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Minister, Bulelani Magwanishe, to address Reiger Park Community

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Public Enterprises Deputy Minister, Bulelani Magwanishe, to address Reiger Park Community as part of the Anti-Rape campaign

16 Apr 2013

The Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe will on Thursday (18 April 2013), address the community and other key stakeholders as part of the Anti-Rape campaign at the Reiger Park Community Hall in Boksburg.

Deputy Minister Magwanishe will be joined by the Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Ms Nandi Mayathula-Khoza and the Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Councillor Mondli Gungubele.

The Anti-Rape campaign was launched by President Jacob Zuma in February. It is aimed at educating and raising stakeholder awareness about rape so as to encourage victims to report assaults and discourage potential offenders.

As part of the campaign, Deputy Minister Magwanishe will conduct door-to-door visits to families who have been affected by rape; visit the places of safety where the victims are sheltered, distribute rape-care kits and blankets to four police stations; and address the community and other key stakeholders.

The event will be held as follows:
Date: Thursday, 18 April 2013
Time: 08h40
Venue: Mayor’s Parlour, Civic Centre, Germiston and proceed to Reiger Park Community Hall, Boksburg

For RSVPs, kindly confirm with:
Phindile Maduna
E-mail: Phindile.Maduna@dpe.gov.za
Cell: 082 228 0258

For media enquiries contact:
Mayihlome Tshwete
Cell: 072 869 2477

Richard Mantu
Cell: 072 488 1520

Issued by: Department of Public Enterprises
16 Apr 2013


Ndiza Lodge You will find Ndiza Lodge & Cabanas nestled onto the verge of the Wetlands. With easy access to the restaurants, supermarkets and rest of the town yet private and quiet. Contact: http://www.ndizalodge.co.za/ Amanda de Gaspary 083 442 1896 Email: info@ndizastlucia.co.za


 


Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the official opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders

 

National House of Traditional Leaders official opening in Parliament, 7 Mar 2013

Address by President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the official opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Parliament, Cape Town

7 Mar 2013

The Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Kgosi Pontsho Maubane (Kgabo!),
Minister Masenyani Richard Baloyi (Mathebula!),
Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim (Ndaa VhoCarrim!),
Other Ministers and Deputy Ministers present,
Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Max Sisulu (Xhamela!),
The Chairperson of the NCOP, Honourable Mninwa Mahlangu (Mrungwa!),
The Deputy Chairperson of the NHTL, Kgosi Makgeru (Hlabirwa’a Bauba!),
Members of the House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL),
Heads of Chapter 9 institutions,
Mr Cecil Le Fleur, Chairperson of the National Khoi-San Council and your Councillors,
Nkosi Patekile Holomisa, President of CONTRALESA (Aah Dilizintaba!), and your Executive Committee,
Chairpersons of the Provincial Houses and all their majesties kings and queens present,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Lotshani!

Two weeks ago, I delivered the State of the Nation Address where we outlined progress made and the priorities and direction of our government for the new financial year. I committed government to forge ahead with building partnerships with all of the citizens of this country and all sectors, to make a better life for all our people a reality.

We outlined progress made in the five government priority areas. These are education, health, the fight against crime and community safety, job creation as well as agriculture and land reform.

I am happy today to have this opportunity to open the National House of Traditional Leaders so that it can conduct its business for this financial year. The institution, status and role of traditional leadership, according to customary law, are recognised by the Constitution of the Republic.

The institution of traditional leadership has a role to play in supporting government in its programme of building a prosperous South Africa. We require your ongoing support in implementing programmes in our five priorities and the programme of action of government as a whole.

Amakhosi ayahlonishwa ezindaweni eziningi ezweni lakithi. Ningabaholi bethu, abaholi babantu bethu. Siyawuxhasa kakhulu umsebenzi owenziwa indlu yamakhosi kuzwelonke, kanye nasezifundazweni.

Chairperson,

The National and Provincial Houses were reconstituted last year. We trust that the new leadership has settled in and fully engaged in the business of the House. When we meet traditional leaders we often look back at the heroic role played by amakhosi in our history.

We recall our ancestors, from King Harry of the Cape San to the last armed resistance leader, Nkosi Bambatha in 1906, who put down the spear and gave way to the new form of resistance in the form of the congress movement.

The spear was then picked up through the formation of the African National Congress in 1912. Since then, the battle continues to reverse to legacy of apartheid colonialism which is manifesting itself through abject poverty, mass unemployment and gross social inequality.

