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South Africa convenes conference to
boost stagnant economic growth

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- With South Africa’s economic growth predicted to grow at 0.8 percent for 2018, a colloquium to discuss proposals that would help accelerate growth levels convened in Pretoria on Friday.

Local and international economists present at the event are called by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to look at his economic policy in an effort to revive growth.

Mboweni said that the stagnant growth could be disastrous for the economy.

“South Africa’s economy is not growing at a rate which we like, and that has a number of implications for all of us,” the minister said before the start of the event which was held behind closed doors.

“The most significant implication is poor revenue collection which leads to other things,” Mboweni said, adding that the economic growth has not kept up with population increase.

Discussions at the colloquium would place emphasis on interventions that encourage new models to support faster economic growth. Proposal emanating from the conference would be submitted to cabinet in 2019.



South Africa announces successful launch
of Africa’s most advanced nanosatellite

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- Africa’s most advanced nanosatellite, developed by South Africa, was successfully launched on Thursday, the South African Department of Science and Technology said.

“Today marks another historic milestone for South Africa with the successful launch into space of the continent’s most advanced nanosatellite to date, ZACube-2, in the early hours of this morning,” the department said in a statement.

The ZACube-2 took off at 04:07 a.m. with the Russian Soyuz Kanopus mission from Russia’s Vostochny spaceport, the statement said.

The cube-satellite, which left the earth together with small satellites from the United States, Japan, Spain and Germany, is orbited as secondary payload in a launch mission designed for real-time monitoring of natural and manmade disasters and other emergencies, according to the statement.

South African Minister of Science and Technology Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane congratulated the team behind this historic moment, saying the launch of ZACube-2 represents a significant milestone in the nation’s ambition to become a key player in the innovative utilization of space science and technology in responding to government priority areas.

“I am particularly excited that the satellite was developed by some of our youngest and brightest minds under a program representing our diversity, in particular black students and young women,” she said.

The ZACube-2 will provide cutting-edge remote sensing and communication services to South Africa and the region with a mission to monitor the movement of ships along the South African coastline with its automatic identification system (AIS) payload.

The satellite is a technology demonstrator for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) that will provide critical information for South Africa’s oceans economy, the statement said.

“This satellite will help us monitor our ocean traffic as part of our oceans economy and also monitor veld fires and provide near real-time fire information ensuring a quick response time by disaster management teams,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.

Weighing just 4 kg, the ZACube-2 is South Africa’s second nanosatellite that has been launched into space and three times the size of its predecessor, TshepisoSat.



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