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Mendi Msimang

EULOGY BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AT THE SPECIAL OFFICIAL FUNERAL OF THE LATE MR MENDI MSIMANG

Programme Directors,
Former President Kgalema Motlanthe,
Ministers, Deputy Ministers,
Premiers, MECs,
Members of the judiciary,
Members of the Msimang family,
Comrades,
Friends,
Fellow South Africans,

We are gathered here in solemn mourning to pay our last respects to a great South African whose life was dedicated to the cause of freedom.

Mendi Msimang was the embodiment of an idea that is simple in conception, but revolutionary in application – the idea that one’s purpose in life is to serve others.

Throughout a rich and meaningful life, wherever he found himself, whatever responsibilities he was given, he was bound by a determination to serve others.

He had no need for riches. He had no need for recognition.

His only need was to break the shackles of the oppressed; to feed, house and comfort those who had nothing.

His only need was to forge unity where there was division, to bring calm where there was chaos, and to promote understanding where there was intolerance.

His only need was to liberate his people from the bondage of apartheid and the enduring tyranny of poverty.

Mendi Msimang was one of a remarkable generation of freedom fighters, a generation whose deeds will reverberate across the ages.

It was a generation that transformed the national liberation movement and changed the course of our struggle, a generation that endured the hardship of exile and prison and banishment.

It was a generation that not only held the liberation movement together as the forces of apartheid sought to dismember it, but which built it into a formidable mass movement at the head of a global campaign for a democratic South Africa.

It was this generation that was prominent among those who led the country to democracy and freedom.

Today, as we mourn the passing of one of the great leaders of that generation, it would be a mistake to relegate them to history.

Certainly, most of the members of that generation may have exited the political stage, but the principles they fought for, the values they lived by and the means by which they sought their objectives still find resonance at this moment in our history.

As we confront new and daunting challenges, as we attend to the erosion of the revolutionary morality that long defined our struggle, we must draw strength and inspiration and guidance from the deeds of those leaders.

The time for leaders like Mendi Msimang has not passed.

It has barely begun.

The material temptations of political office have never been greater than they are today.

As our people have realised, and as our movement has acknowledged, there are those among us who seek positions of authority not to serve the public good, but to advance private interests.

There are those who are prepared to undermine the institutions of our young democracy, to subvert the rule of law and to steal from the people to enrich themselves.

This cannot be countenanced and this cannot be allowed to continue.

It is at precisely this moment that we need leaders, cadres, public servants and business people of the calibre of Mendi Msimang.

We need people who, like him, are truly selfless in their service.

We need people like him, with an abiding honesty and an essential integrity.

For 10 years, he served as the Treasurer-General of the African National Congress, a position more difficult and more hazardous than any other in the movement.

In that time, he was scrupulous in his determination that not one cent go missing, that no resources meant for the transformational programmes of the organisation be misappropriated or wasted.

It is this quality that we seek in our leaders today.

Comrades and Friends,

Mendi Msimang was an envoy for freedom.

As the chief representative of the ANC in the United Kingdom, he was a dedicated and capable advocate for the cause of the South African people.

Especially when faced with hostile opinion, he sought – patiently and with deliberate care – to explain the positions of the African National Congress.

He was not one to dismiss others because their views may be reactionary or ill-informed.

He sought to persuade them, understanding that it was the responsibility of his revolutionary movement to win to its cause the broadest possible range of social forces.

But that was not the only reason.

He sought to persuade others because he was not prepared to give up on another human being.

He was driven by a firm conviction that every person has the capacity to do good, to see sense, to make a meaningful contribution to society.

He had a remarkable ability to see beyond their prejudice, their anger, their frailties and to recognise their essential being.

For that, he was much loved and widely admired.

When he returned to London, this time as the democratic South Africa’s first High Commissioner to the Court of St James’s, he did so with a completely different mandate, but employed many of the same methods.

While it is certainly true that he no longer organised protests outside South Africa House, he used his good offices within the building to advance the cause of a free and democratic South Africa.

