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  • LIVESTOCK INDABA AIMS TO PROVIDE STRATEGIES TO GROW AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

    Ntuthuko Mlondo | 30 January 2023 KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, spoke to the community at a Livestock Indaba at Owen Sithole College of Agriculture, King Cetshwayo District, in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Supplied Durban — The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Agriculture and Rural Development hosted the provincial Livestock Indaba Roadshow at the Owen Sithole College of Agriculture, King Cetshwayo District, on Tuesday. The road show was an attempt to continue the positive trend in South Africa’s agricultural sector, which is key to the national gross domestic department. Theme for the Indaba was “Developing Rural Economics Through Livestock.” KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi said agriculture had the ability to restore dignity to the people and alleviate poverty. Sithole-Moloi estimated that over 2.8 million cattle are owned by farmers in the province and the average selling price is R10 000. She said it is important to keep livestock in good condition as that equates to billions of rand for the economy. “The department has accelerated the implementation of food security programmes aimed at poverty-stricken and vulnerable households that face food insecurity. The department is turning around the sector through the implementation of a provincial livestock strategy, which forms an integral part of the KZN provincial growth strategy,” said Sithole-Moloi. The strategy consists of seven pillars that aim to address socio-economic issues in the sector. These pillars are: comprehensive veterinary technical support; animal identification and anti-theft measures; breeding and selection; marketing and value adding; livestock infrastructure development and agro logistics; veld management and nutrition; and applied/adaptive research. “Our aim with these pillars is to bring about a revolution leading to real transformation in the sector and be able to address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality that affect mainly youth, women and disabled people,” said Sithole-Moloi. The department will also be working closely with amakhosi to ensure people in rural areas get the assistance they need, Sithole-Moloi said. “We want our communities to continue planting and end poverty once and for all. We know agriculture is a fundamental source of national prosperity. Let us use agriculture to better the lives of our people in KZN,” said Sithole-Moloi. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/livestock-indaba-aims-to-provide-strategies-to-grow-agricultural-sector-d8d08c85-a7ac-4f2e-9363-dbbc1f46ffa8

  • KHULISA SOCIAL SOLUTIONS WINS CORPORATE LIVEWIRE AWARD

    Media Update | 25 January 2023 Khulisa Social Solutions, a non-profit organisation (NPO), has announced that it won the Corporate LiveWire Youth Support NPO of the Year Award for 2022 / 2023. The NPO has over 25 years of empowering underprivileged South Africans to unlock their potential. Lesley Ann van Selm, managing director of Khulisa, says, "This recognition demonstrates the impact that Khulisa has had on South Africans since its inception and is a tremendous icebreaker for the amazing work that we are excited to continue in 2023." Last year, Khulisa was selected as a finalist under the International Peace Awards category for the best work in addressing: poverty and homelessness peace-making interventions, and youth empowerment interventions in marginalised communities. Khulisa's flagship projects include: The Sustainable Livelihood Programmes focused on communities in North West and Limpopo provinces. Khulisa launched this programme to implement self-sufficing systems to improve these communities' overall quality of life. The launch of Resilient Youth in Stressed Environments song to better communicate findings of the five-year global research that investigated youth resilience in communities involved in oil and gas production and communities impacted by climate change in South Africa, with a particular focus on Secunda and eMbalenhle in Mpumalanga. The application of the ecological model of violence to understand gender-based violence, this research was undertaken through a partnership with the seasoned research psychologist Sheri Errington, a research associate at the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Development The Alexandra Youth Entrepreneurial Summit. This summit was made possible by a partnership with the Greater Alexandra Chamber of Commerce, Qalisa Hub, 243 Pro-network, Ubuntu Business and TuksNovation The criminal expungement clinics will continue later in 2023 following the overwhelming response received in November 2022 The Alexandra Peace-Making Project, which was a direct response to civil unrest, including the looting and violence that took place in 2020, has resulted in 35 community peacemakers trained to deal with conflicts in the township, and The notable Streetscapes Project. This project has been offering long-term community-based rehabilitation that uniquely combines housing, work-based rehabilitation, and the necessary psychosocial support in the Western Cape for over seven years. Khulisa contended with 30 000 other nominees who were submitted from over 30 countries across the globe. Furthermore, a judging panel comprised of entrepreneurs, legal professionals and consultants carefully appraised and selected the winners across various award categories. "We would like to dedicate this award and our other recent recognitions to our stakeholders, including other not-for-profit organisations, community members, funders, and partners," says van Selm. For more information, visit www.khulisa.org.za. You can also follow Khulisa Social Solutions on Facebook or on Twitter. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’ https://www.mediaupdate.co.za/publicity/153309/khulisa-social-solutions-wins-corporate-livewire-award

