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Richard Davies

Dissolve Parliament and start over, says DA

Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary leader Sandra Botha tabled a notice of motion in the National Assembly on Tuesday calling for Parliament to be dissolved. Speaking during debate on President Thabo Mbeki's State of the Nation address, she said in order to tackle the challenges currently facing South Africa, it is necessary to start from a clean slate.

All eyes on Mbeki ahead of address

There is a greater public sense of anticipation about what President Thabo Mbeki will say in his State of the Nation address on Friday than before any previous such speech he has delivered since assuming office in 1999. This is in part due to the recent dramatic twist in Mbeki's political fortunes.

The great Zuma debate

In the fierce debate raging around the man tipped to become South Africa's next president, African National Congress deputy president Jacob Zuma, there are few neutrals. With less than a fortnight to go before the ruling party's national conference in Polokwane, reports show a country split over the politician.

Rasool apologises to provincial legislature

Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool has apologised to the provincial legislature for ''incorrect'' statements made before it on overspending. ''To bring finality and closure to an unfortunate episode, I apologise for anything I said that led to the conclusion of the ad-hoc committee,'' he said in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Delmas water investigation focuses on chlorine levels

Failure by authorities to properly treat drinking water supplied to residents of Delmas may have triggered the recent mass outbreak of diarrhoea in the Mpumalanga town. Tests by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry have shown ''insufficient levels'' of chlorine were added to the water supply between September 11 and October 14, MPs heard on Wednesday.

Silicosis on the increase among miners

There has been an ''alarming'' increase over the past year in the deadly dust disease silicosis among workers on South Africa's gold and platinum mines, MPs heard on Wednesday. Mine doctors submitted 1 031 cases of silicosis to the Medical Bureau of Occupational Diseases in 2005.

Manto theft question rouses Assembly

There was an uproar in the National Assembly on Wednesday when a Democratic Alliance MP was ordered to leave after a written question he posed to the health minister was ruled out of order. The question was whether the minister had been convicted of theft and whether she had disclosed this information to President Thabo Mbeki.

Warning sounded over resistance to ARV drugs

South Africa is facing the possibility of state Aids patients developing ''major resistance'' to currently prescribed antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, Health Director General Thami Mseleku said on Thursday. ''The challenge is going to be huge,'' he told a parliamentary media briefing.

SA at forefront of clean-coal technology, MPs told

South Africa is at the forefront of research into so-called clean-coal technology, aimed at reducing the huge volumes of greenhouse gases emitted by its power stations, MPs heard on Wednesday. The country's high-quality coal was mined out, leaving more environmentally harmful, lower-grade coal for use in the country's power plants, MPs were told.

SA warned over water resources

South Africa's demand for fresh water will exceed its supply by 2025, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) warned on Tuesday. Urgent and immediate action must be taken to stave off massive social, economic and environmental damage, the conservation organisation said in a statement, released at the launch of the WWF Sanlam Living Water Partnership in Cape Town.

Cabinet slams media coverage of Manto

The South African Cabinet has strongly criticised the ''distasteful'' media coverage around Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. Briefing the media on Thursday after the Cabinet's fortnightly meeting on Wednesday, government spokesperson Themba Maseko said the Cabinet took a dim view of the distasteful coverage of the minister.

Call for sweeping changes to HRC, Icasa and others

A parliamentary committee, in a report tabled on Tuesday, has proposed sweeping and controversial changes to the structure and functioning of institutions such as the Human Rights Commission (HRC), the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and other constitutional bodies.

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