Sep 2019 1st Edition

Become a tourism ambassador

Union Buildings

Tourism could be just the ticket the South African economy needs to take off.

In 2018, tourism contributed 1.5 million jobs and injected R425.8 billion into the econ-omy. This represents 8.6 percent of all economic activity in South Africa.

In 2018, Statistics South Africa said one in 22 South Africans was employed in some way by the tourism industry. This insight highlights how crucial tourism is to our economy and why each and every citizen should become a tourism ambassador, committed to keeping our beautiful country clean, safe and welcoming.

What excites me about the tourism sector is its potential for growth because tourism in South Africa is far from reaching its full potential. It is my hope that the country doubles its tourist arrival numbers to 21 million by 2030.

To help make this possible, government will be cutting back on a lot of the red tape that may make tourists think twice about visiting our shores. A world-class e-visa system will be introduced and where possible, visas will be waived.

Recently, seven more countries – Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe – received visa-free status, which should have a substantial economic impact on the tourism sector. In 2017, when visas for Angolans travelling to South Africa were waived, there was an immediate visitor growth of 54 percent.

 iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal is one of the World Heritage sites that South Africa has to offer.  Image: Dennis Roberts  This increase in visitors will require more staff, including tour guides, cleaners, drivers, chefs, kitchen staff and office workers which will equate to employment opportunities for skilled people and those with relatively low skills.

Apart from direct employment, the tourism sector has the potential to positively impact the economy through its vast value chain, which incorporates agriculture, manufacturing, services, creative and cultural industries.

This ripple effect means that tourism in all corners of South Africa needs to become everyone’s business.

If tourists – both international and local – do not feel safe and welcome in the place they are visiting, they will not return. Nor will they recommend the destination to their friends and families. In fact, they will certainly give negative reviews of their experience in our country. The result will be lost visitors and lost revenue for South Africa.

In August, government launched the National Tourism Safety Awareness Campaign in response to incidents of violence directed at tourists. It involves the recruitment, training and deployment of youth to assist with the safety of tourists at key tourism sites.

However, it is the people of South Africa who have the most power to ensure crime and unsavoury behaviour does not happen and that tourists are guaranteed the best possible hospitality standards.

Each person can do their bit – extend a warm smile or helping hand to show that South Africa is tourist-friendly, look after the environment by keeping it clean and reporting any poaching activities and, above all, help keep tourists safe by remaining vigilant and speaking out if you see or suspect wrongdoing.

The rewards will be great for South Africa and consequently, for all citizens.

Our country has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and tourism offers exciting opportunities for self-starters, especially those who offer services that complement what already exists in the industry. A good idea and an effective business plan can quite easily become a working business – without much capital investment – because tourism is all about people rather than commodities.

Township and rural entrepreneurs in particular can benefit from the global trend to-wards authentic or heritage tourism. Many tourists want to immerse themselves into the culture of the place they are visiting – they want to mingle with the locals and experience their foods, traditions and languages.

Heritage tourism a fast-growing niche worldwide and gives South Africans a chance to share with pride their history, culture and traditions.

Given how entwined heritage and tourism are, it is wonderful that both Tourism Month and Heritage Month are celebrated in September.

This allows us to reflect on who we are, where we come from and to take pride in the fact that people from all over the world are willing to pay for the privilege of experiencing our fascinating heritage and sampling our amazing diversity.

Isn’t it time we realise and celebrate just how much we have to be proud of? 

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Art promotes heritage and tourism

Written by More Matshediso

Sports, Arts & Culture

The South African State Theatre’s Deputy Artistic Director Mamela Nyamza is adamant that art cannot be separated from tourism.

Speaking to Vuk’uzenzele about the role played by the arts industry in promoting heritage and tourism, Nyamza said that tourists must visit theatres if they want to learn about our cultures. She explained that because tribes’ cultures and traditions vary, South Africa has diverse art content.

“The art that you see in Cape Town is different from that in another province. We have platforms, such as the National Arts Festival, where artists can showcase their work and people love art, they travel to festivals to enjoy it and support the artists. That is tourism,” she said.

Artists’ stories are part of South Africa’s heritage. “The art and tourism sectors should work together, because we are promoting each other. We just need to tighten our partnership and work as one to attract more local and international tourists,” said Nyamza.

She explained that places like the South African State Theatre create platforms and opportunities for artists, such as exchange programmes in which artists from across the country, continent and other parts of the world participate.

The South African State Theatre runs various programmes to unearth fresh talent. The Education, Youth and Children Theatre, for example, creates platforms for young arts practitioners and teaches them vital skills free of charge.

Nyamza, who is known for her work around the world, has over 20 years’ experience as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and activist. Born in Cape Town, she moved to Pretoria over 20 years ago to study for a qualification in arts, majoring in dance. She is also trained in a variety of dance styles.

Touring the world has enabled her to form lifetime partnerships that she now uses to create opportunities for the youth. “I do not want young artists to feel neglected or to lack a sense of belonging in this country, like I did when I was younger. I am here as a woman to speak for them and fight for the rights of those who are not represented,” she said.

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Basic Education gives matriculants a second chance

The Department of Basic Education has invited all candidates who wrote and did not the pass the May/June  2019 matric examination, to register for another opportunity to sit for the exams.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, approved that Senior Certificate candidates, who wrote the June 2019 examination and failed, as well as those who were absent with a valid reason, be allowed to write the November 2019 Examinations.

“It should be noted that the opportunity is open only to Senior Certificate candidates and not to National Senior Certificate candidates,” said Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

The department outlined the criteria for learners who were absent with a valid reason:

  • In the case of illness, a copy of the medical certificate must be provided.   
  • If there was a death in the immediate family of a candidate, the candidate must provide a death certificate.
  • For any other reason or circumstance beyond the control of the candidate, an affidavit must be provided. The valid reason(s) contained in the affidavit may be subjected to evaluation and verification by the Head of Examinations or a delegated examination official.

“Candidates that were absent with a valid reason and register online, must present the documents supporting the reason for their absence to the nearest circuit, district or provincial office.

“The supporting documents cannot be uploaded online,” said Mhlanga.

The department said it will not allow candidates, who did not write the previous examination without a valid reason, to sit for the exam.

Eligible candidates can register online to write the exams by logging on to the DBE website

Online registration will only be available from 4 September 2019 at 08:00 and will close at 24:00 on 11 September 2019.

“The online system will only allow candidates to register for subjects that they wrote and failed or were absent. Hence, candidates will not be allowed to register for subjects they did not write in June 2019 or for any subject for which they achieved more than 30 percent or 40 percent in the case of Home Language,” said Mhlanga.

