Monthly Archives: October 2016

500+ Convene in Côte d’Ivoire for Focus on Sustainability at World ...

$12 Million in New Funding Announced for Farmer Support Programs; Call to Action on Regional Threat Posed by Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Last week, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), in collaboration with Le Conseil du Café-Cacao, convened its annual Partnership Meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading producer of cocoa. More than 500 representatives from the global chocolate and cocoa sector, including farmers, as well as international donor groups and civil society organizations and other key cocoa-producing countries such as Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana and Nigeria, gathered to address critical sustainability issues confronting the cocoa sector. Among the featured speakers were Ivorian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, First Lady Dominique Ouattara, and newly appointed WCF President Richard Scobey.

In remarks that opened the meeting, Prime Minister Duncan highlighted four key challenges to sustainability in the sector, namely improving cocoa productivity, mitigating the effects of climate change and fighting deforestation, improving farmers’ incomes and boosting value-added processing of cocoa before it leaves Ivorian shores.

According to Scobey, “It was very exciting to see the growing alignment and commitment among all of the actors in the cocoa supply chain on the issues, namely sustainable livelihoods, deforestation and empowerment of women and protection of children in cocoa-growing communities. On some issues, such as protection of children and women’s empowerment, we have a good understanding of what’s needed, whereas in other areas, such as deforestation and sustainable livelihoods, we need to do more work to understand better the context and then try different solutions.”

Ivorian First Lady Dominique Ouattara addressed head-on the issue of protecting children from illegal forms of work. She applauded industry efforts to build and provide materials to dozens of schools in cocoa-growing communities. She also announced plans by the Ivorian government to build more than 4,500 classrooms and 37 secondary schools in cocoa-growing areas, in addition to cross-border cooperation on the child labor issue with neighboring countries in West Africa.

In contrast to past years’ meetings, the discussions in Abidjan revealed a growing level of trust and commitment to work together among the different supply chain stakeholders. CocoaAction, industry’s voluntary sustainability strategy, was cited as a strong framework for accelerating cooperation between the chocolate and cocoa industry and governments, donors and others. Early results of CocoaAction, launched two years ago, were provided by more than a dozen speakers from farmer groups, certifying bodies, donors, civil society, governments and industry. In conjunction with the discussions, WCF released its first-ever CocoaAction annual report, which covers the strategy’s progress through 2015. A second report will be released in 2017.

During the Partnership Meeting, WCF and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Feed the Future program announced African Cocoa Initiative II, a five-year, $12 million effort to increase production of quality cocoa planting materials and provide services to cocoa farmers in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. WCF also convened regional cocoa research scientists and government cocoa regulatory agencies to address the growing impact of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus (CSSV), a disease fatal to cocoa trees that was first detected in Ghana in the 1930s and now threatens the crop across the West African region. Participants broadly agreed that a regional action plan is urgently needed to control the spread of CSSV.

Scobey said of the week’s discussions, “There was a strong endorsement of a shared vision for an inclusive cocoa future, where the focus is on sustainable livelihoods for farmers, a better-protected planet, and prosperous businesses, from the farm level through to the chocolate maker, that create jobs and value.” The meeting underscored the importance of innovation, and showcased a number of new products, services and technologies that support transformation of the cocoa supply chain. WCF also announced specific commitments to deepen partnership with civil society organizations, international financial organizations and cocoa producing countries’ governments.

To learn more about World Cocoa Foundation, please visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org.

About World Cocoa Foundation
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector. WCF provides cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and socially and economically strengthen their communities. WCF’s members include cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. WCF’s programs benefit farmers and their communities in cocoa-growing regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. For more information, visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Department of Labour session on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

Worker, employer and government representatives will meet in about two weeks to discuss occupational health and saferty (OHS) in the workplaces in South Africa.

The Department of Labour will host the OHS Conference to create awareness and address Occupational Health and Safety issues pertaining to Small Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) environment in South Africa. The initiative of the department to hold the conference can contribute to the overall objectives of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that of ensuring quality jobs in environments where occupational health and safety is adhered to.

The Conference will be held from November 15-17 at The Lakes Hotel & Conference Centre in Benoni, Gauteng.

Held under the theme: Sustaining OHS within SMME environment through innovative solutions � the conference is expected to attract 500 delegates.

Department of Labour's Deputy Director-General: Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES), Aggy Moiloa will deliver a keynote address. She is expected to share the stage with departmental experts in the fields of OHS, advocacy, construction, chemical and major hazards installations (MHI) among others.