  • FIRST WOMAN VICE-CHANCELLOR, PROFESSOR PAMELA DUBE, OFFICIALLY TAKES REIGNS AT CUT

    Kailene Pillay | 25 January 2023 The newly appointed Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Pamela Dube. Picture: SUPPLIED The Central University of Technology (CUT) in the Free State has officially welcomed the newly appointed vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Pamela Dube. Council chairperson Matthew Rantso said the university being without a VC for more than a year and a half had been an “arduous journey”. He said that the council prioritised making a female appointment. “Our institutional values of equity and excellence inspired us to make this call. Without a doubt, we found her (Dube) to be the most suitable leader who will take the university forward. With her appointment, we, as a collective, believe that CUT is in good hands. The university is in a better position than it has been then and now. “This is all because of our rigorous recruitment efforts. Rest assured; the new VC has the support of our council, all statutory bodies within the university, and the university community. She will carry on where we have been doing well to drive our academic projects and Vision 2030 to become a leading university of technology in Africa through innovation.” He commended Professor Alfred Ngowi for serving CUT as acting vice-chancellor during that period. “We have witnessed remarkable strides towards the operational efficiency of this university despite the challenges we have experienced. We have seen progress in filling the key positions, especially in the registrar’s division, with a shrewd eye on employment equity and representation,” said Rantso. He added that Dube comes with vast experience, bringing credentials into this portfolio that would help her lead the university towards and beyond the CUT Vision 2030, using her knowledge and experience in the higher education sector. Before joining the CUT, Dube served as a deputy vice-chancellor: Student Development and Support at UWC. She is an accomplished leader in academia, having completed her MA and PhD studies in comparative Literature and Media at the University of Siegen in Germany, supported by the German Exchange Programme, DAAD. Dube is also a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). She lived and worked in Germany at the University of Siegen after completing her doctoral degree. Her career includes higher education and research management, comparative media/communication and literature, human resources development, institutional advancement, student affairs and international relations. She has worked as a senior employee of the National Department of Education, as an academic at the universities of Siegen, Kathmandu University in Nepal, UKZN in Pietermaritzburg, and Wits in Johannesburg, where she was a dean of students. She served as a special adviser to the vice-chancellor at the University of Johannesburg, where she also took on the leadership of the Human Resources Division. She is a past employee of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, where she established an International Relations office and managed the Learning and People Development Unit. Since her appointment began, Dube has been engaging with relevant stakeholders, getting to know the CUT community better. “Today I look at my coming here at CUT as a beginning of a new dawn, a new journey. And as we begin this journey jointly as a collective, I want to thank the chair of the Council, councillor Matthew Rantso, the members of the council and the university stakeholders for your confidence and trust in me to drive the university Vision to 2030 and for the privilege of becoming the first woman vice-chancellor and principal of CUT,” saidDube ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.iol.co.za/education/first-woman-vice-chancellor-professor-pamela-dube-officially-takes-reigns-at-cut-5261b975-a01a-42c7-ad17-0efd1f98ffb5

  • ESKOM WANTS TO RETRENCH 500 WHITE MAINTENANCE WORKERS

    Hanno Labuschagne | 26 January 2023 Dirk Hermann, Solidarity CEO Solidarity says Eskom wants to get rid of 500 white male employees — most of which do maintenance work — in the next two years. The trade union has revealed this forms part of the utility’s latest Employment Equity (EE) Plan for 2023 to 2025. The organisation’s legal team has issued a legal letter to Eskom calling for a moratorium on race-based appointments at the utility to help address the power crisis. Solidarity pointed out that there was an urgent need in South Africa for the deployment of the best skills in jobs regardless of race. It said there were both competent black and white artisans at Eskom and in the industry. “Those are the people Eskom should recruit, based on their ability to help solve the power crisis, without looking at the colour of their skin,” the organisation stated. Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann said the EE plan did not reveal how Eskom would address its skills challenges but was all about skin colour at various job levels. “These absurd race targets come amid the fact that power station maintenance is one of Eskom’s major challenges,” said Hermann. “Eskom should now focus on one thing only, and that is not race, but power. South Africans do not need race targets but light in their homes and power for their businesses.” Hermann said that race-based targets discouraged existing Eskom staff members and also implied that competent white persons could not apply for jobs at the utility to help solve the crisis. “Also, it makes it nearly impossible to appoint some of the hundreds of experts who have offered their services to assist Eskom because they have the wrong skin colour,” Hermann said. The hundreds of experts Hermann referred to are those that have put up their hands to assist Eskom with skills and expertise as part of a skills crowdsourcing effort. For its part, Solidarity submitted a list of 300 such engineers and technicians to Eskom and the Department of Public Enterprises several months ago. The list is exempt from any requirements of race and includes numerous people who had left the utility under its aggressive black economic empowerment (BEE) policies. Eskom and the department previously explained that severe skills shortages — particularly with regard to power station management and maintenance — had contributed significantly to load-shedding. In November 2022, Eskom said it had already shortlisted 153 people who submitted their details to its database as potentially active, skilled, and willing candidates. Tariff increases would not be necessary without BEE Solidarity maintains that BEE is costing Eskom billions of rand and its recently-announced 19% tariff increase would not have been necessary if the utility did not have to meet all the racial requirements involved in procurement. The organisation said Eskom had a long history of aggressive race-based employment policies. “Between 1994 and 2002, at least 10,207 white persons left Eskom,” Solidarity said. “From about 2000, Eskom has paid R1.8 billion in terms of current rand value for packages to get rid of white people.” “This rapid loss of skills led to a huge loss of expertise and institutional knowledge.” Hermann said that Eskom had apparently learnt nothing from this experience. “It is still pursuing its race programme, even in the dark,” he stated. Solidarity’s letter said it reserved the right to go to court should Eskom continue with the implementation of its race-based employment targets. The organisation is also readying a court case to get Eskom exempted from BEE requirements. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://mybroadband.co.za/news/energy/477827-eskom-wants-to-retrench-500-white-maintenance-workers.html

