Fedusa

FEDUSA Condemns Hijacking and Kidnapping of Prasa Board Chair

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has condemned the hijacking and kidnapping of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Board Chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama on Thursday night. However news of the hijacking only became known over the weekend.

Information that has been made available by Gauteng police so far indicate that Kweyama was pepper-sprayed before being bundled into the boot of her car by unknown assailants. She was then driven around for three hours before being released unharmed in Kathlehong on the East Rand.

 FEDUSA and the United National Transport Union (UNTU), its affiliate in the passenger rail sector and the majority union at Prasa had campaigned tirelessly for the appointment of a permanent Board for the parastatal which faced many operational challenges and was embroiled in serious allegations of state capture; and of which Kweyama, a former Chief Executive of Anglo American and Chairperson of Business Unity South Africa eventually clinched the top position.

 FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George hoped Kweyama will soon be back in office to continue her invaluable job of cleaning up the parastatal.

“We want a Board that will not be intimidated and distracted by such acts of senseless criminality and only focus on fully committing itself to confronting the challenges facing Prasa and introduce specific measures aimed at improving customer service and good corporate governance, underpinned by monitoring and accountability,” said George. We want to eventually see a Prasa that will provide the working class and commuters in general with access to affordable, reliable, and safe public rail transport services in line with the perspectives of the National Development Plan, concluded George.

Mintek

Mintek in Benefician Partnership

Mintek has partnered with Difeme Holdings Group (PTY) LTD to contribute to the development of appropriate process technologies by providing technical services with the objective of advancing sustainable mining and minerals beneficiation in South Africa. This initiative is part of Mintek’s beneficiation strategy, as the Difeme Holdings Group (DHG), is a black owned mining start-up company with a focus to mine and beneficiate Quartz (SiO2) to a purity standard of higher than 99.99%, which is very rare in the world. Mintek’s General Manager of Research and Development, Dr. Makhapa Makhafola reiterated that with its world-class laboratories, pilot plant facilities and high calibre research staff, Mintek is very well positioned to drive the countries mandate with respect to minerals beneficiation and value addition. He also stated “these types of projects need to be undertaken in order to make an impact and create much needed meaningful employment opportunities especially in rural communities” Following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) completed between Mintek and Difeme Holdings Group in 2016, Mintek was tasked to investigate the quality of the Riemvasmaak quartz deposits in Northern Cape through field evaluation, chemical and mineralogical test work and finally comminution test analysis and the test work revealed that the silica content is as high as 99.978% on some occurrences.

The Lancaster Foundation through its Enterprise Development initiative agreed to fund the feasibility study which, if successful will help stimulate economic development within the country. Jayendra Naidoo, Founder of the Lancaster Group and the Lancaster Foundation, said “The Lancaster Foundation’s core mandate is to promote the development of black owned and operated entrepreneurial businesses, and broader social development in South Africa.” “By supporting Difeme’s bankable feasibility study, the Foundation hopes to contribute to something that could bring significant economic development benefits to South Africa,” added Naidoo. Quartz is one of the earth’s most abundant minerals but very few deposits can be classified as high-purity quartz (HPQ), which can be defined as having 99.995% silicon dioxide content (SiO2). The HPQ an end market includes Fused quartz crucibles, Solar, Semiconductors, High Temperature lamp tubing and Telecommunications. Fused quartz is a material of primary importance because it improves the efficiency of solar powered devices. It’s also helping researchers drive down the cost of solar devices. Quartz glass is used in many facets of photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing, in light sources, reaction chambers, and tools used in the production of solar cells, thin films, and silicon wafers. Riemvasmaak village in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa has unexploited deposits of rose quartz from several pegmatite occurrences. Difeme Holdings Group (PTY) LTD who’s Managing Director Dennis George has a vision of developing a minerals processing and beneficiation plant for HPQ for use in the advanced high technology applications in South Africa identified this opportunity.

“Persistence Market Research argues that a new player in the market can gain market share of up-to 10% within 2 years of its production line up.,” said Dennis George, “This opportunity really excites us and offers a ray of light for small-scale mining companies.” Further test work has to however be conducted by Mintek to investigate the feasibility of removing/reducing the impurities to meet the required SiO2 specification for advanced high technology applications of 99.995%. Depending on the outcome a world of opportunity can open up for small communities across the country. Work on the feasibility study is expected to commence during the second half of the year.

SPEECH OF THE PATRON OF THE TMF, THABO MBEKI, AT THE FUNERAL OF AMBASSADOR BILLY MODISE

Programme Directors,
Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa,
Your Excellency Nangolo Mbumba, Vice President of the Republic of Namibia,
Honourable Mama Graça Machel,
Honourable Ministers, Premiers and Mayors,
Your Excellency Ambassador Cecilia Julin and other Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
The esteemed Modise and Bokwe families,
Fellow mourners, comrades, ladies and gentlemen:

We have convened here to say a final farewell to a very dear Comrade, Ambassador Billy Modise. I would like to believe that by now all of us are familiar with Billy’s biography which, for instance, is contained in the Obituary which was presented earlier. Accordingly there is no need for me to recount that biography.

