Bua Briefs 126

7 August 2008

War on Poverty Campaign

The War on Poverty Campaign was commissioned by The Presidency with the Deputy President as the champion. The campaign’s approach is to make door-to-door visits to uncover household needs and to interview key stakeholders in the community to establish community needs. The campaign will be launched on 14 August 2008 in the Xhariep District Municipality in the Free State and in two more provinces later in the same month.

The Ten-Year Review [PDF] 2159 kb revealed that anti-poverty programmes provided by different government departments since 1994 have made a positive impact on the life of poor people

Government’s various grant systems now reach over 12 million people, while the expenditure on social assistance will total R75,3 billion in 2009.

We have successfully mainstreamed our anti-poverty initiatives into the planning and implementation of government programmes and in the budgeting process.

Our challenge is to ensure that households know about these programmes and can access them and that the poor have social networks to help break the poverty cycle.

Despite the wide range of anti-poverty programmes, we need to co-ordinate monitoring and ensure that these programmes are making an impact to get poor households out of poverty

Through this campaign, we will ensure that the relevant implementing departments or agencies follow up poor households in need of services that they are eligible for.

The War on Poverty Campaign will ensure effective monitoring and aftercare with respect to service delivery.

It is the foundation of a longer term and lasting compact at a very local level to eradicate poverty. The campaign is an ongoing deepening of partnerships between all sectors – and we are in this together.

Poverty cannot continue in a free and democratic South Africa. It robs all of us of our dignity

The War on Poverty seeks to bring a better life for communities and poor households. Poor families have an obligation to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by democracy.

We appeal to individuals within households, social movements, civil- society groups, businesses and faith-based organisations to join hands in this war – our collective efforts have changed South Africa for the better once before – let’s do it again.

Our adoption of the Apex Projects has significantly strengthened our ability to deliver in an integrated manner through mutually agreed plans between the three spheres of government.

This firm undertaking will ensure that co-ordination, monitoring and efficiency among government stakeholders are significantly improved in order to deliver

Business unusual: all hands on deck; let’s mobilise against poverty


Women’s Month

Women’s Day on 9 August commemorates the historic anti-pass march of 1956. In commemorating this event, government calls on all sectors of society to acknowledge the heroic struggles and sacrifices of women who struggled for democracy, socio-economic progress, equality and opportunities for all. Government also calls on women to continue to work together and build on the gains of democracy.

The commemoration of Women’s Day reaffirms the power of women to work together to bring about fundamental change in society

The historic anti-pass march of 1956 placed women at the forefront of the political struggle against oppression and indignity.

This year, the anniversary coincides with the 90th anniversary of the Bantu Women’s League and the 50th anniversary of the Zeerust anti-pass march, all marches that marked the heroic struggles of women for a free and non- sexist South Africa.

Women are actively participating in further entrenching democracy, social cohesion and the values enshrined in our Constitution.

Our collective efforts will ensure our vision of a truly non-sexist society in which women are seen as equal partners in our quest for a better life for all.

Our policies and programmes continue to empower women towards gender equality, both in the public and private sectors and within society as a whole

To date, the number of women in government across all salary levels totals 649 718, compared to 536 688 men.

White females stand at 56%, while coloured, African and Asian women follow closely behind with representation at 55,2%; 54,8%; and 47,4% respectively.

The percentage of women in the Senior Management Service grew by 2% from March 2007 to March 2008.

The representation of women in Cabinet has steadily increased over the years with 42% being female ministers.

Women hold 40% of deputy minister posts, while four of the nine premiers that head provincial governments in South Africa are female. This entails a 303% increase from the one female Premier in 1994.

The representation of women in local government increased from 29% in 2004 to 42% in 2006.

Since 1998, 23 women have been appointed as ambassadors and high commissioners. There has been an increase of 188% in the number of women appointed as heads of missions.

There are 229 women employed in missions abroad, including ambassadors and high commissioners.

More than ever before, women enjoy rights and privileges in accordance with our Constitution

We have made a conscious decision to integrate women’s emancipation, empowerment, equality and poverty eradication in initiatives such as the Expanded Public Works Programme, with women accounting for 47% of the total (439 099) job opportunities created between April 2004 and April 2008.

A total number of 31 291 women benefited from land redistribution and tenure reform between 1994 and 31 March 2008.

Government has created platforms for women to interact on a regular basis with the Executive. These include, among other things, the Women Working Group, Women in Science and Women in Agricultural Development.

The private sector continues to appoint women in significant decision- making positions and forums

The number of co-operates employing 25% and more female directors and executive managers increased from 31 to 58 between 2007 and 2008.

Female executive management increased from 14,7% in 2004 to 25,3% in 2008 – in real terms, this number grew from 739 to 1 227 women.

The total number of chief executive officers has increased from seven to 13, from a low base of 1,9% to 3,9%.

Female chairs of boards have increased from 11 to 13.

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) have moved well ahead of the JSE-listed entities. All 17 (100%) SOEs have three or more female directors on their executive.

It is government’s commitment to ensure that all its collective programmes liberate women from the reality of racism, sexism, poverty and under-development in both rural and urban areas


Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit

The Summit for SADC Heads of States and Government will take place in Sandton, South Africa, from 16 to 17 August 2008. South Africa will host the SADC Summit and will assume the chair of the community for a year. The Free Trade Area (FTA) will also be launched during the summit.

South African welcomes the opportunity to chair the summit and believes this will afford it an opportunity to contribute to further development in the region

SADC should enhance regional political cohesion with a special focus on strengthening institutions of governance and regional economic integration.

In this period, the regional integration agenda will pay attention to economic partnership agreement negotiations, food security and the global economic slow-down impacting on food prices.

South Africa supports the establishment of a dedicated focal point within the Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment Directorate at the SADC Secretariat to co-ordinate the Customs Union programme and to ensure coherence between the activities of the Technical Working Group and other SADC structures.

South Africa is involved in and remains committed to support peace-keeping and post-conflict and reconstruction efforts on the continent.

The theme of the SADC FTA is: "SADC FTA for Growth, Development and Wealth Creation"

The FTA provides preferential space towards regional business and its citizens by opening up opportunities for investment by reducing market risk and transactions costs, and by creating a network of regional businesses interconnection.

The FTA is a vital stepping stone towards a SADC Common Market, where the movement of people would be unrestricted and free.

Freeing trade in the region will create a larger market, releasing the potential for trade, economic growth and employment creation.

The private sector and other stakeholders have been widely canvassed on how the SADC FTA will affect them.

Together building regional integration for economic growth.


Economic highlights

Investment in construction will last until 2015

  • Infrastructural activity is gaining momentum, with civil-engineering contracts valued at R17 billion awarded in the second quarter of this year compared with about 2,5 billion in same period for 2001, achieving a compound growth rate of 10% a year compared with the 4% gross domestic product growth since 2000.

South African defence company gets yet another big order from the United States (US)

  • The US Department of Defence has placed an order for the South African company BAE Systems Land Systems OMC’s RG31 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles worth more than R1,5 billion. The order is for 773 RG31 Mk5Es, of which 440 will be built in South Africa.