20 November 2012A group of medical students who left for training in Cuba on Monday will be able to assist with the roll-out of South Africa’s National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme when they return, says KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize.Mkhize was speaking at King Shaka International Airport in Durban during a farewell function for the 115 students who were selected to study medicine in Cuba as part of the South Africa-Cuba Medical Training Programme.The programme was started 16 years ago.Mkhize said the provincial government regarded the students as assets that would transform public health in the province and the rest of country.“Upon completion of their studies, they will be at the forefront of the implementation of NHI in various health institutions,” Mkhize said.Improving the quality of health services“For the public to use the publicly funded NHI services in the public and private sector, the quality of health services must improve and these students will assist in this regard.”He added that the disparity in resource distribution between the public and private health sector and consequent inequities in access to care continued and that government had a responsibility to ensure that barriers to access to quality health care for all were removed.“These students have been selected from all districts in the province with the assistance of mayors and district Aids Councils,” he said.“They are fully aware that they all represent the aspirations of poor people who cannot afford medical aid in order to access quality healthcare.”About 143 students in the province have left for Cuba already and more than 60 are expected to leave over the next two days.Mkhize said the main target as the KwaZulu-Natal government was to train more medical students in order to increase the current output of doctors produced each year by the country.KwaZulu-Natal has been ardently implementing key interventions and activities as part of the preparatory work for the implementation of NHI.As part of the pilot process, the province has also been testing components that focus on improving financial management capacity and systems at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital and King Edward VIII Academic Hospital.Source: SANews.gov.za
20 August 2013South Africa President Jacob Zuma has invited businesses from the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries to partner with Africa in its drive to develop the continent’s infrastructure.Addressing the first meeting of the BRICS Business Council in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Zuma noted that South Africa, as part of its push for increased regional integration and cross-border trade within Africa, was a strong promoter of both private and public sector investments on the continent.“Over the last few years, the South African Reserve Bank approved nearly 1 000 large investments into 36 African countries.”Intra-African trade levels were still far below their potential, Zuma said, owing in large part to under-developed production structures and inadequate infrastructure – a major theme of the meeting between BRICS and African leaders at the 5th BRICS summit in Durban in March/April.African infrastructure initiative“In my capacity as the champion of the AU’s [African Union’s] Presidential Infrastructure Initiative, I warmly invite you to collaborate with us in realising the delivery of infrastructure on the continent,” Zuma told the gathering of business leaders.“We specifically champion the North-South corridor with its particular emphasis on road and rail infrastructure, initially from Durban to Dar es Salaam and ultimately from the Cape to Cairo.”Zuma noted that South African state corporations, including electricity utility Eskom and the Development Bank of Southern Africa, were already intensifying, or preparing to intensify, their investments in African infrastructure projects, particularly in electricity supply and road infrastructure.The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) had invested a total of R6.2-billion in 41 projects across 17 African countries in 2012, the bulk of these being in mining, industrial infrastructure, agro-processing and tourism.Within South Africa, Zuma said, the government was on course to spend in excess of R4-trillion on infrastructure over the coming years, focusing on rail, roads, energy, water, sanitation and communication.“There is a lot of scope indeed for mutually beneficial partnerships within the BRICS community which will create much-needed infrastructure in Africa,” Zuma said, adding that Africa’s success story augured well for the BRICS-Africa relationship.African free trade areaThe rate of return on foreign investment in Africa was already higher than in any other region in the world, Zuma said, and the continent’s potential – given its mineral wealth, agricultural resources, young population and growing middle class – was enormous.In addition, the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Central Africa (Comesa) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) were working on creating free trade area that would join the markets of 26 countries with a combined population of nearly 600-million people and a GDP of US$1-trillion.This, Zuma said, “will form the basis for an Africa-wide free trade area, which could create a single market of 2.6-trillion US dollars.”Zuma noted that a key outcome of the BRICS summit in Durban had been the agreement to establish a BRICS development bank to help finance infrastructure development in the BRICS and other developing countries.“BRICS leaders plan to meet again on the margins of the G20 Summit in Russia next month and we will consider the progress report from our finance ministers in this regard,” Zuma said, adding: “I trust that this meeting will provide further impetus to the BRICS-led new development bank.”SAinfo reporter
