JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) --
South Africa will start manufacturing,
assembling, testing, commissioning and delivering new commuter
trains in Johannesburg, the country’s Department of Transport
said on Monday.
According to the
Department of Transport, the total cost of factory is over 70
million U.S. dollars, and its construction started in January
The plant will be
officially opened this week.
“The plant will
deliver two new trains by December 2018, and approximation of
nine trains by March 2019, and an estimated total of 56 trains
over the next two years thereafter if bulk service challenges
are overcome,” Transport Ministry spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi
He said the train
manufacturing factory employs 635 people.
South Africa has
been importing coaches from countries like China and the United
urged to fight gender-based violence in guise of religion
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile
Dlamini on Monday urged South Africans to fight gender-based
violence in the guise of religion and faith.
“We condemn the acts
of gender-based violence that occurred in the guise of religion
and faith,” Dlamini said at the trial of Nigerian Pastor Timothy
Omotoso and two co-accused in the Port Elizabeth High Court,
Eastern Cape Province.
Dlamini, along with
Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and Eastern Cape
Premier Phumullo Masualle, attended the trial, indicating the
high attention the government is attaching to the case.
“This is a turning
point for everyone to ask themselves what they have done to
protect women, especially the justice system,” Dlamini said
while addressing the public outside court.
Omotoso is charged
with rape and human trafficking, while the two co-accused women
are accused of recruiting girls from all over the country for
purposes of sexual exploitation.
The trio are facing
more than 60 charges that include racketeering and rape.
televangelist allegedly trafficked more than 30 girls and women
who were from various branches of his church to a house in
Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, where he allegedly sexually exploited
Omotoso was arrested
on April 20 last year, by the Directorate for Priority Crime
Investigation, known as the Hawks, at the Port Elizabeth
According to state
prosecutors, some of the alleged victims are as young as 13
The pastor has been
denied bail on two occasions, as he was deemed a flight risk.
The co-accused were arrested in November last year and are out
The case has sparked
public interest in South Africa, where there is a history of
so-called holy men taking advantage of their congregations.
“Today we find
adults who took children to places of worship who are
accomplices since they also contributed to the grooming of these
children as sex slaves,” Dlamini said.
“We condemn the
hijacking and use of our own buildings and sites for illegal
religious practices,” she said. “What is happening in these
places of worship is human trafficking.”
The minister said
her department is also aware of the many cases of intimidation
against women who have spoken up against Omotoso.
“We note with
concern the social media comments going around. We wish to warn
all those who intimidate these women that they are accomplices
in the crime of abuse that Omotoso is accused of,” she said.
The minister said
her department will be embarking on a process of planning toward
public hearings with various stakeholders against gender-based
violence and all forms of abuses in the guise of religion and
“These abuses can be
in churches, in synagogues, in mosques, on mountains, under the
sea and in heaven above,” she said.
These hearings will
offer women a platform to speak about their experiences,
according to Dlamini.
“They will also shed
the veil of shame that comes with being abused, and finally heal
the pain they have been carrying alone,” she said.
Concurrent to the
hearings, the government will be reviewing the Sexual Offenses
Act, the Domestic Violence Act and the Criminal Procedures Act,
with the view to strengthen the country’s laws to protect women,
She said her
department will also be meeting with the Departments of Home
Affairs and International Relations and Cooperation to
deliberate on the theme of migration as it pertains not only to
this case in particular, but also to the many unregulated
religious institutions headed by foreign nationals.
Bahrain, India, Lesotho, South
Africa win Investment Promotion Awards
GENEVA (Xinhua) --
Agencies from Bahrain, India, Lesotho, and South
Africa were on Monday awarded the UN Investment Promotion Awards
(IPAs) for excellence in boosting investment helping countries
meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The prizes were
presented on the opening day of the 2018 World Investment Forum,
organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD) and taking place in Geneva from Oct. 22-26.
The awards showcase
best practices in attracting investment into SDG-related
projects that can inspire investment promotion practitioners in
developing and developed countries, said UNCTAD.
“IPAs have a
critical role to play in mobilizing investment to achieve the
SDGs,” said UNCTAD’s director of investment and enterprise James
agencies show that by mainstreaming the SDGs, IPAs can make a
valuable contribution to social and economic development,” said
The Lesotho National
Development Corporation (LNDC) received its award for a large
horticulture investment project that will create 15,000 direct
and indirect jobs.
InvestSA was awarded for its instrumental role in facilitating
two pioneering waste-to-nutrient recycling projects to up-cycle
organic waste into natural, sustainable high-protein animal
EDB Bahrain was
awarded for its role in attracting a large-scale regional data
center, which will provide cloud computing services in Bahrain
and neighboring countries and the investor plans to employ
10,000 data-solution architects.
received its award for excellence in servicing and supporting a
major global wind turbines company in the establishment of a
blade manufacturing plant in India while committing to train
local staff and produce 1 gigawatt of renewable energy.
The IPA Awards have
been given annually since 2002 as part of UNCTAD’s investment
promotion and facilitation program.