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SA reaffirms its commitment to human rights

Marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), President Cyril Ramaphosa has reaffirmed South Africa’s commitment to uphold and champion human rights.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted at a time when the nations of the world were etched with the scars of war. It too is a reminder to current and future generations of what our freedom has been built on.

“Seventy years since it was adopted, South Africa reaffirms its commitment to upholding this pact between the peoples of the world,” said President Ramaphosa.

The President was speaking at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg at a commemorative event marking the UDHR anniversary on Friday.

The declaration was adopted by the United Nations on 10 December 1948 and on the same day in 1996, the Constitution of South Africa was signed into law by former President Nelson Mandela.

The 70th anniversary of the UDHR also coincides with the centenaries of the late former President Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.

The UDHR and the South African Constitution share much in common in spirit, principles and values that seek to promote and protect the rights to equality and freedom from discrimination of all people.

Reflecting on this, President Ramaphosa said it was the UDHR that, more than any other international legal instrument, contributed the most to entrenching human rights principles into South African law.  

The declaration is an implicit rejection of movements, ideologies and doctrines that seek to divide society through its rejection of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and all other forms of bigotry and prejudice.

Attending the event was UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, who called on the world over to revive its commitment to human rights.

South African Human Rights Commission chairperson Bongani Majola, who also attended the event, likened the declaration to international customary law and expressed hope that it will influence other countries on the continent and internationally to uphold human rights.

Also in attendance was Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang, who highlighted that human rights must be for the benefit of everyone, particularly the marginalised.

“As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Right, the rights of Michael Komape and Viwe Jali, who lost their live while making use of a pit latrine as a result of inadequate sanitation at their schools, must be championed,” said Hatang.

These sentiments were also carried by the President, who said while South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, particularly as it relates to socio-economic rights, there is a great deal of unfinished business.

“There is a disjuncture between what the Constitution promises and reality. For example, the right to gender equality promised by our Constitution is rendered meaningless unless the state and all social actors fulfil their obligation to put instruments in place to support the advancement of this right,” said the President.

SAnews.gov.za

 

South Africa’s investment conference outcomes

 

3D rendered concept of the state of the economic and finance markets in South Africa.

South Africa on Friday held an Investment Conference, at the the Sandton Convention Centre. A combined  R290 billion in investments is believed to be gained from the conference.

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa praised the conference saying that it will increase the number jobs available for the country’s citizens. The main goal of the conference was driving investment back in to South Africa which has been dwindling in previous years.

The secondary goal and was bringing back faith in to the South African Economy as Africa’s power house. According to ewn.co.za over 1000 different companies were in attendance at the Conference, from South Africa, Africa and Internationally. Some of the biggest investment contribution came from Anglo American, the New Development Bank and Vodacom.

South Africa at the moment is going through a technical recession, president Cyril Ramaphosa has been on an investment campaign thought out the year in hopes of boosting the economy back to life and mitigating the effects of the downturn.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirms there are no land grabs in South Africa

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa was interviewed on Wednesday by Bloomberg on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York regarding land reform in South Africa, and US president Donald Trump’s infamous tweet on the issue.

President Ramaphosa said he had met with president Trump but did not have time to discuss the tweet. He also said that president Trumps tweet was clearly misinformed and that there are no land grabs or killing of white farmers in South African, instead South Africa is undergoing a land reform process in which the mistakes of the past are being rectified.

Ramaphosa said the land issue is the original sin in the history of South Africa and if his government doesn’t balance out the problem it could lead to instability in the country.  Ramaphosa’s government is managing risk to promote social cohesion and equal access to land for all South Africans.

 

Source: Bloomberg.com

 

South Africa signs a free trade agreement

On Sunday 1 July 2018, South Africa signed an agreement that will allow for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). South Africa has joined 44 other countries in signing the agreement in Kigali, Rwanda three months ago. Countries that have recently ratified the agreement include Burundi, Namibia, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, eSwatini and Chad.

South Africa signed this agreement on the sidelines of the African Union Heads of State summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The republic merged with almost 50 African states, making this the largest free trade area in the continent.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his excitement over South Africa joining nations that have signed the agreement. The African Union stands to benefit from South Africa signing the free trade agreement, with it having one of Africa’s biggest economies.

Source: SABC News

Trudi Makhaya – President Ramaphosa’s new economic adviser

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced the appointment of economist, entrepreneur and writer, Trudi Makhaya as his economic advisor.

Ramaphosa said Makhaya’s duties would include coordinating the work of investment envoys as they travel the world in the hope of attracting at least $100-billion (R1.2-trillion) in new foreign direct investment to the economy over the next five years.

“Among her immediate responsibilities will be the coordination of the work of these special envoys and a series of investment roadshows in preparation for the Investment Conference,” Ramaphosa said.

“The engagements that we expect to take place will also be part of a process towards the establishment of a presidential council on investment.”

Everything you need to know about Trudi Makhaya:

  • She previously served as an advisor and angel investor in young companies and held non-executive directorships at Vumelana Advisory Fund and MTN South Africa.
  • Makhaya was the principal economist and an executive committee member at the Competition Commission of South Africa from 2010 to 2014, where her role was to assess the competitive effects of mergers and acquisitions, analysing complex competition enforcement cases and appearing as an expert witness at the Competition Tribunal.
  • Before joining the Competition Commission, Makhaya held various management consulting and corporate roles at Deloitte South Africa, Genesis Analytics and AngloGold Ashanti.
  • Makhaya holds an MBA and an MSc in Development Economics from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes scholar. From the University of Witwatersrand, she holds an MCom in Economics, an honours degree in economics and a BCom in Law and Economics.

Source: African News Agency