An injury-ravaged Team India is gearing up for the third ODI against England at The Oval on Friday, still looking for that elusive win which would lift the sagging morale of the battle-weary side.Trailing 0-1 in the five-match series after being whitewashed 0-4 in the Tests, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men have reasons to feel fatalistic ahead of the day-night encounter.The visitors are worried on the count of lack of bowling firepower in their ranks and are resigned to the fact England would chase down any total they can rustle up in remaining one-dayers.Dhoni laid himself bare to media after losing the second one-dayer at Rose Bowl on Tuesday, fretting about the sameness of his fast bowlers and their general lack of pace.”If it doesn’t swing, we struggle. Most of our bowlers are in the 120-130 kmph range and it becomes very difficult,” or words to similar effect was Dhoni’s lament and Friday could just make his worst fears come true.The pitch at The Oval offers bounce but no sideways movement and the gentle pace of Indian seamers could turn out to be fodder for England batsmen.Dhoni concedes Praveen Kumar is not his best option in death overs and he is forced to keep Munaf Patel a lot towards the end than in the initial overs.If India can’t strike early, it is a given that the rest of the overs would be savaged by the in-form England batsmen.A similar thing occurred in the second one-dayer where India ran up a decent total but were powerless to stop England from romping home with seven wickets to spare.advertisementThe crushing dominance was evident when England were 100 up on the board with 10 full overs yet to be completed.As if this was not enough, India is also worried on the count of fifth bowler’s quota — a job Yuvraj Singh used to do with such aplomb in the past.In the rain-hit second match, it fell on Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina to do the job but it would be beyond them to remain useful over a stretch of 10 overs.That makes the inclusion of Ravindra Jadeja a strong possibility. The Gujarat all-rounder is a useful left-arm spinner and can add up a decent package with his notable fielding and batting.His inclusion would almost surely bring the aspirations of Manoj Tiwary for the rest of the series to a premature end.Ironically, India’s batting showed little effect of downturn despite losing so many stalwarts up the order.Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane have been startlingly good up the order. Virat Kohli has shown good intent and Suresh Raina is laying about the bowling with a streak of vengeance.Thus England could sense a killing in the rest of the matches. The pitches at the remaining three venues are unlikely to help seam and swing.Indians might be a depleted lot but England would take immense delight in prevailing over the visitors and ending the summer in style.England wouldn’t take their foot off the pedal for it’s a good practice opportunity for them to iron out their one-day follies. For one, they are not seen as particularly adventurous in initial overs. The issue was met squarely by England openers in the second one-dayer.Another issue is their rather timid approach in death overs. The hosts would be keen to sort this out too.England have largely been an orthodox unit in one-day cricket. They are now bringing in a new set of players who can resort to unorthodox tactics.Men like Craig Kieswetter and Ben Stokes are being primed for such roles. Their bowling in death overs has received a boost with the arrival of Jade Dernbach.It being a day-night fixture, both sides would be keen to win the toss and bat first. Luck has been seen as an important ingredient in Dhoni’s extraordinary record as a Test captain.It hasn’t shown up by his side on this tour so far. For a starter, it could help him by flipping the coin in his favour on Friday.Squads:England: Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel, Ben Stokes, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott.India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Manoj Tiwary, Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, RP Singh, Vinay Kumar, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Parthiv Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Varun Aaron.The match will start at 5.30 p.m (IST)advertisement
The Imitation Game, a biopic about British mathematician and World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing, won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday.The film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, took the Groslch People’s Choice award for best film at the 39th edition of the festival.Accepting the award on behalf of director Morten Tyldum, Elevation Pictures’ Noah Segal said simply, “Yummy, delicious,” a reference to an audience member who had declared the same about Cumberbatch during a question-and-answer session following the film’s screening during the festival.Benedict Cumberbatch plays British mathematician and World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game”It was unnerving, but true,” said Segal.The award, which is chosen by audience members and has in the past gone to Oscar best picture winners such as Slumdog Millionaire, and last year’s 12 Years a Slave, will likely ramp up the buzz around the film.In the movie, Turing is the brilliant mathematician who breaks the Germans’ Enigma code, helping to bring the war to an end. He took his own life at 41 after he was convicted for being a homosexual.Cumberbatch, one of the most sought-after actors in film and television, gave an immediate “yes” to playing Turing, he told Reuters last week.”There is a huge burden, an onus of responsibility,” the 38-year-old Englishman said. “This was an extraordinary man and sadly, bizarrely not that well known a man of his achievements.”The runner-up for the prize was “Learning to Drive,” a film about a Manhattan writer, played by Patricia Clarkson, who finds comfort in her lessons with a Sikh driving instructor, played by Ben Kingsley.advertisement”St. Vincent,” starring Bill Murray, took second runner-up.The People’s Choice award for top film in the Midnight Madness program, which often showcases horror and offbeat films, went to “What We Do in the Shadows,” a mockumentary about vampires living in a New Zealand suburb.”I’d like to use this forum to bring attention to a more serious matter: the disgusting sport of vampire hunting,” said co-director and co-star Jemaine Clement.The People’s Choice award for top documentary went to “Beats of the Antonov,” which follows refugees from the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains in Sudan.Started in 1976, the Toronto festival now ranks with Cannes and Sundance as one of the world’s top movie gatherings. The festival often serves as a launching point for films and performances that go on to win Academy Awards, as well as international films seeking distribution deals.This year saw the festival’s highest film sales after a bidding war ended with Paramount buying Chris Rock’s “Top Five” for a reported $12.5 million, organizers said. Forty-one film sales have been announced so far, including 24 major sales to U.S. distributors.