However I must repeat that that biography tells us that for 63 years, from 1955 when he first went to Fort Hare University College to 2018 when he finally left us, Billy was a loyal member and activist of the ANC, the African National Congress.

It therefore stands to reason that that membership of the ANC surely defined in very good measure who Billy Modise was and dictated what he did. This is because, as we all know, the six decades during which Billy was a member and activist of the ANC were very critical in the process of the making and transformation of South Africa and therefore the evolution of the ANC itself.

Thus in Billy Modise we have one of those comrades who has been present as an actor in the process I have just mentioned, of the making and transformation of our country and the evolution of the ANC. As we all know, this was a process which, among others included:

➢ a most determined and multi-sided struggle within South Africa, with the liberation movement broadly united around the Freedom Charter; combined with,
➢ a similarly determined and truly massive international movement of anti-apartheid solidarity;

which both offensives, the domestic and the international,

➢ obliged the apartheid regime to enter into negotiations with the liberation movement to end the system of white minority rule; which led to the moment when we said ‘free at last’!, followed by
➢ democratic elections since 1994, with the ANC winning all the national elections during our years of democratic rule; and consequently
➢ South Africa’s assumption of her rightful place in Africa and the rest of the world, after many years of international rejection and isolation.

All these were each great victories in themselves. As South Africans we have owed it to the architects of each of these victories to bestow on them the deserved accolades. And of course those accolades are finally due to all those, including the masses of our people, whose collective actions finally brought freedom to our country.

Billy Modise occupies an honoured place among these who must receive these accolades.

However it must surely be a matter of common cause among all of us that truly to honour these great patriots requires more than these praises we must indeed shower on them. What is imperative, in addition, is that we must do our best to ensure that the example set, and the legacy left behind by these patriots, should serve to inspire the present and future generations to emulate that example and build on that legacy.

Accordingly as we say farewell to Comrade Billy Modise with all the due accolades, we must also surely repeat together – let us nurture a million more Billy Modise’s!

Last year the then Secretary General of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, joining the ANC Stalwarts and Veterans among whom Billy belonged, sounded the alarm bells about exactly this matter – the need to nurture a million more Billy Modise’s! – when he presented a Diagnostic Report on the ANC in which he said, among others:

“Revolutionary morality is about the leadership of our movement adhering to higher standards of behaviour…We owe it to ourselves first, the movement and society, to analyse in detail the implications of a liberation movement that has ascended to power and, therefore, controls huge resources. Being in power is rapidly becoming a source of political bankruptcy, in that members of the ANC fight for deployment either as councillors, MPLs and MPs – respectively, as if there is ‘no tomorrow’… It is foreign to our movement for comrades to see deployment as a source of material benefit rather than the reason to serve the people. These fights among comrades turn the interest of our people off, and push them away from the movement.”

It would of course have been a matter of especial concern to all our people that Secretary General Mantashe was talking about our country’s governing party. Accordingly the abandonment of higher standards of behaviour by many within the governing party, Billy Modise’s party, which SG Mantashe decried, meant, very directly, that this would seriously undermine the capacity and possibility for the governing party truly and effectively to serve the people of South Africa.

Thus does Billy’s own party and our society as a whole need to inculcate in as many of our people as possible the example set by Billy Modise over many decades, of adhering to higher standards of behaviour, ever committed to serve the people!

My own first contact with Billy in the context of political struggle was in 1959. At that time I was a Member of the Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League at Lovedale High School which is immediately across the Thyume River from Fort Hare. Billy Modise was then Secretary of the ANC Youth League branch at Fort Hare.

At that time the Lovedale Youth League branch related to the Fort Hare ANC Youth League branch as its immediate senior. We therefore interacted with Billy and his comrades as our seniors.

The matter we sought to discuss with the ANC leadership at Fort Hare as students at Lovedale High School, a boarding school, arose from the fact that we were on strike and intended to leave the School as part of that strike. Our Fort Hare comrades were fully in support of our strike. Now we wanted them to endorse our departure from our school. Happily for us, they agreed with us that we should indeed leave school.

We believed that we had good reason why we should get the support of the ANC leadership at Fort Hare. We were convinced that that support would legitimise in the eyes of our parents, the ANC as whole, and our communities, our decision to leave Lovedale without being expelled.

I mention this incident which occurred almost 60 years ago to indicate the political weight the activist for liberation, Billy Modise, carried, even while he was part of the youth, having served as Secretary of the Fort Hare SRC, Secretary of the ANC Youth League at Fort Hare and the Victoria East ANC region, and member of the national leadership of the National Union of South African Students, NUSAS, the only non-racial and anti-apartheid national student organisation at the time.

It was surely a matter of great pride and satisfaction to Billy Modise that in the years after he left Fort Hare, successive generations of youth and students in our country continued to play important roles both in the struggle for liberation and the process of the construction and development of a democratic society.

