17 June 2010
Working together for youth development through action
South Africa commemorated Youth Day on 16 June 2010. This marked the 34th Anniversary of the Soweto Uprisings in 1976. This commemoration took place within the context of the first anniversary of the establishment of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). The Youth Month Programme was unveiled on 1 June 2010 and aims to interact with and bring government services closer to young people throughout the month and beyond.
Opportunities brought by democracy require all of society to work together in improving the social conditions of young people who still live in poverty and distress
- While all citizens of South Africa, irrespective of age, enjoy human rights enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, youth have a responsibility to promote their rights and defend our democracy.
- Society should strengthen relationships within families to create a safe and caring environment where young people are able to have more positive and healthy lifestyles. Social ills and lack of access to basic social services impact negatively on youth development.
- Youth development in South Africa is everyone’s responsibility, including young people themselves. It is upon every young person to become an agent of change.
Government is committed to continuously advance youth development
- The NYDA assists government in fulfilling its electoral mandate by, among other things, promoting quality basic education through the Matric Rewrite Programme, the National Youth Service Programme through which 50 000 youth have been targeted to establish cooperatives as well as professionalism of youth work in ensuring that youth workers are trained by March 2011.
- Since the launch of the agency, 7 593 loans were disbursed to microfinance enterprises to the value of R23 million, and 4 224 business consultancy services vouchers to the value of R33 467 520 were provided.
- There are 121 operational offices, 113 of which are partnerships with municipalities, to enable easy access to the agency’s products and services by all the youth across the country. For 2010/11, the agency plans to establish youth directorates in all municipalities and government departments.
The G8 will be hosted by Canada, in its Muskoka region, from 25 to 26 June 2010. The G8 Summit brings together the world’s major advanced economies – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America. Canada will also host the G20 Economic Summit from 26 to 27 June in Toronto, which is a coalition of the world’s foremost developed and developing nations.
Since 2001, some of the world’s developing countries have been invited to G8 outreach sessions held on the margins of the G8 Summit. South Africa has consistently participated in these meetings.
The G8 and G20 summits play a leading role in international affairs. In partnership with the global community, they must become more reflective of and responsive to the needs of the developing regions that are already mobilising themselves based on similar agendas.
- The G8, at its Yokohama Summit in Japan in 2008, sought to consider the inclusion of Mexico, Brazil, India, China and South Africa, therefore expanding the forum to 13 permanent members and making it more representative and responsive to the needs of the developing world.
- The need for a speedy implementation of the G8 Summit resolutions, in particular the deployment of resources to salvage vulnerable economies, cannot be over-emphasised.
- Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) is rapidly becoming a forum that effectively coalesces around developed and developing issues. South Africa’s intention to join BRIC has been endorsed by India and China. South Africa will seek support and endorsement from Brazil and Russia.
- For the G8 to remain credible and relevant in a rapidly changing global environment, it will have to ensure it becomes responsive to the developing world.
The G8 and G20 must also focus on the fulfilment of commitments towards the achievement of internationally agreed development goals
- There is a need to continue the engagement of the G8 through the G5 Outreach, which was established at Gleneagles, UK, in 2005 to dialogue on key political issues and economic policy questions and promote the evolution of an equitable global system of economic governance.
- A legally binding climate change agreement will contribute towards the sustainable development of the developing world and the achievement of the millennium gevelopment goals through greener technologies and energy sources.
- We need to prioritise the completion of the Doha Development Round, which will ensure that the developing countries have favourable access to markets in the developed world without restrictive conditions.
- A collective and coordinated global effort is needed to ensure sustainable growth, and to build a stronger and more effective international financial system through the comprehensive reform of international financial institutions.
The impact of the global financial crisis on the developing world with already existing constrained resources, requires a global fiscal response that helps alleviate the strain on developing countries
- International financial institutions must play an anti-cyclical role in support of the public and private sectors, transcending their traditional role of stimulators of economic growth in Africa.
- South African regulators have been effective in regulating such risk in the country’s banking system, which remains an example to the rest of the world.
- South Africa supports the expansion of credit facilities, including the introduction of the Flexible Credit Line and a more flexible range of instruments for low-income countries.
- We support the initiatives of the Financial Stability Board to improve the architecture of the financial regulatory system, and mechanisms to improve collaboration and coordination between countries.
The agenda of the G8 and G20 summits must be informed by the impact of the financial crisis on economic growth and the attainment of internationally agreed upon development goals
- A collective and coordinated effort is needed globally to ensure sustainable growth, and to build a stronger and more effective international financial system.
- We support the move to a more open, transparent and merit-based approach to choose the heads of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
- A coordinated and collaborative action and appropriate measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis on development is important.
- The United Nations and its member states must play a role in the ongoing International discussion on reforming and strengthening the international financial and economic system and architecture.
Successful opening and hosting of the World Cup
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has given South Africa a firm thumbs up after the first three days of the World Cup. Blatter said that they never had any doubt about the success of this tournament on African soil and now they were being proved right.
Commercial banks run extra hours
South African banks in all host cities have extended their operating hours for the duration of the World Cup to provide a more effective service to foreign visitors. Since the World Cup kick-off, banks, including First National Bank, Absa and Nedbank, have been operating until 19:00.
President Zuma seeks Indian investment into South Africa
President Jacob Zuma has described India as a crucial partner for South Africa's long- term economic growth strategy following his visit to India in a bid to strengthen economic and commercial interaction between the two countries. The partnership aims to ensure that both South Africa and India work further to deepen their already existing relations.
Increased spending during tournament
Foreign currency and local enthusiasm for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ have significantly contributed to the bottom line of some businesses in the retailing and hospitality industries in the first week of the tournament. This was despite fears that the global recession would force consumers to be cautious about their spending habits during the event.
Retail crime levels drop significantly
The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa says the number of armed robbery incidents aimed at retail outlets and shopping malls has decreased substantially to 14 per month since November last year, when the average number of robberies per month totalled 25.
Eskom completes R200-million Cape Town substation upgrade
Eskom has completed the R200-million upgrade of the Acacia substation in Cape Town. This upgrade forms part of Eskom's capacity expansion programme and was completed ahead of the World Cup to ensure reliable electricity supply during the soccer tournament.