Sep 2017 2nd Edition

Celebrating an icon

Written by Chris Bathembu
West of Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, below the majestic Ngele Mountains that stretch all the way to KwaZulu-Natal, is the peaceful village of Nkantolo where Oliver Reginald Tambo was born.  

A statue of Oliver Tambo, president of the ANC from 1967 to 1991, is one of the first at the National Heritage Monument. (Image:Like many villages, its houses are made of mud, grass and stones and virtually every second dwelling has a rondavel or two. 

The Oliver Tambo Garden of Remembrance is situated near a hill overlooking the village.  The site was chosen for one reason: it was the home where Tambo was born on 27 October 1917, and where he used to look after the family cattle and other livestock.

In 1946, the Tambo family had to move to another site when the old houses in the family compound collapsed. Tambo used a nearby one-bedroom flat whenever he visited his home. This is still standing after undergoing refurbishments recently.

On the other side of the Garden of Remembrance, a few kilometres from the Tambo homestead, is the road leading to what was Mbhobheni School, one of the first schools he attended. But the school is long since gone.

The OR Tambo Garden of Rememberance in Nkantolo village outside Mbizana.Tambo went into exile in 1960. He led the African National Congress (ANC) for 30 years, through its darkest days, becoming its longest-serving leader until its unbanning in 1990. Tambo’s ability to keep the ANC together in London, and later in Lusaka, is probably the reason he is known internationally.

But to the village of Nkantolo and to his remaining family members there, he was and remains more than just a hero and a liberation stalwart. To them, he was a son, father, grandfather and local hero. Tambo would have been 100-years-old this year. He died in April 1993, a year before South Africa held its first democratic elections.

It’s perhaps for this reason that on his centenary, government declared 2017 as “The year of OR Tambo: celebrating our liberation heritage”. A centenary celebration will take place on 27 October. A series of awareness creation programmes, including educational and celebratory activities, will take place across the country in the build-up to this day. Thereafter, several legacy projects will be delivered to Mbizana to benefit the local community.

Tambo’s nephew Mzukisi Tambo took Vuk’uzenzele to the wooden church where Tambo attended school. The Ludeke Methodist church is situated about 15 km from the Tambo homestead and is regarded as an historic building by the locals because Nelson and Winnie Mandela got married there.

“It is our pride, this church, not only because two of South Africa’s icons began their married life here, but because it also served as a home for many people during those dark days. It still is a centre of home for the community,” said local elder Lungiswa Pepeta, who grew up in the village.

Tambo initially wanted to study medicine, but opted instead to study the sciences at the College of Fort Hare (now Fort Hare University). It was here that he would meet his lifelong friend and comrade Nelson Mandela. In 1942, he was unanimously elected chairperson of the Students' Committee of his residence, Beda Hall. After three years, Tambo graduated with a BSc degree in mathematics and physics. He then enrolled for a diploma in higher education.

He was expelled from Fort Hare due to his political activities on campus and later set off for Johannesburg where he met Walter Sisulu.

A flat that Oliver Tambo used whenever he was at home.Professor Luvuyo Wotshela, director of the National Heritage and Cultural Studies Centre at Fort Hare, says that although the university may not have been Tambo’s launch pad for his radicalism, the university did shape his thinking and political activism.

“It was at this university where he was exposed to different young leaders from across the continent who were thinking the same as him. It was also at Fort Hare where Tambo began to organise student marches and this really influenced his future, which was joining the ANC Youth League.

“He was a very young man when he arrived at Fort Hare, full of ideas, and rubbed shoulders with key young people who influenced him and shaped him for what would later be his role in the ANC and the struggle for liberation,” said Wotshela. 

The class where Oliver Tambo did his standard six at Ludeke Methodist Church near Mbizana.President Jacob Zuma recently launched the Mbizana Rural Enterprise Development Hub in honour of Tambo’s legacy. The hub was opened to stimulate growth through agriculture and agro-processing, and thus the local economy. 

September is Heritage Month, with celebrations taking place in museums, galleries, libraries and community art centres, to highlight the importance of the country’s liberation heritage. South Africans will be encouraged to hold community dialogues in heritage institutions.

Ludeke Methodist Church near Mbizana. The church served as a home for many during apartheid. (Image: National Heritage Council)In early September Tanzania and South Africa worked together to create an integrated implementation plan for regional liberation heritage. The aim is to develop a Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route, incorporating South African sites with other southern African liberation sites.

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Celebrating our heritage

Sport, Arts and Culture

The Month of September is a timefor South Africans to come together to share, celebrate and showcase our cultural heritage. South Africa's cultural heritage not only consists of facets discussed but many others; such as cultural villages, landmarks (statues and monuments) and endogenous rites and activities.

Heritage Month is a time for all South Africans to embrace our rich cultural diversity.Heritage includes everything that has been inherited including cultures, customs, languages, history, nature reserves, parks, literature, music, art and buildings – to name a few.

The theme this year is: Celebrating Our Cultural and Heritage Institutions. The call is for all South Africans to not only celebrate but also protect our rich and diverse cultural heritage.

South Africa’s distinctive ecosystems, wildlife, unique mountains, and natural landscape make South Africa a world in one country.

The country is home to nine of the 981 World Heritage Sites which are recognised by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation as places of outstanding cultural and historical importance

These sites are the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa, Maloti-Drakensberg Park, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Vredefort Dome, Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, Robben Island Museum, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas and the  ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape.

The sites offer a diversity and abundance of cultural and natural values that encapsulate the value systems of the country.

So on 24 September make sure you go out and enjoy music events, dress up in traditional outfits, attend theatrical performances and appreciate South Africa’s rich cultural and natural heritage. 

Childhood cancer: What you need to know

Between 800 and 1 000 South African children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer each year. Most children can be treated successfully if the disease is detected at an early stage.

For this reason, parents and child-minders should ensure that they have some awareness of childhood cancers and their possible symptoms.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Vuk’uzenzele is putting a spotlight on the disease to help you recognise early warning signs.

Know the early warning signs

Cancers in children tend to differ from those found in adults, most often occurring in the developing cells such as in the tissues of the bone marrow, blood, kidneys and nervous system.

A number of different types of cancer may occur in children and these may cause a variety of different symptoms. It is, however, essential to seek medical assistance immediately if your child displays some of the common early warning signs. Among others, these may include:

  • Continued, unexplained weight loss.
  •  Headaches, generally accompanied by vomiting, often occurring in the early morning or evening.
  •  Increased swelling or pain in bones, joints, back or legs.
  •  A lump or mass in abdomen, neck, chest, pelvis or armpits.
  •  Development of excessive bruising, bleeding or a rash.
  • Constant infections.
  • A whitish colour behind the pupil.
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Constant tiredness or noticeable paleness.
  •  Eye or vision changes that occur suddenly and then persist.
  •  Recurrent fevers of an unknown origin.

Treatment

As childhood cancers tend to differ from those found in adults, they require specialist treatment by a paediatric oncologist. Treatment options vary and will depend on the type of cancer and how far it has advanced. Treatment may include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation or a combination of these.

Stem cell bone marrow transplantation may be used as part of the treatment for blood cancers, such as leukaemia.

