Daily Archives: March 3, 2017

Millions in bursaries for top Gauteng learners

Johannesburg – Top matriculants from Gauteng schools were showered with R296 million worth of bursaries to further their studies by Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Thursday.

Accompanied by Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, Premier Makhura handed over cheques as part of bursaries sponsored by the Gauteng City Region Academy, an initiative of the provincial government.

These bursaries cover the costs of education, accommodation and monthly needs for the learners. In attendance at the ceremony, held at Turbine Hall in the Johannesburg CBD, were the ecstatic learners, accompanied by their parents.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi said as much as they were proud to invest millions of rands on bursaries, he was saddened by learners who misused this opportunity.

Education department statistics show that nearly 26% of learners that previously benefitted from this bursary had failed at university, something MEC Lesufi wants to put a stop to.

“Almost 26% of bursary [beneficiaries] failed, students did not complete school, some failed their subjects. We are proud to invest huge amounts to bursaries and education, but we need learners to pass,” MEC Lesufi said.

Since 2009, the Gauteng tertiary education bursary has benefitted 12 000 learners. At the moment, 4000 learners are being supported.

A total of R800 million has been spent by the government to ensure learners get education, to train students for different professions and to help unemployed youth.

Premier Makhura said this was the largest number of students awarded bursaries this year, noting that a sizeable majority of them hailed from township schools.

“In 2017 alone we have 2 800 children getting to varsity. It’s the largest intake of bursaries We do this because we want them to become young professionals, to help build the South African dream,” he said.

The Premier told learners and their parents that while university provides more freedom, they have to make the best of the chance they have been given because passing regularly was the only way to keep being funded by the provincial government.

“I am giving you a warning, university is different. At school there was always someone who checked your work, even your parents helped. At university, you are on your own, you can use that freedom for good or to bring yourself down. We want you to pass. The government wants you to pass first year, if you don’t [the Gauteng government] will not fund your repeat year.”

Premier Makhura said protests should not be used as an excuse for not writing exams.

“No excuses will be taken for not writing exams. The only thing we will ask you this year is ‘did you pass or not’?”

He urged parents to encourage their kids to work hard at university.

“Parents, we are doing a lot to help our young kids. We are investing in programmes to give them a better living. Any country not investing in the youth is heading for disaster as a nation. We are not doing them a favourencourage them to work hard,” he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

WEF Africa to focus on creating new models of growth

Pretoria – South Africa is gearing to host the hundreds of officials who will descend on Durban to attend the World Economic Forum on Africa, in May.

The forum’s 27th Africa meeting will be held from 3 to 5 May and will focus on driving economic transformation in Africa through inclusive growth models.

Prospects for growth and development in Sub-Saharan Africa are mixed in 2017. The region accounts for some of the world’s fastest growing economies but it is also home to countries whose commodity-dependent economies have struggled to adapt to structural downturns in prices.

The purpose of the meeting will be to convene leaders from across all stakeholder groups to define strategies and actions to restore the whole region on its path towards a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future.

“Africa has a historic opportunity to shift the trajectory of its development by avoiding the excesses and mistakes made by countries in advanced parts of the world. But its success will depend on creating new models of growth that provide equality of opportunity to everyone and allow innovation to flourish,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum.

In addition to advancing the concept of inclusive growth, many other issues critical to Africa’s long-term development will be covered in the meeting’s programme. These include education, skills and employment; entrepreneurship; energy; infrastructure and development finance; combating, adapting to and building resilience against climate change; and science, technology and innovation.

Over 900 participants are expected at the World Economic Forum on Africa, including forum member companies, representatives from government, international organisations, civil society, academia, media and the arts.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Eastern Cape tackles teacher shortages

Bisho – Eastern Cape Education MEC Mandla Makupula says the department is working tirelessly to address teacher shortages in the province.

Speaking on Thursday when the department briefed the Portfolio Committee on Education at the Bisho Legislature, Makupula – who was presenting the department’s six-month financial report – gave a progress report on the shortages of educators in schools and the delay in finding replacements.

He said since the report was compiled last year, his office had taken note of this issue and they were working tirelessly to ensure that replacements are being made.

“We have since identified all the schools in the province that need educators and we are in the process of putting out posts so that those positions can be filled. The teachers mostly leave the schools by resigning for personal reasons and due to old age and that is beyond our control,” he said.

Themba Kojana, Head of Education Department in the province, said there have been delays in appointing educators in schools because of the high rate at which teachers are leaving schools, making it difficult for the department to find suitable replacements.

“All educator posts have been advertised and in some areas, the interviewing process has begun. We are trying to fast-track the process so that scholars can receive quality education from qualified teachers,” said Kojana.

Meanwhile, the department has invested R4 million to install laptops, projectors and internet connectivity in schools to assist teachers in class. The project, which targeted 560 schools, was done in partnership with Vodacom.

“Some schools could not benefit from this programme due to them not cooperating with the department by submitting the necessary documents in the timeframes which were set,” said Programme Manager Zama Mnqanqeni.

The MEC commended committee members for the hard work they have put in to ensure quality education in the province and acknowledged the setbacks they have encountered over the years in office.

“I am proud to be part of a team that when there are problems, instead of acting cowardly, face the problems head on and come up with strategies to resolve the issues.

“We have so much planned in ensuring development and progress in schools for the 2016/17 financial year,” the MEC said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

President Zuma thanks outgoing members of the JSC

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has decided to replace three members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

The members are Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, Advocate Ismael Semenya SC, and Andiswa Ndoni.

The Presidency on Thursday said according to section 178(3) of the Constitution, members of the JSC serve until they are replaced by those who designated them.

“President Jacob Zuma has extended his appreciation to the three members of the Judicial Service Commission designated by the President of the Republic, in terms of section 178(3) of the Constitution of Republic of South Africa, 1996.”

President Zuma thanked the outgoing members for their indelible contribution to the JSC and their sterling service to the nation.

Source: South African Government News Agency