Bua Briefs 124

13 June 2008

World Refugee Day for a better Africa and a better World

All hands on deck to integrate displaced people back into communities

As we mark World Refugee Day, 20 June 2008, we acknowledge the socio-economic problems affecting displaced people from other countries, and the burden on families, women, children and the elderly whose lives are destroyed by violence. We must ensure that they are safe and cared for until they are reintegrated into their communities. Let us offer them our support and understanding during this difficult time.

We reflect on the humanitarian issues facing millions of displaced people on the continent. We pledge our commitment to protecting their rights to safety, shelter and healthcare in our country

South Africa is a signatory to the Geneva Protocol on Refugees [PDF] 301 kb and will fulfil its obligation to protect all foreign nationals in the country. The 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention ensures the basic human rights of vulnerable persons and that refugees will not be returned involuntarily to a country where they face persecution.

As a signatory to this protocol, and as a country that cherishes human rights, we have to protect the basic rights of every human being within our borders, including foreign nationals.

According to the United Nations, some 40 million people worldwide are displaced in other countries due to violence, forcing people to flee their homes as a result of complex reasons such as exclusion, competition for scarce resources, injustice and social pressures.

As part of our international obligations, we are committed to protecting the rights of displaced people from other countries to safety, shelter and health, focusing special attention on the most vulnerable people, particularly women and girls.

Community and political leaders and organisations in every sector of society are urged to use every opportunity to educate South Africans about the need to co-exist with people from other countries

People from other countries bring with them skills and experience, which are not in abundance in South Africa. Foreign nationals have made a meaningful contribution to our economic growth as a nation. They are engineers, doctors, teachers, technicians, auditors, accountants and managers.

We encourage our communities not only to live with foreign nationals but also to involve them in communal efforts to fight and prevent crime and engage them in developmental matters. They should feel at home and be part of the community in every respect.

We are committed to ensuring that people from other countries are accepted in our communities as our brothers and sisters – in the spirit of Ubuntu — they must feel safe and have a sense of belonging.

All community members are encouraged to actively oppose any violence and to report any such acts to the relevant authorities. They should be vigilant and avoid being manipulated by criminal elements who seek to exploit people’s fears and concerns.

Government’s doors are always open for any person who wishes to raise any concerns regarding humanitarian relief, the temporary shelters and its conditions, and the safety of people from other countries


Youth Development Month 2008

Active participation in democratic processes by South Africa’s youth is key to speeding up the progress the country has made since we achieved our freedom

This year, a special call is being made on all the youth of our country to actively participate in further entrenching democracy, social cohesion and the values enshrined in our Constitution as well as to push the boundaries of the progress achieved in the 14 years of democracy. South Africa truly belongs to ALL who live in it.

National Youth Day, 16 June 2008, marks the anniversary of the Soweto Uprising of 1976. After 14 years of democracy, it is time to speed up change and ensure that young people become the leaders of tomorrow

On 16 June, we remember and celebrate the efforts of the youth of our country in our struggle for liberation and a better life for all. We do not forget their struggles and sacrifices.

Let us use the democratic platforms to raise our concerns. Let us reduce the level of crime and stop acts that undermine the rule of law, by displaying respect for these institutions.

Through employment opportunities, improving skills among the youth and promoting social cohesion in our communities, we must act in the spirit of ”Business Unusual” to sustain the gains of democracy.

All young people, irrespective of race, gender, ability, nationality, etc MUST UNITE and WORK TOGETHER to LEAD the fight AGAINST attacks on people from other countries as a collective power

As future leaders we must work tirelessly to rid the country and continent of racism, xenophobia and all unnecessary hatred towards people from other countries.

As the leaders of tomorrow, the youth are champions of the rights, security and welfare of all Africans, regardless of the geographic boundaries.

Government calls on the youth of our country to actively oppose the recent violent attacks on people from other countries. All youth organisations should actively oppose any violence and report any such acts to the relevant authorities.

We have overcome apartheid; so we must also get rid of racism and xenophobic violence and create a society that truly belongs to all who live in it.

During Youth Month, government is highlighting efforts to profile the organisations and programmes it has put in place to help young people access opportunities to improve their lives

While millions of young people benefit from development programmes, many still face the challenges of unemployment, lack of skills and limited opportunities.

The National Youth Commission, Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the South African Youth Council must continue working together to realise the holistic youth-development approach. The adoption of the Integrated Youth Development Strategy will enhance the interventions targeting youth poverty and underdevelopment to achieve our 2014 vision.

The National Youth Service Programme, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund, the Expanded Public Works Programme, the Community Development Workers initiative and learnerships are just some of the exciting opportunities enabling young people to participate meaningfully in the country’s socio-economic development.

We must seize the opportunities and work both with government and the private sector to extend the reach of these opportunities. In the same token, a call goes out to companies to strengthen their practical contribution towards youth development. Public-private partnerships will go far in helping open the opportunities of democracy to young people.

All hands on deck: celebrate the struggles of the young people; seize the opportunities brought about by democracy


2010 Fifa World Cup™ promotional event, 24 June 2008, Vienna

Since the awarding of the rights to South Africa to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, government and our host cities have been steadfast in ensuring that we deliver the first World Cup on African soil. This World Cup will create a lifetime legacy for the African people because of the long-term benefits that will be witnessed long after we have hosted this event. South Africa will be an enhanced destination for business and tourism. However, a lot more needs to be done to promote the country. The recent attacks on people from other countries have created negative perceptions about our country in some parts of the world. We are confident that we have effective interventions in place to ensure that our country retains its political and economic stability.

We are celebrating the hosting of the most prestigious football event in Africa, the 2010 FIFA World Cup™

South Africa will be the stage for the 2010 World Cup tournament and Africa will be the theatre.

The world is confident that South Africa will host a successful World Cup, hence we say to the world “Ke nako, celebrate Africa’s humanity”.

South Africa remains a holiday destination for many — more than nine million people visited South Africa last year, an 8% increase on 2006 and almost twice the growth enjoyed by the global industry.

We will reach, and even exceed, 10 million tourist arrivals by 2010!

We are meeting our commitment to ensure the success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, which will bring about lasting developments in our country and on the continent

Some R20 billion will be invested in various infrastructure projects, including R9,6 billion for transport and R8,4 billion for support to the host cities.

Some R1,5 billion will support the International Broadcasting Centre and other aspects of information and communications technology infrastructure.

Overall, the support of the South African Government will be more than R30 billion.

Through this World Cup, we will improve our skills deficit and expedite the implementation of the United Nations’ millennium development goals (MDGs)

Approximately 15 000 volunteers will render services prior and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. This is one of the areas where the warmth, friendliness and humility of the South African people are expected to be felt by all our visitors.

Our partners are using the 2010 World Cup to accelerate programmes such as Siyadlala to promote sports development, including football.

We will enhance skills and services, especially in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

The investment in this event will enable South Africa to realise some of the UN’s MDGs and the objectives behind its Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa.

The 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP™ promotional event will take place at the Arts and Culture Zone in Karlsplatz, Vienna, on 24 June 2008. This event will take place during the Euro 2008 football tournament. It is aimed at showcasing the host country South Africa (of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and the 2010 World Cup), to the international media, the football family, potential commercial partners and stakeholders from the tourism industry. The activities include an exhibition showcasing host cities, a media roundtable discussion, panel discussion sessions and a range of interactive arts and culture activities that are aimed at making participants “experience” South Africa.