Posts tagged as: parliament

South Africa: Minister Eyes R20 Billion in Med Scheme Tax Credits for NHI Fund

Cape Town — Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, says the tax credits that are being earmarked for the establishment of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Fund amount to R20 billion.

The Minister said this when he tabled the Department of Health’s Budget Vote in the Old Assembly Chamber in Parliament on Tuesday.

This comes after former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his February Budget Speech that government was looking at setting up a NHI Fund and that in setting up the proposed fund, a number of options would be explored, including possible adjustments to the tax credit on medical scheme contributions.

“… The tax credits mentioned in the February 2017 Budget Speech by Treasury is a whooping R20 billion. Yes, R20 billion that in 2015 and annually will leave the fiscus through the SA Revenue Service [and] back to the pockets of people simply because they are members of a medical aid scheme (sic),” the Minister said on Tuesday.

Addressing Members of Parliament, the Minister said returning these tax credits back to medical aid schemes, instead of using it for universal health coverage, did not make sense.

The Minister said the time has come to use the fund to level the playing fields and provide services that would benefit the less privileged.

“This is the worst form of social injustice committed in the name of the cream of the South African society with our full participation… We believe the time to change and move towards economic equity as O.R Tambo had declared, has now arrived.

“We are proposing that the first step towards implementation of NHI is to pick up those who are outside the system of medical aids and provide services for them through the NHI Fund, which must be created from, among others, the R20 billion tax credits,” he said.

What the NHI can be used for

Minister Motsoaledi said, meanwhile, that in a massive reorganisation of school health during the first phase of the NHI pilot, the department has completed the screening of 3.2 million school kids for physical barriers to learning, including eyesight, hearing, speech and oral health.

He said a total of 500 004 school kids were found to have several problems. This includes 8 891 children with speech problems that will need a speech therapist; 34 094 children with hearing problems that will need an audiologist or maybe hearing aids; 119 340 with eyesight problems that will need an optometrist, ophthalmologist or maybe spectacles, and 337 679 children with oral health problems that may need a dentist, dental therapist or oral hygienists.

Minister Motsoaledi said the NHI Fund will, once established, be used to help the 500 000 children that have been screened.

“We will provide free antenatal care in the form of eight visits to a doctor to each of the 1.2 million women who fall pregnant annually. We would also provide them with family planning, provide for breast and cervical cancer screening as well as treatment where appropriate,” he said.

The Minister said through the fund, the department would also be able to provide better services for mental health users including screening and subsequent services.

The elderly would also benefit by being given assistive devices like spectacles, hearing aids and wheelchairs. The department would also be able to provide assistive devices to people living with disabilities.

“We will also deal with the backlog of blindness caused by cataracts. The backlog is now 270 000 elderly people who are presently blind and are awaiting cataract removal.

“We can perform 90 000 operations a year for the next three years to clear the backlog. This to us will be the beginning of revolutionising the way healthcare is provided in our country,” Minister Motsoaledi said.

South Africa: Parliament Calls Brown and Eskom Board to Appear On Friday After DA Request

press releaseBy Natasha Mazzone MP

The Acting Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, Daphne Rantho, has this morning agreed to the DA’s request that Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, and the Eskom Board be hauled before the Committee to account for the Molefe fiasco as well as the disastrous state of Eskom.

Minister Brown and the Board will be called to Parliament on Friday, 19 May 2017, for an extraordinary sitting.

At this meeting, the DA will push for a firm commitment that a full-scale parliamentary inquiry be instituted urgently. We will directly request Minister Lynne Brown, and the Eskom Board to voluntarily submit to a full-scale Parliamentary inquiry, as it is the only mechanism that can truly hold Eskom to account and uncover how Brian Molefe came to be returned to Eskom.

The DA do not believe that Minister Brown or Eskom Board Chair Ben Ngubane can leave Parliament on Friday without agreeing to a such a full-scale investigation.

