Oct 2005

PDF version: 

'Disabled', but capable

Beka Ntsanwisi is very, very ill.  She suffers from advanced colon cancer and walks with crutches. On some days the pain is so bad that she finds it difficult to stand up. Despite this, Ntsanwisi (37) of Limpopo feeds thousands of people in the rural communities.  Ntsanwisi, who is also a presenter for Munghana Lonene FM radio, won the 2005 Shoprite Checkers/SABC2 Woman of the Year Award in the social welfare category.
 
 
'Disabled' but capable
On the night of the award ceremony, Ntsanwisi collapsed before the event. The organisers arranged for her doctor to attend the event to take care of her. When she received the award, Ntsanwisi, who was in a wheelchair, could barely speak. However, she vowed to continue to work for her community until the day she dies.
 
“I am involved with different projects to help the poor and people living with HIV/Aids. I have 
acquired 21 hectares of farmland in the Makumeke village near Tzaneen where villagers plant cotton and vegetables for selling and home use.”
 
She said she received a lot of support from the government, her husband, Solomon, and her 17-year-old daughter Nkhesani.
 
“I’m suffering, but I always put other people’s pain first,” she said.
 
 
When Julia Moloi speaks on the phone, people who do not know her often tell her to stop crying and speak properly.
 
She just tells them that she is disabled and finds it difficult to speak. But she says the comments don’t bother her anymore.
 
In fact, Moloi (30) says people should stop feeling sorry for people with disabilities.
 
“We are capable of doing things for ourselves. All we need is support and help from government, business and other organisations — just like everybody else in this country,” says Moloi. She is editor of a Johannesburg-based magazine for people with disabilities called We Are Capable.
 
Vuk’uzenzele caught up with her at the Presidential Women Working Group meeting in Pretoria. She was invited by President Thabo Mbeki to join other successful women after she won the arts, culture and communications category of the 2005 Shoprite/SABC2 Woman of the Year Awards.
 
“I started the magazine in 2003 after realising that there is little awareness regarding people with disabilities.
 
“Through this magazine, we want to show that people with disabilities are just like everybody else. Take them to school, give them opportunities and they will look after you in future,” 
she said. Ndivhuwo Khangale

 

PDF version: 

2010 Soccer World Cup - Wosa 2010


In five year’s time, South Africa will be hosting the world’s greatest sporting event – the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  Not too long ago, the whole country celebrated the announcement that South Africa had won the bid. 
The celebrations were not only about being able to see international soccer stars playing at home, but also about the opportunities that will come with hosting such an event.  
It is expected that about 160 000 new jobs will be created countrywide through projects to upgrade  facililities such as stadiums and roads.  
Many people are already wondering what this means to the average person on the ground.  It has been announced that only ten of the original 13 stadiums that were identified for world cup matches will be used. The names of the ten stadiums still have to be announced.  
 

Vuk’uzenzele spoke to Dan Moyo, head of the World Cup Project Management Team in the Sports Ministry, about the opportunities the tournament will create and how people can benefit from these.  
Moyo says small business people will be given the chance to sell branded sports clothing.  “Local organising committees need to speak to the Department of Trade and Industry to negotiate licenses for small producers in their areas to produce sports products.  Small business people, including those selling beads and arts and crafts on the streets, will benefit from the large number of visiting tourists.  
 “People from rural communities will  perform during opening and closing ceremonies at the different stadiums. Others will provide guiding and other services. Those providing services for the tournament will receive training.”  Tourism will also receive a boost as thousands of people from the continent and abroad will be in the country.  
This will not only bring money into the country, but will also create business for people in the tourism industry.   Hotels and lodges will also benefit.  Moyo said a lot of money will be spent on the improvement of transport and communication facilities.
All that’s left to say is Woza 2010, woza!
PDF version: 

Are you sure you are SINGLE?

Are you sure that you are still not married? If you are not sure go to the nearest Home Affairs offices to check if you are still single.  Quite a number of South Africans, particularly women have been married to foreigners without their knowledge. In most cases, this happens in situations where foreigners wanted to apply for permanent South African citizenship.  This is because a foreigner who marries a South African, can become a naturalised South African citizen.  
 
