If you’re looking for all the latest news in South Africa, be sure to review major headlines making waves across the country on Wednesday 12 February.
As President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) creeps closer, concerns regarding the threat of violent disruptions and subsequent Constitutional disregard has parliament on edge. In sports news, South Africa is announced as host nation of the SBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for women in 2021.
Today’s latest news in South Africa, Wednesday 12 February
EFF’s SONA threat: When Ramaphosa speaks, we will also speak
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who have vowed to disrupt parliamentary proceedings on Thursday evening, claim to have insider knowledge about a plot to ‘smuggle’ policeman into the National Assembly.
The Red Berets have already been cautioned against any provocation by parliamentary officials. Still, seemingly unperturbed, the EFF maintains that Pravin Gordhan’s ministerial position and presence at the event will result in trouble. In a recent statement, the EFF said:
“… we will not allow the proceedings of SONA to continue as along as Pravin Gordhan remains a minister.”
The EFF further alleged that the head of parliamentary security, Deon van der Spuy, had secretly planned to disguise policemen as Parliamentary Protection Officers. According to the party’s statement, clandestine police operations were tasked with “unleashing violence on members of the EFF” during SONA.
In terms of Joint Rules of Parliament, which are constitutionally binding, police officers are not permitted to remove members from the National Assembly.
Unemployment rate blues: The good, the bad and the ugly
South Africa’s unemployment rate remains uncomfortably high at 29.1% – unchanged, when compared to the third quarter of 2019. The only silver lining surrounding the results released by Stats SA on Tuesday, is that 38 000 people gained employment. Although not enough to alter the official unemployment rate, these gains were reflected in three four sectors:
On the other end of the spectrum, the following sectors bled more than 200 000 jobs over the last quarter:
Even more worrying is that fact that 40.1% of South Africans aged between 15 and 34 years are currently unemployed.
Beitbridge border set for major revamp
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the Beit Bridge border post, one of six large land ports of entry, has been identified for infrastructure development.
“The masterplan for the development of Beit Bridge has been finalised and we are in the process of appointing a service provider,” Motsoaledi said.
Addressing the media in Cape Town on Tuesday, Motsoaledi said the service provider will come from one of the five consortia that were approved in 2018.
“These consortia are made up of construction companies and related professional services, such as engineering firms,” Motsoaledi said.
Ports of entry will be developed in partnership with the private sector through public-private partnerships and with neighbouring countries, said the Minister.
“The partnership with our neighbouring countries centres on creating One Stop Border Posts (OSBP). This model means that people and trucks will be processed by both countries under one roof.
“When we move over to this model, people and trucks will only stop once at a border and be processed by both countries. We are pursuing the OSBP in association with other government agencies,” Motsoaledi said. (Source: SAnews)
Ramaphosa mourns passing of Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder
President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his deep sadness at the passing of Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala.
“The passing of Joseph Shabalala is a terribly sad moment for a nation and a world in whose ears the isicathamiya and mbube crafted by Ladysmith Black Mambazo will ring for generations to come,” said President Ramaphosa.
Shabalala passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 78, following illness.
President Ramaphosa offered his deep condolences to the family and friends of the veteran choral maestro as well as the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo which has, as a group, been in existence for six decades.
Shabalala’s passing comes as the world marks the 30th anniversary of the late icon and statesman Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. (Source: SAnews)
Two nabbed in Kempton Park with elephant tusks worth R1.2 million
Two men aged 40 and 42, are expected to appear before the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for illegal possession of and dealing in elephant tusks, specialist crime-fighting unit the Hawks said on Tuesday.
The duo was nabbed following an operation conducted by the Hawks’ serious organised crime investigation unit in Germiston, the endangered species team and the Ekurhuleni SWAT team.
The operation took place at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park on Monday following information that the suspects were selling elephant tusks. (Source: ANA)
Super Rugby: Stormers to target Lions fragile pack in derby – Ntubeni
Anybody who watched them struggle to beat the Reds in Johannesburg would be able to spot a glaring weakness in the Lions game.
The Lions scrum struggled against an inexperienced Reds pack which at one point deployed a makeshift front row. The set-piece proved problematic for a team that lean heavily on their gamebreakers and it has not gone unnoticed.
Stormers hooker Scarra Ntubeni feels their pack can exploit the Lions’ fragile pack and dominate the game when they come to Ellis Park on Saturday 15 February.
Dale Steyn eager to mentor young Proteas fast bowlers
Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn says he quit Test cricket to prolong his career and hopes to give back to the game by mentoring young bowlers.
Steyn has indicated that he may consider playing beyond the T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia later this year. His Test career fizzled out due to persistent injuries but the quick says he is enjoying his cricket at the moment.
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