The DA will also directly call on the ANC members of the committee to support us in this call. The ANC has in recent days made much of their opposition to Molefe’s return to Eskom, yet hypocritically it is the very ANC policy of cadre deployment and cadre re-deployment that has resulted in this fiasco.

If the ANC is serious about opposing what is going on at Eskom it will support our call for a Parliamentary inquiry.

This is vital so that we can, once and for all, get to the bottom of the cause of the rot that has set in at Eskom.

The trickle of allegations of corruption and capture emanating from Eskom has now turned into a waterfall that simply beggars belief.

South Africans face corruption scandals on a daily basis. It is time for Parliament to perform its oversight role and fully investigate the shocking allegations and to ensure that those who are implicated, directly or indirectly are faced with the full might of the law.

Natasha Mazzone MP

DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises

South Africa

Families of Trapped Lily Mine Workers Each Paid R200 000 – Labour Union

The families of the three trapped Lily Mine workers have each been paid a lump sum of R200 000. Read more »

South Africa: Life Esidimeni Progress Report to Be Handed Over to Speaker

Cape Town — Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he will soon give Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, a progress report on the implementation of the Life Esidimeni Ombudsman’s report.

The Minister said this when he tabled the department’s Budget Vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

This comes after the Ombudsman report, which was released in February, found that 94 mentally ill patients died after being removed from Life Healthcare Esidimeni to 27 NGOs.

In late 2016, Minister Motsoaledi requested the Health Ombudsman, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths of these patients amid a national outcry.

The report found that all the 27 NGOs to which the patients were transferred operated under invalid licences and all patients who died at these facilities died under unlawful circumstances.

Tabling the department’s Budget Vote debate on Tuesday, the Minister said the nation is still in mourning about the terrible events that took place at Life Esidimeni in Gauteng.

He said he will soon hand over a report to the Speaker’s Office to outline progress made so far in implementing the 18 recommendations of the Health Ombud.

Giving highlights of the progress report, the Minister said the first recommendation was that the Gauteng Mental Health Marathon Project be de-established. He said this has already been done.

In relation to five recommendations that dealt with those who are fingered by the Ombud’s report, the Minister said disciplinary processes have commenced according to the legal framework of the country.

He said on the recommendation for matters to be probed by SA Police Service and forensic investigators: “I can confirm that SAPS has started with investigations long ago.

“Yesterday, the National Prosecuting Authority asked for all the files to start preparing them for an inquest for each and every person who passed on and to decide who must be prosecuted.

“Recommendation nine on asking the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate human rights violations has been done on the 9th February and the SAHRC has commenced with their work,” he said.

He said the SAPS and NPA were processing a recommendation for legal proceedings to be instituted against NGOs that acted unlawfully.

“Recommendation 11 is about de-registering NGOs that do not meet the standard as well as closing them down and revoking licences.

“I can hereby report that the Ombud cited 27 NGOs in his report. We have relocated all the Life Esidimeni patients from 20 NGOs.

“There are seven NGOs where we did not relocate patients because some families have refused that their loved ones be relocated, and in some cases, patients themselves because they were extremely agitated and refused to get into ambulances during the relocation process,” he said.

The Minister said 14 of the 20 NGOs where patients were removed have been closed down and the remaining six remain open because they are conducting other business other than Life Esidimeni business.

“We will deal with them in due course as part of a routine operation.”

Tanzania: Let Teen Mothers Go Back to School – It’s Their Right!

editorial

We consider it strange that some of our MPs, people we elect to make (good) laws to guide our country to prosperity, have the temerity to argue that a girl who becomes a mother mustn’t be allowed to go back to class after giving birth. Very strange, coming from MPs!

What emerged on Saturday during the debate on the Education ministry’s debate on 2017/18 budget estimates is most disappointing, to say the least. Why, an MP, amid applause from a section of the august House, stood up to oppose a Parliamentary committee’s request to Parliament to push for a policy change to allow young mothers to be in class.

What does the lady MP want a 16-year-old girl mother to do with her life after giving birth? Remain at her parent’s homestead, helping with domestic chores as her age mates learn to be our future doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers… ?

It doesn’t require a Unesco-funded research to find out that such mothers are the every kind of young women who don’t take long before they are made pregnant again, then again… as they try using their bodies to earn money for raising their “fatherless’ child or children.

It embarrasses us that we have to remind our MPs about what is actually very obvious: education is a human right. Yes, accessing education is a basic right of everyone in this country–as it is the case in all modern societies.

Right to education

The right to education has been globally recognised as a human right in a number of international conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which recognises a right to free, compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all, in particular by the progressive introduction of free secondary education, as well as an obligation to develop equitable access to higher education, ideally by the progressive introduction of free higher education.

The right to education also includes a responsibility to provide basic education for individuals who haven’t completed primary education. In addition to these, access to education provisions, the right to education encompasses the obligation to avoid discrimination at all levels of the educational system. Now why should we discriminate girls, simply because they have become mothers?

While no one in their right minds will encourage schoolgirls to go out of their way to be mothers, the fact is, a lot of our daughters make the mistake–or are lured to make the mistake–that renders them pregnant. But that shouldn’t mean ending their dream of getting an education.

Doing that would be punishing a child for a mistake which, in many cases, isn’t hers. Even under our good laws, as an 18-year-old, she is below the age of consent. In some ways, they don’t even qualify for mainstream prosecution. Why should minors be punished with denial of access to education?

Our view is: teach our daughters to avoid premarital sex; how to say “No” and stick to it; about the science of how not to get pregnant.

In a word, enlighten them. Now, if a girl gets pregnant despite that, let her give birth, then allow her back to school to and better her chances of being productive and more useful citizen of this growing country.

Museveni, Speaker Kadaga Criticize Police Over Torture

Photo: The Observer

IGP Kale Kayihura addressing the press at parliament.

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

The police leadership yesterday appeared to have run out of places and people to hide behind over alleged torture of suspected criminals, after President Museveni and Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga separately spoke out against the sordid practice.

In a letter to the heads of the army, police and intelligence services, Museveni said acts of torture must stop. On the other hand, Kadaga told parliament that the police officers responsible for the torture of suspects should be charged for committing crime against humanity.

Further condemnation of police brutality came from the minister for security, Lt Gen (rtd) Henry Tumukunde, who told Police to own up when they do wrong.

Museveni, in a letter addressed to Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen Kale Kayihura and the director general of the Intelligence Services, disparaged the police for using torture as a means of extracting confessions form suspects.

He said by doing so, the security agencies are likely to commit three possible mistakes that may even interfere with the fight against crime.

“Number one, you may torture the wrong person, somebody who is totally innocent. This is very unfair.

Secondly, somebody may admit guilt when he is innocent in order to be spared being tortured. This will make the real criminal escape in order to commit more crimes later,” Museveni wrote.

“Thirdly, confessions by the criminals are not necessary. Even if the suspects do not admit their guilt, if the investigators do their work well (finger-prints, photographs, DNA tests, eyewitnesses, the use of other scientific methods, the use of dogs etc), the criminals can get convicted,” the president further wrote.

Museveni’s statement came against a backdrop of distressing images of the LC-III chairman of Kamwenge town council, Geoffrey Byamukama, who has for some time been hospitalized at Nakasero hospital after being tortured by police officers investigating the recent murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, a former police spokesperson.

Days before Byamukama’s plight was brought to the fore last week, 15 other suspects in the murder had cried to the Nakawa chief magistrate about the torture they were subjected to at police’s detention facility at Nalufenya, Jinja municipality.

Police spokesman Asan Kasingye tried to downplay the suspects’ claims, saying the suspects had got their injuries elsewhere, but not in police custody at Nalufenya.

While the government could make up with such a claim, Byamukama’s fresh wounds offered bad publicity for the government at both the local and the international fronts that it got the highest offices in the land speaking against them.

“The use of torture is unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again if it was being used as I see some groups claiming in the media,” Museveni wrote.

WHY PANIC?

The president warned his security chiefs against acting in panic, reminding them of their efforts against rebel groups led by Alice Lakwena, Joseph Kony and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who despite being heavily supported by external forces were defeated by the UPDF.

“We cannot fail to cope with cowards using boda bodas to kill people who are peacefully sitting in their cars or walking along the streets,” Museveni said.

He added that with a little adjustment, the government shall avenge the deaths of the various Muslim clerics, state attorney Joan Kagezi and security officers who have been murdered over the past years.

“Our annoyance with these criminals should not make us opt for defective shortcuts. These are hardened criminals by default who think that by denying, they can kill and escape accountability. However, we shall get them using patient means of evidence but not through torture because evidence through torture is not reliable,” Museveni stated.

His letter was copied to his deputy Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, ministers Gen Jeje Odongo (Internal Affairs), Adolf Mwesige (Defense and Veteran Affairs), Esther Mbayo Mbalabukuza (Presidency), Sam Kutesa (Foreign Affairs) and Frank Tumwebaze (Information and Communications Technology).

PARLIAMENT

In an emotive address to parliament yesterday, Kadaga, reading from Article 24 of the Constitution which prohibits use of any form of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as punishment, said the perpetrators should be charged in courts of law as opposed to the police disciplinary committee.

“How can one explain the electric shock, the knocking out of teeth, the breaking of knee caps, the ironing of a person’s body, the introduction of noxious [harmful] substances into the orifices of a person?” Kadaga wondered as she cited the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012.

“I want to demand on behalf of the citizens that we need to see justice done. Torture is not an issue of the Police disciplinary committee. It is a matter of crime against humanity, it is a breach of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, and the perpetrators must be arrested [and] charged in an open court,” she added to the applause of the lawmakers.

Kadaga spoke in a raised voice as the government front bench led by Ruth Nankabirwa, the government chief whip, prepared a response.

The speaker stretched her concern to the 12 underage children who were kept under police detention for nearly two months following the arrest of their parents. One of them was a two-year-old baby.

Their father Abu Rashid Mbaziira and mothers Aisha Ampiire and Fatumah Bint Salim were arrested in connection with Kaweesi’s murder but even when Ampiire and Fatumah were released, the police held onto the children.

“It is a cardinal principle of law that children under the age of 12 have no legal capacity to commit an offense; we expect a statement [from the ministry of Internal Affairs],” Kadaga said.

She drew the ministry to Section 244 of the Penal Code Act which qualifies the liable police officers to a 10-year jail term.

“Those officers have indeed been holding the children for even one-day leave alone the whole month are liable for prosecution under Penal Code 120 of the laws of Uganda,” the Kamuli Woman MP said.

PARLIAMENTARY INVESTIGATION

Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi Sempala told the House the police are still holding three more children. Their mother, Naggayi said, even after being subjected to a DNA test which matched those of the children, was told by the police that she could not take the children until she produces their father.

The mother, according to Naggayi’s submission to parliament, is a resident of Ishaka in Bushenyi district. Shadow Attorney General Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) moved a motion without notice under Rule 50(1)(b) for parliament to institute a select committee of parliament to investigate the acts of torture and abductions by the police.

However, Kadaga ruled out the option of a select committee on grounds that it would take a lot of time but said she would give the former NRM legislator time to move a formal motion.

This was after Nankabirwa told the House that all the officers involved will be brought to book. Speaking at a national dialogue on the role of the media in promoting good and bad social and economic development of the country held yesterday at the President’s office buildings, the minister for Security Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, urged security officers found at fault to own up for their wrongs.

“Whoever among us is at fault, it’s an honourable thing to own up. The mission of coming together is to interface security with press because we both have a duty to defend the population [and] by the end of the day, we need to have come to a conclusion of what accountability in a democracy is,” Tumukunde said.

Before Parliament, the state minister for internal affairs, Mario Obiga-Kania, apologised for the torture of suspects. He informed parliament that the police have already arrested four officers for criminal trial in the courts of law.

“We apologise to the country and to you parliament because, essentially, whatever we do, the result should not be what was seen in the media. We are equally concerned about the laws being broken,” the minister said.

Send Army to Curb Coast Killings – Opposition

Photo: Morgan Mbabazi/The East African

Tanzanian soldiers in training (file photo).

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — The Opposition camp in Parliament yesterday asked the government to deploy the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) in three districts of Coast Region to halt the wave of killings.

In his alternative budget speech, the Deputy Shadow Minister for Defence and National Service, Mr Mwita Waitara (Ukonga-Chadema), said the Opposition was concerned by the series of attacks by unknown assailants that have so far resulted into the deaths of 30 people, mostly local government leaders. Police officers have also not been spared either.

Mr Waitara termed the incidents “terror attacks” perpetrated by well-trained individuals, that is why they have so far managed to escape arrest, without their names known or whereabouts exposed.

“There’s every indication that police have been tactically beaten by the terrorists. It is for this reason, the Opposition suggests that the TPDF, especially its intelligence unit, should chip in and assist in collecting intelligence and reconnaissance information to expose and take on the killers,” reads the Opposition speech.

The latest victim was gunned down on Saturday. The assailants’ motives have remained a mystery. The most affected districts are Mkuranga, Kibiti and Rufiji in Coast region.

Police have tightened their guard in the area, but that alone did not stop them from falling prey to the merciless assailants. In April 14 seven police were gunned down. They were returning to camp after a daylong shift. Their camp is 100km from Dar es Salaam and was established in response to activities linked to a shadowy group along the coast that has mounted sporadic attacks on security personnel and local leaders.

The Minister for Home Affairs last week told the parliament as he was tabling his office’s budget that the government plans to establish a special police zone in Kibiti to arrest the wave of brutal killings in the area.

Earlier, reading his budget speech in parliament, the Minister for Defence and National Service Dr Hussein Mwinyi said TPDF has continued to work shoulder to shoulder with other security organs to flush out among other things terror elements in the country.

“TPDF participated in Operation Amboni II IN Tanga region from May, 2016 to December, 2016 where the gunmen were contained,” said Dr Mwinyi.

The minister also asked the Parliament to pass his estimates of Sh1.72 trillion. According to the minister, Sh1.5 trillion would be for recurrent expenditure and Sh219 billion would go towards development.

For this ending year, the ministry was allocated with Sh1.73 trillion and as of April 2017 Sh1.19 trillion or 69.1 per cent had already been disbursed.

Tanzania

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East African Community (EAC) partner states are divided on the proposed financing mechanisms to bail out the… Read more »

Tanzania: Incorporation of Oil, Gas in Vocational Training On Cards

Dodoma — IMPLEMENTATION of plans to incorporate oil and gas studies into curriculum of vocational training is now in the pipeline, the Parliament was told .

The Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) will thereafter make all its colleges teach their students those subjects in line with the current boom in the sector.

The project, to craft the features of the oil and gas subjects into the curriculum, is being undertaken by the government in partnership with Norway under the Oil for Development Project.

Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Deputy Minister, Engineer Stella Manyanya told the National Assembly that the implementation of the programme will cost 20 million US dollars.

Eng Manyanya unveiled the plan as she was responding to a question posed by Special Seat MP, Esther Mmasi (CCM) who wanted to know as to whether the government has any plans to include oil and natural gas studies in the country’s vocational training curriculum.

Ms Mmasi told the Parliament that as the government is currently gearing up towards industrialization, it was prudent to impart local youth with oil and natural gas knowledge so as to enable them acquire employment opportunities in the relevant sector.

Responding, Eng Manyanya detailed that in 2012 and 2013, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals in cooperation with Brazil-based Petrobras Company organized a special training on diverse topics pertaining to oil and natural gas to at least 350 local youths.

In another development, he reiterated that the project for the construction of the major pipeline to transport crude oil from Hoima (Uganda) to Tanga (Tanzania) will provide employment to more than 11,000 Tanzanians.

Deputy Minister Manyanya told the National Assembly that the two countries are currently in talks to ensure effective implementation of the project.

He was responding to Ms Mmasi’s basic question that demanded government’s explanation on when it will start implementation of the project, in order to provide employment opportunities to Tanzanian youth.

Tanzania

States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

East African Community (EAC) partner states are divided on the proposed financing mechanisms to bail out the… Read more »

Plastic Bags Ban Benefits Exceed Burdens, Says CS Judi Wakhungu

By Samwel Owino

Environment and natural resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu has accused the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) of dishonesty and exaggerating figures on the number of jobs that could be lost when the ban on plastic bags takes effect in September.

Appearing before the National Assembly’s Environment Committee, Prof Wakhungu accused KAM of not telling the truth and promised to provide the exact figure at a later date.

“I want to assure the public that the figures being put by KAM of the job loss are exaggerated and they know the truth as we have been engaging over time. The number of jobs that will be created will be more than those lost,” the CS told MPs.

“The issue of good faith is important here and KAM should tell Kenyans the truth. We have all records of our engagement and will table them,” she added.

BAN IMPOSED

The manufacturers’ lobby had earlier said the ban imposed by the minister will lead to loss of about 600,000 jobs and indirect employment through retailers, wholesalers and outlets.

But the CS accused KAM of always making an about-turn and asking for more time whenever they inch close to a deal on the ban.

“This has been going on for the last 15 years and it is now time to implement the ban,” Prof Wakhungu said, adding: “The association knew 15 years ago that this day would come.”

On February 28, the minister published a legal notice announcing a ban on both domestic and commercial use of plastic bags from September.

She said the proposal had received a lot of support, especially from pastoral communities, who said plastic bags have been the major cause of death of their livestock.

SAFEGUARD ENVIRONMENT

Several MPs supported the CS on the ban, saying the country needs to have alternatives that safeguard the environment.

Emuhaya MP Wilber Ottichilo said the impact of the ban is more beneficial to the economy than the few job losses KAM is worrying about.

“The negative effect of the ban to our economy is just 10 per cent, we stand to gain 90 per cent and more jobs will be created when the ban is implemented,” said Dr Ottichilo.

Bungoma County Woman Representative Reginalda Wanyonyi said plastic bags had caused more harm to the economy, especially on sectors such as agriculture and tourism.

“I fully support the ban, the plastic bags have caused more problems and job losses and the ban is appropriate.”

KAM has asked Parliament to suspend the implementation of the notice on grounds that the six-month grace period to stop manufacture and use of plastic bags is too short.

Kenya

EU Trade Deal, Funding Mechanism Top Agenda of Region’s Summit

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South Africa: DA Requests Briefing On Current State of South Africa’s Cyber Security Following Global Cyber-Attacks

Photo: This Day

Describing it as the biggest cyber attack in history, Roi Shaposhnik of Johannesburg-based Gold N’ Links Cyber said syndicates around the world targeted a weak spot in Microsoft security updates which lead to a massive crash (file photo).

press releaseBy George Michalakis MP

The DA notes with concern reports that the recent global cyber ransom attack has also spread to South Africa. The attack is considered to be the biggest global cyber-attack in history.

The DA will therefore request that the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence receives a briefing from the State Security Agency on the current state of South Africa’s cyber security.

Our economy loses billions of Rands through fraud and phishing attacks annually. These recent attacks will undoubtedly have even further major implications for the economy and state security.

The Cyber Crimes and Cyber Security Bill is set to be introduced to Parliament, almost 16 years after South Africa signed the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and the seriousness of the recent attacks only confirms the need for South Africa to do all that we can to improve our cyber security and to protect our infrastructure from attacks.

The fact is that some sectors within South Africa are woefully unprepared to deal with cyber-attacks, the effect of which can be utterly devastating.

More on This

#CyberAttack – Africans Warned Against Suspicious Emails


Rwanda On Alert Over Latest Cyber Threat#AfrSS2017 – a ‘Kill Switch’ Is Slowing the Spread of Wannacry RansomwareDo Not Open Unknown Emails‘Nigeria Likely Target of Worldwide Cyber Attack’

A case in point is that the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services website, Cybersecurity Hub, set up for the purpose of reporting incidents and communicating existing threats to the public, has not been updated since October 2016 and is only expected to be officially in force from March 2020.Government is also yet to come up with a national public awareness campaign to educate the public on threats to cyber security – a vital component in addressing these threats.The recent cyber-attacks have managed to cripple the British National Health Service and our own government departments are not immune to such threats.Apart from government departments, key infrastructure of the State and state-owned enterprises, banks, the private sector and private individuals are at risk.The risk of further cyber-attacks still exists and we, therefore, need to be prepared.The fact is that cyber security is becoming an increasingly vital component of South Africa’s overall security.It is therefore very important that we know the current state of our country’s cyber security so that we can fully understand what needs to be done to improve and therefore protect our country from cyber-attacks.George Michalakis MPDA Member on Security and Justice in the NCOPMore on ThisRwanda On Alert Over Latest Cyber Threat

Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) has pledged stronger cooperation with the public in enhancing cyber security… Read more »

South Africa: Eskom – DA Requests Ramatlhodi’s Damning Allegations Be Added to Parliamentary Inquiry

press releaseBy Natasha Mazzone MP

The damning allegations by the former Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, that Eskom’s then CEO Brian Molefe and Chairperson Ben Ngubane tried to force him to withdraw Glencore’s Optimum mining licences in a bid to help the Gupta’s takeover Glencore’s coal mines, are astounding and deserve a full scale investigation as part of the Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom which the DA has requested.

The DA has already written to Parliament’s Chair of Chairs, Cederic Frolick, to ask that Parliament’s Public Enterprises committee launch a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into Eskom, without delay.

I have this morning written to Mr Frolick to urge that these most recent “Ramatlhodi allegations” also be investigated in the course of the inquiry and that Mr Frolick urgently provides a timeline for the inquiry.

We demand that this matter receives the utmost urgency and is taken with full seriousness by Parliament, and this requires a full-scale Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom, including the new “Ramatlhodi allegations,” as soon as possible.

With each passing day, there are more and more allegations that Eskom, under Brian Molefe, has been looted for the benefit of one family, who are apparently at the heart of a project, headed by President Jacob Zuma, to capture our country for their own self-enrichment. This is also revealed in the state capture report.

That Brian Molefe was allegedly prepared to put the jobs and livelihoods of approximately 35 000 Glencore employees at risk, to help the Gupta’s essentially hi-jack Glencore’s mines, is simply appalling.

This must not be allowed to stand. Parliament must investigate and must expose the rot within Eskom, calculated to benefit the Gupta’s at public expense.

The fact that the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, has seen fit to reappoint the man at the centre of so many damning allegations, including the Public Protector’s ‘State of Capture’ report, as the head of Eskom has been widely rejected by South Africa and now Parliament must hear the voices of these outraged South Africans.

Our court action, filed yesterday against Mr Molefe, is the first step to prevent him doing further harm to Eskom, and further entrenching the Gupta’s foothold, but Parliament must also exercise its oversight mandate to its fullest extent.

The South African public deserve to know exactly what is going on at Eskom and that there will be consequences for those found to be putting their own narrow interests above those of our country.

A full-scale Parliamentary inquiry will allow for all of Eskom’s dirty dealings to be exposed, and therefore such an inquiry must go ahead urgently.

Natasha Mazzone MP

DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises

South Africa

Cape Town Recommends Level 4 Water Restrictions

The City of Cape wants to introduce Level 4 water restrictions which would ban all use of municipal water for outside… Read more »

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