He argued with great eloquence and conviction that while it was true that the South African people had achieved the overthrow of apartheid and established a democratic state, the legacy of centuries of dispossession and exploitation endured.

He sought the support of the British government and people – and indeed the broader international community – for the reconstruction of South Africa, for the growth and transformation of its economy, and for the empowerment of its people through skills and jobs.

Over two decades later, these remain the most important tasks that we, as a nation, must undertake.

We must attend to these tasks with the same vigour and application that Mendi Msimang did.

We must seek, as he always did, to build consensus on the measures we must necessarily take to transform our economy and our society.

We must confront, as he would have, the difficult choices that need to be made to turn around an economy that has faltered and to fix the public institutions that have been weakened.

We must retain, as he would have, our focus on the overriding task to create jobs and tackle poverty.

We must forge a social compact that is founded on the incontrovertible reality that none of us can prosper unless we all prosper.

We must forge a social compact that recognises that the enormity of the challenges ahead of us require that we all pull in the same direction.

This is what Mendi Msimang was good at, building bridges, forging alliances and resolving differences.

That is why we say that the time for leaders like Mendi Msimang has not passed.

He was a person of great modesty and dignity.

He treated others with respect, was moderate in demeanour and measured in his address.

These may be commendable personality traits, but they are also profoundly political.

They are among the qualities that we should seek in a revolutionary.

One cannot be a revolutionary if one does not respect others.

One cannot be a revolutionary if one is intolerant of other views, or if insult and invective are the only means of persuasion one can marshal.

Those who worked with him remember both fondly and sometimes with frustration how meticulous he was.

They recall his commitment to proper syntax and correct spelling and his ability to debate the placement of a comma.

This was a sign not only of a sound education, but also of a rigorous discipline that extended from the writing of a letter to the prosecution of the struggle.

Like many of his generation, Mendi Msimang paid a heavy price for his commitment to the struggle.

The nation owes his family a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they made and the absences they endured.

We extend to the family our deepest condolences for their sad loss and their selfless sacrifice of giving up their parental claim to their father, grandfather, brother, and patriarch to the service of the people of South Africa.

The family, like all of us, assume a great responsibility to carry forward his legacy, characterised by a deep sense of loyalty, commitment, love and selflessness to all the people of our country, especially the poor.

Mendi Msimang, stalwart of our movement, giant of our struggle, unassuming hero of our people, is no more.

As we mourn his passing, we commend and we celebrate a life lived in the service of others.

As we bid him farewell, we repeat that the time for leaders like Mendi Msimang has not passed.

In his memory, let us pledge, as our forbearers did in Kliptown, that we will strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until we reach our goal of a united, free and prosperous South Africa.

May his soul rest in peace. May his abundant legacy endure.

Hamba Kahle, Qhawe lama Qhawe.

I thank you.

Letaba Hospital

PSA condemns fatal attack on doctors at Letaba Hospital

The Public Servants Association (PSA) learnt with shock that three doctors were shot and fatally wounded in the early hours of Thursday, 22 November 2018 at Letaba Hospital in Limpopo and called for an immediate increase in security at the Hospital.

“The Limpopo Department of Health failed to enforce security after a nurse was stabbed 15 times at the same Hospital in August 2018. The MEC said at the time that ‘our security system is found wanting’ hence the Department must take responsibility for its failure to ensure the safety of employees and patients at this Hospital. The PSA condemns the lethargic attitude of the Department and will call for a special chamber meeting for the employer to table its intervention to ensure employees’ safety,” said PSA General Manager, Ivan Fredericks.

Upon a visit to the doctors’ residential area, the PSA established that the houses where the incident took place did not have electricity or burglars bats, which made access easy for criminals and leaving employees vulnerable. “The Department is obliged to design, provide and maintain workplaces that are safe, identify any potential or actual hazards and take measures to control the risks, preferably by eliminating these in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. While there is a shortage of doctors in the country, and particularly in Limpopo, incidents like this will discourage doctors to accept work opportunities in Limpopo, and further disadvantage communities. The PSA expresses sincere condolences to the victims’ relatives and colleagues,” said Mr Fredericks.

Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s rankings in the 2018 World Bank’s Ease Doing Business, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), and the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index

Brand South Africa has noted and welcomes South Africa’s performance in the 2018 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index (EDB) which sees the country’s ranking at 82nd out of 190 economies.

The World Bank notes two areas of improvement in the EDB 2018, being: South Africa has made starting a business easier by reducing the time for online business registration, and the country improved the monitoring of electricity outages through recording data to monitor outages better.

Commenting on the EDB results, Dr Petrus de Kock, the General Manager for Research for Brand South Africa said: “In terms of statistical score there is a marginal improvement of +1.37 points. While South Africa retains its over-all ranking at 82/190 this year, it is notable that there are some improvements in the following pillars of the index, being: starting a business – improve with two positions from 136 to 134; registering property – improve with one position from 107 to 106; trading across borders – improve with four positions from 147 to 143; getting electricity – improve with three positions from 112 to 109; and protecting minority investors – improve with one position from 24 to 23.”

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report is an indicator of the ease of doing business in various economies around the world. Released in October 2018, this year’s report presents data for 190 economies and aggregates information from ten areas of business regulation (such as starting a business, getting credit and enforcing contracts), to develop an overall ease of doing business ranking for each economy.

This week also sees the release of the 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), with the report showing that South Africa has fallen from 6th to 7th position. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) provides an annual measure of governance efficiency of African countries. The report covers 54 countries and base its analysis on 100 indicators that are drawn from 36 independent sources which together fall into 4 broad thematic categories: Safety & Rule of Law; Participation & Human Rights; Sustainable Economic Opportunity; and Human Development.

“The strongest areas of performance for the country are in the Participation & Human Rights (4/54), as well as Sustainable Economic Opportunity (4/54) indicators. In the African – and Emerging Market contexts, governance plays a critical role in shaping the reputation of nations. It is for this reason that the IIAG provides critical insights regarding the profile of the South African Nation Brand.

“Results contained in the IIAG 2018 is a cause for concern for the South African Nation Brand. And the implication is that urgent interventions are needed to turn the negative trends around, based on a robust existing governance regime in the context of a constitutional democracy,” adds Dr de Kock.

Brand South Africa also noted South Africa’s declined performance in the 2018-2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (WEF GCI). South Africa now ranks 61 out of 140 economies assessed in the annual survey. Dr de Kock explains that the WEF GCI 2018 presents a revised methodology to measure national competitiveness, and productivity in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.

De Kock said: “In a major step change from its long established methodology that underpins the GCI, the 2018 edition of the index introduces a range of new concepts and attributes geared to measuring competitiveness, and ultimately productivity, to respond to the challenges of the time.  Being agile and capable to adapt to technological change and innovation, is critical to productivity and survival in a period of rapid change.

“Of the original 98 indicators that informed the GCI, 34 have been retained, and 64 new indicators introduced. And based on the new WEF GCI methodology it is clear that South Africa still ranks extremely well in terms of: Market size, Finance System, and Innovation Capability.”

South Africa’s national strengths can be found in the Finance System ranking 18th, it’s Market Size at 35th, with strong performance in Business Dynamics at 56th, the Labour Market at 55th (which looks much more promising than rankings achieved through the previous methodology), with a relatively good ranking for Economic Stability at 57th.  In the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution it is notable that South Africa ranks 46th for Innovation Capability.