We are looking up to the modern day traditional leadership to work with us as we navigate through the new challenges facing our people today, especially the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. We are looking upon you, the descendants of the warriors and heroes of the wars against colonialism, to participate actively in building a new caring, united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa.

Esteemed leaders of our people,

Today I would like to discuss mainly three aspects in relation to the role of traditional leaders in promoting a united and prosperous nation. These are nation building, food security and the promotion of indigenous heritage. I trust that as part of the work that the National House will be undertaking this year, you will not lose sight of the National Development Plan (NDP) and its implications and opportunities for traditional affairs.

As you know we have adopted the Plan as the development blueprint for the next 20 years. The Plan informs us that 30 years from today, South Africa will be mostly urban, and that our rural areas will be abandoned as the youth migrate to the cities in search of greener pastures. Migration to the cities will leave the arable and fertile land lying fallow.

Such a prospect will definitely and most certainly threaten South Africa’s food security. We are already witnesses to this phenomenon. Many fields lie untilled across the country. The NDP identifies agriculture as an economic activity that is still capable of pushing back the frontiers of poverty.

This requires traditional leaders to work with government to promote farming to our youth and the rural population. At the same time, we are conscious of the fact that years of land deprivation reinforced by land dispossession laws such as the Land Act of 1913 and later apartheid laws have deprived generations of our people of the skills necessary to survive out of agriculture.

People who had been proud farmers were now forced to work after being dispossessed of their land, livestock and equipment. Working on the farms was thus turned into a form of slavery. The outcome of this state of affairs over generations is that our youth developed a grim view of agriculture. Those living in rural areas aspire to move out of the villages as soon as they can. We need to change the situation.

We need to make them appreciate the economic importance and centrality of agriculture. We must encourage them to study agricultural and food production sciences at school and universities. Our educational institutions at both secondary and tertiary level must respond to this challenge and channel resources adequately and appropriately.

I therefore humbly request this august house to support government in making agriculture and farming look “cool” and attractive as a career choice to our youth. Also key to this promotion of agriculture is access to land. I trust that the departments of Traditional Affairs and that of Rural Development and Land Reform will be discussing with the National House soon on land reform.

We have to work on the implementation of measures on land reform to allow communities who missed the 1998 land claims application deadlines to still apply for land that was taken away from them as part of the cruel colonial land dispossession. We are also exploring means of allowing those who were dispossessed before 1913 to also obtain justice, as mentioned in the State of the Nation Address.

You will assist us in encouraging those who get their land back to use it and not resell it. Selling the land, at times back to the previous “owner”, defeats the purpose of changing land ownership patterns. The programme of reversing land dispossession must be undertaken in a manner that corrects the injustice while also promoting agricultural stability and food security. With the support of traditional leaders, the land reform programme will be successful in all respects.

Esteemed leaders of our people,

The second point I wish to discuss today is nation building. We meet during a period when our country has experienced heightened incidents of violence against women and children, and other forms of violence. These incidents remind us that we come from an immensely violent culture. We survived a cruel system of governance which was described as a crime against humanity by the United Nations.

The apartheid system could only be sustained through violence, and violence became entrenched. When we correctly demanded freedom, equality, justice and human dignity, the response was violence, murder and mayhem. For that reason, our struggle became deliberately a struggle to eliminate all forms of violence. It was a struggle to achieve a peaceful, caring, stable society.

We cannot turn our backs on that legacy of dignified, principled struggle for peace, freedom, human rights and justice. That is why South Africans are outraged at the incidents of violence. However, in expressing our disgust, we should not lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of the 52 million South Africans are peaceful, caring, law abiding citizens.

They love their country. They do their best each day to make South Africa a better place. Therefore, when expressing outrage, we should be careful not to then paint all South Africans as violent and brutal. We should be careful not to rubbish our country. We should not and cannot lose faith in our own humanity and our collective ability to correct the wrongs that we see in our country.

We also dare not portray our beautiful country as an inherently violent place to live in. South Africa is a stable, peaceful country. Like all countries, there are elements that conduct themselves in a shocking and unacceptable manner. And like all countries, we will search for solutions.

