News in brief

New housing project for West Rand

An old retirement village between Krugersdorp and Randfontein in Gauteng will be converted into a social housing development to provide shelter to 1 590 families on the West Rand. Through the Mogale Junction Social Housing Project in Mogale City, the Gauteng Department of Local Government and Housing will build units and houses to accommodate people who earn below R3 500 per month. In the first phase of the project, 480 units and 770 houses will be built. The province has also pledged R240 million to acquire 15 properties, which are well located for low income and affordable housing.

Gauteng gets public transport licensing centre

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi recently unveiled a new public transport licensing and registration office in central Johannesburg. The registration office will receive, verify and process applications for public transport operating licences. It also has a help-desk for public transport operators. The MEC also announced that his department would host a Taxi Consultative Summit in May to discuss the long-term sustainability of the province’s taxi industry.

New Procter and Gamble plant for SA

Consumer goods manufacturer Procter and Gamble (P&G) will build a R1.6 billion greenfield manufacturing facility in South Africa. Construction on the production plant will start in 2014, with first production expected in 2016. The company will create 500 new jobs, manufacturing products such as Head & Shoulders shampoo, Pampers nappies and Gillette shaving products for the local and export market. The location for the new plant has not yet been finalised.

Fixed dose combination ARVs rolled out

About 180 000 HIV positive patients have started on the Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) ARVs. Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi recently launched the FDC ARVs, which will initially be given to newly diagnosed HIV positive persons, HIV positive pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. The FDC will eventually be rolled out to other HIV positive patients, after consultations with their doctors.

With the new pill, patients will now be taking one tablet once a day instead of three to five pills a day. The fixed-dose combination - containing emtricitabine, efavirenz and tenofovir - is a multiple antiretroviral drug combined into a single pill, which helps reduce pill burden.

Awards to recognise female scientists

You have until 17 May to nominate distinguished female scientists for the prestigious South African Women in Science Awards. The awards will be hosted by the Department of Science and Technology on 16 August as part of the department's celebration of National Women's Month. For more information and entry forms, visit www.dst.gov.za, email WISAwards@dst.gov.za or contact.