Candidates who do not have access to the online system may register at the nearest examination centre, circuit, district or provincial office.

Manual registration at circuit, district or provincial offices will open on Monday, 19 August 2019, and will close on 4 September 2019 at 16:00.

“In order to register both online and manually, candidates must provide an email address at which they can be contacted and a cellphone number, so that further details regarding the examination can be communicated via email or cellphone,” said Mhlanga.

Candidates who want to register to upgrade their results will only be able to do so in June 2020.

Bead worker embraces her heritage

Written by More Matshediso

Designing wrist bracelets for school learners in her community of Orlando West near Johannesburg led to Nokulunga Tonela (30) opening her own business – Luya Creations, which designs African beaded jewellery.

“I loved beads as a child and, in fact, cannot remember when I started using them to make jewellery,” she said.

Five years ago, she started selling her hand-made bracelets to school learners for almost R30. Many people in her community started to show interest in her work and placed orders. This motivated her to turn her hobby into a profitable business and it is now putting bread on the table for her and her family.

Tonela designs beaded necklaces, earrings, wrist pieces and also traditional beaded apparel.

After matriculating in 2008, she enrolled for a BCom Accounting degree.

“Unfortunately, I had to drop out of university because my mother was sick and I needed to take care of her,” she said.

She also worked as a personal assistant for a while but  later lost her job.

“Everything that was happening motivated me to work harder and focus on establishing my own business.”

Two years ago, she received R9 600 in funding from the National Youth Development Agency.

“I was able to buy more stock, equipment and mannequins. This helped me to improve the quality of my work and make my products look more appealing to clients,” she said.

She recently had the opportunity to participate in a jewellery design learnership at Ekurhuleni Jewellery Project  which is a training and incubation project to enhanced her skills.

Most of Tonela’s clients are women and girls in her community, but she also designs products for men on request.

“In addition, I showcase my products at flea markets and events to attract more clients,” she said.

Generally, she designs alone but has two temporary workers she hires during busy periods.

Tonela’s message for Heritage Month is that young people must not forget where they come from – they must always embrace their culture. 

Black Mambas strike poachers

The women-led Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit is a poacher’s worst nightmare as they relentlessly patrol fences, look for snares and remain alert to any threats to the wild animals they are dedicated to protecting.

The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit is the first majority female anti-poaching unit in South Africa.

It was established in 2013 by conservationist and field ecologist Craig Spencer, Managing Director of Transfrontier Africa NPC, to protect the Olifants West Region of Balule Nature Reserve.

They are part of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEEF) broader National Environmental Monitors Programme (NEMP) which responds to poaching, biodiversity degradation in protected areas and environmental education in communities surrounding protected areas. The nation-wide Programme has appointed 2 000 people as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). In this Programme which takes form of Public-Private Partnership, the DEEF is responsible for payment of monthly salaries of the Black Mambas and Transfrontier Africa pays for all operational costs including training, transport, accommodation and personal protective equipment and tools.

Within a year, the Black Mambas expanded into other regions and now protect all boundaries of the 52 000-hectare Balule Nature Reserve, which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park.

Vuk’uzenzele spoke to Leitah Mkhabela (26), the unit supervisor, who oversees the 14-member team – all women except for one male.

“I joined the unit in 2014 and underwent extensive training to learn how to protect myself and others in the bush against wild animals, which I also protect from poachers. It felt like we were being trained to become soldiers because we also learned how to track poachers and protect ourselves from them,” she said.

According to Mkhabela, the unit was founded in response to the increase in rhino poaching, as well as to create job opportunities for women in communities around the Kruger National Park.

“Basically, we are the eyes and ears in the park. We report any suspicious movements,” she said. 

Each morning, the group patrols the fences to ensure they have not been tampered with, while keeping an eye out for anything else that might raise red flags.

“We walk between 15 and 21 kilometres a day,” she said.

“This is a good opportunity for women in the rural communities around the park because most are unemployed,” she explained.

Mkhabela, who hails from Mpumalanga’s Hluvukani village, completed her matric in 2011 but could not further her studies because of a lack of funds. Joining the Black Mambas gave her the chance to gain skills and make a meaningful contribution to society.

The job is not without danger, though. A year after joining the Black Mambas, she had a traumatic experience when poachers tried to attack her and her colleagues.

“It was in 2015 and I was only 22 years old when poachers came for us in the park because we were interfering with their plans.

Mkhabela said the unit works closely with law enforcement agencies such as the SAPS.

The team has won several awards internationally, but Mkhabela said of greater significance to them is the difference they are making in their communities.

“The main goal is to teach our communities about the importance of wildlife preservation and the benefits such as tourism and job creation that comes with it. These are long-term benefits, unlike the short-term gains you get from killing animals for money,” she said.

About the Black Mambas and Transfrontier Africa

According to the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit they are the first line of defence, providing boots on the ground. They are responsible for the early detection of poaching insurgents.

Transfrontier Africa NPC stated on their website that the the war on poaching will not be won with guns and bullets, but through social upliftment and the education of local communities surrounding the reserves.

The organisation believes in strengthening partnerships with the adjacent tribal communities and seeking new technologies and partnerships to solve the illegal wildlife trade.

The Black Mambas’ anti-poaching strategy includes visual policing through daily boundary patrols which are conducted on foot during first light and by vehicle at last light.

Transfrontier Africa NPC added that observation and listening posts are stationed in critical areas such as known entry and exit points or popular rhino waterholes for signs of poisoning.

Disruptive patrols are performed within areas of high rhino density to stop any attempts to poach rhino in the area, while roadblocks are used to search both known and unknown vehicles for any illegal or suspicious items.

Building sites and staff compounds within the reserve are searched regularly to gather intelligence and to ensure that all the reserve rules are being adhered to.

The Black Mamba Anti-poaching Unit only recruit employees when there are available vacancies. It targets rural communities around the park by approaching the Chiefs in those communities to get blessings and then it works closely with the Tribal Council to design a recruitment drive until suitable candidates are selected for training.

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries calls on members of the public to report any suspicious activities around wildlife to its Environmental Crime Hotline on 0800 205 005 or the SAPS number 10111  

Boosting confidence through beauty

Written by More Matshediso

Running a business of enhancing people’s beauty is also about boosting their confidence and making them feel good about themselves.

This is according to Beauty Sandt, who is the founder of Bontleful Beauty Spa in Kathu in the Northern Cape. The business specialises in nails and beauty therapy.

Beauty Sandt has built a solid business in beauty thanks to the assistance of the NYDA.Sandt became an entrepreneur by default after undertaking a nail technician course as a hobby while studying towards her diploma in Chemical Engineering at Motheo TVET College in Bloemfontein.

