Category Archives: Science & Technology

SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS STRONG, CORRUPTION-FREE STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES, ...

DURBAN-South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has a big task on his hands in sorting out and dealing with the issues in his portfolio.

Ramaphosa was in KwaZulu-Natal Province over the weekend to engage business leaders as the ruling African National Cobgress (ANC) embarked on a process to draft its election manifesto ahead of next year’s general eelcrion.

On Saturday afternoon he addressed the community of Chatsworth, south of Durban, where he said that in order for the South African economy to bounce back, the country needed strong and corruption-free state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

We have a technical recession. We have to revamp our state-owned enterprises. Comrade Pravin Gordhan has his job cut out,” said President Ramaphosa, who is also the ANC president.

“What he inherited is one of the biggest messes that you can ever imagine; but we are grateful that he’s put his shoulder to the wheel and he’s going through every State-owned enterprise, cleaning it up, making sure that we have good State-owned enterprises.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu: Working visit by Belgium Deputy Prime ...

Remarks by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of International Relations And Cooperation of the Republic Of South Africa on the occasion of the working visit by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium H.E. Mr Diedier Reynders.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. MR Reynders

Members of the delegations

Members of the media

We have just concluded a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of the of Kingdom of Belgium, His Excellency, Minister Didier Reynders who came to South Africa on a working visit.

We thank you for taking your time to visit our country. As South Africa we enjoy good bilateral relations with Belgium. These relations are based on shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy and similar approach to a number of international issues, particularly peace and security.

Together we will be occupying a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2019-2020. We used this meeting to among other things deepen our bilateral ties and to enhance continuous cooperation on peace and security issues, particularly those on the agenda of the UNSC.

We also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, such as the fight against racism, human rights, migration, climate and ecological changes, amongst others.

The main objectives of our meeting today were basically to achieve the following:

To expand and strengthen bilateral relations between our countries;

To revitalize economic relations with a specific focus on Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and Tourism.

To enhance cooperation between our country and Belgium within the framework of the two countries’ non-permanent seats in the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2019-2020.

To enhance the African Agenda by promoting cooperation between the two countries on the Continent, with particular reference to the Great Lakes Region.

Belgian Foreign Direct Investment into South Africa was worth R10.11 billion in 2017, creating over 1000 job opportunities for our people. As we prepare for the upcoming Investor Conference in October 2018 which is aimed at attracting R1,3 trillion investment into the country, we are certain that Belgium is already part of the investment drive and will send its business representatives to the conference.

You have just witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Enhanced Cooperation between the two countries. This cooperation includes Joint Commission on bilateral relations, to hold High Level bilateral engagements to enhanced bilateral cooperation and intensify economic ties between our two countries.

We are certain that our bilateral relations with Belgium will continue to grow from strength to strength for the benefit of our peoples.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa

Service delivery campaign goes to Diepsloot

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo will on Monday take government services to the people of Diepsloot as part of Public Service Month.

A range of services, including those rendered by the Departments of Home Affairs, Labour, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and South African Post Office (SAPO) will be brought to the doorstep of the people.

The mobile government services, which will be situated at Tanganani Open Space in Extension 3 in Diepsloot, will include processing applications for identity documents, birth and death certificates and other Home Affairs services; registration of grants by SASSA, registration of work seekers and enquiries on the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), and other government services relevant to the community.

In a fully packed programme, Dlodlo is also expected to go on a door-to-door visit to various households in the vicinity to engage with some of the indigent families within the community. The families were identified through the work of community development workers (CDWs), social workers and the City of Johannesburg. Officials will determine how government can intervene to make their lives better.

CDWs are a central link between government and communities. Their role is to foster partnerships between government, stakeholders and communities to ensure integration and coordination between services provided by government, as well as access to these services by communities.

Dlodlo will also have a face-to-face engagement with the CDWs to emphasise the importance of their role in society.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Gauteng centralises building safety function

The Gauteng Provincial Government has announced the establishment of a high level provincial Occupational Health and Safety Steering Committee to centralise the safety function for all buildings accommodating government employees.

This will address the current practice where there is no central co-ordination to oversee compliance. It will change the practice where occupation safety is not centrally supported but left to HODs, considering that it is apparent that the practice is not working, said Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) MEC Jacob Mamabolo.

The MEC will chair the committee which will also comprise heads of department (HODs).

The function of this committee comes into effect today, Friday 07, September, 2018. The priority assignment will to oversee the evacuation of officials from non- compliant buildings and to relocate them to suitable buildings, said Mamabolo.

Establishment of the committee comes just two days after a fire erupted at a government-owned building in central Johannesburg. The blaze claimed the lives of three firefighters in its wake.

The immediate task of the committee is to stabilise the building safety environment in the province following the fire accident at the Bank of Lisbon building in the Johannesburg CBD, said Mamabolo.

According to the Infrastructure Department, the establishment of the committee is in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which places safety as a key responsibility of all the Accounting Officers (HOD’s) as employers.

The centralisation of this function doesn’t take away the legislative responsibility of Accounting Officers in respect of occupational safety.

The steering committee seeks to ensure that this function is stabilised, and functions in the most efficient and effective manner. It is at this point that a determination will be made on its gradual decentralisation, said Mamabolo.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Communications warns public to use social media responsibly

Public warned to use Social Media in a responsible manner

The Ministry of Communications has noted with great concern the proliferation on various social media platforms, an image of a minor who is alleged to have contracted a mouth disease after consuming counterfeit or illicit perishables goods procured from stores owned by foreign nationals. Circulating the image is not only discriminatory but affects the dignity of the minor.

We call upon all citizens to be responsible internet users. The internet has the potential to be used for great good but can also cause terrible harm.

It is in your hands. People can limit the harm by vetting the content they want to share. Sharing unverified and unauthenticated information can have real consequences for the sanctity of our nation and its democratic values said the Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Pinky Kekana.

What is more disconcerting is that the image comes at a time where citizens have taken issue with the quality of perishable goods sold mainly in the townships and semi-urban areas and particularly of stores which are owned and or managed by foreign nationals.

A simple reverse image of the picture reveals that it is not a recent one and cannot be attributed to South Africa. In essence, it appears that there is a concerted effort to spread incorrect, harmful content in order to stoke xenophobic attitudes within our communities.

False information masquerading as news has the ability to divide our communities instead of assisting the very same communities to find solutions to concerns raised by consumers. To this end, communities can report any suspicious-looking food items or business selling expired food products to the National Consumer Commission at 0124287000 or by e-mailing complaints@thencc.org.za.

Source: Government of South Africa

Mayor Patricia de Lille joins graduation of Blikkiesdorp construction ...

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE, AIRPORTS COMPANY SOUTH AFRICA (ACSA) AND FALSE BAY TVET COLLEGE

In 2017, the City of Cape Town in association with the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) and the False Bay Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College launched an exciting skills development programme to benefit 100 residents from Blikkiesdorp.

Today, it is with pleasure that these three partners celebrate the success of this multi-million rand project with the graduation of 30 of the Blikkiesdorp residents who have undergone construction industry training at False Bay TVET College at its Westlake campus.

In December 2017, 14 students completed their nationally accredited Skills Programme in Building and Civil Construction. In June 2018, an additional 16 students successfully completed all 39 modules in the Bricklaying Competency Based Modular Training (CBMT) Programme.

They are all receiving their certificates from the College today as well as toolkits to assist in their trade for the future. The toolkits consist of work tools relevant to the bricklaying industry. Students who have completed the accredited skills programme will be receiving their statements of results from the Construction SETA.

In addition to the graduating group, 48 students have commenced their training in the National Certificate in Community House Building, which will be delivered over a 12-month period and includes a 6-month workplace training placement as a compulsory component of the qualification.

Once the training has been completed successfully and students are competent, they will be receiving their National Certificate in Community House Building Level 2 through the CETA.

ACSA initiated this project to train residents from Blikkiesdorp and has invested R5 million towards this project to upskill the most vulnerable.

Through an application to the Construction SETA (CETA), False Bay TVET College was able to secure funding to support training in the civil and construction trades. The Blikkiesdorp community benefitted considerably from this grant through training.

The City of Cape Town, through the Mayor’s Job Creation Fund, has committed a further R300 000 while the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority’s Training Academy has committed an additional R750 000 towards the project.

This project is a wonderful example of the City’s commitment to its Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) which aims to strive for excellence in service delivery, to leverage partnerships for progress and enable greater economic inclusion.

With these training opportunities and the qualifications the residents will receive, they will be empowered to improve their chances of finding work opportunities, become active participants in our economy and earn an income for their families.

‘The City of Cape Town is truly grateful to our partners, ACSA and the False Bay TVET College, for their investment and commitment to the residents of Cape Town. This is testament to the fact that we can all work together to empower our residents, especially those from disadvantaged communities. I am positive that the training and skills received by these residents will go a long way in contributing to an improvement in their way of living,’ Mayor De Lille said.

‘This programme is so much more than just a skills programme. It represents dignity, respect, hope and opportunity for a better future. Practically speaking, it allows the graduates access to the job market � with these skills the graduates are far more employable than previously. Learners are supported by securing internship opportunities within the industry, successful completion of which will give them access to the industry for long-term employment. Well done to today’s graduates, we are mighty proud of your achievements; and thank you to our partners, False Bay College and the City of Cape Town, for making this happen!’ said ACSA general manager, Deon Cloete.

Acting Principal, Mrs Karin Hendricks, says False Bay TVET College values the partnership with the City of Cape Town, ACSA and the Blikkiesdorp community and is privileged to be part of such an innovative initiative where community members are upskilled to not only build their own homes, but to deliver on the philosophy of ubuntu in assisting other community members to build their homes. The students were exposed to both academic and life skills training. The skills learnt will prepare the students for the construction work environment and will come in good stead should they wish to start their own businesses.

Deon Fernandez, Programme Head for Civil and Construction programmes, says that students gained knowledge and skills in the building process from setting out a building plan to building a superstructure.

The College is excited to train and upskill various communities through collaboration with SETAs, local government and industry partners.

The City is exploring the extension of the Skills Development Programme to two other areas adjacent to the Cape Town International Airport.

A housing development is currently in the planning and design phase which will be followed by the implementation phase for the construction of housing opportunities for the three beneficiary communities. A project steering committee has been established and the process of beneficiary allocation is ongoing.

The planning and design phase will inform what type of housing will be built.

Once residents obtain their skills training qualifications, they will be involved in the construction of their own housing opportunities.

Source: City of Cape Town

SOUTH AFRICA’S RULING PARTY URGES GOVT TO IMPLEMENT ECONOMIC ...

JOHANNESBURG– As South Africa slips into a recession, the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party, has urged the government to move with speed in implementing its economic recovery plan.

On Tuesday, Statistics South Africa disclosed that the economy contracted by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter of this year, after positive negative growth of 2.6 per cent in the first quarter, fulfilling the widely recognized indicator of recession of two (or more) consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The governing party had proposed a number of policy interventions, including tax credits for companies which invest in sustainable job creation; utilizing government’s procurement muscle to localise industries; reducing regulatory red tape; and investing in massive projects such as road infrastructure.

The Chairperson of the ANC’s sub-committee on economic transformation, Enoch Godongwana, said here Wednesday that the ANC reiterateds the call it made at the party’s Lekgotla in July.

The ANC-led government must take immediate, concrete and bold steps to lift the rate of growth and its inclusivity by activating macro-economic policy tools, institutional efficiencies and specific sector interventions as central instruments to mitigate the effects of a contraction in economic activity, he said.

This requires that there be a significant difference in the aggressiveness and approach through which recovery measures are implemented by government. Specifically, the ‘stimulus package’ must be activated immediately.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Deputy President David Mabuza to brief the NCOP on Land Reform ...

Deputy President David Mabuza will on Thursday, 06 September 2018, apprise members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on various key responsibilities assigned to him as Leader of Government Business, at Parliament, Cape Town.

The NCOP is the legislative body and House of Parliament that ensures that the nine provinces and local government have a direct voice in Parliament when laws are made.

Deputy President Mabuza chairs the South African National Aids Council (SANAC), the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC), and the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform amongst other responsibilities assigned to him by President Ramaphosa. The Deputy President is also a patron of the Moral Regeneration Movement and also leads government efforts in fostering social cohesion.

In this regard, the Deputy President will brief members of the NCOP, on progress achieved by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform which provides political oversight and oversee the implementation of Cabinet decisions on Land Reform.

Deputy President Mabuza will also provide an update to members on the implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategy aimed at developing the requisite skills relevant to enhance economic growth for our country.

The Deputy President will further brief the NCOP on progress achieved since the recent launch of the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative by President Ramaphosa. The SAFE initiative is a partnership between government, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the National Education Collaboration Trust with the aim to build proper sanitation in schools.

Government is concerned over the direct impact the recent fuel price increases have on the lives of South Africans. In this regard, the Deputy President will brief the honourable members on government interventions to alleviate the impact of escalating fuel prices which results in the rising cost of living.

Source: Government of South Africa