Letting people know
Since August last year, the Department of Home Affairs has been making people aware of illegal marriages.  This has been done through community and national radio stations, advertisements on television and spreading the message during izimbizo. The Department’s director of external communication Leslie Mashokwe told Vuk’uzenzele that in the past five years 5 081
 illegal marriages have been identified. He said in the last year, 232 127 people have asked for marital status checks.   
 
“Protect your ID”
“We would like to appeal to all South Africans citizens to protect their identity documents (IDs) at all times. We also ask them not to sign documents without making sure what the papers are for. This will help to reduce the number of illegal marriages,” Mashokwe said.  
 
Go to the police
He said if anyone found they were illegally married, they should report the matter to the nearest police station.  The victim should hand over a statement made at the police station to Home Affairs so it could fully investigate. He said people who have been illegally married, particularly to foreigners, did not have to look for assistance from lawyers.  Justice Mohale 
 
Safer driving for truckers 
 
The North West government opened the first Road Wellness Centre as part of the Trucking against Aids Project in Zeerust. Health MEC Nomonde Rasmeni said the truck industry was at high risk due to HIV and AIDS.  “It is our the duty to protect the industry, as well as the people relying on it,” she said. The Trucking Against AIDS Project makes truck drivers and sex workers more aware of HIV and AIDS and STI (sexually transmitted infections). Eight Centres have been opened along major routes in South Africa. These clinics provide HIV and AIDS education, primary health care, STI treatment and condom distribution. Every clinic has a nurse, who also works in the rural communities near the centres. BuaNews
 
PDF version: 

Government's support forsmall business

Many South Africans will do anything just to make sure there’s food on the table and roofs over their families’ heads. For many business-minded people, if only they had the finances,  they would secure themselves by starting a small business venture.
Government realised that small businesses often struggle, because they do not have enough money to keep a business going. To help, the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) created programmes to support small businesses.  
One of those who benefited from the opportunities, is Doll Mahatane of Bloemfontein. Mahatane, who has an events management and interior decorating business, recently bought 50% shares in an arts and craft village worth R5 million.  
 
Successful
The Industrial development Corporation (IDC), also helped Mahatane buy a 34-bedroom hotel for R11 million. Mahatane says she is successful, because she works very hard.  “During the first three years it was difficult to make ends meet. Now even banks have faith in my business and it is easy for me to get a loan,” Mahatane said.  
Malusi Mbonambi of Syavaya Travel and Tours also benefitted from programmes of the dti. 
His business Syavaya — township language for “we are moving” — specialises in transport, logistic co-ordinating and tours. After he lost his job, Mbonambi did not know what to do. He entered a business competition and won R5 000 and a computer. This was the beginning of his own business. Malusi’s vehicles include luxury mini-buses. He plans to buy more vehicles with the help of the dti. Malusi also applied for assistance from the Umsobomvu Youth Fund.
 
 Game finance
 A unique, black-owned game reserve has recently opened its doors in Sidbury, Eastern Cape. It’s owner, Yusuf Jeeva, says Kwantu Game Reserve is the first game reserve in South Africa to offer halaal food and Muslim prayer facilities. The reserve is situated 80km outside Nelson Mandela Bay. The IDC funded Jeeva’s business. 
 
Thuso Mentorship Programme 
 
The Thuso Mentorship programme transfers skills on a one-to-one basis.  It offers pre-loan, as well as post loan services. During the pre-loan stage, entrepreneurs get advice and counselling from mentors. The mentors also help with the  development of viable business plans. . 
Entrepreneurs can go to mentorship offices where a regional co-ordinator will evaluate each request. The co-ordinator then appoints an accredited mentor/advisor to help the entrepreneur with a business plan. Once a business plan is complete, the co-ordinator refers the client to a bank.  
Thuso Mentorship appoints an accredited, suitable mentor to draw up a business plan and the bank may apply for a credit guarantee through Khula.  
 
WHAT IS KHULA?
 
Khula Enterprise Finance Limited is part of the DTI and it helps entrepreneurs get finance.  
 
... just in case you were wondering 
 
Why is there no Khula office where I live?
Khula does not give loans directly to the public. It uses retail financial intermediaries, micro credit outlets and the banks to reach entrepreneurs and will supply a guarantee to the bank on your behalf.  
 