“I never thought I would end up running a business like this  one because doing nails was just a hobby for me. However, after completing my studies I went back home and I saw a business opportunity in the beauty industry, so I started small and my business has grown over the years,” she said.

Sandt said she started by opening a nails and hair salon at her parents’ home in 2014. She registered her business two years later and applied for funding and received a R50 000 grant from the National Youth Development Agency.

“I bought a wendy house and equipment to enhance my business. I hired two more ladies to assist me because my clientele was starting to grow,” she said.

Due to the response she was getting from locals, Sandt decided to expand the services offered by her business.

“Two ladies and a guy from our community approached me with a business investment opportunity which would allow me to take the business to a local shopping mall where we could attract more clients. We agreed on joining forces and now Bontleful Beauty Spa offers a variety of services including full body massages, manicures and pedicures and hair treatments, among others,” she said.

Her business has created permanent jobs for seven professional beauty therapists with two stylists still working at the wendy house where her business started.

She said what she loves most about her business is seeing her clients leave her beauty spa feeling refreshed and ready to face the world.

“Many people in rural towns do not think running a business of beauty therapy is a real job and they undermine the impact it has on human life. I see it as important as any job because if you do not feel good about your image it affects your confidence and how you carry yourself,” she said. 

Celebrating our national parks

Written by: Dale Hes

Tourism and Heritage Month

In June 2019, tour company analysed more than 2 300 visitor and industry expert reviews to determine the Top 50 parks in Africa. Of the 14 South African parks identified in the list, six were national parks – the Kruger National Park, Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Park, Addo Elephant National Park, Augrabies Falls National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park and Karoo National Park.

The South African National Parks (SANParks) is responsible for managing South Africa’s national parks, ensuring that both the environment and surrounding communities benefit.

“It’s always welcomed when the industry recognises SANParks, and in this instance being compared with the Top 50 in Africa is indeed a great achievement, especially given that six of the Top 50 are within the SANParks stable,” said SANParks chief communications officer Janine Raftopoulos. 

The importance of national parks

National parks have, in the past, been seen mainly as spaces for conservation. But since the turn of democracy, these parks are increasingly being viewed as opportunities to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in rural areas.

“We have seen a shift in the role national parks are playing. They are becoming areas that are important for government to deliver its mandate and ensure that conservation is a viable contributor to social and economic development, of rural areas in particular,” Raftopoulos explained.

SANParks’ business operations are therefore based on three core pillars, namely conservation; responsible tourism and socio-economic transformation.

Apart from providing full-time jobs to people working in conservation, tourism, hospitality, media and administration, national parks are also contributing strongly towards the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

“Almost 6 500 fulltime equivalent EPWP jobs were created in the last financial year, for which SANParks was the implementing agency,” said.

Effective programmes for conservation and people

SANParks uses the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool as adapted for South Africa (METT-SA 3) to measure the effectiveness of protected area management.

In 2017/18, 16 of South Africa’s 23 national parks achieved a score of 67 percent or better, showing a significant improvement in how protected areas are being managed.

SANParks has a vast number of programmes being implemented in the spheres of conservation, tourism and socio-economic transformation. In addition to several flagship projects implemented over the past few years, two major infrastructure investment projects are currently underway which will boost tourism numbers.

Due to be opened this year, the R270 million Skukuza Safari Lodge will be able to accommodate about 250 tourists per night at full capacity. Meanwhile, in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, an R83 million Dinosaur Interpretive Centre will add increased tourist appeal by illustrating the rich  heritage of the region. 

Raftopoulos said SANParks is aware of the socio-economic needs of rural communities in areas surrounding national parks.

“SANParks collaborates with local municipalities, provincial and national government departments to contribute towards the provision of much-needed facilities and services in communities bordering national parks.”

Some of these efforts include the establishment of a Social Legacy Fund which supports and invests in the projects that have a high positive impact on communities.

“The fund is generated through the one percent income from bookings made on activities and accommodation in all national parks and five percent income from rhino sales. At present, the fund is used to provide facilities which support education,” said Raftopoulos.

Since 2013, the fund has provided 14 science laboratories, four computer labs, a mobile library, an administration block, a kitchen facility and two playgrounds to schools bordering national parks in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Northern Cape, Free State and the Western Cape. 

South African National Parks Week

South African National Parks (SANParks) will be presenting the 14th annual SA National Parks Week from 8 to 15 September 2019. SA National Parks Week grants free access to most of the 21 national parks for day visitors, especially people from the local communities. This is an initiative by SANParks which serves to encourage people to visit national parks and to promote domestic  tourism.

Free entry excludes Namaqua National Park and Boulders Penguin Colony and the Table Mountain Cableway in Table Mountain National Park. It should be noted that free access to parks does not include free access to accommodation facilities and other tourist activities.  This year SANParks also announced that it has extended SA National Parks Week to include weekends, heeding the request from South Africans who don't have time to visit national parks during the week.

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Courts to get a facelift

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille, said her department has set aside more than R260 million for the repair and maintenance of court buildings across the country.

Addressing the media after meeting with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Minister De Lille said the state of the courts has a negative impact on the justice system.

“The justice system must be able to operate effectively in decent courts,” she stressed.

The total budget for repairs and refurbishment for the Deparment of Justice totals R260 million, of which R229 million has been allocated to repair and refurbish 105 courts.

Minister De Lille noted that the Department of Justice has also allocated an additional R531 million for repairs and refurbishments from its own budget.

The Chief Justice welcomed the commitment from Public Works and Infrastructure to upgrade the buildings, saying the state of court buildings affected the administration of justice. He said some of the buildings are not suitable to be used as courts.

Chief Justice Mogoeng said going forward, senior Public Works officials must avail themselves for meetings to discuss building maintenance.

“The justice system is highly compromised by the poor maintenance of buildings. Power outages affect court cases. It is time that we buy and own these buildings,” the Chief Justice said.

The Public Works Minister and her deputy Noxolo Kiviet are expected to work with 200 regional court heads, 15 district heads and 11 regional managers from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure to ensure smooth implementation of the plan.

Cradle of Human Culture ready to be explored

A new Western Cape tourism initiative complements the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng by capturing the cultural activities of ancient man, rather than just outlining the physical development of humans.

The Cradle of Human Culture heritage routes in the Western Cape are opening up a wealth of new tourism opportunities for the province and are set to create a number of new jobs in the sector.

Two routes are offered – one running along the West Coast of the province, and the other stretching east of Cape Town along the coast.

