Newscast Media JOHANNESBURG—The Nelson Mandela Foundation has announced the
death of the international icon who after a long illness has passed away. On its Web
site, the message read in part:
It is with the deepest regret that we have learned of the passing of our founder, Nelson
Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba. The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa will shortly
make further official announcements.
We want to express our sadness at this time. No words can adequately describe this
enormous loss to our nation and to the world.
We give thanks for his life, his leadership, his devotion to humanity and humanitarian
causes. We salute our friend, colleague and comrade and thank him for his sacrifices for
our freedom. The three charitable organisations that he created dedicate ourselves to
continue promoting his extraordinary legacy.
The renowned freedom fighter was jailed for over a quarter of a century by the
apartheid government, and after he was released in 1990, he became South Africa’s
first Black president in 1994.
In 1985, Mandela turned down the government’s offer to free him if he renounced
armed struggle against apartheid. It wasn’t until South African President P.W. Botha
had a stroke and was replaced by F.W. de Klerk in 1989 that the stage was set for
His life was a triumph over racial oppression. The statesman died at age 95 from a
recurring lung infection and will receive a state funeral.
Newscast Media JOHANNESBURG—South African President Jacob Zuma vows to transform the economy by involving more black business people sidelined for years by the oppressive apartheid regime that ended in 1994.
Speaking at a two day Broad-based Economic Empowerment (BEE) summit in Johannesburg, President Jacob Zuma said his country is ready to further boost its economy, this time by opening the doors to more black industrialists. Zuma said his government is planning to provide mentorship programs and financial assistance to previously disadvantaged black businesses.
Addressing delegates at the BEE, President Zuma also said the current BEE Act has been amended to ensure that black businesses have the same opportunities as their white counterparts.
The Act, which dates back to 2003, aims to redress the inequalities of apartheid by giving disadvantaged groups, including blacks, Indians and coloreds, economic privileges previously not available to them.
“It is important therefore, to underline that Broad-based Economic Empowerment is an integral part of our economic policies and economic transformation. It is part of a broader objective of promoting inclusive growth and economic development.” Zuma said.
Zuma told the summit that since South Africa achieved its independence in 1994, BEE transactions worth $60 billion (44 billion euros) have been made. He added that in the past financial year, the National Empowerment Fund assisted black businesses to the tune of $500 million and created hundreds of jobs in the process.
Corruption is also a big problem, said Jordan Hill, shadow minister of trade and industry from the Democratic Alliance, the official opposition party in South Africa.
“We have seen examples of deals in the past where one well-connected leader will make tens of millions of Rands and the other shareholders, the so called black broad-based elements will make a few hundred Rands out of the deal, to re-empower a few extremely wealthy individuals who are well connected,” said Hill.
In response to these criticisms, the government in turn announced plans for swift measures to deal with the challenges facing the black empowerment program. It revealed that the amendment of the BEE Act would include clauses that will criminalize fronting and allow for a commission to be set up that will monitor and safeguard the objectives of the program.
Source: Radio Deutsche Welle