Our experience during 24 years as a democratic country has confirmed that the task of the eradication of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid and building a prosperous non-racial and non-sexist democracy is indeed very complex.

Among others this emphasises the great importance of doing everything necessary and possible to develop and inspire our youth to engage in this historic process of the fundamental socio-economic transformation of our country, drawing the necessary lessons from the example Billy Modise set during his own youthful years!

That same experience of 24 years of democracy has also firmly confirmed that South Africa is not an island sufficient unto itself. To succeed in all its endeavours it needs to be fully integrated within Africa and the rest of the world.

We are indeed very honoured that H.E. Ambassador Cecilia Julin of Sweden has been able to join this final farewell to Billy Modise, holder of the prestigious Swedish Order of the Polar Star. In this context I would like to believe that all of us are very familiar with the outstanding role Sweden played in terms of the provision of massive support to our struggle.

As has been said already, we must of course continue to pay the tribute that is due to Billy for the work he did from 1960 onwards to help build what became a very powerful Swedish movement of solidarity with the peoples of South and Southern Africa.

It spoke to Billy’s dedication to the accomplishment of this task that, as a student in Sweden, he opted to abandon his studies in medicine to pursue other subjects, which gave him more time to do his political work both in Sweden and in other Nordic countries. That dedication contributed enormously to the privilege we enjoy to this day of excellent relations between Sweden and South Africa, and very warm, genuine people-to-people relations between our two peoples.

I would like to believe that as we continue the work to strengthen our relations with the rest of the world, including by helping to build a global movement for the democratisation of the system of international relations, our diplomats would do their best to learn everything that is relevant from the work Billy Modise did which helped to win for our country a genuine friend, the Kingdom of Sweden.

Ambassador Modise hoped that as our country strives to liberate itself from the negative tendencies which have engulfed it during recent years, it would also renew its focus on the strategic objective of the renaissance of Africa, loyal to the long-established Pan-Africanist traditions of his movement, the ANC.

As he taught at the Namibia Institute in Lusaka to train Namibians who would help to manage and develop the liberated Namibia, working side by side with the current President of the Republic of Namibia, H.E. Hage Geingob, Billy treated this task as an organic part of his life’s mission as a cadre of the ANC.

He had carried out his work in Sweden and other Nordic countries of helping to build the solidarity movement I have mentioned, working together with other liberation movements such as those from Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Somebody like the late Namibian, Jariretundu Kozonguizi, founder of SWANU, the South West Africa National Union, which ultimately disappeared, was to Billy a colleague, given that he had been an active member of the ANC Youth League when he was a student at Fort Hare.

Inspired by his vision and commitment relating to our Continent, Africa, and the practical example he set, we must pay tribute to and truly honour Billy Modise by regaining the unqualified respect of the whole of Africa for our country by doing the good and right things which gave hope to all Africans, including the African Diaspora.

The departure of Billy Modise from the world of the living confirms sad news we cannot escape, that an eminent generation in our country which has been involved in struggle for six decades or more, to change the lives of all our people for the better, is disappearing for ever.

These are women and men, like Billy Modise, who, throughout their lives, and despite being confronted by great challenges, have consistently conducted themselves according to a noble value system, and remained at all times humble, humanist, never self-serving, permanently ready to serve the people.

Thus it is that when death robs us of any among the generation of liberators I have mentioned, this produces a sense of foreboding that unless we act to prevent this by ensuring that many among the living emulate our liberators, such as Billy Modise, one day we will wake up and find that there are none in our country who would conduct themselves according to the noble value system I have mentioned, humble, humanist and never self-serving.

Sis’ Yoli and your daughter, Thandi, and the rest of the Modise and Bokwe families, please accept our sincere condolences at the loss of one very dear to you, Ambassador Billy Modise.

Our dear Ambassador, our esteemed leader, elder brother and friend, Comrade Billy, while we live we will do our best to help ensure that the nation does not lose the extraordinary legacy you have left behind for its benefit, intent to give substance to what has been and will be said – that the spirit of Billy Modise lives on!

May the outstanding patriot, Billy Modise, rest in eternal peace.

Thank you.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA DECLARES A SPECIAL OFFICIAL FUNERAL FOR THE LATE AMBASSADOR MODISE

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a Special Official Funeral Category 1 for South Africa’s former Chief of State Protocol and recipient of the National Order of Luthuli, Ambassador Billy Modise who passed on earlier this week, at the age of 87.
A Special Official Funeral Category 1 entails elements of military ceremonial honours and is declared, in line with the Presidency’s State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy, for persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa.
“The late Ambassador Modise served our country selflessly and diligently and deserves this honour for his exceptional contribution to the achievement of a South Africa free of racial oppression and to the building of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic country,”” said President Ramaphosa.
The President has directed that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country until Thursday, 28 June 2018, the day of the funeral.
Further details will be announced as arrangements are finalised in consultations between government and the Modise Family.
President Ramaphosa has once again expressed his deep condolences to the family of Ambassador Modise and members of the diplomatic corps.
Billy Modise

BILLY MODISE A DEDICATED AND COMMITTED ANC STALWART AND VETERAN HAS PASSED ON

It is with deep sorrow and a profound sense of sadness that the Modise family and the ANC Veterans League announce the death of struggle veteran, Ambassador Billy Modise.