  • NEW EMPLOYMENT EQUITY TARGETS COULD COMPEL THE MINING SECTOR TO WALK THE WALK ON TRANSFORMATION

    Lauren Salt and Reitumetse Sebatana | 26 January 2023 Mineworkers in an underground gold mine west of Johannesburg on 12 October 2022. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla / Daily Maverick) Failure to comply may result in penalties of between R1.5-million or 2% of the employer’s annual turnover and R2.7-million or 10% of its annual turnover. With South Africa being one of the most diverse countries on the African continent, equity and inclusion are critical to the future of every sector of its economy. For the mining sector in particular, failure to achieve equity in the workplace could come with greater punitive consequences. In 2020, the Department of Employment and Labour signed the Employment Equity Amendment Bill, 2020 into law to radically accelerate the realisation of transformation. The bill amends the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (EEA) and the amendments are due to come into effect on 1 September 2023. The most significant of the bill’s amendments relate to the power of the minister of employment and labour to set sector-specific employment equity targets to which designated employers will be held to account. The bill allows the minister to identify national economic sectors and to determine numerical targets for these sectors, for purposes of administering the EEA. These sector targets are scheduled to apply from the year 2024, and may differentiate between: Occupational levels; Sub-sectors; Regions; or Any other relevant factors. Before determining the targets, the minister will consult relevant stakeholders and the Employment Equity Commission on the proposed sector targets and will publish any proposals for public comment. The bill also introduces a certificate of compliance which will be required if any designated employer wishes to do business with the state and which will be issued if the minister is satisfied that: The employer has complied with any applicable sector targets or has raised a reasonable ground for non-compliance; The employer has submitted its most recent employment equity report; and Within the previous 12 months, the employer has not been found to have breached the prohibition on unfair discrimination, or found to have paid wages below the level of the minimum wage by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The director general is also empowered to make recommendations regarding a designated employer’s compliance with its affirmative action obligations, which will include compliance with the relevant sector targets. Failure to comply with these recommendations within the period stipulated by the director-general may result in penalties between R1.5-million or 2% of the designated employer’s annual turnover and R2.7-million or 10% of its annual turnover, depending on the nature, extent and frequency of the contravention. The mining sector is already accustomed to the concept of sector targets. The Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the Mining and Minerals Industry (Mining Charter), issued under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (MPRDA), sets minimum thresholds for holders of mining rights in relation to historically disadvantaged persons which, when implemented, are required to be reflective of the regional or national demographics of South Africa. Employers in the mining space should keep an eye out for updates on the sector targets and make any necessary representations to ensure that the targets reflect what is achievable in light of attrition rates and the talent or skills pool available. It might be unnerving for employers to not know where the targets might land and how achievable they will be. But there is comfort in the fact that there is an overwhelming body of research that confirms the positive impact of diversity in all its forms on organisational performance. Employers are encouraged to embrace the amendments to the EEA and participate meaningfully in the journey towards realising transformation for the benefit of their communities, employees and their organisations as a whole. DM Lauren Salt is an Executive in the Employment Department of law firm ENSafrica. Reitumetse Sebatana is a Trainee Associate in the department. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2023-01-26-new-employment-equity-targets-could-compel-the-mining-sector-to-walk-the-walk-on-transformation/

