This year marked the 55th year founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), presently known as the Africa Union (AU), which is celebrated through Africa Day annually on the 25th May. Africans across the continent celebrated Africa day, an amazing milestone, and a journey all are proud of.Africa Day pays tribute to the achievements made by our heroes back in 1963 who led the way and envisioned an Africa that is filled with greatness, and it is in each and every individual to take the baton – of being the change and make Africa better.South Africa celebrated Africa Day with a month-long celebration of what it means to be African, and a three-day programme with Brand South Africa, Bassline and various stakeholders building up to the 14th annual Africa Day Festival hosted by Bassline now rebranded #BasslineFest which was held at the Constitution Hill.“We are proud to have been part of the Africa Day celebration as want to remind each and every African of our shared history and, to build lasting collaborations with our neighbours on the continent”; said Brand South Africa’s Stakeholder Relationship Manager Ms Toni Gumede.The three-day programme went as follows;Day one – 24th May Bassline in partnership with Brand South Africa, Nelson Mandela Foundation, Constitution Hill, Joburg Tourism and the ‘Red Bus’ company hosted a ‘Trace Mandela Footsteps Tour’. The purpose was to promote the #BeTheLegacy centenary campaign and local tourism.The tour ended in the Mandela House in Soweto, with the official #BasslineFest press-launch lunch where the #BasslineFest headline artists were unveiled. These included the legendary Salif Keita (Mali), multi-Grammy award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo (South Africa) and the pop sensation Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, Nakhane and Femi Koya amongst others.Addressing the artists’ and delegates, Chief Executive Officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Mr Sello Hatang said, “we are so grateful that you are here, Madiba use to say that music can unite people, can unite nations, you can forget about differences when there is music. It gives us great pleasure that you will be opening the centenary programme in terms of music and you are therefore pioneers in the arts for the centenary programme because you are the first act.”To end off the tour a surprise performance by multi-Grammy award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo left the audience in a state of awe.“The tour was really an insightful page out of our history book. It was very informative and emotional at the same time. A very special reminder to celebrate Mandela’s legacy and the freedom we are happily enjoying today”, said delegate Ms Nthabi.Day two – 25th May Two dialogues were hosted at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The first one under the theme “South Africa belongs to all who live in it” was led by Brand South Africa. The second dialogue of the day was hosted by the Gauteng Department of Sport and Recreation and focused on the Role of the Creative Industry in strengthening democracy.“The country (South Africa) has become home for many foreign nationals who not only contribute to the economy but to the colourful nation, we’ve been known to be. I urge that we all build bridges of active citizenry across African nations to better strengthen the main objectives of the OAU, said Brand South Africa’s Board of Trustee, Mr Mzi Malunga as he closed off the session.Day three – 26th May The #BasslineFest which was held at the Constitution Hill celebrated African dynamism, promoted solidarity, social cohesion, anti-xenophobia, tourism, arts and culture under the theme #BeTheLegacy as endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation centenary celebration.Mr Brad Holmes, Founder and Managing Director of Bassline said, “the #BasslineFest is about exposing talent across Africa and contributes to creating a united Africa, a Pan Africa, an Africa without borders”.The #BasslineFest was infused with a market day curated by Soweto’s LoCrate Market team which was an opportunity to buy African food, fashion, art and crafts.Performances had the audiences dancing, screaming and chanting “we want more”. The artists paid homage to the continent with a particular focus this year, on the legacy that is Nelson Mandela.Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Yemi Alade and Salif Keita gave an exclusively crafted performance to pay tribute to Madiba’s legacy.Audiences of the #BasslineFest expressed their sentiments on the various performances on social media; @Tshepuna_Moloi May 26 : I’m in so much awe hlena… #BasslineFest @Pixie306 May 26: I absolutely love seeing Yemi Alade perform #BasslineFest @lulushezi May 26 : #Basslinefest Ladysmith Black Mambazo. My KZN heart is [email protected] May 26 : The #BasslineFest bodied everything I’ve ever been to because @TheRealMambazo was there & then the king, @SalifKeita closed things off with ‘Afrika yeh!’ I wish him good [email protected] May 27 : #BASSLINEFest Ladysmith Black Mambazo did the most, shuuuuuu what a night, LegendaryWatch highlights of the #BasslineFest here: Africa Day Celebration Concert
18 July 2013 South African mining group Exxaro Resources and French independent power producer GDF Suez have signed an agreement to develop a 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant outside Lephalale in Limpopo province. The proposed site is 17 kilometres northwest of Lephalale in the Waterberg region and adjacent to Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine. Fuel for the plant will be supplied by Exxaro’s prospective opencast greenfields Thabametsi mine on a surface conveyor belt. “The mine will supply up to 3.8-million tonnes per annum of run-of-mine coal to the power plant post ramp-up,” Exxaro said in a statement on Monday. It is expected that coal will be supplied to the plant for up to 25 years, as coal will continue to form a large part of South Africa’s energy mix. “South Africa urgently requires the installation of additional electricity generation capacity in the near future due to the combination of a low reserve margin and growing electricity demand,” Exxaro said. “GDF Suez and Exxaro are global leaders in their respective industries and are pleased to be able to combine their strengths to positively impact the baseload power generation capacity, with the aim of assisting in alleviating South Africa’s power supply challenges.” The plant’s capacity can be expanded to 1 200MW, depending on water availability and grid integration constraints. “GDF Suez’s partnership with South Africa is gaining momentum, with several agreements successfully concluded during the second quarter of 2013,” said GDF Suez Energy CEO for South Asia, Middle East and Africa Shankar Krishnamoorthy. “Successful public-private partnerships in the power sector will contribute to the adequacy and efficiency of South Africa’s electricity industry, which is key to the country’s economic development.” As a key play in the country’s coal mining sector, Exxaro is integrated in the power and energy production value chain, according to CEO, Sipho Nkosi. “We have taken advantage of the opportunities provided from current regulatory development in South Africa’s mineral and energy sectors to develop a coal mine that can supply new power generating capacity,” Nkosi said. SAinfo reporter
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Senior IPS officer S.M.H. Mirza, arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Narada sting case, broke his silence for the first time on Tuesday since the scam surfaced in 2016. He said BJP leader Mukul Roy’s statement that there is no video of him accepting money “does not prove anything” and that the investigation will reveal all facts.Sent to judicial custody “Investigation will prove that [he has taken money]. That he is not in the video does not prove anything… he (Roy) is seen speaking over telephone,” Mr. Mirza told a television channel while on his way to being produced before a city court. The court, after hearing counsels representing CBI and the IPS officer, remanded him in judicial custody till October 15.Mr. Roy had categorically denied that he took any money, insisting he introduced the undercover journalists to the IPS officer “to facilitate their business”.On Sunday, Mr. Mirza was taken to the central Kolkata apartment of Mr. Roy where he was asked to demonstrate how he had handed over money to the latter as claimed. The process was videographed.The Narada news videos, shot in 2014 and made public ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal, showed senior Trinamool Congress leaders accepting bundles of cash from journalist Mathew Samuel, who posed as a representative of a fictitious company, Impex Infrastructure.Video proofIn March 2017, a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court ordered the CBI to take over the Narada case. While Mr. Roy, one of the most influential Trinamool Congress leaders then, is not been seen accepting any cash in the purported videos, he could be heard telling the sting operative, “You talk to Mirza.” Mr. Mirza, who was posted as SP of Bardhaman, is seen accepting bundles of cash in the Narada video.Mr. Roy was questioned by the CBI on September 28-29.