15 March 2017

African Press Review 15 March 2017


Kenyan medics end 100-day strike, but passions remain high over the suffering inflicted on the country while South Africa's military says it is too broke to police its borders.

We begin in Kenya where the papers are assessing the impact of the 100-day doctors' strike, called off on Tuesday. That was after the signing of a return-to-work agreement between doctors and national and county governments.

Daily Nation laments over the pain, deaths and heavy costs inflicted by the strike which it claims will be felt for many years. The publication recalls the ordeal of a helpless father who called the Nation newsroom asking for coverage to get money to save the life of his 11-year-old son suffering from leukemia.

According to the Daily Nation, the boy had been referred to an expensive Referral Hospital in Eldoret where doctors were on strike from a district Hospital, which could not handle the case. The paper says the boy finally died as his parents did not have the money to seek care in a private medical facility.

Also in South Africa, Businessday counts the country's losses after Durban withdrew its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The paper says the "Durban Bid" had promised to set aside R1bn for the development of athletes' not just those at elite level' to catch the 15- and 16-year-olds in 2015 who would have been hitting their prime by the 2022 Games. That would have been the first time serious money has been pumped into age-group sport in this country.

Furthermore the newspaper argues that even though the Games would have cost more than 8 billion rand which is in the tune of 570 million euros, an economic impact report submitted with the bid by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee showed that hosting the Games would have boosted South Africa's GDP by R11bn or 790 million euros.

But according to BusinessDay while there is a clamour in the country for heads to roll starting with those of sports minister Fikile Mbalula and his director general' Alec Moemi, experts argue that losing 2022 Commonwealth Games is a blessing in disguise' because of the hidden costs and the incompetence behind the fiasco.

Is South Africa's army too broke to prevent cross-border crime? That's the opinion upheld by Times Live, after examining complaints presented to President Jacob Zuma as he visited the border post of eManguzi in northern KwaZulu-Natal Province on Tuesday.

The paper quotes defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as telling the President that despite intolerable levels of cross-border crime, marked by stock theft and car hijackings, budget constraints forced the military to slash forces patrolling the border by about 4000 men.

According to the Times, eManguzi sits near South Africa's borders with Mozambique and Swaziland observing that growing insecurity there has heightened tensions between residents and migrants from the two neighbouring countries.


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