January 2017

Listed property sector winning favor with Investors

Having raised about R153 billion in the past six years, South Africa’s listed property sector is gaining ground and remains unaffected by a weaker economy growth.

Report: Ports, rail and waterway infrastructure of high priority to Trump administration

The Trump administration has put together a preliminary list of 50 high priority infrastructure projects to be funded in the upcoming overhaul.

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A Guide to Solar Roof Tiles: The Next Big Thing

It's likely you've already seen the news on Elon Musk's new, and attractive, solar roof tiles.

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Systemic racism behind South Africa's failure to transform its economy


South Africa suffers from high levels of poverty, racism and inequality. This can be almost entirely attributed to centuries of conflict between white settlers and indigenous Africans. Apartheid reduced black Africans to the periphery of the economy. Many were condemned to landlessness and poverty.

The country’s post apartheid government attempted to dismantle this inheritance by adopting a strategy of black economic empowerment. It passed a series of laws designed to redress historical economic inequalities. These include the Employment Equity Act and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (B-BBEE).

But years after their implementation, these policies largely remain failures. For instance, in 2016 whites still constituted 68.9% of top management in all sectors. Yet they are only 9.9% of the economically active population. In contrast black Africans, who constitute 78% of the economically active population, hold only 14.3% of top management positions.

Are MPs up to the task of fixing South Africa's troubled public broadcaster?

Demonstrators protest against censorship by the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

South Africa’s public broadcaster, the SABC, is in trouble. It has been for years. But things are a little more dangerous than before. There are two critical processes on the go, one to address the SABC’s financial and governance crises and the second to appoint an interim board.

Each must be concluded in the public interest. If the processes unravel there may be little hope of arresting the SABC’s long-term decline and marginalisation. And that will also be a problem for democracy. Through its radio and television offerings, the SABC has the widest media reach in the country.

With the rise in sponsored, commercial content and fake news globally and in South Africa, the country needs a professional, independent public broadcaster offering context, professional fact-checked news and a multitude of views.

The two critical parliamentary processes are the inquiry into the fitness of the SABC board to fulfil its duties. This is being overseen by an ad hoc committee specially set up in 2016. The other is the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communication’s appointment of an interim board.

Why Morocco's burqa ban is more than just a security measure

Moroccan women walking in capital Rabat. EPA/STR

Moroccan authorities have recently banned the manufacturing, marketing and sale of the burqa – an outer garment worn by some Muslim women to cover themselves in public. It completely conceals the face, with a mesh cloth shielding the eyes from view.

The decision is noteworthy in a country whose population is 99% Muslim. So what does the ban mean?

The Moroccan Ministry of Interior cited security concerns as the reason for the ban. It argued that wearing the burqa could help criminals and terrorists hide their identities. Indeed, several criminals have reportedly used the burqa or niqab – a veil that covers the face but not the eyes – to perpetrate crimes, including theft.

How the landscape has changed in the search for a cure for breast cancer

Advances in breast cancer research in the last decade has introduced new treatment regimes.

Today nearly every women’s magazine carries articles on breast cancer. The month of October – as the official breast cancer awareness month – brings thousands of people together for breast cancer walks, races, pink ribbon awareness luncheons, and educational seminars, all targeting the disease.

The goal is always to raise funds for research and for better treatments and an eventual cure.

When I’m feeling down because a patient I have become close to has succumbed to this disease, I only need to visit the breast cancer Research Labs at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in the US to feel hopeful for future patients.

I have been involved in cancer research for the last 12 years, specifically looking at advances in breast cancer treatment. I have recently published a book – Breast cancer: what we all need to know – which is aimed at people diagnosed with breast cancer as part of an effort to help them and their families cope better.

Great progress has been made in the fight against breast cancer over the last three decades. It’s important not to lose sight of these.

Entebbe Airport Gets Quality Certification

By Paul Adude

Entebbe International Airport and Civil Aviation Authority have received the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems (QMS) certificate making Uganda the third country in Africa after Ghana and Tanzania to receive the internationally recognised certification by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

CAA director of airports and aviation security John Kagoro, while addressing the press during the unveiling of the certificates at the airport last week, said: “After following compliance with stringent requirements by UKAS for airport operations, the ISO 9001:2008 certification implies that Entebbe Airport has systems and processes in place that meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while also meeting statutory and regulatory requirements” he said.

