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Parliament ready for SONA 2016

Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana says Parliament is ready to host a successful State of the Nation Address (SONA) come 11 February.Briefing media in Cape Town on Friday on the logistics around SONA, Mgidlana said all necessary arrangements are …

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SA cautiously mulls ICC participation

South Africa says it is considering its participation in the International Criminal Court (ICC) with caution.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, on Thursday reiterated the view that the ICC, also known as the Rome Statute, unfairly targets the continent.

“We are still consulting the ICC � [If] we pull out, we will do so in a responsible manner. We will make sure that we consult with the important agencies and make a conclusion at the end,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane told a media briefing.

South Africa was the first African country to sign up to the ICC and adopted the court’s founding Rome Statute into domestic law. However, Pretoria is now of the view that the ICC is not serving its mandate as it says Africa is treated unequally to other member states.

At the recent African Union summit held in Addis Ababa at the weekend, President Zuma said: “Our strongly held view is that it is now impossible, under the circumstances, for South Africa to continue its participation in the Rome Statute. South Africa is seriously reviewing its participation in the Rome Statute and will announce its decision in due course.”

According to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, the unfairness of the ICC was not a South African issue alone but was also noted by other African Union member states.

She said the AU summit also discussed Africa’s growing concerns with the manner in which the ICC has conducted itself in relation to African countries.

“Africa feels very disappointed with the way business is conducted in the ICC. With 34 of the 54 of our member states [AU] being members of the Rome Statute, we thought that was to show that Africans do not want and do not believe in impunity. However, what we are observing is more and more of what is called an ‘African criminal court’,” the Minister said.

African counties have been of the view that the ICC targets the continent, while worse atrocities are committed elsewhere around the world. They have noted that the court tends to move with speed when it comes to African cases.

Since being set up as a means to try war criminals and perpetrators of genocide who were never tried in their home countries, the ICC has opened probes involving eight nations – all of which are African. These are Kenya, Ivory Coast, Libya, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda and Mali.

At the AU summit, leaders agreed to come up with a roadmap which will lead to the withdrawal from the court.

The summit, which was held under the theme ‘2016 – African Year of Human Rights, with Particular Focus on Women’s Rights’, also called for the reform of the UN Security Council.

In his speech at the summit, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe — the outgoing AU Chairperson — lamented the continued dominance of developed countries over world affairs, as well as the lack of African representation in the UN Security Council.

The continent’s oldest leader called on UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon, who was present, to work toward reforming the UN so that it proves to be a global body where all member states equally enjoy it.

Discussions on the reforms, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said, are underway and they are looking at how the powerful 15-nation body should be expanded in its permanent and non-permanent categories.

The Minister said African leaders want the UN to allow more representation in the council, especially for developing countries.

“It’s not asking for too much if 54 (African) countries ask for two seats,” she said, noting that some continents with smaller countries have bigger representation than Africa.

The AU summit considered a number of matters, according to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, including the efforts already underway to realise the continental vision of Agenda 2063.

It also looked into the status of peace and security in the continent, financing and governance of the AU and its programmes, as well as AU programmes such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT NEWS AGENCY

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SolarEdge’s StorEdge�� Solution is Now Internationally Available Initial StorEdge�� installations completed at end of 2015

SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (SolarEdge) (NASDAQ: SEDG), a global leader in PV inverters, power optimizers, and module-level monitoring services, announced today the immediate international availability of its StorEdge�� solution. At the end of 2015, the company already completed a number of StorEdge�� installations in select locations around the world.

Compatible with Tesla’s home battery, the Powerwall, StorEdge�� is a DC coupled storage solution that allows home owners to reduce electric bills and gain energy independence. With StorEdge��, unused solar energy is stored in a battery and used when needed to maximize self-consumption and for power backup. StorEdge�� also supports Time-of-Use management, which promotes energy consumption when electric demand from the grid is low (off-peak rates) and lower consumption when demand is high (peak rates). The backup function allows homeowners to store solar energy and use it during electric outages.

The solution is based on a single inverter that manages and monitors solar energy generation, consumption, and storage. With the complete SolarEdge DC optimized StorEdge�� system, homeowners benefit from higher generation, higher efficiency, simple design, enhanced safety, full monitoring, and easy maintenance.

With the evolution of the solar energy market and subsidy programs, innovative solutions are increasingly necessary to create synergy between distributed solar energy and storage, stated Lior Handelsman, SolarEdge’s VP of Marketing and Product. As a top global inverter company, SolarEdge is committed to contributing to a thriving solar industry by offering products, such as StorEdge��.

Available in Australia, Europe, South Africa, and the United States, StorEdge�� can be ordered by PV installers via SolarEdge distributors.

About SolarEdge:

SolarEdge provides an intelligent inverter solution that has changed the way power is harvested and managed in solar photovoltaic systems. The SolarEdge DC optimized inverter system maximizes power generation at the individual PV module-level while lowering the cost of energy produced by the solar PV system. The SolarEdge system consists of power optimizers, inverters and a cloud-based monitoring platform and addresses a broad range of solar market segments, from residential solar installations to commercial and small utility-scale solar installations. SolarEdge is online at http://www.solaredge.com

Contacts

SolarEdge Technologies

Hadas Rozen, +972.9.957.6620, Ext. #314

Director of Marketing

hadas.rozen@solaredge.com

Source: SolarEdge Technologies

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Lekgotla, SONA expected to focus on economy

The Presidency says preparations are proceeding well within the National Executive of government for the 2016 State of the Nation Address (SONA).The address will be delivered by President Jacob Zuma on 11 February 2016 during a Joint Sitting of Parliam…

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Voice your ideas on government spending

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is inviting the public to voice their views on the economy and what issues they would like government to highlight in next month’s Budget Speech.In a statement on Monday, the Minister called on the public to submit their…