Soft spoken, unassuming, immaculate, determined cadre of the struggle, always wearing a broad and engaging smile, Ambassador Modise was a quintessential diplomat who straddled the world with the ease and confidence.

We make bold to say that he was one of those rare individuals whose immense contribution to the freedom of Southern Africa will forever be carved in the history of our stormy struggle.

Ambassador Billy Modise was born on 18th of December 1930 in Bloemfontein, in the then-Orange Free State. He received an Anglican scholarship which enabled him to enrol for his secondary school in Modeerport.

The racial discrimination imposed by apartheid which forced black people and his personal experiences of racism served as a political awakening for Modise. In January 1955 he enrolled at the University of Fort Hare to study medicine. It was while he was on his way to Fort Hare that he resolved to join the African National Congress (ANC).

As a student at Fort Hare, he came into contact with political heavyweights, Professor ZK Mathews and Govan Mbeki who inspired him to become politically active.

Here he was elected Secretary of the ANC Youth League for the Fort Hare branch, and later served as secretary of the Student Representative Council. Ambassador Modise also became a member of the National Union of Students (NUSAS) serving as an executive member.

In 1960, the ANC advised him to leave the country. It was also at that time that the Lund University Students Union in Sweden offered him a scholarship.

While in Lund, Sweden, he began mobilising university students and civil society organisations to implore support against Apartheid regime. He was a founder member of the South African Committee in Lund alongside Lars-Erik Johansson and Ulf Agrell. The Committee convened meetings, posted posters, pamphlets and lobbied parliamentarians in order to inform and educate Sweden and her people about the atrocities under which our people were suffering.

Owing to the demands of political work, he gave up studying medicine and switched to Sociology. Ambassador Modise met students from other liberation movements in Africa who were also studying at Lund. His work later extended to cover liberation movements from across Southern Africa.

While mobilisation began only in one institution, between 1960 and 1972 it spread to other countries, with Ambassador Modise travelling to mobilise people in Finland, Denmark and Norway to boycott South African products.

In 1975, Ambassador Modise was sent to New York in the United States to work for Habitat, the United Nations (UN) Conference on Human Settlements. His role was preparing policy papers on issues of resettlement.

Between 1976 and 1988, he worked as Assistant Director of the United Nations Institute for Namibia in Lusaka, Zambia. This was when he closely worked with Namibians, providing training in political science, sociology and on education.

In 1988 he left the UN to work fulltime for the ANC under the leadership of comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo. Subsequently, he was deployed to Sweden where he served as the ANC’s chief representative.

Ambassador Modise returned to South Africa in 1990 and was deployed at the ANC head office in Johannesburg. He was tasked with heading the Matla Trust, which was established to prepare for the 1994 elections. After the first democratic elections, Ambassador Modise was posted abroad as South Africa’s High Commissioner to Canada in 1995. He also served as the Chief of State Protocol under President Thabo Mbeki from 1999 to 2006.

He leaves behind his wife, Yolisa; daughter, Thandi; grandson, Kgositsile; sister Dora; nephews and nieces.

May his soul rest in eternal peace

Snuki Zikalala

Sipho Pityana

Pityana honoured to be nominated as Business Unity South Africa president

Sipho Pityana, founder and chairman of Izingwe Capital, comments as follows on the announcement today of his nomination as president of Business Unity South Africa.

It’s an honour to be asked to serve the unified voice of business at such a critical time in our struggle for transformative inclusive economic growth, at the same time as we position our country to be a successful participant in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

South Africa is at an economic crossroads, with a new government leadership that has set an encouraging ethical tone, cracking down on the corruption of the past while simultaneously clearly recognising the crucial role business can play in ensuring a new phase of inclusive growth and development – and is also well aware of the very real social challenges that need to be addressed as we do so.

Working collectively with labour, civil society, government and other stakeholders is essential to ensure we take full advantage of these opportunities.

BUSA has sound policies and plans in place, developed under the guidance of my predecessor, Jabu Mabuza and his team. I intend to ensure we expand these where necessary in four particular areas:

·  Driving the agenda for transformative inclusive economic growth.

·  Successfully positioning our country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

·  Championing a social partnership for ethical leadership with integrity.

·  Promoting social compacts that enable socio-economic advances for our highly fractious society.

We live in an era of social compacting, and it is essential that we bolster Nedlac as a forum for engaging on economic transformation policy and optimizing collaborative opportunities.

The further unification of business will be an important part of ensuring this happens, to ensure we speak and act with one voice.

