Posts Tagged ‘Johannesburg’
Johannesburg, June 8 (IANS) South Africa will this year celebrate the birthday of the country’s first black president and and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela in great style with a birthday song sung by hundreds of people. The anti-apartheid hero turns 94 this year.
Mandela, also known as “Madiba”, was born July 18, 1918. The song for his birthday will be officially launched June 18, giving the nation a month to create the mood for celebrations.
On May 29, more than 400 people assembled at the Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, Johannesburg to record the song for Mandela, Xinhua reported.
“This is just wonderful, giving South Africans an opportunity to come together and they will never cease to amaze you,” said Anitha Soni, trustee of the board of directors for Brand South Africa, an organisation responsible for promoting South Africa.
The celebrations are being sponsored by Brand South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Proudly South Africa, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education.
Schools and communities are being urged to prepare some colourful activities for the day.
“This one is very special as Madiba turns 94, and he became the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994,” said Proudly South Africa CEO Lesley Sedibe.
The song brought together politicians, musicians, TV personalities, sportsmen and business leaders together with ordinary citizens in the country, both South Africans and of other nationalities.
“We are celebrating a man who, when he came out of prison, brought South African together through his own humility when naysayers thought that South Africa was on the brink of collapse,” said former president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee Moss Mashishi.
Mandela was released Feb 11, 1990 and led the African National COngress to talks that ended the apartheid regime.
When elected president in 1994, Mandela did not call revenge and retribution against whites. Instead, he led a reconciliation process that amazed many African and international politicians. He campaigned for peace, unity and love among South Africans of all races and tribes.
Because of his astonishing character, the UN General Assembly in 2009 proclaimed July 18 as the annual International Mandela Day.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the aim of the day was “to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better and, in doing so, build a global movement for good”.
Johannesburg, June 6 (IANS) South Africa for the first time in two decades have dumped the traditional Boxing Day Test, played in Durban since Proteas re-entered international sport in 1992, in favour of Twenty20 internationals.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced Tuesday that the Boxing Day Test would be replaced with three Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand over the Christmas period. The first Test will now be played in Cape Town in the New Year.
CSA’s decision to dump the Boxing Day Test is a big blow for the oldest format of the game which is being threatened due to the increasing popularity of Twenty20s.
CSA chief executive Jacques Faul, however, defended the action and said it should not be taken as blow against Test cricket.
“We considered three important factors when we made the decision and in the end we decided it would make more sense to do it this way in terms of this tour,” Faul was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“We looked at the best interests of the national team, the fairness to the incoming team and the commercial aspect. I wouldn’t say the decision was only a financial one. We still feel strongly about Test cricket but we decided that to do it this way would be best,” he said.
The chief executive of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union was disappointed with CSA’s move.
“We are extremely disappointed to lose the Durban Test. It’s been a proud tradition to play this Test in Durban and it’s a great concern to us,” said Jesse Chellan, chief executive of KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union.
Faul asked fans not to read too much into the removal of the Boxing Day Test and said the itinerary was “the best fit” for the series against New Zealand which includes three T20s, two Tests and three ODIs.
Faul also said that the Boxing Day Test could also be renewed for the 2013-14 season when India tour South Africa.
CSA’s decision could also transpire from the fact that South African have lost their last four Boxing Day Tests at the same venue against Australia, England, India and Sri Lanka.
Johannesburg, June 3 (IANS) At least nine people died in South Africa Saturday when a minibus collided with a bus, police said.
The accident took place around 7.00 a.m. near the city of Nelspruit in eastern Mpumalanga province. Forty-five others were injured, some critically, Xinhua reported. The number of victims in each of the vehicles was not immediately known.
Johannesburg, May 31 (IANS) South Africa would maintain modest economic growth this year, with an expectation of a gradual recovery in domestic demand and supply, said the Reserve Bank.
The household consumption expenditure continues to provide the primary impetus to the recovery of the domestic economy, the bank said in its Monetary Policy Review (MPR), which is released twice a year.
“The probability of future growth remains high,” the bank said Wednesday, warning “the increased uncertainty in Europe and associated global financial market turbulence will pose a downside risk to the modest economic growth in the coming months in South Africa”, reported Xinhua.
The bank put the European debt crisis as the “single biggest risk to the global economic recovery”, saying confidence in the global economic recovery is extraordinarily fragile because of the still-unresolved sovereign debt crisis in Europe. The new economic entities in the world would face the possible risk of the financial shocks emanating from the European economic volatility, it said.
On Tuesday, Statistics South Africa said the South Africa’s GDP increased by 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012, slowing down from 3.2 percent in the last quarter in 2011.