How you can save a life

While the chances of finding a donor match for someone with leukaemia or another life-threatening blood disease is low (around one in 100 000), it is possible that you could be a match and your bone marrow could potentially save someone’s life.

Any healthy person between the ages of 18 and 45 can become a bone marrow donor. All that is required is a small sample of blood, which is sent to a specialised laboratory for tissue typing.  The results are  placed on the South African Bone Marrow Registry. To become a donor, call 0800 12 10 82 toll free or visit www.sunflowerfund.org.za

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EC agriculture bodies on right financial track

Written by Siya Miti
Ahead of Public Sector Month, two Eastern Cape entities celebrate clean audits and commit to sustaining clean governance when delivering services.

MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane (right) and some members of the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency board.

The Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) and the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA) both received clean audits from the Auditor-General for the 2016/17 financial year.

The ECRDA continued its good governance and accountability record by achieving its second consecutive clean audit. Congratulating the agency, MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Mlibo Qoboshiyane said the results mean the department and the agency are on the right track.

“These audit outcomes prove that our systems and controls are working and we will continue sustaining these results.

“Our goal is not just to get clean audits, but clean audits based on the prudent delivery of services to end poverty, create jobs, and grow the agriculture economy through commodity-based programmes, link farmers to markets in a way that brings material benefits and changes in the lives of the people in the province,” said Qoboshiyane.

Strong systems and controls

“Clean governance demands that government officials do everything by the book so that we meet the needs of the people in the province at all times. As we celebrate the clean audits, we are aware that this is what is constitutionally expected of us and we commit to sustaining clean governance when delivering services to the people of the province.”

Qoboshiyane congratulated all employees – from the chair of the board and the head of department to all the programme managers and staff – for their efforts, adding that the achievement sends a good message to the private sector and any potential investors who may want to partner with government and its entities.

EC youth sail to their dreams

Written by Siya Miti
Ninety-seven youngsters took to the sea with MSC Cruises to gain work experience and increase their maritime skills.

The Eastern Cape Maritime Youth Development Programme gives the youth skills and creates jobs in the maritime sector.Nearly 100 youngsters, many from impoverished areas in the Eastern Cape, will be trained in cruise liner hospitality, for nine-months, as part of Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy.

The announcement was made hot on the heels of Cabinet recently approving the Coastal and Marine Tourism Implementation Plan, which forms part of Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy and aims to grow the economy and boost tourism.

The oceans have the potential to contribute up to R177 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create just over one million jobs by 2033.
A send-off event was held at Port St Johns on Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast for the 97 youngsters who have joined MSC Cruises’ vessels.

Youth development programme

The Eastern Cape Maritime Youth Development Programme (MYDP), recently launched by Premier Phumulo Masualle, is a government, private sector and non-governmental organisation initiative, to equip the youth with skills and create jobs in the maritime sector.

Joint partners in the initiative are the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Eastern Cape Provincial Government and Harambee.

The youngsters were also part of a group of 128 youth who recently completed specialised training in basic marine skills. This is the first group under the MYDP programme in the Eastern Cape, but the second one nationally, since launch of the initiative a year ago.

The SAMSA says marine tourism ranks among the top four subsectors of the country’s maritime sector, which is projected to have phenomenal growth in the next two decades.
According to the authority, it contributed R19 billion to the country’s GDP in 2013, with projections  indicating yields as high as R44 billion in 2020, rising rapidly to R134 billion in 2033, generating between 800 000 and one million jobs.

More than half the youngsters are from Port St Johns, an area that has been targeted this year for a series of maritime sector-related projects  in maritime awareness, youth skills development and local community social upliftment programmes.

Premier Masualle, who attended the send-off with Western Pondoland King Ndamase Ndamase and Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana among others, said the initiative will have a positive impact on the youth’s prospects and fortunes.

“As an entry point it is good that these young people are getting this kind of exposure and opportunity, to actually work on cruise liners to gain that international outlook and experience.

“It is also important that we do not position them to only take up the lower level jobs in the sector. We must empower young people to go on to captain these ships, to be engineers and port officials and so, in essence, we must strive to penetrate all sectors, including scarce skills in the maritime space,” said Masualle.

SAMSA Programme Manager for Operation Phakisa initiatives Sizwe Nkukwana said the placement was successful.

“MSC Cruises has agreed to place 97 candidates in this year’s intake... This number far exceeds the initially agreed on target of 50 which was our Service Level Agreement with the client, the Office of the Premier of the Eastern Cape. This means we exceeded our target by 80 percent or we had a 180 percent achievement,” said Nkukwana.

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Eastern Cape benefits from ASIDI

Written by Terence Khala
Crisp winds sweep over the rolling hills of Hlabati, a homestead located between Mthatha and Qumbu in the Eastern Cape, where a group of brightly clad young men rumble along on horses as local cows threaten to barricade the snaking roads.

Whistles in their mouths, the young men were  part of the Department of Basic Education’s handover of Dweba Primary School to the Hlabati community, fascilated by Provincial Legislature Member Mpumelelo Saziwa.

“This school boasts state-of-the-art facilities, such as a science laboratory, fully-resourced library and a nutrition centre. The school’s 578 pupils have a welcoming space. It’s an institution of learning that will nurture the minds of the nation’s future leaders,” said Saziwa.

The handover resulted from the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI).

With 134 schools completed in the Eastern Cape alone, the province is ASIDI’s highest benefactor. Another 248 schools have been provided with water, 167 with sanitation and 180 with electricity.

“For many of us we could only dream of having such a world-class facility here in Hlabati. We look forward to presenting to the nation some of the Eastern Cape’s best learners in the near future,” said principal Jacob George.

The objective of the ASIDI is to eradicate the basic safety norms backlog in schools without water, sanitation and electricity, and to replace those schools constructed from inappropriate material to contribute towards levels of optimum learning and teaching. The Schools Infrastructure Backlog Grant funds the ASIDI portfolio.

Female farmer scoops three awards

Written by Hlengiwe Ngobese
Lindiwe Zulu, owner of Delta Blue farm north of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), was the top achiever at government’s recent Female Entrepreneur Awards.

Disability didn’t stop the KZN farmer from reaching her dreams.

Zulu scooped first prize in three categories, namely Overall Winner, Top Entrepreneur Smallholder and MEC Special Disability Award. Lindiwe Zulu (centre) was overall winner at the Female Entrepreneur Awards. The awards were hosted by the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The awards, hosted by the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) acknowledged a few female farmers for their economic and food security contribution in the country.

Established 17 years ago, the awards are aimed at encouraging and increasing the participation of women, youth and people with disabilities in the agricultural sector.

Zulu, who is a poultry farmer, started the business in 2015. Shortly thereafter she was involved in a car accident that left her left leg paralysed.

“After the accident, I almost gave up on my business. It was very slow. I used to sell three chickens a week. I had no clients. I realised that I had to work harder to market my business.”

Today the business sells 2 000 chickens per week and 14 women are employed on the farm.

MEC for KZN DARD Themba Mthembu said the ceremony celebrated and showed appreciation for the phenomenal work that women are doing in the agricultural sector in the province.

“Women are the backbone of agriculture, not only in this province and the country,

but throughout developing countries,” he said.

He added that empowering and investing in rural women meaningfully increases productivity, reduces hunger and malnutrition and improves rural livelihoods.

Get ready for 2018!

