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Brand South Africa

South Africa ranks 31 out of 180 countries in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index

Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s performance in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index (WPFI). While the country’s ranking declines by three positions to 31/180 from 28/180 in 2018, South Africa remains in a strong position in terms of its global position in press freedom.

Contextualising the decline, General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa, Dr Petrus de Kock notes that some threats were perceived to the freedom of action of journalists, which according to the survey includes cases where journalists were harassed or subjected to intimidation in cases of reporting on some sensitive issues including: government finances, redistribution of land, and corruption.

Dr de Kock adds that “while these are some of the challenges raised by journalists through the WPFI survey, it is clear from the country’s performance in the index that South Africa maintains an extremely free press environment. South Africa’s improved ranking since 2013 illustrates a systemic strengthening of press freedom in a democratic society.”

For a global point of reference, it is noteworthy that the 2019 WPFI reports that France and the United Kingdom rank just behind South Africa in terms of press freedom at 32/180, and 33/180 respectively. The United States of America ranks far below South Africa for press freedom, at 48/180. Two major African states Kenya and Nigeria rank 100/180 and 120/180 respectively.

“This means that in both a global and African context, South Africa performs extremely well in terms of press freedom. The relevance of this index for South Africa, as a transparent Constitutional Democracy, is that the country has the duty to maintain press freedom, and to enhance the rights of citizens to not only access information, but also to be free to express opinions in public without any fear of retribution, or state sanction. In a global environment where journalists often have to do their work in the face of fear and threats to their lives, South Africa’s high ranking in the Press Freedom Index enhances the reputation of the Nation Brand,” said Dr de Kock.

The WPFI ranks 180 countries for the level of freedom journalists have to perform their duties. It is based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region.

Fraud

New way of fraud

Door to door delivery scam, pls take a bit of time to read it: An eye-opener, indeed…
This scam is actually very cleverly worked out that you will not suspect of anything wrong:

The following is an account of the incident.
Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from a company called: “Express Couriers,” He asked if I was going to be home because there was a package for me that required a signature .

The caller said that the delivery would arrive at my home in roughly an hour. Sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a parcel and a bottle of wine. I was very surprised since there was no special occasion, and I certainly didn’t expect anything like it. Intrigued, I inquired as to who the sender was. The courier replied, “I don’t know, I’m only delivering the package.” Apparently, he said the sender would want to give you a surprise and a card would be sent separately… , it happened that my birthday was on the way also, so we thought could be from a distant friend. There was also a consignment note with the gift.

He then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a R 257.50 “delivery/ verification charge,” providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult (of legal drinking age), and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.

This sounded logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the
delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so
that everything is properly accounted for. He added they also don’t carry cash to avoid loss or likely targets for robbery.

My wife, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled out her credit card, gave to him to swipe the card on a small mobile card machine with a small screen and keypad and asked to key in the verification code.

Frankly at this point we never suspected anything abnormal and a receipt was printed out and given to us, he then wished us good day and went off as normal,

To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, R 50,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit account at various ATM machines.

Apparently the “mobile credit card machine,” which the delivery man carried had all the info necessary to create a “dummy” card with all our card details, of course with the verification code.

Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank to stop payment, but already too late.We went to make a Police report, and was confirmed quite a number of households had been similarly hit.

WARNING: Beware of accepting any “surprise gift or package,” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper
identification of who the sender is.

Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!

PLEASE Pass this on, it may just prevent someone else from being swindled.

Public Servants Association (PSA)

PSA concerned as economy tumbles in First Quarter of 2019

The Public Servants Association (PSA), remains concerned about the continuing economic instability facing the country and the threat of job losses following the release of the first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) on 4 June 2019.

The decline in the economy by 3.2%, is the biggest drop in ten years and is much higher than the 1.7% drop that was forecasted by many economists. The PSA that represents thousands of public-sector employees pointed out that the decline comes at a time when the unemployment rate has already increased to 27.6% with the youth unemployment rate at over 50%.

The Union pointed out that South African are still paying for the compounded effects of fraud and corruption has on the economy. With the government announcing an ambitious target for the next five years to bring down unemployment levels to 14%, the PSA is concerned about the absence of clear plans to turn the economy around and stem unemployment amidst fresh reports of large-scale job losses in the banking, mining and various other sectors.

The PSA supports calls by the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) for the new Minister of Employment and Labour to ensure that more is done to prevent retrenchments and for National Treasury to intervene and assist those sectors that are already under economic pressure.

Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa views Statistics SA’s GDP results as a wake-up call

Johannesburg, Wednesday 05 June 2019 –  Brand South Africa notes with concern the results released by Stats SA which indicate that South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019, the largest quarterly drop in GDP in a decade.