We have all been correctly angered by the rogue elements and criminals who molest women and children and commit other extreme forms of violence. Others burn and loot properties during what should be peaceful protests. The outrage expressed by our people at such recent violent incidents in particular is most welcome as it indicates that South Africans have not lost their sense of right and wrong. Using this positive trait, we must now work closely together to find solutions.

Traditional leaders are well placed to work with government and other sectors to rebuild the moral fibre of our society. We believe it is important to look at the root causes while also addressing the symptoms of the sickness. The police are dealing with the symptoms in relation to criminal activities.

As far as general crime is concerned, the levels have decreased over the years. However, the crimes against women and children remain high and of concern. But the police continue to make inroads. During the last financial year, the Units secured over 363 life sentences, with a conviction rate of 73% for crimes against women above 18 years old and 70% for crimes against children under 18 years old.

With the support of the community, most suspects in the high profile rape and domestic violence cases have been arrested. I have also directed the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to implement measures to nip violent protests in the bud. We are doing this to build a culture of responsibility, accountability, respect for authority and respect for one another.

People have a right to protest, but there is no need to use violence to get the message across. We have at the same time instructed government to improve interaction with communities. Some people take to the streets because they feel nobody is listening to their grievances.

While the police will continue to arrest those who perpetrate such evil crimes, we also know that success in the fight against this scourge and against violence generally, depends on all of us and not only with the police.

We have identified the regeneration of the moral fibre and the strengthening of families and communities as a priority. Realising this challenge, plus the general weaknesses in the family structure in our society, the government has decided to fast-track the finalisation of the family policy. We have produced a White Paper on Families through the Department of Social Development, building on the Green Paper that was released for discussion last year.

We believe that the family is the foundation of society.  Our goal is to promote cohesive families, households and communities in South Africa, where violence, deviance and social decay would be non-existent. This is the foundation of a more caring, united and more prosperous South Africa.

We are aware of the diverse nature of families and households in our country. We have single parent households, granny-headed households, female-headed households, child-headed households and others. The period of apartheid colonialism brought immense pressure to bear on the African family in particular.

We have gone through a period of the migrant labour system and rapid urbanisation leading to the split in families with breadwinners moving to the cities. This put pressure on families leading to children growing up with one or neither of the parents. Sadly this continues to this day in some families, where parents can be called economic migrants.

The HIV and AIDS pandemic and the internecine violence of the 80s and 90s also contributed to the breakdown in family life. The triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment on their own wreak havoc on families and households. Inequality in income distribution is also large and persistent. Inequality according to race also remains rampant. Figures from Census 2011 confirm this stark inequality, and revealed that white households earn six times more than African households.

The average annual African household income is at R60 613 and the one of the white households is at R365 164. Close to 1.9 million African households reported no income at all. These are the socio-economic conditions we have to contend with, as we build united, cohesive, caring and stable families and communities. The situation does not make our task easy.

What is important in building new and caring communities is that everyone should play their part. We have seen shocking cases of parents who do not know where their children are at any given time, even at night. That is unacceptable. Parents must take responsibility for their children and children under their care. They cannot delegate this responsibility to the police or to government.

Beyond households and families, working together we must promote a culture of accountability as all sectors and leaders of society, including traditional leaders.
We all have a responsibility to socialise the youth to be caring, responsible and upright citizens.

They must know the values and ethos in our Constitution which pronounces against all forms of discrimination and violence. Promoting this accountability means that communities must be involved in the affairs of the schools in their jurisdictions. They must motivate the youth to go to school and support the teachers. No child must roam the streets during school hours and parents just look away.

The existence of taverns near the schools and the fact that owners allow school children to patronise these areas indicates the level of decay in our society. The abuse of alcohol, drugs and other substances is a contributory factor in some of the crimes that are committed. These matters may look small and insignificant but on a larger scale, they take us to the problems we face currently, of wanton lawlessness.

More importantly, I wish to highlight the role of men in building stronger families.
South Africa has a serious challenge of absent living fathers in many households, especially African households. The White Paper on Families states that absent living fathers is a common and increasing phenomenon affecting families in our country.

The proportion of fathers who are absent but living increased from 41.6 percent to 47.4 percent between 1996 and 2010. African children have the lowest proportion of present fathers at 31.1 percent, while Indian children have the highest at 83.0 percent, with White children following closely behind at 80.8 percent. For Coloured children the proportion is 53 percent.