  • AFFIDAVITS: THE PRESCRIBED FORMAT

    Upon the publication of the Codes of Good Practice in 2007, the prescribed format for all businesses in presenting their B-BBEE credentials was a B-BBEE certificate issued by a SANAS accredited B-BBEE rating agency or, until 2016, one prepared by the Standards Department of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA). The 2013 amendments to the Codes of Good Practice, to remove the financial burden of a B-BBEEverification, allowed all Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) to present a B-BBEE affidavit (affidavit) or CIPCB-BBEE certificate to confirm their level of 'Black' Ownership and Financial Revenue Threshold. Further amendments meant that Qualifying Small Enterprises with at least 51% 'Black' Ownership (BO QSE) could do the same. The amendments apply to all public and private organisations, as well as organs of state. On 3rd September 2018, Practice Guide 1 of 2018 was issued as a non-binding guide, purely to assist with the interpretation to ensure consistency in the application of the Act. Although the rationale behind an affidavit to confirm 'Black' Ownership and financial revenue was to remove the burden from small and ‘Black’-owned businesses, it does bring about challenges for an organisation at the time of its B-BBEE verification. One such challenge is brought about by the deponent incorrectly applying the Ownership calculation. Since the Commissioner of Oaths is likely not a B-BBEE specialist, such a miscalculation may go unchallenged. Unfortunately, such shortfalls in applying the Ownership calculation only become evident at the time of a B-BBEE verification, which can impact an organisation's Preferential Procurement score All sets of published Codes have a prescribed affidavit format, each with its financial threshold. The published Practice Note guides EMEs and BO QSEs in correctly submitting an affidavit in the prescribed format. Generic Enterprises are organisations that do not belong to a specific sector that falls within the ambit of a published Sector Code. Sector Specific Enterprises, where an organisation falls within the ambit of a Sector Code of Good Practice promulgated under the B-BBEE Act. Qualification is based on the sector from which an organisation derives more than 50% of its revenue. Specialised Enterprises exclude ownership status from the measurement benchmark. Such organisations qualify as non-profit organisations, public benefit schemes, organisations exclusively owned by organs-of-state, and those limited by guarantee or higher education. If an EME or BO QSE presents its B-BBEE status in any format other than a prescribed affidavit, it is invalid. Exceptions to the rule EMEs or BO QSEs falling within the ambit of the Transport Sector Code, as it has not been amended since 2007. Such organisations must present a B-BBEE certificate issued by an accredited SANAS B-BBEE rating agency or one prepared by their Accounting Officer. As per section 6.4 in Code Series 000, EMEs and BO QSEs that opt to tender for work to the value of R50m and above need to go through a B-BBEE verification through a SANAS-accredited B-BBEE rating agency. An affidavit relies on the honesty and integrity of a deponent. In turn, organisations trust the information presented in an affidavit to attain their Preferential Procurement targets. But, by the same token, those evaluating the validity of an affidavit should be able to recognise 'red-flag' areas and identify whether an affidavit is in the correct format and includes all necessary information. A deponent must ensure that the affidavit they present is representative of their business which also qualifies to use an affidavit to confirm its Ownership and financial revenue. For example, a QSE with less than 51% Ownership may not complete an affidavit; they must go through the B-BBEE verification process Validity of an affidavit for B-BBEE purposes The deponent must sign an affidavit in the presence of a ‘Commissioner of Oaths’ as per the requirements in the Justices of Peace and Commissioners of Oaths Act, 1963. Notably, a Commissioner of Oaths must be independent; therefore, they may not have had any direct connection to a deponent to avoid any conflict of interest. A Commissioner of Oaths signs and stamps the affidavit, binding it. No cost is attached to a 'Commissioner of Oaths' notarising an affidavit. Vital to ensuring an affidavit’s validity is: The date appearing on the affidavit and date stamp by the ‘Commissioner of Oaths’ must be the same. Any alterations, such as corrections, cross-outs or additions made to an affidavit, must be witnessed by both parties by initialling any alteration. The information requirements of an affidavit deponent are: 1. Name of the deponent as it appears in the identity document. The deponent must be an Owner, Director or Member of a business. 