Archive for June 1st, 2007
01/06/2007 10:15 – (SA)
Adriaan Basson and Cobus Coetzee, Beeld
Pretoria – You don’t even need a password to hack into eNatis.
That was one of the shock findings by the auditor-general that Minister of Transport Jeff Radebe wanted to keep secret.
Pretoria High Court on Thursday rejected the efforts of Radebe and his department to gag Beeld newspaper, ruling that freedom of the press took precedence over Radebe’s right to keep a report by the A-G secret.
Beeld can now reveal the conclusions of the report, which is the second of three audits compiled by the A-G:
- it is possible to hack into eNatis;
- one does not need a password to log on as an eNatis administrator;
- documents on eNatis are not secured; and
- eNatis files can be circulated unprotected without any problem.
The department refused on Thursday to reply to enquiries by Beeld, and would not say if the shortcomings identified on February 21 this year by the A-G and conveyed to Transport Director-General Mpumi Mpofu still existed.
Professor Basie von Solms, head of the University of Johannesburg’s academy for information technology, warned on Thursday that eNatis should be stopped immediately to prevent criminals from hacking into it.
According to him, it could even be illegal to keep a system running with so many shortcomings.
Danger of hackers
He said: “It’s shocking to think that although the department was warned two months earlier about eNatis’s serious shortcomings, it appears they continued to implement the system, regardless of the findings.
“These serious shortcomings could already have led to hackers gaining access to eNatis, to commit sabotage, fraud and conduct all sorts of other unauthorised transactions.
“It’s not just irresponsible, but possibly also criminal to keep operating a system with so many shortcomings,” he said.
According to Solms, such management shortcomings were at odds with international IT practice.
“My first-year students could tell you that the deficiencies that were pointed out were some of the first that you would address, and they should not have been there two months before implementation,” he said.
Von Solms believed that if the security shortcomings still existed, the department should immediately switch off eNatis and sort out these aspects, before it could be used again.
Project manager laughed
“It’s an open invitation for a crime syndicate to crack into eNatis and it is plainly irresponsible if the department allows it to continue to function,” said Von Solms.
Werner Koekemoer, project manager of eNatis, laughed outside court when he was asked if the security shortcomings pointed out by the A-G, had been rectified.
Mpofu answered the question, saying: “As far as I know, yes.”
The department did not want to be specific about steps it may have taken to rectify the problems. news24
Business Day (Johannesburg)
1 June 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007
Amy Musgrave and Chris Van Gass
THE public sector strike, which is expected to bring services across the country to a near standstill, starts today.
Unions lambasted Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi yesterday for “lying” to Parliament after her assertion that a “major breakthrough” had been reached in pay talks that have dragged on for 10 months.
“Either the minister is misinformed by her negotiators, or she is deliberately misinforming public service workers and the general public as to the present state of negotiations ,” said National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) president Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya.
Public Service and Allied Workers general secretary Success Mataitsane backed Mayende-Sibiya, saying: “It is a fact. The minister lied both to the public and Parliament.”
However, the cabinet backed Fraser-Moleketi yesterday, and disputed union allegations.
Tension is high among workers over what they call the government’s lack of movement in talks. Union leaders warned yesterday that Fraser-Moleketi’s “propaganda” had angered them .
This is likely to lead to union negotiators digging in their heels on their demand for a 12% pay hike. The government is offering 6%, while April’s inflation figure was 6,3%.
Union leaders said the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council had agreed to float a [continue reading]
Picketing strikers are turning away patients from Cape Town’s Groote Schuur hospital.
Haemophiliac Jonathan de Wee was barred from both the hospital’s main entrance and the trauma entrance on Friday morning when he went for his regular six-monthly check up.
He was also supposed to collect his next months supply of medication, he said.
“I should have seen the doctor. I had an appointment today,” said De Wee, who travelled all the way from the Strand for the appointment.
“A haemophiliac always has special problems, because if I hurt myself I’ll bleed to death.”
He said he had tried to reason with the picketing strikers but they were not allowing anyone in.
“It is not right. They can strike but they don’t have to block the hospitals entrances.
“I’ll have to go home now.” – Sapa; IOL
source: The Voice
First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) has announced that it has extended its cellphone banking facilities to Orange Botswana clientele.
Oratile Moremong, FNB Senior Communication Officer has said that the new service to Orange Botswana means that Orange customers are able to register for FNB Cellphone Banking if they hold a qualifying FNB account.
“This would enable them to buy prepaid airtime for themselves or anyone else as well as greater access to banking anywhere, anytime, on any network. Registered FNB Cellphone Banking customers on the Orange and Mascom networks are also able to buy airtime from either network for anyone else directly from their Cellphone,” she said.
The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Danny Zandamela, said that FNB has enjoyed rapid and extensive adoption of the service, with 13, 556 transactions to the value of P5.13 million passing through its systems since November 2006 when the new banking channel was launched.