Applications for financial aid for all Grade 12 learners, including out-of-school young people, unemployed youth, public university and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college students opened on 1 August.

 Youth who qualify to enter the post-school education system but cannot afford to finance their studies can apply before the closing date of 30 November 2017.

 The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has partnered with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to enable students to apply at any of the 15 NYDA branches nationwide or at over 50 local youth offices.

 The local youth offices are located within local government facilities, in all nine provinces, which makes it easier for youth  - who cannot access or use internet facilities - to apply for funding.
The partnership has also created short-term employment for 115 previously unemployed graduates, from all nine provinces.

How to apply

First, students can log onto the NSFAS website (www.nsfas.org.za), where they will be asked to register and create an account. They can then complete the online application form.
Second, they can go to any NYDA branch or local youth office in their region, where they will be assisted to complete and submit a manual application.

Applicants have to have certified copies of supporting documents with them, before they start the application process, whether applying online or manually.

Before applying

Before applying students should know which course they want to study and at which public university/TVET college, as this must be selected on the application form.

Make sure you have electronic and certified copies of the following:

  • South African identity document (ID) or  ID card or an unabridged birth certificate.
  • IDs of parents and/or guardian (or death certificate where applicable).
  • IDs of each person living with you in your home.
  • Pay advice/letter of employment/pension advice (not older than three months).

What to do:

Download the consent form and fill it in with your parent/guardian’s signature.
Applications without a consent form signed by all people whose incomes have been declared in the application will not be accepted or considered.
If you have a disability, please download the Disability Annexure A and fill it in.
When you provide your cell phone number on the application form, make sure it works and do not change it afterwards, as the NSFAS will use it to communicate with you during and after the application process. Do not provide someone else's cell phone number as your contact number.
You will also need an email address. If you do not have an email address, you can easily create one online (an option is provided to assist you to do this).

You must not apply if:

  • You have already applied and have an application reference number.
  • You are not intending to apply for admission to a public university or TVET college.
  • You already have NSFAS funding for 2017.
  • You are not a South African citizen.
  • If you want to apply for a post-graduate qualification.

Applications for post-graduate studies

 Only students who plan to do the following post-graduate qualifications may apply:

  • B Tech - Architecture/Architectural Technology.
  • Tech - Biokinetics/Biomedical Technology/Biotechnology.
  • Post-graduate Certificate in Education.

Students wishing to undertake other post-graduate qualifications must not apply.

For more information visit:
www.nsfas.org.za

Did you know?

The NSFAS funded at least 524 950 students in 2017, with 246 640 at 50 TVET colleges and 278 310 at 26 public universities.

Ghana open for astronomy research

Written by Amukelani Chauke
The Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory was recently launched.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says the launch of the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory, located in the town of Kuntunse, means Ghana is open for science research.

Speaking to Vuk’uzenzele in Accra on the sidelines of high-level meetings with South African and Ghanaian officials and dignitaries, the Minister said the funding from the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund helped to get buy-in on the project from the Ghanaian government.

 “What it means is that now scientists can do their research work using that antenna, that radio telescope.

“It means they can do it here in Ghana and that they will partner and collaborate with researchers in other parts of the world and they will be able to produce papers that will be peer reviewed, that will appear in international journals. We hope they will make exciting discoveries of stars and galaxies which were not identified before,” she said.

The Minister said the project has also seen Ghanaian students returning to their country from universities in other countries to work on the radio telescope project.

“We already have some good articles coming from the initial work done by a group of scientists and we want to see more and more of that. So, it gives scientists in Ghana more opportunities to do more scientific work,” she said.

African Renaissance Fund helps Ghana aim for the stars

The launch of the radio telescope comes not long after it reached a milestone where “first light” was observed.

“First light” is a process whereby the functionality of a radio telescope is tested for the first time, and the first images are received.

The conversion of the radio telescope was in large funded by the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund and the Department of Science and Technology, which contributed R122 million to the project.

“I think what the funding did was to really make reality out of the inclusion of eight other African countries (Ghana, Mauritius, Zambia, Madagascar, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya and Namibia) in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) initiative.

“That inclusion was by design in the sense that to get the SKA model done, you cannot only locate antennae in South Africa, the radio telescope has to spread across a square kilometre grid of immense proportions.

“It was clear that South Africa would have to make a commitment to the eight other countries.

“We approached the Department of International Relations and Cooperation with this project and sought funding from them in an area that is not the traditional development aid use of resources; it is more to enhance the research and innovation capacities of African countries which we feel actually is a much more durable investment in that it is sustained over time,”
she said.

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Helping children get justice

Helen Ntsoka’s passion for justice saw her leave her teaching job after 20 years to serve the country’s justice system as an intermediary.

Since joining the justice system Helen Ntsoka has assisted more than 200 children in courts within Pretoria and neighbouring clusters.

In some cases, the children have been sexually abused or have witnessed violence, while others have a mental disability.

An intermediary conveys evidence-related questions from the prosecution, the defence or the magistrate to the child witness or witness with a mental disability in a sensitive manner that the witness understands.

This can be done by repeating or rephrasing questions so that they are understood by the witness.

Ntsoka’s primary role is to protect witnesses against hostile cross-examination and to assist them to understand the questions posed.

“A good intermediary must be patient with the witness and have a desire to help others, especially the most vulnerable, in order for justice to be served,” explains Ntsoka.

She credits her vast teaching experience and her educational qualifications for her ability to work with children in a sympathetic and compassionate manner.

A witness will only engage with an intermediary during court proceedings to protect the child from secondary victimisation and suffering from undue mental stress.

“When children testify in court, they are further protected by not testifying in an open court. This is to avoid having to come into contact with either the perpetrator or the perpetrator’s family.

She explains that a child testifies in a separate room, through CCTV, and the intermediary assists the witness throughout the testimony.

Ntsoka says her job can be traumatic at times due to the kind of evidence that she has to listen to. As such, the department organises an annual debriefing session to assist intermediaries to deal with trauma.

 “During these sessions, we are taught how to detach ourselves from whatever is being presented during trial that day. Whatever I learn from these sessions I put to practice and I find it helpful,” she said.

How children testify in court

A child witness gives evidence in a room separate from the courtroom. This room is referred to as a private testifying room and is usually located close to the main courtroom.

It has comfortable chairs and depending on the availability of space, it may also provide a small sleeping couch for a child to take a nap when drowsy or tired.

  • A video camera or one-way mirror is installed in the private testifying room to facilitate communication between the room and the main courtroom while the child is giving evidence.
  • The intermediary is provided with earphones to enable him/her to follow the proceedings in the courtroom.
  • The intermediary  hears the questions and relays these to the child. The child’s responses are captured on the live video link.
  • The child can neither see nor hear the accused or anyone in the courtroom. The courtroom is provided with CCTV or one-way mirrors to enable people in the court to view and hear the child and the intermediary.
  • The video is live so role players in court, including members of the public in the gallery, can see and hear the child and the intermediary as they speak. No videotape recording is made when the child gives evidence.
  • The magistrate has a clear and close view of the child and the intermediary  through a monitor that is installed on the court bench. This monitor also enables the magistrate to see when the child is tired and requires a break or nap.

