Tag Archives: breaking

Eric Mtshali

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE MOURNS THE DEATH OF COMRADE ERIC MTSHALI

The ANC Veterans league is deeply saddened by the untimely death of Comrade Eric Mtshali.

Dr Vanguard Mkosana, former NEC member of South African Congress of Trade Unions reflects on the life and times of the late Eric Mtshali.

If moments of historical significance were marked by the blowing of horns and the jingling of bells SA would be standing still to observe the moment, for it has now come. The death of comrade Eric Mtshali and those of his generation mark the end of an era of a rare breed of freedom fighters who were groomed to be highly political, to be trade unionists, to be Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants, be organic intellectuals and above all to be patriotic. All these Comrade Mtshali grew to be.

Comrade Eric Mtshali was born and bred in Durban. He went to school and after Matric he was absorbed into the politics of the country. The ground was very fertile for him to grow fast politically. He was surrounded by powerful leaders both in the African National Congress, South African Communist Party (underground) and in the trade unions. These were leaders, like Chief Albert Luthuli, the then President General

of the ANC, veteran trade unionists like Stephen Dlamini, MP Naicker, Harry Gwala, George Poonen, Moses Mabhida, Dorothy Nyembe and many others. He became active mainly in the trade union movement in the roaring 1950s of the Defiance Campaign 1952, the creation of the first non-racial trade union federation, South African Congress Trade Unions 1955, the adoption of the Freedom Charter 1955, the historic women’s march to the Union Buildings 1956 and the Treason Trial 1956. As a young trade unionist he would carry the membership forms from the unorganized workers while on the other hand he collected the people’s demands for inclusion in the making of the Freedom Charter. Mtshali’s trade union activities started with organizing the dockworkers in the early fifties. When organizing the unorganized workers he encountered a practical challenge of workers who were ready to join the union of their industry while the industrial unions were mostly non-existent. The General Workers Unions were the easy route to solve the problem yet this was a direct challenge to the long established principle of organizing workers according to the industry in which they work. When SACTU was formed in 1955 it embraced the industrial principle but in its fifth Conference it passed a resolution endorsing the formation of General Workers Unions as a temporary home while the industrial unions were in the making. SACTU Local Committees were tasked to give leadership to transition the GWUs to industrial unions and Cde Mtshali played no small role in this.

Comrade Mtshali’s trade union work earned him the honour of being one of the founding members of the SACTU, the first non-racial trade union federation in SA. He attended as the leader of the delegation of African Milling WU.

When Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) was formed in 1961 Cde Eric was tasked with the delicate work of being part of those in charge of the Command structure of MK in Natal. He did his work with distinction until circumstances forced him to go into exile in 1962. It was then that he went for military training in the then Soviet Union and Cuba. He received intelligence training as well. On his return he went to Kongwa the first ANC base in Tanzania. It was here that he rubbed shoulders with the great leaders of our Movement like uncle JB Marks, Moses Kotane, Archie Sibeko (Cde Zola Zembe), Mark Shope, Aaron Pemba (Cde BB), Chris Hani and many others under the able leadership of OR Tambo.

When Wankie and Sepolilo 1967 campaign was conceived to return as trained cadres to confront the enemy, Cde Eric’s intelligence training was put into full use.

In exile Cde Eric’s leadership skills allowed him to be given sensitive assignments without fear of failure. It was in 1971 that he was elected to the Central Committee of the SACP. His theoretical grounding was used to develop young comrades especially after 1976 when oqiniselani flooded the ranks of the ANC in exile. Cde Eric used his training in dialectics to tackle any challenge he encountered. This made him renown as one who would not jump to conclusions but consider all angles of the problem before he aired his views.

The ANC assigned him the responsibility to be the Chief Representative (Ambassador equivalent) in Tanzania where he served until 1976. SACTU deployed him to the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) in Prague to relieve Cde Moses Mabhida who was needed for other responsibilities back in Africa. Before him the same office was serviced by comrades Wilton Mkwayi, Mark Shope, Moses Mabhida then Eric Mtshali who was followed by Joe Molokeng the last SACTU representative at WFTU.

Ray Alexander arguably the mother of progressive trade unionism in SA, working with ILO, linked up with the WFTU Prague based comrades listed above to reignite the trade union movement after the so-called political lull, which followed repression and the banning of the political organisations in 1960. Cde Eric used the broad international network of friends and supporters to mobilise resources necessary to pursue the SA struggle for freedom.

