Daily Archives: May 27, 2016

AFRITAC South Supports Strengthening Central Bank Communication

the IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa held a seminar at the Africa Training Institute in Mauritius on Central Bank Communication. The event brought together a mix of policymakers, management, and staff from the central banks of Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia. Experts from central banks with advanced communications shared their knowledge with participants and supervised training in hands-on workshops.

Mr. Stefan Ingves, Governor of Sveriges Riksbank, noted that a large part of his work involves translating complex issues into everyday language. “Speaking so that people understand is an important part of a central bank governor’s work”, he stated.

Mr. Vladimir Tomsik, Vice Governor of the Czech National Bank, stressed that communication and transparency have become key elements of monetary policy implementation in the 21st century, providing accountability and boosting the effectiveness of monetary policy actions.

The seminar discussed how communication will differ depending on a central bank’s capacity, its monetary policy framework, and the prevailing domestic environment. Discussions included the role of communications units, the nature of communication in the daily work of a central bank, relevant strategic documents, the tools and channels for communication, and relations with the media.

In a peer sharing environment, participants exchanged experiences of different aspects of communication through presentations, discussions and group work. As the central banks in the region develop, they also become more transparent, which may not necessarily be the same as communicating. The art of communication takes time and experience to fully master. For some central banks, this seminar worked as a first step into communication, while for others, it was a vehicle for further enhancing their communication skills.

Source: International Monetary Fund

President Zuma conveys his condolences on the sad passing of Reverend Gqubule

President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his deepest condolences on the passing of one of the country’s leading religious leaders, academics and liberation struggle stalwarts, the Reverend Dr Simon Gqubule.

Dr Gqubule was awarded the Order of Luthuli in Silver on 28 April 2016 by the President, in recognition of his excellent contribution to the liberation struggle and to the field of education and religion.

“We are saddened by the passing of this dedicated freedom fighter, human rights campaigner and community leader. We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the family. May his soul rest in peace,” said President Zuma.

Source: The presidency Republic of South Africa

South Africa: DA to Consider Legal Action Against Hlaudi’s Total Control At the SABC

The DA is in the process of considering its legal options following the announcement by the COO of the SABC, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, that the public broadcaster will no longer air footage of service delivery protests.

The reason Motsoeneng is allowed to make this absurd decision is as a result of the new SABC editorial policy approved in secret by Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, and the SABC Board in February this year.

The policy gives total control of all the SABC’s programming and news content to the SABC COO who is also a political appointee.

It is basic principle in many news organizations worldwide that editorial decisions should to be made by news editors, and not politically-appointed management, in particular, in order insulate news decisions from any commercial or political considerations.

It is clear that Mr Motsoeneng is using the Editorial Policy to deliver on the task to fully turn the SABC into a propaganda portal for his political masters at Luthuli House.

In terms of the Broadcasting Act, as South Africa’s public broadcaster, the SABC has a responsibility to provide news and public affairs programming which meets the highest standards of journalism, in a fair, impartial and unbiased manner. Censoring service delivery protests will fall foul of this requirement.

The DA repeatedly called on Muthambi to withdraw this policy, and conduct proper public consultations. Our pleas have fallen on deaf ears, and as such, we are left with no option but to consider legal action.

Source: Democratic Alliance.

New fund to support bids for international events

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom says a collaboration with the private sector has led to the creation of a fund that will help the tourism sector bid for international events.

The Minister said this when he participated in a debate on the economy, in the National Assembly, on Thursday, under the theme “Building collective action for inclusive growth”.

Minister Hanekom said maintaining partnerships with the private sector was key to boosting the sector’s competitiveness as well as unlocking investment in the country.

He said the fund was formed after the department held two productive meetings with CEOs of top companies recently.

“This is not a public relations exercise.

“Joint working groups have been established to find new and innovative ways to capitalise on the immense opportunities to grow our sector and create more jobs and life-changing opportunities for our people.

“This engagement has already resulted in the creation of a collaborative fund to support our bids for international conferences, meetings and events. This is an immensely important component of tourism and we are becoming extremely competitive in this area,” he said.

The Minister said the success of the tourism sector depends on collaboration and cooperation.

Government’s approach to boosting tourism remains key to maintaining South Africa’s status as a competitive and attractive tourism destination.

