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Sat Aug 27 15:34:13 SAST 2016

Ramaphosa to brief MPs on government's HIV/Aids plans

TMG Digital | 09 March, 2016 09:52
The briefing also comes in the wake of former president Thabo Mbeki's controversial remarks on the disease earlier this week. File photo
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / Reuters

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will brief the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on government programmes to deal with challenges of HIV/Aids in the country later on Wednesday.

This comes ahead of the launch of the National Sex Work Sector Plan for HIV on Friday in Hillbrow‚ Johannesburg‚ focusing on the needs of sex workers.

The launch of the programme forms part of a build-up towards the 2016 International Aids Conference to be held in South Africa in July this year which is expected to draw on the support of the HIV/Aids community‚ governmental and non-governmental organisations‚ UNAids and health sector activists.

The briefing also comes in the wake of former president Thabo Mbeki's controversial remarks on the disease earlier this week‚ as he sought to defend his stance that "a virus cannot cause a syndrome". This policy in the early 2000's deprived hundreds of thousands of HIV-positive people of potentially life-saving treatment.

The Deputy President's office said in a statement that Ramaphosa would also expand on government plans to ensure efficiency and efficacy of state-owned enterprises within the framework of the announcement made by President Jacob Zuma during the state of the nation address that those enterprises "that no longer contribute meaningfully to the attainment of the objectives of the National Development Plan will be phased out".

Other topics under discussion are: - wage inequality‚ against the background of current discussions at the NEDLAC bargaining forum to find a common ground around the level of the national minimum wage‚ - the National Food Security Plan‚ particularly given the challenges brought about by the drought affecting a number of provinces‚ and - "the Marikana tragedy".

In November‚ a summons was served on Ramaphosa over the fatal shooting of miners at the Rustenburg mine. “Deputy President Ramaphosa has instructed his lawyers to defend the action‚” the presidency said in a statement then. “We reiterate the view that the findings of the Farlam Commission remain clear insofar as they relate to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa personally‚” it said.

The findings of the Farlam commission of inquiry’s report stated that no member of the executive could be blamed for the 2012 fatal shooting of striking Lonmin mine workers by police during a wildcat strike.

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