The seminar is also expected to be attended by representatives from industry bodies, business organisations/chambers and labour federations.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (No. 85 of 1993) provides for the health and safety of persons at work and for the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery; the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work; to establish an advisory council for occupational health and safety; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act applies to all employers and workers, but not to �

mines, mining areas or any mining works (as defined in the Minerals Act);

load line ships, fishing boats, sealing boats, whaling boats (as defined in the Merchant Shipping Act) and floating cranes; whether in or out of the water; and

people in or on these areas or vessels.

The Act provides that every employer shall conduct his undertaking in such a manner as to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that persons other than those in his employment who may be directly affected by his activities are not thereby exposed to hazards to their health or safety. It also prescribes that every self-employed person shall conduct his undertaking in such a manner as to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons who may be directly affected by his activities are not thereby exposed to hazards to their health or safety.

The country's Occupational Health and Safety Act is currently being amended to be in line with modern dynamics.

The topics that will be addressed at the conference pertain to Health and Hygiene issues, Civil and Construction issues and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

There will also be break-away sessions to deal with: trends in OHS focusing on SMMEs; global health and safety in the construction industry; progress regarding goods hoists; ergonomics regulations; guidelines on new construction regulations; developments on the major hazards installations regulations; the role of approved inspections authorities in the electrical installation industries; benchmarking of major hazard installation to other countries; an African perspective on ergonomics; introduction of SMMEs to the classification and labeling standards; radio frequency in the explosive environment and risk assessment in major hazard installation among others.

Source: The South African Department of Labour

Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson to handover Newcastle Buyback and ...

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson, will officially hand over a Waste Buyback Centre and Recreational Play Parks to the Newcastle Community at the Osizweni Community Hall, Newcastle KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday 02 November 2016.

The Department of Environmental Affairs, through its Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme has funded the two projects in the Newcastle Local Municipality to the tunes of R19 million. The implementation of these projects created 240 job opportunities to the members of the local communities. The Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme is part of the Department's Extended Public Works Programme.

Despite a total estimated value of R25 billion to the South African economy, the current rate of waste recycling has not been maximized. The buyback facility will assist the Municipality to address the challenge of waste management and promote waste recycling in the area. The facility will help stimulate diversion of recyclable waste from landfill sites, thereby creating economic opportunities for waste collectors. The four community recreational parks have been built to benefit disadvantaged area, with a focus on sustainable development in the greening and open space management areas.

The implementation of these projects provided beneficiaries with training opportunities in various fields including occupational health and safety, as well as personal financial management. These skills will assist beneficiaries to become employable elsewhere in the future.

Source: Department of Environmental Affairs

Minister Davies, Premier Masualle and MEC Somyo to Launch First Phase ...

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the Eastern Cape Premier, Mr Phumulo Masualle and Eastern Cape MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Mr Sakhumzi Somyo will launch the first phase of the Komani Industrial Park revitalisation in Queenstown, Eastern Cape on Monday, 7 November 2016.

The R22.5 million project is part of the Revitalisation of Industrial Parks Programme of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). Komani is one of the 10 industrial parks that the department has prioritised for revitalisation as part of the programme.

The launch marks the completion of the 1st phase of the project which covers security upgrading of the park. the dti has been working with the Chris Hani Development Agency on the revitalisation of the Komani Industrial Park and an amount of R22.5m has been invested by the dti so far, says Davies.

Davies adds that the dti has recognised that these parks have the capacity to aid as catalysts for broader economic and industrial development in their host regions, mainly townships and rural areas. According to Davies, the parks will promote industrialisation, manufacturing and job creation.

Minister Davies has already launched the completion of the first phase of the revitalisation of industrial parks in Limpopo, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

MEC Somyo says these provincial industrial parks will be key centres for employment creation and industrial development for the Eastern Cape.

They will also serve as a launch pad for the Black Industrialists Programme that seeks to promote the participation of black businesses in the manufacturing sector, he adds.

Source: The Department of Trade and Industry

Department of Environmental Affairs hosts stakeholder consultation in ...

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, will host a pre-CoP Stakeholder Consultation in preparation for the 22nd Conference of Parties (CoP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria on 1 November 2016.

The purpose of the stakeholder consultation is to consolidate South Africa's position for the climate change negotiations towards CoP22, being held in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 7 to 18 November 2016.

The stakeholder consultation will provide information, and update, on the status of international negotiations in the UNFCCC, highlight South Africa's expectations from CoP22, as well as raise public awareness around climate change and climate change response efforts.