He said: “This far exceeds the target expected in December, while demand for prepaid top-up has demonstrated the reliance of our customers on this channel for their airtime needs. However, the key drivers for FNB Cellphone Banking adoption will be customer registration and transactions,” said Zandamela.
Zandamela further explained that at present FNB facilitates the registration of Cellphone banking through its FNBB branches only, but it is expecting to add other channels in the near future, such as ATMs and the Internet. With the Cellphone becoming an integral part of the modern lifestyle, Zandamela said FNBB would continue to work closely with network service operators like Orange and Mascom to make FNB Cellphone Banking even more accessible, easy to use, secure and affordable.
“FNBB will focus on getting the Cellphone Banking mindset right by addressing customer concerns around ease of use, affordability, access to service and security. Through this exercise, FNBB will turn improved market awareness of Cellphone Banking into customer behaviour that embraces Cellphone Banking as a convenient banking channel,” he said. Entering the market with the service in November 2006 FNBB has geared its Cellphone Banking offering for simplicity and security.
Zandamela explained that the facility is intended for use by all transactional account holders and all Cellphone users. “With cellphones becoming a commodity accessible to most of the population, Cellphone banking is the obvious step in making banking accessible to more people than ever before. FNBB has several initiatives under way to extend services to the under- and un-banked.”
As a leader in Cellphone Banking, Zandamela said, FNB consistently meets the needs of customers not only by delivering enhanced services, but also by offering users the choice of transacting when and where they want with this innovative and cost effective banking channel. The Voice
31 May, 2007
GABORONE – The draft over-arching agreement for cross border water supply is under preparation, Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said.
Answering a question in Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, Mr Kedikilwe said the draft would be signed by Botswana and South Africa after completion.
Mr Kedikilwe said the departments of water affairs in Botswana and South Africa were already negotiating the deal under the auspices of the existing joint Permanent Technical Committee.
He said the over-arching agreement would facilitate the mutual supply of water by Botswana and South Africa from the Orange River or any suitable water source.
Once the agreement had been signed, any area along the Botswana and South African border might be able to benefit from the cross border water supply.
Upon the signing of the agreement, he said, then this would facilitate entering into various specific agreements.
Mr Kedikilwe said the agreements could be between local water supplying authorities in both countries or among farmers/business undertaking s in both countries.
He said the negotiations had substantially been completed and both counties were considering the proposed agreement, saying he could not attach a timeframe to the possible date of signature.
Kgosi David Toto 11 of the Kgalagadi South region, had asked the minister if his [continue reading]
31 May, 2007
SELEBI-PHIKWE – About 454 000 national identity cards for eligible voters will be due for expiration before the 2009 general elections, says the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) executive secretary, Mr Gabriel Seeletso.
Speaking during the Selebi-Phikwe full council meeting on Tuesday, Mr Seeletso encouraged citizens to renew their identity cards on time as the figures constitute 20 per cent from the 75 per cent of the population that is eligible to vote.
If people do this while there is time, we expect the elections to run smoothly, he said. Mr Seeletso also told the council about the recent announcement of the setting of general registration period and the establishment of polling stations in some quarters.
He said the registration exercise will run from October 2 to 22, in 490 polling stations across the countrys 57 constituencies.
It will also cover external polling stations in 15 countries, he said. Concerning the establishment of the polling stations, Mr Seeletso said the IEC keeps on reviewing the adequacy of the stations looking at, among others, issues of accessibility.
Responding to the address, Cllr Mookami Mmusi of Sesame South, welcomed the idea and pleaded with IEC to closely monitor the issue of voter transfers as they could bring confusion among the electorates.
Cllr Margaret Mmidi of Botshabelo East also appealed with government to consider making one of the days during the registration exercise a holiday, as she said, most people will be at work.
Cllr Gaone Chamme of Leseding was worried that the exercise would promote voter trafficking as it gives the candidates ample time to do whatever they want before the actual voting days.
However, Mr Seeletso allayed such fears, noting that the objective of the exercise was to give potential voters the maximum opportunity to register. BOPA
May 31 2007 at 07:40PM
Government will offer an improved wage package at the resumption of public sector wage talks over the weekend, Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi said on Thursday.
Speaking at a press conference at OR Tambo International Airport, Fraser-Moleketi said the new offer included R2-billion in addition to the deal already offered.
Fraser-Moleketi said the offer would be officially tabled at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) where government and public sector unions were scheduled to meet on either Saturday or Sunday.
“I need to reiterate that this round of salary negotiations is not simply about percentages although it has been played out in the media as a war of percentages. The… technical team looked at a range of options,” she said.
She said “short term gains” were not in the interest of the workers or the employers and government’s package included “improvements of the dispensations of identified categories of staff”.
Speaking late on Thursday afternoon, Fraser-Moleketi once again urged unions to “desist” from going on strike on Friday.
