Daily Archives: May 3, 2019

COMMITTEE ON SPORT DISAPPOINTED WITH MS SEMENYA RULING, URGES HER TO CONTINUE RUNNING

Parliament, The Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation has noted the overwhelming support given to Ms Caster Semenya following the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling on her appeal.

The Chairperson of the portfolio committee, Ms Beauty Dlulane, said the committee is disappointed with the outcome of the appeal. We had hoped for a different outcome, one that would have put to rest the controversy surrounding Caster. It is sad that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) inconveniences her in this manner for something that is not of her making, Ms Dlulane said.

The anger directed towards IAAF after the ruling is understandable, Ms Dlulane said. The committee has called for a further review of rules pertaining to female athletes.

The committee will support the decision of Ms Semenya’s legal team going forward. The committee wishes her well in tonight’s competition in Doha. Ms Dlulane also called on the sixth democratic Parliament to continue this work to support Ms Semenya.

Source: Parliament

Minister Nathi Mthethwa activates Africa Month at Women’s Living Heritage Monument, 4 May

Minister Nathi Mthethwa to activate Africa Month at the Women’s Living Heritage Monument, Pretoria

The month of May marks Africa month – a moment for the continent to pause, reflect, commemorate and celebrate our Africanness, and to promote the African Agenda that embraces peace and stability, democracy, non-racial, non-sexist, unity and prosperity. The Month of May has been declared Africa Month, to celebrate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963, it was on this date that 25 May was declared Africa Day as a symbol of unity amongst all Africans.

The month of May has also been dedicated to building a caring nation in pursuit of promoting a lasting peace and prosperity in the country and the rest of the continent.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa will activate the 2019 Africa month celebrations under the theme, Celebrating 25 years of Democracy: Building a Better Africa and a Better World, on 4 May at the Women’s Living Heritage Monument in Pretoria following the successful celebration of the Africa Carnival & Festival held on 1 May 2019 in Durban which kick started the Africa month programme.

Africa Month recognises aspects of African culture, which are both tangible and intangible: creative expression such as music and performances, our historical inheritance, architecture, language, food, practices and culture. Various events will be staged throughout the country to commemorate this month. The Department will contribute to Africa month celebrations through a variety of cultural activities.

In this journey towards African self-renewal, I also wish to remind us of the brilliant thoughts and speeches of a pioneer, Pixley ka Seme who already in 1906, called for the regeneration of Africa. The time has come for Africa’s renewal to be taken to a higher level, stated Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Source: Government of South Africa

Western Cape Ship-Repair Company to Seek Opportunities in US

A black-owned Western Cape-based ship-repair services company, Bayside Marine, will showcase its services at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, which takes place from 6 to 8 May 2019. The company is one of the 20 companies that received financial support from the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) to participate in the conference.

According to the Director of Bayside Marine, Mr Bongani Tokwe, the US is advanced in oil and gas exploration and is one of the biggest role players in the industry. He adds that the US companies are always in search of new opportunities and the right service providers. He describes Bayside Marine as a service provider that has positioned itself to access opportunities that the US market provides.

As Bayside Marine we are ready to showcase our services of repair and maintenance of oil rigs, vessel and boat services, and impress the US market. We are optimistic that the company will bring home some interesting leads, says Tokwe.

The 20 companies that will showcase their products at the South African National Pavilion during the OTC conference are from the steel and fabrication; engineering and services; electro-technical and service; and oil and gas sectors. The companies are supported by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country. The scheme also seeks to facilitate market access for the exhibiting South African companies.

Source: Department of Trade and Industry

MDDA commemorates World Press Freedom Day 2019

In celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2019 (3 May), the Media Development & Diversity Agency (MDDA) reaffirms its commitment to the growth and protection of a diverse and pluralistic media environment.

South Africa has several press freedom advocacy organizations that regularly challenge encroachments on media freedom. The courts and regulatory bodies have consistently reaffirmed freedom of the press and the right to information, handing down judgments and rulings in support of open and accountable government and media independence. However, there is increased concern about press freedom amid recent intimidation of journalists.

As we commemorate World Press Freedom Day, it is important that we also reflect on the important role community media plays, particularly community print media. Community media are crucial to ensuring media pluralism and freedom of expression and are an indicator of a healthy democratic society. As an alternative medium to public and commercial media, as well as social media, they are characterized by their accountability to, and participation of, the communities they serve. They have a greater focus on local issues of concern and facilitate public platforms for debate and discussion.

The MDDA has in its approximately 15 years of existence supported over 80 community and small commercial print projects to the value of approximately R70 million. With the contribution of MDDA support, grassroots publications have managed to attain circulation figures of 8 million copies per month; over 20 million readers per month and seen Black ownership of non-commercial publications sit at over 70 percent, with 21 percent of the publications being owned by women.

Despite these great strides, the sustainability of community print media remains a serious concern and a threat to media pluralism. The print media sector remains largely untransformed with undue concentration of media ownership in the hands of a few industry players, having a significant impact on media and transformation. Transformation however needs to be tackled from various fronts. Whilst policy planned at addressing transformation is a good start, it is not enough. How transformation is financed should also be a priority of the Government to ensure that transformation becomes a sustainable programme. As it stands the MDDA is tasked with the support of Community Print and Small Commercial Print projects, but financial constraints compromise the sustainability of community print projects and transformation. To aggravate the challenge, community media is still not receiving its share of advertising from Government despite commitments to spend 30% of the advertising budget on community media.

All these challenges pose a threat to ensuring that community print media remains an alternative voice for those who did not previously have access to information in a language of their choice.

It is important that there is renewed commitment to support community print media to ensure that community media journalists fill the shoes of many great journalist like Zwelakhe Sisulu, Aggrey Klaaste, Henry Nxumalo and Allister Sparks who continuously strived for quality journalism. This becomes more critical in an era of disinformation and misinformation which go against the basic tenets of ethical and quality reporting.

The MDDA is a statutory development agency, deriving its mandate, from Section 16 and 32 of the Constitution Act No. 108 of 1996, thereby providing for freedom of expression and access to information. As a partnership between the South African Government and major print and broadcasting companies, it promotes and assists in the development of community media and small commercial media in South Africa and the transformation of the media, by providing support (financial, capacity building, etc.) in terms of the MDDA Act No 14 of 2002. It also aims to raise public awareness with regard to media development and diversity issues, and to encourage media literacy and a culture of reading.

Source: Department of Communication