Daily Archives: June 24, 2016

Minister Dipuo Peters convenes National Youth Road Safety Summit

The Department of Transport under the leadership of Minister Dipuo Peters, will host a first-ever, two-day National Youth Summit on Road Safety from the 25th to 26th June 2016 at the St. George Hotel, Irene, in Gauteng Province.

To be held under the theme: #Beingsafeiscool, the Summit will be officially opened by Minister Peters. The Minister will be joined by Transport MECs and a Road Safety delegation from the United Nations (UN). South Africa is a participant in the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 campaign, signed at the first global conference for Ministers of Transport in 2009 in Russia with the aim of reducing the road carnage worldwide.

The purpose of the National Youth Road Safety Summit is to have youth in South Africa organised and participating meaningfully and decisively in road safety programmes of the Department with the aim of reducing road carnage among young people and the citizenry at large.

This National Summit is a culmination of provincial youth summits held in the provinces, which deliberated on issues of road safety affecting the youth.

Young people from various groups and formations across the nine provinces will attend the Summit.

Source: Government of South Africa.

Minister Faith Muthambi unveils Commemorative Plaque of Radio Zibonelo in Cape Town

Minister of Communications Ms Faith Muthambi will on 25th of June 2016 unveil a Commemorative Plaque of Radio Zibonelo in Khyalestha, Cape Town.

“It is our mandate as the Department of Communications through the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and MDDA to ensure that all Municipalities in the country have access to Community media and give them necessary support”. said Muthambi.

Source: Government of South Africa.

Speaking notes of the Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, on the occasion of the National Informal Economy Summit held on in Bloemfontein, Free State

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is indeed an honour for me to stand before you today to talk about a subject that has taken the centre stage, not only in South Africa, but globally. The choice of the theme for this summit, “Uplifting the Informal Economy and Creating Pathways to Formalisation” is impressive and appropriate to the task at hand.

I have no doubt that this Summit is underpinned by the understanding that, successful nations are built on the foundation of common purpose. Our culture of consultation and dialogue to build a shared national vision and unity of purpose is the very reason we are all here today.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The informal economy, as you will all notice, thrives in the context of high unemployment, underemployment, poverty, gender inequality and precarious work. It is more prevalent in such circumstances, especially as the much-needed income generating activities. It is also relatively easy to enter as there are no educational requirements, skills or technology barriers. It is important to note however, that most people enter the informal economy not by choice, but out of a need to survive and have access to basic income-generating means.

It is needles to point out that, whilst the Informal economy has become the only source of livelihoods for those who cannot get into formal jobs, it is however characterised by acute decent work deficits and higher risks than those in the formal economy. It is also characterised by undesirable features such as;

i. Inadequate and unsafe working conditions,

ii. High levels of illiteracy,

iii. No access to training opportunities;

iv. No guarantee of regular and lower incomes than those in the formal economy,

v. Longer working hours,

vi. They exist outside the perimeters of social security schemes, health and safety, and maternity benefits,

vii. Limited or no protection by National labour legislations

Just imagine a worker who wakes up at 3am to sell foodstuff to workers on the move, at taxi ranks, train stations, bus ranks and building construction sites in order to irk a living. Come rain or sunshine, hot weather or ice cold temperatures, often without any shelter, they are there. Others you find them at robot intersections selling all kinds of items. Evidence has shown that whilst some of them may be entrepreneurs and engaged in these activities for themselves, the majority of them are doing it on behalf of someone else.

It is a fact that workers in the informal economy are also vulnerable to violence, including sexual harassment, and other forms of exploitation and abuse including Child labour.

The undesirable practices that are inherent in the informal economy cannot be left unchallenged, as they go against the grain of our constitution and the Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter, for example, emphasises protection of all workers regardless of whether they are in formal or informal economy.

