SA universities ranked among the best in the world

A recent US News and World Report revealed that 9 of South Africa’s universities have been voted among the best in the world, as part of the 2018 Global Best Universities survey.

Says US News: “Since an increasing number of students plan to enrol in universities outside of their own country‚ the Best Global Universities rankings – which focus specifically on schools’ academic research and reputation overall and not on their separate undergraduate or graduate programs – can help those applicants accurately compare institutions around the world.”

Herald Live reports that the rankings include the top 1‚250 institutions which are spread across 74 countries compared to last year’s 65 countries.

South African universities included in the rankings are: The University of Cape Town (with a scoring of 64), University of KwaZulu-Natal (50.4) University of Stellenbosch (49.6).

Also on the list is the University of Pretoria‚ the University of Johannesburg‚ the University of the Western Cape‚ North West University‚ the University of the Free State and the University of South Africa (Unisa).

Reporting: Herald Live

China’s plans to standardise elderly care services

Displayed with permission from China Daily

The draft requires nursing homes to provide telecommunications services, including but are not limited to telephone and the Internet. If residents have problems with telecommunications services, institutions should provide professional staff to help them.

Staff should treat the elderly with politeness and patience, keeping the private information of residents and visitors confidential. The environment and facilities must be safe and protect resident privacy, the draft said.

Outsourcing services should be commissioned to qualified organisations, and withdrawal systems established.

Nursing homes should make public service programs and charging standards, and set out rules for addressing complaints. Complaints should be responded within 10 working days.

The draft also requires nursing homes to offer hospice services. Hospice services providers should receive training before offering services.

China had more than 230.8 million people aged 60 or above at the end of 2016, 16.7 percent of the total population, according to a report released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

By international standards, a country or region is considered an “ageing society” when the number of people aged 60 or above reaches 10 percent or more.

– China Daily 


Pres. Jacob Zuma announces the following changes to the National Executive


After careful consideration, I have decided to make the following changes to the National Executive;
1 Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize is the Minister of Higher Education and Training
2 Ms Ayanda Dlodlo is the Minister of Home Affairs
3 Ms Mmamaloko Kubayi is the Minister of Communications
4 Mr David Mahlobo is the Minister of Energy
5 Adv. Bongani Thomas Bongo is the Minister of State Security
6 Mr Buti Manamela is the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training

I thank the former members of the National Executive for good service in their previous portfolios.

I wish the members who are assuming new portfolios all the best in their new responsibilities.

Enquiries: Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on 082 308 9373 or


China pursues deeper relationship with the Philippines

Ralph Jennings
Displayed with permission from Voice of America

China is stepping up aid to the Philippines, including a proposal to seek oil together offshore and a gift of arms to help Manila fight a Muslim rebel insurgency, indicating that both sides want an extra-firm friendship despite an unsettled maritime dispute.

Three firms, including China’s state-owned offshore oil driller CNOOC are awaiting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature to explore for fuel reserves under a 7,120-square-kilometre tract of water off the Philippine west coast.

Last week the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on its website China had donated 3,000 assault rifles, with 3 million rounds of ammunition, to help the military fight the ISIS-sympathetic Maute Group rebels in a war-torn southern city.

The transactions, alongside infrastructure aid from China, indicate that both countries want as much from each other as the other can accommodate. They made peace only in 2016 after four years of squabbling over maritime sovereignty.

China pursues an oil exploration partnership

Officials in China “would want as much they can get,” said Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Philippine advocacy organization Institute for Political and Electoral Reform.

“I would say the Filipinos are very nationalist in their position, particularly with regards to the South China Sea, but then the friendship I think is well received here.”

Beijing is chasing stronger alliances around Southeast Asia to ease hostility over its claims to nearly the whole South China Sea. A world arbitration court said in mid-2016 China lacked a legal basis to assert those rights.

The Chinese claim overlaps the exclusive economic zones of four Southeast Asian states including the Philippines. Those countries chafe at China’s passage of ships and buildup of artificial islands for military infrastructure.

Chinese aid

China is offering aid and investment to rival claimants Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as to the Philippines. But President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila welcomes China with special enthusiasm as part of his shift away from dependence on the United States.

Chinese success in exchanging aid for political tolerance anywhere in the Asia hinges on the other side’s interest, said Song Seng Wun, Southeast Asia-specialized economist with the private banking unit of CIMB in Singapore.