Johannesburg, May 30 (IANS) South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has stressed the need for replacing coal with other energy sources, particularly nuclear energy. He said the country would build a large nuclear plant.
Boasting more than 25 years of experience in developing nuclear technology, South Africa possesses sound knowledge that makes it competent to run a large nuclear power plant, Motlanthe said in a video message Tuesday to the National Nuclear Energy Conference in Johannesburg, reported Xinhua.
“South Africa has developed the complex overall systems required to competently operate and maintain a large nuclear power plant. However, South Africa’s nuclear history goes back much further than that — it actually goes back to the mid-1940s, a period of over 60 years.
“This makes South Africa one of the oldest nuclear countries in the world. We have a long, proud history in the field of nuclear science,” Motlanthe said.
South Africa relies heavily on coal, which constitutes about 90 percent of the country’s energy sources.
“This scenario is strategically unwise over the longer term,” said Motlanthe.
He highlighted the need to produce electricity in other parts of the country to spread the electricity production points around the national grid.
“This is a strategically sensible approach, which requires us to use other energy sources in addition to coal. Nuclear power is ideal in this sense, because we can build large nuclear power plants at points around our southern coastline, and potentially elsewhere in the future,” he noted.
In its integrated resource plan, the government aims to increase the nuclear output to 9.6 GW by 2029. South Africa has the African continent’s only nuclear power station — the Koeberg, which is near Cape Town.
While developing nuclear energy, safety assurance was most important for public acceptance of the nuclear power industry, Motlanthe said.
South Africa’s good record in this respect should be maintained and enhanced as a primary foundation of the industry, he stressed.
He said foreign companies wishing to gain entry into nuclear power construction should ensure that they acquired the necessary quality assurance culture and practice at an early stage.
“South Africa possesses a well-established system of nuclear facility operations. This includes construction and process licensing, nuclear construction and fabrication regulation, health and safety monitoring, and the training of the required skilled personnel. All of this is directly linked to general safety considerations.”
Johannesburg, May 23 (IANS) At least 220 endangered rhinos were killed by poachers for their horns in South Africa since the beginning of this year, authorities said.
Among the slaughtered rhinos, 207 were killed in the Kruger National Park in the northeastern province of limpopo, and the reserves in the central northern province of the North West and the southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, said the Department of Environmental Affairs.
In 2011, a total of 448 rhinos were killed in South Africa, compared to 333 in 2010, reported Xinhua.
Conservationists have warned that the rhino in South Africa is facing its worst poaching crisis in decades.
If the killing trend continues at this rate, it is expected that at least 500 rhinos will be illegally slaughtered by the end of 2012.
A total of 146 arrests have been made in an effort to curb the illegal poaching of the rhino this year.
South Africa is home to the largest endangered rhino population in the world of about 20,000, having nearly 80 percent of the global total population of rhino.
Johannesburg, May 11 (IANS) Former South African Test fast bowler Makhaya Ntini has said the Proteas will need to galvanise their team culture before they are able to dominate Test cricket.
South Africa will face England in a Test series in July to claim the No.1 spot but Ntini warned that they could be up against a second opponent: themselves.
“Our players tend to perform better as individuals compared to as a team. That’s often their downfall and it’s something I don’t understand.
“Most of the South Africans who are playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) are performing very well. Perhaps that’s because they are playing in different teams and not together,” Ntini was quoted as saying by Business Day.
“When the guys play in the IPL or in our own provincial sides they perform excellently and that should also go for when they’re playing for the country. But when they are together they don’t peak as a team in the same way as they do when they are playing as individuals for other sides, and obviously we need the guys who are playing well now to also do so for SA.
“But they are like Lionel Messi. When he plays for Barcelona he does well, but when he plays for Argentina he doesn’t shine,” he said.
Johannesburg, May 11 (IANS) South Africa could replace their long standing wicket-keeper Mark Boucher with the talented Thami Tsolekile after the tour to England in July and August.
Boucher, 35, has been an iconic figure behind the stumps for the Proteas’ since making his Test debut in 1998. Now Cricket South Africa (CSA) is planning to use Boucher in a mentoring or coaching role.
The 31-year-old Tsolekile has played three Tests and 130 matches in a first-class record since 1999. He was given a central contract in February and was also will probably be chosen as Boucher’s understudy for the England tour.
“I’m probably a bit more relaxed than Mark when it comes to aggression. But I always try to play my cricket as hard as I can. If you ask my (Highveld Lions) team-mates, they will tell you how hard I am in the field. That tends to bring out the best in me,” Tsolekile was quoted as saying in the South African media.
Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee it would be unfair to compare Boucher and Tsolekile’s aggression.