On his return from Prague to Lusaka in 1982, Cde Eric who was a National Executive Committee member of SACTU was charged with the responsibility of Head of Propaganda, Information & Publicity Department of SACTU. This responsibility also meant that he would be the editor of Workers Unity –the SACTU journal. SACTU offices in Western Europe and in Africa flooded SA with literature on progressive trade unionism. Similarly Radio Freedom broadcasting from different Frontline States had a slot, Workers Front which was dedicated to trade union mobilization and education.

At this stage SACTU was under the leadership of comrades John Nkadimeng as General Secretary, Mark Shope as Head of Education, Aaron Pemba/BB as Head of International, Mhleli Mgwayi/Cde Gazi as Head of Internal Department of SACTU, Cde Kay Moonsamy as Treasurer and Cde Stephen Dlamini as President. These are luminaries of trade unionism in South Africa. They consciously built the next generation of leaders. They would say give young people space to work, to explore and commit mistakes so that they could learn from them.

In the 1988 SACTU conference they handed over leadership to the younger comrades and remained as mentors until SACTU resolved to phase out in favour of COSATU in 1990 after the unbanning of political organisations and return of the exiles.

The Movement can pride itself for having produced one of the refined organic intellectuals in the person of Cde Eric whose ideas found expression in the development of dynamic young trade union leaders of the late 1970s and 1980s who are the current leaders of SA.

From
Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANC Veterans League

COMESA

Madagascar Set to Implement the 50 Million African Women Speak Project

Madagascar is set to implement the 50 Million African Women Speak (50MWS) project following the successful two-day stakeholders’ engagement held from 4 – 5 September 2018 in Antananarivo.

The COMESA delegation paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Trade and Consumption, Miss Yvette Sylla and to the Minister of Population, Social Protection and Promotion, Miss Naharimamy Lucien Irmah. Both Ministers expressed the government commitment and support towards the successful implementation of the project

The 50MWS is a three-year project funded by the African Development Bank. It is jointly implement-ed by three Regional Economic Communities (RECs): COMESA, East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community for Western African States (ECOWAS) in 38 countries.

Addressing delegates during the forum, Minister Naharimamy Lucien Irmah said the geographical location of Madagascar should not hinder the access of Malagasy entrepreneurs to COMESA mar-kets.

“Women are serious entrepreneurs in Madagascar be it in trading clothing articles, craft, essential oils, and agriculture, among others,” she said. “However, selling of their products remains a serious challenge. Since this project is technology based, we are expecting it to help them penetrate the COMESA market and reach out to a wider target.”

The COMESA Head of the Delegation, Mrs. Mekia Mohammed Redi outlined how the project will contribute to the empowerment of the Malagasy women through the provision of financial and non-financial information and services.

“The objective of the project is to empower women entrepreneurs by providing access to financial and non-financial information relevant to develop and grow their business. Therefore, the 50 Million African Women Speak, through the creation of a dynamic digital networking platform, will enable women entrepreneurs in Africa to connect with one

another in ways that will foster peer-to-peer learn-ing, mentoring and the sharing of information and knowledge within communities”.

She also added that the platform will provide information and available services on social and other matters relevant to women empowerment in general.

According to studies conducted separately by the African Development Bank and COMESA, the ap-propriate use of ICTs contributes towards reducing some of the gender-specific challenges affecting women entrepreneurs in Africa.

The government of Madagascar pledged to support the implementation of the project. Among the key milestones realized was the formulation of the country team that will drive the implementation of the project at the national level. The country Team is made up of representatives from the public sector, private sector, women associations and non-governmental organizations. The country team agreed that the project will be led and housed in the Ministry responsible for gender and women’s affairs. The national content developer will be responsible for gathering and developing relevant con-tent to be uploaded on the platform will also be working under the supervision of the Ministry respon-sible for gender.

Minister Sisulu

Minister Sisulu meets Secretary of State, Mr Pompeo

New York-The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu held a bilateral meeting with the United States Secretary of State, Mr Michael Pompeo today, 28 September 2018 in New York.

The two Ministers used the occasion to review the state of the bilateral relations between South Africa and United States and exchanged views on African and global peace and security issues.

They expressed satisfaction with the scope and depth of cooperation between the two countries in a wide range of issues, covering political diplomatic, economic social, technical, scientific as well as people to people cooperation.

The two Ministers reaffirmed the commitment of their governments and business sectors to intensify and deepen trade and investment relations.

Minister Sisulu reiterated South Africa’s call for its exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs.

Minister Sisulu also gave Secretary Pompeo a detailed briefing about South African land reform. The Minister emphasized that the land reform and agrarian reform process will be undertaken within the framework of the Constitution and implemented in a manner that does not affect economic stability and food stability. In this regard the two Ministers agreed to convene a meeting of all South African based US companies to brief them about the land reform process.

