Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Recession Brings Job Losses to South Africa

Job growth has been hit hard by the global economic recession, according to the Development Indicators 2009 report.

Despite the increase in employment from 11.3 million in March 2003 to 13.6 million in March 2009 and the attendant decline in unemployment rate from 31.2 percent to 23.5 percent over the same period, the country has witnessed massive job losses in the recent months, says the report, released on Friday.

According to the Development Indicators, 267 000 jobs were lost in the second quarter of 2009.

South Africa: Economic Crisis Eroding Employment Growth, Report
September 25, 2009

Prostitution Won't Be Decriminalized for World Cup

Despite earlier reports that sex laws would be lossened during the 2010 World Cup, a national officials has announced that there are no plans to decriminalize prostitution.

[Justice and Constitutional Development Deputy Minister Andries] Nel says the South African Law Reform Commission will only publish a report with final legislative proposals in 2011. This comes after several role players debated the legalisation of adult sex work at a seminar at Unisa in Pretoria today. Nel says the legalisation of adult sex work must not be linked to the World Cup.

No new law to decriminalise prostitution before 2010: Minister
September 21, 2009

SA's World Cup carbon Footprint 8 Times the Size of Germany's

The carbon footprint of South Africa's World Cup is being predicted to be eight times as large as that of the 2006 Cup in Germany. The difference is largely due to the distance teams and fans will be traveling to participate in the event.

An appeal had thus been made to FIFA and its partners to make a contribution to reducing the spectacle's carbon footprint as it did in Germany, reported Western Cape premier Helen Zille on Thursday.

At the announcement of a progress report on Cape Town's Green Goal Action Plan for the tournament she pointed out that the carbon emissions would moreover affect the entire globe.

Steps need to be taken to involve everybody who has a stake in 2010 in the Green Goal Action Plan and its objectives.

World Cup carbon concerns
September 18, 2009

Major Funding Shortfall for 2010 Stadia

South Africa is falling short more than 2.3 billion Rand (~$300 million) for six of the new stadia being built for the 2010 World Cup, according to officials.

"National Treasury has informed me of the projected shortfalls for the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums. The total shortfall on the six new stadiums is 2.33 billion rand as of July 2009," Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in a written response to a question in parliament.

SA sees R2.3 billion World Cup stadium shortfall
Business Report
September 17, 2009

Police Consider 'Shoot-to-Kill' Policy

The appointment of a new national police commissioner has brought the prospect of a "shoot-to-kill" policing policy ahead of the World Cup.

The proposal has raised fears of a return to "apartheid-era policing", with officers having the right to shoot fleeing suspects in the back.

The change in tone has come with the appointment of a new national police commissioner, Bheki Cele, who has been called a "cowboy" with a penchant for pinstripe suits and panama hats.

The plain-speaking Cele has called for a change in legislation that would allow police to open fire on suspects without having to worry about "what happens after that".

South Africa considers 'shoot to kill' policing ahead of World Cup
The Guardian
September 16, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Taxi Industry Vows to Destroy Cape Town BRT

Taxi officials have announced plans to destroy infrastructure related to a new bus rapid transit system set to open soon in Cape Town.

Western Cape taxi bosses have given Transport Minister S'bu Ndebele one month to halt the roll-out of the integrated rapid transit (IRT) system in Cape Town - or face having key infrastructural projects destroyed.

Taxi drivers would take to the streets "en masse", warned provincial National Taxi Alliance (NTA) spokesman Mvuyisi Mente, and destroy "every action of the government" ahead of the World Cup.

Taxis threaten to destroy BRT
Cape Argus
September 23, 2009

Crime Remains an Issue in SA

Reductions in the country's murder rate are not enough to dispel many fears over security as South Africa prepares to host the 2010 World Cup.

Despite a 3% drop in the murder rate, police statistics revealed an increase in sex offences, including rape, as well as a dramatic rise in burglaries.

In Rustenburg, tipped to be the England squad's base, cases of sex crimes, assault, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping all increased on the previous year.

Reported sex crimes also increased in the police precincts of Cape Town central, Durban central, Johannesburg central, Nelspruit, Polokwane, and Pretoria central, which are all certain to receive football supporters from around the world.

Crime fears grow as South Africa readies for football World Cup
September 22, 2009

Murder Rate Falls Slightly in SA

South African police officials have announced an overall increase in crime in the country, but a slight decrease in the amount of murders. One of the most violent places in the world, South Africa's high murder rate has been a consistent concern during the lead-up to the 2010 World Cup.

The South African government announced their latest crime figures on Tuesday with overall cases seeing a small rise, but murders dropping by 3.2%. The government reported that 18,148 people were killed in the 12 months up to March.

Police chief Bheki Cele announced his force was determined to further reduce the murder rate as the eyes of the world begin to turn to South Africa ahead of FIFA's showpiece event.

World Cup hosts South Africa announce drop in murder rate
September 22, 2009

Airport Infrastructure Expanded Ahead of World Cup

As part of efforts to update the country's airport infrastructure ahead of the 2010 World Cup, a new terminal is set to open this Fall at Cape Town International Airport.

Terminal 2010, the multimillion-rand central terminal building under construction at Cape Town International Airport, is to be opened on November 7 - months before schedule, the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) says.

Construction of the R1,5-billion, five-storey terminal is more than 90 percent complete.

The terminal has 120 check-in counters, 20 self-service check-in machines, eight air bridges, 11 bus gates, and an automated baggage sorting system.

Early opening for new airport hub
Cape Argus
September 21, 2009

Job Losses Deal Major Blow to New Black Middle Class

Job losses in South Africa are being seen as causing major hardships within the country's black middle class. Because this group is a relatively new concept, the downturn in the economy is having a larger impact than expected, according to analysts.

The Bureau for Market Research's (BMR's) analyst Carel van Aardt said last week that the 475000 job losses are likely to have affected most of those black South Africans earning between R100000 and R300000 a year.

"First indications are that a lot of the gains in living standards between 2000 and last year, particularly in the African group, have been seriously impacted on," Van Aardt said last week.

South Africa: Recession Has Exposed Frailties of Black Middle Class
September 21, 2009

Street Kids Won't Be Hidden During World Cup

World Cup officials have announced that no efforts will be made to hide South Africa's street children during the World Cup.

People had often asked him if the shacks and street children would be removed, [2010 Fifa World Cup organising committee chief executive Danny Jordaan] said.

"No, we can't be a society that misleads and creates a false impression. We are a country of diversity, rich and poor, employed and unemployed, and the world must know that we have massive challenges of poverty and housing and we must address these issues."

We will not hide street kids in 2010, says Jordaan
Daily News
September 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Link List: September 8, 2009

Here are a bunch of links to stories I haven't had a chance to properly summarize. Hopefully I'll get on that in the next few days...

Zimbabwe: African Sun to Spend U.S.$60 Million On Hotel Capacity Expansion
The Herald
August 27, 2009

Durban to host 2010 Street Child Soccer World Cup
August 27, 2009

Gautrain mulls using buses for World Cup
Business Day
September 2, 2009

Google SA launches Street View
Biz Community
September 1, 2009

SA electricity demand to pick up in 2010
Engineering News
August 27, 2009

South Africa: South Africans Urged to Travel More Domestically
August 27, 2009

‘Brokers have to go now’
August 29, 2009

Direct flights for Pretoria
September 3, 2009

Gautrain mulls using buses for World Cup
September 2, 2009

Rea Vaya calls for change in habits
The Star
September 1, 2009

South Africa: 2010 Soccer World Cup May See More Snorting Than Kicking
Inter Press Service
September 1, 2009

BRT back on track after shooting
The Star
September 3, 2009

World Cup bid eyes Olympic venue
September 4, 2009

SA frets over World Cup immigrant boom
Mail & Guardian
September 6, 2009

South Africa’s Poor Renew a Tradition of Protest
The New York Times
September 6, 2009

South Africa: State's Planners in the Works
Business Day
September 7, 2009

South Africa: Southern Sun Puts R1,3 Billion Into Growth
Business Day
September 7, 2009

Joburg financial woes deepens
The Star
September 8, 2009

Paraguay to set up 2010 base in Mossel Bay
Cape Argus
September 8, 2009

Killing of official not BRT related: MEC
September 8, 2009

Joburg Berlin Wall to fall
Independent Online
September 8, 2009

South Africa: Public Service Unions Reach Wage Settlement
September 8, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

High Demand as BRT Gets Rolling

Johannesburg's new bus rapid transit system is already struggling to meet demands, as large crowds came out for the system's first day of service August 31.

Shiny new red and blue buses will now compete with dilapidated mini-buses and ageing trains that currently provide the backbone of South Africa's limping public transportation.

Under apartheid, the government intentionally created non-white neighbourhoods far from city centres to make it difficult for people of different races to mix.

Now transportation is a daily struggle for millions of commuters, and one of the main issues the government is trying to resolve ahead of the 2010 football World Cup.

New SAfrica bus system struggles with demand on its first day
August 31, 2009