Category Archives: News

SA must embrace 4th Industrial Revolution to remain competitive

South Africa needs to embrace the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or risk being less competitive globally, says Deputy President David Mabuza.

The Deputy President said this when answering questions at the National Council of Provinces on Thursday afternoon.

He said last month, in his Capacity as the Chairperson of the Human Resource Development Council, he hosted the third HRDC Summit stakeholders, which discussed how to develop new networks, strengthen existing partnerships, and share the latest lessons through education and skills transfer.

The stakeholders, the Deputy President said, also looked at how governments can transform their economies in light of emerging trends in global economy, especially the implications of what is termed as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

At that Summit, a point was made that the pace of change over the last few years has largely been shaped by technological disruption and innovation.

These disruptions have an equal impact on the current set of jobs in the market. This means that as we continue to focus on skills development, we must bear in mind that even jobs that were considered as vocational, are now becoming high tech and require specialised knowledge and skills.

This reality suggests that digital disruption will impact on how we do things. Therefore, as South Africa we need to embrace this global trend or risk becoming less competitive on the global stage. As part of this embrace, our training and skills development must be accelerated to keep up with the pace of change, he said.

He said that the Department of Science and Technology is currently investing in the technological building blocks of this revolution.

On this end, the department will develop a public-funded science, technology and innovation plan of action over the next 12-18 months for socio-economic impact in the context of this revolution.

Through smart investments in research and development, the Department of Science and Technology is supporting South African industry to grow and create more jobs through building scientific, technological and knowledge-based capabilities, he said.

The Deputy President also said that government needs a private sector that is engaged so that as a country, everyone involved can unlock the full potential of education and training sector.

Future value creation lies in humans and machines working together to create new user experiences, new products, new services, and new possibilities.

We must therefore put relevant programmes in place to develop the necessary skills through rethinking education systems and incentivising lifelong learning. This is why investment in early childhood development is critical.

For its part, the Human Resource Development Council has held roadshows to create awareness regarding the HRD Strategy towards 2030 with various structures, including the Provincial Human Resource Development Forums, Provincial Human Resource Development Councils, Provincial Skills Development Forums, Public Sector Trainers Forum; and Human Resource Development Provincial Coordination forums.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Minister Nomvula Mapisa-Nqakula attends 20th Session of SADC MCO meeting, 21 Jun

On Thursday, 21 June 2018, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will attend the 20th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation meeting in Luanda, Angola.

The MCO was preceded by numerous meetings of senior officials from the 18th to the 20th of June 2018.

The meeting will discuss, inter alia, matters relating to regional peace and security, review of elections in the region, social-economic development and share guidelines for crime prevention throughout SADC. Additionally, topping the agenda will be the security situation in Lesotho, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo respectively.

Minister Mapisa-Nqakula will be accompanied by a high level delegation of the South African National Defence Force.

Source: Government of South Africa

Government’s intervention on Eskom welcomed

Cabinet has welcomed the intervention made by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in the wage negotiations dispute between the Eskom management and labour.

Last Friday, Gordhan convened a meeting with the Eskom board and management and the three labour unions — National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Solidarity — with the intention of getting all parties to engage on the issues around the employee salary negotiations.

Briefing the media on the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said a team has been assigned to deal with issues of wage negotiations, and they hope that all parties will appreciate the need to expedite the process and find an amicable solution towards the impasse at Eskom.

She said Gordhan will continue to update Cabinet, Presidency and National Treasury on any development that may arise.

Responding to criminal acts reported, including road blockades, attacks on staff, and wilful damage of electricity infrastructure, Mokonyane warned that nobody is entitled to destroy property, whether its organised workers or public.

There is a law in South Africa that has been passed in line with the Criminal Procedure Act, where there is an amendment that deals with destruction of public property as an act of crime, and it is within that, that even the destruction of property in terms of what we’ve seen at Eskom, must be deemed as an act of crime.

Nobody is entitled to destroy property It is an act of sabotage and it is going to cost the state. In this instance, it is economic sabotage and the amendment act must actually kick in and deal with these issues, the Minister warned.

She said several arrests have been made in connection with this.

Protests on highways

Cabinet also strongly condemned the recent blocking of several highways by protestors in some parts of the country, warning that criminal acts of aggression and disruptions will not be tolerated.

Highways are a critical part of our transport infrastructure that supports the transportation of goods and services of the various sectors of the economy. Our constitutional democracy provides for platforms wherein people can raise their issues without causing any disruptions, Mokonyane said.

She further called on law-enforcement officers to take the necessary steps, within the confines of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has approved the Decommissioning and Decontamination (D&D) liabilities attached to the past Disused Strategic Nuclear Facilities (Stage 1) and current operating facilities (Stage 2) at Phelindaba site.

Currently, these liabilities reflect in the books of NECSA (South African Nuclear Energy Corporation) resulting in liabilities exceeding the assets, and project negatively on its going concern status.

Cabinet approved that the process should be taken forward in consultation with the National Treasury.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Eastern Cape Province ready to monitor and police initiation season

KING WILLIAM’S TOWN: At least 196 coordinators from all the SAPS stations in the province have been equipped with one vehicle each to ensure that they are able to deliver on their duties of monitoring and policing the 2018 Winter Traditional Initiation Season.

The policing of the May-June 2018 initiation season has been divided into three categories, before, during and after the initiation.

As part of the preparations, on the 17-30 November 2017, Vispol Coordinators attended a training on how best they can monitor the initiation. Awareness campaigns were also conducted to inform the initiates and prepare parents on what is expected and accepted by law that regulates initiation.

During the initiation season, SAPS coordinators will be paying regular and random visits to initiation schools to check for compliance to the act regulating traditional initiations called Eastern Cape Customary Male Initiation Practice Act, (Act no 5 of 2016) and effect arrests where crime has been committed.

In addition, they will search for drugs, alcohol and illegal weapons that may be hidden inside traditional initiates huts and eliminate any possibility for any criminal to use the initiation huts as hideouts from the law. Our mandate also extends to the protection of Initiation Forum members from possible injury and attack while executing their duties.

Dedicated detectives have been assigned to investigate all initiation related cases and tasked with taking all the suspects and investigated cases to court for decision.

Police appeal to the parents, traditional leaders, family and relatives to work closely and cooperate with the police initiation coordinators to avert any danger, death, injury and disregard for the law during this season. In previous instances police had a challenge with parents who failed to follow the proper procedure as well as lack of parental supervision, non-compliance by traditional surgeons, circumcision of underage boys and in other instances torture of initiates.

Our strategic partners from COGTA (Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, Department of Health, NPA, Department of Education, office of the Premier and NGOs within the community will combine forces and resources to avert any harm and potential danger to our children undergoing initiation.

Our members will continue to monitor the traditional ceremonies and will follow up with school campaigns to warn amakrwala about the dangers of gangsterism and bullying. This will be undertaken under the auspices of the ‘Somagwaza Campaign.’

Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen LiziweNtshinga assured the community that the police will do their best to prevent any possible deaths of initiates to ensure a safe initiation season.

We have learned from previous experiences, formed strategic partnerships with other state organs to ensure that no crime is committed during this season, if committed, perpetrators must be arrested and held liable for their actions. Our members will open cases and charge perpetrators for crimes ranging from illegal circumcision, torture of initiates, circumcision of underage initiates including providing false information under oath, i.e. perjury, said Lt Gen Ntshinga.

Source: South African Police Service

Young women raise gender-based violence fears with President

Young South African women no longer feel safe walking down the street – they fear being attacked, raped and killed.

Women who participated in the Young Women Dialogue at the Johannesburg City Hall on Tuesday evening raised these and other concerns with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The dialogue, organised by the Department of Women as part of government’s Youth Month activities, was an opportunity for young women to discuss the challenges they face in all aspects of life.

Gender-based violence was highlighted as among the top challenges facing South African women. The scourge, they said, has reached pandemic proportions.

The meeting recommended the establishment of a Gender Violence Council as a platform to address gender-based violence. The women further called for the speedy conclusion of rape trials, so as not to delay the victims’ healing process.

President Ramaphosa, who participated in the dialogue, commended the young women for being articulate, direct and courageous. He assured them that the issues they had articulated had not fallen on deaf ears.

You’ve demonstrated great bravery, courage and integrity where you stood up for the rights of women and people. As you speak, we are listening. We are heeding a lot of things that you are saying.

We do so because the future belongs to you. The future is what you determine, and the future is about you, and it’s about what you are talking about tonight, President Ramaphosa said.

Call for more women in science

One of the attendees, nuclear scientist SenamileMasango, used the dialogue to call for an increase in the number of women in the fields of science and engineering.

The 30-year-old said there is a critical shortage of trained people in these fields and she stressed the need to increase the numbers as the skill is essential for the country’s development.

The shortage of scientists and engineers is also an issue as the number of percentage of women graduates is still below 20%. Increasing the number of women in science and engineering in any company is a competitive advantage and it will both result in an increase of critical and better access to basic services, Masango said.

Allow women to take the lead

The President said he would like to see such dialogues continue in August to explore women’s issues further. He said they should include intergenerational and male participation so they can listen to the issues articulated by young women.

We want men to take a back seat and allow women to take the lead and come up with solutions that will continue to build our nation. It is the women who can come up with the solutions, and it is a young women in our country who can come up with solutions, the President said.

He called on the nation, particularly men, to honour the women of South Africa as they take full responsibility toward nation building.

Women bear the brunt of everything that is negative in the country and therefore they should be recognised as nation builders. If you ever wanted to find a nation builder, look no further, look at the women of our country and you will see nation builders.

If you ever wanted to see homebuilders, look no further, look at the women of our country and you will see family builders. We should, as men, honour you for the role and position you have in our nation, President Ramaphosa said.

The dialogue was held under the theme ‘Live the legacy: towards socio-economically empowered young women’.

Source: South African Government News Agency