Minister Sisulu welcomed the nomination of an Ambassador to South Africa by the United States and informed Secretary Pompeo that the necessary processes are under way for the consideration of her credentials.

With regards to peace and security matters, Secretary Pompeo congratulated South Africa for its election into the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as the non-permanent member for the period 2019-2020. Minister Sisulu thanked the US for its support and emphasized that South Africa will prioritize the resolution of conflict on the African Continent in pursuit of the African Union’s aspiration of silencing the guns by 2020.

Minister Sisulu welcomed the US’s initiative with regards to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the hope that this will lead to the denuclearization of the Peninsula.

The two Ministers agreed to continue exchanging views with regards to the Israel and Palestine situation. They both underscored that a satisfactory resolution would be based on a two states’ solution.

At the conclusion of a cordial and fruitful bilateral discussion, Minister accepted an invitation from Secretary Pompeo to undertake a working visit to Washington at the dates to be finalized through the diplomatic channels.

Minister Edna Molewa

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA ANNOUNCES PASSING AWAY OF MINISTER EDNA MOLEWA

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced, with profound sadness, that Minister of Environmental Affairs Ms Edna Molewa passed away today, Saturday 22 September 2018, after a period of illness.

Minister Molewa passed away at a Pretoria hospital.

“I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Minister Edna Molewa as well as to her colleagues in Cabinet and across all spheres of government who have had the privilege to work alongside an extraordinary leader of our people.

“This is a devastating loss to our nation and to the global community who owe a great debt of gratitude to the late Minister Molewa for her championship nationally and globally for the environmental integrity of a sustainable planet Earth that can be shared and enjoyed by all nations and all people, rich and poor.

“Minister Molewa has distinguished herself in many capacities and causes from her contribution to our liberation to fighting for equality of women in our society. We shall miss her greatly.”

President Ramaphosa has declared a period of mourning with immediate effect and ordered that the National Flag be flown at halfmast at all flag stations countrywide and at South African diplomatic missions abroad.

Details of commemorative events and funeral arrangements will be communicated in due course.

President Ramaphosa, who is due to travel to New York later today for his inaugural participation as Head of State and Government in the United Nations National Assembly, is due to visit the Molewa family in the course of the day.

Media Enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson – 072 854 5707

ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

ANC Veterans Leauge

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE MOURNS THE DEATH OF PAGE BOIKANYO

It was with a deep sense of shock and sadness when I was informed that Page had passed away. I had been to his house the previous month to see him, but it never crossed my mind that today we would be gathered in this venue to bid farewell to this gallant fighter and a veteran of our struggle.

I got to know Page when he arrived in Botswana in 1976 together with Moss Mothupi Malaka and Zenzo-who passed on when were studying in Bulgaria- may His Soul Rest in Peace. By then I was based in Botswana and with comrades Keith Mokoape and Isaac Makopo. We were responsible for setting up an ANC underground office, recruiting, training and infiltrating ANC combatants into South Africa.

But then I really got close to him when, after we had been made prohibited immigrants in Botswana. We were instructed to leave for Lusaka, Zambia, where the ANC Head Quarters was based, and after a time, I proceeded to Sofia, Bulgaria where I studied Journalism.

It is here that we developed a close bond of friendship with Page. It was especially so because we got to study the same course at the University of Sofia.

A serious student, Page was always immersed in books. He believed that education was the best investment and read voraciously, from Gorky to Baldwin, from Alex La Guma to Kgositsile and Mazizi Kunene, from Karl

Marx,Lenin to Breytenbach – books, political, poetical and aesthetical. He had even read James Hadley Chase, especially his “No Orchids for Miss Blandish”.

But above all he liked his music and was haughty, and jealously guarded his rare LP’s. Yes, he compiled these and we would enjoy them with him as and when we visited him. Page Bluesman was always with Blues.

Page was a snazzy dresser and quality clothes simply fitted him like they were made specially for him. Nobody can deny the fact that he was neat and tidy and was finicky when it came to disorder.

He was one of those comrades who would not miss the annual brigada, a voluntary exercise undertaken by ANC students in Bulgaria. Every year, without fail, he would be part of the ANC Youth that volunteered during school vacation to work under the sweltering sun from dawn to dusk. From the proceeds of this toil, we would buy the necessary paraphernalia like sowing machines, powerful radios from the then Soviet Union, underwear and the like. These would be shipped to forward countries in Southern Africa where our ANC- Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants resided like Angola, Lusaka, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Our friendship blossomed when we came back home in the early nineties. We would meet occasionally during those testing times and we never forgot where we came from and what our mantra was, for we were moulded by the likes of Oliver Tambo.