It is noted that poverty, high rates of unemployment and financial constraints may contribute to large numbers of fathers failing to take responsibility for their children. However this should not be an excuse. Nothing stops a father from loving and caring for his children, even if he is poor.

It is well known that the presence of a father has a positive effect in a child’s life chances; academic performance; and social, emotional wellbeing. We salute all the mothers who raise children alone, under difficult circumstances.
Chairperson and compatriots,

We also have a responsibility to strengthen inter-generational solidarity and to improve relations between children, parents and grandparents. The older generation in particular needs support. The horror of the sexual molestation of senior citizens, some who are over 80 years of age has exposed the worst forms of moral decay in our society.

Our White Paper promotes inter-generational solidarity. This can include better caring for the aged, and sharing of wealth, skills and knowledge between generations. The nation building project requires all parties and stakeholders to play a role. We urge this House to help us promote a culture of respecting one another and of respect for authority and adherence to values that are enshrined in the Constitution.

Members of this House are aware that simple respect for one another, and the respect traditionally accorded to adults in society by those younger than them is becoming a scarce commodity. We cringe when we hear how some young people address older persons these days in discussions or debates. It is a symptom of the erosion of ubuntu and fundamental values.

The recent shocking incidents should shock us into positive action, by making us focus on what can bind us as the South African nation. We must identify how we can support families and households in distress, strengthen our communities and take forward the mission of building a caring, united and prosperous society.

Kgosi Maubane and the leadership of the House,

Your programme on cultural tourism has indeed attracted our attention. You seek to unearth the ancient shrines and catacombs of our ancestors hidden in caves. These graves are in need of preservation to boost domestic tourism as people are eager to see where epic resistance battles were fought.

Our country will benefit from learning how our ancestors worshipped. They want to trace their footprints as they traversed the continent, going to and from, south to north and back as free nomadic hunter gatherers and herder communities at peace with their environment.

We are waiting eagerly for the folklore to be translated into real stories and the indigenous knowledge to be revealed and integrated into the mainstream scientific knowledge.

The bones of our ancestors that have been found in some parts of the country need to be given life, flesh and a living spirit. They need to be turned into a site for living heritage and cultural tourism – a monument that all of us would want to visit as domestic tourists who are inquisitive about our past in order to navigate the future.

Out of such initiatives across the country, we will create jobs for tour guides, translators, entrepreneurs, traders and other trades as tourism has a way of unleashing creativity amongst the hosts, and of banishing poverty in the process. Similarly, the debilitated state of some of our declared heritage sites, particularly those in the rural areas is a cause for concern as some of them have been desecrated and vandalised.

I have asked the Department of Traditional Affairs to collaborate with the South African Heritage Resources Agency to attend to their rehabilitation. In the same vein, we call upon communities to act as guardians of these centres as they indeed are about who we are.

People who desecrate their heritage and sacred sites are doomed. The initiatives of the departments of Traditional affairs and Tourism will make cultural tourism a new weapon against rural poverty, unemployment and deprivation.

Chairperson and Honourable members of this House,

I am pleased that the Khoi and San leadership under the National Khoi-San Council are with us in this chamber today. We are aware that the legislation meant to integrate their structures into the mainstream of traditional leadership institutions has taken longer than it was anticipated.

I want to take this opportunity to reiterate government’s commitment to redressing this apartheid legacy, that is, their exclusion from traditional leadership institutions.

Compatriots,

Our country has great potential and can be anything we want it to be. It is upon this cadre of leadership gathered here to make of our country the best it can be, a winning nation. I urge you to join our nation building campaign. Let us do everything possible to build more cohesive communities.

Traditional leaders, as the leaders of our people, are well-placed to assist us in this campaign of reversing moral degeneration and building societies where there is respect for human life, human dignity and respect for every person regardless of their station in life.

I wish you well in 2013.

I thank you!

Issued by: The Presidency
7 Mar 2013


Ndiza Lodge You will find Ndiza Lodge & Cabanas nestled onto the verge of the Wetlands. With easy access to the restaurants, supermarkets and rest of the town yet private and quiet. Contact: http://www.ndizalodge.co.za/ Amanda de Gaspary 083 442 1896 Email: info@ndizastlucia.co.za



Electricity key to development: Zuma

Ladysmith – As South Africa forges on with its infrastructure build, electricity remains a key developmental goal with government aiming to electrify every household in the country, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.

The rollout of electricity supply in remote areas is important to improve the lives of people, he added. Zuma was speaking following his first tour of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme.