The ISO 9001:2008 certification means Uganda’s aviation industry has provision of aeronautical services within the Flight Information Region of Uganda to include regulation, licensing, air navigation services, search and rescue certification of air operators, operation and maintenance of aerodromes, security and corporate support services.

READ MORE: http://www.monitor.co.ug/Business/Markets/Entebbe-airport-gets-quality-c...

Tanzania Imposes Restrictions On Sand Mining

By Issa Yussuf

Zanzibar — Zanzibar Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries, Hamad Rashid Mohamed, on Sunday announced a ban on sand mining after several studies have proved that the twin islands experience scarcity.

"Honestly, Zanzibar has run out of sand," the minister told a press conference, appealing to the media to help spread the message to the public about the new challenge in the construction industry. "We don't have sand for building purposes as since it has decreased drastically in the past ten years. We must find an alternative to non-renewable materials like sand," he said.

READ MORE: http://allafrica.com/stories/201701310245.html

Floods Ravage 1 000 Homes in Zimbabwe

By Abigail Mawonde

FLOODS have left 73 families homeless, damaged over 1 000 homesteads countrywide, while lightning killed 10 people and injured 96, the Civil Protection Unit has indicated.

According to the CPU, 38 schools have been affected by the rains. In its January report, the CPU said several dams have breached, posing danger to people.

It warned that the heavy rains were posing danger to people in low-lying areas like Muzarabani, Middle Sabi, Chikwalakwala, Malipati, Gokwe and Tsholotsho.

READ MORE: http://www.herald.co.zw/floods-ravage-1-000-homes/

Dam levels effectively at 29.2% - City of Cape Town

James de Villiers, News24

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town said in a statement on Monday that the amount of water it has access to is less than the dam levels reported because of the difficulty in extracting the last 10% of water in dams.

"With the last 10% of a dam's water being unusable, city supply dam levels could be seen as effectively around 29.2%," the city said in a statement.

Dam levels dropped to 39.2% on Monday, a decrease of 1.3% from last week.

READ MORE: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/dam-levels-effectively-at-292-cit...

Angola Gains Recycling Plant in Luanda

Located at the Special Economic Zone, the factory will also serve to preserve and protect the quality the environment and create a positive impact socially and economically, as it will generate direct and indirect jobs.

According to the managing partner of the plant, Patrícia Marques, the factory intends to empower the creation of micro-sized companies related to the selective collection of wastes.

"The recycling is the process that aims to transform used materials into new products with a view to their reuse, whose benefits bring numerous wins, both economic and social", she said.

She also mentioned that the preservation of the environment generates wealth and contributes to the significant reduction of soil, water and air pollution.

SOURCE: www.angop.ao/angola/en_us/noticias/ambiente/2017/0/5/Angola-gains-recycl...

Juja Records Highest Land Appreciation in Nairobi's Satellite Towns

NAIROBI, Kenya, – Access to the Thika Super highway have pushed land prices in Juja to an all time high compared to other satellite towns around Nairobi in 2016.

Hass Consult’s quarter four index reports that Juja increased its asking price by 6.32 percent over the quarter and by 50.88 percent over the last year.

Head of Research and Marketing Sakina Hassanali says the area has benefitted from the comparative reduced commute time between the area and the city.

“Juja is doing extremely well because it is served by an eight-lane road which improves access to the area. Distance (between the towns and the city) is no longer about Kilometers but is now about minutes taken,” Hassanali said.

According to the index, the average price of an acre in Juja is Sh10.6 million, a 12 fold growth since 2007.

READ MORE: https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/business/2017/01/juja-records-highest-land-a...

Publication on innovative peace initatives launched

UCLG Peace Prize

Following the award ceremony of the first UCLG Peace Prize, last October at the UCLG Congress in Bogotá (Colombia), a publication to make available the wealth of good approaches in peacebuilding has been published. It was presented at the new year’s reception of VNG International, where a first copy was handed to Mr. Mpho Parks Tau, UCLG’s new President.