2. The deponent's South African identity number 3. Indicate the designation of the deponent. It will confirm that they are duly authorised to depose an affidavit on behalf of the organisation. 4. The name of the organisation as it appears on the registration documents 5. Indicate whether the organisation trades under a different name than the one registered. 6. Company registration number as per the enterprise registration documents issued by the CIPC at the time of registration. 7. Company VAT number, if applicable 8. The physical address where the business is operational. 9. Indicate the sector the organisation represents and the nature of the business 10. Black'-owned means a juristic person, having shareholding or similar member interest, that is B-BBEE controlled, in which Black' Participants enjoy a percentage of exercisable Voting Rights, Economic Interest and have earned all points under Net Value. These are determined under Code series 100, the total of such rights measured using the 'Flow-Through' Principle. If applicable, insert the percentage of 'Black' Ownership and beneficiaries, the definition of which is on page one of the affidavit. 11. If applicable, insert the percentage of ‘Black’ woman Ownership, percentage of ‘Black’ Women holding Voting Rights, Economic Interest and have earned all points under Net Value. These are determined under Code series 100, the total of such rights measured using the 'Flow-Through' Principle. 12. If applicable, insert the percentage of Ownership held by 'Black' Designated Groups. The definition appears on page one of the affidavit. 13. If applicable, insert the total Ownership held by ‘Black’ Youth, which are people between the ages of 14 and 35. 14. If applicable, insert the total Ownership held by 'Black' People with disabilities as defined in the Code of Good Practice on the employment of people with disabilities issued under the Employment Equity Act. 15. If applicable, insert the total Ownership held by ‘Black’ Unemployed People, which category relates to 'Black' People that are not attending, and not required by law to attend, an educational institution and not awaiting admission to such an institution. 16. If applicable, insert the total Ownership held by 'Black' People living in rural and undeveloped areas 17. If applicable, insert the total Ownership held by ‘Black’ Military Veterans. The Defence Sector Code clarifies the qualifying criteria for ‘Black Military Veterans’. For this definition, it relates to any ‘Black’ South African Citizen who: Rendered military service to any of the Non-Statutory Military Organisations that were involved in South Africa’s Liberation between 1960 and 1994; Served in the Union Defence Force before 1961; Became a member of the new South African National Defence Force after 1994; and Completed their military training but no longer perform military services and were not dishonourably discharged from that military organisation or force. The definition does not exclude any person referred to in paragraphs 4.5.1 or 4.5.2 who could not complete their military training due to an injury during military training or contracted a disease. 18. Include the date of the latest financial year- end-for example, 28th February 2022. 19. Tick the box that indicates the ‘Black’ Ownership status, which will allocate an organisation’s Preferential Procurement Recognition level. 20. Full signature of the deponent. The deponent must sign the affidavit in the presence of a 'Commissioner of Oaths' with no conflict of interest. 21. Must include the day, month and year of notarisation. Important to note that the date must be the date that appears on the notarised stamp or the affidavit is invalid 22. ‘Commissioner of Oaths’ to sign and stamp the affidavit. To reiterate – if the day, month and year featuring under the deponent's signature in any way differs from that of the 'Commissioner of Oaths', the affidavit is deemed invalid. Click on the link below to download the PDF:

  • GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIAL

    Dr Sello Mokoena | 24 January 2023 There is sufficient respectable evidence to support the idea that quality ECD services play a critical role during a child’s early developmental stages, says the writer. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/African News Agency (ANA) Archives As we start the new academic year with special emphasis on the matric results it is of paramount importance not to forget the crucial role played by quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) in children’s life long before they reach Grade R and beyond this stage; and to reflect on the usefulness of this programme as it serves as a stepping stone to a brighter future. As there is sufficient respectable evidence to support the idea that quality ECD services play a critical role during a child’s early developmental stages as they offer better life prospects that enable critical stakeholders such as parents, government and civil society organisations to prepare children for a future with dignity, productivity and fulfilling lives. As Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Survey, released during the second quarter of 2018, showed, although joblessness had increased to 27.7% up from 26.7% compared with the first quarter, unemployment levels decreased as the level of education increased. Evidently, giving vulnerable children an integrated package of education and social services is one of the most effective and efficient steps we can take to give them a head-start in life. It is against this background that as we begin the new academic year, we should focus on the crucial role played by the ECD Centres. This begs the question what is an ECD service or programme? Official documents state that these programmes offer “early learning opportunities and support to children from birth until the year before they enter formal school”. They include, but are not limited to: Community-based play groups operating for specific hours; Outreach and support programmes for young children and their families/ caregivers, at a household level; Parenting support and enrichment programmes; support for the psychosocial needs of young children and their families; ECD programmes provided at partial-care facilities and at child and youth-care facilities, as contemplated in section 93(5) of the Children’s Act. These could be toy libraries or mobile ECD programmes, play groups, child minders or crèches. The programme adopts a more holistic approach to early learning. It is aimed at promoting social protection and ensuring reduced vulnerability. Official policy documents further state that the purpose of this programme is to ensure that children’s cognitive and effective skills, as well as psycho-motor skills are fully developed within conducive learning settings from an early age. The programme seeks to instil positive societal values and to improve children’s lives in meaningful ways. The major intention is to provide every child with the basic skills of reading, writing and elementary numeracy, as well as basic digital literacy skills essential for learning that will serve as they continue with their education and grow older in life. The programme seeks to enhance the quality of human capital; that is, individual’s competencies and skills for participating in society and workforce. This vital bridge demonstrates the interdependence between better scholastic performance and a better life. These are critical skills at the foundation phase of a child and they are requisite necessities for the creation and cross-fertilisation of mental, physical and emotional well-being including academic and recreational spheres, central to increasing young people’s abilities to participate in societal empowering activities known to be “an avenue for improving all people’s lifestyles”. They enrich the changes of children participating ECD centres in relation to positive societal values and democratic practices. As I reflect on the role of ECD I concluded that the provision of appropriate ECD services will not only enable us to serve the educational needs of children from an early age, but it will also allow us to equip them with requisite cognitive and affective skills required for successful learning throughout a person’s life. As Kierstead and Bowman put it: “There is a need to establish concise, cognitive skills that can be measured. “Reading, writing, mathematics and computer skills can be measured, and they are examples of necessary prerequisites for an educated society. “But it is also necessary to provide affective education pursuant to self-esteem, self-confidence and moral conscience. It is appropriate to teach social (sharing) cooperation and trust, which shape appropriate interpersonal skills.” These are the skills essential for the economic challenges of the 21st century and beyond. The 2012 Child Gauge report published by the Children’s Institute at UCT argues that “early childhood development services not only support children’s health, well-being and early learning, they are increasingly recognised as a sound economic investment and a key strategy in reducing inequality”. This reinforces the notion that investing in early childhood development is not only a means of preparing children to perform better in school and giving children a head start in life, but also of contributing to the socio-economic development of the country and of ensuring that our children are fully prepared for the school system as we face new educational challenges. Research conducted by the Gauteng Department of Social Development in 2016 to evaluate the status of the Social Development Prototype ECD centres revealed that while the presence of the centres was found to improve community pride as well as community’s confidence in the government and, stakeholders’ perceptions of the impact of the ECD programme implemented at the prototype centres was favourable several stakeholders suggested that there was a need for a standardised curriculum. This would serve to ensure the quality of the programme, as well as to enable standardised assessment across the centres. This would, in turn, enable better monitoring of the impact of the programme as this evaluation research revealed that many of the centres were identified as not being accessible for disabled users due to the absence of ramps, handrails and age appropriate ablution facilities for children with disabilities. Furthermore, educators were not capacitated to teach intellectually and physically disabled children. This requires the initiation of a broad network of processes comprising a range of activities undertaken by primary stakeholders such as academics, NPO representatives, parents, business, faith-based and political organisations from all walks of life, among others. This requires people with the ability to influence educational policy and educational practices at various levels, including curriculum experts who understand that education is primarily concerned with the development of different types of skills and values. * Mokoena is an applied broadcasting, educational media, international communications, policy and development studies expert. He is head of research and policy at the Gauteng Department of Social Development. He writes in his personal capacity. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/opinion/government-investment-in-early-childhood-development-is-essential-ae308a0a-b36a-4685-b5ec-83e86ac41966

  • LETTER: BEE IS MORE AKIN TO BLATANT ELITE ENRICHMENT

    Martin van Staden | 23 January 2023 Picture: 123RF/nonwarit Only a shift away from the arbitrary criterion of skin colour and towards merit, value for money and nonracialism will bring economic empowerment to those who most desperately need it “BEE” is not and has never been about black economic empowerment. Instead, it is more akin to blatant elite enrichment. It is therefore heartening that Andile Ntingi believes that BEE cannot survive in its current form (“Is BEE here to stay or is it facing its demise?", January 23). The only viable form an empowerment initiative can take would be to provide equal empowerment to all that are factually disadvantaged, irrespective of the colour of their skin. This is the imperative at the heart of the constitution’s allowances for government preferencing schemes. Section 1(b) of the constitution commits all state machinery to strict nonracialism. Government has brazenly ignored this constitutional standard by adopting more than 116 race laws (including so-called BEE) since 1994, as shown in the Institute of Race Relations’ (IRR) Index of Race Law at racelaw.co.za. A 2022 IRR survey shows that only 3% of black South Africans believe BEE is effective and should be a continued priority for government. Earlier research showed that the BEE regime has benefited at most only an elite 14% of blacks, leaving the remaining 86% without additional advantage. Most South Africans prefer an empowerment dispensation that focuses on socioeconomic status, not race. Ntingi’s proposals to reform BEE would unfortunately not eliminate, or even limit, the wide scope for corruption and waste that characterises the regime today. Only a fundamental shift away from the arbitrary criterion of skin colour and towards merit, value for money and nonracialism will bring economic empowerment to those who most desperately need it today. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2023-01-23-letter-bee-is-more-akin-to-blatant-elite-enrichment/