Human trafficking is a criminal offence

Written by Dineo Mrali and Noluthando Motswai
Human trafficking is a global criminal offence that affects countless victims.

Perpetrators use various methods to lure their victims, including offers of employment.

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) State Law Advisor Joseph Mogoshane said community members must visit their closest Department of Labour centre to validate job offers – especially those from outside their province or country.

“Any suspicious conduct by prospective employers or their agents must be reported to the nearest law enforcement agency,” said Mogoshane.

  He added that in some human trafficking cases, perpetrators use force and kidnap their victims.

Mogoshane said the Constitution clearly states that no one may be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour.

 In a bid to fight the scourge of trafficking and give effect to South Africa’s obligation to the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons - especially women and children - government introduced the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act.

“The Act aims to deal comprehensively with human trafficking, in all its forms, and provides for the protection of and assistance to victims of trafficking,” said Mogoshane.

How to identify a victim of human trafficking:

  • They are often unable to speak the local language.
  • They appear to be trapped in their job or the place they stay.
  • They may have bruises and other signs of physical abuse.
  • They do not have identification documents (passport, identity document, refugee or asylum papers).

Tips that will help prevent human trafficking:

  • Be wary of people – men and women - who say they have job opportunities that promise a lot of money in a short space of time.
  • Teach children to be careful of adults who try to befriend them, whether in person or via cell phone or Internet chat rooms.
  • Contact immigration officers at the Department of Home Affairs, who play an important role in preventing cross-border human trafficking.
  • Report places where you suspect trafficked people are kept (for example, brothels, farms, factories and shebeens) to the local authorities.

Useful contacts:

SAPS Crime Stop: 08600 10 111 or SMS Crime Line: 32211 to report traffickers.

Department of Social Development 24-hour Command Centre: 0800 428 428 (toll- free) – callers can speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling. Callers can also request a social worker from the command centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.

Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 424453 / 011 452-4110.
Email:info@childwelfaresa.org.za

 

Human trafficking victim speaks out

Written by Dineo Mrali and Noluthando Motswai
Grizelda Grootboom headed for Johannesburg, from Cape Town, with the promise of a job and a bright future.

Grootboom was only 18 years old when she was lured to Gauteng by a friend who promised her a good job. She soon realised that it was a lie and that she had been lured by human traffickers.

“When I got there my friend led me to a house in Yeoville, where I was tied up. She told me that it was her place, so I believed her.”Grizelda Grootboom is a human trafficking survivor. She now supports fellow survivors. Image: Grizelda Grootboom

Grootboom’s ordeal lasted two weeks. She was trapped in prostitution and moved from one province to another by her captures.

“I was taught how to strip and started using drugs. I couldn’t go to the police because I was on drugs,” she said.

She was released when her captors recruited new girls, and landed up on the streets as a drug addict.

Grootboom, now 36, eventually decided to book herself into a drug rehabilitation centre.

“I went into rehab for one year, but after finishing I ended up back on the streets because I had nowhere to go.  It took me about six years to get clean.”

At age 26, Grootboom was referred to a shelter that takes care of abandoned babies. 

“I worked there for a year. After that my spiritual journey started with the Salvation Army, which is when I gathered the strength to start my life again.”

The experiences and challenges that she had encountered led her to become an activist and make people more aware of human trafficking.

Grootboom’s life has changed. She now supports fellow survivors who are undergoing rehabilitation, and she is the author of a book, called Exit, which details her life on the street.

Jobs: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development Regional Audit Manager
Reference: 17/25/IA
Package: R657 558 – R774 576 per annum (All inclusive).
The successful candidate will be required to sign a performance agreement.

Requirements: A 3 years Degree or National Diploma with majors in Auditing/Internal Auditing and Accounting; Five years in internal auditing of which two years should be at Management level; Knowledge of the Public Finance Management Act (knowledge of government policies); Knowledge of the IIA Standards; A candidate must be pursuing either the Chartered Accountant (CA) or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation; The successful candidates will be required to complete a security clearance; A valid driver’s licence.

Enquiries: Mr Cecil Sibiya ( (012) 315 4561

Assistant Director: Archives Services (2 Years Contract)
Reference: 17/26/AIR
Salary: R334 545 + 37% = R458 326.65 per annum. The successful candidate will be required to sign a performance agreement.

Requirements: 3 year tertiary qualification (National Diploma and/or Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science, Information Management, Archival Studies/Records Management or NQF Level 6 qualification in the related field); Exposure to an archival and records management 3-5 years experience will be an advantage; 3 years functional experience in an Records or Archives Management environment; Knowledge in National Archives and Records Services Act; Knowledge of PFMA, PAIA, MISS, PAJA, Public Service Regulations.

Enquiries: Mr. O. Melato ( (012) 315 1351

Closing Date: 22 September 2017

Senior Auditor: Computer Audit & Decision Support
Reference: 17/27/IA
Salary: R334 545 – R394 065 per annum. The successful candidate will be required to sign a performance agreement.

Requirements: A Bachelor’s degree or National Diploma in Auditing, Information systems, Computer Science or related field of study; At least 3 years experience in computer auditing of which one year should be at supervisory level; The Certified Information System Auditor (CISA), Certified Internal Audit (CIA) or other professional designations will be preferred; Experience in the use of CAATS and Teammate software; Knowledge of COBIT, ITIL, COSO and IT governance framework and must also be a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)and comply with the Standards of Professional Practice of Internal Auditing or other professional standards; The successful candidate will be required to undergo a security clearance; A valid driver’s licence.

Enquiries: Mr O Melato ( (012) 315 1351

Senior Auditor: Internal Audit (03 Posts)
Reference: 17/28/IA
Salary: R334 545 – R394 065 per annum. The successful candidate will be required to sign a performance agreement.

Requirements: An appropriate 3 year Degree or National Diploma with majors in Auditing/Internal Auditing and Accounting; At least 3 years experience in Internal Auditing of which 1 year should be as a team leader or potential to lead a team; Must be conversant with Auditing and Accounting standards; Successful candidates will be required to complete a security clearance; A valid driver’s licence.

Enquiries: Mr. O. Melato (012) 315 1351

Closing Date:: 02 October 2017

NOTE: Interested applicants may visit the following website: www.justice.gov.za or www.dpsa.gov.za to view the full job specification of the above positions. Applications must be submitted on Form Z83, obtainable from any Public Service Department or on the internet at www.gov.za. A Z83 form & CV must be accompanied by original certified copies of qualifications, identity document and a driver’s licence where necessary. A SAQA evaluation report must accompany foreign qualifications. Applications that do not comply with the above mentioned requirements will not be considered. All shortlisted candidates for SMS posts will be subjected to a technical exercise that intends to test relevant technical elements of the job, the logistics of which will be communicated. Following the interview and technical exercise, the selection panel will recommend candidates to attend a generic managerial competency assessment (in compliance with the DPSA Directive on the implementation of competency based assessments). Candidate will complete a financial disclosure form and also be required to undergo a security clearance. If the candidate is applying for an OSD post, certificates of service must be attached to the CV.