“This is an important visit at this significant project,” said Zuma, adding that such visits are undertaken to assess progress made in key projects that government is implementing as part of monitoring and evaluation.

“Ingula is a significant part of the infrastructure development plan,” he added of the massive plan to turn the country into a massive construction site aimed at primarily developing the country’s rural areas.

Zuma’s visit follows on an earlier trip to the Medupi power plant in Lephalale, Limpopo. The President was impressed with the progress made at the plant.

“We are winning in our efforts to ensure adequate supply for household use and industrial use,” he said, adding that the recent results of Census 2011 had shown that over 80% of the country now had access to electricity compared to the 58% in the 1996 census.

“This is a significant improvement. When we visit such sites it is meaningful for every South African. The importance of electricity cannot be over emphasised,” Zuma said, following the tour of the plant that will come on line in 2014 on phased intervals.

The visit, he said, gave people hope that power will come to all households.

“We don’t ever want people to doubt the security of supply, it’s in the national interest,” he said.

Zuma was accompanied to the storage scheme that consists of an upper and lower dam, each with a capacity of approximately 22 millioln cubic metres of water by Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters and Eskom CEO Brian Dames among others.

The erratic supply of electricity in previous years had cost the country, the President told a packed marquee at the plant surrounded by lush greenery.

The Ingula project will cost R23 billion. The infrastructure plan involves several SIP including SIP 9: Electricity generation to support socio-economic development. This is so as to accelerate the construction of new electricity generation capacity in accordance with the country’s energy plan namely the IRP2010 tomeet the electricity generation needs of the country to ensure economic growth as well as to address historical imbalances.

“The project will cost R23 billion. The country’s infrastructure plan will change the lives of people,” he said, adding that this will provide jobs and grow the economy. “This is a very unique site,” he said.

Eskom board member Collin Matjila said the power parastatal has taken note of the importance of sustainable development; hence the parastatal has integrated this into its plans.

“Twenty years from now coal will contribute less to [electricity supply] and renewable energy will play a bigger role,” he said, adding that supply will be tight in the short and medium term.

Gigaba agreed with Matjila, adding that security of supply will be tight but that government is working on ensuring supply in the future.

The President unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit to Ingula. – SAnews.gov.za

Wrong to believe inequality has widened since 1994 – Zuma

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 01 Nov 2012
Title: Wrong to believe inequality has widened since 1994 – Zuma

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma said it was wrong and scientifically not true that the gap between the rich and poor had widened since 1994, and that this amounted to an attack on the democratic government.

Addressing the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Zuma argued that before 1994, inequality was never measured and that only a minority of people were measured because a huge proportion of the country pushed into homelands were not measured, while some did not even have birth certificates.

“It has not been growing since 1994, it has been narrowing. The only problem is that while it’s narrowing, the gap is too big,” he said.

Zuma said when Group Areas Act restrictions were lifted, people flooded to the cities, where the infrastructure was not built to handle such an influx.

“It’s a manipulation of the words, to make us who are in a democratic country responsible for the sins that happened in apartheid,” he said.

The President said during apartheid, black businesses had not been allowed to be part of the mainstream economy, but were limited to running a few cornershops, but today black people ran serious businesses while a number are listed on the JSE.

On top of this 15 million poor people, who never had social grants before, now get grants.

“If that isn’t closing the gap, what is it?” he questioned.

South Africa would celebrate National Children’s Day on Saturday, and Zuma said the results of Census 2011, released on Tuesday, points out that the country had made advances in education.

He said the census results showed that the proportion of no-schooling had halved between 1996 and 2011, that there had been a huge increase in enrolment in those from pre-school to tertiary education and that the percentage of those that pass matric had also increased – from 16% in 1996 to 29% in 2011.

He said he had met with SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) this week and stressed that it was a matter that one could not play with.

“Education of our children is one very direct [way to ensure] nation building and investment of our future,” he said.

He also urged traditional leaders to work with teachers, pupils and the Department of Education.

“If we solve education, we would have solved half of the problems in this country,” he said.

More also needed to be done to advance rural development to stem the tide on rising migration from rural to urban areas, he said, pointing to the significant increase in migration to cities that Census 2011 highlighted.

Zuma called on traditional leaders to use their time at the house sessions to debate ways to improve rural development and so assist government in sharpening its rural support programmes.

“If we use this time to deal with disputes and tensions, then we are missing the point,” he said.

While people from different tribal groups were divided under apartheid, the National House of Traditional Leaders brought these tribes to discussed shared matters.

A new Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims, comprised of five full-time commissioners and headed by Bagudi Tolo, had since it came into office in January 2011, received 1 244 claims.

So far 139 claims and disputes had already been processed.

Zuma said this meant it was likely that the commission would finalise all claims by 2015 when its term comes to an end.

Turning to the Traditional Courts Bill, Zuma said government had come to the realisation, following public hearings both in Parliament and in local communities, that there were genuine concerns as traditional courts operate outside a proper legislative framework.

He said all the concerns raised in respect of the Bill were being addressed as part of the on-going parliamentary process.

The government, through the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, had put forward certain recommendations on the bill.

He said the bill should also address the gender prejudices and patriarchal tendencies of the past.

The government also wants the bill to be improved to ensure that the right of access to court enshrined in the Constitution is not undermined, he said.

“This would give people the right to access ordinary courts of law where such courts have jurisdiction over the dispute.

“Another recommendation is that the appeal dispensation contemplated in the bill should be revised as it is undesirable for the decisions of traditional courts to be taken on appeal to courts of law which apply a different value system,” he said.

He said these recommendations will guide possible amendments to the Traditional Courts Bill by the National Council of Provinces.

He said there are initiatives by Parliament to extend the deadline of 31 December 2012 for comment on the bill.

Zuma also extended his condolences to chiefs in the Eastern Cape who lost followers in the Marikana shooting.

He also thanked those traditional leaders who visited Marikana to talk to the workers there.

The shooting did not mean South Africa was sliding back to how things were under apartheid, he said, pointing out that such shootings in apartheid were a daily occurrence.

“Today it is wrong to equate one incident to a system (apartheid),” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

Cabinet Lekgotla to measure progress

Pretoria – The review of state-owned entities, progress made on infrastructure and top government priorities will feature prominently at the Cabinet Lekgotla which began in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, told reporters at the start of the meeting that several reports indicating government’s progress on several issues will be discussed in the next two days.

“The Lekgotla will receive a report from the presidential review commission on parastatals as well as the report on the progress made by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC),” Chabane said.

There will also be deliberations on the administration’s progress in education, health, safety and security, fighting crime and corruption as well as job creation.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the Presidential State Owned Enterprises Review Committee in May 2010, to review the role of SOEs in the country.

The appointment of the committee was a response to the acknowledgement that there was a need to strengthen the role of SOEs to ensure that they respond to a clearly defined public mandate and support the developmental aspirations of government.

It was further guided by the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2009 to 2014.

The MTSF states the need for the review of state owned enterprises as part of the economic transformation agenda of government.

Government had found that while these entities remain financially viable, SOEs, development finance institutions as well as companies in which the state has a significant shareholding must respond to a clearly defined public mandate, and help government to build a developmental state.

The PICC, which is chaired by the President, was tasked to oversee the country’s infrastructure plan as part of speeding up progress on major infrastructure projects.

The plan, first announced by Zuma in his State of the Nation address in February, lists 17 strategic integrated projects that cut across energy, transport and logistics infrastructure to schools, hospitals and nursing colleges. The projects cover economic and social infrastructure across all nine provinces, with an emphasis on undeveloped areas and opportunities. Energy projects will focus on supporting sustainable “green” energy initiatives through a diverse range of clean energy options.

The Lekgotla also takes place at time the country is still reeling in shock following the tragic killing last month of striking mine workers in Marikana, North West.

Asked if the meeting would discuss the Marikana tragedy, Chabane said: “While the issue is not part of the Lekgotla, Cabinet may request a report of the IMC (Inter-ministerial Committee) which deals with this matter so it may arise”. – SAnews.gov.za

President Zuma congratulates du Toit for winning gold

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has congratulated swimmer Natalie du Toit for becoming the first South African to win a gold medal for Team South Africa in the London Paralympics Games on Thursday.

Swimming her final Paralympics, du Toit won gold in the women’s 100-metre butterfly final (S9 class) on the first day of the competition. She clocked a winning time of 1min 09.30sec.

“We warmly congratulate Natalie for once again uniting our country in the pride and glory of this Paralympic achievement and we are confident of more medals to come from the Paralympic Team South Africa,” said President Zuma.

