“We believe South Africa has significant potential and we will continue to look for additional opportunities there,” said ExxonMobil Exploration president, Stephen Greenlee. The Tugela South Exploration Right covers about 2.8-million acres offshore Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. It has water depths extending from the coastline to approximately 6 500 feet [about 1.98 kilometres]. The future exploration rights cover an additional 16-million acres offshore with water depths extending from the coastline to approximately 9 800 feet [2.99 kilometres], ExxonMobil said. “Separately, the ExxonMobil affiliate also has executed a technical cooperation permit with the South African government to study the hydrocarbon potential of the Deepwater Durban Basin covering approximately 12.4-million acres offshore Durban,” the company said. The permit allows exclusive rights to study an area for a year. SAinfo reporter 19 December 2012 The world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company, Exxon Mobil, has signed an agreement to begin offshore exploration activities on the east coast of South Africa through its affiliate ExxonMobil Exploration and Production South Africa, the company announced on Monday. The agreement was signed with Impact Africa Limited – a subsidiary of British Impact Oil and Gas Limited – to acquire a 75% participating interest and become operator in the Tugela South Exploration Right. Under the agreement, ExxonMobil Exploration also has the right to acquire 75% interests in future exploration rights in three offshore areas, subject to South African government approval.
Delegates at the event included (l to r) Prof Njabulo Ndebele; Graca Machel; Dr Mo Ibrahim; MMC Yolanda Mabusela; Ferrial Haffajee; and, Nikiwe Bikitsha. Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, posed several questions to South African citizens to judge whether we are truly a socially cohesive society.(Images: Ray Maota)MEDIA CONTACTS• Sello HatangCEO, Nelson Mandela Centrefor Memory+27 11 547 5600RELATED ARTICLES• Women’s rights in SA to advance • New UN body to focus on women • One man can brings hope into prisons• South African women beat global peersRay MaotaWho better to address issues concerning women, than women themselves?On a sunny 17 August morning at Freedom Park in Tshwane, 250 people, mostly women, gathered to discuss pertinent issues such as how gender equality can help build social cohesion.The event was facilitated by journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha, while the panel included City Press editor Ferial Haffajee, 5FM station manager Aisha Mohamed, Dr Mo Ibrahim of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and Kave Bulambo from Women Across Borders.In attendance were two former first ladies of South Africa, Graça Machel and Zanele Mbeki.Prof Njabulo Ndebele, chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and current chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, opened proceedings, saying: “South Africa occupies a unique space in Africa and globally, as an example of a country that emerged from the morass of deeply rooted racial, cultural and political divides – primarily because of timely dialogue between all its stakeholders.”Ndebele added that that dialogue is fundamental to the legacy of Madiba – the clan name for Nelson Mandela – and to South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy.“He based his entire life on the principle of dialogue and the art of listening and speaking to others; it is also the art of getting others to listen and speak to each other,” said Ndebele.Bikitsha added that we cannot have cohesion when inequalities based on gender or otherwise still exist in our society.What social cohesion meansYolanda Mabusela, member of the mayoral committee for health and development in Tshwane, said: “Social cohesion has been described by our president Jacob Zuma as the extent to which a society is coherent, united and functional, providing an environment where citizens can flourish.”South Africa held a National Social Cohesion Summit at the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication in Kliptown, Soweto, in 2012.At that summit discussions took place on the role of organs of state such as the judiciary, Parliament and other legislative bodies and political parties, as well as the role of civil society, including business and labour, and other NGOs such as the Foundation for Human Rights, Molo Songololo and Lead SA. The aim was to figure out how to make social cohesion possible.Speaking social cohesionNdebele said: “Around the globe, gender equality has made huge strides over the last few decades. This includes South Africa. However we still suffer from some very strong and outdated attitudes towards differences in genders and the rights of men or women.”Ndebele lamented the fact that levels of gender-based violence are still unacceptably high in South Africa, and also that inequalities in terms of employment, education and opportunity are experienced daily.Ibrahim said that women were the pillar of Africa’s economy because 70% of the people in Africa live off the land and that women were the ones responsible for most agricultural work on the continent.“I’m a Nubian, one of the oldest cultures in Africa, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing wrong in our values regarding women in our culture,” said Ibrahim.He said we needed to look within our cultures first to figure out how they will foster social cohesion of women.SA progressing in women’s empowermentWith dignitaries at the event, Haffajee started her talk by saying “No protocol observed”, to much laughter from the audience.She explained why: “One of the things that impacts on our social cohesion is these groupings of people into VIP or VVIP, which builds walls around people by ranking them in importance.”She added that a generational shift in leadership in South Africa is needed, citing Barack Obama, who became US president at 47 years – but she did praise quotas that have made South Africa one of the top countries in terms of women’s empowermentThe women in leadership census found that women hold 35% of all senior managerial positions in the country’s public service.Haffajee said: “With us living in the Selfie Generation, where it’s all about the individual, it’s becoming harder to achieve social cohesion.”Mohamed added that social cohesion depends on the decisions we make daily that affect the society around us.Session gets emotionalDemocratic Republic of Congo (DRC) national Bulambo became emotional when describing how women in parts of her country were largely exposed to rape, and gender equality was practically non-existent.Bulambo called on women to find common ground – “Let us find things that bring us together as women.”Machel was teary-eyed when she said: “Efforts by the UN Security Council to see a decrease in rape in the DRC had not yet yielded any success.”Bulambo urged South Africans to start including and considering refugee women in their communities and economy.Machel said: “Recently I read that there was a report saying 47% of children have fathers who do not live with them and 51% of them were from black households.”She added that this means the family structure in this country has changed, while the laws being passed still make it look like all families are nucleus.This has an effect on social cohesion because woman now bear the brunt of raising the children but at a lesser income than their male counterparts.Party societyHaffajee said that when democracy came in 1994, the people of South Africa chose to be a party nation.“We decided to look away from burning issues in society and party our sorrows away,” she said.She added that the born-free generation, those that were born in 1994 and later, will be the one to help us look deeper into these issues.Posing questionsSello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, closed the session by posing questions to the audience.He asked whether we can claim to be a socially cohesive nation if: women can’t walk freely without fear of violence; women are not paid the same as their male counterparts; refugees fear xenophobia; and children have to have sex with older men in order to survive?“Till these questions are answered we then still have a lot to do as a nation,” he said.