Pityana says he is “particularly passionate about the 4th Industrial Revolution”, and intends to ensure South Africa and Africa take full advantage of the opportunities that exist — and ensure we do everything possible to mitigate its potentially negative social impacts.

“With the first three economic revolutions, Africa was effectively a follower. Large parts of South Africa, particularly disadvantaged and marginalized communities, were left far behind. We cannot let that happen this time round,” he said.

“As a country, we urgently need to address how we adapt our policies and plans to leapfrog our development trajectory and catch up with the developed economies – and where possible, get ahead. The digital era is the future economy. With it comes the Internet of Things, the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence, and this stands to impact our entire way of life and the world of work.

“This requires urgent interventions – including President Cyril Ramaphosa’s council on the 4th industrial revolution – and the strategic use of multilateral forums such as BRICS if we are to get ahead of the game.”

Sipho Pityana nominated to take over as Business Unity South Africa president at upcoming AGM

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) – the apex business organisation in South Africa – is pleased to confirm that Sipho Pityana has been unanimously nominated for election as president, with effect from the AGM scheduled for Tuesday June 26 2018. Pityana is set to succeed businessman Jabu Mabuza, whose two terms in office will come to an end at the AGM. Martin Kingston has been nominated to serve a second term as vice president. A new BUSA board, elected by members, will be ratified at the June AGM.

BUSA is the principal representative of business at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), where the historic National Minimum Wage and labour relations stability agreements were reached, with labour, community, business and the government working in unison.

Mabuza said: “I am confident that I leave BUSA in a stronger state, with business having found a credible voice anchored by constructive engagement with all social partners to achieve our common objectives. It is critical for business to adopt a proactive and unified stance as it seeks to unlock value in the economy and address poverty, inequality and unemployment. I congratulate the incoming board under the leadership Sipho.”

 “It’s an honour to be asked to serve the unified voice of business at such a critical time in our struggle for transformative inclusive economic growth, as we position our country to be a successful participant in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says Pityana.

Pityana, the founder and chairman of Izingwe Capital, a successful black economic empowerment group, and Kingston were nominated unopposed. Pityana is one of five captains of industry and business heavyweights who are new additions to the BUSA board, set to assume office officially at the AGM.

The new board members include: Absa CEO Maria Ramos, Busi Mavuso (Business Leadership SA), Deidre Penfold (Chemical & Allied Industries Association) and Joe Mwase (Small Business Institute). Respected business leaders Cas Coovadia (Banking Association SA), Christopher Campbell (Consulting Engineers SA), Vusi Khumalo (SACCI), Stavros Nicolaou (Aspen), Gwarega Mangozhe (Consumer Goods Council SA) and Roger Baxter, of the Minerals Council SA (previously Chamber of Mines), have all been supported for re-election on to the board. BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen remains an ex-officio member of the board, together with Kaizer Moyane, who continues to serve as the Nedlac business convener.

The alternative directors to be appointed and re-appointed are: Christo Botes (SBI), Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba (Discovery), Maurice Radebe (Sasol), Isaac Ramputa (Batseta), Alan Mukoki (SACCI), Tebele Makhetha (BLSA), John Purchase (Agbiz), Lerato Mosiah (Health Funders Association), Mmatṧatṧi Ramawela (Tourism Business Council SA), Nico Vermeulen (National Automotive Association SA).

Each of BUSA’s membership categories – unisectoral, corporate, professional and chambers – participated in the election of and will be represented on the new board.

“The new board brings an excellent mix of expertise and reflects the diversity of the BUSA membership, which includes representatives of large and small businesses in multiple sectors of the economy. I have no doubt they will continue the good work of previous boards,” says Cohen.

During his tenure, Mabuza oversaw BUSA’s incorporation into a not-for-profit company and aligned its governance to the Companies Act. Mabuza and Kingston were key drivers of the Approach to Black Economic Transformation for Inclusive Growth, which is the foundation of BUSA’s work and the first comprehensive position by organised business on transformation.

“BUSA has a sound strategic plan in place, developed under the guidance of my soon-to-be predecessor, Mabuza and his team. I intend to ensure we emphasise these, where necessary, in driving the agenda for transformative inclusive growth; positioning our country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and championing a social partnership for ethical leadership with integrity that enable tangible socio-economic advances for our fractured society,” says Pityana.

Cyril Ramaphosa

MADDRESS BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AT YOUTH DAY CELEBRATION

ORLANDO STADIUM, SOWETO
16 JUNE 2018

Programme Director,
Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa,
Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni,
Members of Parliament and provincial legislatures,
MECs, Mayors and Councillors,
Representatives of various youth formations,
Compatriots,

Sanibonani. Avuxeni. Dumelang. Goeie Dag.

It is just over two months since we gathered here in Orlando Stadium to bid farewell to Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela, a great woman of fortitude who inspired generations of youth in the struggle for democracy.

Today, we gather here to commemorate and celebrate the heroic deeds of the youth of 1976 and all the Young Lions that came after them.

