Today's Big Stories

DA calls Jordaan to Parly, HIV awareness dip, Corporate SA's low PhD penetration

Image: AFP

DA maintains call for Jordaan Parly apperance over 2010 bribe allegations

Heard on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: ANC MPs are said to insist on Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula to appear in the place of current Safa President and the head of South Africa's 2010 World Cup Bid, Danny Jordaan. This follows a letter sent to the Chairperson of the Sports and Recreation Portfolio Committee by the DA's Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation, Solly Malatsi. South African football and government officials have been caught in allegations of bribery which helped to secure the country’s hosting rights for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. This comes after revelations made by the United States Attorney General a few weeks ago. Describing Tuesday's Portfolio Committee proceedings, Malatsi says that the ANC MPs are using delay tactics:

t was a very difficult meeting, with the context being my letter from last week which I wrote to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee (on Sports and Recreation) when the evidence pointing out to South Africa's possible complicity in the bribery allegations came to the fore. We think that Parliament - especially this Portfolio Committee - has to hold any stakeholder in sport accountable and we wanted to give those that were in those leadership positions to provide us with an explanation. It wasn't an attempt at casting aspersions or judgements on anyone, but to provide a platform for them to explain what were the events that informed such a decision. The proposal was simple, that let's call: the former CEO of the Bid Committee and the LOC (Local Organising Committee) and the current President of Safa; the former President of Safa; other government representatives that were part of the Bid Committee and the LOC. It was very clear to us that the ANC Members of the Portfolio Committee had one tactic, which was to prevent, frustrate and obfuscate any attempt to get Danny Jordaan in particular to appear before the Portfolio Committee. They then came with a counter-proposal which was to say that 'let's bring the Minister of Sport (Fikile Mbalula)' - and in my view, that is just a time delaying tactic. The Minister has been on record on two occassions publically, making some of the most ridiculous statements; at first it was total denial, unaware that any money was paid and then he said he would bring the LOC to the media and when he arrived, he said that there was no LOC because it has been disbanded.

Mzantsi's HIV awareness dip due to complacency - Rees

Image: hivcover.co.za

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: new HIV infections among young women and girls are reportedly higher than expected in South Africa in 2015 - the year that marks the end of the UN's set Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the 8 MDGs is "To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases", yet despite this, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has noted a marked decrease in levels of knowledge around prevention of HIV in South Africa. Ramaphosa said this as part of his opening remarks at the South African AIDS Conference currently underway in Durban. Founder and Executive Director of Wits' Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Professor Helen Rees:

Overall, we've had an incredible impact with the HIV program - really world changing and we've seen life expectancy improve since 2006. The thing now is we haven't won the battle, although we're halfway through the war and the issue currently is around prevention, particularly amongst women who are sex workers. (On Deputy President Ramaphosa's comments of levels of knowledge dropping) it could be complacency due perhaps to us seeing improvements, but the question is 'how do you keep peoples' interest, especially young peoples' interest, in order for them to change their behavior?' We are currently really looking at addressing prevention, through modifying communication strategy and using technology with regards to this.

Low PhD penetration in corporate South Africa in the face of 'brain drain'

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: a study has found there is a low penetration of PhD's into corporate South Africa. This despite frequent calls for innovation and advanced research to drive growth and development throughout various sectors of the economy. Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pretoria's Department of Business Management, Dr Amaleya Goneos-Malka:

These are exceptionally shockingly low figures, showing an incredibly low penetration levels in corporate South Africa. In terms of the assumptions and feelings with regards to what people were confronted with: 25% took up to a year before they were employed at all. (On discrimination) the fact that there's an issue with discrimination is quite a telling factor, with some companies saying that candidates were either overqualified or that said company would not be able to remunerate the candidate. Intelligence and using smarts is what drives the economy: we need to utilise our smart people so we can uplift the economy. There is a misconception that PhD's are purely academic degrees; if you look at the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt and (former US Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice - they both have PhD's and what a PhD does is it gives you the option to pursue academia or you could pursue a route in industry.

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