“That would be unfair because everybody’s personality is different,” Moosajee said. “But I’ve noticed that Thami can also be quite busy and vociferous behind the stumps. His personality type and his angle on the game is slightly different, but a lot of the time with the experience comes the confidence.”
Johannesburg, April 27 (IANS) South Africa wants to build up local businesses as it expands its nuclear power capacity, the country’s Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said.
“It is not just about building (nuclear) power plants, but how we build them,” Peters said at a nuclear seminar Thursday. “We are not about to turn South Africans into mixers of concrete.”
She made the remarks amid speculations that the South African government would invite foreign bidders to build six additional nuclear reactors with an estimated cost of 300 billion rand (about $38 billion). The projects are designed to generate 9,600 MW of electricity by 2029, reported Xinhua.
Peters did not say what contracts would be offered or how much of the business would be set aside for local companies.
While there are a range of opportunities for foreign companies, there also exists the possibility that South Africa would one day export its own nuclear power know-how, the minister said.
She said that the country is not only building new reactors, but also mining more of its uranium resources and developing a nuclear waste management system.
There is no rush to develop nuclear energy, she said, adding that nuclear safety remains a top priority for the government.
South Africa has the African continent’s only nuclear power station — the Koeberg, which is near Cape Town.
The station was shut down twice in September and October last year for repairs, raising concerns about nuclear security.
Johannesburg, April 26 (IANS) South African Test captain Graeme Smith is recovering well after undergoing surgery on his left ankle three weeks ago.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) said in a statement that its medical team was satisfied with Smith’s progress and hoped that the batsman might be fit for the tour to England in July.
“Graeme has responded well to the surgery on his ankle and started with his rehabilitation programme this week. His rehabilitation will start off very lightly with the physiotherapist in Cape Town, and will become more rigorous as the weeks progress before he can start with cricket specific training towards the end of May,” Proteas’ team manager Mohammed Moosajee wa quoted as saying by SAPA.
“We are very pleased with the progress he is making and at this stage he is on target to be fit for the tour to England,” he said.
Smith said he was glad to be recovering well.
“It was slightly frustrating for me after the surgery because I had to move around in a cast, so it’s good to be back on both feet again. The ankle is still a bit painful but I’m working hard with the physio and hopefully I will be holding a cricket bat soon,” Smith said.
“The tour to England is an important one for the Proteas and I’m confident that I will be 100 percent fit and able to lead the team by then,” he added.
Johannesburg, April 26 (IANS) Cricket South Africa (CSA) have refused Bangladesh’s offer for a cricket series in May citing hectic schedule of its national cricketers.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had offered to pay the full cost of a series comprising Twenty20 and ODI matches either at home or in South Africa.
“Unfortunately there are too many practical obstacles that prevent us from accepting this commitment,” acting CSA chief executive Jacques Faul said in a statement.
“At the moment most of our senior Proteas are spread around the world in England and India and those who are at home are undergoing rehabilitation from injuries picked up during the past season.
“We also have to bear in mind that the Proteas’ Castle Lager squad has a hectic schedule ahead of it with very important tours to England and Australia with the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka sandwiched in between,” he said.
“We have always enjoyed our contests with Bangladesh and we look forward to playing them again in the future. They have been playing very good cricket of late, including reaching the final of the recent Asia Cup competition,” said Faul.
The propose also didn’t get the green signal from South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA).
Tony Irish, chief executive of SACA, said some of their players were plying their trade in English county while others were playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and they were not given much time to organise an overseas tour.
“Unfortunately this request has come through very late in the day by which stage most of the senior players had committed themselves to professional contracts abroad and it would be unfair to ask them to renege on them,” Irish was quoted as saying by SAPA.
“The Proteas’ team management and players have also put their plans in place in the build-up to their tour of England and it would be impossible to change them at this stage. It is going to be a very tough tour and we will need a fully fresh and fit squad for this engagement,” he said.
Johannesburg, April 24 (IANS) A 25-year-old Vietnamese man was arrested here when he was trying to leave the country with three rhino horns, authorities said Monday.
The customs officers at the OR Tambo International Airport found the horns Sunday when they were searching his bags, the SA Revenue Service (SARS) said.
The horns weighed about 13.9 kg in total and had an estimated street value of 7.5 million rands (about $900,000), Xinhua reported.
The man had travelled to South Africa before and he was being closely monitored when he was arrested, SARS spokesperson Adrian Lackay said.
There has been a growing demand for rhino horn in Vietnam where it is a luxury item, used as a post-partying cleanser and a purported cancer cure. But there is no scientific proof for this.
About 180 rhinos were poached this year in South Africa, according to wildlife officials. The government has appealed to the public to assist in fighting rhino poaching.