First South Bank Prime Interest Rate

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					                        Newsletter of the South African Embassy Muscat
                        June 2/2005                                                                  Tel    :               +968 24694791/3
                                                                                                     Fax    :               + 968 24694792
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President Mbeki visits Chile                      towards the continent's growth and                 Dictionaries for all
President Thabo Mbeki payed a State Visit to      development. Finance Minister Trevor               There are now bilingual dictionaries for all of
Chile where he and President Ricardo Escobar      Manuel said South Africa's responsibilities to     South Africa’s official languages. Electronic
discussed cooperation on advancing the            keep peace on the continent would be eased         dictionaries (e-dictionaries) will soon be
developmental agenda of the South, the            by the sharing of this obligation. Funds could     available for schools to download. Earlier,
institutionalisation of the African Union (AU),   be channeled towards building Africa's health      Education Minister Naledi Pandor announced
and reform of UN institutions.                    systems, infrastructure and economies to           that African languages are to be made
                                                  reach the Millennium Development Goals             compulsory subjects in schools.
Interest rate remains at 10.5 percent             (MDGs).
The South African Reserve Bank has left the                                                           Inmates Rejoin their Communities
repo rate unchanged at 7 percent, keeping the     US supports efforts on HIV and AIDS                More than 3000 inmates were released from
prime interest rate steady at 10.5 percent.       The US government supports South Africa's          various prisons countrywide as part of
Governor Tito Mboweni, delivering its June        Comprehensive Plan for the Management,             government's     remission    of     sentences
Monetary Policy Committee statement, said         Care and Treatment of HIV and AIDS.                programme. Those who were released
the bank was not changing its focus on            Addressing the media at the start of a South       included women, women with children and
inflation targeting. Indications were that        African AIDS Conference, US Ambassador             juveniles. The remission does not apply to
inflation would remain in the targeted range      Dr Jendayi Frazer, said her government was         awaiting-trial detainees, or those who are
of 3-6 percent, but it was expected that the      pleased to see the strides that had been made      facing further charges. Prisoners who have
CPIX could peak in the first quarter of 2006 at   by the SA government in its attempts to fight      been convicted for economic, or non-violent
a slightly higher level than previously           AIDS. Dr Frazer revealed that the US               crimes or "crimes of need" had their sentences
forecast.                                         government had spent USD 89 million on             reduced by a further 14 months.
                                                  HIV-related programmes in South Africa
SA participating in anti-corruption forum         during 2004.                                       Massive Budget To Make Gauteng Safer
Public Service and Administration Minister                                                           The departmental budget tabled by Gauteng
Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi lead a high level       Science and technology agreement signed            Community Safety MEC, Firoz Cachalia, at
delegation from South Africa at the Fourth        Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi           the Provincial Legislature showed a
Global Forum on Fighting Corruption. South        Mangena and his Lesotho's counterpart              noticeable increase from R39 million of the
Africa was a member of the International          Motsoahae Thabane have signed an                   previous year to R182 million in the current
Organising Committee that assisted the            agreement to strengthen bilateral relations.       financial year. Mr Chakalia explained that
Government of Brazil to organise Global           The agreement provides for further                 much of this increase would be towards
Forum IV. South Africa will host the next         engagement in areas of public understanding        improving policing and strengthening of road
meeting of Global Forum in 2007.                  of science, engineering and technology;            safety in the province of Gauteng.
                                                  biotechnology, indigenous knowledge and
SA briefs China on its UN reform position         technology incubation.                             Rural schools benefit from donations
Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Sue van der                                                          Children at three rural Limpopo-province
Merwe has held discussions with her Chinese       Biosphere to draw world's attention                schools will find it easier to learn science after
counterpart Lu and briefed him on South           The Kruger to Canyons (K2C) Biosphere              a huge donation of laboratory equipment by
Africa's position on the current UN reform        Reserve will be officially launched on Friday,     the South African Bureau of Standards
debate. That is support for the common            drawing international focus to the stretch of      (SABS). SABS has donated lab equipment
African position that would like to see the       land between the Blyde River Canyon and            worth R807 000 to the three Limpopo
UNSC membership increased to include two          Kruger National Park. The K2C Biosphere            schools, as well as three schools in North
permanent seats for Africa. The Chinese           Reserve is an area designated by UNESCO as         West. The schools fall in areas identified by
delegation's visit was part of a broader          an International Man and Biosphere Reserve.        President Thabo Mbeki as needing urgent
mission to engage African countries on this       Biosphere reserves are designated regions          development.
question.                                         throughout the world where internationally
                                                  important protected areas lie adjacent to          Sasol, trade unions to ensure worker safety
UN affirms efforts to reach MDGs                  human settlements.                                 Sasol management and leaders of three trade
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that                                                            unions active in the industry signed a
2005 would be crucial for world leaders to        Russian scientists would be welcome in SA          "historic" Safety Charter in Johannesburg,
achieve the Millennium Development Goals          A visit to South Africa by Russian scientists      committing to improving safety at Sasol's
(MDGs). Mr. Annan noted that the MDGs             will be most welcomed, as it will assist this      operations. This comes against the
progress report for 2005 indicated that, while    country in its bid to host the Square Kilometre    background of a series of accidents that have
there had been a massive, unprecedented           Array Radio Telescope (SKA), Home Affairs          claimed many lives and injured many at some
reduction of poverty worldwide since 1990,        Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba said.                of Sasol's plants in the country.
the poorest were still getting poorer in sub-     Government is offering to host the SKA radio
Saharan Africa.                                   telescope project, which will function both as       Extracts do not necessarily reflect the
                                                  a fully operational scientific instrument and as    view of the South African Government.
Debt relief could enhance AU-initiatives          a technology demonstrator. The SKA will               For more information on any of the
African countries whose debt was cancelled        represent a massive increase in South African          above articles, please contact us.
by the G7, could now contribute more              radio astronomy capability.

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