Bua Briefs 7 of 2012

18 May, 2012 - 09:19 -- dimakatso

17 May 2012

Youth Month 2012

Following our liberation struggle and the dawn of democracy in South Africa in 1994, the Government declared 16 June as a national holiday in honour of all the youth of South Africa who led the fight against apartheid and all forms of discrimination. National Youth Day signifies the commitment by the South African Government to prioritise its youth. This year marks the 36th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto Uprisings and the third anniversary of the establishment of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

South Africa is one of the few countries in Africa that has an agency responsible for youth development, led by a Ministry in the highest office in the land, The Presidency. The NYDA was established under the NYDA Act, 2008 (Act 54 of 2008), with the mandate to initiate, design, coordinate, evaluate and monitor all programmes aimed at integrating the youth into the economy and society in general. The NYDA Act, 2008 gives the organisation a clear instruction to develop a National Youth Policy and an Integrated Youth Development Strategy and Plan for South Africa.

The National Youth Day commemoration event and Youth Month are organised by the NYDA. This government agency is mandated to lead the development and upliftment of young people and is another demonstration of government's commitment to its youth. The NYDA enhances the participation of young people in the economy through targeted and integrated programmes with the focus on career, skills, job and entrepreneurship development.

Youth Month will be commemorated and celebrated under the theme: "Together We Can Do More to Build Infrastructure and Fight Youth Unemployment, Poverty and Inequality" which includes a sub theme of "Youth Uniting for Economic Freedom". Various activities are planned, including the Youth Day celebrations in Eastern Cape on 16 June 2012 to be officiated by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma. Government calls on the business sector to invest more in the youth and prioritise them for skills development, employment and procurement opportunities. Youth Month will be used to communicate this message.

The Youth Train initiative aims to raise awareness and provide a platform for youth to engage with key stakeholders and the communities on the youth development issues.

Government declared 2011 and beyond as the year of job creation through meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth. In accelerating and providing a catalyst to realising government's drive for job creation and in meeting the five priorities of government, President Zuma invited the nation to partner with government in a massive infrastructure development drive that is a bold initiative aimed at transforming the economy, laying the basis for growth and jobs.

These national agenda setters provide a catalyst for youth empowerment and development opportunities. As such, the focus for this year's Youth Month commemoration will be on infrastructure and fighting youth unemployment, poverty and inequality.

While there have been many achievements of our country, and there is recognition that we are indeed better off than we were prior to 1994, many youth remain affected by socio-economic conditions and the dire need for skills development, employment and other opportunities. In ensuring the composite development of youth, an integrated approach needs to secure intellectual stimulation, creativity, innovation and a sense of self-worth and national identity in becoming active agents of socio-economic change.

Socio-economic development and employment creation for youth in rural and marginalised areas is a major priority for government. Government remains committed to work with young people to promote social cohesion and contribute towards nation-building. Government calls on all young people to take charge of their constitutional rights and become active agents for socio-economic change.

Key messages Supporting statements
Economic participation by youth is a critical for securing a better South Africa.
  • The National Youth Policy 2009 – 2014 is an essential planning tool guiding the country's approach to youth development. The NYDA continues to enhance the participation of young people in the economy through targeted and integrated programmes.
  • Young people across the country, including in rural areas, are becoming involved in infrastructure development programmes. Some of the programmes include:
    • The National Youth Service Programmeincludes collaboration with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to mainstream youth into major infrastructure and socio-economic projects.
    • The National Rural Youth Service Corps forms part of the Comprehensive Rural Development Strategy, which addresses the key priority of rural development, land reform and food production and security. The NYDA is a key partner of this programme, which recruits youth from rural communities and engages them in a two-year development programme that emphasises entrepreneurship and life-skills orientation.
  • The NYDA has successfully implemented numerous successful projects and is the ideal partner for youth development programmes, including with the private sector.
  • The NYDA products and services are available at its branches and local youth offices located at various municipalities. With more
Government calls on all sectors to rally behind the economic development of and job creation for our young leaders.