My bank does not know about the relationship with Khula.
Khula works with most banks in South Africa. Sometimes communication is difficult, because banks are big organisations. Contact the mentorship office in your area and they will put you into contact with the right people at the bank
 
 What is a Khula credit guarantee and how do I get one?
A Khula credit guarantee is an arrangement between a bank and Khula, where Khula carries part of the risk when a bank gives a loan to an entrepreneur. It often happens that  entrepreneurs would not qualify to get finance because of lack of security. Such a guarantee can be accessed  through the banks who have signed agreements with Khula.  
 
What is the cost of such a guarantee?
A fee of 3% of the loan amount has to be paid in advance every year for as long as the entrepreneur needs the guarantee.
 
Khula Financial Services:
 
Business loans for retail finance 
It gives business loans to small business owners. The loan will only be granted for the starting of a new business, expansion or acquisition of a new or existing business. In this case, a person may be loaned up to R75 000. 
 
Empowerment Scheme
It gives loans to small business people who cannot afford bank securities 
 
Equity Fund 
The fund gives loans to companies that intend to start business together or buy shares. Applicants must be able to show that the business will have profits in the long-term and that investors can expect more profit.
 
Individual Guarantee 
It gives loans to small business people who cannot afford bank securities.  A business person applies for funding to the bank, and Khula will guarantee the loan.
 
Some of the dti’s divisions are:
 
South African Women Entrepreneurs’ Network, aimed at improving the status of women by giving them financial support - Tel: (012) 394-1606 - Email: unatim@thedti.gov.za
 
Small Enterprise Development Agency, aimed at supporting and promoting cooperative businesses, especially in the rural areas. Cooperative business is where a group of people come form a businesses together, especially in agriculture. - Tel: (012) 428-5000  -  Call Centre: 0860 103 703  -  www. Seda.org.za
 
 South African Micro-Finance Apex Fund was formed by government to address unemployment by giving loans of up to R10 000. Tel: (012) 394 1796/1805
 
Technology for Women in Business is aimed at improving the empowerment of women in science and technology and encourages girls to choose careers in engineering, science, business and technology. - Tel: (012) 841-4983/4990/4422  -  Website: www.twib.co.za
 
National Empowerment Fund, aimed at promoting Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) business ideas for small business.  -  Tel: (011) 731-9000
PDF version: 

Health Advice - speak to your doctor

 
We all want to give our children a good start in life. One of the best places to start is by ensuring that our children get the finest health care. What are the steps you, as parents, should take?  
The first years are the most important in the development of a child.  
Your child’s development during these years should be closely watched. In doing so, any problem that will prevent your child from becoming a healthy individual will be seen at an early stage. This will lead to early diagnosis and early diagnosis will ensure early treatment.
 
 
  • The Road to Health Card
The Road to Health Card is not a passport to health, but rather an instrument to be used by doctors and nurses to monitor the development of your child.
 
  • Where do you get the road to health card?
The Road to Health Card (often referred to as the baby card or the health card), is issued to the mother when a baby is born in either the private or state hospital service. Babies born elsewhere also receive a card with their first contact with the health services.
 
 
  • What must I do with the card?
Parents must keep this card safe and present it every time they visit the doctor or nurse, or when the mother or someone else takes the baby to the clinic or hospital. Remember this is not a hospital card, but a card that is required every time the child goes to the clinic or hospital.
 
 
  • Why do doctors and nurses need the card?
 
Doctors and nurses will check the card to see: 
— if your child received the necessary immunisations
— if your child received the necessary vitamins 
— the growth of the child 
— the child’s development according to the natural process of a growing child.
 
All this is to ensure good health for your baby.  
The doctors and nurses will also record their findings on the card whenever your child is screened for the various stages of their development. This written information will be available to assist them in the treatment of your baby should it be required.  Therefore, every time you take the child to any clinic or hospital - make sure that you take the card with you.
 
  • Don’t forget!
If you, the mother of the child, are unable to take the child to the clinic or hospital, send the card with whoever takes the child.
 
  • How long must you keep the card?
Keep the card for as long as possible, even if the child has grown up. The information on the card, especially on immunisation, might be needed in later years, either by the school, the workplace or perhaps another country.
 
 
  • What if I lose the card
 
Don’t worry, don’t stay away!  Tell the sister at the clinic about the loss. She will issue a new card for the baby, but do not stay away!
 
