6 Mar 2013
1. Ms N Gina (ANC) to ask the Deputy President:
What measures does he, as chairperson of the Human Resource Development Council, intend to implement to ensure that the recognition of prior learning is (a) prioritised and (b) sped up with regard to people who have gained skills and experience working as artisans (details furnished) for some time, but who have no formal qualification?
Honourable Member, the Human Resource Development Council on 15 June 2012, after a thorough multi-stakeholder consultative process, endorsed the Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning system.
In support of the endorsement by the Council, the Department of Higher Education and Training allocated an amount of R41 million for the development of a national artisan recognition of prior learning system for the period 2012 – 2015.
The project will develop an advisor training programme and produce toolkits for specific trades to assist Further Education and Training Colleges in the certification of candidates with prior leaning experience.
I am informed by the Department of Higher Education and Training that a pilot phase of the project is scheduled to start in April this year and more than 4000 applications have been received from artisan assistants who wish to participate in the programme.
I thank you.
2. Mr D J Maynier (DA) to ask the Deputy President:
What official duties did he perform between 23 December 2012 and 4 January 2013?
Honourable Member, I did not perform any official duties between 23 December 2012 and 4 January 2013. Honourable Speaker, two weeks ago, during the debate on the State of the Nation Address in this House, Honourable Maynier stated that he would be asking me a question regarding my holiday to the Seychelles.
Although he has not asked that specific question from the onset, I wish to alleviate his anxiety and respond to it.
In terms of government policy duly adopted by Cabinet, transport for the Deputy President, whether for official or private purposes, is the responsibility of the State.
The State also has a duty to provide security for the Deputy President at all times, whether he is engaged in official duties or while he is on leave. This policy was reaffirmed by Cabinet on 20 March 2007.
All matters pertaining to transport and security of the Deputy President are handled by the competent state organs. The South African Police Service is responsible for security, including ground transport, while the South African National Defence Force is responsible for air transport.
The Deputy President has no role whatsoever in the planning and carrying out of operations concerning his own transport and security. These matters, including deployment of personnel and equipment as well as related costs are managed by the competent state organs.
I thank you.
3. Mr L S Ngonyama (Cope) to ask the Deputy President:
Whether the Anti-Poverty Programme, including the War on Poverty Campaign, involves the issue of empowerment through (a) land tenure and (b) ownership of the rural land; if not, why not, in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?
Honourable Member, the Anti-Poverty Programme is not a stand alone programme with a set of projects and a budget. Rather, it is about the coordination of various interventions through targeting poverty alleviation. More so, the programme also encourages a coordinated approach to the involvement of stakeholders in poverty alleviation initiatives.
Within this broader Anti-Poverty Programme, the War on Poverty Campaign identifies citizens who are entitled to various government services but for some reason are unable to receive them. The programme has placed special focus on identifying change agents in poor households with the objective of assisting them to spearhead change in the situations in which they find themselves.
Thus, while the War on Poverty Campaign does not focus on empowerment through land tenure and ownership of rural land, it goes without saying that access to land is an important element in ensuring that people have food security and it further ensures sustainable livelihoods, all of which ultimately result in poverty alleviation.
The main programme to empower people in terms of land reform is the Recapitalisation and Development programme, which provides training and infrastructural support to emerging farmers.
Furthermore, the Comprehensive Rural Development programme provides support to rural communities through the facilitation of social and economic infrastructure to enable the creation of sustainable livelihoods.
During my visits to some of the poorest districts in the country, I have been encouraged to see that where people have access to land, regardless of its size, efforts are underway to develop community food gardens that provide food not only for the household, but in some instances are a viable commercial venture.
These initiatives must be supported and replicated in all poor communities as this advances self-sufficiency and goes a long way towards restoring people’s dignity as they can now provide for the nutritional needs of their families.
4. Ms H F Matlanyane (ANC) to ask the Deputy President:
What (a) progress has been made in the War on Poverty Campaign (i) in broad terms and (ii) to improve the conditions of the unemployed youth and (b) challenges remain?
Honourable Member, more than 316 000 households or 1.6 million people that live in poverty have been profiled in about 350 of the most deprived wards in the country to date.
The War on Poverty Campaign targets young people from poor households as change agents, given the potential that they represent to break the cycle of poverty in their households. We seek to improve the capability and opportunities of these young people, by connecting them to available opportunities, in order for them to rise from poverty, and in turn, to take their own families and communities out of poverty.
Thus, the role of the household change agent is to monitor and ensure that commitments made by both government and the households towards lifting the household out of poverty are on track.
Public employment through the Extended Public Work Programme, Community Works Programme and the National Rural Youth Service Corps are used as primary instruments to address the unemployment of household change agents.
The Community Works Programme provides up to one hundred and twenty working days per year for unemployed young people, while the National Rural Youth Service Corps has eleven thousand five hundred young people enlisted to undergo training in different areas of skills and expertise for a period of two years.
This period will be extended to four years to incorporate the placement of household change agents into work areas or to assist them to start small businesses.
Let us now look at just some examples of the work that Government has done particularly in rural communities to empower unemployed young people.Following our visit to uMsinga in KwaZulu-Natal in 2011, the then Deputy Minister of Public Works returned to that area to start a programme for the young people there.
In this regard the Department of Public Works recruited one hundred and ten change agents to work on the Departments’ Water Treatment Plant. These young people were provided with a six month training programme during which period they received stipends.
Ten of these young people participated in an Internship Programme and five of them have since returned to school. On completion of the training programme, the remaining ninety five have been absorbed to continue working on the Water Treatment Plant and they were offered permanent employment. As part of this initiative, thirty two qualified artisans and technicians were brought in to work as supervisors in the programme.
At Eshowe the Department of Public Works also recruited twenty young people for learnerships and six for internship programmes from the group identified as change agents.
At Gombani village, Vhembe District in Limpopo Province the Department of Public Works also started a project of “Women in Construction” in which they recruited forty eight women to build houses in their community. These women have since built twenty two houses. Twenty four young people were also recruited to work in the same project.
A similar project was also initiated at Port St. John in the Eastern Cape where a brick making machine was purchased through the support of the Department of Human Settlements to enable women to participate in alternative construction methods.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
6 Mar 2013
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