 

  • South Africa is investing billions on massive infrastructural projects, focusing on rail and road projects, economic links in five regions in the country, new universities and refurbished hospitals, etc.
  • Youth will be prioritised in the service procurement opportunities. Special attention will be given to major infrastructure projects, to ensure both value for money and development of local suppliers and support industries.
  • Government, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), municipalities and business must lead in opening up workplaces for apprenticeship, learnership and internship opportunities for the youth: together, turning every workspace into a training space.
  • The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), working with the main SOEs, will provide financial support within their responsibility areas, creating a public-public partnership model to drive infrastructure development.
  • The Department of Labour will participate in the 101st International Labour Organisation Conference's General Discussion Session on Youth Unemployment between 30 May and 15 June 2012. The outcomes thereof will assist the country in addressing its share of youth unemployment.
All young people are called into action to make education the most important priority in their lives!
  • Expanding further education and skills development is a key long-term priority of government, alongside improving the quality of basic education and broadening access to adult education programmes.
  • Government calls on all communities, parents and guardians to encourage young people, including disheartened ones, some of whom stand on street corners daily with no hope for the future, to come back to the education and training system, and benefit from vocational training.
  • Access to tertiary education will receive a boost in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape through the allocation of R300 million towards new universities for the two provinces.
  • Government is working with Further Education and Training (FET) colleges as well as higher learning institutions to provide skills and services required by poor students who qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and who are completely exempted from paying academic fees.
  • Sixty per cent of learners' benefit from no-fee schools in South Africa.
  • The youth must explore all possibilities available, including registering for learnerships through the Sector Education and Training system, participating in the National Skills Fund programmes, joining the South African National Defence Force as part of its Military Development Programme or participating in the EPWP.
A healthy, informed and empowered cadre of young people can drive the economy forward.
  • Youth potential is limitless. Thus, government calls on all youth to be active in building their communities and take full advantage of the available opportunities.
  • Youth activism has been directed at successfully tackling the challenges of combating poverty, unemployment, underdevelopment, substance abuse and HIV and AIDS.
  • Government calls on all sexually active youth to take ownership and responsibility by knowing their current status and getting tested. This will enable them to make informed decisions about protecting their negative status and preventing new infections in future.
  • We encourage the youth to contribute towards building safer communities by volunteering their services and participating in various structures that are meant to fight crime.
  • Volunteer your services and participate in various structures of your communities to acquire necessary life skills. Visit the NYDA offices near you and its website or speak to the agency to find out more about activities for the month and its programmes.
  • There will also be pop-up shops across the country open to the public throughout June 2012 where you can engage youth officials and acquire information regarding the different programmes and initiatives.
 

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Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP)

We are not just building roads - we are building a country

Key messages Supporting statements
What we stand for as government.
  • We are a government that cares and consults.
  • We are a government that partners with citizens and sectors in all sorts of issues, all of the time.
  • The process around e-tolls has not been any different.
  • We welcome public participation and respect public opinion.
  • It is in the nature of a young democracy and an emerging economy that tough choices will confront government and the country from time to time.
  • It is when the choices are tough that we need to work together particularly hard to find solutions.
  • When we differ, we need to maintain our respect for one another and put the best interest of the country ahead of the dispute of the day.

How we feel about the court decision.