The West Coast Route is called ‘The Artist’s Journey’ and includes eight fascinating sites. Visitors can learn about traditional San people at !Khwa ttu in Yzerfontein; explore some of the most important rock art sites in South Africa in the Cederberg; and see ancient dinosaur fossils at the West Coast Fossil Park.

East of Cape Town, ‘The Coastal Journey’ offers 13 more attractions. These range from the opportunity to dine with locals in Stellenbosch and George; the remarkable Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn; and various archaeological sites along the coastline. The sites along the routes date back as far as 150 000 years, making them some of the most significant in the world.

Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Beverley Schäfer, said that the new routes are intended to further grow the thriving tourism industry of the Western Cape.

Tourism stakeholders along the routes are excited about the new opportunities says, Michael Daiber, general manager of the !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre, a non-profit tourism destination which employs 35 permanent staff from the local community. The site aims to fully immerse visitors in the San culture, while providing a means for local people to gain an income.

“In order to stay sustainable, we need more exposure and more income from tourism,” Daiber said, adding that being part of a recognised tourism route should give locals the boost they need.

The Western Cape government has identified culture and heritage as a huge market that should be tapped into for the benefit of the province. Of the more than 1.7 million travellers that arrived in the Western Cape in 2017 about 56 percent identified culture and heritage as an activity they enjoyed in the region.

Early diagnosis of cervical cancer saves lives

Written: Silusapho Nyanda

From their early 20's, women should go for regular pap smears so that cervical cancer can be diagnosed before it becomes difficult to treat. This is the message to women during Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in September.

Women should go for regular Pap smears at their local clinics, a cervical cancer survivor believes.

Zibulani Dlamini* (45) said if she had had more knowledge about cervical cancer, she would have been tested earlier.

“When you have regular pain in your lower abdomen, you should get tested. Other signs are bleeding during or after sexual intercourse, irregular discharges, abnormal periods and extremely painful periods,” she said, cautioning that in some women, there are no symptoms at all, which is why regular screening is vital.

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) cervical cancer occurs in the cells of the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. "It is the second most common cancer among South African women and is caused mainly by the human papilloma virus, a common virus spread through skin-to-skin contact, bodily fluids and sexual intercourse,"  Cansa said on its website.

Early detection of cervical cancer improves the chances of successful treatment and can prevent any early cervical cell changes from becoming cancerous, Cansa said.

Dlamini was diagnosed in April 2018 after going to her clinic because of pain in her lower abdomen and pelvis.

She said that her Pap smear results came back a month later and she was referred to her local hospital, which in turn referred her to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha, where she was told she had cervical cancer.

“The doctors told me that due to the severity of the cancer, it was best to remove my entire womb to stop the cancer from spreading further.”

Dlamini said there should be a drive to teach women more about cervical cancer, how it affects women and where they can seek treatment.

“Women who suspect that something is wrong must seek medical help immediately,” concludes Dlamini.  

*Zibulani Dlamini is not her real name.

Did you know?

  • A pap smear is free and can be done at any primary healthcare facility such as a clinic or a community health centre.
  • Cervical cancer patients and women who want more information on the disease can contact the Cancer Association of South Africa on 0800 22 66 22.
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Funding opportunities for art with heart

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Author Judith Joubert in Xai Xai, Mozambique where she did research for her second book after she received funding from the National Arts Council.For 22 years, the National Arts Council (NAC) has been developing and promoting excellence in the arts.

An agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, NAC has funded countless artistic journeys, including that of author Judith Joubert (38), who received R48 000 to fund the research project for her historical novels.

Joubert received R16 000 in 2016, which helped fund her debut book, Money World: The Lost Moses. The money allowed her to travel from her hometown of Polokwane to Port Edward and funded her research into a shipwreck that happened over 400 years ago.

“I was able to visit the site where the ship sank in Port Edward in the year 1552, which was 100 years before Jan van Riebeeck arrived on South Africa’s shores,” she said.

This year, Joubert was awarded R32 000. The money funded her trip to Mozambique for research into her current novel, Money World in the Promised Land. A sequel to her debut, it is about the sinking of the Sao Bento.

Joubert told Vuk’uzenzele that her books address the social impact of the first interaction between the Portuguese and the locals in Mozambique. The social differences still have an impact on the continent to this day, she believes.

“I highlighted the fact that the Western culture really clashed with the African culture. They did not know the African way of doing things at all,” said Joubert.

This theme of her books is aligned with one of the NAC’s focus areas, which is social cohesion and nation building.

In applying for funding, Joubert used the online application portal on the NAC’s website, which contains detailed information on funding criteria.

The NAC’s funding scheme supports art-related projects of national significance. Individual artists and organisations active in the disciplines of theatre, dance, music, visual arts, craft and literature may apply.

The projects for which funding is required must fulfil two or more of the following arts outcomes: economic value, creative value, social value, therapeutic value and educational value.

Qualifying projects that involve women, youth and people living with disabilities, particularly in historically disadvantaged areas, will be given preference.

Funding applications open in April each year. 

Get your paperwork in order, fund applicants warned

Written by: Silusapho Nyanda

If you hope to access government funds for your business, it is essential that you spend time and effort putting together a comprehensive application.

Marcia Ratswana, a business advisor with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), said many applicants are turned down by funding institutions because they do not comply with basic requirements.

In addition, many applicants do not fill in the application forms correctly, do not submit all the required documents, lack a proper business plan, apply for funding with the incorrect funding body or fail to register their business with the relevant bodies.

“A sound business plan will articulate your business model,” Ratswana said. It will address how you intend making money and how you will repay your loan.

“Not having a business plan in place that substantially motivates a funder to give you money can negatively affect your application,” she said.

While the various funding agencies have different application requirements, all require Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) documentation, she cautioned. Essential compliance documents needed by funding agencies include Companies and Intellectual Property Commission registration, a Sars tax clearance certificate, a registered business account and an industry registration certificate.

Another common problem is failure by applicants to do proper research into the qualifying criteria of the funding institution they are applying to. This results in them asking for assistance that is in fact not offered by that institution. Examples include applying for funds to build a workshop from a funding agency that does not fund building costs or applying for a large loan from an agency that only offers smaller loans.

Even though Seda does not directly fund businesses, it assists SMMEs in putting together application forms for funding.

For more information contact the Seda National Information Centre on 0860 103 703 or email

How teachers can help abused children

Written by: More Matshediso

Gender-Based Violence

Teachers can make a substantial difference to the lives of children who have been abused, by creating a safe, welcoming environment in the classroom.

Childline South Africa, a non-profit organisation that works to protect children from violence, believes that teachers need to understand how best to support children who have been abused, given the amount of time they spend with them in the school environment.

