Tuesday January 4, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Brad Dubbelman
According to the Department of Home Affairs almost 255 000 Zimbabweans took advantage of the government's special dispensation to legalise their stay in South Africa. Department spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, said that the final figure for Zimbabweans who applied to legalise their stay in the country stood at 254 802. By 16:00 on Friday, which was the cutoff date to apply, the figure given by Home Affairs was 250 633 Zimbabweans. "The process of adjudicating their applications will now begin," Mamoepa added.
Officials say that almost four-million southern Sudanese, or roughly one half the south's population, have registered to take part in an independence referendum next week that is likely to split Africa's largest country in two. The US State Department said that it was optimistic ahead of the vote, that marks the climax of a 2005 peace deal that ended a civil war in Sudan that killed at least two-million people and destablised much of the region. "At this point, we are optimistic about the referendum this coming weekend," State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley told a news briefing in Washington. Southerners are expected to vote to separate from the north and form a new nation.
Minister Dr Rob Davies has appointed Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) veteran Lionel October as his acting director-general after it was confirmed that Tshediso Matona would take up the position of director-general at the Department of Public Enterprises as from January 2011.
Matona, who was appointed by Minister Malusi Gigaba in December, takes over from Dr Andrew Shaw, who has been acting in the position as director-general since the departure of Portia Molefe in late 2009. Hitherto, October had been the DTI’s counsellor of economic affairs in Brussels, Belgium, where he focused on trade relations with the European Union. However, prior to his international posting in 2007, October had led the DTI’s enterprise and industry development division.
Also making headlines:
African leaders ended meetings in the Côte d’Ivoire on Monday, without persuading Laurent Gbagbo to cede power to his rival Alassane Ouattara, but the talks will go on, one of the envoys said.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has announced a series of anti terrorism initiatives as he looks to regain control after a wave of attacks in the last week of 2010 that rocked Africa's most populous nation.
The Gauteng Health Department has approved the hiring of specialists to fill vacant posts in the province's hospital, an official says.
And, at least $30-billion a year would have to be invested in the sub-Saharan Africa agricultural sector if the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the hungry by 2015 was to be achieved, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has calculated.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.