  • Following the Inter-Ministerial Commission report, Cabinet will pronounce itself on the preferred route, whether to appeal or not.
We prioritise the views and issues of our people.
  • Cabinet has appointed a committee chaired by the Deputy President to coordinate all work around the GFIP.
  • Members of the committee include the ministers of Transport, Finance, Public Enterprises and The Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, and the Director-General in The Presidency.
  • This committee will move with urgency to ensure that the South African National Roads Agency Limited's (Sanral) financial stability is not affected in any way.
  • The committee will assess the Government's response to the North Gauteng High Court ruling and other related legal matters.
  • It will also meet with appropriate stakeholders to find constructive solutions and consensus on the outstanding matters.
Where we are now.
  • We have heard the people and we have heard the court, and will respond to both.
  • We are studying the judgment and considering our options, with the best possible outcome as an objective.
  • Following the resignation of the Chief Executive Officer of Sanral, the Department of Transport is working with the agency's board to ensure that Sanral discharges its responsibilities of operating and maintaining the national road network across the country.
  • We will work to ensure that nothing compromises the huge infrastructure programme, which is crucial for raising the level of South Africa's economic growth and for enhancing the standard of living of citizens, especially the poor and unemployed.
Let's work together to build better roads and a better South Africa.
  • The GFIP is not just about building roads; it is about building a better country.
  • However, government needs to find a sustainable way to finance, maintain and expand our national road network, which is crucial for the economy and citizens.
  • The R20-billion investment in the GFIP, which started in 2007, will benefit the residents and the economy of Gauteng, which is an important driver of national economic activity.
  • The decisions that we make and the steps that all of us as South Africans now take regarding the future of the GFIP will have serious implications for how we finance future infrastructure projects.
  • As we consider our options, we will not do anything that may impact negatively on our track record in the prudent management of government finances.

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The Global African Diaspora Summit

The Global African Diaspora Summit will be held on 25 May 2012 (Africa Day) at the Sandton Convention Centre. The summit, which will be attended by 64 heads of state, is hosted by the African Union (AU) in partnership with the South African Government and will take place under the theme Towards the Realisation of a United and Integrated Africa and its Diaspora.

The summit will be preceded by an African Diaspora Ministerial Meeting at the OR Tambo Building, Department of International Relations and Cooperation Head Office in Pretoria on 23 May 2012.

The AU has defined the African Diaspora as "consisting of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union".

Historians estimate that between the years 1500 and 1900, approximately four million enslaved Africans were transported to island plantations in the Indian Ocean, about eight million were shipped to Mediterranean-area countries, and about 11 million survived the Middle Passage to the New World.

In 2003, the first AU Extra-Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States decided to integrate the African Diaspora into the policy framework of the AU. This was done by amending the Constitutive Act, to provide a new article that invites and provides full participation of the African Diaspora as an important part of the continent.

The amendment has not yet come into force owing to inadequate ratification. At its eighth Ordinary Session in 2006, the AU Executive Council took Decision EX.CL/269 (VIII) on the African Diaspora initiative. This decision also endorsed South Africa to host the first Global African Diaspora Summit. The hosting of this summit is to be done in cooperation with the AU Commission on behalf of the AU.

The summit will aim to create sustainable partnerships between the African Diaspora and the African continent through a realisable Programme of Action; create sustainable dialogue and partnerships; strengthen Pan-African solidarity for a better Africa and the Diaspora; and promote South-South cooperation in the betterment of the African continent and the Diaspora.

The strategic benefit for South Africa and the continent will be to foster Pan-African unity and carry out South Africa's foreign imperative of implementing the principle of the African Agenda. The concrete outcome expected will be to attain greater societal involvement in the areas of the:

  • African Skills Database
  • African Diaspora Investment Fund (Private Equity Fund)
  • African Institute of Remittances
  • Volunteer Corps Programme (reconstructive interventions on afflicted areas)
  • Market Place Development Programme (economic intervention towards innovation and entrepreneurship involving women and youth).
Key messages Supporting statements
The summit provides a platform to link Africa and its Diaspora.
  • It will strengthen the historical and cultural bond between the continent and the African Diaspora with the aim of unifying Africans throughout the world.
  • Discussions at the summit will build a solid foundation for reviving the global African family and reaffirming commitment to the development of the Diaspora and Africa.
  • African leaders are committed to the African Diaspora dialogue, since people of African origin find themselves marginalised and in difficult conditions in most of their host countries.
  • The continent values the significant role the African Diaspora played in ridding the continent of colonialism and apartheid. We continue to perceive the Diaspora as vital in the pursuit for a peaceful, prosperous Africa and to assist the continent with its reconstruction and development.