“The main player in the tourism and hospitality sector remains the private sector. That is the common language. Less known though is that the single, largest provider of bed nights in South Africa is actually SANParks.

“Wildlife and our natural heritage remains a huge attracter to our country. The successful management and conservation of our natural resources is critically important to sustainable tourism growth,” he said.

The Minister said in this regard, the department’s collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs is important.

Cultural and heritage experiences feature quite prominently in tourism packages.

“Our unique national heritage sites further make up the tourism offering which differentiates South Africa from other tourism destinations.

“To get more people to visit South Africa, we have to work together with our sister departments to remove all unnecessary barriers”

Tourism numbers grow in the first quarter

The Minister said, meanwhile, that tourism numbers surged in the first quarter of 2016.

Internationally, tourism grew by 4.4% in 2015, reaching a record level or 1.2 billion tourists travelling abroad.

He said tourism is one of the best performing sectors in South Africa’s economy.

South African tourism has a strong competitive advantage due to a favourable exchange rate and the global growth in outbound tourism.

“We experienced an unprecedented surge in international tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2016.

“Year on year growth was a staggering 18.7% compared to the first three months of last year.

“Tourism across its extensive value chain contributed no less than R375 billion to our economy last year, representing about 9.4% of Gross Domestic Product and if we include indirect and induced jobs, over 1.5 million people are employed in the sector, representing almost 10% of our workforce,” the Minister said.

The Department of Tourism, together with SA Tourism, is pursuing several initiatives to strengthen the country’s international marketing drive to enhance its destination and improve the visitor experience by developing the domestic skills.

“We are also determined to achieve meaningful transformation in the sector. We are working closely with industry to achieve these goals,” he said.

Source: Government Communication and information System

South Africa: Government Promotes Social Cohesion in Tshikonelo

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi will on Friday lead the second Social Cohesion Community Information Session in Tshikonelo, Limpopo.

The session will be used to talk about programmes aimed at promoting nation building and social cohesion.

“This session comes on the heels of a very successful session held between the government, civil society formations, traditional leadership and the community at large in Tshino on Monday,” said the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Ministry.

The ministry is at the forefront of the Inter-Ministerial Committee set up to return Vuwani and surrounding areas to normality.

The community information session, it said, will be held in partnership with civil society organisations, the Tshikonelo traditional leadership, as well as the Moral Regeneration Movement.

The session will serve as a platform to solicit community inputs towards nation building and promoting coexistence among communities through active community participation.

The ministry said the session will also profile youth development programmes, particularly post schooling opportunities, including access to higher education and training, skills development and entrepreneurship.

“The session will also canvass messages of support from institutions such as the Moral Regeneration Movement, Congress of South African Students (Cosas), South African Congress of Non-Profit Organisations (Sacono) and Tshikonelo Traditional Council, to mention a few.

“It is in this context that government calls on communities in Vuwani and the surrounding areas to come together as united people.

“We urge communities to play their part in ensuring that all ethnicity and tribalism is not allowed to control our lives,” said the ministry.

Cogta Minister Des van Rooyen said government will continue to work tirelessly with all willing partners to ensure that it returns the situation in Vuwani and surrounding areas to normal. “We are aware that the continued engagements and partnerships between government and communities can bear positive fruits.”

The ministry said the recent media report — suggesting that negotiations and discussion about a lasting solution to Vuwani have collapsed because there is a court process by the community — is inaccurate.

“The community has the right as everyone else to seek redress from a court of law but the engagements on other issues will continue, especially now that the mediation panel has been brought into the discussions,” said the Ministry.

It said challenges in Vuwani have affected the education sector negatively, but a number of schools are back in operation and learning and teaching is continuing.

“We need to remember that the inclusion in the Bill of Rights of a special section on the Rights of the Child was an important development for South African children.

“This right has worried many parents in this area, who have been calling on educators and learners to go back to class for the sake of the future of their children,” said the ministry.

It said it is important for parents to ensure the opening and the full operation of schools in the Vuwani areas, instead of complaining without action and taking children to other schools.

“Government calls for the total opening of all the schools in Vuwani and the surrounding areas, as other people cannot afford to move their children from non-fee paying schools to the ones that pay fees,” said the ministry.

Source: SAnews.gov.za.