South Africa, Zambia strengthen ties

first_imgZuma and Banda also called for sanctions against Zimbabwe to be dropped. A SADC troika is due to meet to discuss Zimbabwe in January. President Jacob Zuma said in Pretoria on Thursday that the agreements would not only benefit the two countries, but Africa as a whole, as they would assist in the eradication of poverty. South Africa is Zambia’s largest exporter, and Zuma acknowledged the importance of increasing trade and bilateral relations: “Such warm historical ties must translate into stronger economic, social and developmental relations between our two countries,” he said. “We both welcome the progress being made to implement the agreement in the field of energy . We are happy that our energy utilities Eskom and Zesco are working well together to the extent that they are negotiating an agreement, which we hope will be signed soon,” said Zuma. Addressing trade decline South Africa and Zambia have increased their scope of cooperation by signing new agreements in environmental management and natural resources. The two leaders, who are at the fore of regional efforts to end Zimbabwe’s long running political crisis, said the sanctions were an obstacle to finding a lasting solution to the crisis. 3 December 2010 “Our historic relations, which were cemented during the difficult days of our liberation struggles against colonialism and apartheid, continue to inspire us to do more to address developmental challenges facing our respective countries,” Zuma said. Despite South Africa being the largest exporter to Zambia, the trade balance shows a steady decline in South African exports, which were valued at R11.2-billion and R7-billion in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Historic relations Zimbabwean sanctions The same decline applies to imports, as the statistics show R1.6-billion in 2009 and R1.4-billion in 2010. Zuma was speaking during a state banquet in honour of Zambian President Rupiah Banda, who is in the country for a two-day state visit aimed at discussing economic cooperation. The success of the cooperation will be measured by the extent and vigor with which the implementation of the agreement is carried out, he added. Source: BuaNews He said the meeting in Pretoria noted with satisfaction the progress made in many areas of cooperation since a South African delegation visit to Lusaka last year. The situation led to Banda making a call for action to be taken to redress the decline: “It’s something that concerns us, but we have agreed that there are ways that things can be done to address the problem,” Banda said. Zuma is the Southern African Development Community (SADC) official mediator in talks between Zimbabwe’s three ruling political parties, while Banda chairs the region’s special organ on security that oversees the mediation effort. The European Union, United States, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand have refused to lift visa and financial sanctions against Mugabe and his top officials, imposed eight years ago as punishment for allegedly stealing elections, human rights violations and failure to uphold the rule of law. Last year alone, the two countries signed six agreements on energy, agriculture, health, trade, mining and diplomatic consultations, and Zuma said this was a good foundation on which to work together to fight poverty and ensure economic growth and development in both countries. Zuma and Banda further resolved to ensure that trade relations between the two countries were managed in a manner that benefited both sides.last_img read more

Million-year-old artifacts found in South Africa

first_img28 July 2014 South African and Canadian archaeologists have uncovered tens of thousands of Earlier Stone Age artifacts, including hand axes and other tools, estimated to be up to one-million years old, at a site at the town of Kathu in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. The scientists, from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and University of Toronto, published the first detailed information on the Kathu Townlands site, one of the richest early prehistoric archaeological sites in South Africa, in the journal PLOS ONE last week. The Kathu Townlands site, which is estimated to be between 700 000 and one-million years old, is one component of a grouping of prehistoric sites known as the Kathu Complex. Other sites in the complex include Kathu Pan 1, which has produced fossils of animals such as elephants and hippos, as well as the earliest known evidence of tools used as spears from a level dated to half-a-million years ago. According to the study, the latest research results confirm the “remarkably high artefact density” of an extraordinarily rich archaeological deposit whose full extent has yet to be determined. Such is its richness, workmen in the area have reportedly used gravel “composed primarily of artefacts” in order to repair roads. “We need to imagine a landscape around Kathu that supported large populations of human ancestors, as well as large animals like hippos,” Professor Michael Chazan, director of the Archaeology Centre at the University of Toronto and one the co-authors of the study, said in a statement issued by the two universities on Friday. “All indications suggest that Kathu was much wetter, maybe more like the Okavango than the Kalahari. There is no question that the Kathu Complex presents unique opportunities to investigate the evolution of human ancestors in southern Africa.” But the scientific challenges posed by the density of early human traces in the area are outweighed by the more immediate challenges posed by development in what is, today, a major iron mining centre. “The site is amazing and it is threatened,” the lead author of the journal paper, Steven James Walker from the Department of Archaeology at UCT, said on Friday. “We’ve been working well with developers as well as the South African Heritage Resources Agency to preserve it, but the town of Kathu is rapidly expanding around the site. It might get cut off on all sides by development, and this would be regrettable.” The South African Heritage Resources Agency designated the Kathu Townlands site as a Grade 1 National Heritage site in 2013, but according to the researchers the threat to deposits beyond the declared area remain acute. For Walker, the fact that such an extensive prehistoric site is located in the middle of a zone of intensive development poses a unique challenge for archaeologists and developers to find strategies to work cooperatively. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Breathable Durag, Very happy. Quality of the product is lovely and comfortable

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Furniture: All clear, says tribal department

first_imgA day after Leader of the Opposition Vijay Vadettiwar leveled allegations of irregularities in the purchase of furniture worth ₹325 crore, the Tribal Development Department on Thursday clarified that the entire process was conducted in a transparent manner, and that the Bombay High Court has approved proceeding with the supplies by dismissing objections to the buying procedure.“We have followed the State’s policy on purchase announced in December 2016. Legit tenders were issued and only the lowest bidder who would supply required furniture with the necessary specifications was given the tender. The entire process was run by issuing four different tenders on the Central government’s GeM (Government e-Marketplace) portal, without human interference,” said Dr. Kiran Kulkarni, Commissioner, Tribal Development Department.The clarification said the government was in receipt of directions from the National Human Rights Commission as well as the courts regarding lack of basic infrastructure such as desks, benches and tables in tribal ashram schools in the State.The department formed 125 squads comprising 400 officials and surveyed the requirements. A pre-tender meeting of suppliers was called in Pune in December 2018, following which four tenders for four tribal divisions were issued. “The suppliers will be sending furniture to 502 government tribal ashram schools and 491 government hostels. Many of these are in remote areas. The tender conditions included supply as well as maintenance for the next few years, because of which prices varied, and every decision was taken with consultation and approval from the Law and Judiciary Ddepartment,” said Dr. Kulkarni. The process is likely to be completed in the next three to four days, he said.last_img read more