The Global African Diaspora Summit will forge partnerships.

  • The summit aims to create sustainable partnerships between the continent and the African Diaspora to benefit the broader African community.
  • The Declaration and the Programme of Action to be adopted during the summit will strengthen and deepen political and socio-economic collaboration between Africa and her Diaspora.
  • The summit will promote South-South cooperation in the betterment of the continent and the African Diaspora.
  • The summit will ensure greater Pan-African solidarity in the struggle against political and economic discrimination and promote a broader African community alignment at international negotiations and forums.
  • The Caribbean Community (Caricom) has observer status at the AU and more efforts are planned to ensure global representation and participation of the Diaspora in AU structures and processes.
  • The African Diaspora Summit will promote greater trade and investment between the continent and African Diaspora countries.
  • The New Partnership for Africa's Development will continue to provide a framework within which the continent engages with its Diaspora and to promote socio-economic development on the continent.

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National Child Protection Week
27 May to 3 June 2012

This year, government is embarking on a massive campaign to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Children's Act, 2005 (Act 38 of 2005). The campaign, known as Child Protection Week, will be commemorated from 27 May to 3 June 2012 under the theme: Working Together to Protect Children. This is a five-year theme, from 2011 to 2015, and was adopted on 28 October 2010 by the National Child Care and Protection Forum. The theme upholds the Government's commitment to child protection, in partnership with civil society. The campaign will emphasise the responsibility of everyone to create a safe and secure environment for our children.

Government has demonstrated great leadership in ensuring that the Constitution, legislation, policies and international instruments are in place to provide statutory protection towards providing a better life for children. The Children's Act of 2005, 2005 sets out the principles relating to the care and protection of children, and defines the related parental responsibilities and rights. It is important that children know and understand their rights.

The Act sets out general principles and promotes the best interests of the child. The Act includes, amongst other things, principles on:

  • parental responsibilities and rights
  • children and courts
  • children in need of care and protection
  • adoption
  • protecting children from abduction and child trafficking.

Child Protection Week places the spotlight on how we all are affecting policies, programmes and social responsibilities to meet the basic rights of the child. Strengthening the mechanisms of coordination between all sectors and spheres remains a national priority to fast-track the roll-out of programmes and delivery of services for children, as provided for in the legislative instruments of children's rights.

Leaders and partners are encouraged to use the same messages to communicate a collective approach to the scourge against child violence and abuse. As a society, we must raise awareness on the rights of children and increase access to supporting services and programmes.

Key messages Supporting statements
Wear the Green Ribbon to show your support to protecting the rights of our Children.
  • The Green Ribbon was adopted by the National Child Protection Committee in 1994. Like a tree, it symbolises life and growth associated with children. They need to be nurtured and conserved.
  • Be an active participant and partner in the promotion of the rights, care and protection of children. Let's speak with one voice against child violence, abuse and neglect.
  • Parents, caregivers, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, domestic workers, academics, celebrities, faith-based organisations, public servants, police officers, traditional leaders and political leaders, etc. all have important roles to play in protecting children from violence, abuse and neglect. The efforts will inform citizens of the prevention and early intervention programmes of supporting departments and agencies.
  • We urge you to know and understand the Children's Act, 2005 and participate in the activities and dialogues of Child Protection Week.
  • Volunteer your expertise and services to play your part in households, communities and professional environments.
  • We ask the private sector, non-profit organisations and communities to support Child Protection Week by wearing and displaying the Green Ribbon.

Government is steadfast in protecting children's rights.