20 MarchSouth African tennis star Rik De Voest will achieve a notable milestone when he turns out in the Davis Cup against Lithuania at the Irene Country Club in Centurion from 4 to 6 April.‘Extra special’“Every time you represent your country is special, but this tie will be extra special,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.“This tie against Lithuania will be additionally unique and memorable for me as it will be my 20th official tie for South Africa.”AwardFor reaching that milestone, De Voest will receive a prestigious Davis Cup commitment award from the International Tennis Federation. Only three other players from South Africa have previously been eligible for the award: Frew McMillian, with 28 ties over 11 years; Wayne Ferreira, with 25 ties over 13 years; and Cliff Drysdale, with 24 ties over 7 years.De Voest started playing tennis at the age of six and devoted himself to the game from the age of 14. Ironically, his introduction to tennis was at the Irene Country Club.“I am looking forward to the upcoming tie and celebrating the special occasion at Irene Country Club, which was instrumental in my upbringing,” De Voest said.Davis Cup recordHe made made his Davis Cup debut in 2002 at the Groenkloof Stadium in Pretoria against Hungary. Since then, in the 19 ties, De Voest has played 44 matches, winning 26 of them.Presently ranked 186 in singles and 368 in doubles, De Voest achieved a career high singles ranking of 110 in August 2006, while his highest doubles ranking of 39 was reached in April 2009.Doubles titleDe Voest has won two ATP doubles titles, with Ashley Fisher in Beijing in 2007 and with Dmitry Tursanov in Dubai in 2009. In 2009, De Voest and Fisher finished as runners-up in the SA Open at Montecasino in Johannesburg.On the Challenger circuit, the South African Davis Cup stalwart has won 37 doubles titles, which is a record for the circuit.‘Significant importance’Earlier this month, De Voest’s Canadian wife Carolyn gave birth to their first born, a baby boy named Morgan in Vancouver, Canada. “It is really hard for me to leave my new born son and normally I would not. However, this tie against Lithuania has significant importance for me on both a personal and professional level,” De Voest commented.He also said representing South Africa in Davis Cup over the past 12 years is his greatest sporting achievement. “I look forward as always to representing South Africa again, and hope to do the team and country proud. Each and every time I put on the green and gold it’s an incredibly humbling and proud feeling.”SAinfo reporter
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Following the floods across the State due to heavy rainfall over the past week, the government fears a surge in cases of leptospirosis, dengue, malaria, and viral fevers. The health department has formed 162 medical teams to conduct house-to-house visits for early symptom diagnosis and treatment.Of these, 114 teams are working in the Thane region, 37 in Kolhapur and 10 in Pune.A health department official said a four-member team of two male and female medical worker each would visit bigger areas and villages, while the smaller villages would be covered by two-member teams.A press release issued on Tuesday by Health Minister Eknath Shinde said nearly 1.14 lakh people have been affected by the floods and heavy rainfall across the State. As many as 36 villages in the Kolhapur region, 18 in Thane and two to three villages in Satara and Nashik have been severely affected.“So far, the teams have covered more than 14,000 households. In the flood-affected areas, we have also undertaken work for cleaning water in the wells,” Mr. Shinde said.Fear of outbreakFor those who have waded through floodwater, leptospirosis is the biggest risk. It is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through rat and cattle urine and excreta and commonly caused when one wades through contaminated water and the bacteria is transmitted through unhealed wounds in the skin, abrasions, and cuts especially on the foot. Mumbai has recorded 62 cases, and one death, due to leptospirosis in July this year.As the floodwaters recede, a surge in vector-borne disease is also most likely as mosquito breeding sees a rise. “Konkan, Navi Mumbai, and Thane region have recorded very high rainfall. The civic administration should be prompt in vector control measures. Those who have waded through water should get easy access to prophylactic medication as well,” Mr. Shinde said.