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News in Brief - Nov 1st Ed

China to build 100 health facilities in Africa

The Chinese government has committed to building 100 health facilities in Africa.

China’s Health Minister Li Bin, along with South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, made the announcement in Cape Town recently following the second ministerial forum of the China-Africa Health Development meeting.

Minister Li said China would also continue to send medical teams to work in African countries and recruit some 1 500 medical personnel over the next three years.

The two countries have committed to improving the health systems of African countries in the post-Ebola era, reinforcing laboratory capacity and diagnostic systems, assisting with human resources development in Africa, and improving health infrastructure.

China will also provide scholarships and training courses to public health professionals in Africa, while both sides have agreed to expand their information exchanges and cooperation with regard to major diseases.

Minister Motsoaledi said the building of the 100 health facilities would go a long way in helping to strengthen the continent's resources.

“We regard the whole issue of Ebola which happened in Africa as ground zero. It exposed us as a continent, that we have health care systems that are not strong. Now we are not preparing for Ebola only, but [the] strengthening of the health care system”.

Gauteng announces new department

The Gauteng Provincial Government has established a new department - the Department of e-Government - in an effort to improve service delivery, modernise the public service and stimulate the province’s knowledge-based economy.

This new department is mandated to implement the e-Government Strategy of the Gauteng City Region, which seeks to, among other things, consolidate back-end systems and processes to bring about better front-line service delivery to the people.

“The e-Government Department will oversee the rollout of the Gauteng Broadband Network, which will connect all government buildings and various public service access points, including Thusong Centres, urban renewal zones and targeted economic zones,” said the provincial government.

The Department of Finance, which was previously responsible for the functions of procurement, payments, forensic auditing, transversal human resources management and ICT, has been disestablished.

“The ICT functions will be performed by the new e-Government Department while the rest of the functions have been transferred to other departments.”

The Department of e-Government will report to the MEC for Finance Barbara Creecy and to the current head of the Department of Education, Boy Ngobeni, who became its new head effective 1 October 2015.