 According to the report, the main contributors to the decline are manufacturing (-8.8%), mining (-10.8%) and agriculture (-13.2%). “The decline is the biggest quarterly fall in economic activity since the first quarter of 2009, when the economy – under strain from the global financial crisis – tumbled by 6.1%,” said Stats SA in a statement.

Economist have attributed it to load shedding, perceived weak economic policy and instability at state-owned enterprises.

“Important for South Africa is the fact that increased trade tensions between major economies stand to have a negative impact on commodity exporters due to potential price volatility. While the South African GDP outlook has seen a downward revision, this happens in a global context, where the World Bank indicated earlier in the year that international trade and investment are moderating – and as such this is a challenge for many emerging markets, and South Africa is no exception. Additionally, the global economy and trading system is being challenged by trade tensions that remain elevated,” said Brand South Africa, General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock.

“We are confident that under the 6th administration that we will expand the economy, in order to address our many societal problems which, find their roots in the scourge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. These results are a call to action for all stakeholders across all sectors to collaborate in finding sustainable solutions to grow our economy,” concluded Dr de Kock.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION

Your Majesties, Kings and Queens,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Chairperson of SADC and President of Namibia, Dr Hage Geingob,

Former President Thabo Mbeki and Mrs Mbeki,
Former President Kgalema Motlanthe and Mrs Motlanthe,
Former President FW de Klerk and Mrs De Klerk,
All former Heads of State and Government,
Chairpersons of the African Union and African Union Commission,
Distinguished representatives of respective countries and of international organisations,
Speaker of the National Assembly,
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces,
The Chief Justice of the Republic,
Members of the newly elected Parliament
Premiers, MECs and Mayors,
Members of Parliament,
Leaders of political parties,
Religious and traditional leaders,
Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Veterans of our struggle,
Distinguished Guests,
Fellow South Africans,

I stand before you having just taken the oath to be President of our beautiful country South Africa. I am humbled by the trust you have bestowed upon me, aware of the challenges our country faces, but also alive to the fact that our people are filled with hope for a better tomorrow. We gather here on the day that the people of our continent celebrate the unity of Africa.It is a day of friendship, solidarity and cooperation.It is a day on which we reaffirm our common commitment to an Africa that is at peace, that is prosperous and that promises a better existence for its people.

As South Africa, we are honoured and deeply humbled by the presence here of leaders from across the African continent.
Your Excellencies,
We are profoundly grateful to you for choosing to celebrate Africa Day among us, giving further poignancy to South Africa’s transformation from a pariah state to a full and valued member of the family of African nations.

We also recognise with appreciation those countries from other continents who have joined us today.We remain eternally grateful to all nations represented here for the sacrifices and tireless contributions by your people and governments to the liberation of our land.

Today, we reaffirm our determination to work with our sisters and brothers across the continent to realise the African Union’s vision of Agenda 2063.To build the Africa that we all Africans want.To forge a free trade area that stretches from Cape Town to Cairo, bringing growth and opportunity all African countries.

To silence the guns and let peace and harmony reign.Today, we declare that our progress as South Africa depends on – and cannot be separated from – the onward march of our beloved continent Africa.

Esteemed Guests,Fellow South Africans,
Twenty-five years have passed since that glorious morning on which Nelson Rolihahla Mandela was sworn in as the first President of a democratic South Africa. In the passage of that time, our land has known both seasons of plenty and times of scarcity. Our people have felt the warm embrace of liberty.

They have rejoiced at the affirmation of their essential and equal humanity.They have found shelter and sustenance. They have found opportunity and purpose. As the shackles of oppression have fallen away, they have felt their horizons widen and their lives improve in a myriad ways. But they have also known moments of doubt. They have felt the cold shadow of a past so cruel and iniquitous that it has at times threatened to eclipse the very achievement of their hard-won freedom.

Despite our most earnest efforts, many South Africans still go to bed hungry, many succumb to diseases that can be treated, many live lives of intolerable deprivation. Too many of our people do not work especially the youth.

In recent times, our people have watched as some of those in whom they had invested their trust have surrendered to the temptation of power and riches. They have seen some of the very institutions of our democracy eroded and resources squandered. The challenges that we face are real. But they are not insurmountable.

They can be solved. And we are going to solve them.

In the face of all these challenges our people have remained resolute, resilient, unwavering in their desire for a better South Africa.