These were gallant freedom fighters who selflessly sacrificed their own lives for the liberation of their people.

Today, we also celebrate a new generation of young freedom fighters who have dedicated themselves to the struggle against poverty and inequality; the struggle for dignity, prosperity and justice for all.

From those who have come before them they have learnt the value of selflessness, discipline, hard work and an abiding love for the people.

As we seek to build a new, inclusive South Africa, we look to the energy and creativity of youth.

Young people have been at the centre of every decisive historical moment in the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

Young people are catalysts of social change.

From the founders of the ANC Youth League in 1944, to the students who led the 1976 uprising, to the Young Lions of the 1980s, it is the youth of our country who hastened the demise of apartheid.

Even as we built a democratic South Africa, it was fearless young people who reminded us that liberation would not be complete until the wealth of the land is shared among its people.

The current generation of youth has therefore chosen as its mission the attainment of economic freedom.

Compatriots,

Youth continue to bear the brunt of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

They remain the hardest hit by disease, violent crime, drug abuse and underdevelopment.

We understand the frustration of young people who cannot find jobs, who do not have the skills and experience employers are looking for, and are unable to find the support they need to start their own businesses.

Our shared responsibility, as government, business, labour and civil society, is to develop pathways for young people into work.

It is this task to which we should be directing all our efforts and all our energies.

We are making progress in many areas.

The National Youth Development Agency has established a value chain of entrepreneurship which includes skills development training, development finance, mentorship, support and market linkages.

More than 2,500 start up companies have been provided with funding, creating more than 10,000 jobs in the economy.

Beyond this, more than 25,000 young people have been placed in job opportunities over the past three financial years.

Government has done much through its public employment programmes and investment in infrastructure to give priority to young people and women.

It introduced the Employment Tax Incentive to encourage companies to employ more young people.

Government, business, labour and civil society have begun preparations for a Jobs Summit, which will need to take extraordinary measures to create jobs on a scale that we have never before seen in this country.

It will need to forge a new social compact which mobilises all sections of society behind the task of growth and job creation.

We have demonstrated what is possible through working together.

The Youth Employment Service, which is an initiative led by the private sector and supported by government and labour, was launched earlier this year to bridge the gap between school and work.

With a number of large companies already involved, it aims to create a million work experience opportunities for young people over the next three years.

As part of this initiative, small businesses and micro-enterprises run by young people will get assistance through wage sponsorship and through business literacy and entrepreneurial training.

The challenge for unemployed youth is not only one of skills.

There are many graduates, who have completed university degrees, who are still unemployed.

This is a vast pool of skills and knowledge that is being wasted.

Society has invested a great deal in the education of these young people, but our economy is not benefiting from this investment.

On this Youth Day, we call on all companies – both in the public and private sector – to make a deliberate effort to seek out unemployed graduates and employ them.

It does not place a great burden on individual companies, but if taken up on a large scale, such a call could significantly reduce youth unemployment, while bringing much needed skills and capacity into the economy.

Employers need to understand that for our country to succeed, for their businesses to thrive, they must take responsibility for providing young people with the work experience they need.

They must realise that the only way to get work experience is to get work.

If we are to succeed in creating more jobs for young people, our economy needs to grow much faster – and for that it needs investment.

We have embarked on a massive investment drive that aims to attract $100 billion into our economy over the next five years.

We are focusing on investment into those parts of the economy that have the greatest potential for growth and the creation of jobs.

We are focusing on investment that will create opportunities for young people in particular.

If we are to make effective use of this investment, young South Africans need to be equipped to participate in the fourth industrial revolution.

That is why we are investing so signficantly in education.

We are making great progress in ensuring that no child, regardless of their circumstance, is denied access to education.

Despite significant challenges, we are continuously working to improve the quality of teaching and learning in our schools; progress that is reflected in the consistent improvement in the matric pass rate.

We are working both to improve the quality of education and the environment in which learning and teaching takes place.

This year, we have agreed that emergency measures are needed to ensure sanitation in schools is safe and hygienic.

We cannot lose another young life to unsafe school toilets.

We can no longer expose our children to illness, injury and the indignity of inadequate toilet facilities.

Fellow South Africans,

From the beginning of this year, students from poor backgrounds entering universities and colleges for the first time are receiving free education.

This is a great victory for young people.

It is a vindication of struggles that have been fought over many years for quality education that is free, accessible and relevant.

It will have a far-reaching effect on the lives of millions of youth, enabling them to acquire skills, find employment, build careers and enjoy an improving quality of life.

This will do much to break the cycle of poverty.

More than that, it will ensure that our economy is able to draw on a far larger pool of knowledge and expertise.

Having achieved this great milestone, young people now have a responsibility to make full use of the educational opportunities available.

Young people must go to school and pass.

They must work hard at institutions of higher learning, achieve outstanding results and use their skills to contribute to building a new society.

Fellow South Africans,

We look to the youth to continue to be at the forefront of the struggle for a non-sexist society.

