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South Africa losing bid to host 2022 Commonwealth Games 

By Ndumiso Mlilo JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s Durban will not host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said Monday.

South Africa won the bid in mid 2016 after Canada withdrew to host the tournament. South Africa initially failed to appoint the local organizing committee with the required 180 days after the announcement and also failed to pay the initial deposit to the CGF.

In a statement emailed to Xinhua on Monday, the CGF confirmed that South Africa’s bid has been withdrawn.

Louise Martin, president of the CGF, said the CGF is actively exploring alternative options, including a potential replacement host.

“The CGF will continue to have an open dialogue with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the Republic of South Africa and remains committed to realizing the shared ambitions of a future Commonwealth Games in Africa,” said Martin.

CGF stated that the decision has been necessitated by key obligations and commitments in areas such as governance, venues, funding and risk management.



South African minister decries high rate of learner pregnancy

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- The high rate of learner pregnancy in South Africa has become a major social, systemic and fiscal challenge, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said Monday.

It poses a challenge not only to the basic education sector, but also to national development, Motshekga said after a meeting of the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) in Pretoria.

Teenage pregnancy among school girls can impact negatively on the country’s ability to ensure these girls complete their schooling, which is also goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations, the minister said.

“Teenage pregnancy impacts the lives of thousands of young people, often limiting their personal growth, the pursuit of rewarding careers and their ambitions, with incalculable impact on South Africa’s socio-economic systems,” she said.

An estimated 15,740 learners fall pregnant in an academic school year with some girls being in primary schools, and the Health Department said this number could be even greater.

In North West Province’s impoverished Ratlou-municipality, for instance, 3,000 underage girls were found pregnant earlier this year, including an 11 years old who had already given birth.

The girls were allegedly impregnated by older men.

In many cases girls who fall pregnant while in school drop out or rarely return to school post pregnancy, thus ending any prospect for a descent career, said Motshekga.

To curb the high pregnancy rate of learners, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has developed a National Policy for the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy.

This policy seeks to ensure the accessible provision of information on prevention, choice of termination of pregnancy, care, counselling and support, frameworks for impact mitigation, and guidelines for systemic management and implementation.

In particular, it commits the basic education system and other role players to providing the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) crucial to optimal sexual and reproductive health.

The DBE needs to ensure that learners are educated and know what they are getting into when it comes to sexual activity and to advise and support them to access relevant forms of contraception, Motshekga said

For those learners who do fall pregnant, “we do not want them to be expelled from school or denied the right to education,” she said.


South Africa Durban assessing winds damage

By Ndumiso Mlilo DURBAN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s Durban is assessing the damage and cleaning the area hit by high winds and huge waves, the local government said on Monday.

Strong winds pelted South Africa’s tourist resort Durban beach in eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality on Sunday. The winds and high waves damaged the beachfront, destroying beach promenade embankment and the commercial zone near the hotels and restaurants. Three people were injured.

EThekwini Chairperson for Community Services Committee Zama Sokhabase said officials were working along all affected beaches to clean up debris, litter and large volumes of sea sand that has been washed up on the promenade and car park area.

The beaches have been closed to the public while they take stock of the damage caused.

“We are appealing to beachgoers to heed the warning of lifeguards and refrain from swimming until beaches have been re-opened,” Sokhabase said.

Bongi Sithole-Moloi, Acting Member of the Executive Committee for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs of eThekwini Municipality, said they will announce the the damage after assessment.

“The rough seas have caused some damage largely on some of the infrastructure along eThekwini’s coastline. We have taken stock of the damage and we deployed additional teams to speedily restore the situation back to normality,” he said.



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