Childline said teachers should give abused children extra attention but not so obviously that other learners feel the child is being favoured. It also advised that a child-centred approach  should be adopted to assure the child that the teacher is available whenever they need to discuss a problem with someone.

Childline suggests making all children aware of the following rules:

  • Your body belongs to you and you have the right not to be abused.
  •  Sexual abuse is never your fault. Nothing a child does or doesn’t do excuses an older person who uses a child for sexual pleasures.
  •  Sexual abuse is harmful. The deepest hurt is the way the sexual abuse makes certain children feel about themselves.
  •  Good people can do bad things. Abusers may be good people in other ways, but the abuse is very wrong and must be stopped.
  •  Usually sexual abuse does not stop by itself. Tell an adult who will listen and do something about it.
  •  Keep telling people you trust about the sexual abuse until someone listens.
  •  What happens to a sexual abuser is never your fault.

During lessons, teachers must make opportunities for the abused child to draw and do creative work. “This will help them to express their inner feelings,” Childline said.

It said initiatives such as group activities are very helpful in getting abused children to stop isolating themselves.

An important rule, according to the organisation, is to never tell the class what the child may have told you, as they will lose their trust in you.

If you think the child is in immediate danger, call the appropriate authorities.

Childline said teachers should look out for signs of tiredness and  lifelessness.

“The abused child may be a restless sleeper who tosses and may have nightmares,” it said, adding that educators need to gently re-focus the child if they notice the child daydreaming and not paying attention in class.  

This information was supplied by Childline South Africa.


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Jobs: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development - Sep 2019

Court Manager (2 Posts)
Ref No:
Centre: Magistrate, Ngqeleni
Ref No: 118/19EC
Centre: Magistrate, Port Alfred
Salary: R470 040 – R553 677 per annum. The successful candidate will be required to sign a performance agreement.

Requirements: Three (3) year qualification in Administration (NQF level 6) and / or National Diploma in Services Management (NQF level 5) plus the module on Case Flow Management or equivalent qualification; At least 3 year’s managerial or supervisory experience; Knowledge and experience in office and district administration; Knowledge of Public Financial Management Act (PFMA); Experience in managing Trust (Third Party Funds) and Vote Account; A valid driver’s licence; Experience in the Court environment will be an added advantage.

Enquiries: Mr. P Hattingh (043) 702 7000

Registrar: MR1 – MR5
Ref No: 19/ 62/Fs
Centre: Magistrate’s Office, Bloemfontein
Salary: R198 411 – R912 504 per annum. (Salary will be determined in accordance with OSD determination). The successful candidate will be required to sign a performance agreement.

Requirements: LLB degree or a four year recognized legal qualification. A valid driver’s licence.

Enquiries: Ms. NM Dywili (051) 407 1800

Family Counsellor Supervisor
Ref No: 05/19/NC
Centre: Office of The Family Advocate: Kimberley (This post is a re-advertisement; candidates who previously applied are encouraged to re-apply)
Salary: R384 228 – R 445 425 per annum. (Salary will be in accordance with OSD determination) The successful candidate will be required to sign a performance agreement.

Requirements: Bachelor Degree in Social Work or equivalent qualification which allows for professional registration with the SACSSP; Professional registration with the SACSSP; A minimum of five (5) years appropriate experience in Social Work after registration as a Social Worker with the SACSSP: Social Work supervisory will be added as an advantage; Knowledge and experience in Mediation; Court experience in leading Evidence; Knowledge and application of Family Law, including Mediation in certain Divorce Matters Act, Maintenance Act and Domestic Violence Act; Children’s Act (inclusive Hague Convention on International Child Abduction); A valid drivers’ licence.

Enquiries: Ms P. Molokwane (053) 833 1069

Closing Date: 09 September 2019

Note: Interested applicants may visit the following website: or 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 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 and competency assessment. Candidate will complete a financial disclosure form and also be required to undergo a security clearance. Foreigners or dual citizenship holder must provide the Police Clearance certificate from country of origin. 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 driver’s license is a requirement. Correspondence will be limited to short-listed 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



Jobs: Department of Labour - Sep 2019

Assistant Director: Fleet Services 

Provincial Office: East London
Reference No: HR 4/4/1/201
Salary: Commencing: R 376 596 per annum
Enquiries: Mr. WG Dumalisile, Tel: (043) 701 3032
Provincial Ofiice, Chief Director: Provincial Operations, Private Bag X 9005, East London, 5200  

Employment Service Practitioner III 

Provincial Office: Gauteng stationed at Labour Centre: Pretoria
Reference No: HR 4/4/4/08/02
Salary: Commencing: R470 040 per annum
Enquiries: Ms. M A Phasha, Tel: (012) 309 5000
Provincial Office: Chief Director: Provincial Operations: PO Box 4560, Johannesburg, 2001

Assistant Director: Risk Management

Provincial Office: Braamfontein
Reference No: HR 4/4/4/08/01
Salary: Commencing: R 376 596 per annum
Enquiries: Ms. RE Tema, Tel: (011) 853-0300

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

Principal Inspector: Employer Audit

Provincial Office: Mpumalanga
Reference No: HR 4/4/7/36
Salary: Commencing: R470 040 per annum
Enquiries: Mr. SE Mashinini, Tel: (013) 655 8929

Provincial Office: Chief Director: Provincial Operations: Private Bag X 7263, Emalahleni, 1035

Assistant Director: Human Resource Management and Employment Relations 

Provincial Office: Mmabatho
Reference No:  HR 4/4/9/87
Salary:  Commencing: R376 596 per annum
Enquiries: Mr. M Mapete, Tel: (018) 387 8100

Provincial Office: Chief Director: Human Resources Operations: Private Bag X 2040, Mmabatho, 2735

Risk Management Committee Chairperson

Department of Labour: Head Office, Pretoria
Reference No: HR4/19/08/61HO
Duration: Three years contract
Salary: Members will be remunerated according to rates approved by the Department
Enquiries: Mr. Zwane, Tel: (012) 309 4561

Head Office: Chief Director: Human Resources Management: Private Bag X 117, Pretoria, 0001  

Closing date for applications: 16 September 2019  |  For full details of the advertised posts visit our website:

Applications must be submitted on form Z83, obtainable from any Public Service Department or on the internet at 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.


Know your NPO status

Written by

The Department of Social Development has embarked on a nationwide roadshow campaign targeting all organisations registered in terms of the Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) Act (Act No 71 of 1997).

The #KnowYourNPO Status campaign targets Non-Governmental Organisations, Community-Based Organisations and Faith-Based Organisations registered as NPOs to comply with the provisions of the Act.

According to Section 18 (1) (a) of the NPO Act, every registered organisation must, in writing, provide a report of its activities together with its financial statements and the accounting officer’s report within nine months after the end of its financial year.

Section 21 (1) of the Act makes provision for the cancellation or deregistration of an NPO that fails to comply with Section 18 (1) (a).

While the department is empowered by the Act to de-register NPOs that fail to comply with the Act, it has adopted a developmental approach that foster good relations with the sector towards the attainment of its strategic goals.

The campaign which started in July 2019 will run till 2021. It also forms part of the department’s initiative to improve transparency, good governance and accountability among organisations that render services to the most vulnerable groups in the country.

For this reason, the department urges registered NPOs to comply with laws governing their operations in the country.

"This in turn will ensure that NPOs are legitimate and viewed as such by government, donors and other stakeholders in the sector," said the department.

To date, there are over 200 000 organisations registered as NPOs. Of this number, 56 000 NPOs have failed to submit annual reports as required by the Act, with some of the organisations not submitting a single report since registration for years.

NPOs who wish to deregister can also do so voluntarily. A number of officials have been trained in each of the nine provinces to provide administrative assistance to NPOs that wish to comply with the Act or to deregister.

The campaign is implemented in partnership with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, National Lotteries Commission, Financial Intelligence Centre, South African Institute of Business Practitioners and the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners and SANGONET. 

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Mother-tongue tales to delight children

Written by: Allison Cooper

Xolile Zondi (33) and Nolwazi Zuma (34) launched their company Kwasukasukela in 2016 after identifying a gap in the market for children’s books written in South Africa’s indigenous languages.

“After we had our kids in 2013, we were looking for literature to read to them. We wanted to start teaching them isiZulu from the beginning and wanted to use reading materials that could support them while learning their mother tongue,” Zondi explained.

Kwasukasukela is a non-profit organisation (NPO) that strives to influence a culture of reading within the black African community. “We want to ensure that there is a great supply of children’s books written in South Africa’s indigenous languages and we want to be part of the greater conversation Nolwazi Zuma (left) and Xolile Zondi (right) have identified a gap in the market for books written in indigenous languages.  taking place in the education sector, of implementing a multilingual education system in South Africa,” said Zondi.

The NPO creates, prints and distributes children’s books written in indigenous languages. Its first book, Isifundo SikaDoobsy, is written in isiZulu and has already been printed.

“We will be releasing and launching two more books in September. We decided to write in isiZulu first, as we are both Zulu, but we want to create books in Sepedi, Sotho, isiXhosa and Setswana in the very near future,” said Zondi, who grew up in a home where reading was encouraged.

Both her parents are avid readers, which instilled a love of reading in Zondi and her siblings. “Reading opens up new worlds. It lets the reader discover new places and people and different ways of living, without ever leaving their home. Reading is also a great way of expanding one’s language and vocabulary. Nolwazi and I are really big readers and reading is a habit we want to instil in our children,” she said.

Both women believe that it’s important for Africans to read in their mother tongues because languages are linked to cultures. “If we lose our languages, we lose our cultures. Then we won’t have anything to pass on to our children,” said Zondi.

A lack of reading materials in South African indigenous languages, both for leisure and education, put children at a great disadvantage when it comes to their future learning capabilities.

Zondi explained that knowing their culture and heritage has enabled both of them to know who they are as individuals and to be comfortable with themselves as women, wives and mothers.

Isifundo SikaDoobsy

The book Isifundo SikaDoobsy is about a kitten that does not listen to her Mom and gets into trouble because of this. She then learns a hard lesson from not listening to her elders.

Kwasukasukela commissioned Lonathemba Luvuno to write the book and Sihle Modipa to do the graphics. “They are both young and talented,” said Zondi.

In September, which is Heritage Month, Kwasukasukela will launch another story book and a children’s Bible. “To us, Heritage Month means being able to celebrate our different cultures and ensure that they do not disappear,” said Zondi.

“If we lose our languages, we lose our cultures.”

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NHI: One step closer to universal health coverage

Written by: Silusapho Nyanda

The much anticipated National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill was officially released by Parliament, paving the way for public participation and engagement.

The release of the Bill brings South Africa one step closer to its goal of implementing the NHI.

The Bill was signed off by Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, and adopted by Cabinet in July 2019.

Through the NHI, government seeks to fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide quality universal healthcare for all as envisaged in Section 27 of the Constitution and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Section 27 of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to access to healthcare services, including reproductive health care.

The NHI aims to ensure that South African citizens, permanent residents, refugees, inmates, designated foreign nationals and all children will receive primary healthcare.

Primary healthcare centres such as clinics or general practitioners will be the first point of access to healthcare. Access to healthcare services will be free at the point of care.

“For too long our healthcare system operated in an unsustainable and unjust manner. The public healthcare system shoulders the lion’s share of the disease burden in this country, looking after 84 percent of our population with less resources than the private health system that services only 16 percent of the population,” said Minister Mkhize.

The NHI follows in the footsteps of countries such as Britain and Japan where similar systems have been implemented.

How does the NHI work?

Through the NHI, a patient will be registered as a user. Users will be required to approach primary healthcare facilities such as a clinic or general practitioner, who will serve as the first level of entry to healthcare.

Once at a primary healthcare facility, the healthcare practitioner will determine the level of care that is necessary for the patient and if necessary refer the patient for further treatment.

Patients will receive this treatment free of charge, unless a patient directly approaches a specialist.

Under the bill, medical aid schemes will gradually be phased out until they cease to exist.

Medical aids will thus only be able to provide what is called a complementary cover. Complementary cover will provide services that are not listed under the NHI such as cosmetic surgery for example.

“All South Africans will benefit from high quality healthcare without the burden of out of pocket expenses,” said Mkhize.

Did you know?

  • The NHI is expected to cost about R256 billion
  • The NHI is expected to be fully implemented by 2026.
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Public servants face the music

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is cracking down on corruption in the public sector with the successful prosecution of 210 government officials for corruption-related cases. This was revealed  by the NPA  in its annual report for the 2018/19 financial year.

The NPA said those involved in the cases include 115 employees from national departments, 27 from provincial departments, 46 from local government and municipalities, and 18 from government agencies and state-owned entities. Of the 210 officials successfully prosecuted, four were from the NPA.

“This shows the resolve of the NPA to root out corruption without fear or favor by all those implicated, even within its own ranks,” the NPA said in a statement.

Among the high-profile corruption cases involving government officials are 11 officials who were employed by the Department of Education in the Free State. These officials were charged and sentenced for fraud, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act relating to the tender of the learner support material for the province amounting to R30 million.

The former Deputy Director-General for the provincial Department of Education, Tebogo Lioma, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for using his position and office to promote certain enterprises and collusion for tender-rigging.

Another corruption-related case which was successfully prosecuted by the NPA involved an employee of the South African Police Service who was employed as a clerk. He was convicted for five counts of fraud, three counts of corruption and one count of money-laundering relating to the funeral of former President Nelson Mandela. This employee was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, two of which were conditionally suspended for five years.

Former Hawks Constable Jonathan Lebese was also convicted of three counts of corruption and was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. Constable Lebese was responsible for investigating a fraud case and he demanded R65 000 from the accused in order for him not to oppose bail.  Constable Lebese was convicted to nine years imprisonment.  

Further corruption-related prosecutions are expected to be reported in the 2019/20 financial year with the launch of the Investigating Directorate (ID) led by Advocate Hermoine Cronje.

“The mandate of the ID is to investigate all high-profile corruption cases with the proceeds of a minimum of R10 million emanating from the different Commissions of Enquiry established by the Presidential Proclamations,” said the NPA.

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Ship of Ubuntu brings happiness to Vrygrond

Written by Dale Hes

Sport, Arts & Culture

Something beautiful has emerged from the bleak township of Vrygrond near Muizenberg in southern Cape Town. Standing proudly along the M5 running past the township, is a spectacular artwork called the Ship of Ubuntu – a three-metre high wood and steel sculpture created with the help of over 40 youths from the area.

Standing proudly along the M5 running past the township of Vrygrond is a spectacular artwork called the Ship of Ubuntu.The project was started by the Sozo Foundation, a non-profit organisation that offers training programmes to youth in the impoverished community of Vrygrond. EDvance – an organisation from San Francisco, USA – also partnered in the project, led by renowned street artist Libre Gutierrez. Students from the Sozo Foundation and EDvance also lent a hand.

The sculpture of a ship, which took four weeks to complete, was built from recycled materials. At the top of the ship are colourful houses and on the front is a face, with one eye looking at the past and one towards the future.

“We wanted to depict the history of the community as a farm with fishermen living on it. The houses on top speak about the unity of the community and people from different backgrounds living and working together,” said Elana Cuyler, co-founder of the Sozo Foundation.

In a community ridden with poverty, unemployment, drug abuse and gangsterism, the artwork has been a shining beacon of hope for everyone involved.

The Sozo Foundation’s graphic design students were also involved in the project. Graphic design trainer Keenan Mowers said that being part of the project helped him and his students to develop as people.

“Most of them gained a lot of leadership qualities and learned how to communicate with people from very different backgrounds. Normally, we are all so focused inside the community that we cannot focus outside of it. So this really broadened our minds.”

As a result of the project, the Sozo Foundation has been approached by a number of people asking whether the students can create artworks for them as well.

“Keenan has already had a number of requests, and the students recently completed a mural at Steenberg High School. This project presents so much hope. It shows these creative, hard-working young people that they have the ability to create something beautiful that not just people in the community appreciate, but also those outside it,” Cuyler said. 



Sowing seeds of success

Written by: Sisipho Zamxaka

A successful hydroponic farmer from KwaZulu-Natal is securing local and international markets to sell her produce.

 Hydroponic fruit and vegetable farmer Ntando Thabethe with some of her canned vegetables.KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) entrepreneur Ntando Thabethe (42) is driving her company, Elite Crop, to become Africa’s leading fresh food processing company.

Elite Crop is a successful hydroponic tunnel farm, located in Thabethe’s backyard in Pinetown, KZN.

Only launched in 2018, it has already broken into commercial markets locally and internationally and managed to employ two males and two females.

Thabethe left her mechanical engineering job to open the company, which produces a variety of fruit and vegetables, including dried herbs and fresh, frozen and processed vegetables and fruits.

“I have always been passionate about farming, but I could not get on with it due to work commitments. However, I have always believed that I can make anything work for me if I apply my mind to it,” she said.

Tired of opening her bedroom window every morning and being greeted by a dull backyard, Thabethe’s hydroponic tunnel farm has added the colour that she was longing for.

“Knowing that the area was not zoned for farming, I took a chance and went to the local municipality to seek approval to have the tunnel farm in my backyard. I never looked back. That was the beginning of the journey,” she said.

The company recently added two soups to its product range - chicken and chives; and pepper steak and mushroom – which are available at major chain stores and supermarkets in KZN. It also supplies and installs hydroponic tunnels locally.

Accessing markets

In early 2019, Thabethe was invited to attend a patent and trademark workshop organised by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Agribusiness Development Agency (ADA). The ADA aims to ensure a diverse, deracialised and sustainable agribusiness sector in KZN.

The workshop was facilitated by the Small Enterprise Development Agency, which selected Elite Crop to be trademarked. It also assisted with marking the brand, testing the processed products and finding a market for them.

Looking ahead, the company’s products will soon be available in Dubai. “Elite Group recently signed a contract in Dubai to supply all of our dried produce, including rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives and tomato powder,” Thabethe confirmed.

Sisipho Zamxaka works for the Agribusiness Development Agency

For more information on the Agribusiness Development Agency call 033 347 8600

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Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to up their pace

Written by: Silusapho Nyanda

A newly opened commercial school is set to help Jabulani township in Soweto grow young entrepreneurs.

Principal Maoto Zimba said pupils of Pace Commerce and Entrepreneurship School of Specialisation will be trained in various aspects of running a successful business, with a special focus on finance, hospitality and tourism. The area of specialisation is in response to Soweto’s growing tourism sector.

“We want to give them the ability to create jobs instead of going out there expecting people to give them a job,” Zimba said.

Zimba said the current education system is largely focused on producing employees.

“This school is going to create entrepreneurs, which will benefit the community of SowetoGauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi addresses pupils at the newly-opened Pace Commerce and Entrepreneurship School of Specialisation in Jabulani, Soweto.  ,” he said.

Speaking at the launch of the school, MEC for Education in Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi said the school’s pupils would be able to understand the economy and how to run their own businesses.

Lesufi called on the pupils to come up with new ideas and not just be consumers of existing products.

“We want you to develop new products that can be bought by other countries rather than us buying their products every time.”

The MEC also announced that all the pupils of the school would receive devices.

Pace is one of 35 schools of specialisation that have been opened in the province to address the skills shortage and to meet the economic demands of Gauteng, said Gauteng  Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona.

Mabona said they had worked with the Austrian Ministry of Education to ensure that educators were highly trained in entrepreneurship.

“The ultimate aim of the school is to provide capable learners from disadvantaged communities with the capacity to enter the global economy as business people, hotel and restaurant managers in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, incorporating related professions in the broad fields of economics.”

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Tourism Safety Monitors to patrol Table Mountain

Written by

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says the launch of the Tourism Safety Monitors will help improve safety around Table Mountain and bolster tourist arrivals.

Kubayi-Ngubane said this when she introduced 69 new safety monitor recruits at the launch of the National Tourism Safety Awareness Campaign at Table Mountain in Cape Town recently.

“I am excited because I’m able to say to our tourists we are doing something about their concerns and today we are here deploying our safety monitors.

“We are rolling out our safety campaign to ensure that when tourists come here, they enjoy this beautiful country and go back to their countries and tell many other people to visit South Africa,” she said.

The launch follows concerns over the number of incidents, where tourists fell victim to violent attacks on Table Mountain.

In a recent incident, an Ukranian tourist was attacked and murdered for his belongings while hiking on Chapman’s Peak.

This sparked outrage over the lack of safety patrols on Table Mountain, which is world renowned as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

In addition to the 69 recruits, about 19 more are still in training and will be deployed in the near future. They will monitor activities on the mountain and report promptly to the police if there is anything suspicious.

The initiative is in partnership with South African  National Parks, the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry, SA Police Service and the business sector. It also boost job creation efforts as the safety monitors were previously unemployed.

Turning victims of rape into survivors

Written by: More Matshediso

Gender-Based Violence

Thuthuzela care centres provide one-stop assistance to survivors of rape and assault.

Rape respects neither age nor gender – victims can be helpless babies or defenceless adults. Its prevalence in South Africa has prompted a high-level response
from government.

Vuk’uzenzele spoke to Colleen Rogers, LifeLine’s Vaal director, who works with the Kopanong Thuthuzela Care Centre in Vereeniging, Gauteng.

It is one of 55 Thuthuzela centres in South Africa, which are led by the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA), in partnership with various departments and donors.

The centres use an integrated approach to rape care by showing respect, offering comfort, restoring dignity and ensuring justice for children, women and men who are victims of sexual violence.

“We are a one-stop medico-legal facility for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Our aim is to turn victims into survivors,” said Rogers.

She added that the centres also aim to reduce secondary victimisation, improve conviction rates and reduce the cycle time for the finalisation of cases.

The Kopanong Thuthuzela Care Centre was established over 10 years ago. Its services include containment, medical examination for evidence, HIV testing and counselling, post-exposure prophylaxis medication if necessary, the opportunity to shower and change clothes if necessary, assistance with giving statements to the police and transport home if required.

“Anyone who has been raped can access our services, either directly or via the police or a clinic,” she said.

According to Rogers, three NPA employees – a site co-ordinator, victim assistant officer and a case manager (prosecutor) – are based at the centre during office hours. Other staff include a facility manager, who is employed by the Department of Health; a doctor; and a number of forensic nurses who are on shift 24 hours per day.

Rogers said victims who receive services at Thuthuzela Care Centre only get emotional and medical support, whereas those who receive services from the Lifeline shelter can benefit from programmes run at the centre, including sewing, knitting, crocheting, crafting, fabric painting, beading and jewellery making, all of which are aimed at empowering survivors with skills.

Thuthuzela Care Centres operate in public hospitals close to communities where the incidence of rape is particularly high. They are also linked to sexual offences courts, which are staffed by skilled prosecutors, social workers, magistrates, NGOs and police. 

How to contact a Thuthuzela Care Centre in your area?

Contact the Gender- Based Command Centre  by calling 0800 428 428 or sending a Please Call Me to *120*7867#

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Women given wings in tourism sector

Written by More Matshediso

A government programme is hard at work to increase the representation of women in senior positions in the tourism industry.

Over five years ago, the Department of Tourism conducted a study that found there were few women, particularly black women, in executive positions in the tourism industry.

Consequently, an initiative called Women in Tourism (WiT) was launched to develop and empower women in the sector. WiT brings women together to find solutions to the challenges that hinder their entrepreneurial progress and offers training to successful applicants in partnership with various higher education institutions in the country.

Vuk’uzenzele spoke to the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, about WiT’s progress.

“In the past two years, about 50 out of 60 women graduated from the programme,” the Minister said.

“The programme is premised on the principles of respect, recognition, representation and reward. It integrates women from diverse backgrounds to converge on a set of common goals and interests that will ensure their success in the sector,” the Minister explained.

She said the ultimate goal is that graduates, equipped with business management skills, will be confident enough to start and grow their own businesses to help change the skewed ownership patterns and create a pool of competent black women for the growing tourism sector. 

Over and above empowering women, the programme is used by the department as a tool to identify mechanisms that can address the barriers faced by women in the tourism sector; to drive transformation; lobby government and stakeholders to create opportunities that drive the advancement of women in tourism; and to facilitate access to business resources, information and opportunities for women entrepreneurs in tourism. 

For more information about WiT, contact the Department of Tourism by calling

0860 868 747 or 012 444 6000, or send an email to

Young farmer sets his next goal

Written by: Silusapho Nyanda and and Samuel Kgatla

A successful Eastern Cape farmer aims to launch a financial services company that will assist other farmers to secure loans.

A Aviwe Gxotiwe at his Somerset East farm which he received through the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) programme.viwe Gxotiwe (31), a sheep, chicory and lucerne farmer, aspires to create a financial services business that is has its roots in agriculture.

Gxotiwe believes that technological advancements can help him to achieve his dream of opening a company that provides credit for people wanting to buy livestock. “We need a financial services company in agriculture. If people can buy clothes on credit, they should also be able to buy what they need, on credit, in the agriculture sector,” he said.

The former law student owns two farms in Somerset East which is about 2300 hectres while the one in Alice is 1300 hectres both situated in the Eastern Cape.

The 2300 hectare farm in Somerset East which mainly farms chicory was owned by his father from 2012 to 2016, who got it through the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy.

Gxotiwe saw a gap in the market for chicory, when established farmers stopped farming it. “The decision to farm chicory was purely for profit.

In South Africa, chicory is grown almost solely for the root. This is cut into cubes which are dried, roasted and milled and used for blending with coffee.

“I saw that supply was not meeting demand,” said Gxotiwe, who won the top chicory farmer in South Africa award in 2018. “The farm helped improve our farming products and expand our operations,” he said.

Working with 12 employees, Gxotiwe harvested a chicory yield of 36 tons last year. This year he planted lucerne which is mainly used for animal feed and has already harvested 21 tons. The lucerne and sheep provide a stable financial cushion, which enables him to invest in chicory.

He believes that young people should get into the sector and explore the opportunities that are available to them, such as agro-tourism. He explained that if people are not interested in being farmer, there are avenues in tourism and heritage preservation that they could enjoy.

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