  • Preventing and combatting crime against children is a priority for government. A high-level ministerial team has been formed, convened by the Ministry of Social Development, to devise short- and long-term measures to deal with crimes in South Africa, including those committed against children.
  • Family violence, child protection and sexual offences units (FCS) have been reintroduced in all 176 South African Police Service (SAPS) clusters across the nine provinces. There are currently 2 155 detectives placed at these units, issued with 1 276 vehicles. Previously, the FCS units consisted of only 1 864 detectives.
    • The Child Protection Unit was established to prevent and combat crimes against children. It renders a sensitive service endearing to the child victim; and deals with cases of rape, incest, assault, attempted murder, kidnapping and abduction, crimes regarding the abuse/exploitation of children, domestic violence, child care, child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children.
  • Comprehensive places of safety such as the Thuthuzela care centres provide care and psychological support to survivors of sexual abuse.
  • The President set up the dedicated Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities in 2010 to elevate and mainstream issues of children in the overall business of government.
  • Socio-economic hardships and challenges such as unemployment, poverty, inequality, and alcohol and substance abuse can result in unsafe and hostile environments for children. Thus, programmes are in place to ensure that children's basic rights to food, education, shelter, healthcare, family or alternative care and protection from abuse and maltreatment are protected.
    • Millions of children continue to benefit from the provision of free primary healthcare, school feeding schemes and the No-Fee School Policy for children from poor families.
    • These interventions ensure that children grow up in an environment where they can blossom to their full potential.
  • The Strategy and Guidelines for Children Living and Working on the Streets provide different stakeholders at national, provincial and local levels with guideline to develop their own programmes for the management of children living and working on the streets.
  • To remain relevant in the socio-economic changing South Africa, amendments to certain sections of the Children's Act, 2005 were made, such as lowering the age of adult from 21 to 18+ and allowing those above 12 years access to HIV testing and contraceptives. In this regard, the Child Act, 2005 was aligned to Section 28 (3) of the Constitution.
    • A child in the South African context refers to any person under 18, unless married or emancipated by order of court. Any person over 18 is considered an adult.
    • Registration of existing children's homes, places of safety and shelters registered under the previous Child Care Act, 1983 (Act 74 of 1983), for specific purposes, to transform into child and youth care centres.
Let us strengthen our collective efforts against child abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • A multisector response is required to address and end the scourge of child abuse, neglect and exploitation. The well-being of children depends on YOUR support!
  • An Inter-Ministerial Committee was formed at the 2012 Early Childhood Development (ECD) Conference after participating departments adopted the Declaration on ECD. Government and stakeholders committed themselves to a programme of action that promotes the well-being of children and protects, among other things, their rights.
  • Government will ensure that those who abuse or neglect children face serious consequence for their actions. Strong warning must be directed to perpetrators of child trafficking, child pornography, corporal punishment, bullying and initiation at school as well as abductions, exposure to pornography, etc.
  • Members of society, including children, must work together with law-enforcement agencies in combating abuse, neglect and exploitation of our children.
  • Report Child Abuse toll-free (0800 05 55 55).
  • The public is encouraged to strengthen and develop community structures which can assist in providing care and protection for children.
  • We commend the good work by departments, non-profit organisations and community-based groups that work tirelessly for our children.

"It takes a village to raise a child" - African Proverb

  • This African proverb calls for a collective responsibility of communities to raise children, where "Your Child is My Child". All parents, guardians and older members of the community should look out for each other's children.
  • Government believes that protecting children and creating safe and secure environments is everyone's responsibility and is achievable.
  • The well-being of children depends on functional, nurturing and protective families and communities that are able to meet their children's basic needs.
  • The Green Paper on National Families Policy for South Africa is the central focus of government's intervention to strengthen this building block of society.
  • We call upon all role players: professionals, individuals, guardians/parents and family members entrusted to care and protect children to play their part and fulfil their duty of caring for our children.