In his speech, Mr. Tau emphasized the importance of local governance in implementing the 2030 Agenda and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly peace and justice. Subsequently, Mayor Ton Rombouts, Chair of the international committee of VNG and Vice-Chair of the UCLG Committee on Development Cooperation and City Diplomacy, underlined the role for local governments as operators of peace and expressed his joy of having had the honour to award the 2016 edition to the municipality of Kauswagan (Philippines) for its comprehensive disarmament and reintegration programme named ‘From Arms to Farms’.

Jornada "Municipios y Migraciones: desarrollo. Diversidad y cohesión social", en Barcelona

 Jornada Municipios y Migraciones: desarrollo. Diversidad y cohesión social

2 February 2017. Barcelona, Spain

+ INFO: www.fonscatala.org

Hoy en día, las migraciones se han convertido en un fenómeno global que tiene un impacto evidente en la realidad local. Las ciudades y municipios, sean origen, tránsito o destino de los flujos migratorios, afrontan nuevos retos en un contexto cada vez más interrelacionado y más diverso. 

En el marco de la CGLU-Red Mundial de Ciudades y Gobiernos Locales y Regionales, el Fondo Catalán de Cooperación al Desarrollo coordina el grupo de trabajo "Migración y Co-Desarrollo", una oportunidad para reflexionar sobre los vínculos entre desarrollo y migraciones desde la perspectiva del mundo local. 

En este contexto, el Fondo Catalán de Cooperación al Desarrollo quiere continuar con el trabajo hecho hasta ahora, y abrir un espacio de reflexión para plantear los nuevos retos que los municipios afrontan a la hora de hablar de migraciones y diversidad. 

Fort originally protecting Pretoria wins UP regional architecture award

Fort originally protecting Pretoria wins UP regional architecture awardYvonne Bruinette of the University of Pretoria has been named the regional winner of the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, receiving R8,500, Ryan Taylor won second prize of R6,500, while Abigail Barnard received the third prize of R4,500. A R4,500 prize for the best use of clay masonry was also presented to Michelle Whitaker.
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When buses, matatus & boda bodas became our public transport system


By Samuel Sejjaaka

This piece started life as a self-congratulatory tweet by the @UgandaUPF (Uganda Police) #fikasalama team on Iganga Road. They had arrested a lorry carrying natives either on their way to the market, a wedding or burial (the things we natives usually go to in groups). The photo in the tweet showed the passengers squatting in the back (flat bed) of the lorry to evade surveillance or for safety. I have been in the back of a lorry several times, so I suppose it was a bit of both.

My response was to congratulate the police for ‘arresting’ the natives. They seemed not to appreciate the fact that their lives were in danger. Indeed operation Fika Salaama (arrive safely) has done a lot to save us from the horrors we were witnessing, especially on “Massacre” road. But, being my true self, I just couldn’t let it go, because the irony of the bigger picture. Arresting natives without formally providing an alternative means of conveyance was in my opinion rather blasé. “What happened to Uganda Transport Company?” I tweeted.

READ MORE: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/Commentary/When-buses--matatus--boda-bodas...

Expert Harps On Low Mortgage to Boost Housing Sector

By Mustapha Suleiman

Former President/ Chairman of Council, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mrs. Debola Osibogun has said the mortgage industry could help in cutting interest rate on loans, which will boost housing affordability.

She said this in her valedictory speech titled: "Rethinking Nigeria's Mortgage Financing Policies for Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness."

She noted that there is a gradual shift from mobilising short-term household deposit for long-term mortgage financing to housing finance a more closely integrated with broader capital market developments.

READ MORE: http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/property/expert-harps-on-low-mortgage-...

Housing project to benefit vulnerable residents in Kicukiro

A project to construct model housing units for vulnerable residents was launched on Saturday in Kicukiro District during the monthly community work, Umuganda.

The project, that will in its first phase see the construction of 40 modern housing units to be handed over to the most needy, will be implemented by the district authorities in partnership with the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR).

The housing project is part of the Integrated Development Programme (IDP Model Village).

By the end of the year, they target to have constructed at least 150 housing units to benefit those who were evacuated from high risk zones.