Source: Department of Environmental Affairs

SOUTH AFRICA’S EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE LEVERAGING ON BLUE OCEAN ...

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA, -- A boat-building industry has emerged in East London, about 280 kilometres north east of here, and it is taking advantage of the fact that the country is bordered by oceans on its eastern, western and southern sides.

Alfred Manunga, who works for Fab Innovations, a fibre glass manufacturer, which is supplying the boat building industry, is confident of more opportunities within the sector.

Manunga said at the Oceans Economy Summit held here last week that the event gave his company exposure "to meet the people who know those who can give us contracts and so that we can be able to propose and to even recommend things we are making so that we can be in the market".

South Africa's Eastern Cape Province and its 800 kilometres of coastline is set to be the hub of the Blue Economy in South Africa, especially as shipping is vital to the country with 80 per cent of South Africa's foreign trade moved on the ocean.

The Port Manager at the Port of East London, Jacky Brown, said: For the Port of East London, which has been identified through Operation Pakisa as on of the delivery platforms to make ship repairs, especially boat-building, a reality for us. We are working very closely with government to look at how do we ignite the industry in this side of the Eastern Cape and I think there's a huge potential.

The work that has been done so far has transpired in an initial investments of 239 million Rand (about 17.3 million US dollars), just on basic infrastructure."

Delegates at the summit also identified the need to develop skills in the ship-building and repair sector.

Source: Nam News Network

Minister Siyabonga Cwele addresses GovTech 2O16 Conference and ...

The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele will address the GovTech 2O16 Conference and then later, the Integrated ICT Policy White Paper Symposium on 31 October 2016. Both events will be held in Midrand.

The GovTech Conference is in its 11th year and the 2016 theme is ICT For Development, Access and Growth. The conference is hosted by SITA and brings together senior representatives of national, provincial and some local governments, the private sector, including emerging businesses.

The Gauteng Premier Mr David Makhura is scheduled to lead the Provincial Government's participation at the conference.

The Integrated ICT Policy White Paper Policy Symposium seeks to deepen the debate on the ICT White Paper that was approved by Cabinet in September 2016. It brings together policy makers, organised business and organised labour.

Both engagements are aligned to the growing importance that the Government attached to access and use of internet to improve service delivery and the empowerment of citizens.

Source: Government of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICAN INTERIOR MINISTRY CONCERNED OVER INSUFFICIENT STAFF AT ...

Despite existing processes being designed to optimally manage traveller demand at the country's airports, the Department of Home Affairs (Interior) is concerned that it does not have sufficient staff to manage immigration, resulting in complaints about lengthy queues and delayed flights.

Department of Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni, in a media briefing here Friday, said the department dealt with year-on-year increases in numbers of travellers as far as legitimate movements through the country's busies airport, Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, were concerned.

The average number of travellers cleared per month increased from 668,882 in 2015 to 669,621 in 2016. We are currently managing a four-shift system per week reinforcing our day shift to deal with terminals experiencing a high volume of travellers," he said.

This still translates into a situation where more than 40 per cent of our immigration counters cannot be operational at peak periods, given limited staff capacity and the need to balance shift operations over a 24-hour cycle."

The total number of immigration counters at OR Tambo International Airport is 87 and even with a 100 per cent staff attendance, not all the counters can be fully staffed. A 100 per cent attendance is not attainable due to normal Human Resource factors, he said.

The Department of Home Affairs has a mandate to ensure the effective and secure management of immigration and to facilitate the movement of persons through OR Tambo International Airport as one of its priority ports of entry.

We are continuing stakeholder engagements to improve service delivery at OR Tambo International Airport through partnerships aimed at improving communication, addressing resource requirements and exploring technology solutions to effectively resolve the capacity constraints, Apleni said.

In December 2015, the department introduced biometric capturing of travellers at four international airports -- OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, King Shaka International Airport in Durrban and privately-operated Lanseria International Airport near Johannesburg.

Biometric capturing enhances the capacity to identify individuals and confirm the identity of travellers with the highest possible degree of certainty, security and efficiency.

As part of the biometric programme, the department is in the process of linking the movement of a child to an adult on the Movement Control System to ensure the continuous protection of children admitted to and departing from South Africa.

Apleni said the rollout at major identified land ports of entry was work in progress, but by the end 2016/17 it was projected that at least six high-volume ports of entry will be ready to assist travellers arriving from SADC states.

Source: Nam News Network