Write to Vuk’uzenzele Health Advice, GCIS, Private Bag X745, Pretoria, 0001, and The Department of Health will advise you.

 

PDF version: 

How to be safe and careful with your money

Have you ever gone out with no money in your pocket? Not a nice feeling, is it?  There’s only one thing to do if you do not want to spend the rest of your life worrying about money - save! 
 
How can I save?
  • No matter how little, bank all your money so that you can get interest. Your money grows (becomes more) with interest.
  • Do research on which bank will give you the best interest rate. Remember to find out about bank charges as well.
  • Do a budget every month. Your budget should show all your income and all your expected expenses.
  • When you go shopping look around for the best price.
  • Always shop with a shopping list and stick to your list.
  • Always work towards a financial goal. This means that you need to know what you want to do with all the money you have saved.
  • Make notes of all the money you spend so that you can see where your money went.
  • If you were forced into debt, pay it off as soon as possible.
  • Start a savings club with a few friends (like a stokvel).
  • Pay cash for everything you want — don’t buy it if you can’t afford it.
  • Spend less than you earn.
  • Don’t borrow money as it teaches you that it is okay to be in debt. It’s not!
  • Don’t go to sales and buy things you don’t need.
  • Just because you have R2 does not mean you must spend it. Save it and get something you really want or need.
 
  Remember
  • Stop and think before you buy anything.
  • A sale is not a sale if you still cannot afford it.
  • Window-shopping is fun.
  • Money does not spoil:
  • You can always find a use for it in the future;
  • Don’t spend it just because you can;
  • There might be rainy days when you need money for the unexpected;
  • Approach money decisions in a business-like manner. Money is an emotional issue. Especially when it comes to borrowing and lending to family
  • Buy necessities first and luxuries last.
  • Negotiate prices and ask for discounts (especially when buying cash).
PDF version: 

Imbizo Feedback - Getting local Government right

resident Thabo Mbeki takes his visits to rural areas very seriously. In fact when he talks to people during his one-to-one encounters as part of government’s Municipal Imbizo Programme, he carefully writes down the concerns people raise and their ideas on how to solve problems. 
The President, along with other government ministers, has been visiting municipalities to directly interact with the managers, with the councillors and with the residents.  
 
Project Consolidate
The programme aims to improve municipal service delivery and to get residents’ comments on the decisions that affect their lives. Many municipalities are doing well, but many face problems and don’t have the capacity to fix them on their own.
Project Consolidate is a national programme for national and provincial government to help 136 municipalities that need assistance in delivering basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation to their communities.  
 
Protests
The past months have seen some communities taking to the streets for better services. 
In Phomolong in the Free State hundreds of residents protested against the continued use of the bucket system. In the Western Cape, residents protested against “corruption” in the allocation of the houses by government. In Reiger Park in Ekurhuleni residents were furious about selective electricity cuts. Almost all the affected areas have been ones that Project Consolidate had already identified as needing help. Even though Mbeki was confident that corruption and fraud could be prevented, he criticised councillors who failed to report back to communities.
 “Our local councillors must always report back to you (communities) the decisions that have been taken by councils. If councillors failed to inform communities about the projects the municipalities have in store for them, there will always be protest marches against municipalities,” Mbeki said during an Imbizo at Libode village in the Eastern Cape. 
 
Getting it right
Together national, provincial and local governments, along with private sector partners are working to overcome problems in service delivery to communities. Getting it right will also need citizens to participate.
 
Feedback
 
 “We want the council to cancel all the money we owe for electricity and water like it happened in areas like Vosloorus, Tembisa and Soweto,” said Jessica Jemaine, Reiger Park. “Our government-owned flats are old and when we report problems, they send unqualified constructors who uses cheap materials. “Water pipes are broken and electricity boxes are left open with wires hanging. We have had cases of electrocution.”
The mobile office of the 
Department of Home Affairs made the life of 71-year-old Frances Mangcoya a lot easier. She was able to get a birth certificate for her grandson. 
“We support plans to bring services to the rural communities.” Reiger Park resident Maria Stenford said they protested after the council refused to cancel their bills or allow them to make easy arrangements to pay.  “They want us to pay between 10% and 20% of the money we owe for electricity and water, but we cannot afford that because we are not employed.
Thozamile Guduza (50) of the Eastern Cape registered her two granddaughters for grants. 
“I have waited long for this chance to register my grandchildren for child grants. I want to buy them school uniforms and good food,” she said. 
 