READ MORE / VIEW PHOTOS: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/article/2017-01-30/207550/

Man in Court for Alleged Mpumalanga Housing Scam

News24 Correspondent

Mbombela - A man allegedly tried to defraud a Mpumalanga businessman in a housing scam, without realising he was dealing with an MEC’s brother.

Lucas Matthys Neetling, 58, was granted R5 000 bail when he appeared in the Bronkhorstspruit District Court last week on Thursday on charges of fraud and corruption, Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Mokgotodi said. His case was postponed to March 9.

He allegedly tried to con an Emalahleni businessman out of R100 000 by pretending to be a close friend of Mpumalanga’s MECs for human settlements and for community safety and security.

READ MORE: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/man-in-court-for-alleged-mpumalan...

Mayor Gives Green Light for R1 Billion Cape Town Development

Cape Town's Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille has given final approval for the development of a R1bn, multi-use development in Cape Town's CBD - between Riebeeck Square on Buitengracht and the historic Bo-Kaap neighbourhood.

The development is set to provide 4 000m² of retail space, lifestyle activities and 250 residential apartments. The building currently on the site houses a car dealership.

The developer of the property, Jose Rodrigues, told Fin24 that the development will target a Green Star rating by incorporating environmentally sensitive development and modern energy efficient technology. Construction could start in June or July this year. During the two year construction phase he expects up to 500 direct and indirect jobs to be created.

READ MORE: http://www.fin24.com/Economy/de-lille-gives-green-light-for-r1bn-cape-to...

Housing demand leads to Dunoon building boom

But residents complain that safety has been sacrificed

By Peter Luhanga

Entrepreneurs are making huge profits by buying RDP houses, bulldozing them to the ground and building blocks of flats towering above surrounding houses and backyard shacks in Dunoon township near Milnerton.

The safety of the multi-storey apartment blocks dominating the township skyline is being questioned by residents.

Some RDP houses are being extended into a series of single room flats off a central corridor with shared ablutions. In some cases a single storey is added on the top to create more rooms.

One entrepreneur has set a new trend. After purchasing an RDP house, he demolished it and is building a four-storey block of flats to rent. It is the first four-storey apartment block in the township.

Backyard dweller Erick Mzingile, whose shack is in the yard of an RDP house next to the multi-storey apartment block, said he was shocked to see the height of the building.

Mzingile said the building posed a high risk to tenants should a fire break out. “We don’t know if it will stand severe weather. We didn’t see building inspectors. We just saw it taking shape,” he said.

Coki Dumisani, whose RDP house is right next to the apartment block, said he was not sure whether his house would be safe in the long term.

But one neighbour whose RDP house is a property away from the high-rise building, said he did not see any problem as the plot belonged to the entrepreneur, who was free to build what he pleased.

READ MORE: http://www.groundup.org.za/article/housing-demand-leads-dunoon-building-...

Uyo Church Collapse: Gunmen Shoot Lead Lawyer

Okon Bassey in Uyo

One of the lawyers that appeared before the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Akwa Ibom State Government to probe the collapse of the Reigners Bible Church building on December 10, 2016 in Uyo, the state capital has been shot.

The lawyer, Obong Ini Ekpo, defended the Reigners Bible Church and the General Overseer of the Church, Akan Weeks, at the commission of inquiry.

The attack on Ekpo who was a lead lawyer to Weeks came barely a week after members of the panel concluded receiving evidence on the collapse building from witnesses.

READ MORE: http://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/01/27/uyo-church-collapse-gunm...

Mpuma education department still waiting to build 'ghost schools'

Beatrice Shongwe, News24 Correspondent

Mbombela - The Mpumalanga education department has sought to clarify rumours about so-called ghost schools in the province.

“There are a number of schools in the province that have been registered by the department but they have not been built yet,” spokesperson Jasper Zwane said.

One such school was registered in 2011 under the name Chief Fana Dlamini Secondary School, in Matsulu outside Mbombela.

READ MORE: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/mpuma-education-dept-still-waitin...

PAC Orders Audit On Multi-Cracked 10-Storey TBA Building in Arusha

By Rose Athumani

Dodoma — The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has directed the Controller and Auditor General to conduct a performance audit on a ten-storey building in Arusha owned by the Tanzania Building Agency (TBA), which has been found to spot a lot of cracks.

On a tour of various regions to inspect development projects, the committee was also disappointed with the execution of a project by TBA in building houses for local government leaders in Singida.

Briefing reporters shortly after a debriefing meeting from the committee members, PAC Chairperson Ms Naghenjwa Kaboyoka (Same East - Chadema) said the PAC members who visited the regions were not satisfied by the quality of the houses meant for district commissioners.

READ MORE: http://www.dailynews.co.tz/index.php/home-news/48119-pac-orders-audit-on...

Two Years Later, Eastern Cape School Still Has Broken Roof

By Manqulo Nyakombi

Learners and teachers at Imiqhayi Senior Secondary School in Mount Coke outside King William’s Town have been waiting for two and a half years for the Eastern Cape Department of Education to fix their school after the zinc roof blew off.

The school has broken ceilings and floors, and one standpipe tap for more than 200 learners. Some of the boys’ toilets are broken.

Some of the boys said if they wanted to relieve themselves they went to the houses close to the school to ask if they could use the toilets.

Teachers told GroundUp that in June 2014 strong winds had blown the zinc roof off part of the school. Provincial education department officials had come to assess the damage several times but nothing had been done.

The school had been forced to ask for donations from parents and businesses to buy paint and for volunteers to do the painting.

Last year learners protested twice about conditions at the school.

Imiqhayi Senior Secondary School, which was built in 1949 by parents from six nearby villages, has 205 learners but the number is dropping yearly, according to teachers.

Big-boy Panza, a volunteer caretaker at the school, said his parents had been among those who had helped build the school. They had put up walls with mud blocks before the department of education started to help.

“This is a very old school. I know how our parents struggled to build this school from the ground,” said Panza.

He said the department had failed to maintain the buildings.

Grade 9 and 10 learners are using what used to be a hall but has been divided into two classrooms.

The school started the year with a shortage of teachers.

Grade 11 learner Bandile Moni said he had hoped to do Physical Science but there was no teacher and the school had dropped the subject.

He showed GroundUp what used to be a science lab but is now a storage room where old desks are kept.

Editorial : On the planned closure of Abuja airport


The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, due to be shut down on March 8, 2017, for six weeks, to enable some repair work on its runway is certainly far from being an ideal airport for the capital of a nation like Nigeria.

The facilities are hardly world-class and the terminal building is nothing compared to what obtains in smaller or even less endowed countries. So, any attempt to upgrade it technically or aesthetically should not generate unnecessary controversy.

Runways the world over are routinely resurfaced without much fuss but the decision to close the Abuja Airport totally for six weeks to do runway repairs beats all reason.

READ MORE: https://guardian.ng/opinion/on-the-planned-closure-of-abuja-airport/

Company to establish house constructing factory in Abuja

CTSR Group has unveiled plan to establish a factory in Abuja where various components of a real building would be constructed.

The factory is billed to be commissioned before the end of January 2017.

Funke Otti, president of CTSR Group said by the time the production of the various housing components begins, it would fast-track building construction.

She explained that the factory was to support the federal government’s desire to bridge the housing deficit in the country which was well over 17 million units.


Proposed Embakasi Construction Hangs in the Balance Following Squatter Invasion


The proposed construction of a multi-billion-shilling project in Embakasi, Nairobi hangs in the balance following squatters’ invasion of the land meant for the project.

For nearly two decades, efforts by the private developer to remove the squatters from the 35-acre land through court orders have been unsuccessful as the illegal occupiers are said to continue growing – from a paltry 200 in 1999 to more than 3,000.

Embakasi Developers Ltd had proposed to build a Sh3 billion complex known as City-within-a-City, including a commercial centre, educational centre, health centre, high-end residential apartments, office block, worship centre and recreational and playgrounds but all these remain on paper.

READ MORE: http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/nairobi/embakasi-construction-squatter-...

Tanzania to build more natural gas stations in Dar


Tanzania plans to construct more compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in Dar es Salaam to provide cheaper, cleaner energy for more of its citizens.

According to the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), the project will be executed in three phases and will involve construction of 15 compressed natural gas stations in the country’s commercial capital.

READ MORE: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/Tanzania-to-build-natural-gas-s...