“It is always a case of the other side (being) more welcoming,” Song said. “On the case of the Philippines, obviously you have a president, and he really wants to do it, so you’re talking about playing the Chinese off the Americans.”

US / Philippines

The United States has been an ally of the Philippines since its colonization of the Southeast Asian country ended in 1946. China opposes the U.S. military presence near the disputed sea, however, while Duterte resents Washington’s criticism of his deadly anti-drug campaign.

But Duterte swung back toward the United States last week with a pitch for more economic partnerships.

China may have donated the rifles, the second installment of its kind, to offset U.S. aid, analysts say.

The United States does joint naval patrols with the Philippines and since 2002 it has placed 50 to 100 special forces on the southern island Mindanao to help control violent rebels such as the Maute Group.

China becoming more popular

Filipinos’ positive sentiment toward China has risen 17 percentage points since 2014, the Pew Research Center said last month. Positive sentiment toward the United States fell from 92 to 78 percent over the past two years, it found.

China pledged $24 billion in aid after Duterte visited Beijing in October. Three months later China and the Philippines agreed to $3.7 billion in Chinese investment covering 30 projects.

China competes as well with Japan for aid and investment in a $167 billion, five-year Philippine effort to modernize infrastructure. Japan, a U.S. ally that has its own political disputes with Beijing, is vying with China for alliances around much of developing Asia.

“If you look at the (official development aid), you’re seeing more from the Japanese than the Chinese,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist with Banco de Oro UniBank in Metro Manila.

Philippines still wary

Filipinos want China’s aid, an outgrowth of the $11.2 trillion Chinese economy, as long as it comes without political strings such as conceding disputed tracts of sea, scholars in Manila say.

Prior Chinese efforts at joint maritime oil exploration with Southeast Asian states have failed before because of questions about who would own any discoveries.

China’s CNOOC owns 51 percent of the Calamian oil field being considered for joint exploration now, while Philippine National Oil Company has 28 percent. Jadestone Energy of Singapore has another stake.

China and the Philippines have discussed offshore oil cooperation since late last year.

“Everyone’s waiting at the sidelines,” Ravelas said. “It’s really the devil is in the details. Basically, what would be the revenue share? What will China bring to the table?”

– Repubhub/ Voice of America
– Image: Voice of America

‘Zim Has Potential for Economic Growth’

The Herald Harare Mashudu Netsianda
Displayed with permission from

ZIMBABWE has potential to grow tremendously into a viable and enviable economy on the continent despite sanctions imposed by the West, a top Chinese academic has said.

Addressing journalists during a seminar last week in Jinhua in China’s Zhejiang Province, the director and founder of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University, Prof Liu Hongwu, said Zimbabwe’s economic recovery hinged on harnessing its natural resources and commitment to attracting foreign investment from friendly countries as well as boosting the agricultural and mining sectors.

“We are aware that sanctions have been imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries because of the land reform programme. However, the country has a lot of potential to grow economically. The country should thrive to attract foreign investors from countries such as China among others,” he said.

Prof Liu said Zimbabwe’s potential lies in its natural resources.

“Zimbabwe has natural resources and land and I believe those are some of the tools that can be used to grow the economy,” he said.

Prof Liu said Zimbabwe could learn from China about economic transformation.

“China was poor in the last 30 years but today we are the second largest economy in the world after the United States. I believe the same can happen with Zimbabwe whose population cannot be compared with our huge population. Zimbabwe has a lot to learn from China in terms of economic transformation,” he said.

China is Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend and the two countries enjoy cordial relations dating back to the time of the liberation struggle.

Prof Liu praised President Mugabe, describing him as a revolutionary leader with a vision for the country. He also commended Zimbabwe’s education system.

“Zimbabwe has the best education system in Africa. That should be another tool to transform the country’s economy,” he said.

“Zimbabwe should also thrive on having more special economic zones.”

Prof Liu dispelled the myth as portrayed by Western media that China is exploiting Africa and plundering resources.

“We have partnered Africa in so many ways and it’s a win-win situation but the Western media distorts the information. We need to tell our own story,” he said.

“Self independence is what China has. We can’t copy the British or Americans and the same should happen to Africa. In fact, Africa is portrayed in bad light by the western media,” he said.

China’ railway line and road network is rated among the best in the world. By 2012, its railway had reached 100 000km, ranking it the second in the world. Only recently China launched the world’s fastest speed train travelling at 350km per hour. The bullet train plies the Shanghai-Beijing route.

– Repubhub/