The DOJ&CD is an equal opportunity employer. In the filling of vacant posts the objectives of section 195 (1) (i) of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996 (Act No: 108 of 1996), the Employment Equity imperatives as defined by the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No: 55 of 1998) and relevant Human Resources policies of the Department will be taken into consideration. Reasonable accommodation shall be applied for People with Disabilities including where drivers licence is a requirement. Shortlisted candidates will be subjected to a personnel vetting process. Correspondence will be limited to shortlisted candidates only. If you do not hear from us within 3 months of this advertisement, please accept that your application has been unsuccessful. The department reserves the right not to fill these positions. Women and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply and preference will be given to the EE Target.

Tel: 012 315 1111 Private Bag X81, Pretoria, 0001 Momentum Centre, 329 Pretorius Street, Pretoria www.justice.gov.za dojcd_ZA DOJ CD 

Jobs: Department of Labour - Sep 2017

Assistant Director: IES
Reference No: HR4/4/4/08/01
Salary: Commencing: R417 552 per annum

Enquiries: Mr M D Kgwele, Tel: (011) 345 6300

Centre: Labour Centre: Germiston

Head office

Chief Director: Provincial Operations: PO Box 4560, Johannesburg, 2001

Closing date for applications: Monday, 2 October 2017 at 16:00

For full details of the advertised posts visit our website: www.labour.gov.za

Applications must be submitted on form Z83, obtainable from any Public Service Department or on the internet at www.gov.za/documents. The fully completed and signed form Z83 should be accompanied by a recently updated, comprehensive CV as well as recently certified copies of all qualification(s) including a Senior Certificate and ID-document [Driver’s license where applicable]. Non-RSA Citizens/Permanent Resident Permit Holders must attach a copy of their Permanent Residence Permits to their applications. Should you be in possession of a foreign qualification, it must be accompanied by an evaluation certificate from the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA). Applicants who do not comply with the above-mentioned requirements, as well as applications received late, will not be considered. The Department does not accept applications via fax or email. Failure to submit all the requested documents will result in the application not being considered. Correspondence will be limited to short-listed candidates only. If you have not been contacted within eight (8) weeks after the closing date of this advertisement, please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Suitable candidates will be subjected to a personnel suitability check (criminal record, citizenship, credit record checks, qualification verification and employment verification). Where applicable, candidates will be subjected to a skills/knowledge test. All shortlisted candidates for SMS posts will be subjected to a technical competency exercise that intends to test relevant technical elements of the job, the logistics of which be communicated by the Department. Following the interview and technical exercise, the selection panel will recommend candidates to attend generic managerial competencies using the mandated DPSA SMS competency assessment tools.

Successful candidates will be appointed on a probation period of 12 months. The Department reserves the right not to make any appointment(s) to the above post. The successful candidate will be expected to sign a performance agreement. The Department of Labour is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer. The employment decision shall be informed by the Employment Equity Plan of the Department. It is the Department’s intention to promote equity (race, gender and disability) through the filling of this post(s) with a candidate whose transfer / promotion / appointment will promote representativity in line with the numerical targets as contained in our Employment Equity Plan.

Jobs: Social Development - Sep 2017 2nd edition

It is our intention to promote representivity (race, gender and disability) in the Public Service through the filling of this post and candidates whose transfer / promotion/ appointment will promote representivity will receive preference.

Director: Older Persons Services
Chief Directorate: Social Professional Services and Older Persons (Ref. V2/2017)
Total Cost-To-Employer Package: R948 174 per annum

This inclusive remuneration package consists of a basic salary, the states’ contribution to the Government Employees Pension Fund and a flexible portion that may be structured in terms of the applicable rules.

Centre: HSRC Building, Pretoria

Rquirements: An appropriate Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (NQF 7) Plus five (5) years of middle/senior management experience in care and services to older persons. Registration with the South African Council for Social Services Professions. Knowledge of Public Service Legislation. Knowledge of legislation and policies guiding the care and protection of older persons. 

Competencies: Programme and project management skills. Financial management skills. Policy analysis and development skills. Communication (verbal and written) skills. Service delivery innovation skills. Problem-solving and change management skills. People management and empowerment skills. Client orientation and customer focus skills.  Stakeholder management skills. Presentation and facilitation skills. Service monitoring and evaluation skills. Strategic planning skills.

Attributes: Good interpersonal relations. Ability to work under pressure. Innovative and creative. Ability to work in a team and independently. Adaptability. Diplomatic. Independent thinker. Cost consciousness. Honesty and Integrity. 

Key Responsibilities: Develop and facilitate the implementation of programmes, policies and legislation aimed at the protection, empowering and the promotion of the rights of older persons. Manage and facilitate the process to develop, refine, administer, monitoring and evaluation of legislation with regard to older persons. Liaise with other government departments, national structures as well as regional and international structures for all processes, programmes and strategies related to older persons. Facilitate, manage, monitor and evaluate national norms and standards for services to older persons. Coordinate the development of capacity building and practical programmes to improve the delivery of quality services to older persons, through partnership with stakeholders.

Enquiries: Ms C Nxumalo, Tel: (012) 312 7386

Note: In terms of the Chief Directorate’s employment equity targets, African males as well as persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Applications: The Director General, Department of Social Development, Private Bag X901, Pretoria, 0001, Physical Address: HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street.

For attention: Ms E Steenkamp

Closing date : 29 September 2017

Note: Curriculum vitae with a detailed description of duties, the names of two referees and certified copies of qualifications and identity document must accompany your signed application for employment (Z83). In the event of hand delivery of applications, applicants must sign an application register book as proof of submission. Short listed candidates for SMS posts will be subjected to a technical exercise that intends to test relevant technical elements of the job, the logistics of which will be communicated by the Department. Following the interview and technical exercise, the selection panel will recommend candidates to attend a generic managerial competency assessment (in compliance with the DPSA Directive on the implementation of competency based assessments) The competency assessment will be testing generic managerial competencies using the mandated DPSA SMS competency assessment tools. The successful candidate for a SMS post will sign an annual performance agreement, complete a financial disclosure form and also be required to undergo a security clearance. If the candidate is applying for an OSD post, certificates of service must be attached to the CV. It is the applicant’s responsibility to have foreign qualifications evaluated by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA). Failure to submit the requested documents will result in your application not being considered. Personnel suitability checks will be conducted on short listed candidates and the appointment is subject to positive outcomes of the checks. Correspondence will be limited to shortlisted candidates only. The selection of candidates will be done with due regard to the relevant aspects of the selection process as set out in the Public Service Regulations, 2016 4/67. Applications received after the closing date will not be taken into consideration. No faxed or e-mailed applications will be considered. If you have not been contacted within three months after the closing date of this advertisement, please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Candidates requiring additional information regarding the advertised post may direct their enquiries to the person as indicated. Internal applicants must submit and register their employment applications at the register book in the DSD reception area for the attention of Ms E Steenkamp.

It is our intention to promote representivity (race, gender and disability) in the Public Service through the filling of this post and candidates whose transfer / promotion/ appointment will promote representivity will receive preference.

Joburg, Polokwane named as greenest municipalities

A growing number of municipalities are embracing the concept of the green economy.

The City of Joburg and Polokwane were overall winners at the 7th Greenest Municipality Competition.The City of Johannesburg and Polokwane in Limpopo are the greenest municipalities in South Africa.

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson announced the winners of the 7th Greenest Municipality Competition (GMC) in Bloemfontein recently.