ECOWAS Commission trains political parties on media and campaign strategies in participatory democracy

Abuja, 31, October 2018. The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the 31st of October 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, commenced a broad range training to enhance the capacity of Nigerian political Parties on media and campaign strategies. Part of the Workshop also targets journalists and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on the promotion of participatory democracy, among others. The exercises which encompasses the mainstreaming of youth and women into political party activities, political party financing, inter-party democracy as well as administrative processes, are meant to weigh in positively on the forthcoming 2019 General elections in Nigeria. Welcoming participants to the training Workshop, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, General Francis Behanzin commended the political parties’ representatives for “conducting their activities so far in a manner that is not abhorrent to democratic tenets and principles” Commissioner Behanzin who was represented by the Commission’s Director of Political Affairs Dr. Remi Ajibewa, stated that the workshop has been meticulously structured to cover selected but relevant areas of concerns affecting most political parties in the region and in Nigeria, in particular for which ECOWAS has developed necessary Training Modules.

The development of the Modules, he disclosed, is a response to the recent pedagogical approach adopted by ECOWAS Commission to strengthen democratic process in member States. He stressed the conviction of the ECOWAS Commission that the Workshop offers a unique and inexpensive opportunity for political parties to engage in solemn reflection and constructive discussions on some key concerns emanating from the build-up to the forthcoming elections in Nigeria with a view to addressing them collectively and harmoniously. In the spirit of cooperation and continuity, he said the meeting of minds is expected to build upon previous efforts by the ECOWAS and other international interlocutors to support peaceful, transparent and free elections in Nigeria.

In her goodwill message, presented after an overview of the programme was given by the Head, Democracy and Good Governance Division of the ECOWAS Commission Mr. Eyesan Okorodudu, the Resident Programme Officer of the International Republican Institute (IRI) Mrs Husna Hassan stressed the need to build on the positives of political parties in Nigeria becoming more responsive. In a keynote address, the National Chairman of We The People Nigeria (WTPN) political party professor Peter Nwangwu who spoke on behalf of the chairperson of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), emphasized that what is needed in Nigeria is the creation of an enabling environment and the opportunities for citizens to thrive. According to him, among the newer political parties, there has now intensified “the struggle to dismantle the nonsense that is destroying Nigeria” Declaring the Workshop open, the Commissioner and chairperson, Elections and Party Monitoring arm of the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) professor Anthonia Okoosi-Simbine noted that the lack of Internal Party Democracy (IPD) is largely responsible for the challenges of the political parties in Nigeria. Maintaining that the media must be at its agenda-setting duty post, and help bring about attitudinal change, she urged participants to add their understanding of strategies for promoting the mainstreaming of youth and women into political parties’ activities, media and campaign strategies, campaign finance, internal party democracy and administrative processes. The Three-Day Workshop which will feature presentations by experts and resources persons including Professor Oshita Oshita, Professor Kofi Agyekum, Mr. Aminu Idris, and Dr. Franklin Oduro, will examine critical issues bordering on media relations, internal party democracy and administrative process, political party financing in West Africa as well as mainstreaming women and youth into political parties’ activities

Chairperson Mahamat and Commissioner Traore

ECOWAS Commission restates commitment to deepening cooperation with the AU

The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Jean-Claude Kassi Brou has reaffirmed the determination of the Commission to work more with the African Union (AU) while deepening cooperation in the implementation of priority projects and programmes. The renewed commitment was given on the 26th of October 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria when the Chairperson of the AU Commission Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat led a delegation from the continental body on a courtesy visit to the ECOWAS Commission.

President Brou who was represented by the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Mamadou Traoré stated that the good relations between both bodies is reflected by the joint recognition of representations at their headquarters as well as the dynamic technical cooperation between the different Departments of their organizations. Noting that the visit is coming within the framework of the implementation of the reforms initiated at the level of the continental organization, he highlighted the regional priorities set by the new ECOWAS management to include a focus on institutional reform, consolidation of peace and security, free movement of persons and goods, infrastructure, improving the investment climate, building industrial capacity and the development of human capacity.

Acknowledging the efforts of the AU in the management of peace and security on the continent and in particular for its support to Mali, Gambia and some other countries Mamadou Traoré stressed that the ECOWAS Commission has been following with keen interest, the implementation of the recommendations of the Kagamé intervention plan and the management of major issues such as the free trade area akin to other sectors such as political affairs, peace, security and economic integration. Additionally, are the responses to regional security challenges, particularly in the Sahel and transhumance, the continuation of the implementation of the single currency program as well as the recent official opening of the Sèmè-Kraké (Nigeria-Benin) and Noèpé-Akanu (Togo-Ghana) checkpoints to boost intra-community trade. Other strides were given as the adoption and implementation of the common external tariff, the scheme for the liberalization of trade in local products and industrial products, the introduction of the biometric identity card symbol of a community identity and the adoption of the Community Investment Policy and Code, which is expected to give new impetus to the business environment in the region through the promotion of cross-border investments.

In his own brief, the AU chairperson who was visiting the ECOWAS Commission for the first time, disclosed that he was on tour of some West African states and deemed it appropriate to have an official engagement at the regional community headquarters.

Maintaining that the relationship between the AU and ECOWAS is that of subsidiarity and complementarity, Mr. Mahamat noted that both parties would love to see the fruits of a sensible division of labour and harmonized practices with the ongoing reforms. Stressing that ECOWAS has the most advanced instrument of integration on the continent playing a key role in Peace, security and political governance, he added: “We fully support what is being done by ECOWAS (Commission). We have worked together before and we will continue. To do so I am sure that institutional reforms will save cost lead to efficiency” He reiterated the necessity for the continent to speak with one voice on all of the issues that also include job creation and defend African interest even as some concerns that are specific to Africa such as terrorism, irregular migration are already being discussed with the European Union (EU). He emphasized the need for the AU Commission to work with the Regional Economic Communities for the implementation of programmes, seeing that the ongoing reforms will help in the creation of a more efficient process for the attainment of collective goals.

On the AU Chairperson’s delegation were the Union’s Commissioner for Human resources, Science and Technology Professor Sarah Anyang Agbo, his counterpart for Trade and Industry Professor Albert Muchanga as well as the principal strategic adviser, Professor Hacen Lebalt among other officers. Sectorial overviews were also given by the ECOWAS Commission’s Statutory Appointees who were on hand to support President Brou. These included Auditor-General Dr. Alfred Braimah, Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research Dr Kofi Apraku, Dr Siga Jagne (Social Affairs and Gender), Dr Zouli Boukoungou (Telecommunications and Information Technology), Dr Leopoldo Amado (Education, Science and Culture) and Dr Jeremias Furtado (Human Resources).

Horticultural Exports Rise in Zimbabwe – as the Benefits of COMESA Fruit Fly Surveillance Project unfolds

Export of horticultural products in Zimbabwe has gone up from USD 23,333 in 2016 to USD 87 996 in 2018 to international Markets but mostly European Union. This improvement is attributed to the implementation of The Fruit Fly surveillance programmes that began in Zimbabwe in July 2012 with the assistance of a project grant from COMESA.

The programme was meant to improve on the dwindling exports of horticultural products to the international markets hence affecting revenue collection for the country. The project received funds from the European Union under the COMESA Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM).

The funds assisted the Government of Zimbabwe as well as individual commercial farmers set up a fruit fly trapping network for early warning against fruit fly with particular focus on B. dorsalis. The pest causes extensive damage to fruits and vegetables resulting in restrictions to marketing in international markets like the European Union.

Zimbabwe is one of the COMESA States with a high-risk potential for different Fruit fly species as it produces wide host range of fruits. These include apples, avocado, citrus, banana, coffee, guava, mango, peach as well as vegetables such as cucurbits, bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes.

In 2015, Zimbabwe’s horticultural exports amounted to $72.1 million, with its main buyers being the European Union taking up a combined bulk of $57.5 million worth of produce, with the Netherlands ($32.6 million), the United Kingdom ($13.5 million), Germany ($5.3 million), France ($3.2 million) and Poland ($2.9 million), according to trade promotion agency ZimTrade.

It is estimated that out of the 1.9 million tonnes of mangoes produced annually in Africa, 30-35% (up to 760 000 tonnes) are destroyed by fruit flies. The estimated cost of fruit fly eradication programmes is on average.

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