She maintained sufficient progress had been made in wage talks.
Saying that the only sticking points in negotiations were the [continue reading]
May 31 2007 at 07:28PM
Streets and stadiums throughout South Africa may be swamped by more than 700 000 people absent from their work places, both in large and small cities, when the massive public service strike starts on Friday.
School pupils can expect absent teachers and businesses are expected to feel a ripple effect of teachers downing tools as parents have reportedly been urged to take a day’s leave to look after their children.
Hospitals are also scheduled to run on minimum service levels as medical workers’ unions join the call for a 12 percent salary raise and reject the government’s offer of six percent.
In Gauteng, municipal clinics can expect high demand if skeleton staff at provincial and national health centres are not able to cope.
In the Western Cape, health workers have been asked to report to their workplaces at 7am, but to picket outside rather than go into the premises.
The 20 to 25 percent of staff needed to maintain essential services such as [continue reading]
source: BBS News
As UK Prime Minister Tony Blair continues his last tour of Africa before he steps down next month, BBC correspondents analyse his record in four key areas: Sierra Leone, Darfur, Zimbabwe and Libya.
SIERRA LEONE: ALLAN LITTLE
I have never seen a single bold and swift military intervention transform a country’s prospects so comprehensively and so immediately. It was breathtaking.
British soldiers in Sierra Leone
UK troops stopped rebels from over-running Sierra Leone’s capital
When Britain sent a battalion of paratroops – just 800 men – to Sierra Leone in May 2000, they came not as peacekeepers but, in effect, as combatants.
They backed the democratically elected government, whose army had fallen into decay and disarray, against a rebel army with a record of recruiting child soldiers, terrorising civilians and chopping off limbs.
British troops were welcomed in the capital, Freetown, and given popular credit for saving the city from another brutal rebel invasion.
Prime Minister Tony Blair remains wildly popular here.
For the British rebuilt the government armed forces, bringing discipline, guns, and expertise – sufficient to end the war not by negotiating a peace, but by winning it; by driving rebel forces out.
The British are still here, though in [continue reading]
Financial Gazette (Harare)
30 May 2007
Posted to the web 31 May 2007
Njabulo Ncube Chief Political Reporter
OPPOSITION leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions quietly slipped out of the country for Pretoria yesterday to keep the fires burning vis-a-vis Thabo Mbeki’s mediation effort in Zimbabwe as the South African leader promised that significant progress will have been made before the end of June.
Tsvangirai and Mutambara travelled to Pretoria on Tuesday on the eve of a meeting between Mbeki and outgoing British premier Tony Blair, who is on a farewell trip to the African continent, spearheading European and American pressure on the South African president to harden his stance on Zimbabwe.
Blair, accused by Harare of pushing a regime change agenda against President Robert Mugabe’s embattled government, this week said he would use his two-day visit to hold “intensive” talks on Zimbabwe with Mbeki.
Britain and other western powers have accused Harare of widespread human rights abuses and turning one of Africa’s most promising states into the world’s fastest shrinking economy with a record inflation of over 3 700 percent. The Zimbabwean government denies running down the agro-based economy, attributing the meltdown to targeted sanctions imposed on the country’s ruling elite by the United States and the European Union.
Mbeki this week claimed to have made “significant progress” in brokering talks between the MDC and President Mugabe’s ruling ZANU PF party, saying he would be ready to [continue reading]
31 May, 2007
MOLEPOLOLE – Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) is in the process of reconsidering increment of the P2 million ceiling loaned to entrepreneurs.
Young Farmers Fund Coordinator, Mr Thabo Thamane said at a one-day community leadership seminar on empowerment initiatives that the ceiling was obsolete.
Mr Thamane said they could not disburse loans to applicants who qualified but were employed elsewhere. He said one had to quit the job so that he or she was full time on the project.
He also said CEDA would take steps against people who get loans and thereafter abandoned projects to engage in some other work elsewhere.
The Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration who is also Molepolole South Member of Parliament, Mr Daniel Kwelagobe organised the seminar aimed to educate residents of Ntloedibe ward in Molepolole about new government programmes intended to eradicate poverty amongst Batswana.
According to Mr Thamane, CEDA office in Molepolole so far has received eight applications.
Discussions at the seminar focused on programmes such as Young Farmers Fund (CEDA), Arable Land Development Programme (ALDEP), SLOCA, and Out of School Youth grant.
The presenters fully discussed issues pertaining to the programmes to enhance the understanding of Batswana.
Principal Youth Officer, Ms Mmaphefo Setabo-Kgetse of Department of Culture and Youth said this year, Kweneng region which comprises of almost 30 villages was granted over P2 million for out of school youth projects.
Ms Setabo-Kgetse said that councils should practice the culture of buying products and services of youth funded projects to uplift them.
She said problems often arose when [continue reading]
see CEDA to review P2 Million Loan Ceiling (The Voice 07.04.2007)