Project Consolidate is a national programme to help 136 municipalities that face problems to deliver basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation to communities they serve.  

More help

Cabinet approved a programme for ministers and deputy ministers to work with provincial and local leaders to help struggling municipalities. 
 “The aim is to improve service delivery at these municipalities,” government spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe said. 
Government has also decided that no municipalities should overlap into more than one province. 
 “Each municipality in the country should be located in one province to ensure better service delivery,” Netshitenzhe pointed out. BuaNews

Great strides have been made in providing clean water and the scrapping of the bucket system. The department of local government in Mpumalanga has provided clean water to 11 struggling municipalities and widely eradicated bucket toilets in the past year.
 
The department’s recent Project Consolidate report indicates that the province has also been busy providing refuse removal equipment, developing anti-corruption strategies, establishing ward committees and recruiting 48 community development workers.
In Mpumalanga, 18 of the 23 municipalities fall under Project Consolidate. 
 
Boreholes
Provincial local government spokesperson Simphiwe Kunene said that the department had repaired 21 boreholes and drill two new ones in the rural areas of 11 municipalities. The department has bought 37 water tanks for six municipalities.
Mr Kunene said the municipalities getting emergency water supply were Delmas, Steve Tshwete in Middelburg, Greater Tubatse in Burgersfort, Albert Luthuli in Carolina, Marble Hall, Emakhazeni in Belfast, Mbombela in Nelspruit and Thembisile in KwaMhlanga. 
“We have also awarded more than R12-million for the purchase of refuse removal trucks in Albert Luthuli, Nkomazi, Thembisile, Lekwa [Standerton], Emalahleni [Witbank] and Greater Tubatse,” he said. 
“An extra R1 million was given to each of the municipalities to maintain the equipment.” 
 
Bucket toilets
Seven municipalities were at different stages of eradicating unhygienic bucket toilets, which have been the source of water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid as well as worm infestations and eye infections. 
The bucket toilets, of which there are 15 891 in the province, are being replaced with ventilated improved pit toilets (VIP) and water borne toilets.
Municipalities that still have these toilets are Dipaleseng (Balfour), Lekwa (Standerton), Msukaligwa (Ermelo), Albert Luthuli, Govan Mbeki (Secunda) and Delmas. 
All bucket toilets have been completely eradicated in Dipaleseng, Kunene said.
 
Houses: Building a Future
 
Young people are trained by the Moses Kotane municipality in Mpumalanga to build houses. They are taught skills such as  bricklaying, painting, plastering and roofing. Housing manager Vuyo Metele says the municipality has been working with the Labour Department, which funded the project. One of the beneficiaries, Jacobeth Rasepai (42) stays at Lesetlheng village, adjacent to Pilanesburg National Park. Today she can talk about her first-hand experience with confidence.  Rasepai says she likes building and chose a course in bricklaying. Before the programme, she was unemployed. She stays with her mother, who is a pensioner, and her 16-year-old daughter.  Now that she is taking part in the housing construction project and is receiving an allowance, tings at home are getting better. 
 
Women in construction 
She is thankful that she can do what for many years was done by men only.  The municipality also helps participants with forming their own construction companies.  The economic development unit in the municipality will have a role to play, Metele says. He says the municipality will keep in contact with people after training and keep them up to date about possible tenders or jobs advertised which require their skills. Apart from that, the trainees will be given a chance to show their skills in a house-building project to take place in the municipality soon. BuaNews 
 
GROWING VEGETABLES: 
 
Anti-poverty projects get the green light
 
Access to water means more crops. More crops mean more food.  The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) was impressed by the poverty alleviation community projects in the Mbonambi municipality in KwaZulu Natal.  NCOP chairperson James Mahlangu praised the five-year-old local municipality for its “organised way of service delivery”.   Mahlangu’s comments come after the NCOP’s visit to some projects in the area as part of afact-finding and review mission.  “Given that it is five years old its efforts are commendable. There are now proper offices for officials,” said Mahlangu.  The delegation visited the Mthethwa project, where women run a vegetable and farming initiative for the community. 
 