We never lost sight of the fact that the struggle did not end with the political power we had attained. As former students from Bulgaria, we regularly met and still meet to further strengthen the bond of yesteryear.

In 2005, when I left the Department of Labour after a three year successful and exciting stint, Page took the baton and ran with it. He worked at the Department of Labour until last year, when his illness forced him to take leave of the department.

We, members of the ANC Veterans League and of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the spear and shield of the struggling masses of our people ,say with firm conviction, we shall always strive for unity of our organisation, even in times of stark adversity and seeming phase of near helplessness.

Lastly, death do not be proud, as you robbed us one of our own. Till we meet again dear comrade, dear brother, dear friend.

To your wife Nkwadi and children, be comforted by the fact that your husband and dad was one of a kind.

He will forever be remembered as a member of a generation of young people who took upon themselves to fight the apartheid regime and build a better life for all our people in South Africa.

Rest in peace Paigeno as we fondly called him. Robala ka kagiso..

SNUKI ZIKALALA PRESIDENT OF THE ANC VETERANS LEAGU

Brand South Africa

UNDP Report shows that South Africans are enjoying a longer and healthier life

Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s improvement in the 2018 United Nations Development Programme

(UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR). South Africa’s 2018 ranking is 113 out of 189 countries, with an over-all human development score increased to 0.699.

 Brand South Africa’s GM for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock said: “This means that South Africans today enjoy a longer, healthier life, have better access to

education and a more decent living standard. The National Development Plan (NDP) identifies human development as a critical part of inclusive growth and

acknowledges its inadequate improvement in relation to education, health and safety. South Africa has a good story developing, indicated by the steady

improvement of its HDI score over the last years.”

 As in previous years, South Africa has seen a steady increase in its Human Development Index (HDI) value since 1990, moving up 7.2% from 0.621 in 1990, to 0.666

in 2014.  South Africa’s improvement in the rankings comes as a result of advancements in the area of Life Expectancy in which South Africa has made marked progress since 2005.

 Released by the UNDP, of these 189 countries the Index covers the following groupings of nations (in terms of human development) appear: 59 – Very High

Human Development; 53 – High Human Development; 39 – Medium Human Development; and 38 – Low Human Development (in 2010 there were 49 in the Low Human Development category).

 “South Africa is classified as being located in the medium human development category, and the country’s HDI of 0.699 is above average in this category.

The country’s performance is even more impressive when compared to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, which has an average HDI score of 0.537,” adds Dr de Kock.

The top five nations in terms of human development are Norway with an HDI Value of 0.953; Switzerland achieves an HDI Value of 0.944); Australia’s HDI Value

is recorded to be at 0.939; Ireland’s HDI Value is positioned at 0.938; and Germany’s HDI Value is reported to be 0.936.

The 2018 report warns that climatic changes, escalating civil conflicts (e.g. in Libya, Yemen, and Syria), and growing inequality will continue to impact

negatively on human development prospects in many parts of the world.

 

ENDS

 

 

Notes to the Editor

 

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

 

 

About Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.

 

Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.

General Arlindo Chenda Pena Unita

OFFICIAL COMMUNIQUE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA

The Government of the Republic Of Angola would like herewith to inform the public that it has taken the initiative to formally request the Government of the Republic Of South Africa for assistance in repatriating the remains of the late General Arlindo Chenda Pena “Ben Ben”, ex-Deputy Chief of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces, who passed away in South Africa on the 18th of October 1998.

The request by the Angolan Government received the highest attention from the Government of the Republic of South Africa.

In this regard, a senior Angolan Government delegation led by the Minister of Justice and Human Rights accompanied by several Generals of the Angolan Armed Forces will depart for South Africa on the 13th of September 2018.

The Government of the Republic Of Angola extends its gratitude to the highest authorities of the Government of the Republic of South Africa for having created all the necessary conditions which facilitated the realization of this request of the exhumation and repatriation of the mortal remains of the late General 20 years after his passing.

President Donald Trump

Senators Flake and Coons respond to President Trump’s tweet about South Africa

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement.

“President Trump’s unfortunate tweet in response to a Fox News broadcast should not distract the United States from improving relations with South Africa.  As members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we care deeply about the United

States’ relationships with all African countries.  Constructive relationships require measured dialogue as opposed to arbitrary tweets.”

COMESA

98% of Regional Non-Tariff Barriers Resolved

A total of 199 out of 204 non-tariff barriers to regional trade that have been reported among the COMESA Member States since the establishment of the Tripartite NTB Online Reporting Mechanism in 2008, have been resolved. This represents a success rate of 97.5%.

That notwithstanding, a disturbing phenomenon is that reports of NTBs keep coming to the COMESA Secretariat and this frustrates the efforts to enhance intra-COMESA Trade, says the COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe.

In her speech at the opening of the 34th COMESA Trade and Customs Committee (TCM) meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, the SG observed that though member States had, upon signing the COMESA Treaty agreed to abolish all non-tariff barriers to trade among themselves, new ones kept cropping up thus affecting intraregional trade.

“Most Member States have taken long to remove certain NTBs and to operationalize the COMESA Customs Union and the launch of the Common Market,” she said in the statement presented by the Assistant Secretary General Dr Kipyego Cheluget.

The SG appreciated the progress made in implementing regional programmes with substantial support from International Cooperating Partners. However, she noted that little progress has been achieved in domesticating trade facilitation instruments at national level as Member States took their time to ratify and implement them.

Since the establishment of the Free Trade Area in 2000, intra-COMESA exports have increased from US$1.5 billion to US$ 7.9 billion in 2017. The global COMESA exports stand at US$ 86 912.7 million while the share of intra-COMESA exports to COMESA global exports remains low at 9.1%.

The trade and customs committee meeting considered the reports of the 3rd Trade and Trade Facilitation Sub-Committee and the 4th Heads of Customs Sub-Committee that met earlier in the week. The meetings were attended by a record 21 Member States including Tunisia and Somalia which were admitted to COMESA on 18 July 2018.

High on the agenda of the TCM was the implementation of the COMESA Digital Free Trade Area (DFTA) which is being rolled out in Member States. The DFTA has three aspects: e-trade, e-logistics and e-legislation. E-trade will promote online commerce by providing a platform for traders in COMESA region to do business online. E-logistics targets improvement in transportation of goods from suppliers to customers, while e-legislation address the readiness of laws in Member States to cater for digital transactions.

Other key issues in regional integration that were discussed were reports by Member States that are not participating in the COMESA Free Trade Area, Non-Tariff Barriers in the COMESA Region, the Kenya Sugar Safeguard and updates on the Tripartite FTA Negotiations and the African Free Trade Africa Free Area.

Speaking at the same forum, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade in Kenya, Dr Chris Kiptoo, called for scaling up and sustaining awareness campaigns of the COMESA protocols and the intended benefit of regional integration.

“Ultimately trade and investment are spearheaded by the private sector and this is the audience we need to sensitize for them to have the utmost confidence in the opportunities

created by regional integration,” Dr Kiptoo said in a speech delivered by the Director of Administration Mr. Samson Wangusi.

Dr Kiptoo cited the COMESA Yellow Card, the COMESA Customs Document, the Simplified Trade Regime, Non-Tariff Barriers Regulations, the COMESA Fund, and the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee as some of the most successful trade facilitation instruments which stakeholders need to know about.

Former United Nations (UN) secretary-general Kofi Annan

Brand South Africa statement on the passing of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan

This weekend, the world woke up to the sad news on the passing of the first African Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Kofi Annan. News headlines report that the 80-year-old advocate for the African continent, and seventh Secretary-General who rose through the ranks of the UN, suffered with a short illness before he died.

The Ghanaian diplomat, and one of the United Nations’ most high-profile and well-respected former Secretary-Generals was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with the UN “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”. Annan served as the UN Secretary-General from January 1997 to December 2006 – and put development, human rights, the rule of law, good governance and peace at the top of the UNs agenda.

Commenting on the passing of Kofi Annan, Brand South Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer Mrs Linda Magapatona-Sangaret said: “2018 marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela – it is a year which has provided an opportunity for people around the world to reflect on his exceptional leadership. Kofi Annan too was such a great leader, and leaves behind a similar legacy as he dedicated his years in service of human development and peace. The world has lost yet another magnanimous and selfless model leader.”

Annan who delivered the 5thh Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on 22 July 2007 which focused on the progress of Africa, also served as the Chair of the The Elders – an international non-governmental organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmenpeace activists, and human rights advocates, who were brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. The goal Nelson Mandela set for the Elders was to use their “almost 1,000 years of joint experience” to work on solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems such as climate changeHIV/AIDS, and poverty, as well as to “use their political independence to help resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

Kofi Annan was a member of The Elders since its founding in 2007, succeeding Desmond Tutu as Chair in May 2013. Between February and August 2012 Kofi Annan temporarily recused himself as a member of The Elders during his UN and Arab League assignment as Joint Special Envoy on the Syrian crisis. Kofi Annan’s first engagement with The Elders came in November 2008 when, together with Jimmy Carter and Graça Machel, he drew the world’s attention on the humanitarian crisis affecting Zimbabwe.