  • INSATIABLE CURIOSITY PROPELS VIOLET TO THE TOP

    Brümilda Swartbooi | 24 January 2023 ​​ For nearly three decades, Violet Mahlaba has been going above and beyond for the City, and has no intention of stopping any time soon. ​Reliable, trustworthy, and dedicated are some of the words that best describe her work ethic. Violet is the manager of training and development, Employee Relations and Development (Group Human Capital Management). Since 2011, she has been ensuring the City’s workplace skills plan (WSP) runs smoothly. In her role, she is also responsible for driving skills development and oversees learnerships and Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET). She has spearheaded projects and procedures, among others. She implemented an in-house supply chain channel in her office. Her secret tool is being highly inquisitive and eager to learn. In fact, her willingness to learn is what drives her. “Be willing to learn. If you’re willing to learn, there’s nothing that can stop you. And if you don’t know, ask. Do your research.” There was a time when she was unfamiliar with the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) and needed to report to the National Treasury. To plug the gap, Violet got into a car and drove all the way to Ekurhuleni to ask for help and learn more. “No one guided me to respond to national Treasury requirements, so I started doing my own research.” Born in Qwa-Qwa, Free State, Violet worked her way up the ranks when she relocated to Johannesburg. She obtained a teachers’ diploma from Tshiya College of Education in in Phuthaditjhaba, Qwa-Qwa, and an adult learning qualification from Wits University. She joined the City of Joburg in 1995 in the Records Office as a general worker, where her main role was to do the filing and issuing of stationery. “You need to start somewhere,” she says. In 1998, she joined human relations. After the start of the regions, she was moved to Soweto. Violet believes in leading by example for optimum results. “You must lead by example. Show respect, never get tired and will always go the extra mile.” What she loves most about her job is seeing people grow and expand their educational knowledge. “ABET is in my heart. I have seen changes in people’s lives. I pulled people into the programmes who didn’t have matric, who couldn’t get promotions, and watched them go on and get promotions.” She loves helping and assisting people. “If I can see change in people’s lives, that’s what motivates me.” The mother of two and grandmother of three believes in keeping a solid balance between work and personal life. For leisure, she loves visiting new places. One of her favourite destinations is Singapore. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.joburg.org.za/media_/Newsroom/Pages/2023%20News%20Articles/January/Insatiable-curiosity-propels-Violet-to-the-top.aspx

  • ENSURING INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS REMAIN COMMITTED TO SA – NASPERS CEO, PHUTHI MAHANYELE-DABENGWA

    BIZnews | 24 January 2023 Naspers CEO Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa speaks to Bronwyn Nielsen at WEF 2023 in Davos about the opportunity to showcase what South Africa has to offer. Phuti expresses sincere belief in international investors’ commitment to SA. Phuthi Mahanyele on SA’s opportunity to showcase its potential It has been an incredible time, an opportunity to showcase what South Africa has, and to get international investors to remain committed to South Africa. Whether investors are committed to Africa There was a session that was held for Africa and we had a number of international investors there who showed the keenness to continue to invest in the African continent. It is our responsibility to continue to work with them and to ensure the government is doing everything necessary to make Africa an investable destination. Naspers’ contribution in ensuring SA youth have access to resources A key area for us is collaborating with parties both here and in South Africa, to make sure our youth has access to proper education, access to employment, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities. Naspers is doing this. Our tech platform, for example, is making certain we provide access to education to 500 million users across the world. Through Naspers labs, we are providing access to education for young people who require it but do not have the capital to pay for it. We have an NPO which is providing this education and we are placing youth in employment. So, it is about finding the solutions to create a different future for us. Pre-COVID-19 World Economic Forum vs post-COVID-19 World Economic Forum There is a difference. There is a lot more focus on the areas of sustainability. It is an important area for us as a business. As an internet business, we are heavily focused on making our business sustainable. When looking at investments, one of the key areas is the area of sustainability. We work closely with the United Nations to make sure we keep to those development goals. Beyond that, there is so much we are looking at to create a good environment. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.biznews.com/wef/2023/01/24/south-africa-naspers-ceo

  • TALE OF HOPE, JUBILATION AND DESPAIR FOR SA YOUTH

    Phumla Mkize | 23rd Jan 2023 Friends Kanetso Lekhisa and Thozamile Funeka, from Commtech Comprehensive School in Free State, are among the country’s top matric achievers./Phumla Mkize While best friends Kanetso Lekhisa and Thozamile Funeka, who have been dreaming about the day the national spotlight will be fixed on them, were celebrating as they joined the prestigious group of 34 top matric performers in the country, another pair of friends, Ofentse Zulu and Mmakgotso Tshabalala, are living their worst nightmare as unemployed graduates. Lekhisa and Funeka, the 18-year-olds from Commtech Comprehensive School in Free State are looking forward to university. Lekhisa, is number two in the country in technical science, while Funeka came third in technical maths. Lekhisa wants to study architecture, while Funeka has his sights on mechanical engineering. Zulu and Tshabalala, the 23-year-old graduates from Vaal University of Technology, were knocking on doors this week in the northern Joburg suburbs of Rosebank, Parktown North, Craighall Park along Jan Smuts Avenue, looking for jobs. The duo, who completed their diplomas in 2021 and graduated in 2022, have not been able to find an internship, learnership or a job of any kind. Zulu has an advanced diploma in marketing and Tshabalala a diploma in marketing. “At this point, I will take anything. I’m not picky. I will even take a job as a cleaner just to get a foot in the door,” said Tshabalala. Both Zulu and Tshabalala are first generation graduates in their families. Zulu, the eldest among seven children, said he thought passing matric with good marks and qualifying for university was astepping stone to a better life. “I started applying for jobs while I was still at varsity. I even went on to do my advanced diploma while I was tutoring other students,” he said. “My mother is a single parent, I’m the first of her kids to go to university. She encourages me not to give up, but deep down I sometimes feel she has lost as much hope as I have,” he said. Tshabalala, who is from Middleburg and came to Gauteng for the week to job hunt with her friend, said she has two siblings and her inability to help her family is taking a strain on her mental health. “I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience, I can’t get experience because I can’t get a job.” According to Statistics South Africa Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the third quarter of last year, youth aged 15-34 years recorded the highest unemployment rates, with unemployment in the 15-24 years group at 59.6% and for the 25-34-year-olds at 40.5%. Though unemployment among graduates, which is at 10.7%, is lower than the national official unemployment rate of 32.9%, it is cold comfort for Zulu and Tshabalala. “When I finished matric, qualified for university, finished my qualification in record time, I thought I was ticking all the boxes for a bright future,” said Tshabalala. Lekhisa and Funeka had a whirlwind few days being hosted by the minister of basic education at a breakfast for top performers in Randburg, and being celebrated by the nation. “We could not have done this without the help of our teachers, particularly our principal Motsamai Mofokeng,” said Funeka, who was accompanied by his mother Ncanyiwe Mojaki and sister Mookho Shai. Lekhisa was flanked by his parents, Matshepiso and Tlotliso. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://sundayworld.co.za/education/tale-of-hope-jubilation-and-despair-for-sa-youth/

  • AMA DEBUTS BLACK MEDIA OWNER PORTAL TO FOSTER MEDIA TRANSFORMATION

    TMO Reporter | 23 January 2023 AMA, a full-service media agency has launched the AMA Portal, an online platform which will serve as a database for black media owners/AMA Just under a year after launching, full service media agency AMA has unleashed the AMA Portal, an online platform to serve as a database for black media owners. “Advancing transformation is at the heart of AMA. The portal seeks to create market access for black media owners and to diversify the South African media landscape through empowering small black media owners in a highly competitive industry,” said managing director, Mfundo Ntsibande. In a press release, AMA said the portal will allow media owners to receive briefs and bid for projects by simply sharing their media inventory information. A cost-free service, the AMA portal gives up and coming black media owners access to a variety of briefs through a seamless application process. “Through sharing their media inventory information onto the system, a comprehensive database is created which enables brands to easily identify media owners across the country which they can collaborate with,” added Ntsibande. To utilise the platform, media owners simply need to sign up on the website-based portal, create a profile and upload the appropriate BEE certification. Once that is done, they can upload all their media inventory including print billboards, digital billboards, wall murals, transit media, internal and external mall media, and street poles etc. Once the profile has been completed, media owners will receive alerts about incoming briefs for which they can submit a bid and include their respective rate cards. As the administrator of the platform, AMA will review all applications, the brief will be allocated to the most compelling bid. AMA is a 100% black-owned full-service media agency with purchasing power across Africa. It is a venture between M&N Brands and Park Advertising with more than R5 billion in credit facilities, enjoying the benefits of bulk buying with local and international media owners. Visit the AMA portal on www.amamedia.co.za or email info@amamedia.co.za ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://themediaonline.co.za/2023/01/ama-debuts-black-media-owner-portal-to-foster-media-transformation/

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