such as forgiveness and respect for others, therefore strengthening our moral compass.

‘We urge the Muslim community to continue to advocate for social justice and human rights and to lead movements for equality, dignity, and freedom, empowering people to speak out against injustices and fight towards a more equitable world order,’ Mashatile said.

He encouraged every South African to actively participate in acts of kindness, volunteer their time and resources towards uplifting commun
ities and promoting social cohesion.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SAPS makes strides in crime fighting operations


Police Minister Bheki Cele says combating crime through decisive police action and robust community involvement remains at the heart of policing in the country.

‘We all can agree that crime is [at unacceptable] levels and communities have called on the SAPS [South African Police Service] to respond to their crime concerns,’ Cele said.

Addressing media on the Police Take Down Successes of Police Counter Operations in Pretoria on Sunday, Cele said in the past few of days, SAPS has intercepted armed and dangerous gangs, who have left a reign of terror and fear in their wake.

‘A group of 11 youngsters terrorising the community of Mariannhill in KwaZulu- Natal was intercepted, and nine were shot and killed during the arrest,’ Cele said.

Cele said over 20 would-be cash-in-transit (CIT) robbers in Witbank, Mpumalanga, were also stopped in their tracks through coordinated responses by the police and private security.

‘Five of the suspects were killed during gunfire exchange with police in their attempt to evade
arrest. Eight of CIT robbers were arrested and another nine managed to escape.

‘There is no doubt that these criminals and many others are ruthless and arrogant. Their actions demonstrate that they will eliminate anything and anyone that stands in their way.

‘Criminals have waged a war on communities and are so brazen, they are testing the authority of the State by attacking police officers,’ Cele said.

Cele said police remain unapologetic in their aggressive and decisive response to crime.

‘This Ministry remains in full support of police work that results in safer communities. We will forever welcome the arrest of criminals and for them to have their day in court.

‘But criminals are warned that if they engage the police instead of surrendering themselves; they will come out short.

‘We are clear police will continue to protect communities and push back hard on criminality. Not on our watch will we allow criminals to walk all over communities and certainly not the country’s law enforcement,’ Cele said.

Cele said the SAPS Crime Intelligence Division has been rejuvenated and bolstered to identify and infiltrate syndicates.

He said intervention units and tactical response teams of the SAPS continue to be capacitated.

‘The Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations and overall detection of organised crime is sharper than ever. The combination of all these policing services is decisively responding to crime especially to violent and serious crime.

‘Without an ounce of hesitation, officers on the ground will protect their lives and preserve the lives of innocent community members when the need arises,’ Cele said.

He said takedowns by the police are not isolated and are not coincidental.

‘They are as a direct result of reliable and strong intelligence coupled by sharp tactical readiness of police units who are trained to neutralise any threat and protect lives,’ he said.

According to Cele, from April 2023 to date, 1 171 intelligence-led takedowns were conducted by the SAPS.

To date, 3 749 suspects have
been apprehended during intelligence-led takedowns. These include 173 for murder, 57 for extortion and kidnapping, 164 for property-related crimes and 269 for vehicle-related crimes.

Cele said 768 suspects have been arrested for possession of illegal firearms.

‘Four hundred and eighty-eight and 79 suspects were arrested for robberies and CIT robberies, respectively; 1 510 drug-related and 214 illicit mining arrests were made from April to date during intelligence-led takedowns,’ he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

City of Cape Town employs EPWP workers to inspect fire hydrants


The City of Cape Town has introduced a new project employing Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers to inspect fire hydrants and refer damaged or obstructed hydrants for further action.

The project is creating work opportunities, while also helping to reduce risks to life and property throughout the city.

There are approximately 57 803 fire hydrants along the city’s approximately 10 000km road network that supply water for fire emergencies. In many areas, these hydrants are routinely vandalised or obstructed by unapproved building work.

A total of 26 job seekers have been recruited to assist with inspections of fire hydrants, as part of the Hydrant Project, while a further five recruits with matric and a valid code B driver’s licence are being contracted as EPWP drivers/supervisors. All recruits were sourced from the city’s Jobseekers’ Database.

Hydrant workers receive on-the-job training from handymen and their supervisors, whereas drivers/supervisors benefitted from a smart driving course to hel
p strengthen their CVs for possible future employment opportunities within the city.

All beneficiaries on the project were also sent to fire safety awareness training.

“Considering the possible dire consequences if fire services teams reach the scene of a fire to find the hydrant has been vandalised or built over, this project is a great example of the major value EPWP workers and projects can bring to the city.

