17 May 2012
- Youth Month 2012
- Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP)
- The Global African Diaspora Summit
- National Child Protection Week 27 May to 3 June 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.||
Government calls on all sectors to rally behind the economic development of and job creation for our young leaders.
|All young people are called into action to make education the most important priority in their lives!||
|A healthy, informed and empowered cadre of young people can drive the economy forward.||
We are not just building roads - we are building a country
|Key messages||Supporting statements|
|What we stand for as government.||
How we feel about the court decision.
|We prioritise the views and issues of our people.||
|Where we are now.||
|Let's work together to build better roads and a better South Africa.||
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.||
The Global African Diaspora Summit will forge partnerships.
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
- 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.||
Government is steadfast in protecting children's rights.
|Let us strengthen our collective efforts against child abuse, neglect and exploitation.||
"It takes a village to raise a child" - African Proverb
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
- United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000),
- International Labour Organisation's Convention: Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Worst Forms of Child Labour No. 182 (1999)
- Hague Convention of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1996 (Act 72 of 1996).
National legislation that supports the protection of children
- Social Assistance Act, 1992 (Act 59 of 1992),as amended
- National Health Act, 2003 (Act 61 of 2003)
- South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act 84 of 1996) Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act 75 of 1997) – child labour
- Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act 75 of 2008) – children's access to courts
- Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act, 2007 (Act 32 of 2007)
- Birth Registration and Death Registration Act, 1998 (Act 43 of 1998)
- Refugees Act, 1998 (Act 130 of 1998)
- Correctional Service Act, 1998 (Act 111 of 1998)
- Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act, 2008 (Act 70 of 2008).
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.
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.
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”.
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.