Deputy Minister Thomson acknowledged the role played by South African municipalities in embracing the concept of the green economy by implementing long-term sustainability policies and strategies in partnership with local communities.

“This is an important development for our country because it demonstrates an increasing awareness and realisation that our prosperity as a country is inextricably connected to the well-being of our environment,” Deputy Minister Thomson said.

The overall winners will receive R3.5 million, first runner-up R3 million and the second runner-up R2.5 million. The money will be disbursed through funding of infrastructure projects aimed at the protection of the environment.

The prize is tied to waste, climate change and green economy-related job creation projects.

The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality respectively won the first and second runner-up in the metro category, while the Govan Mbeki Municipality and the Hessequa Local Municipality won the local municipality category.

“Funding the competition is of greater strategic importance, as it helps to galvanise municipalities to initiate projects that address their Integrated Development Plans and forge links with our Extended Public Works Programme mandate of creating temporary employment and offering skills development opportunities.

“The Greenest Municipality Competition has evolved into a significant contributor towards a collective response to the challenges posed by climate change and government’s course towards a sustainable future. It focuses on sustainable development in areas such as good waste management practices, efficient energy use, sustainable water use, public participation and best practice of municipal leadership,” the Department of Environmental Affairs said.

Deputy Minister Thomson said the Greenest Municipality Competition contributes towards the country’s collective response to the challenges posed by climate change and South Africa’s path towards a sustainable future.

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KZN pilots National Health Insurance

Written by Noluthando Motswai
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is working hard to improve access to health services in the province, as the country prepares for the rollout of the National Health Insurance (NHI).

Through the National Health Insurance South Africans will have access to affordable healthcare services.The NHI is a health financing system that is designed to pool funds to provide access to quality, affordable healthcare services for all South Africans, based on their  needs, irrespective of their socio-economic status.

 In KZN the NHI is being piloted in Amajuba, Umzinyathi and Umgungundlovu.

Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said one of the key things that is improving healthcare in the province is the introduction of ward-based outreach teams which bring healthcare services closer to the people, at ward level, and increase access to primary healthcare.

“Teams are able to identify health problems in the community early for interventions,” said Dhlomo.

He added that the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) programme is also improving.From February 2014 all 55 primary healthcare in KZN have been enrolled in the CCMDD programme.

There are now 13 private pick-up points contracted to the National Department of Health to provide CCMDD services, and 35 000 clients have been enrolled in the programme.

“The decongestion of the facilities, as a result of CCMDD, has led to decreased waiting times and an improved client experience”.

MEC Dhlomo also said the establishment of District Clinical Specialist Teams (DCST) has also been key in the improvement of the healthcare system. The DCSTs are made up of a primary healthcare nurse, midwife and paediatric nurse.

 The department has also contracted about 23 general practitioners, who cover 40 primary healthcare facilities.

“To date over 33 000 clients have been seen by general practitioners. Medical male circumcision is also conducted, where equipment is available. Community members are seen at primary healthcare level, rather than having to go to a district hospital”

With regards to infrastructure development, 13 facilities have been completed since 2012.

Dhlomo said the implementation of the NHI is in line with the vision that healthcare should be seen as a social investment.

Why does South Africa need national health insurance?

Healthcare is a human right – this is a widely accepted international principle. This right should not depend on how rich we are or where we live. The right to obtain healthcare is written in our Constitution.

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MPC Schools Challenge inspires future economists

Written by Tshepo Ramonoedi
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) have partnered to raise learners’ awareness of the SARB.

A number of Grade 12 learners from around the country will have a taste of what it’s like to be the Governor of the SARB through the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Schools Challenge.South Africa's future economists take part in the Monetary Policy Committee Schools Challenge.

Economics and mathematics learners, who aspire to become future economists, have been identified to compete in the MPC Schools Challenge to prove that South Africa’s economy will be in safe hands in the near future.

The programme gives learners a chance to assume the role of the Governor of the SARB and his Deputy Governors for a few months.

 Learners will make important decisions, based on data they receive for analysis, to prepare a monetary policy statement, just as the governor, and his MPC team, would do.               

 Learners will have an opportunity to expand their understanding of monetary policy and stimulate their interest in a career in economics.

The programme also enables candidates to better understand the economy, through raising awareness and understanding of the role and responsibilities of the SARB. They will be expected to put some of their economic theory into practice.

The MPC Schools Challenge was piloted in 2012 by the SARB, in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Education, to improve financial and economic literacy among the youth. Since then, the challenge has been expanded to over seven provinces (excluding KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape), involving 450 schools and 1240 learners.

Each participating school will have a team of four learners who will present their case to a panel of SARB economists. Representatives from the DBE will moderate the overall outcome.

The challenge, launched by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago is already underway in participating provinces. The results will be announced by the SARB towards the end of the year.

Minister Motshekga said that the programme will help to improve broad economic literacy in the country.

“What better way to address the challenges we face as a country than to inspire our youth to take up the mantle, and be budding economists,” she said.

The programme will be rolled out to all nine provinces by 2018.

Macadamia project creates over 300 jobs

Written by Siya Miti

The Department of Trade and Industry has injected R40 million towards the planting of the first orchards in the community-owned AmaJingqi Macadamia project, which was launched last year near Willowvale.

The AmaJingqi project already employs 131 people with more jobs added as it grows to full capacity.

The Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform contributed R500 000 and a tractor and trailer to help the rural farmers with primary production.

AmaJingqi macadamia production requires about R120 million, over eight years, to establish the 300 ha macadamia orchard, after which it will be sustainable.

“We are finalising talks with the Land Bank that will result in the department and the bank investing about R100 million each into the AmaJingqi macadamia business, between the 2018 and 2020 financial years,” said MEC  Qoboshiyane.

“We will invest R32 million next year and over R16 million during the 2019/20 financial year, with the Land Bank investing about R52.4 million over the same period.

“Once the 300 hectares of land set aside for macadamia production in AmaJingqi comes into production, about 330 jobs will be created.”

Macadamia project marks fifth harvest

Written by Siya Miti

The Ncera Macadamia Farming project, located a stone’s throw away from Kidd’s Beach in East London, recently yielded fifth harvest with only a slight dip from last year’s harvest of 80 tons despite the drought.

Macadamia plants take seven to eight years to reach maturity, and are a high-growth and labour-intensive agricultural commodity.

Each of the 300-hectare macadamia projects in the province has the potential to employ in excess of 300 people on a full-time basis.Eastern Cape Ncera Macadamia Farming director Mkhululi Phakade and the Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, offload a crate full of macadamia nuts, while Ncera Macadamia farm worker, Nonzukiso Batyi, looks on. Pic: DRDAR Communications.

At the inception stages of the Ncera Macadamia project, between 2005 and 2006, the provincial government invested about R60 million into it.

“About R55.8 million came from the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform and about R4.25 million was invested by the provincial economic development department. About R6.1 million came from some of our strategic partners. Communities contributed with their land and got a shareholding in the business,” said MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane.

The money went towards setting up the nursery to grow orchards, setting up infrastructure, and training and skilling communities and workers.

Now the farm is bearing fruit for its stakeholders in government, the private sector and rural communities.

Over the past three years the team  has received awards for excellent nut quality and certificates from the South African Macadamia Growers Association for excellent nursery audits.

Director of Ncera Macadamia Farming Mkululi Pakade said the nuts are of export quality.

“Our nuts are sold all over the world in markets, such as in the United States, Europe, China and many others. We do stage one and two processing for now, which is de-husking and drying. Then we sell our nuts through Green Farms in Durban, where processing includes cracking, styling, packaging and branding,” he said.

The project has created 151 jobs for locals in positions ranging from general and semi-skilled workers to drivers, specialists, supervisors, admin staff and senior management.

“Businesses like macadamia production are vital in the creation of jobs and strengthening the country’s economy.

“This is really a great move as we want to ensure that the Eastern Cape is no longer a labour exporting province but a producer of the country’s food, including  macadamia nuts,” MEC Qoboshiyane said.

News in brief - Sep 2017 2nd Edition

eDocket to improve police admin

The South African Police Service has launched a system that will improve the management and administration of dockets across the board with the introduction of theeDocket system.

Officially known as the Integrated Case Docket Management System (ICDMS), eDocket allows for an integrated method of monitoring police documents, dockets and the storage thereof. This will ultimately reduce the chances of dockets going missing or being tampered with.

To date, the system has been implemented at 1 153 police stations -- including military police stations – across the country and in 509 of 627 Department of Justice and Constitutional Development courts.

Security officers to get salary increase

South Africa’s Private Security Sector minimum wage will increase by an average of 6.4 percent with effect from 1 September 2017, said the Department of Labour.

The new Sectoral Determination (SD) will be applicable until 31 August 2018.

For more information visit: www.labour.gov.za (link is external)

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Premises donated to JMPD

A local businessman has donated premises to the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) to ensure that residents living in the south of Johannesburg are safer.

The JMPD has opened a satellite station in Kenilworth, south of Johannesburg, an area that has been heavily impacted by drugs and human trafficking.

The station will have over 20 officers on duty and will operate 24-hours a day.

It will service communities in Kenilworth, Turffontein and Rosettenville which have been plagued by drugs, human trafficking and other crimes and will also attend to numerous other complaints related to the City of Johannesburg’s bylaws, drunken driving, alcohol abuse, noise levels and illegal dumping.

According to JMPD superintendent Wayne Minnaar, the property was donated by The Southern Business Community Forum and businessman Mario Stephanou, and was developed into a satellite station by the JMPD.

“The satellite station is right in the base where problems used to occur before and this will make it much easier for us to respond to incidents of crime.

“It is also in direct contact with officers on patrol, so should there be any situation which they need to respond to, they can do so swiftly.

“I must say that we are truly thankful for the donation. It goes to show that we are not alone in the fight against crime in our communities,” said Minnaar.

Public servants moving SA forward

Written by Jacob G Zuma - President of the Republic of South Africa
In the column I wrote for the last edition of Vuk’uzenzele I focused on the theme of September as the Heritage Month on our calendar.

I suggested in the column that it is important not only to live the injunction made in the preamble of the Constitution of the Republic, that we should be united in our diversity but also that most importantly, the diversity of our heritage and cultures is actually the source of our strength as a people. Our ability over the past two decades of democracy to harness our diversity for collective prosperity is not a small achievement, especially in the world in which, increasingly, human diversity is used as a wedge to divide people instead of uniting them.

Our government uses the month of September to focus on another equally important theme: improving the quality and performance of the public service. The fundamental values and tasks of the public service are set out in Chapter 10 of the Constitution. The Constitution also outlines nine principles according to which the public service has to operate. It enjoins the public service to be transparent, accountable, ethical and development-oriented. The public service should provide services in an efficient, cost-effective manner and ensure the economic use of resources.

Since the dawn of democracy in 1994 we have set up institutions, laws and rules to put these principles and injunctions into practice. We established state agencies such as the Department of Public Service and Administration, Public Service Commission and the office that supports it, the National School of Government, the Department of Cooperative Governance, and since 2009 the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), now known as the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. Our decision to establish DPME was informed by our experience which showed that where the performance of government was weak, it was because of wrong policies. The fundamental source of problems was poor implementation. Our focus since 2009 has been on improving the implementation of government policies and programmes. The role of DPME therefore is to monitor the implementation and, where there are gaps, identify them and advise the whole of government to act on them.

We plan to use Public  Service Month 2017 to emphasise, once again, the importance of the ethos of public service, to remind civil servants and all those who have chosen the vocation of public service that they are employed first and foremost to serve the public. This year’s Public Service Month is particularly significant. We celebrate the centenary of the icon of our liberation struggle, Oliver Reginald Tambo, who dedicated his whole adult life to a political cause which was bigger than himself: the liberation of all our people from the bondage of apartheid. OR Tambo believed strongly in our constitutional creed, which is that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. He led with humility and integrity. As we celebrate his life this year, I implore every public servant to emulate his example by dedicating themselves to the values of public service as enshrined in Chapter 10 of the Constitution.

This year is also significant for another reason. It is the fifth anniversary of the National Development Plan (NDP): Vision 2030. The NDP sets out specific targets on important developmental areas of our country that should be met by the year 2030. It is a clear road map that should be followed by all of government, business, labour and society in bringing about a South Africa where there will be work for the jobless, food for the hungry and security for the vulnerable. The NDP has been supported by all major stakeholders.

The fifth anniversary of the NDP presents all of us the opportunity to assess the progress we have made in implementing it. We have organised its implementation into five-year programmatic terms called the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). We should look at the targets we set in the MTSF and assess whether we have met them. The importance of this fifth anniversary for all public servants is for them to look at the role each of them is playing to realise the objectives set in the NDP.

Let’s use the  Public Service Month 2017 to rededicate ourselves to the values of public service and to put these values to practice through the implementation of the NDP. Our people deserve nothing less than public servants who work to bring about a South Africa in which, to borrow words from another icon of our liberation struggle, former President Nelson Mandela, there would be work, bread, water and salt for all.

I have no doubt that there is nothing that would please OR Tambo on his 100th anniversary more than a South Africa in which there is an army of dedicated public servants who are working tirelessly to bring Madiba’s vision into being! 

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R2 million spent on improving West Rand school

A partnership between business and government has resulted in learners gaining access to quality education.

R2 million spent on improving West Rand schoolImfundo Secondary School in Merafong, west of Johannesburg, is the recipient of a R2 million refurbishment project.

Local businesses in the area raised funds and built five classrooms at the school. The team also provided desks and introduced a feeding scheme and dignitary packs for girls.

Speaking to Vuk’uzenzele in an interview recently, Infrastructure MMC at West Rand District Municipality Diteko Moreotsenye said that they assessed the school and found it to be overcrowded because of the growing population in the area. This resulted in learners not being able to focus properly in classrooms. 

“We also found that mobile classrooms were added to the school to deal with the growing number of learners, however, this wasn’t really enough,” said Moreotsenye.

This prompted the municipality to approach funders and the Lenasia community helped to build the school.

 “In effect, those classrooms were donations from funders and not solely a contribution from government,” said Moreotsenye.

Learners are excited about the new facilities.

The school achieved a 98 percent matric pass rate in 2016 and learners have prom-ised to attain a 100 percent pass rate in future.

To motivate this outcome, the school has been promised that it will be converted into a smart school, with paperless facilities, if it achieves the desired result.

Merafong Local Municipality public relations officer Sammy Mosia said the municipality is happy about the project.

“We appreciate such efforts and contributions and we are excited that learners from our region were able to benefit from this,” he said.

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SADC, EU launch implementation of trade projects

Africa News

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union (EU) have formally launched the implementation of projects valued at 31.6 million Euros.

The projects were launched under the Trade Related Facility (TRF), which was established through a contribution agreement between the EU and SADC in 2014.

The objective of the TRF is to improve the participation of SADC member states in regional and international trade to contribute to sustainable development within the region.

Projects supported by the TRF mainly focus on customs cooperation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, rules of origin, trade facilitation, industrial development, trade promotion and development, and trade in services. In addition, there are specific areas that relate to the EPA Window, namely trade defence instruments, trade-related adjustment and competition policy.

SADC member states that have signed and ratified the SADC Protocol on Trade and are benefitting from the TRF are Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Tamasha bringing chaos alive on stage

Sport, Arts and Culture

Tamasha on Hope Street gives South Africans an opportunity to learn more about South Africa's Indian cultureTamasha, a Hindi word meaning “trouble” or “chaos” will be brought to life through an unforgettable drama at the Market Theatre in September, Heritage Month.

Tamasha on Hope Street is a brand-new, cutting-edge production by award-winning playwright Rajesh Gopie that will have its world premiere from 8 September to 1 October 2017.

The drama is being showcased in time to celebrate Heritage Month because a core feature in the production is South Africa’s Indian community’s traditions and cultures.

The play focuses on the socio-economic conditions in Chatsworth, an Indian township 20 km south of the port city of Durban. It tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Payal, a young Indian girl born in Chatsworth who works as a street prostitute, and Albert, a Zimbabwean night watchman.

The play boasts an array of creative talent that includes actors Dhaveshan Govender, Lindani Nkosi, Matthew MacFarlane, Afzal Khan, Keith Gengadoo and Ameera Patel. Directed by Gopala Davies, the play is Davies’ debut at the Market Theatre. He will be mentored by Gita Pather, a theatre veteran who has produced award-winning plays in a career that spans over 30 years.

The production was made possible by the Department of Arts and Culture’s Incubation Programme, which supports a series of programmes designed to boost the level of fresh young talent in the theatre industry and see more local content brought to the stage.

Shows will take place from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 20h15, and Sundays at 15h15.  

Ticket Prices:

Student Price:
R70.00

Tuesday – Thursday:
R 90.00

Friday – Sunday:
R 150.00

This month in history - Sep 2nd edition 2017

South Africa and Mozambique create a conservation park

In 1991 South Africa and Mozambique began discussions which  led to the creation of a conservation park which includes the Kruger National Park.  Named after President Paul Kruger, the Kruger National Park became a living memorial to Paul Kruger and those who have upheld his vision of a protected wilderness. It is now one of the largest conservation parks in the world.

 

Source: South African History Online – www.sahistory.org.za

 

Upgrading skills to improve service in local government

Written by Hlengiwe Ngobese
In a bid to ensure better financial management in KwaZulu-Natal municipalities and embed a culture of financial accountability, a number of public servants have undergone financial and legal training.

KwaZulu-Natal finance MEC Belinda Scott with the director of the University of the Western Cape’s School of Government, Professor Chris Tapscott, ABSA head of public sector banking, Fiks Dlamini, university deputy registrar, Dr Ahmed Shaikjee, and certificate recipient, Wandile Ngubane.Organised by the MEC for Finance Belinda Scott, the training was made possible by a partnership between ABSA and the University of Western Cape (UWC). Twenty-five employees from various municipalities completed the course.

The group is now armed with knowledge and awareness of the regulatory requirements and legislative framework governing public sector finance reforms and management in South Africa; an understanding and application of different reporting frameworks; an understanding of how to apply and adhere to acceptable accounting records; an understanding of audit working papers for annual external audit; an understanding and ability to prepare cash flow statements and budgets; an understanding and ability to calculate different financial ratios; and the knowledge to interpret and apply financial ratios and perform financial statement analysis.

MEC Scott said the partnership marks an important milestone in improving capacity in the financial management in municipalities. She said that if municipalities struggle to deliver services, then government does not work.

Delivering better services

“We congratulate the 25 trainees,” she said, adding that more skilled financial officers are needed to help the province’s municipalities manage their finance systems.

Municipalities do not lack funding, Scott said, but rather the ability to manage the financial resources they are allocated.

“This training will have a positive effect in managing the current challenges faced, and we would like more partnerships to help government create the necessary capacity in order to deliver services better to the communities,” she said.

“The objective of the programme is to improve the municipal financial health so that we can improve the municipal service to the communities,” said UWC’s Allan Roman.

Head of marketing and corporate relations in KwaZulu-Natal, Dante Mashile, said that as a bank, ABSA saw it as fitting to assist in the deepening of the skills of accounting practitioners.

“Through this training programme, we are fulfilling our citizenship responsibility by assisting local municipalities to deliver better services and at the same time advancing socio-economic development for the communities they serve. This training programme is part of our Shared Growth strategy implementation where access to education and training is a key area of focus for us. We are passionate about leaving things better than we found them.”

One of the participants, Wandile Ngubane, said he was grateful for the training which will not only change the performance of the municipalities but will also have a positive impact on service delivery.

What you need to know about SADC

Africa News

Leaders from Southern African Development Community member states.The Southern African Development Community (SADC) celebrated its 25th anniversary recently.

Tshwane hosted the 37th Ordinary Summit of SADC which saw President Jacob Zuma take over from Swaziland’s King Mswati III as the chairperson of SADC, for a term that will run until August 2018.

SADC was formed on 17 August 1992 in Windhoek, Namibia, with its precursor known as the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference (SADCC), which was established in 1980 in Lusaka, Zambia.

Today, 25 years later, the regional bloc has 15 member states with diverse groups of nations, ranging from the least developed countries, small islands and land-locked states to countries with vast land masses and resources and  considerable potential.

These countries have a common vision - sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development, and the pooling of resources to achieve collective self-reliance to improve the living standards of the estimated 300 million people in the region.

SADC has a number of institutions, including the summit which is its supreme policy-making institution and consists of heads of state and/or governments of all member states.

The summit usually meets once a year, around August, and is responsible for the overall policy direction and control of SADC’s functions, as its decisions are binding. The summit elects a chairperson and vice-chairperson for a one-year term that rotates among the bloc’s member states.

SADC has enjoyed success in the areas of governance, democracy, peace and security, which has ensured that the region enjoys unparalleled peace, political stability and security over the past few years.

Infrastructure development

Similar progress can be noted in infrastructure across different sectors, such as energy, transport, telecommunications, tourism, meteorology and water, trade, industry, finance and investment, food, agriculture and natural resources, and social and human development.

For example, ongoing infrastructure projects in the region include  the ZiZaBoNa Interconnector Project, that will link Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia; the establishment of the Namibia-Angola Interconnector, that will connect the latter to the Southern African Power Pool; and the Grand Inga III Hydropower project, which  seeks to harness the power potential of the Congo River, sub-Saharan Africa’s greatest waterway.

Once all seven of its planned phases are complete, the Inga project is expected to generate a massive 40 000 megawatts of renewable power.

Member states:

Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.