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Tag: South Africa

South Africa’s first black engineer honoured

South Africa’s first black engineer honoured

Africa News, International
South Africa has honoured the country’s first black student to graduate with a degree in engineering. Dr Solomon Boyce Isaac Lefakane studied civil engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and was awarded a degree in 1961 – when the racist apartheid system was in operation. Now, as part of the university’s centenary, Dr Lefakane, now 84, has been inducted into a brand new hall of fame at the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment. Dr Lefakane was the son of a domestic worker and gained a scholarship to pursue his studies. “I knew I was facing very heavy odds at the time and I worked as hard as I could,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme. Reflecting on his time there Dr Lefakane said he did not socialise with the white student...
South Africa president scraps free electricity, water for ministers

South Africa president scraps free electricity, water for ministers

Africa News, International
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has withdrawn controversial perks for cabinet ministers and their deputies that saw their homes supplied with free electricity and water. The benefits caused a public outcry as they were considered insensitive at a time South Africans are struggling with daily power cuts and rising cost of living. In a press briefing on Monday evening, a spokesman said the president “acknowledges and appreciates the public sentiments on the matter”. The ministerial handbook, which outlines ministerial benefits, will be “aligned to the realities that many South Africans face”, presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya said. He said the intention behind the perks was “not a nefarious one”. “The intention was to try and find some form of balance between w...

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