Therefore we have a duty to ensure that protection accrue to all workers without any exception. To re-enforce this obligation, Chapter 2 of our Constitution contains the Bill of Rights and Section 23 is explicit about the rights of workers. This is yet another reason why there is no question about why we should deal with this matter. You can also glean all the ruling party’s election manifestos and I can guarantee you that you will find that, protection of workers feature prominently in all of them.

Programme Director: The prevalence of informal employment in many parts of the world, and a pervasive trend towards higher levels of precarious and informal employment, has worsened as a result of the global economic challenges. Although the informal economy covers many different realities, today a global consensus exists, that inclusive development is not possible, unless rights and opportunities are extended to workers in the informal economy.

It is also worth noting that the informal sector is not the only driver of informal employment, as informality is also gaining ground in the formal sector in many countries. Globalization has given it new meaning through outsourcing and global supply chains. There is also global consensus that if economic growth is not associated with formal job creation, a shift towards better employment opportunities in the formal economy and an improvement in the conditions of employment in informal activities, it will continue to generate inequality, poverty and vulnerability.

It is estimated that more than half of the world’s workforce is trapped in the informal economy.

This is characterised by the denial of rights at work, the absence of sufficient opportunities for quality employment, inadequate social protection, a lack of social dialogue and low productivity, all of which constitutes a significant obstacle to the development of sustainable societies. It was for these reasons, Ladies and Gentlemen, that the ILO resolved that Transition from the informal economy to the formal economy is clearly an important target for the Decent Work Agenda.

The adoption of the Recommendation to tackle the informal economy by the 104th Session of the ILO International Labour Conference in 2015, was hailed as a historic moment for those who are trapped in the Informal economy. The first ever international labour standard, specifically aimed at tackling the informal economy, provides strategies and practical guidance on policies and measures that can facilitate the transition from the informal to the formal economy.

“This new Recommendation is a major step forward in bringing the grey economy out of the shadows. It will help transform the informal economy, which has been particularly pervasive in developing economies. Importantly, it will facilitate the transition of millions of workers in the informal economy; promote job creation in the formal economy and prevent further informalization,” said Virgil Seafield from South Africa, who chaired the ILC Committee on the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy.

The Director General of the ILO had this to say on the adoption of the Recommendation, “It is not just the adoption of this Recommendation; it’s actually putting it into practice that will matter.” This initiative, led by the Minister of Small Business Development, is an important step in bringing the ILO Recommendation into reality.

This initiative demonstrates our government’s commitment to translate the adoption of this milestone Recommendation into reality. Dealing with Informal Economy challenges is very much in-keeping with the country’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, The UN Agenda 2030.

Programme Director: We do acknowledge that informal economy has relevance for the creation of livelihood opportunities and alleviating poverty as part of individual survival strategies of the poor. Therefore the informal economy forms a key component of strategies to address unemployment and poverty, and to support the creation of sustainable livelihoods.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in the first quarter of 2012, there were 2.1 million people in South Africa who were active in the informal economy and 857,000 were women. Evidence has shown that Limpopo at 34%, has the biggest share of people who are active in the Informal Economy, followed by Mpumalanga at 20%. The Free State Province is number 3 on the list of prevalence.

The share of the informal economy by Province, further illustrates some correlation with the overall unemployment rate found in each Province, supporting the idea that for many people, the informal economy has become the alternative to unemployment. It is argued that without the informal economy, our unemployment rate could almost double. Therefore paying special attention to informal economy is a good starting point in dealing with unemployment and poverty.

Therefore monitoring and providing the necessary support in making the ILO Recommendation a reality, is not a choice, but the right thing to do.

Ladies and Gentlemen: We have an obligation as a country, to take all the necessary steps to ensure that the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy is realised. Conferences like these are therefore vital, as they provide a platform to mobilise the nation around these issues.

Whilst we recognise the huge challenges that lie ahead in doing this work, we are encouraged by the commitment of our social partners to work with us.

In order to ensure that our labour laws are aligned, we have established a task team that continues to identify gaps that may prevent the extension of legal protections and rights to all those who participate in the informal economy.

