Comunidados de Imprensa

Comunidados de Imprensa

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QUARANTINE REQUIRED FOR TRAVELLERS FROM SA

Please be informed that until further notice from the Portuguese authorities, all travellers arriving in Portugal from South Africa must comply with a 14-day mandatory quarantine period on arrival, either at home or at a location designated by the health authorities.  This is in addition to providing proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours before departure.  Those in transit to other destinations will have to remain in a designated area at the airport.

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Informa-se que até nova indicação por parte das autoridades portuguesas, todos os viajantes que cheguem a Portugal com origem na África do Sul terão de cumprir um período de quarentena obrigatória de 14 dias, em casa ou em local a designar pelas autoridades de saúde.  Continua a ser obrigatório a apresentação de um teste Covid negativo efetuado até 72 horas antes da partida.  As pessoas em trânsito para outros destinos terão de permanecer na área designada para o efeito dentro do aeroporto.

 

 

 

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT - 22 MARCH 2021

 Dear Fellow South African,
 
For more than a week now, South Africans have had to endure the disruption and inconvenience of intermittent load shedding, as the country’s power stations have not been able to produce enough electricity to meet demand.
 
The electricity shortage has been a problem for more than a decade, with economic activity being severely interrupted every time there is a power cut, affecting smaller businesses and large industries alike. Over the years, it has contributed to slow economic growth and weak investor confidence.
 
Resolving our energy challenges isn’t just urgent; it is fundamental to South Africa’s economic recovery. That is why we are making every effort to bring new power generation capacity online in the shortest possible time.
 
A major step forward in this effort was the announcement last week by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of the companies that had successfully bid to supply 2,000 megawatts of emergency power to address the gap in capacity.
 
The power will be produced from a range of sources including solar, wind, liquified natural gas and battery storage. These projects will involve an investment of around R45 billion by the private sector. Around half of all the materials used in the construction will be locally sourced. The projects should be providing power to the nation by August next year.
 
Also last week, government released a request for proposals for the procurement of a further 2,600 megawatts of renewable energy. This is the fifth ‘bid window’ in the country’s highly successful programme to buy renewable energy from independent power producers. This programme has led to significant private investment in the country’s energy infrastructure, and is an important part of our commitment to move towards cleaner energy sources.
 
Another part of the effort to fill the electricity supply gap is to make it easier for industry to generate electricity for its own use. This ‘embedded generation’ will reduce the demand on Eskom’s power stations and will increase the country’s overall generation capacity through private investment.
 
As I said in the State of the Nation Address last month, work is underway to increase the licensing threshold connecting self-generated power to the grid.
 
This is the latest in a series of steps we have taken as government over the past year to improve our national energy security by bringing new generation capacity online.
 
Over the course of the next year, government plans to release four more requests for proposals for new power generation projects, in renewable energy, gas, coal and battery storage respectively. These projects would be expected to provide over 7,000 megawatts of electricity.
 
These new sources of electricity are vital to ensure a reliable supply of energy into the future.
 
Eskom has 15 coal-fired power stations and one nuclear-powered power station. In addition there are nine smaller stations run on a combination of diesel, pumped storage and hydroelectricity.
 
Most of the coal power stations are more than 40 years old and are prone to breakdowns. In addition, much of the necessary maintenance on these plants was neglected for many years. Eskom estimates that breakdowns consume as much as a fifth of our electricity capacity.
 
That is why, as we build this new generation capacity, Eskom is working to ensure that it undertakes the planned maintenance of its plants. While this may mean load shedding in the immediate term, better maintenance will lead to improved plant performance in the medium term and to greater stability in supply.
 
While Eskom works to improve its operational performance and new generation capacity is being built, there is much that we can each do to improve the situation.
 
Beyond the free basic electricity that government provides, we need to make sure that all of us pay for the electricity we use, whether as individuals, households, businesses, industries or municipalities.
 
Illegal connections, meter tampering and the illegal sale of prepaid electricity vouchers make it much harder for Eskom and municipal power utilities to improve their infrastructure and even to continue to provide electricity.
 
The actions we are taking to restructure and to strengthen our electricity system will fundamentally change the country’s energy future.
 
We are making progress. Our efforts are gathering momentum.
 
We are steadily restoring Eskom to technical, operational and financial viability. We are making our electricity system more efficient and competitive. And we are making great strides in bringing new generating capacity online as quickly as possible.
 
We are all looking forward to the day when the power comes on and it stays on.
 
If we push ahead with the work we’ve begun, if we all play our part, that day will soon arrive.
 
With best regards, 

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT - 15 MARCH 2021

Dear Fellow South African,
 
In the last few months, we have had to bid a sad farewell to two of our country’s most respected traditional monarchs.
 
This week, the Zulu people will lay to rest His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu who reigned for half a century. In January, the Bapedi people buried Kgoshikgolo Thulare Thulare III, who passed away less than a year after his inauguration.
 
With their passing, we have lost champions of the preservation of our heritage, and revered custodians of the histories of their respective peoples.
 
At the same time, they were vital players in rural development, and were committed to driving programmes to uplift the material conditions of their people.
 
With the advent of democracy in 1994, it was a priority of the new government to restore the integrity and legitimacy of traditional leadership in line with indigenous law and customs and subject to the Constitution of the Republic.
 
The institution of traditional leadership continues to play an important role in the lives of millions of people around our country, especially in rural areas. Traditional leaders support and drive development in their communities.
 
Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in the debate on the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders, which was concerned with the most pressing issues currently facing the country.
 
What was particularly refreshing about the robust engagement was that traditional leadership has a keen appreciation of the difficult economic conditions facing our country, and want to be part of addressing the many challenges of underdevelopment and poverty in their areas.
 
I have consistently said that our economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic must be inclusive, and that nobody must be left behind.
 
The success of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan rests on forging strong partnerships between not just government, business and labour, but also with traditional leadership and other societal formations.
 
A constant refrain from participants in the debate last week was that they do not want to be dependent on handouts or for their communities to perpetually look to government for financial assistance.
 
They want to be provided with the necessary support, training and enabling environment to allow rural communities to be self-sufficient.
 
They want to bridge the urban-rural divide in access to government services and private sector resources.
 
What they would like to see is for rural areas to become centres of economic activity, industry and employment opportunity. This mirrors the aspirations of the District Development Model, which was launched in 2019.
 
Traditional leaders are well positioned to ensure that district plans are informed by and respond to the real needs of communities and that they reflect the lived reality in rural areas.
 
Just as the District Development Model supports localised programmes that focus on the needs, strengths and opportunities in specific areas, traditional leaders have pioneered their own approach to local economic development.
 
They have developed the InvestRural Masterplan, which was launched in North West last month. It is greatly encouraging that traditional leaders have rallied behind the plan and want to work with local authorities to ensure it is a success.
 
During the debate in the National House of Traditional Leaders it was proposed that a major success factor for the InvestRural programme is that traditional structures are trained, strengthened and capacitated.
 
A number of participants outlined economic plans that are already in advanced stages of development. These range from agricultural projects to bioprospecting to renewable energy.
 
What was evident is that the institution of traditional leadership understands that professionalisation is necessary for rural businesses in the form of SMMEs and cooperatives to become part of the mainstream economy.
 
The traditional leaders who spoke presented their vision of ‘developmental monarchs’, who see themselves as not just custodians of heritage but also as drivers of economic prosperity and progress. They have identified several projects and economic opportunities that will create jobs and improve livelihoods in rural areas.
 
Traditional leaders have also expressed their willingness to play an active part in the land reform process. Since 2018, traditional leaders have made around 1,500,000 hectares of communal land available for development, and it is hoped this will increase in future.
 
To develop a coordinated and sustainable strategy, we have agreed to hold a Presidential Land Summit in the next year. This will discuss pressing issues around land reform and its impact on communal land, much of which is located in rural areas.
 
The tone of the debate in the National House was a fitting reflection of a climate in which economic recovery is foremost among our considerations. At the same time it was a promising signal that traditional leaders appreciate their role in being part of the national recovery effort through being proactive and innovative.
 
The most fitting legacy of great leaders is that the seeds of development they sow during their tenure grow into mighty trees that protect and shelter their communities for posterity.
 
As we work together as a country to rebuild our economy, we will continue to count on the support of the institution of traditional leadership, which is an inextricable part of our past, our present and our future.
 
With best regards, 

 

 

 

 

 

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT - 8 MARCH 2021

 Dear Fellow South African,
 
Today is International Women’s Day. For more than a century, this day has been celebrated across the world as part of the struggle to realise women’s rights in the social, political, legal, reproductive, health and other spheres.
 
The Women’s Charter, which was drawn up in 1994, notes that at the heart of women’s marginalisation in South Africa are the attitudes and practices that “confine women to the domestic arena, and reserve for men the arena where political power and authority reside”.
 
There can be no meaningful progress for women if our society continues to relegate women to ‘traditional’ professions, occupations or roles, while it is mainly men who sit on decision-making structures.
 
Fittingly, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is women’s leadership and achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.
 
Since the coronavirus pandemic reached South Africa a year ago, the women of South Africa have played a pivotal role in the country’s response.
 
We salute the resilience and bravery of women frontline workers, who worked to fight the pandemic as nurses, doctors, emergency personnel, police and soldiers.
 
These include the tragic stories of women like Nurse Petronella Benjamin from Eerste River in the Western Cape, who lost her life to COVID-19 just days before she was due to retire after 25 years as a nurse.
 
Our efforts to contain the pandemic have been greatly boosted by the thousands of fieldworkers like Azalet Dube from Doctors without Borders, who went into communities to raise awareness about the disease, who worked in health facilities as contract tracers, and who provided psycho-social support to families and individuals in distress.
 
The dedication of the nation’s educators has ensured that our young people were able to receive an education despite the disruption caused by the pandemic. We owe a debt of gratitude to the many women who have worked as teachers, principals, lecturers and as administrators at institutions of higher learning.
 
We thank the women leading civil society organisations who worked and continue to work with the Ministerial Advisory Committee in driving a holistic approach to managing the pandemic.
 
We salute women like Nandi Msezane, who helped raise funds for food support in affected communities, and helped to provide access to mental health support for the LGBTQI+ community during the lockdown.
 
Vulnerable women and children affected by violence during the lockdown were helped thanks to the efforts of numerous non-governmental organisations (NGOs) led by and staffed by women.
 
This includes women like Fazila Gany, a longstanding member of the National Shelter Movement who also sadly passed away from COVID-19. The Movement has been critical in ensuring women and children at risk received support and access to services during the pandemic.
 
Women doctors, researchers and scientists have played and continue to play an important role in our epidemiological response. One of the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials conducted last year, the Ensemble trial, was led by two female scientists, Prof Glenda Gray of the South African Medical Research Council and Prof Linda-Gail Bekker of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre.
 
Research performed by academics on economic vulnerability and poverty trends in South Africa helped drive an informed relief response. Last year we lost one of the country’s foremost experts on rural poverty, Dr Vuyo Mahlati. At the time she was studying the impact of the pandemic on food security in vulnerable communities, especially small scale farmers.
 
In the private sector, women business leaders have been visible in mobilising financial resources to support government’s efforts.
 
The Solidarity Fund, which has played such a key role in this regard, is chaired by one of South Africa’s most prominent businesswomen, Gloria Serobe. Women CEOs, board members and fund managers continue to play a leading role in pushing for their companies to support government’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
 
No such tribute on this day would be complete without recognising the role of the women of this administration, whose efforts often go unacknowledged. It is women who lead the many government departments at the forefront of the national relief response.
 
I wish all the women of South Africa well on this day.
 
Our experience of this pandemic has once more demonstrated women’s capacity to organise, collaborate, lead and achieve. Through their actions, they have demonstrated there is no such thing as ‘a woman’s place’.
 
The women of our country still face many challenges.
 
They are still under-represented in the boardrooms and corridors of power. They are still more likely to be poor and unemployed than their male counterparts. They are still vulnerable to gender-based violence and femicide.
 
But on this day, let us acknowledge how far we have come as a society thanks to the role of women leaders, particularly in helping the nation through this pandemic.
 
As we have struggled against this disease, women have been present and prominent in almost every arena of life.
 
This has set a standard for the kind of society we continue to build.
 
It has inspired and encouraged us to build an equal future.
 
With best regards,