The President and traditional leadership in Parly
In Parliament, President Jacob Zuma has told traditional leaders that they must work together to lodge land claims, that people mustn’t be afraid to talk about black industry and that we need to build the soul of the nation. At the same time, the DA has now confirmed lodging another motion of no confidence in the President in the National Assembly. EWN's Rahima Essop:
He told traditional leaders last year that it is important for them to organise themselves and get lawyers, so that citizens can be properly registered. The deadline to lodge new claims ends in 2019. Zuma also says the reason he has brought this issue up again is he doesn't believe it was taken seriously. The President also believes that traditional leaders play an important role in this issue, and he also addressed them speaking in vernacular, say the leaders should urge their subjects to 'work the land they live on'.
Meanwhile, also in Parliament, the DA have decided to pursue a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, following Agang SA's recusal of the same motion. EWN Parliament's Gaye Davis:
Agang SA had no sooner kicked off - he was only a few minutes into his speech - when they stood up, asking the Speaker to recuse herself, before abruptly recusing their motion. That saw Agang come under attack from both opposition parties and the ANC for what was perceived to be a bit of time-wasting, even though they were only trying to hold the ruling party to account.
[CPT FIRE] Update
Around Cape town several big fires are still blazing after a week that’s seen huge blazes destroying property and hectare after hectare of natural vegetation. EWN's Natalie Malgas:
The situation has changed significantly from yesterday - we've experienced some rain and far cooler conditions. Fire fighter are still on scene in many hotspots including in Tokai, with concerns that these fires could pick up again. The weather has helped to keep the air quite damp, but because of the mist and dense smoke, some helicopters had to stand down due to visibility.
[CPT FIRE] Implications for the underwriting sector
Meanwhile the insurance industry is going to be among those counting the cost of these fires. Insurance Risk Manager at South Africa Insurance Association (SAIA), Dawie Buys:
There's quite a lot of damage, the extent of the damage is still too early to determine. We've had quite a lot of disasters, if you'd recall Francis Bay where a lot of houses were lost, and the insurance companies were able to help people recover. If you have a business building, you have a fire policy - there's no doubt that you would have to be covered for such instances.
Gauteng Social Cluster has focus on health care situation
In Joburg is a briefing this morning by the Social Cluster MEC’s in the Gauteng government, chaired by Gauteng Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu:
In the budget, we've been given substantial resources to refurbish which would help with the general look and feel, but also to build some new facilities. There are a couple of new clinics on the cards and a couple others that we need to expand. We also have to ensure that we have equipment to populate these facilities. We are trying daily (to increase health care workers), but every single year, we take new doctors that have come out of university. It's important to really focus on the personnel, because I am well aware that existing doctors that we have are under tremendous pressure. (On Baragwanath) we have a two-year plan and we'll be collaborating with the private sector to work through (patient list back logs) and we hope that by the end of the next financial year, that these things are completed and we start from a zero phase.
Cosatu criticises Vavi CEC absence
At Cosatu House in the Joburg CBD is a press conference following this week's Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting, which was not attended by Cosatu's General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi. EWN's Govan Whittles:
They've definitely condemned his absence, and questioned it as well in light of the fact that he was the one who had convened the meeting and the CEC have now said he should explain his absense at a special CEC. They are not happy with how Vavi has conducted himself and are questioning why he would choose to express himself in the media.
What do Nkandla and Affirmative Action have in common?
A piece in the Business Day by WITS philosopher Dr Robert Kowalenko suggests that there is a link between President Jacob Zuma’s argument that he should not pay for the upgrades to his Nkandla home and those who argue that white people should not be discriminated against through affirmative action. Kowalenko uses a well-known philosophical analogy that starts by asking what would happen if a person goes on holiday and pays a construction firm to upgrade his driveway; but an enemy of that person cons the firm to upgrade their neighbours driveway instead, which leads to the question of whether that neighbor should actually pay compensation to the person who actually paid the firm? Dr Kowalenko expands on his thoughts:
The driveway example had for instance been proposed by a 1980's philospher in the United States. Is it still just to require to compensate the person harmed? No it's not, if my driveway had been done in my absence, why would I have to pay for it when I had no knowledge of it? It's similar for Nkandla, the question could be asked, what is one to make of a situation where President Zuma truly didn't know about these upgrades? We just need to ask what the ANC thinks as well from a moral perspective.
CWU determined to institute fresh Post Office strike
Confirmation this morning from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is that it’s members are going to go on another go-slow at the Post Office. This follows a lengthy strike in 2014, which lasted a number of months. CWU President, Clyde Mervin:
You'll recall that we have not signed an agreement; we went to CCMA on the 11th of February and communicated an intention to strike. We have indicated a 48 hours' notice and we are waiting to get an eventual date to strike. Yesterday, we received court papers stating that it would be an illegal strike if we would follow through, stating that we have not followed procedure.
2013 Boston Bomber says he did it
In Boston, a lawyer for one of the two brothers accused of planting the bombs that killed three people at the end of the Boston Marathon in 2013 has said her client was guilty. EWN US's Nadia Neophytou unpacks why Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyer made this argument:
She said it was him that carried one of the cooker bombs in 2013 and carried out a shoot out, but the question is around WHY he did it. Dzhokhar has said he was lead on by his older brother - the one who is now dead - who can no longer speak for himself. The attorney now has to show how the influence of the allegedly radical brother lead him to do what he did, including planning attacks throughout America, not just in Boston.
Children, parents, technology
There's been a release this week at the Mobile World Congress of new gadgets that claim to help you look after young children. Over the last few years for instance, it’s been common to hear of nanny cams: cameras that watch what your children are doing while you are away. Managing Editor of Mamas & Papas, Tracy Maher:
There are many different ways in which we can supervise our children, many of which may have issues with privacy laws, but our smart phones and devices can be quite helpful. While 72% of the people that were engaged in the survey did use these smart devices, we are a bit behind the rest of the world. I don't think we should rely on technology too much, while it is the direction that we're going in, in the world, but children should not engage with technology on their own. Technologies should be used with parents.