SASCOC chief executive officer, Tubby Reddy also congratulated du Toit. “Natalie has shown us by her performances both in Athens and Beijing that she is a reliable source of excellence when it comes to swimming.

“We are hoping that she will win many more medals and also helps inspire the rest of Team South Africa for the remainder of the Paralympic Games.”

At the last Paralympic Games in Beijing four years ago, du Toit won five gold medals as South Africa ended sixth on the medals table with 30 medals (21 gold).

South Africa’s Olympic Committee chose du Toit to carry their flag at the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, making her the first athlete to carry a flag in both Olympics and Paralympics in a single year.

The Paralympics continue until 9 September. – SAnews.gov.za

Zuma launches Kanana Park housing project

Kanana Park – Timred Jabaza has been waiting 22 years for a decent home – but on Friday his long wait finally came to an end when President Jacob Zuma handed him the key to his new, fully furnished two-bedroom house.

Jabaza was one of the first beneficiaries of the more than 200 new houses that Zuma handed over in Kanana Park Ext 3 on Friday.

Others who will be benefitting from the new homes include those were found living in uninhabitable conditions when the President visited Sweetwaters and Thulamntwana in 2010.

Following that visit, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the City of Johannesburg began developing the Kanana Park housing project, which will incorporate the settlements of Thulamntwana, Sweetwaters and the two smaller informal settlements of Doornkuil and Bhekaphambili.

A total of 3 101 houses are being built, 1 793 of which are government subsidised housing units, 756 social-rental units and 552 bonded units.

Parks, two sports grounds, two primary schools, a high school, a clinic, and commercial and light industrial sites are also being planned for the area.

Jabaza’s daughter Kholeka Jabaza said it was wonderful to see one of her father’s dreams finally realised. “It wasn’t nice staying in a shack, especially at his age. It was not easy. My father has been waiting for 22 years and his day has finally arrived,” she beemed.

Kholeka was particularly pleased that Zuma, who had promised better living conditions for residents during his 2010 visit, had kept his word.

“It’s been less than two years and already it’s happened. I’m so grateful. I just hope that he can do the same for everyone who has been living in those conditions,” she added.

Patience Mehlomekhulu will also spend the first night in her own decent home on Friday.

The 74-year-old had been living in a shack with her grandchildren were conditions were far from ideal. “It was so cold I could not sleep at night. Tonight I will sleep in my new house for the first time. I am very happy,” she said.

Zuma, who was accompanied by a number of representatives from national and provincial government, also addressed a community meeting after handing over the houses.

He said he was touched when he visited the area in 2010 and found that people were living in dire poverty.

Plans were in place to develop the area and those plans were speeded up after his visit.

“Everyone on the list will get a house…Everything takes time … things will not happen in one day but at the end everyone will have a house,” Zuma assured residents.

He also promised that there would be electricity and other services in the area.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the Kanana Park housing projects would be a mixed development. Apart from the “give away houses”, houses will also be built for affordable rentals.

“We are providing for families,” she said.

Millions had been earmarked to build houses and develop the area, she said. – SAnews.gov.za

President Zuma unveils memorial site where Mandela was arrested

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has unveiled a memorial site dedicated to Nelson Mandela in Howick, where he was arrested in 1962.

Marking the fateful day of August 5, 1962, Zuma, who unveiled Madiba’s statue on Saturday, reiterated that the monument should speak to all like a scared shrine and a place that must be treated with the utmost respect.

He said the arrest of Madiba in Howick had automatically turned the town into a heritage site and it would help raise awareness about the historic injustice meted out by the racist apartheid regime while also promoting tourism and job creation.

“We must encourage generations to visit this place to see Madiba’s last point as a free man, those who do so, will be inspired by the sacrifice, commitment and dedication to this country and its people.

“Children in particular should be encouraged to visit the various liberation heritage sites around the country so that they can know and understand their country’s rich political history and its national heroes,” said Zuma.

He added that the occasion gave all of them an immense sense of pride and joy as it was a reminder of the rich political heritage of the country.

“Madiba has achieved a lot in his 94 years of life, although he has always remained modest and humble. Today we celebrate that sterling and visionary leadership that he displayed even in most trying conditions during the struggle for liberation…we celebrate lessons from Madiba one of which is humble leadership.”

Zuma also noted that Howick was famous for its scenery with beautiful hills and its close proximity to the magnificent Howick Falls, a major landmark and a tourist destination for many who visit the area. – SAnews.gov.za

Zuma recognises military veterans


Bloemfontein – President Jacob Zuma as the Commander-in-Chief of the South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) has bestowed military veterans with awards in recognition of their contribution to the country’s freedom and democracy.

These are the people who contributed immensely and selflessly to the achievement of the country’s democracy.

According to the 2011 Military Veterans Act, a military veteran is any South African who rendered military service to any of the military organisations, former statutory and liberation armies, which were involved on all sides of South Africa’s liberation war from 1960 to 1993, served in the then Union Defence Force before 1961 or became a member of the SANDF after 1994 and has completed his or military training and no longer performs military duties, and has not been dishonourably discharged from his or her respective military organisation.

Recognising the military veterans at a ceremony in Bloemfontein on Thursday, Zuma said it was imperative to celebrate those who dedicated their lives to democracy. “Their sacrifices are not in vain, they sacrificed their lives so we can enjoy our freedom,” he said.

He described the military veterans as people who dedicated their lives to liberating the country regardless of what the price of democracy was.

“People should not take our democracy for granted, there are people who died for it,” he said, emphasising the need to reflect on the past.

He said military veterans had endured hardships imposed by the then apartheid government and that they deserved to be recognised.

“Some left their families and experienced pains so we can enjoy freedom,” he said.

The military veterans were honoured in four categories, namely Platinum I, II, III and the fourth being the Gold Bravery Medal for those who executed acts of bravery.

Platinum Class I was given to the founding members of the former uMkhonto we Sizwe who distinguished themselves by significant acts of valour, conspicuous acts of bravery, daring and pre-eminent acts of self-sacrifice and extreme devotion to duty in the presence of an evil and oppressive apartheid regime thus paving the way for the obliteration of apartheid and the formation of a fully democratic South Africa.

Platinum II was awarded to members of the National High Command of uMkhonto we Sizwe and those arrested with them at Rivonia and who served with them in Robben Island.

Platinum Class III was awarded to members who were in the former Regional Command structures of uMkhonto we Sizwe organisation who distinguished themselves by significant acts of valour, conspicuous acts of bravery in the presence of an evil and oppressive apartheid state thus paving the way for the formation of a fully democratic South Africa.

Among the recipients was the late Chris Hani who was represented by his wife Limpho Hani who expressed her delight at the recognition of military veterans.

“I applaud government for recognising the military veterans,” she said, adding that government must keep it up and continue to recognise them.

Former President Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Goven Mbeki were awarded with Platinum Class II awards. Former President Thabo Mbeki was awarded Platinum Class I award.

Most of the veterans were represented by family members.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula described the veterans as ordinary people who responded in extraordinary ways in extreme times.

“They rose to the call because they wanted to protect their country and its people against apartheid … today we honour our heroes and heroines, remember their achievements, their courage and their dedication,” she said.

Since the inception of the Department of Military Veterans and enactment of the Military Veterans Act, Act no 18 of 2011, the department has accomplished many of its mandated tasks aimed at servicing and honouring veterans.

Recently, the department called on all military veterans to register so that they can access their benefits. – SAnews.gov.za

SADC mediates Madagascar talks

 

Pretoria – The Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Organ Troika has agreed that the political leaders of Madagascar should reconvene to conclude the outstanding issues stemming from the implementation of the roadmap.

This was the outcome of the SADC Troika Summit aimed at resolving the Malagasy political crisis which was presided over by President Jacob Zuma in Seychelles.

The meeting saw President Andry Rajoelina and the man he toppled in 2009, Marc Ravalomanana meeting face to face for the first time.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the Troika said the presence of the two leaders in the meeting was a clear indication of their commitment towards finding a lasting solution to end the political crisis in the country.

“Discussions were cordial and the participants displayed good leadership. All the parties were satisfied with the progress that had been made in bringing H.E Andry Rajoelina and H.E Marc Ravalomanana together in search for a lasting political solution in Madagascar,” read the statement.

The rivals are set to hold talks in the coming weeks to try and break the deadlock.

Last month, the SADC summit in Angola had instructed the parties to conclude reconciliation talks by 31 July.

The Indian Island has been in crisis since 2009 when then opposition leader Rajoelina ousted president Ravalomanana, who was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of demonstrators by elite troops. -SAnews.gov.za