‘I would like to commend those who conceived of this project, as it manages to provide a valuable service at an affordable cost, while at the same time, providing a lifeline to job seekers,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Grant Twigg.

How to register for EPWP job opportunities

Interested persons, who would like to be considered for EPWP work opportunities, can register on the Jobseekers’ Database at their local sub-council office.

They are advised to bring a copy of their CV, ID or a valid South African work permit and proof of residence. EPWP beneficiaries are randoml
y selected from this database.

For more information, contact the EPWP help desk on 021 400 9406 or email epwp.help@capetown.gov.za.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Operation Shanela nets over 500 000 suspects


Police Minister Bheki Cele says 551 506 suspects have been arrested for various crimes across the country since May 2023 when Operation Shanela was introduced.

‘Over 500 000 suspected criminals have been removed from society and brought before the courts to answer for their alleged crimes,’ Cele said.

Addressing media in Pretoria on Sunday on the Police Take Down Successes of Police Counter Operations , Cele said police on the ground are each week pushing back on crime through high density operations in identified high crime areas across the country through Operation Shanela.

‘Officers in all nine provinces, led by the respective Provincial Commissioners, have conducted almost 70 000 (69 468) high density crime prevention and combating operations in the last 11 months,’ Cele said.

The countrywide high-density operations have resulted in the arrest of 8 563 suspected rapists and 6 045 murder suspects.

‘[A total of] 4 410 suspects have been arrested for attempted murder. Police officers have arrested 63 57
3 assault GBH [grievous bodily harm] suspects and 37 333 suspects accused of common assault.

‘[A total of] 41 191 suspects have been arrested for the Contravention of the Immigration Act and were found to be in the country illegally, [while] 16 073 drunk drivers were taken off our roads and arrested through various roadblocks and stop-and-searches during simultaneous countrywide operations.

‘[A total of] 2 819 illegal miners involved in illicit mining were also caught and taken through the court processes,’ Cele said.

Under operation ‘Vala umgodi’, a multidisciplinary operation involving various government departments such as the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, 3 298 illegal miners were arrested.

Cele said 1 028 hijacking suspects have been arrested over the past 11 months and 3 670 suspects were nabbed and face business burglary charges, while a further 10 743 suspects were arrested for breaking and entering into houses.

‘Working jointly w
ith local, provincial and national traffic police and other sister departments, the focus of Operation Shanela remains the prevention of crime,’ the Minister said.

Over 150 suspects shot and killed by police

Cele said over 150 suspects were shot and killed from April 2023 to date.

This figure, according to Cele, includes the September 2023 fatal shooting of 19 cash-in-transit (CIT) suspects in Makhado, Limpopo, who engaged in a gun battle with police instead of surrendering.

Cele said while it is the aim of the police to arrest suspects, some heavily armed suspected criminals choose to engage the police in a gun battle and police respond accordingly.

‘Police have and will come out on top during these takedowns. In April 2023, 10 heavily armed CIT-related robbers were shot and killed during a confrontation with police in Sebokeng in Gauteng province,’ Cele said.

He noted that the kidnapping of members of the public and influential individuals, as well as businesspersons, remains a concern.

‘The response
s by the police to this crime is, however, encouraging and sizable inroads are being made,’ he said.

The Minister said the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) has arrested 62 suspects involved in kidnappings for ransom from April to date.

‘Police operations have also led to the arrest of 55 suspects for the kidnapping of Chinese nationals in the country. Five suspects have been arrested for their role in the kidnapping of Mozambican nationals.

‘The DPCI has also undertaken significant takedown operations targeting various criminal syndicates in the past 11 months.

‘These operations have resulted in the interception of 14 identified targets across a range of illicit activities including theft, fraud, drug trafficking, money laundering and contraventions of financial regulations.’

Assets, with an estimated value of R6.2 million, were seized from April 2023 to date. Sixteen drug labs, with drugs valued over R161 million, were also shut down during this time.

Additionally, 20 suspects were a
pprehended in connection with drug-related offences.

Cele said in separate operations targeting narcotics, led by the DPCI, drugs valued at over R506 million were taken out of circulation and 148 suspects were apprehended through policing operations.

‘Added to the work of the DPCI, the Organised Crime Unit — within the Detectives of the SAPS — conducted numerous multi-disciplinary takedown operations focusing on drugs. Illicit substances such as mandrax, cocaine, heroin and magic mushrooms, with an estimated street value of R121 700 000, were seized,’ he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency