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Thanks to the opening of the Giyani Water Treatment Works, 55 villages in Mopani District Municipality will receive clean running water. Two months ago, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane visited Giyani and promised the communities that when she returns, they would have access to clean water.
The water plant was opened by President Jacob Zuma during his recent monitoring visit to Giyani in Limpopo to assess the provision of water following recent community complaints. The visit to the Greater Giyani Local Municipality in the Mopani District Municipality formed part of the Presidential Siyahlola Monitoring Programme through which the President undertakes hands-on monitoring of service delivery. The Giyani Water Treatment Works is part of the 26 Water Treatment Works, which supplies the Mopani District.
The scope of the Giyani Water Treatment Works refurbishment project, which is 98 per cent complete, includes the construction of additional 6.7 megalitres per day capacity Water Treatment Works. It also includes the refurbishment of the existing 30-megalitre Water Treatment Works to increase the supply to 36.7 megalitres per day. President Zuma visited Emily Samboa€™s family in Bonwani village, where he opened a water tap installed inside her yard. Sambo, 68, has been struggling for years; waking up at 5am and walking kilometres to fetch water from a river. Addressing the community at the Giyani Stadium, President Zuma admitted that there was a shortage of water in Mopani District, adding that the scale of dependence on boreholes showed the seriousness of this challenge, even in the hospitals.
He also noted that water is a serious challenge in many communities and South Africa was growing into a water scarce country, particularly due to broader changes caused by climate change and global warming. Government has made various interventions to deal with the challenge of water supply in the country. President Zuma said government was also increasing the Municipal Infrastructure Grant to enable the municipalities to increase their scale of service delivery. Government is implementing financial interventions to boost the economy in order to increase economic participation to create jobs and extend income support to the most vulnerable. Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene recently tabled governmenta€™s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, also known as the mini-budget, and announced that due to low tax revenue and other economic constraints, government needs to lower its expenditure spending ceiling in order to save R1,3 billion over the next two years.
But, the Minister said, all social grants will be safe and will not be affected by austerity measures.
The National Treasury has revised the countrya€™s economic growth downwards to 1,4 per cent, which is a stark contrast to the real Growth Domestic Product (GDP) of 2,7 per cent that was projected in the February budget. This is due to external and domestic constraints, including a slowdown in Europe, China and other emerging economies. As a result of slow growth, we are not raising enough from our tax collection and our revenue is below the projected target. Minister Nene said the National Treasury will be taking difficult tax decisions to boost revenue. According to the National Treasury documents, government proposes to allocate just under R500 billion to social protection over the next three years. Details of what this means to the pockets of the beneficiaries is expected to be announced in the main budget in 2015. By improving the management of the Expanded Public Works Programme, combined with rapid growth in allocations, means that government is on track to achieve its target of 6 million short- to medium-term jobs between 2014 and 2019.
Implementing the employment tax incentive, which provides firms with incentives to hire young workers, is already supporting at least 209 000 young workers in about 23 500 firms. The Jobs Fund, which will spend about R3,9 billion over the next three years, will partner with the private sector and non-governmental organisations on projects expected to create more than 167 000 jobs.
To create platforms for the growth of export-oriented firms, a number of special economic zones are to be established, complementing existing incentives for industrialisation. The Minister said on top of these job creation initiatives, government would also continue to supply free basic electricity to vulnerable groups of the society.
It is what every citizen hopes for a€“ a government that listens to their needs and then delivers services that address those needs.
After all, we all want to have a say in that which impacts us directly in our day-to-day lives. Government is a step closer to the vision of building a capable state, with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluationa€™s (DPME) piloting of the Citizensbssased Monitoring (CBM) approach. CBM monitors governmenta€™s performance, focusing on the experience of ordinary citizens to strengthen public accountability and improve service delivery. CBM closes the gap between the perceived and actual experiences of service delivery for both the user (citizen) and the provider (government). Jonathan Timm, the Director of CBM at DPME, says the programme utilises feedback from citizens to improve the services that are delivered.
Timm says that civil servants are also consulted to determine what the challenges are in delivering services. Secondly, CBM teams from the community, which have been trained by the DPME, conduct community surveys on localsa€™ experiences when they receive government services.
Short questionnaires are used to determine from citizens what they think about the participating government departments.
The surveys are also used to gather the views of staff members providing the services, to get their opinion on the conditions that they work under. The third step includes community members, staff, civil society and service delivery facility managers coming together to determine the way forward.
Timm adds that once a plan to improve services has been discussed and agreed on, a public commitment to the improvements is made at a community meeting, bringing together government officials, local councillors, traditional leaders and community members. The last phase of the programme ensures plans are in place for improvements, including ways for community members to monitor progress towards achieving agreed upon targets. The first phase of the CBM pilot has already been completed in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal and Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State.
CBM is currently being piloted in Temba in Gauteng, Burgersfort in Limpopo and Jouberton in North West. By 2015, CBM would have been piloted in all nine provinces and DPME will work with sector departments to take CBM to a bigger scale. A five-year strategy will then be developed and policy recommendations will be submitted to Cabinet. Written by Nosihle ShelembeGovernment will implement ocean economy projects, which are expected to contribute more than R20 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2019. He said progress on the ocean economy initiatives would be monitored on a weekly basis by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. President Zuma was speaking in Durban during the open day of Operation Phakisa, which promotes economic growth and job creation in line with the goals outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP). The open day was an opportunity for the President to release the results of weeks of exploratory work of unlocking the countrya€™s ocean economy.
Operation Phakisa has four priority areas, which include marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture as well as marine protection services and ocean governance. The operation is an adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology that was successfully applied by the Malaysian Government in the delivery of its Economic and Government Transformation Programmes. President Zuma said the oceans have the potential to contribute up to R177 billion to the GDP and create just over one million jobs by 2033. He said teams from government, labour, business, academia and other sectors worked together explore all possibilities and further unlock the potential of the countrya€™s vast coastline. South Africaa€™s coast and adjoining waters have possible resources of approximately nine billion barrels of oil. The aquaculture work stream underlined the high growth potential of South Africaa€™s aquaculture sector due to an increasing demand for fish. One of the initiatives includes implementing 24 projects across South Africa, which are expected to grow the aquaculture sectora€™s revenue from about R500 million today, to almost R1,4 billion in 2019. President Zuma said the marine protection services and ocean governance work stream has undertaken the task of developing a comprehensive, integrated ocean governance framework for the sustainable growth of the ocean economy. He said work on an Ocean Act was in progress and a draft Oceans Bill would be ready in 2015. The marine transport work stream has developed 18 initiatives across three categories, including infrastructure and operations, skills and capacity building as well as market growth to accelerate sector growth.
President Zuma said the initiatives would expand the South African port capacity for repair work for oil ships and oil rigs. Another target included increasing the amount of minerals exported on South African ships, which would create more than 4 000 direct jobs. President Zuma said some of the progress made included the process of establishing a National Shipping Company in partnership with South Korea. He said Operation Phakisa represented a new spirit of moving faster in achieving a growth target of five per cent by 2019. This was a year in which we reflected frequently on our nationa€™s achievements during 20 Years of Freedom a€“ 20 years that brought opportunity and hope to millions of our people. This is the time of year when millions of South Africans a€“ like millions of people around the world a€“ begin to a€?easea€? into the year-end, reflecting on the past 12 months, taking a breather from work (for the 15 million who are employed) and thinking up resolutions for the year ahead.
For government, where our financial year ends on March 31, December is a festive year-end but not an official year-end.
Even so, we look back on 2014 as a year in which we achieved many milestones and were also deeply wounded as a nation when we lost compatriots in the church tragedy in Lagos, Nigeria, or, more recently, when we lost our sporting personalities such as Senzo Meyiwa, Mbulaheni Mulaudzi, Shadrack Ngcobo, Phindile Mwelase and Tinus Linee. Social grants, extended public works programmes, community works programmes, government support for cooperatives and emerging farmers, and free social housing, water and electricity for millions of South Africans are among the ways we have brought dignity and security to citizens. Giving students state funding to study at our universities, making it possible for medical students to develop their careers in a partner country such as Cuba and launching brand-new universities and other institutions of higher learning are among the ways we are investing in our nationa€™s knowledge base for a more sophisticated economy in the future.
Cutting back on the red tape involved in starting a business, creating special economic and industrial development zones, improving our rail and port infrastructure, building new hospitals, clinics and residential settlements have all been part of improving our economy and living conditions a€“ and of creating jobs for people who need them the most. South Africaa€™s built landscape is changing every day as we undertake ambitious projects that are quickly changing the way we live and do business, the way we feel about ourselves and the way the world looks at and interacts with us. But our nation faces a much greater challenge: that of building from the inside, not the outside.
As you read this, we are observing 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children as part of a year-round campaign to protect vulnerable groups in our society and to focus our attention on the values and principles by which we live. This is also a period during which we observe World Aids and the United Nations day dedicated to people with disability.
In addition, with people preparing to head home or on holiday to various parts of the country, this is the time our Arrive Alive campaign advocates safety on our roads and responsible and respectful celebrations around Christmas, New Year and other festivities. Each year, as we experience these campaigns, we are confronted by frightening statistics, stories and experiences arising from the actions of South Africans whose behaviours, attitudes and actions have not kept pace with the visible development we see around us. There are just too many of us who live by the knife, the gun, the bottle neck or illicit drugs. Much of the violence and conflict we experience in our communities arise from greed or disrespect for common decency and the values of living in harmony with those around us.
Grandchildren who abuse their elders, grandfathers who abuse their descendants, teachers who have inappropriate relations with learners and workplace supervisors who sexually abuse or exploit staff tell us we need to build hearts and minds, not just bricks and mortar. It is a tragedy - and very often a further breaking of the law - that thousands of South Africans stand by idly or turn a blind eye to terrible events, adding to the misery, suffering and violation suffered by relatives, friends, neighbours or colleagues. The law-abiding majority of South Africans must take a stand that will show those who have no respect for the wishes, lives or property of others that they have no place in our decent society.
When people aren't able to or refuse conduct themselves with dignity and respect, it is our law enforcement agencies to whom we turn for justice, punishment, rehabilitation and restitution. In such cases, we welcome the occasions on which our courts send clear and severe messages to criminals and show our communities that the courts are responsive to the outrage and trauma we all feel when individuals break the law or the codes of common decency. Daily, killers, rapists, cable thieves, members of mall heists and truck-jackings gangs are dealt with by our courts, thanks to the dedicated and often dangerous work of our police, prosecutors and cooperation of witnesses who are often terrified of retribution but choose to take a stand against perpetrators of crime. The call to this effect was first made by our founding President Nelson Mandela who spoke of the reconstruction and development programme of the mind.
Indeed, this December we unite again as a nation to reflect on those sad moments on the evening of 5 December 2013, when our beloved Madiba left us after an extended illness.
It was a heart-breaking moment for his family, for South Africa and for the world and it was a moment that challenged us to ensure that Madiba's legacy as a moral beacon nationally and internationally - and his many calls to action - would live in our lives as individuals and communities. While December is indeed a time to take it easy and reflect, it's also a season of commitment not just to New Year's resolutions but to a whole new life ahead.
As President of our Republic and on behalf of government and my family, I wish you a joyous and safe festive season. The opening of Transnet Wagons Refurbishing Facility in De Aar has injected economic activity into the quiet town south of Kimberly, Northern Cape. The Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, and the Premier of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas, officially opened the wagon refurbishment facility, a Youth Multi-Purpose precinct and handed over two houses to poor families. The centrea€™s manager Timothy Jonas said the facility had created jobs and some of those working at the facility had also bought property in De Aar, giving the economy of the small town a boost. Currently, the facility is responsible for repairing old and run down wagons that are 10 years old. By end of October, 83 NDZLJ 1 wagons had been repaired and only 80 were still in need of repair. Jonas said the opening of the facility has sparked interest in rail engineering from the community. After losing her job as a field worker in the Department of Social Developmenta€™s Ba Lelapa programme, 29-year Nadia Khowaa€™s life was an uphill battle. For over 18 months she could not afford the basics and was in a financially difficult space. Khowaa€™s contract as a field worker at the departmenta€™s regional office was not renewed. The opening of the Transnet Wagon Refurbishment Facility has changed Khowaa€™s life and given hope to the many unemployed young people of De Aar in Northern Cape.
Khowa is responsible for grinding, flame cutting, fitting components onto wagons, and assembling the wheels of wagons.
Although she is grateful for the opportunity, she said the facility should also concentrate on transferring skills. Residents of Soweto will now find it a little easier to leave their cars at home and take to the streets on a bicycle instead. The Department of Environmental Affairs, in partnership with the City of Johannesburg and the German government, recently launched the Orlando Cycles Paths & Complete Streets project in Orlando.
The project is aimed at making the city environmentally friendly, giving residents an alternative to private cars, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting renewable energy sources and creating climate change awareness. Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi encouraged the community to use bicycles to get around and keep fit. MEC Vadi said the population is increasing and finding alternative modes of transport would reduce time in traffic, increase health in the country and benefit the environment.
City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau said he was happy about the new infrastructure in Orlando.
The Mayor added that this type of infrastructure aimed to improve peoplea€™s health and that of the environment.
Tlou Ramaru, Chief Director at Environmental Affairs, who represented the department at the launch, said the project had a socioeconomic impact on the environment. He said the department hoped the project would reduce carbon emission and greenhouse gases.
As the world observed World Aids Day on the 1 December, South Africa used the opportunity to reflect on the gains made in the fight against HIV and AIDS. This year World Aids Day was commemorated under the theme: a€?Zero Stigma and Discriminationa€?. While the country has made strides in fighting the disease over the past 20 years, Vuka€™uzenzele takes a look at the countrya€™s achievements since 2009. All patients with both TB and HIV would receive anti-retrovirals if their CD4 count was 350 or less. All pregnant HIV positive women with a CD4 count of 350 or with symptoms, regardless of CD4 count, would receive treatment. Other pregnant women not falling into this category, but who were HIV positive were put on treatment at 14 weeks of pregnancy to protect the baby.
In April 2010, President Zuma and Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi launched the HIV Counselling and Testing campaign to encourage all South Africans to know their HIV status and get screened for TB.
Through the campaign, the department targeted people from the age of 12 and older, with the hope of reaching 15 million people by June 2011. In 2011, President Zuma launched the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV and AIDS 2012- 2016 to deal with TB, HIV, sexually transmitted infections and issues of violence against women.
Reducing new HIV infections by at least 50 per cent by using a combination of prevention approaches.
Putting at least 80 per cent of eligible patients on anti-retroviral treatment with 70 per cent being alive and on treatment five years after initiation. Ensuring an enabling and accessible legal framework that protected and promoted human rights in order to support the implementation of the NSP. In 2012, the Department of Health released a report on research conducted by the Medical Research Council that estimated that the countrya€™s life expectancy, which stood at 56.5 years in 2009, had increased to 60 years in 2011 (57 years for men and 63 years for women). Added to this, the under-five mortality rate had also fallen - from 56 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2009, to 42 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2011. In 2013, the Department of Health announced the introduction of a single dose of the triple combination of tenofovir, entricitabine and efavirenz for people living with HIV. The new drug meant people living with HIV had to take only one pill a day to maintain their health, saving up to R2,2 billion over two years with a 38 per cent reduction in drug costs. As from January 2015, HIV positive patients on treatment at the CD4 count of 500 would be put on treatment compared to the current CD4 count of 350. With regards to pregnant women the Department of Health would now follow option B+ of the World Health Organisation, which stipulates that every pregnant HIV positive woman goes on life long treatment regardless of their CD4 count status.
In 2016 South Africa will host the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban for all those working in the HIV field, including scientists, policymakers, activists political leaders, healthcare providers, people living with HIV and others committed to the global response to HIV and AIDS. Although she sometimes feels as if people are judging her for having HIV, Mqwathi is determined to make her voice heard and in the process, educate others about the disease. Mqwathi said after discovering her status she was immediately put on the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme to ensure that her baby did not contract the virus.
If she is found to be HIV positive, she will have the option to join the PMTCT programme free of charge.
It was this programme that helped ensure Mqwathia€™s son who is now eight years old is HIV negative. Her message to all young people is to look after their health and make the right decisions, while she advises those living with the virus to have a positive attitude. Apart from being an HIV and AIDS activist Mqwathi is also studying towards a degree in Drama Therapy. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended efforts from all role players in the fight against HIV and AIDS, saying this has resulted in important gains being made towards reducing the spread and impact of the epidemic.
Briefing reporters on the 2016 International Aids Conference, the Deputy President said the world could bring the HIV and AIDS epidemic to an end through sustained collaboration between various sectors of society. South Africa, which has the highest number of people living with HIV in the world, has rolled out the worlda€™s largest treatment programme, with over 2,7 million people initiated on anti-retrovirals. The Deputy President said while many achievements have been made, South Africa was not yet home free, as evidenced in the stubbornly high numbers of new infections.
Getting those on treatment not to default and overcome stigma was still a tricky hurdle to negotiate. The 2016 International Aids Conference will be held in Durban and the country will be hosting it for the second time in the same town since 2000. The Deputy President said the 2000 conference was pivotal in focusing the worlda€™s attention on the impact of HIV in sub- Saharan Africa, fundamentally changing the course of the epidemic on the continent.
The Deputy President quoted the late former President Nelson Mandela when he said in his closing address to the 2000 conference: a€?AIDS today in Africa is claiming more lives than the sum total of all wars, famines and floods and the ravages of such deadly diseases as malariaa€?. The Deputy President said by the time the conference starts in Durban, a€?we will be able to report significant progress on all these frontsa€?.
The conference is organised by the International Aids Society, with its partners the United Nations, the South African government and international civil society organisations. Written by Noluthando Mkhize, SANewsSince the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) some six months ago, countries across the world are scrambling to fight and control the disease. In recent months more than 5 500 people have contracted the disease and over 2 500 have died. While African countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are still battling to control the virus, South Africa is out of the woods with no suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola in the country and its neighbouring states. Despite no Ebola cases reported in South Africa, government has stepped up its efforts to control the disease to ensure the countrya€™s readiness. The Department of Health has also reassured South Africans that health care workers are ready to deal with any cases of infection. Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene also announced during this Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, that Treasury allocated an additional R32,6 million to the department to prevent the spread of Ebola to South Africa. Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that all provinces have trained outbreak response teams and have regular meetings at national level to monitor the Ebola outbreak and preparedness measures.
Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have been identified as the provinces at the highest risk for importation of cases. The surveillance for viral hemorrhagic fevers, in particular EVD, has been strengthened at ports of entry and thermal scanners have been installed at the OR Tambo and Lanseria Airports. The National Health Laboratory Service and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases have also intensified laboratory surveillance and the port health services, including public and private health care practitioners, are on alert for any ill persons that have travelled to very high-risk areas. Each province has designated health facilities to manage EVD cases in 11 designated hospitals.
The 11 hospitals are Polokwane in Limpopo, Rob Ferreira in Mpumalanga, Charlotte Maxeke and Steve Biko in Gauteng, Addington in KwaZulu Natal, Klerksdorp in North West Pelonomi in Free State, Kimberley in Northern Cape, Frere in East London Livingstone in Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape and Tygerberg in Western Cape. All PPE kits include one overall, a pair of over shoes, a pair of N95 masks, two pairs of gloves, one white plastic apron and one set of goggles. Approximately 100 registered nurses at the South African Military Health Service have been trained in (biosafety level) BSL-4 isolation techniques.
The EVD cannot be spread through casual contact but is rather transmitted from person to person through direct contact with blood or infected tissues from an infected person. The disease can then spread in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids.
EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.
More than 65 000 students at 11 universities and colleges have received their loans and bursaries through the new National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) direct pilot model. The new model has provided financial aid totalling R1,4 billion to pay for tuition, books, accommodation, food and travel. With the new model students no longer receive cash instead they receive vouchers on their cellphones, which they can use to buy their day-to-day necessities.
This voucher can be retrieved at any Spar or Shoprite store, where students can buy food, as well as NSFAS accredited bookshops. For the second year of the pilot phase in 2015, returning students who were funded in 2014 do not have to re-apply. He said NSFAS funds 450 000 students every year, providing loans and bursaries to the value of R9,2 billion and reducing the number of students who have to re-apply every year will make the administration much quicker and easier.
The NSFAS system also encourages students to excel at their studies by offering a conversion of up to 40 per cent of a student loan to a bursary in each year of study. Students are also incentivised through the NSFAS Final Year Programme where students who pass and graduate receive a conversion of their final year loan to a 100 per cent bursary.
Institutions participating in the pilot include Durban University of Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in the Eastern Cape, Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape, University of Mpumalanga, University of South Africa, University of Venda in Limpopo, Ekurhuleni East College in Gauteng, King Hintsa College in the Eastern Cape, Motheo College in the Free State, South Cape College in the Western Cape and Umfolozi College in KwaZulu-Natal.
While government is doing its best to ensure that all children receive quality education, parents also need to make a contribution to their childa€™s education.
One of the best ways to do this is for parents to take an interest in the affairs of the school their child attends. From 6th to 28th March 2015, schools across the country will host elections for their School Governing Body (SGB). During this period, parents who have children at a particular school can be elected to serve for a three-year term on that schoola€™s governing body. SGBs are made up of parents, teachers, pupils and people working in the school like clerks and cleaners. Over the three-year term, the governing body will be responsible for drafting school policy, which should be in line with the policies of the Department of Basic Education. According to Director of Education Management and Governance Development at the department James Ndlebe, SGBs are responsible for drafting and implementing financial and religious policies. Apart from policy implementation, the SGB is also responsible for drafting the code of conduct, maintenance of the physical structure of the school, hiring of teachers and any other activities relating to the day to day running of the school.
He said that it was important for parents to participate in the affairs of the schools their children attend because their research showed that the performance of schools at which parents participated in the SGBs had increased. The Department of Basic Education meets with the SGBs four times in a year to discuss and find solutions of the challenges experienced.
This is all thanks to three South African graduates - Adrian Cox, Pratik Pokharel and Monique Baars - who founded ClickMaths, a non-profit organisation in 2012.
Cox, Pokharel and Baars were students at the University of Cape Town when they had the idea to start ClickMaths. ClickMaths offers mathematic tutorials online through videos that can be accessed anywhere.
Cox, Pokharel and Baars believe that there is a big difference between learning and understanding a subject. They view maths as a language on its own and is therefore difficult to understand when it is taught in a different language other than onea€™s mother tongue. Being able to access maths in onea€™s home language makes it easier to understand and eventually improve maths marks, even though the tests are in English. The trio chose to translate maths lessons into isiXhosa as it is widely spoken in South Africa, especially in many rural towns in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
They have also started translating maths lessons into isiZulu and would like to translate them into other South African languages.
There are 30 translators involved in the programme, 20 dealing with isiXhosa and 10 with isiZulu.
The students feel they can finally understand concepts and the teachers appreciate the videos and use them as extra teaching material in the classrooms.
When asked why they chose the name ClickMaths they said: a€?We control technology to improve education. For many years, 56-year-old Cabangile Mdletshe worked on other peoplea€™s fields as a weeder.
Life was tough for the resident of Khula village in Mtuba, northern KwaZulu-Natal, and she often had to travel long distances to harvest iKhwani (water straw grass), knit it to make grass mats, which she sold.
Things have improved for Mdletshe, her family and village as a result of Department of Agriculture and Rural Developmenta€™s training programme on the use of permaculture system. Permaculture is a system of agriculture that is developed to be sustainable, ecologically sound and self-sufficient.
After receiving the training, Mdletshe and 179 families were given a plot, which they used to start a garden using a permaculture system. The departmenta€™s Agricultural Technician, Samke Khanyile, says the project to establish the gardens in impoverished homesteads began in 2011 through a joint effort between the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta). The village of Lubala in the Eastern Cape, has experienced positive changes over the past few years. In 2008, when the War on Poverty campaign was launched, the village was chosen as one of the pilot sites to help improve the lives of residents. At the time, the village was among the countrya€™s most poverty-stricken areas and faced challenges such as a lack of basic services, high illiteracy rate, no access to primary health care services and lack of access to proper roads.
Based on the findings of the household profiling that was carried out in Lubala, government departments made commitments, some of which have been fulfilled and some are still a work in progress.
An early child development (ECD) centre and Grade R classroom was built by the Department of Roads and Public Works. Eskom, together with Ingquza Hill Municipality, ensured that houses in the area have electricity.
The community is also using water tanks provided by Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform. The Department of Human Settlements has started building 91 houses and to date 21 houses have been completed. The village will also get a community hall, which is being built by the Office of the Premier.
In an effort to encourage the community of Lubala to be self-reliant, government has embarked on a number of initiatives. The Department of Labour registered a number of people, particularly the youth, as job seekers on the Employment Services System South Africa. Community members have also been employed to help with the construction of the infrastructure for the bulk water supply to Lubala, while others were employed as part of builders training programme of Department of Roads and Public Works. The Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform have supported the community with seedlings, garden implements, wheelbarrows, tanks, fencing of household gardens and ploughing fields. The Department of Social Development has also assisted with initiation grant funding for this project, while the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs helped fund the erection of boiler units. With the help of the Department of Education students were placed on an in-service training contract. Statistics South Africa trained five auxiliary social workers, three community development practitioners, four auxiliary community development practitioners, five social workers and 17 social development officials. Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko assured South Africans that security would be beefed up during the festive season. Speaking at the launch of the festive season safety campaign Operation Duty Calls, in Escourt, KwaZulu-Natal, Minister Nhleko called on communities to report or expose any criminal activities in their communities. Minister Nhleko said the festive season safety campaign would focus on armed robberies, liquor outlets, social crimes, tracking wanted criminals, road safety campaigns and border patrols. The campaign would also be extended to rural communities throughout the country where stock theft was still a problem. During the campaign, the South African Police Service (SAPS) will raise awareness on how people can ensure the safety of children over the festive season.
Also as part of Operation Duty Calls high visibility patrols will be increased along tourist destinations, especially in coastal cities.
The campaign is being carried out jointly with the Departments of Defence, Home Affairs and Justice and Correctional Services.
General Phiyega said based on the analysis, the SAPS issued a new instructions dealing directly with these crimes. General Phiyega told the local community that police had the safety and security of all law-abiding citizens at heart.
General Phiyega said the campaign would also focus on ensuring the safety of women and children. A resident of Wembezi, an area within Escourt, Sizakele Sikhakhane, said she was happy the number of police would be increased in her area during the festive season. The launch of the campaign has brought hope to the locals, who said they were looking forward to a crime-free festive season.
Every South African has a responsibility to report incidence of abuse against women and children. These are sentiments shared by Nomsa Dombo and Advocate Lida van Schalkwyk - the two ladies who are part of a team that runs the Mamelodi Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC) in Pretoria. Dombo is the site coordinator and Van Schalkwyk works with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as a state prosecutor ensuring that victims of abuse get justice.
Thuthuzela Care Centres are one-stop facilities and are aimed at preventing secondary victimisation of rape and abuse victims, improving conviction rates, and reducing the time taken to finalise cases.
Dombo and Van Schalkwyk have been working at the TCC for six years and have witnessed the impact of rape and abuse on a victim. Most TCCs operate at public hospitals, clinics, or police stations and are close to communities where incidences of rape are particularly high. TCCs are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and a rape case can be reported directly at a TCC. When a victim walks into a TCC they receive immediate medical attention, which includes a medical examination, counselling, medication to prevent HIV and pregnancy.
Every TCC has a doctor, nurse, member of the police on call, social worker and a victim assistant officer. Dombo adds that it helps with the investigation if the rape is reported immediately as evidence can then be collected as soon as possible. With the country marking the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign (which started on 25 November ends on 10 December), Dombo stressed the importance of every member society to playing a role in dealing with abuse. Nineteen-year-old Nonhlanhla Seerane is following her dream of becoming an accountant thanks to the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund.
The R20 million Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund was launched by President Jacob Zuma early this year and targeted 200 young people who performed well in their 2013 matric exams but did not have the money to further their studies. Where there is a shortage of water, sanitation is also poor and consequently health is affected. These include expansion of water infrastructure, building of dams and refurbishing and improving old infrastructure.
Far too many people are unemployed, which deepens inequality and heightens vulnerability,a€? he said. Locally, several factors have affected our growth and these include energy constraints, labour disputes, skills shortages and the slow industrialisation of our economy. If we are to avoid reducing expenditure in real terms, about R15 billion a year in additional revenue will need to be raised. The first step is meetings, facilitated by the DPME, within a specific community where citizens, civil society and government officials discuss the challenges faced by that community.
People who use the service are asked to share their views about the quality of the service, waiting times, bribery and the way people are treated by officials,a€? explains Timm. One of the key actions was to build healthy relationships with the community through dialogue and participation in strengthening the community policing forum. We will achieve the growth and the jobs we need in the economy,a€? President Jacob Zuma said.
The work stream on offshore oil and gas exploration has set a target of drilling 30 exploration wells in the next 10 years.
The result would be 130 000 jobs and a contribution of US $2,2 billion [approximately R23.8 billion] to GDP,a€? said President Zuma.
We will press on till the end of the financial year, when we start the task all over again of working with all South Africans to move South Africa even further forward.
From the deepest rural outposts in our country to the ever-changing skylines of our metropolitan centres, there is no place or person who has not been reached or touched by 20 years of transformation. There are too many of us who are quick to anger and disrespectful in the way we relate to people around us, especially in situations where we have differences or arguments over the smallest things.
I say this because among poor South Africans, the majority of people are living lives with respect, dignity and empathy. It is time we rebuilt our moral infrastructure in the same way we are putting up new houses, schools, bus rapid transit systems or office parks. NDZLJ1 wagons are used to carry rail tracks while NDZJ 2 clalmp the rail tracks ensuring they don't fall off during transit. Twenty-five NDZLJ 2 wagons were repaired by end of October, with only six more in need of repair. The shelter aims to take boys off the streets and place them in a healthy environment where they can be rehabilitated and equipped with self-sustaining life skills.
The centre offers, among others, access to a library, career information, higher education information and health care. Funded by Transnet Property, this programme targets boys older than 18 who are working as artisans. The volunteers will hold monthly activities aimed at helping the youth to value and contribute positively to their communities.
You know that when you are not working, things can get a bit difficult, but with this job, Ia€™m in a good space,a€? she says with a smile. The route connects schools to residential areas as well as schools and residents to facilities such as the Orlando Stadium and the police station as well as Rea Vaya BRT and Metrorail stations. Previously HIV positive pregnant women were eligible for treatment if their CD4 count was less than 200. Currently, the HIV policy indicates that pregnant women stay on treatment only while breast-feeding and stop after termination of breastfeeding if their CD4 count is 350. Eventually I decided to stop worrying about other people and I chose to tell my story of living with the virus as a way of healing,a€? explained Mqwathi, who is from Slovoville in Pretoria.
When a pregnant woman goes to a clinic or hospital for her first antenatal visit, she is offered routine HIV counselling and voluntary testing. They dona€™t realise that being HIV positive is hard and very costly, which puts a huge burden on our economy as a country because ARVs are expensive. I wish to commend all our partners in the SA National Aids Council for the contribution they continue to make individually and collectively,a€? said Deputy President Ramaphosa.
Risk of infection for travellers is low, since [EVD is] not transmitted through casual contact. Aeromedical evacuation teams have also been trained in BSL-4 isolation techniques, and they are able to collect and transport Ebola patients by air using transport isolator and intensive care equipment. In the past, NSFAS did not even know a student until they had left university and we contacted them to repay their student loans.
Students have received R195 million in allowances for books, accommodation, food and travel sent by cellphone vouchers,a€? said Sogayise. For example, if youa€™ve got a school of about 1 200 pupil, youa€™ll have 17 members of the SGB.
Churches, traditional authorities, non-governmental associations, clubs and community organisations are encouraged to serve on the SGB in their community. They then formed a partnership with the Khan Academy, a global organisation that offers maths lessons on the Internet, to translate maths lessons into isiXhosa. There are many students who benefit from this programme as the material is freely available online.
The municipality also started building bulk water infrastructure in Lubala and neighbouring villages.
Currently, 25 residents are participating in the household contractor programme, receiving a monthly stipend. It also provided technical support during the construction of boiler units for the local poultry project. These students have since graduated and are now undergoing in-service training at department and receive a R5 000 stipend.
The campaign will also focus on clamping down on a number of criminal activities, which include drug abuse and dealing as well as cash-in-transit heists and ATM bombings.
National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega also called on communities to expose any suspicious activities in their communities. Many locals shared Sikhakhanea€™s sentiments, saying there were many criminals who must be arrested.
Some of them feel dirty and want to take a bath immediately after the incident, which is something they should not do because specimens are taken and form part of evidence collected. Others relive the experience and experience flash backs, this is where counselling is crucial to empower the victims,a€? said Dombo.
Staff at the TCC arrange on-going counselling and court preparation if the trial continues. It also has child friendly rooms with teddy bears and colourful chairs that make a child feel more at ease when speaking to the police or a counsellor. Mothers also need to have a close relationship with their teenage daughters teaching them more about the appropriate age to have sex,a€? she said. I first received an RDP house, I have electricity, now I have running water inside my yard,a€? said an elated Sambo.
Some of our poorest compatriots who live on the economic margins and have the least to offer to others, often go out of their way the furthest to share their little with others and to do good. They are in our homes, in our neighbourhoods, in our workplaces, in our church groups, in our sports clubs. The aim of the centre is to give young people information and knowledge that will create informed and inspired young people. This will consist of, amongst other things, an outdoor amphitheatre an outdoor chessboard and a basketball court.
The boys will be trained to form their own small enterprises and contracted to maintain Transnet properties. By mid-2012, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that almost 20 million South Africans had been tested and knew their status.
However, preparedness and response measures are needed due to the spread of EVD cases to capital cities,a€? Minister Motsoaledi said. Nine parents, 3 teachers, 3 pupils, one admin clerk and the principal,a€? explained Ndlebe. If a child is involved they are placed with an intermediary in separate room from the court,a€? she explained. When it was opened, the facility set a target of repairing 163 wagons for the current financial year.
The facility employs 47 people, 22 of them from De Aar and the others are from surrounding towns. It is estimated that about 300 direct and indirect jobs will be created through the facility.



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