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Thu, 17 Aug 2017
President Zuma to launch BRICS African Regional Centre

President Jacob Zuma will preside over the official launch of the African Regional Centre of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). The launch of the regional centre will take place in Sandton, Johannesburg.

“The BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] bloc of countries signed the agreement establishing the New Development Bank at the sixth BRICS Summit in July 2014 in Brazil,” said the Presidency on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the seventh BRICS Summit marked the entry into force of the agreement on the New Development Bank. The NDB headquarters were officially opened in Shanghai, China, in February 2016.

Another key resolution taken at the summit was to establish regional offices that would perform the important function of identifying and preparing proposals for viable projects that the bank could fund in their respective regions. President Zuma will be joined at the launch by the President of the NDB, Kundapur Vaman Kamath, Cabinet Ministers as well as other dignitaries.

Last week, the BRICS New Development Bank confirmed the appointment of National Treasury Director General, Dondo Mogajane, to the bank. The Director General was appointed as the new Director representing South Africa. The NDB was established by the BRICS countries to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects.

The bank, which lends money to developing countries to help finance infrastructure projects, is seen as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.


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Thu, 17 Aug 2017
Madiba’s centenary to be celebrated

The Presidency has announced plans to host centenary celebrations of the late international Statesman and first President of a free and democratic South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, which will take place next year.

President Jacob Zuma has appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), which will plan and coordinate the historic centenary celebrations of Tata Madiba.

President Nelson Mandela would turn 100 years old on 18 July 2018, had he lived.

The IMC will coordinate the country’s commemoration programme to ensure that the legacy and heritage of the great Statesman is celebrated in a befitting manner in 2018.

The IMC on the President Mandela Centenary comprises about 12 Ministers and will be chaired by Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe.

Other Ministers, who form part of the IMC, include Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, Higher Education and Training Minister Bonginkosi Nzimande, and Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo.

The Presidency said the Deputy Ministers of these Portfolios are alternate members of the IMC. President Zuma has wished the IMC all the best in their responsibilities.


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Thu, 17 Aug 2017
Department evolves to improve housing delivery

The Department of Human Settlements is changing the way it does things to deliver houses more efficiently to communities in need.  The department has put together a “3C protocol”, which will see better coordination, cooperation and collaboration in human settlement projects.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Tuesday said the 3C model will be used in the development of mega projects of no less than 15 000 rental, subsidised and mortgaged housing units.

“These projects will each provide housing for an estimated 45 000 to 60 000 individuals,” the Minister said at the UNISA Human Settlements Seminar held in Tshwane on Tuesday.

Held under the theme ‘How the human settlements sector is responding to the rapid increase of urbanisation in South Africa’, the seminar provided a platform for sharing information between government officials, academics and various practitioners in the human settlements sector.

It is aimed at seeking solutions to current challenges such as rapid urbanisation and transformation of cities.  Minister Sisulu said the successful delivery of mega projects requires integrated development planning, radical spatial transformation, mixed housing, security of tenure and urban renewal as a means of serving burgeoning urban populations.

Strengthened partnerships with the financial sector, developers, the built environment professions and communities were also necessary to mega project success, the Minister said.

Job creation

Minister Sisulu acknowledged the human settlement development as being good for job creation during and post development.

“Based on the Expanded Public Works Formula, it is estimated that in Gauteng alone, we will over the next 15 years directly create 250 000 jobs in construction of housing and infrastructure.”

The Minister said focus will be on the provision of basic services and infrastructure, community participation and skills development, livelihood creation, incremental housing development and support, social facilities such as clinics, schools and playgrounds, as well as safety and security.

Township regeneration and mining towns

The department will also revitalise old townships and support mining towns by improving infrastructure and housing, and supporting the development of businesses and recreational facilities.

“We will strive to change these settlements from ‘desperate and desolate’ to ‘positive and participating’. This will also include the rejuvenation of our inner cities and will be done by tracking down absent landlords or expropriating unused buildings where landlords cannot be traced, and assigning them for the purpose of building social housing next to places of work and student accommodation close to places of higher learning,” the Minister said.

Housing social compact

Minister Sisulu said the department has formed a social compact with all stakeholders, including development professions and academia.  She said that they have recognised that the existing development professions, including planners, architects and engineers, have very specialised knowledge in their own fields.

“In order to augment our implementation capacity, I have, however, become convinced that there is a need for a new class of trained professional to draw together all the strands of sustainable human settlement development. Hence, we have entered into a special relationship with a number of academic institutions, of which UNISA is one, to develop a curriculum and institute a study programme [...]

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