The empowerment of women, especially young women, must be one of our central tasks as we seek to build an inclusive society.

We must ensure that young women have the same educational opportunities as their male counterparts, that they are equally able to compete for jobs and that they receive equal pay for equal work.

Young men and young women need to work together to put an end to all forms of violence against women, especially the devastating scourge of femicide.

The recent spate of murders of young women by young men is deeply disturbing and requires that, as a nation and as individuals, we take decisive action to end such crimes.

This generation of young South Africans has an opportunity to fundamentally change gender relations and to achieve full and meaningful equality between men and women in all spheres of life.

The challenges that our youth face are great, but they are not insurmountable.

We can overcome them if we work together.

We can overcome them if the youth take the lead and become agents of their own liberation.

Young people must be preoccupied with activities that contribute to making South Africa a better and safer country for all to live in.

This means that they must not engage in alcohol and drug abuse.

It means they must not participate in crime and corruption.

And more importantly, young people must keep themselves safe from HIV by using a condom, abstaining from early sexual activity and being tested regularly.

Fellow South Africans,

As we celebrate Youth Day in 2018, we recall the lives of two outstanding founders of the youth movement in our country, Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, whose centenaries we are marking this year.

These two giants embodied the values and the qualities from which we should all draw inspiration.

Tata Madiba and Mama Sisulu were always ready to serve as volunteers for the greater good of our people without any motive of personal gain.

They sacrificed their own interests to fight for the freedom of others.

The best way we can honour their sacrifices is to follow their example.

We must shun selfishness and strive for collective prosperity.

We must fight for the rights of others as much as we fight for our own.

We cannot stand idly by while the rights of others are violated, while there are people in the world who are still colonised, oppressed and exploited.

We cannot rest while there are still millions of people who go hungry, who do not have shelter, and who do not have work.

We all have a responsibility, each and every one of us, to do everything in our power to make the lives of others better.

The spirit of Tata Mandela and Mama Sisulu lives on in the young people of this country.

It lives on in their dreams, in their determination, in their struggle for a better life.

It lives on in their desire to be part of building a new nation of equality, prosperity and progress.

It lives on in their willingness to lend a hand, to be ever ready to say: ‘Thuma Mina. Send Me’.

If we all do our part, we will all succeed.

I wish you all a happy Youth Day.

I thank you.

 

 

Mayihlome Tshwete

HOME AFFAIRS SPOKESPERSON RESIGNS

The Department of Home Affairs wishes to announce that its spokesperson and Head of Communication, Mayihlome Tshwete, has resigned. Mr Tshwete will leave the department at the end of the month, 30 June 2018. He also served as spokesperson to Minister Malusi Gigaba.
Director-General Mkuseli Apleni says Mr Tshwete has served the department with diligence and played a crucial role in shaping public perspectives about the work of Home Affairs.
“I wish to thank Mr Tshwete for his contribution to the efforts to continually create awareness and inform the public about the programmes and policies of the Department of Home Affairs. We wish him all the best and success in his new endeavours,” he said.
 
COMESA, IOM, sign Co-Delegation Agreement on Cross Border Trade

COMESA, IOM, sign Co-Delegation Agreement on Cross Border Trade

COMESA and International Organization for Migration (IOM) today signed a co-delegation Agreement on the implementation of the small scale cross border trade initiative in five border posts within the region.

The programme is part of a broader COMESA-European Union Delegation Agreement of 13.4 million euros signed in May 2018 to implement the COMESA Cross-Border Trade Initiative. Programme financed under the 11th European Development Fund.

COMESA, has subsequently Co-delegated some activities to the IOM and the International Trade Centre (ITC) for a total amount of four million euros to ensure effective implementation.

IOM regional Director Charles Kwenin and COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya signed the Agreement in Lusaka, Zambia

Under the Co-delegation Agreement, COMESA entrust the implementation of activities related to border management information system, performance based management schemes for border officials and immigration formalities and procedures for small scale traders to the IOM.

It will also co-delegate capacity building for the Cross-Border Trade Associations and similar associations (including business services and access to finance) to the ITC.

Mr Kwenin said his organization will support COMESA in the implementation of activities which will contribute to achieving the results in this project.

“The partnership between COMESA, IOM and ITC will capitalize the unique experiences and capacities of each organization,” he said. “IOM will draw on its expertise in migration and human mobility issues, while ITC will draw on customs and trade experience, particularly by working on training and capacity issues, He added.”

He stressed that the potential of trade facilitation can only be fully realized by addressing barriers to the human mobility of persons engaging in trade anchored within the three Integrated Border Management/ Coordinated Border Management pillars of inter, intra, and cross-border collaboration.

Mr Ngwenya said the Co-delegation Agreement in line with the Pillar Assessed Grant or Delegation Agreement (PaGoDA) for the Cross-Border Trade Initiative Programme and is also part and parcel of the COMESA regional agenda.