Through the irrefutable power of the ballot on 8 May, South Africans declared the dawn of a new era. They have chosen hope over hopelessness, they have opted for unity over conflict and divisions. As we give effect to their mandate, we draw comfort from the knowledge that that which unites us is far, far more powerful and enduring than that which divides us.

Despite our differences, despite a past of conflict and division and bitterness, despite the fierce political contestation among 48 political parties in recent months, we share the same hopes and fears, the same anxieties and aspirations. We all want our children to have lives that are better than our own, to have work that is dignified and rewarding. We are bound together by our determination that never again shall the adversities of our past be visited on the people of this land. This is a defining moment for our young nation.

Today is the choice of history. It is a time for us to make the future we yearn for. It is through our actions now that we will determine our destiny. South Africans want action and not just words and promises. And there will be action. It is through our actions now that we will give form to the society for which so many have fought and sacrificed and for which all of us yearn.All South Africans yearn for a society defined by equality, by solidarity, by a shared humanity. They yearn for a society in which our worth is determined by how we value others.

It is a society guided by the fundamental human principle that says: Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. Motho ke motho ka batho. Muthu ndi muthu nga vhangwe vhathu. Munhu yi munhu yi vanhu.

Our Constitution – the basic law of our land – continues to guide our way even at the darkest hour. As a nation we therefore can no longer abide the grave disparities of wealth and opportunity that have defined our past and which threaten to imperil our future.

It is our shared will – and our shared responsibility – to build a society that knows neither privilege nor disadvantage. It is a society where those who have much are willing to share with those who have little. It is a society where every person, regardless of race or sex or circumstance, may experience the fundamental necessities of a decent, dignified life. Today, let us declare before the esteemed witnesses gathered here that such a South Africa is possible.

Let us declare our shared determination that we shall end poverty in South Africa within a generation. Let us declare that when we gather to celebrate the 50th year of our freedom there shall no longer be any person in this land who is unable to meet their basic needs. That there should be no child who goes hungry. Every school child will be able to read, and every person who wants to work will have a reasonable opportunity to find employment. As we make this bold declaration, we are aware of the depth of the challenges we must confront.

We are aware of the debilitating legacy of our past, nor the many difficulties of the present.To achieve the South Africa we want will demand an extraordinary feat of human endeavour.
The road ahead will be difficult. We will have to use our courage, wisdom and perseverance to achieve the South Africa we want. It will require an ambition that is rare. Like our forebears who gathered so many years ago on a piece of veld in Kliptown to declare that the people shall govern, let us aspire to a future beyond the probable.

Let our reach extend beyond our grasp. Let our gaze stretch beyond the horizon.Let us – as we embark on this new era – mobilise our every resource and summon our every capability to realise the vision of our founding mothers and fathers.

Let us forge a compact – not merely as business and labour, not as those who govern and those who are governed – but as citizens and patriots of this great nation, free and equal and resolute.

Let us forge a compact for growth and economic opportunity, for productive lands and viable communities, for knowledge, for innovation, and for services that are affordable, accessible and sustainable.

Let us forge a compact for an efficient, capable and ethical state, a state that is free from corruption, for companies that generate social value and propel human development, for elected officials and public servants who faithfully serve no other cause than that of the public. We must be a society that values excellence, rewards effort and hard work and rejects mediocrity.

We must be a society that values its young people by creating a conducive environment for them to gain skills and be productively employed to develop our country. Let us celebrate the great strides we have made – demonstrated so clearly in the incoming Parliament – to raise the prominence and contribution of women in public life.

Let us work together to fundamentally, and forever, change the relations of power between men and women. Let us end the dominion that men claim over women, the denial of opportunity, the abuse and the violence, the neglect, and the disregard of each person’s equal rights.

Let us build a truly non-racial society, one that belongs to all South Africans, and in which all South Africans belong. Let us build a society that protects and values those who are vulnerable and who for too long have been rendered marginal.

A society where disability is no impediment, where there is tolerance, and where no person is judged on their sexual orientation, where no person suffers prejudice because of the colour of their skin, the language of their birth or their country of origin.

Let us preserve our natural resources for future generations, as we work with greater purpose to end the human destruction of our world.

On this Africa Day, on the day that our nation enters a new era of hope and renewal, we recall and celebrate that Africa is the birthplace of humanity.

We recall that it was around 100,000 years ago that a small group of some of the first humans set foot beyond the continent.

With them they took a sense of perseverance and a talent for innovation which enabled them to progressively occupy every corner of the world.

Humanity has achieved a great deal over the intervening millennia and all by virtue of talents which evolved in Africa.

Africa is poised once again to rise, to assume its place among the free and equal nations of the world. We must use that innovative talent that originated in Africa to embrace and use the fourth Industrial Revolution to develop Africa and create jobs for the youth and empower the women of our continent. Africa is poised to realise the vision of Pixley ka Isaka Seme more than a century ago, when he said:

“The brighter day is rising upon Africa.  “Already I seem to see her chains dissolved, her desert plains red with harvest, her Abyssinia and her Zululand the seats of science and religion, reflecting the glory of the rising sun from the spires of their churches and universities.

“Her Congo and her Gambia whitened with commerce, her crowded cities sending forth the hum of business, and all her sons [and daughters] employed in advancing the victories of peace – greater and more abiding than the spoils of war.”

It is to this brighter day that we now turn our eyes, to a vista rich with the hues of hope and promise. It is you, the people of South Africa, who have spoken. With your votes you have placed your confidence and your trust in the men and women who now sit in our sixth democratic Parliament.

These 490 men and women whom you have sent to Parliament seem to have heard the same call that the Lord made to Isaiah when He said: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”  They have now said, send us. They have said Thuma Thina. You have chosen them to safeguard your rights, to improve your lives and to build a country that is united, strong and truly free.

You, the people of South Africa, have sent them, and you have sent me, as your President. Having taken the oath of office I am saying yes, South Africa Thuma Mina. And I pledge here today that I will serve you, I will work with you, side by side, to build the South Africa that we all want and deserve.

A new era has dawned in our country. A brighter day is rising upon South Africa and upon our beloved continent, Africa.
Nkosi Sikelel’ Afrika.
I thank you.

Dennis George

Dr Dennis George Responds to his Dismissal as Fedusa General Secretary

On 22 February 2019, I stated for the record that Fedusa currently does not have an investment company through which it transacts for empowerment investments. I said then that Difeme Investments was used as a nominee to warehouse AYO shares until such time as Fedusa and/or its affiliates set up companies to take up the AYO shares. Unlike other unions with investment companies, Fedusa was considering how best to generate additional revenue streams. Until Fedusa and its affiliates were certain about the direction of establishing investment companies, these shares are warehoused with no risk to Difeme.

In numerous meetings and correspondence since the allocation of 11 million shares to Difeme Investments, I had engaged with Fedusa affiliates, such as the Public Servants’ Association (PSA), the National Union of Leather Workers (NULAW) to arrange for the allocation of these shares to these affiliates.

My motivation was simply that these shares would assist Fedusa affiliates in building worker participation in the economy, that the affiliates would be financially strengthened and that workers would have representation on the board of the largest black ICT company in the country, AYO.

I reject with contempt the insinuation that I intended to benefit personally from these shares. These share only become tradable after the 5 year locking period is completed.

I am proud to be a non-executive director of AYO representing the interest of more than 2.5 million workers in South Africa today. My appointment to the AYO board was done with the full support and nomination of Fedusa. AYO believes in black economic empowerment, an inclusive economy and supports BEE initiatives which include the participation of workers in this economy.

The decision of Fedusa and/or affiliates to establish investment companies and take up these shares is entirely up to them. My role was to facilitate and ensure that they are given this opportunity. I have done this according to my discussions with these affiliates. I hope that they take up these shares so that they can benefit in the interest of workers from the growth of the share price and the dividends. It would be sad if, due to the negative media, which is defamatory against AYO, it is used to influence these affiliates not to take up these shares at the cost of workers not benefiting from shares.

Like other trade unions, I hope that Fedusa and its affiliates will take up this generous offer by AYO since it is the workers who will benefit from the value of AYO shares and from the dividends that will be received. However, Fedusa and its affiliates might not wish to take up this offer as a result of the negative media. If this is so, I will consult with AYO and recommend that these shares be made available to the workers directly so that they could benefit from the investment in AYO.

I have spent my entire life as a man of integrity, as someone who has fought for workers’ and employees’ rights. I have fought against corruption and I continue to do so. I am shocked that such disinformation and deliberate misrepresentation of my position in the facilitation of AYO shares to workers is being misconstrued. I was told by FEDUSA National Executive Committee members that the Federation spent more than R600 000 to get rid of me as General Secretary, while I only had a few months to complete my term of office on 31 January 2020.

In the meantime COSATU trade unions are growing financial stronger with the AYO shares and are able to grant bursaries to the children of trade union members.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AT THE ANC SIYANQOBA RALLY 2019

We are gathered here today, in our tens of thousands, to issue a clarion call to all the people of this great land.

We are gathered here today to say that the future of our country is in your hands.

This is a call to the young people who want to learn and to work and to build a life that is better than what they have today.

It is a call to the mothers and the fathers, who want decent homes and quality health care, who want to live in safe communities, and who want the best for their children.

This is a call to the workers, who want decent wages and a healthy workplace, who want to gain new skills and be given new opportunities.

It is a call to the labour tenants and farm workers, who want land they can call their own, who want water and seeds and implements.

This is a call to all South Africans: black and white, young and old, women and men.

It is a call to action.

It is a call to every South African to vote on Wednesday, the 8th of May, for a new era of growth, renewal and transformation.

This is a decisive moment in our history.

This a moment when we have to choose between the past and the future.

We can choose to return to a past of conflict and anger, of corruption and hunger.

Or we can choose to embark on a path of renewal and go forward to a future of peace and stability, jobs and progress.

As the people of South Africa, let us declare with one clear and loud voice that we choose to go forward.

We choose hope over despair.

We choose renewal over stagnation.

We choose growth over decline.

This is the message that our people gave us as we criss-crossed the country – from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha in the south to Musina and Thohoyandou in the north, from Ngwavuma and KwaMashu and Mthatha in the east to Mahikeng and Upington and Springbok and Vredendaal in the west.

We have met with workers in factories, on farms and in mines.

We have met with artisans, shop assistants, teachers, nurses, students, artists and pensioners. We have met business people, professionals, farmers, religious leaders and traditional leaders.

We have met people whose lives have been transformed over the last 25 years of democracy.
But we have also met people without work, without proper shelter, without a high school education, without running water or decent sanitation.

We have met people with disability, who have told us about the discrimination they face, about their struggles to access education and the particular difficulties they have finding a job.

We have met young and old, women and men, African, coloured, Indian and white.

We have heard them speak with many voices of their aspirations, their concerns and their frustrations.

And we have heard them speak with one voice about the country they love and the united and fair nation they want to live in.

They have reminded us of the achievements of 25 years – of the houses built, the jobs created, the education provided and the horizons broadened.

But they have also been critical of our shortcomings.

They have told us where service delivery has failed, where infrastructure has not been maintained, where people with authority and responsibility have stolen money.

They are frustrated at the slow rate of economic growth and the grinding effects of poverty and unemployment.

We have heard of the difficulties many of them continue to face in the midst of a tough economic environment, of the bills that need to be paid, of the rising cost of food, fuel and transport.

They have raised these issues with us – directly and bluntly – because they know that the ANC is the only organisation that can address their concerns.

They know the remarkable progress we have made together over 25 years; but they know that more could have been done, and that much more needs to be done.

And so today, as the ANC, we say to the people of South Africa:

We have heard you!

We have listened closely and with humility.

Where we have been found wanting, we accept the criticism.

Where we have made mistakes, we acknowledge them without qualification.

You have told us what you expect of the ANC.

Today – gathered here as the leadership, membership and volunteers of the African National Congress – we say that we are ready.

We are ready to work together, side-by-side with all South Africans, to build a country in which all may thrive and in which all may prosper.

If we are united, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

That is why, working together, we will build a growing economy for the benefit of all.

We have said that we will raise R1.4 trillion in new investment over 5 years.

It has never been done before in this country.

But we are determined to achieve it, because it is through this investment that we will build the factories, mines, call centres, farms and refineries that will create jobs for our people.

It is by removing barriers to investment and ending policy uncertainty, by creating space for new black entrants, by making our economy more competitive, that we will reach far higher levels of inclusive growth.

It is by further strengthening the social compact between government, labour, business, civil society and communities that we will create more decent jobs.

It is through initiatives like the Youth Employment Service, Tshepo 1 Million and NARYSEC that we will create pathways into work for young people.

It is through working with companies to recruit more young people and through removing work experience as a requirement for entry-level jobs that we will unleash the enormous potential of our youth.

It is through our industrial incentive schemes, special economic zones, industrial parks in townships and the black industrialists programme that we will become a manufacturing nation.

It is through the expansion of our small business incubation programme and through greater financial support for small business that we will build a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

It is by accelerating the redistribution of land and by financing emerging black farmers that we will ignite an agricultural revolution that transforms the South African countryside.

It is by investing in tourism, mining, telecommunications, textiles and clothing, manufacturing and the oceans economy that we will create a truly diverse economy that can compete in a challenging global environment.

These are not just words.

We have experience.

The ANC has shown, over many years, that we can work with labour and business and communities to mobilise investment, to create jobs, to improve working conditions, to implement a national minimum wage.

As the ANC, we know what it takes to open factories and mines, to attract tourists, to build roads, schools and clinics.

We know what it takes to grow an economy because we have done it before, and, working together, we can do it again.

But if all of these efforts are to be successful, we must ensure that the youth of this country have the skills they need now and into the future.

Working together, we will ensure that all our children receive the best quality education possible.

Every moment in a child’s development is essential.

The ANC will make two years of early childhood development compulsory for all children because this is the firm foundation children need to succeed in life.

If we do not reach our children before the age of 5, they will spend the rest of their lives catching up.

Unless they can read and write from the earliest years of school, they will always struggle to learn, to understand and to find jobs.

Unless they have teachers who are competent and committed, unless they have parents who are supportive, unless we have education officials who are honest and efficient, we will fail our children.

We will not allow another generation of South Africans to be consigned to a life of poverty.

We will not allow the doors of our universities and colleges to remain closed to the children of the poor and the working class.

We will not allow students to emerge from these universities and colleges without the skills they need to find a job.

That is why the ANC is expanding free higher education and investing more in TVET colleges to develop the skills our economy needs.

It is our solemn duty to improve the lives of the poor.

That is why the ANC is building more clinics and hospitals, and training more doctors, nurses and other health workers.

It is why the ANC will build a million houses over the next five years, and ensure that more work opportunities are provided closer to where people live.

The ANC has listened to the voices of women.

They remain the pillars of communities, families and social institutions.

And yet, patriarchal attitudes continue to deny women and girls their dignity and rights.

They bear the brunt of poverty and face discrimination in the workplace.

They are subjected to the most brutal gender-based violence and femicide.

Today, as the ANC, we recommit ourselves to a truly non-sexist South Africa.

Working with the broader women and gender movement, we will continue to take practical steps to advance women’s emancipation.

That is why we will ensure that girl children complete school and realise their academic potential, that women have equal opportunities at work, and that, working together, we end all forms of gender-based violence.
And that is why 53 percent of the ANC’s candidates in this election are women.

Comrades, friends and compatriots,

Let us declare, here and now, that we will never surrender our freedom to corruption and state capture.

We will not submit and we will not retreat.

We will fight with every means at our disposal to ensure that those who occupy positions of authority serve only the public interest.

Over the last year, we have taken decisive steps to fight corruption across society.

The Zondo Commission is uncovering the nature and extent of state capture.

We have done much to restore the credibility and effectiveness of the NPA, SARS, SAPS and the State Security Agency.

But the road ahead is long, and there is still much more to do.

We should expect resistance from those who have benefited from wrongdoing.

But let there be no doubt – those responsible for state capture and corruption will be held to account.
We are restoring the rule of law.

The police and prosecutors will be further strengthened and their independence will be assured, so that they can act against those who are corrupt without fear or favour.

We are determined that those found guilty of corruption or involvement in state capture will not be allowed to occupy positions of responsibility, either in the ANC, in Parliament or in government.

The era of impunity is over.

We are now entering the era of accountability.

We are now entering the era of consequence.

As the African National Congress, we have embarked on a path of renewal and rebuilding.

We acknowledge the mistakes we have made.

We recognise how patronage and corruption have eroded the people’s trust and confidence, and how they have undermined our ability to serve the interests of all South Africans.

That is why we have been working hard to restore the integrity of our movement.

We have been working to rebuild structures that are in touch with the people and which take forward the struggles of communities.

We are working to ensure that public representatives serve their communities diligently, selflessly and honestly.

We are working to restore the ANC to an organisation worthy of leaders like Chief Albert Luthuli, Moses Kotane, Lilian Ngoyi, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Dulcie September, Elijah Barayi, Albertina Sisulu, Chris Hani and Joe Slovo.

The people of South Africa expect and demand nothing less.

Today is a call to action.

It is a call to action to the amavoluntiya, the tens of thousands of ANC members and supporters who have campaigned over many months with great enthusiasm and dedication.

We thank you for your hard work.

We salute your commitment to a better and brighter South Africa for all.

However, our biggest task still lies ahead.

On Wednesday, each and every one of us must go from ward to ward, street to street, door to door to get out the vote.

We cannot allow all the hard work of the last few months to be wasted.

We cannot allow all our hopes of growth and renewal to be dashed.

We must do everything within our means to ensure that every ANC voter casts their ballot and that every ANC vote is counted.

The work we do over the next few days will determine the future of our country for many years to come.

Today is a call to action to the people of South Africa.

It is a call to join us on this journey of hope and renewal.

It is a call to every South Africans to go to the voting station where you are registered and cast your vote for the ANC.

Stations are open from 7am to 9pm.

Remember to take your ID book or identity card or temporary ID certificate.

And remember you have two votes, one for national and one for provincial.

Although the ballot paper is very long, it is very easy to find the ANC.

You will see the name of the ANC, the logo – in the form of the spear, the shield and our black, green and gold flag – and the face of a certain gentleman at number 4 on the national ballot and at number 2 or 3 on the provincial ballots.

For the first ballot, vote ANC.

For the second ballot, vote ANC.

There is no alternative.

Today, we want to thank the many, many South Africans we have met over the last few months, who have shared with us their worries, their suggestions, their hopes and their dreams.

Ours is a message of national unity, hope and renewal – not hatred, drama and empty rhetoric.

We call on South Africans to vote for the only party that can unite South Africans in realising our common aspirations for a better life.

Let us build a nation of solidarity, where each takes responsibility for the wellbeing of the other,

Let us build a nation of honesty and integrity.

Let us build a great country, which belongs to all South Africans, and in which all South Africans belong.

To all the people of our country, our message is a simple one:

Let us join hands and grow South Africa together!

Vote ANC.

 

 

Zola Skweyiya

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE PAYS TRIBUTE TO COMRADE ZOLA SKWEYIYA

The family of Cde Zola Skweyiya, members of the ANC, Veterans of our glorious movement, ladies and gentlemen.

Its an honour for us as members of the ANC Veterans League to be part of the family as it unveils the tombstone of their beloved father, grandfather and a dedicated member of the ANC and of Umkhonto We Sizwe.

It was on the  11th of April 2018 when the country was robbed of one of its most respected leader of the ANC and the country, Dr Zola Skweyiya.

Cde Zola Skweyiya was highly respected for the role he played as the head of the ANC’s legal and constitutional affairs department, which was key in the drafting of our Constitution and the negotiations towards a free and democratic South Africa.

The unveiling takes place at a time when we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Morogoro Conference which took place in April 1969 in Tanzania.

It was on this day 25 years ago when the South African people changed the course of history and broke the bonds of colonialism and apartheid.

It was on the 27th of April 1994, that South Africa held its first non-racial and democratic elections. It was also on this day that the people of South Africa delivered a decisive majority to the African National Congress. It is through these elections that Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa and committed the ANC in building a non-racial and democratic South Africa.

Comrade Zola Skweyiya was an integral part of the motive forces that changed the course of history and themselves to better the lives of the poor.

It was, Comrade Zola, because of your selfless contribution and that of other comrades who died during the course of struggle, that we are celebrating this day as free South Africans, with a constitution that is embraced and revered by all South Africans and the world. We have a constitution that advances the indivual and collective rights of our people.

We now have robust Chapter Nine Institutions, independent judiciary and parliament, that are critical to safeguarding and protecting these rights.

Our democracy unleashed the creative energies of all people in sports, arts, music, literature, film and dance as well as Science, Technology and innovation.

Today, 8 out of 10 South Africans, including those in the rural areas have their homes electrified. Nine out 10 South Africans have access to water.

Cde Zola, you will certainly be happy that the social grant programme initiated by yourself has improve the quality of poor citizens’ lives.

The number of individuals on social grants has increased from 3 million in 1994 to 17,5 million in 2017, benefiting children, the elderly and people with disability.

As the ANC, we look back with pride of what we have achieved, However, we must admit that we could have done better, particularly accelerating service delivery to the poor.

Comrade Zola, before you departed from this world you were worried about the future of your organisation and the country.

Instability and looting at State Owned Enterprises, loss of three Metros during the local government elections to the opposition, and the violation of the South African Constitution by our ANC government, were of great concern and took a toll on your health.

As the ANC Veterans, we are confident that with the leadership of Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, we will return our glorious movement to its former glory.

The State Capture, the Zondo Commission, the Nugent Commission, PIC Commission and the Justice Yvonne Mokgoro Commission, have laid bare the level of corruption committed by our once trusted comrades.

It is true we had veered off course. However, we are now on the road to recovery.

As Veterans we support the initiative by the president to cleanse the ANC and to back its integrity and credibility.

We are encouraged that the movement is determined to show zero tolerance in the fight against corruption and misconduct within the ANC.

We want to assure you, Comrade Zola, that we will not disappoint you. we will work hard and tirelessly as you did to bring back the values, traditions and principles of our glorious movement.

On the lists process of those going to our national and provincial parliaments, we would humbly request that those that are implicated in corrupt activities, and involved in unethical behaviour and lied under oath should withdraw from the lists.

Our national and provincial parliaments and our people deserve better. As we prepare for the most contentious elections on the 8th of May, we humbly request all South African to give the ANC another mandate to govern the country on their behalf.

In your name and those that sacrificed and laid their lives for this country, we will ensure that we unite the society, deliver on our mandate and improve the quality of our people’s lives.

I thank you.
Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANC Veterans League

ANC Veterans League

ASSEMBLY OF THE ANC VETERAN`S LEAGUE AND SENIOR CITIZENS OF THE NORTH WEST PROVINCE

We, the undersigned members of the ANC Veterans League and Senior Citizens representing the four regions of the N. West province being Ngaka Modiri Molema, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Dr Ruth S Mompati and Bojanala have assembled today, the 28 April 2019 in Rustenburg.

ANC Veterans League workshop

We met in the names of Dick Montshiwa, Moses Kotane, JB Marks, Dr. Modiri Molema, Kgosi Ramotshere Moiloa, Luthuli Detachment, Philemon Mathole, Steve Segale, Victor Sefora and Job Shimankane Tabane (Cassius Maake).

For many years we were playing an active and critical role towards the liberation of our country in the four pillars of struggle which are mass mobilisation, underground work, military operations under Umkhonto we Sizwe and the international isolation of apartheid.

We are assembled here today to deliberate on how to re-enforce the mother body, the ANC and how to ensure that we win the forth coming elections on May 8, 2019. We reaffirm and commit ourselves that we shall not spare any strength nor effort in ensuring a resounding victory of the ANC on the 2019 National Elections.

Today, we the Veterans League, and the Senior Citizens of the Province of the North West commit ourselves to totally immerse ourselves in the last push of the ANC election campaign to ensure that we secure a resounding and overwhelming victory on the 8 May 2019 National Elections.

The assembly is of the view that for us to be strong, we must have the structures on the ground with a clear Programme of Action (PoA). We also, need to relaunch and establish the functional and vibrant structures of the ANC, Alliance and Leagues as per their Constitutions from the branches to national level. Where these do not exist, we need to set them up after the elections.

The assembly also discussed the calibre of the candidates on the ANC list both provincially and at national level. We call on the ANC to ensure that those implicated in fraud and corruption, e.g. Mediosa, on VBS scandals, money laundering and racketeering, should step aside for the sake of the ANC and allow the processes to unfold and not compromise nor taint the ANC as it will negatively impact on our battle for a resounding victory.

We recommend to the ANC President to apply his mind carefully on who the Premier candidate should be based on the challenges faced by the North West province. We propose that he uses the criteria of integrity, honesty and compassion for the poor and marginalised people of the province.

The four regions, which are Bojanala, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Dr Ruth S. Mompati and Ngaka Modiri Molema accordingly support the NEC decision to refer all Election Lists to the National Integrity Commission.

Department of Home Affairs

EXTENSION OF HOURS IN SUPPORT OF ELECTIONS

In support of the general elections, the Department of Home Affairs will extend operational hours at front offices in a drive to assist eligible voters to collect identity documents (IDs) they had applied for, or to apply for IDs or Temporary Identity Certificates. Over three days of voting, 6-8 May 2019, front offices will provide to citizens extended operational hours for identification services by aligning their opening and closing hours to those of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Accordingly, on 6 and 7 May, offices will extend their operational hours from 16h00 to 19h00 to cater for people seeking access to services on these two special voting days. This will provide further opportunities for citizens to collect their uncollected documents (from 08h00 to 19h00). Home Affairs front offices will provide public services also on Election Day, 8 May 2019, from 07h00 in the morning until 21h00 in the evening when IEC voting stations close. It is the mandate of the Department of Home Affairs to ensure all South Africans, 16 years and above, acquire the necessary identity documents to enable them to access opportunities and various government services. 

When you are in possession of an enabling document like a smart ID card, green ID book or Temporary Identity Certificate you are afforded an opportunity to cast your vote. Without any of these forms of identification, supplied exclusively by Home Affairs, you cannot vote in South Africa’s democratic elections.

It is worrying that by end of March 2019, the Department had recorded a total of 355 257 uncollected smart ID cards and 3 620 uncollected green ID books. The total of all uncollected identity documents stood at 358 877 comprising uncollected smart ID cards and green ID books. Gauteng has the highest number of uncollected smart ID cards, at 101 787, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (with 55 634 uncollected smart cards) and Eastern Cape (46 504). Northern Cape has the lowest, with only 12 255.

The Department therefore appeals to citizens to collect their smart ID cards or green ID books, or to apply for Temporary Identity Certificates so that they may exercise their democratic right to vote. It requests stakeholder forums, as well as community structures and leaders, to work closely with communities in urging people to collect their documents. Ahead of the elections, the Department extends warm words of gratitude to all officials who will be on duty in support of the elections.