6 June 2006South Africa’s only stock exchange, the JSE Ltd, listed on its own exchange on Monday morning.In a momentous occasion in the history of the exchange, guests were joined by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and wore a variety of hats in memory of the closing day of the old trading floor nearly 10 years ago to the day.By 10.30am the JSE had traded in the same region of trades seen in heavyweight companies BHP Billiton and First Rand.The JSE now joins an elite number of international bourses – including the London and New York stock exchanges, Deutsche Borse, Nasdaq, Euronext, the Australian Stock Exchange, the Singapore Exchange and the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing – that have listed on their own markets.For investors in South Africa and abroad, the move brings heightened transparency and visibility to the trading of JSE shares, which in turn has the potential to improve their liquidity and tradeability.The appearance of the JSE Ltd on the main board will allow international and local investors – including institutional and retail investors – the opportunity to compare the JSE as a listed company against its other listed peers.For brokers, many of whom have been members of the JSE for decades, the listing brings yet another counter onto their books to trade.“For the JSE, the listing brings with it an opportunity to both showcase itself to investors as a well-governed company as well as the opportunity to broaden our shareholder base through a broad-based black economic empowerment initiative that was integral to the listing,” said Russell Loubser, CEO of the newly listed exchange.The broad-based BEE initiative consists of two parts: a Black Shareholder Retention Scheme aimed at retaining existing black shareholders, and a JSE Empowerment Fund aimed at funding education for black people wanting to work in the financial services industry.The initiatives will raise the JSE’s direct black shareholding to over 10%.“This listing firmly entrenches the JSE’s commitment to transformation and allows us to lead by example in every aspect of corporate life, including black economic empowerment, as a critical consideration in the social landscape of South Africa today,” said JSE chairman Humphrey Borkum.“It has taken 10 years of hard work to get the JSE to a stage where it can proudly stand up and be counted amongst its peers as a listed company,” said Loubser. “But if you had to ask any of my team, they’d tell you without hesitation that it’s been worth the wait.”As a listed company, the JSE counter appears in the general financial-investment services sector under the alpha code JSE.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
24 December 2010Quick thinking was the order of the day at the recent Moves for Life chess tournament in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. Moves for Life patron Jacob Zuma was in attendance, squaring off against some formidable youngsters – and planning the next move in taking the game to even more South Africans.South African President Jacob Zuma, whose love for the game of strategy is well-known, had a trick or two to show the smart kids at Wednesday’s tournament.The participants came from all over KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng province. Among those in attendance were international master Watu Kobese and South African champion Kgaogelo Mosetle.Unlocking potentialMoves for Life met with Zuma at his house in Nkandla this week to plan their next move in taking the game that teaches logic and problem-solving skills to even more South African children.According to its website, Moves for Life helps to unlock people’s potential through exposure to the game of chess, with its unique features enabling an innovative, structured programme for chess education from the lowest grades up.“The basic analytical functions required to play chess are of the same nature as the brain functions required to tackle subjects such as maths and science,” says Moves for Life. “Chess training, at any level of competence, helps people to tackle logic-based problems like those found in maths and science.”Reaching out to more placesThe Moves for Life tournament is in its second year, and there are plans to make it even bigger.“The President wants us to reach out to more places, particularly where there are previously disadvantaged people,” tournament organiser Sandile Xulu told BuaNews. “Next year, we plan to move to other rural areas because people want us to, and the response has been great.”Moves for Life will also partner with KwaZulu Chess, co-founded by President Zuma, to roll out a chess programme for schools from February.Ten schools in KwaZulu-Natal, including schools in Nkandla and Richards Bay, will be among the first targeted. Xulu said they hoped to reach still more schools in the near future.Source: BuaNews
22 February 2012 South Africa’s spending on education continues to grow, with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan allocating R207-billion to the sector for 2012/13, with projections that this may rise to up to R236-billion over the next three years. Delivering his Budget speech in Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Gordhan said provincial education spending was expected to grow by 5.9% over the next three years, from R169.9-billion this year to R183.8-billion in 2015.Learner subsidies for no-fee schools The government will further spend over R18-billion of the money towards boosting learner subsidies for no-fee schools and expanded access to Grade R. South Africa’s education authorities say learner performance in literacy and numeracy remains a challenge, as shown by the national assessment of grade 3 and 6 learners conducted last year. The assessments identified problem areas in each school and allowed for tailored interventions to be made, with R235-million set aside in the Budget for this purpose.R850-million for university infrastructure About R850-million has been set aside towards improving the country’s university infrastructure, including student accommodation facilities. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, which has helped poor students at tertiary institutions with loans, will receive more than R17-billion over the next three years. A Green Paper on Higher Education, released earlier this year, includes commitments by the government to build two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape to address the challenge of space at the country’s tertiary institutions. While he made no mention of the project in his speech today, Gordhan did tell reporters earlier that work was currently at an advanced stage, pointing out that R300-million was provided in the fiscus for planning and design of the universities. Further financial commitments will be made as the projects get off the ground.Early childhood development programmes A further R1.4-billion will be spent over the next three years to support early childhood development programmes and the implementation of the community-based childcare and protection programme across the country. This will increase access to early childhood development from the current 500 000 to 580 000 children, with a focus on rural areas, with expectations that more than 10 000 young people will be employed as a result of the programme. Source: BuaNews
In 1973 Clive Walker, James Clarke and Neville Anderson established the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), dedicated to conserving endangered species and restoring the delicate balance in southern Africa’s ecosystems.The organisation has, since then, played a major role in conserving many of Africa’s unique species.Droughts, floods, poachers and predators make survival for Africa’s wild animals a difficult affair and a growing human population encroaching on their habitats is driving many species to near extinction“We as human beings rely heavily on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems and without them we jeopardise our own wellbeing,” says Nomonde Mxhalisa, communications manager for the Endangered Wildlife Trust.“People around the world can no longer ignore the fact that the environment in which we live underpins every single human need.”The EWT has worked to bring issues of conservation to the fore in terms of issues in the way of social and economic development.THE THREATDroughts, floods, poachers and predators make survival for Africa’s wild animals a difficult affair and a growing human population encroaching on their habitats is driving many species to near extinction.The quagga, which used to be a subspecies of the plains zebra or common zebra, once roamed the African landscape in large numbers. But the animal was hunted to extinction in the 1880s, when the last quagga died at the Amsterdam Zoo.Other indigenous African species such as the African wild dog and the black and white rhinoceros face the same fate. To preserve these animals, the EWT has created a number of programmes targeting threats such as poaching, deforestation, disease, traditional migration route interference, and mitigating the impact that human involvement is having on their habitats.The Riverine Rabbit or Vleihaas is South Africa’s second most endangered animal after the De Winton’s Golden Mole. Pictured above is a juvenile Riverine Rabbit. (image: Endangered Wildlife Trust)PROJECTSMost animals are suited to very limited environments; humans however can adapt environments to suit their needs, and with a growing human population needing food and other resources, natural areas are getting smaller and smaller. Animals that lose their habitats often can’t survive this encroachment and can eventually go extinct. Recognising that humans and animals need to share environments the EWT works on programmes to teach communities, like farmers, how to run their farms without driving the animals out.The Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Programme, involving the Livestock Guarding Dog Project aims to reduce this kind of human/animal conflict.“We often deal with a great deal of human/wildlife conflict particularly when it comes to our work with carnivores,” Mxhalisa explains.“We have solved these issues however by introducing mitigation measures such as the livestock guarding dogs that we encourage farmers to use to ward against their livestock being eaten by various carnivores.”The Livestock Guarding Dog Project encourages farmers to use guard dogs to drive predators away, instead of shooting the animals or poisoning them (images: Endangered Wildlife Trust)Livestock farmers need to protect their domestic animals; but these animals are easy prey for carnivores such as lions, leopards, hyenas, wildcats and the now endangered African wild dog and cheetah. The programme encourages farmers to use guard dogs to drive predators away, instead of shooting the animals or poisoning them.The Livestock Guarding Dog Project has, since it was taken over by the EWT in 2008, helped farmers reduce their annual losses from an average of R3.4-million, to about R150 000.“. . . The work we do is literally bringing amazing creatures back from the brink of extinction and that means we’ve bought more time for all people to enjoy these species and to continue to reap the benefits of living in ecosystems that are healthy and thriving,” says Mxhalisa.“Many of the EWT’s staff live and breathe care for the environment.“Many of us are idealists who want to make a difference, to leave a real and positive mark on the world. We believe the work is important and the results and successes we have keep us pushing forward.”Another project, the African Crane Conservation Programme, in partnership with the International Crane Foundation, helps to ensure the sustainability of wetland, grassland and Karoo ecosystems that crane species such as the Blue Crane, South Africa’s national bird, depend on.PLAY YOUR PART“You can make a difference to the environment simply by not littering, not wasting water or electricity, disposing of rubbish and oil correctly and spreading the word that you are forever linked to your environment and without it we will suffer,” says Mxhalisa.The EWT also regularly holds talks “about biodiversity and conservation at the Country Club Johannesburg and events that commemorate the various wildlife and biodiversity days that take place during the year”.Along with individual action, the EWT needs funds to manage and run its programmes; it accepts corporate sponsorships and private donations. Corporate sponsors can contact Debbie Thiart on firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on +27 (0) 11 372 3600.For more information on the organisation’s programmes and lectures, or how to donate, visit its website or call +27 (0) 11 372 3600/1/2/3.
Find out more about how the wheels of justice turn in South Africa.The inside of South Africa’s Constitutional Court. (Image: Design Indaba, YouTube)Brand South Africa reporterSouth Africa has an independent judiciary, subject only to the Constitution and the law.The Constitution is the supreme law of the country and binds all legislative, executive and judicial organs of state at all levels of government.No person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the courts, and an order or decision of a court binds all organs of state and people to whom it applies.The Constitution provides for the following courts:Constitutional CourtSupreme Court of Appeal (SCA)high courtsmagistrate’s courtsany other court established or recognised in terms of an Act of ParliamentThere are also special income tax courts, the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court, the Land Claims Court, the Competition Appeal Court, the Electoral Court, divorce courts, small claims courts, “military courts”, and equality courts.The Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and High Courts have the power to protect and regulate their own processes, and to develop the common law.The courts are also required to declare any law or conduct that is inconsistent with the Constitution to be invalid, and develop common law that is consistent with the values of the Constitution, and the spirit and purpose of the Bill of Rights.How are judges appointed?Judges in the various courts are appointed by the President in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission, the leaders of parties represented in National Assembly, and, where relevant, the President of the Constitutional Court.The Judicial Service Commission includes the Chief Justice, the President of the Constitutional Court and the Minister of Justice. It is a widely representative body, with the transformation of the judiciary remaining one of government’s key priorities.Legal systemSouth African law is a combination of different legal systems, with its origin in Europe and Great Britain. Its foundation lies in Roman-Dutch law, which is itself a blend of indigenous Dutch customary law and Roman law. The legal system that prevailed in Holland during the 17th and 18th centuries was introduced to South Africa after the Cape was settled by the Dutch in the 1600s.When the Cape was occupied by the British at the end of the 18th century, Roman- Dutch law was retained and confirmed as the common law of the country. English became the language of the courts and English legal procedures and the English law of evidence in both criminal and civil matters were introduced.As with any other country, the common law has been augmented by statutory law and many of the cases before the court are now concerned with their interpretation and application.Because of the unique heritage of South African law, and the constitutional imperative to regard comparative law, foreign law is frequently consulted, not as binding but as persuasive authority.Judicial decisions are themselves a source of law. The decisions of the court are binding on all lower courts.The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is responsible for ensuring an accessible justice system that promotes and protects social justice, fundamental human rights and freedoms, thus providing a transparent, responsive and accountable justice for all.Source: South African Yearbook and the Department of Justice.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material