Fact sheet

South Africa's achievements

South Africa is doing well to reduce infant and under-five child morbidity and mortality:

  • 10,3 million children receive the Child-Support Grant through the South African Social Security Agency.
  • Immunisation coverage has increased from 63% in 1998 to 89,6% in 2010 with the highest coverage of 95,5% achieved in 2009.
  • South Africa saw a landmark achievement of a 50% reduction in the transmission of HIV from mothers to children between 2008 and 2010. The proportion of children whose mothers are HIV-positive who were infected decreased from 8% in 2008 to 3,5% in 2010.
  • We more than doubled Grade R enrolment, from 300 000 to 705 000 between 2003 and 2011, and are set to meet the target of 100% Grade R enrolment by 2014.
  • Making education legally compulsory for children aged seven to 15 years (or up to Grade 9, whichever comes first) is evidently yielding results. Ninety-nine per cent of seven- to 15-year-olds and 83% of 16- to 18-year-old children are attending educational institutions.
  • There are 12 million learners enrolled with a total number of 365 447 educators employed in public schools. More than 848 000 children are exposed to an educational environment that has the potential to shape their social, cognitive and emotional skills.
  • Government subsidises over 514 000 of the total of 19 331 registered ECD centres in the country.

South Africa's support to the international community in protecting our children

National legislation that supports the protection of children

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Highlights

Economy

Strategic Integrated Project 7 (Sip 7),
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Richard Baloyi, launched the Sip 7 of the national infrastructure plan. This is a step towards the implementation of government's massive infrastructure drive announced by President Jacob Zuma in his 2012 State of the Nation Address.

 

Sip 7 is one of the 17 Sips that are part of the integrated infrastructure plan approved by Cabinet and the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission. The programme focuses on the coordination of planning and implementation of integrated public transport networks, sustainable human settlements and economic and social infrastructure with the objective of addressing the economic and social challenges of our urban spaces.

Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP)
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, launched the (MCEP), which is one of the key action programmes of the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2012/13 – 2014/15. The MCEP will provide enhanced manufacturing support aimed at encouraging manufacturers to upgrade their production facilities in a manner that sustains employment and maximises value-addition in the short to medium term. The MCEP comprises two subprogrammes: the Production Incentive and the Industrial Financing Loan Facilities, which will be managed by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Industrial Development Corporation respectively.

World Bank logistics survey
The World Bank released the Connecting to Compete 2012: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy Report, which shows South Africa ranks top among upper middle-income economies and the highest African country. This survey measures how efficiently countries trade. The survey ranked countries according to their performance in six key indicators, which include customs, infrastructure, international shipments, logistics quality and competence, tracking and tracing, and timeliness.

Tourism

Three Cities Alliace

Cape Town Tourism, Durban Tourism and Johannesburg Tourism officially signed the Three Cities Alliance, which is aimed at combining resources into a national partnership to promote the urban tourism offerings of South Africa. The formation of the alliance was announced at INDABA 2011. In terms of domestic marketing, the three cities will collaborate to leverage local events and align events calendars where possible, promoting each other’s events and short city break packages.

Justice

Opening of the Ashton Magistrate's Court

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr Jeff Radebe, officially opened the court. The recent finalisation of the transfer of Ashton maintenance files to the new court will reduce case backlogs and provide for quicker finalisation of matters before the courts. The Minister highlighted that this development would bring about the necessary efficiency levels deserved by all who must receive services from “our courts, including the Ashton community”.

NATIONAL PLANNING

Update on finalisation of Census 2011 results

The Minister of the National Planning Commission in The Presidency, Trevor Manuel, announced that all field operations for Census 2011 had been successfully concluded, with more than 14 million dwellings or households visited in 103 000 enumeration areas. The Minister informed the National Assembly that StatsSA was also processing the 14 million returns in an operation that continued non-stop 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Statistics Council, which had the legal responsibility to manage the quality of the statistics being produced, had appointed both local and international experts to undertake the evaluation.

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