Monthly Archives: February 2018

Prophet RAEL in support of President Ramaphosa’s policy of land redistribution in South Africa

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Feb. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Rael, spiritual leader of the International Raelian Movement (IRM), has expressed his full support to the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, for his decision to redistribute land to Black South Africans.

President Ramaphosa stated, “The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures that we will use to accelerate the redistribution of land to black South Africans.”

In response to this statement, Rael commented: ”He is absolutely right! What was stolen by armed colonizers must be returned to Africa’s native people without any compensation.”

Rael went even further and declared: “The wealth of these white families should be seized as a compensation for centuries of pillages!”

In 2011, Rael expressed a similar support to Zimbabwe President, Mugabe, who initiated “the indigenization and empowerment policy and programs to ensure that resources are managed, controlled and exploited by Zimbabwe and that they benefit the majority of the people.”

At the time, Rael encouraged all African countries to do the same. “Africa belongs to Africans, not to ex-colonizers who continue their colonialist behavior under the guise of powerful multinational conglomerates,” he said.

Rael not only wishes African countries to take control of their lands, but he also encourages them to achieve a true independence by “rejecting all foreign structures that have been imposed on Africans by force, whether political, religious or cultural.”

He added then, “Africa must belong to the Africans, in particular the resources that continue to be plundered by the former colonial powers. Africa to Africans!!”

MEC Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba: Northern Cape Artist Summit

Keynote address of the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture Ms Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba at the Northern Cape Artist Summit held in Upington at the Eiland Resort

Programme Director

Speaker of the ZFM District Municipality Mr. Moalosi

Speaker of the Dawid Kruiper Municipality Mr. Segedi

General Secretary of CCIFSA Mr. Phemelo Sediti

Mr. V Ndima National Department of Arts and Culture

Officials from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture

And most importantly all the Artists of the Northern Cape

Members of the Media

Good Morning , Goeie Middag , Dumela , Molweni

Artists, receive my fraternal and revolutionary greetings. It is my honour to address you at the inaugural Northern Cape Artist Summit which I firmly believe will be one of the most important platforms created where we will be taking cultural affairs to the next level in the Province.

I would like to begin by thanking everyone for coming to this gathering. The amount of interest generated in the request to attend the artist summit is testimony to the seriousness which artists regard the issues at hand. I am delighted to be in the presence of so many artists. It is not every day that you find such a diverse caliber of great minds under one roof.

Ladies and Gentlemen

It seems that Artists live a life of continuous struggle and seemingly their struggles are continuing. During the days of the liberation struggle they used their music, paintings, storytelling and drama to ensure that the cruelty of apartheid is heard and seen by the world and the cry for freedom reverberated across the world.

They did this to inspire social change and capture the painful rhythms, the aspirations as well as the agonies of our communities. We can therefore never forget the role that artists played in raising the consciousness of our people during the liberation struggle. Artists became the target of the security forces, subjected to torture, banning orders, and banishment from their country of birth.

The truth is that even apartheid did not manage to kill the spirit of the people.

As we celebrate twenty three years of freedom and democracy, our artists still find themselves in a different struggle, a struggle of recognition, a struggle of economic empowerment and a struggle for self sustainability.

It is based on this that we find ourselves here today where we will review the role of artists in society and continue to try and address their challenges. We consume art on a daily basis, yet artists often struggle to make a living despite the popularity of their work.

The Summit which will be held over the next two days is exactly about that. We are here to celebrate your work, listen to your concerns and together find solutions to existing problems. I am convinced that artists are the ones who can find solutions to their challenges. Our role as government is to create an enabling environment to augment your initiatives. We do so by creating structures and developing policies that support the growth of the industry.

As we are gathered at the Artist Summit our approach should be that all delegates , for a change, be freed from bureaucratic procedures, enjoy the benefits of equality and shared responsibility by taking off your shoes and jackets and just be your usual artist and free spirited selves! Let us actively participate in all the deliberations without any fear or favour as we believe this is a festival of ideas that must be characterised and underpinned by frank, open and robust discussions. We must tell no lies, we must mask to difficulties, and we must claim no easy victories.

The Northern Cape Artist Summit will not be a talk shop where resolutions are taken and not implemented. The resolutions of the summit will be effected into the Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Sport , Arts and Culture and so doing we will be a position to monitor the implementation of the resolutions on a quarterly basis . The summit will also not be a once off affair , it will be become an annual planning session on the calendar of the department.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The platform created by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and CIFSA is also paramount as it creates networking engagements where we can explore opportunities collaboratively to build on our social capital and support each other in our mutual goals.

In the wake of our struggling economic situation, it is our duty to become more innovative in our business. If the funds are too limited to support our artists financially, we need to go the extra mile in creating an enabling environment in which artists of all forms can flourish. These engagements are not only pivotal but essential if we are serious about inspiring change through cultural affairs as it unites, fosters tolerance, acceptance, builds civic pride and community participation. All of which is much needed at present.

Indeed, artists are the custodians of the nation’s soul and are better able to articulate and celebrate South Africa’s cultural diversity.

As rightly captured in our National Development Plan, the arts, culture and heritage sector is pivotal to nation building and social cohesion.

This is the role and responsibility that we have placed on you as the sector: to redefine the soul of this new nation and use your talent and skills for radical consciousness towards economic transformation. The South African government recognises the significant role played by the art sector in nation building, promoting social cohesion, reconciliation and supporting economic growth and job creation.

Compatriots

The social and cultural necessity for artists must be coupled with its importance as a key creative industry and contributor to our economic wealth. The importance of the creative industries in particular to South Africa’s economy cannot be under-estimated.

I believe what should emanate from one of the commissions is a provincial mapping study that identifies and looks at the various arts organisations and businesses in the province.

This mapping process should be able to outline to the Provincial Government of the Northern Cape what impact the creative economy has on the Province and where best our interventions should be to grow initiatives and provide support.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the industry cannot grow without the production of high quality work by the artists. One of the challenges that have been highlighted is the fact that the industry is fragmented and do not speak with one voice. The primary objective of CCIFSA is to organise and unify the creative sector, to this effect I am challenging the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation to start with processes whereby the all artists are registered and join the federation. Yes it is a daunting task with many challenges, but I believe it is achievable.

As former President Nelson Mandela eloquently stated It always seems impossible until it’s done

Ladies and Gentlemen, no artist should expect hand-outs from government. We want artists to work for themselves and earn their stripes.

However in doing so, as government we should ensure that artists are rotated at festivals such as the Diamond and Dorings, Gariep, Kalahari Fees etc. We have to ensure through consultation with festival organisers that the artist line-ups are as diverse as possible and that artists are appointed on merit. We must also bear in mind that arts and culture is not just entertainment.

Without pre-empting the discussions over the next two days, I just hope that this Summit will interrogate some of the challenges that face the industry at large. I hope that we will have candid discussions that will not only be about lamenting the difficulty that artists find themselves in, but also sharing of success stories that can be emulated.

In conclusion, I once again express my gratitude to all the artists that graced this occasion today.

We acknowledge the sterling contribution that you have made in facilitating nation building and promoting social cohesion. May you endure in critical debating and robust engagements which will lead to concrete resolutions that will revive and rebuild a sector that is a catalyst for nation building and social cohesion.

Thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa

SCOPA INSTRUCTS SITA TO LOOK INTO PROCESS OF CANCELLING FDA CONTRACT AND REPORT BACK WITHIN 14 DAYS

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has instructed the Board of the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) to report back to Scopa within 14 days on the process of cancelling the Forensic Data Analysts (FDA) contract. Scopa is appalled that a sole company owned by an ex-policeman can hold the whole country to ransom by threatening the collapse of the criminal justice system if the state cancels this contract. This power should reside with the state, not an individual.

The Committee has noted the assurance by the head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), Mr Robert McBride, that the investigation into the FDA matter is at an advanced stage. Scopa is looking forward to the conclusion of this investigation and has requested the National Treasury to provide it with the reasons given by the South African Police Service (SAPS) when it requested deviations for the FDA contract.

Scopa has requested Sita to forward to the Committee the legal advice and interpretation of that advice it received from their counsel that led to the agency paying FDA, even after it was advised against doing so by Parliament.

The Committee has also welcomed the assurance from the National Commissioner of Police, General Kehla Sithole, that SAPS will work with Ipid and provide all relevant information needed by Ipid to conduct its work, particularly in the cases of Captain Morris Tshabalala and Lt General Richard Mdluli.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Cape Town Air Access sees phenomenal success

Speech by the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille at the annual Cape Town Air Access meeting

Tonight we are taking stock of the phenomenal success we have achieved through this great partnership called Cape Town Air Access.

In 2017 we saw exceptional growth of 20% of international passengers to our city despite South Africa’s economy facing a technical recession.

I am proud to say that Air Access shows how we can deliver on our goals to increase economic activity if all three spheres of government and the private sector work together.

Each year the City of Cape Town contributes more than R1 million to Cape Town Air Access.

Since the official launch of Air Access in February 2016 we have seen the addition of 10 new routes and 12 route expansions for Cape Town International Airport.

During 2017 the number of arrivals of international terminal passengers increased to 2,4 million, which meant growth of 20% year-on-year.

International airline seating capacity has almost doubled during the past year with over 1,5 million seats being added to the network.

International cargo volumes have also grown significantly, increasing by 52% during 2017 accompanied by a 17% increase in domestic cargo volumes.

In an environment where South Africa is experiencing slow economic growth, these double-digit figures move us in the opposite direction and contribute to job creation.

Air connectivity is undoubtedly a key enabler of our economy.

The recent Grant Thornton study commissioned by Air Access in 2017 conservatively estimated that the socio-economic impact of obtaining three new routes from North America, South America and Asia would contribute R700 million to the province’s Gross Geographic Product and add over 2 200 jobs.

The same Grant Thornton study estimated that a modest increase of 70 000 extra tourists to the city and the province from these three destinations will lead to an increase in tourist expenditure of over R700 million.

The current Air Access efforts have given rise to an estimated 800 000 extra seats on routes flying directly to Cape Town.

I am looking forward to seeing how Cape Town Air Access will take advantage of the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market initiative being spearheaded by the African Union.

It is especially encouraging to see how our Air Access success is attracting more flights and seating capacity between African cities such as Angola, Kenya, Rwanda and Mauritius this year.

This is in addition to French airline Joon flying directly to Cape Town and Cathay Pacific introducing a direct flight from Hong Kong.

While we are welcoming more visitors and making it easier for businesses and investors to travel to Cape Town, the City is proactively working to create an opportunity city that attracts investment, enables inclusive growth and job creation.

As the drivers of change, cities are at the coalface of dealing with challenges that include unemployment, inequality and climate change.

Based on these encouraging results thus far, I am confident that the Air Access team has internalised the premise that in Cape Town we understand that the world owes us nothing.

We are competing in a global village and, in line with the City’s goals to be a globally competitive businesses destination, we have to constantly work harder to let the world know that we are open for business.

We must innovate and be ready to adapt in our ever-changing world so that we stand out as a serious player in the global economy.

In this way more people will make Cape Town their destination of choice for business or leisure.

In Cape Town we believe that, in order to truly achieve economic inclusion and equality, investment must coincide with our social responsibility and commitment to help those who need it most and build an inclusive city.

Therefore, we are introducing policies that aim to stimulate growth sectors like business support and ICT � while we encourage innovation especially in the new shared economy.

In closing, I want to thank the Air Access team and our partners such as the Cape Town International Airport for all the hard work and commitment to making the Air Access goals a reality.

We look forward to working with you all for another record-setting year.

Source: City of Cape Town

Department of Science and Technology to meet business on research and development tax incentive

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will meet with the business sector in Pretoria on Friday, 2 March, to outline progress made in improving the research and development (R and D) tax incentive programme.

The improvements are being implemented in response to recommendations made by a task team established by the Minister of Science and Technology to address bottlenecks experienced by businesses accessing the incentive. Administrative delays, the complexity of information, and limited access for small and medium enterprises and start-ups were among the problems encountered.

The Director-General of Science and Technology, Dr Phil Mjwara, will address the breakfast seminar, which will be attended by R and D managers, finance and tax executives of R and D performing companies, and tax consultants that assist companies to access the incentive.

Government set up the R and D tax incentive programme in 2006 as an instrument to stimulate private sector investment in R and D and innovation in South Africa.

By undertaking R and D, companies enhance their innovative capabilities, and are better able to create new products, processes and services, and to improve existing ones.

The latest data indicates that general expenditure on R and D as a percentage of GDP, which is a key indicator of R and D intensity in the economy, was 0,80% in 2015/16. The South African government wants to raise this to 1,5% of GDP. Increasing R and D will improve the country’s economic competitiveness.

Source: Department of Science and Technology