Water access 
 The project is two years old.   It was pointed out that while the project was doing well, it could improve if there was access to water for the crops.   Mbonambi Mayor Mkhonzeni Mthethwa undertook that water and other services will be provided to sustain all projects.  Mahlangu said the visit, which included stop-overs at schools, was encouraging.             

 

PDF version: 

Letters

Welcome to our letters page. For our first edition, we kick off with a letter from the Minister in the Office of the President, Dr Essop Pahad. 
Dear Vuk’uzenzele Readers, 
 
Your government is committed to building a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it. To achieve this requires open communication, partnerships and active engagement of all sectors of society.  As we work to overcome the legacy of apartheid and create the conditions for an inclusive South Africa in which there is equality of opportunity for all, we are also required to keep you, the people, informed of our decisions, our actions, our policies and our programs. We must do this to be accountable and we must do this so that we can work together in a people’s contract amongst all South Africans, as we build a better life for all. 
An important vehicle for this vital communication between government and people is this magazine Vuk’uzenzele.  This is the first edition of a magazine from Government aimed at those  who most need to know about the services and programmes of government. We believe it is our duty to make sure that those who stand to benefit from economic and other opportunities know about them and how to use them.
 
We see Vuk’uzenzele as an important two-way communication tool. It is a way of informing you of your rights and your responsibilities, of what your government is doing to improve people’s quality of life. It is a way of you telling us what we need to hear, and therefore what we need to do to move still faster towards our goals. 
When we achieved freedom and democracy eleven years ago we set out as a nation to change a very unfair and uneven playing field. Today there are many achievements and much progress to celebrate - but still many challenges in making sure that all the citizens of our country enjoy their rights to the full. 
You have a right to know what your government has been and continues to do. You have a right to know which services and programs you are eligible for; and you have a right to expect quality service delivery from public servants.  
 
Above all, you should take advantage of those services and opportunities and work with government to improve your life.  
I urge you to embrace Vuk’uzenzele. We decided it must be accessible and affordable for all. So Vuk’uzenzele is free. Read it. Share it with friends and family. Above all respond to the articles in it. Tell us what we need to do better.  As many of your letters and comments, as possible, will be published in each edition.  
Vuk’uzenzele! Let us work together in the spirit of Letsema.
 
PDF version: 

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS - Dept of Public Works

Expanded Public Works Programme
 
 
t’s possibly one of the best kept secrets in the country. More than 220 000 temporary jobs have been created by a government programme, but there has been very little publicity.  Last year, government announced a new national programme to increase temporary jobs with training opportunities for unemployed people.  Today, 17 months later, the programme — called the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) — has created more than 220 000 jobs through 3 400 projects countrywide.   This is how it happened.  The Department of Provincial and Local Government receives grants from the national government to improve services.  The money is given to municipalities to create more jobs and  train people.  The EPWP is co-ordinated by the Department of Public Works.  EPWP Deputy Director-General Bongani Gxilishe told Vuk’uzenzele that the government has invested more than R15 billion in the programme. 
 
Economic opportunities
“The EPWP is in its first year. Unfortunately, it seems as if many municipalities do not inform people about the programme and its opportunities. Municipalities have to use this programme to create jobs. Our main focus is the rural areas where there are many unskilled, unemployed people who have not yet enjoyed the benefits of the economy,” he said. He said the 220 000 jobs were created through EPWP’s four divisions – the infrastructure division, the social division, the environmental division and the economic division. 
 
Children
“When we talk about infrastructure, we talk about people working on projects such as road construction in rural areas.  The social division involves Early Childhood Development, where volunteers take care of children while their parents are at work. It is also about community-based health care, where volunteers look after people infected with HIV/Aids.  
 
Fire prevention
“The environmental division creates jobs through water purifying projects, fire prevention and the maintenance of parks,” Gxilishe said. He said through the Construction, Education and Training Authority (Ceta), people are trained in the fields of their choice.  Gxilishe said government has a target of thousands of learner-ships in the economic sector alone for the next five years. “We have also made a deal with Absa Bank to provide financing for those who want to start their own businesses after training. “Volunteers working with HIV-positive people are trained and registered with the Department of Health. After completing their training, volunteers receive certificates that qualify them to be employed in government departments. Some get allowances from the Department of Social Development and Health.” 
 
Infrastructure
Gxilishe said infrastructure programmes such as road construction were implemented at provincial and local government level according to their needs. They inform communities either through notices, ward councillors or by inviting people to the offices for more information. 
 
To find out more about the Expanded Public Works Programme
Gateway Call Centre       1020                e-Gateway          www.gov.za
 
How we did it
After passing matric at the George High School in the Western Cape, Georgrika Williams (20) went to Johannesburg to try her luck, but could only get a job as an assistant in a clothing shop.  When she heard about the Working on Fire (WoF) project, she knew it was a chance to change her life.  After the first training, Williams spent days in the mountains around George clearing vegetation and building fire breaks.  Less than a year after joining, Williams was promoted to a level-two crew leader.
 
And where to from here?
“I want to be in an office, with a computer, deciding where the team should go. Actually, I think I’ll buy myself an Opel Corsa very soon,” she said with a smile.  
 When Phumza Matitiba (32) of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape told her husband Dalinyebo about her wanting to join a project called WoF, he feared for her life. But, as the mother of three always wanted “to stay fit and enjoyed exercising”, the task was easy.  “I knew I was capable of doing something with my life and for my country, but there were no opportunities in my community.  “It is not only about fire. We also make fire breaks and chop vegetation,” said Matitiba about the two-year-old programme.  She now leads a 22-member-team at the Jansenville Fire Base near Port Elizabeth.
 
WoF is one of government’s poverty relief projects that train unemployed women in rural areas to stop veld fires. It is part of the EPWP
 
PDF version: 

President Mbeki welcomes Vuk'

The struggle to free our people and rebuild our country has taught us important lessons. One lesson is that the people are their own liberators. To bring real and lasting change for the better, all of us need to work together. Each of us needs to do what we can to help drive back the frontiers of poverty. Every person and every community has a part to play in turning our society from one that was divided and unequal into one that is just and prosperous. In the first ten years of our freedom we made much progress as a nation towards a better life for all. Millions of our people now enjoy basic rights they were denied before. But many still lack clean water; many do not yet have the electricity that has brought light and warmth to millions of others; there are many villages that do not have proper roads.

Though many jobs have been created, many of our people do not have proper jobs — or any work opportunities at all — and must struggle to make a living as best they can. This is mainly because they were denied the education and the skills that would have given them the possibility to find decent work or start their own businesses. Since we achieved freedom, government has created many programmes to improve the lives of especially the poor and to help make our economy grow. They bring opportunities for work and skills development; new access to credit; support for small farmers; improvements in housing and basic services; better roads and transport. But government on its own cannot make these programmes work. Communities and individuals need to seize the opportunities of democracy, so that together we make the best use of the resources that we have as a nation, steadily to continue improving the lives of all who live in South Africa. Our experience has also taught us that without information, people cannot make use of these opportunities. So one of the critical elements of the programme of change is to expand the platforms of government communication, so we can provide the majority of citizens with information they need to improve their lives. Vuk’uzenzele is our new addition to the arsenal of information tools to bring you information you can use. Its name and its content speak of a partnership that we must continually forge – between government and all citizens – in building a South Africa that truly belongs to all! Together, let’s make it happen!

PDF version: 

Register to have your say

Local Elections

By only making an X, people with valid SA identity documents (ID) and who have registered as voters, will once again make a difference by voting in the coming municipality elections. The official date for the election has not been announced, but Independent Electoral Commission chief electoral officer Advocate Pansy Tlakula said it will be any time between 7 December and 6 March 2006.

Announcement

Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi will make the announcement. Tlakula said voting in the municipal elections was vital, because voters were able to elect people who they think will work for them in the municipality. “Unlike the national elections, with municipal elections, you are only allowed to vote in the area where you have registered. If you work in Johannesburg and live in Limpopo and know that you will be in Limpopo during the elections, you have to register there,” Tlakula said.

Challenge of turnout

“Our challenge is to keep a high voters turn-out. The turn-out for municipal elections is generally low world-wide,” she said. Tlakula added that they have registered more people in rural areas, because their campaign was more focused there. “We use catchy and streetwise music for our television and radio advertisements to get more young people to vote. ,” Tlakula said. “Earlier this year, we conducted a door-to-door campaign registering people whose voting districts have changed due to the new municipal borders,” she said.

Register

To check if you are registered, SMS your ID number from any cellphone to 32810, or call toll free number 0800 11 8000 between 8am and 5pm during the week.
You can register at your local Municipal Electoral Office. To find out where it is, call the IEC on 012 428 5700.

PDF version: 

Register to have your say

Local Elections

By only making an X, people with valid SA identity documents (ID) and who have registered as voters, will once again make a difference by voting in the coming municipality elections. The official date for the election has not been announced, but Independent Electoral Commission chief electoral officer Advocate Pansy Tlakula said it will be any time between 7 December and 6 March 2006.

Announcement

Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi will make the announcement. Tlakula said voting in the municipal elections was vital, because voters were able to elect people who they think will work for them in the municipality. “Unlike the national elections, with municipal elections, you are only allowed to vote in the area where you have registered. If you work in Johannesburg and live in Limpopo and know that you will be in Limpopo during the elections, you have to register there,” Tlakula said.

Challenge of turnout

“Our challenge is to keep a high voters turn-out. The turn-out for municipal elections is generally low world-wide,” she said. Tlakula added that they have registered more people in rural areas, because their campaign was more focused there. “We use catchy and streetwise music for our television and radio advertisements to get more young people to vote. ,” Tlakula said. “Earlier this year, we conducted a door-to-door campaign registering people whose voting districts have changed due to the new municipal borders,” she said.

Register

To check if you are registered, SMS your ID number from any cellphone to 32810, or call toll free number 0800 11 8000 between 8am and 5pm during the week.
You can register at your local Municipal Electoral Office. To find out where it is, call the IEC on 012 428 5700.

PDF version: 

Social grants and loans: Help is close at hand

When life gets really tough and you need to seek help from the state, what do you do? If you go to government for help, you can do one of two things: you can apply for a grant or you can apply for a loan. If you apply for a grant, you do not have to pay back the money you received. If you apply for a loan, you will have to pay back the money you received.

Social grants

You can apply for a grant from any office of the Department of Social Development. A number of different grants are available, such as old age grants, disability grants, care dependency grants, foster child grants and child support grant. The chief executive officer of the South African Social Security Agency, Fezile Makiwane, said 9 million people get social grants amounting R3,3 billion every month.

Loans

Organisations such as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nasfas) give loans to students at universities. Mvuyo Macanda of Nasfas said before a loan could be approved, students have to prove that their families are poor and that they passed the previous year. He said last year Nasfas had spent R986 million on loans to 98 000 students. The Umsobomvu Youth Fund give loans to young people to start their own businesses.

Umsobomvu does not require security for a loan. Loans can be paid back over a period of between three and five years.

PDF version: 

TV comes to the party

Information on economic opportunities is now just a click of a button away. Government has formed a partnership with the SABC to bring you a new show on different projects that government has started to change people’s lives.

Azishe-ke: Opportunity Knocks! will show real stories and projects where people are trained to do different jobs and are helped to start businesses. As President Thabo Mbeki said in his State of the Nation Address this year, government wants to work with media to reach more people, especially the poor, and show how they can take advantage of government-created opportunities. The programme shows what Expanded Public Works Programme projects like Working for Water and road construction do. It will also look at government support for black-owned hotels and bed and breakfast places. It also focuses on people providing care for children in the communities, as well as the School Nutrition Programme. Agricultural programmes, promotion of small business opportunities through the Umsobomvu Youth Fund, gender and women empowerment and the National Development Agency will also be covered.

Information you can use:

e-Gateway opens path to available services

Knowledge is power. Everyone wants information, especially on opportunities created by government to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. This is why government has started the Batho Pele (people first) campaign to improve government services to the public. Last year, government launched a website, the Batho Pele e-Gateway, to help people get information on all the government services. The information will also be made available in all official languages soon.

How people can get the information?

The aim of the Batho Pele Gateway is to ensure that people have enough information on government services.

You can reach the Batho Pele Gateway Call Centre by phoning 1020. The call is free from any Telkom telephone.
The address of the website is www.gov.za.

  • Computer terminals in public places like Multi Purpose Community Centres and post offices so that those who need information can have the service; and
  • Members of the public can call a toll free number where trained staff members will be available to supply information on government programmes.
PDF version: