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African press review 25 April 2018

Will today's strike by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) bring the nation to a standstill? The Israeli government scraps plans to forcibly deport African migrants. A Rwandan Christian radio station is closed down for a breach of hate-speech regulations. And why is malaria making a dangerous comeback?


There might not be too much happening in South Africa today, as Saftu embarks on its first national protest against new labour laws and the introduction of the national minimum wage.

The Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay says the federation has promised to bring the country to a standstill.

Saftu, which has an unaudited membership of more than 750,000, is unhappy with changes to the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act. The federation has described the minimum hourly rate of 20 rand (1.30 euros) as "the biggest attack" on workers since the end of apartheid.

Other labour federations including the Confederation of South African Trade Unions and the Federation of Unions of South Africa, have welcomed the new laws, hailing the national minimum wage as the most progressive labour policy in post-apartheid history.

Saftu’s national strike call comes as the ongoing bus dispute complicates life for thousands of commuters across the country.

Israel scraps forced deportation plan

The Israeli government says it has scrapped plans to forcibly deport African migrants.

This is the top story in regional paper the East African.

According to the report, the government in Tel Aviv yesterday assured the Israeli Supreme Court that the forced removal of the migrants was "no longer on the agenda".

Israel's immigration authorities are, however, still seeking ways to deport migrants voluntarily.

The Jewish state has 30,000 illegal African migrants.

The Supreme Court earlier suspended a plan to expel the migrants - mostly from Eritrea and Sudan - unless they voluntarily accepted a cash lump sum and a plane ticket out of the country.

Christian radio closed for hate speech

The authorities in Rwanda have revoked the broadcasting licence of an US-owned Christian radio station for a breach of hate-speech regulations.

According to the East African, the Rwanda Utility Regulation Authority suspended Amazing Grace Christian Radio for one month following the airing of a “hateful” sermon against women. The regulator also ordered station management to pay a 2,000-euro fine.

The broadcasting authority also directed the station to issue an apology to the public for breaching the regulations and failing to uphold public morality and Rwandan culture and values.

The January sermon was widely condemned, with the National Women's Association and Rwanda Women Journalists' Association filing complaints to the media regulatory body. The presenter repeatedly insulted women, referring to them as evil. There were also insulting references to other, non-Christian, religious beliefs.

The Rwanda Utility Regulation Authority said yesterday that the station had failed to comply with the directives, leading to the revocation of its licence.

Ethiopia cagey about foreign investment

Ethiopia is not yet ready for foreign investments in its telecom and banking sectors but is interested in developing manufacturing, according to a statement yesterday from Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu.

The country, which has one of the few remaining state telecoms monopolies on the continent, has let foreign companies set up factories in a decade-long push to change the economic focus from agriculture to manufacturing.

Rejecting investments in telecoms and finance, Wirtu yesterday said the door was open to those with money to spend in sectors such as textiles, skin products, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and agriculture.

Malaria makes a comeback

The Kenyan Daily Nation reports that progress against malaria has stalled, sparking fears that the disease is returning in force to regions where the number of cases had been falling for the past decade.

Figures from the World Health Organisation's latest report show that progress in reducing infections and deaths from malaria has stalled and even reversed in some countries.

Lack of funding and climate change are the main reasons for the setback.

An estimated 216 million cases of malaria were reported worldwide in 2016, the majority in sub-Saharan Africa.

Of those infected, 445,000 sufferers died. Seventy percent of those deaths involved children under the age of five.

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