October 30 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
Preferred bidders under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme will sign the first renewables project agreement by November 5.
President of South Africa Jacob Zuma says the media seem to focus excessively on ANC battles.
And, Cabinet approves the anti-torture bill in an effort to discourage institutional abuse of force.
Following several delays, government has confirmed that the framework is now in place for the first 28 wind and solar projects. The projects were identified as preferred bidders under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (or REIPPP) in December 2011, to move to financial closure.
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has apologised for the delays and said that preferred bidders should be prepared to begin signing the final agreements from November 5.
Peters indicated that the big-bang November 5 signing approach was not a "Guy Fawkes [Day] thing", but rather an arrangement that emerged as a legal requirement. Each preferred bidder will be allocated a slot to initial the necessary contracts with the Department of Energy and Eskom.
The signing of the power purchase, implementation and financial agreements would open the way for the construction of projects representing a collective investment value of around R47-billion and a collective renewables capacity of 1 415 MW.
President Jacob Zuma said that media and commentators are eager to focus on "perceived battles" in the African National Congress ahead of its elective conference in Mangaung, instead of the party's policies.
He said the Press Freedom Commission had addressed a lot of the party's issues concerning the media.
Zuma also said that the ANC fought for media freedom and will continue doing everything in its power to promote freedom of expression and media freedom. However, the party also reminds those who are privileged to have access to the media to respect the rights of others.
A call for sweeping policy amendments to prevent abuse of force and torture in the South African Correctional Services system, as well as members of the South African Police Service (or SAPS), has been answered. This is a result of the recent Cabinet approval of the Prevention and Combating of Torture Bill.
A report by the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services detailed 2 276 reports of member-on-inmate assault and 5 841 complaints of inhumane treatment by correctional service officers and members of the SAPS in 2010 and 2011 alone.
The Wits Justice Project has also observed the continued use of apartheid-era intimidation tactics and repeated reports of abuse of power and torture within the correctional services system and the SAPS.
The new anti-torture laws are considered an important breakthrough for the prevention of torture on the continent. This follows years of lobbying by local and international human rights groups.
Also making headlines:
South Africa’s private sector credit demand growth quickens in September.
South Africa moves to procure more than 7 000 MW baseload capacity from independent power producers by 2025.
And, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says amendments to Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment legislation are necessary.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today