He stressed the importance of implementing the programme while taking into account traditional best practices like social and economic values that favour women, who he described as ‘traditionally good custodians of finances’ in order to build a sustainable programme.

The Secretary General implored IOM and the ITC together with the Secretariat to work towards removal of strict immigration rules and procedures as they perpetuate illegal migrants especially amongst men.

“One of the issue this programmes should implement is the free movement of persons especially small scale cross border traders as this will ease the movement of goods as well. You cannot have goods moving freely when the people carrying them are restricted,” Ngwenya added.

Working in collaboration with the relevant national government authorities in the COMESA region, Ngwenya said IOM together and COMESA Secretariat will ensure successful coordination and implementation of the programme.

Four targeted border posts are between Zambia on one hand and Malawi, Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Tanzania. These are Mwami/Mchinji, Chirundu, Kasumbalesa and Nakonde/Tunduma. The other is Moyale border point between Kenya and Ethiopia.

Eddie Funde

FAREWELL TO A DEDICATED CADRE

For all those who knew Ambassador Eddie Sonwabo Funde and walked with him through the boulevard of struggle, none can contradict the fact that he was imbued with a spirit of no surrender. His path, a seesaw of unimaginable dimensions, would land him in different positions, on different continents and at different times.

A humble and unassuming gentle giant, he was always ready to serve the South Africa nation.

It was on the 22nd of May when we all received the sad and devastating news that Bra Eddie, as we fondly called him, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Having joined the ANC after it was banned in 1961, he, like his peers of like mind, left the country in 1965 and joined Umkhonto we Sizwe, the spear and shield of the struggling masses of the people. He went on to study in Russia, gaining an MSc in Electrical Engineering in 1975.

In 1978, the ANC leadership appointed him to establish and head the ANC Youth Section.

The year 1980 smiled broadly on bra Eddie. It was then that he got married to Nosizwe Funde nee Toni in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she was pursuing her studies in engineering. The two love birds had been an ‘item’ since 1977.

He served the ANC in different parts of the world and in various capacities. In 1983 he was sent by the ANC as its Chief representative in Australasia and the Pacific.

He plunged into this work with his usual enthusiasm, building lasting friendships with Australians from all walks of life.

Back home Bra Eddie served first as Administrator and Researcher of the Civil Service Unit of the ANC. Later he was tasked with the establishment of the South African Research and Development.

Thereafter he served in an executive and non-executive capacity in the Independent Development Trust. He also served on key boards, including Denel, Eskom and Murray and Roberts.

Bra Eddie became very active in the telecommunication sector. He pioneered and developed the White Paper on Telecommunications Policy which resulted in the formation of the SA Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) and became its deputy chairperson.

As Chairperson of the SABC Board from 2004 to 2008 Bra Eddie and his Deputy Christine Qunta transformed the public broadcaster, ensuring that it delivered on its mandate.

They both supported the noble idea of positioning the SABC as the best Pan African public broadcaster that would compete and come up with an alternative view to

well-established broadcasters like the BBC and CNN. SABC News International was born out of this initiative, an initiative that was later scuttled by forces of doom and regression.

It was during his deployment as Ambassador in 2010 that Bra Eddie met with an accident that confined him to a wheel chair. However, always optimistic, he carried on with his telecommunications initiatives and ANC political work.

The worst was when their house was burnt down in May 2016. They lost everything that they worked hard for. Bra Eddie did not lose heart.

Strong willed, Bra Eddie was part of the ANC stalwarts and veterans

delegation that met our ANC leadership and insisted that the Veterans League be revitalized and a second conference of the League be convened.

His dream of the conference was realized when our leadership agreed to the convening of the Veterans League conference in October 2017.

Bra Eddie, your calls will be missed. Every Monday or Tuesday, I would receive a call from you where you’d insist on being briefed on the activities of the Veterans League. Bra Eddie would say, Snuki!, I would reply good morning bra Eddie .In a conciliatory and persuasive tone, he would say “when and how is the Veterans League going to implement its resolutions and those of the ANC,in uniting society ,getting rid of corruption, factionalism and gate keeping. Remember ,he would say ,conference took a resolution that an electronic membership system which will get rid of gate keeping be introduced. When is your

collective going to establish the Veterans Leagues Branches and Regions. Veterans must be at the forefront of uniting the ANC and society. We must humble ourselves and admit where we have erred. As veterans we must do door to door campaigns and ensure that the youth registers to vote and that we regain our rightful place as the leader of society. History will judge us harshly if we as veterans do not actively participate and ensure that there is intensive political education in the structures of the ANC. You must ensure that Veterans participate in all ANC committees and give guidance where necessary. We must be at the forefront in mobilising society for a successful victory in the coming 2019 elections.”

Bra Eddie as Veterans of the ANC, we are always ready to serve and will not disappoint you.

We shall deeply miss you.

Lala Ngoxolo Bra Eddie. We will always miss your undying fighting spirit.

Snuki Zikalala

President of the ANC Veterans League