I am advised that the first draft of the gap analysis and possible interventions will be presented in this Summit. We hope that it will stimulate robust dialogue among our social partners and assist in the development of a national action plan.

As I conclude, I also would like to indicate that the ILO, at its recent International Labour Conference, which I had the rare privilege to Chair, discussed Decent Work in the Global Supply Chains. This discussion highlighted the issues that have a direct bearing on the informal economy, I must say.

It is worth noting that South Africa has ratified and domesticated various ILO core Conventions that would promote decent work in global supply chains. However, consideration should be given to the proposal that all trade agreements should include fundamental principles and rights at work. This is important given the increasing trend of South African companies investing setting up business operations beyond our borders.

I am particularly impressed with the line-up of speakers in this summit and I hope that they will fill-in the details on some of the issues that I may have left out in my input. I am also confident that they will be able to answer any questions that you may have on this topic.

Let me once again thank and congratulate the Minister of Small Business Development for her foresight in convening this summit.

As you join the queue on the third of August 2016 to cast your vote in the local government elections, take a deep breath and remember where we come from as a country and the work that remains to be done.

I thank you

Source: Department of Labour

SADC Facilitator and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa concludes working visit to Maseru

South African Deputy President and SADC Facilitator Cyril Ramaphosa, today Thursday 23 June 2016, concluded his working visit to Maseru as part of preparations for the forthcoming SADC Double Troika meeting scheduled for Tuesday 28 June 2016 in Gaborone, Botswana.

Deputy President Ramaphosa arrived in Maseru on Wednesday 22 June 2016.

The SADC Double Troika meeting which will be attended by leaders of Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Swaziland has been convened to discuss the current political situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

During his working visit to Lesotho, Deputy President Ramaphosa held consultative meetings with the Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili and his coalition government partners, representatives of opposition political parties, College of Chiefs, Council of Churches of Lesotho and members of civil society.

The meetings discussed the status of implementation of recommendations of the Phumaphi Commission of Inquiry into the death of the late Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao as well as constitutional and security sector reforms.

Following these consultative processes, Deputy President and Facilitator Ramaphosa is expected to report his findings to the SADC Double Troika meeting in Gaborone next week.

In this regard, Deputy President Ramaphosa said ”We have come here as Facilitator for SADC. We have been briefed on the much awaited response of the Lesotho Government on the Phumaphi (Commission) Report. We have been given a detailed briefing on all recommendations”.

“We now move onto the Double Troika Summit that will be taking place in Gaborone next week to report on the progress that has been made in relation to what the Phumaphi Commission recommended”, said Deputy President Ramaphosa.

“We will table that report and I can say we have been very pleased with the fact that the government has come up with a response which was tabled to both Houses of Parliament (in Lesotho). We are now going to deal with it at the SADC level and we will look at how government has taken steps to implement the recommendations”.

”In that regard, it is quite clear that there is a determination on the part of the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho to deal with the Phumaphi Report with serious intent to make sure those recommendations are dealt with”, continued Deputy President Ramaphosa.

“The rest of the other things we will discuss once the Double Troika Summit has an opportunity to deal with all the matters that are covered in that report. As Facilitator I am rather pleased that I came here again and I was warmly received by the Prime Minister and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho”, concluded Deputy President Ramaphosa.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa: Launch of National Campaign for Girls and young Women

Remarks by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of the national campaign for Girls and young Women, Royal Showgrounds, Pietermaritzburg

Programme Director,

Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Willies Mchunu,

Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Premiers and MECs,

Deputy Chair of SANAC, Ms Steve Letsike,

UNFPA representative, Dr Esther Muia,

USAID Deputy Mission Director for Southern Africa, Mr Littleton Tazewell,

Global Fund Representative, Dr Carol Presern,

Our social and development partners,

All young people from Umgungundlovu and the rest of our country,

The launch of this campaign – led by young people for young people – is an important milestone in our country’s journey towards youth empowerment and the achievement of an AIDS-free generation.

This innovative campaign aims to mobilise all sections of society to address five critical challenges facing young people.

These challenges include the high number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women, high rates of teenage pregnancy, poor retention of learners in high schools, high rates of sexual and gender based violence, and high rates of youth employment.

Despite our remarkable success in saving lives through the provision of free treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS, it is estimated that nearly 2 000 girls and young women between the ages of 15 and 24 get infected by HIV in this country each week.

This is highest rate of new HIV infections in any age or gender category.

This is one of the highest rates in the world and is the reason that we are launching an ambitious and innovative campaign targeting this group of highly vulnerable young people.

This campaign is informed by the knowledge that HIV thrives on ignorance, in conditions of poverty and in situations of unequal gender relations.

It thrives on unsafe sex, destructive behaviour and the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

By supporting their peers and taking the lead, young people are working to change this narrative.

The campaign seeks to build the confidence of women, build their resilience and unlock their strength and worth.

The achievement of an AIDS-free generation requires a fundamental change in sexual behaviour.

This campaign will therefore reach out to men.

It will encourage men – both young and older – to use condoms, stick to one sexual partner and not to prey on younger girls and women.

It will encourage men to play a central role in promoting safer sexual behaviour and in bringing an end to violence and abuse

Only a comprehensive multi-sectoral campaign at the level of the community will bring about this change.

All government departments will work with NGOs in the communities through our national, provincial and local AIDS councils to ensure this campaign succeeds.

I want to make a special plea to our mayors to take up the leadership of this campaign in their municipalities.

Girls and boys, women and men, need to assume responsibility for preventing teenage pregnancy, which diminishes the life opportunities for young women.

Young people, with the support of their parents, caregivers, communities and government, will be at centre of national efforts to keep girls in school until matric.

That is because education provides an opportunity to overcome the impediments to a successful, fulfilling life.

As our late President Nelson Mandela said:

“It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.”

This campaign deliberately aims to increase economic opportunities for young people, particularly young women.

We urge young women and girls to be part of decision-making in their schools, clinics and communities.

This campaign will encourage greater use of services provided by government and other stakeholders.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We extend heartfelt gratitude to all our social and development partners who are already doing critical work to reduce HIV infection rates, teenage pregnancy, gender based violence and high rates of unemployment among young women.

In April this year, the US Government approved a $68 million grant for the DREAMS project which will be implemented in partnership with South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and the South African government.

This project will reach girls and young women in 19 municipalities in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The Global Fund has committed an additional $62 million towards our national campaign to prevent new HIV infections among young women.

The German government has also committed 12 million euros to implement a similar programme targeting young women in the Buffalo City Municipality.

It is our intention to expand this programme over the next three years to all 51 municipalities throughout the country in which we have witnessed a high incidence of new HIV infections and high levels of teenage pregnancy.

The launch of this campaign should be a day of great celebration.

We must celebrate because our young people are reclaiming their power, reclaiming their dignity and reclaiming their future.

We celebrate these young people, who, in asserting their agency, are defying darkness, ignorance and hopelessness.

They are reminding us that young people carry the dreams of the nation.

Together with our partners, we are encouraged, inspired and determined to support them.

They are acting today – and taking action now – to achieve an AIDS-free generation in their lifetime and to seize the opportunities that our democracy has brought us.

As we remember the courage and heroism of the 1976 generation during youth month, we should also recall the lives of Gugu Dlamini and Nkosi Johnson.

They are South African champions who gave a face to the HIV pandemic.

They died fighting for access to treatment.

They died fighting against prejudice, stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

Today, South Africa has the largest antiretroviral treatment programme in the world, our policies prohibit discrimination against people living with HIV, and we have programmes in place to create awareness and fight stigma.

As we approach the International AIDS Conference in Durban next month, we can declare with confidence that your generation will lead us to a brighter future.

As Madiba said,

“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

You – our youth – are that great generation.

You – our youth – will move South Africa forward!

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa.