Rural, township economies vital for transformation

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Government has identified rural and township economies as vehicles for achieving radical economic transformation.

The face of this transformation is the creation of employment for the youth, empowerment of local businesses and inclusive growth, said Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe, on Monday.

He added that the dti has prioritised its Rural and Township Industrial Economic Programme, in order to boost enterprise development in various regions of the country.

Magwanishe was speaking at the industrial dialogue breakfast session and provincial seminar on the Rural and Township Industrial Economy that was hosted by the dti in Kabokweni, Mpumalanga.

The purpose of the event which was attended by business and industry leaders was to provide an opportunity for constructive engagement between government and key stakeholders on interventions that are required to grow and sustain township and rural economies.

According to the deputy minister, the dti has prioritised its Rural and Township Industrial Economic Programme, as part of the implementation of the department's Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme.

One of the objectives of the Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme is to support socio-economic and industrial development in township economies. It also ensures effective collaboration between small and medium enterprises and multinationals in the region, said Magwanishe.

He also announced that the dti was working with the Mpumalanga Economic Development Agency and the Development Bank of Southern Africa in a scoping exercise to determine the urgent needs of the Kabokweni Industrial Park as part of the department's plan to revitalise it.

The first phase of the revitalisation will involve the upgrading of the park's security features. These include high-security lights and gates, construction and erection guard houses, he added.

The MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism in Mpumalanga, Sikhumbuzo Kholwane, said the seminar would give concrete meaning to the concept of rural and township economy as the base of radical socio-economic transformation agenda.

“The idea of the township economy has once again gained so much traction in the country and our province. While there is recognition that spatial location determines the types of business activity for one area or another, there is no denying that we must revive the townships from the economic margins of despondency,” added Kholwane. –

Gauteng adopts smart measures to fast track infrastructure projects

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo on Tuesday unveiled the province’s multibillion rand project portfolio to be delivered in the next three years.

The portfolio is made up of 340 projects valued at about R4.5 billion, with R1.7 billion being allocated for the 2018/19 financial year.

Speaking at a media briefing to unveil the project portfolio, MEC Mamabolo warned that during the delivery of the projects, under-performance and poor quality will not be tolerated.

To ensure that projects are carried out, MEC Mamabolo said his department will use drones to monitor progress at the various sites of construction.

MEC Mamabolo said the pressures posed by rapid urbanisation and migration have resulted in the escalation of demand for social infrastructure services such as schools, libraries, health facilities and community centres.

“As the Department of Infrastructure Development, we are proud to say that the last two years have been the most testing as we laboured to explore long term solutions to resolve construction and implementation challenges.

“We have had to roll up our sleeves and put down systems and processes that would prepare us for the future,” MEC Mamabolo said.

How the pipeline works

The Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) has introduced the most innovative project pipeline portfolio. The pipeline, described as a multi-billion, multi-year infrastructure project portfolio (MMIPP) is planned for implementation over a period of three years.

The project pipeline will be used to prioritise projects that are ready for implementation. They will be tracked and monitored to improve project management processes, and to speed up delivery to Gauteng communities.

MEC Mamabolo explained that all the pipeline projects were subject to the Project Readiness Matrix (PRM), an innovative tool designed by the department to assist in the assessment of all the critical and stage specific Infrastructure Delivery Management System (IDMS) requirements, before projects are considered for inclusion in the pipeline.

“The project pipeline profiles projects according to their various stages of development, enabling the department to better prioritise and manage its portfolio with greater efficiency,” MEC Mamabolo said.

According to the MEC, all the identified pipeline projects are classified into three categories, with the first known as ‘Platinum,’ which is a list of 63 projects planned for delivery during the current 2018/19 financial year.

The 63 Platinum Projects are valued at R459 million. They have been vetted against the IDMS guidelines to ensure their delivery period is not delayed or extended.

The second category is ‘Silver’ consisting of 188 projects, with projects planned for delivery during the 2019/20 financial year. The projects have an estimated allocation of about R966 million.

The last classification is ‘Coal’ and consists of 89 projects that are planned for delivery in the 2021/22 financial year, with an estimated allocation of about R260 million.

MEC Mamabolo said the classification and profiling will greatly enhance transparency and accountability of project performance for both management, client departments, other key stakeholders as well as communities.

“The department will also be in a position to improve its reporting by ensuring that all information is gathered from one source.

“Most importantly, the monitoring of project performance will further enable the department to proactively manage compliance issues largely residing in other spheres of government, such as local municipalities,” MEC Mamabolo said. –


Police to tackle spectator hooliganism at grassroots level

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Police Deputy Minister Bongani Mkongi says the growing incidents of hooliganism at sports events, particularly soccer games, is a matter of national security that also needs to be addressed at grassroots level.

The Deputy Minister said this when the South African Police Service (SAPS), National Soccer League and the Department of Sports and Recreation appeared before a joint meeting of the Portfolio Committees on Sports and Recreation and Police on Tuesday to give a briefing on the events that led to violent scenes at the recent Nedbank Cup semi-final at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

“The question of growing hooliganism in South Africa in terms of soccer and other sporting codes is a national security threat [and] if we leave it at this point, it can grow [and become a problem like it has] in… other countries. That is our standpoint in terms of national security,” Mkongi said.

He said the SAPS would, over and above enforcing the Safety at Sports & Recreational Events Act (SASREA), also look at raising awareness through educational campaigns.

This, Mkongi said, will include rolling out school safety campaigns as hooliganism can be traced back to school sports grounds.

The briefing comes after a cup tie that saw Kaizer Chiefs being knocked out of the semi-finals by Free State Stars, resulting in unhappy fans, who had been calling for coach Steve Komphela to resign. The fans invaded the pitch and attacked security personnel and vandalised property.

Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa, who was also at the briefing, told MPs that she would make a call to the President to establish a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the growing trend of violent acts at sports gatherings, among others.

Briefing the committee, Major General Singh, an Executive Manager at the office of the National Police Commissioner, said prior to the game, which took place on 21 April 2018, a risk assessment was conducted during the application for the categorization of the cup game.

Singh said during the application, the Premier Soccer League stated that there was no history of crowd clashing incidents or violence between spectators of participating teams or at the venue itself.

But the SA Police Service’s Crime Intelligence threat assessment report identified a risk of a possible pitch invasion, sale of illegal parking tickets, traffic congestion and increased crime in the vicinity of the stadium.

SAPS, Metro Police, private security and PSL security were deployed to strategic points in and around the stadium.

Singh said a few minutes before the game ended, Kaizer Chiefs supporters started throwing objects towards the technical team area before all hell broke loose.

Police and security personnel circled the players, match officials and technical staff to ensure safe passage into the change rooms. According to an incident report, 21 people were injured, including one SAPS member, one metro officer, four private security personnel members and 15 spectators.

TV cameras and speakers were damaged and stadium chairs were set alight.

Four suspects have since been arrested and released on bail and are set to appear in court on 25 May.

In his briefing to the committee, Dr Irvin Khoza, the chairperson of the National Soccer League, said the executive committee remained shocked, disappointed and concerned following the “unacceptable events” at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

“We would like to place on record that the league takes very seriously those specific legislative responsibilities placed upon us to ensure the safety of the millions of law-abiding, valid ticket-holding members of the public, players, officials and match support staff, who attend league sanctioned professional football matches across our country,” he said.

Dr Khoza said the league would do everything possible within its powers to assist Parliament and government to address the increasing trend of violent and chaotic acts of criminality at football matches.

He said the league has learnt of the proposed call by Minister Xasa for an official broader inquiry to be established to probe the Moses Mabhida incident, as well as previous similar incidents.

“We wish to respectfully state that the National Soccer League supports the proposed calling of such an inquiry. The league also respectfully calls on [portfolio the committee], if it has not already done so, to allow the Minister to convene such and inquiry,” he said. –


Government engages community radio sector

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Community radio stations must have a revenue enhancement plan in addition to the resources that are provided by the state, says Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

“No resources will be released unless people comply, no resources will be availed unless people demonstrate and have the record of board meeting and financial controls,” Minister Mokonyane said.

She was addressing the media ahead of her meeting with the management of Mamelodi FM and Poort FM in Tshwane on Friday as part of her community radio outreach activities.

The meeting was also be attended by Sentech, Media Development and Diversity (MDDA) and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

Last month, Minister Mokonyane committed to engage the community radio sector through a process aimed at strengthening governance, financial management, revenue generation and skills development within the sector.

“We are going throughout the country interacting with the [broadcasting] community sector because we do believe they play a strategic role in transforming our country, in creating new economic opportunities,” she said.

Minister Mokonyane said community radio sector has a huge potential and it needs to be supported.

She said the sector must have the capacity to deal with issues of management and governance.

“We must make sure that there is compliance and accountability and making sure there’s improved content and better administration,” Minister Mokonyane said.

Government is committed to ensuring that the community media sector is provided the requisite support to ensure its effectiveness in providing information to the most vulnerable and sometime isolated communities.

Mamelodi FM Station Administrator Sam Mfaladi said the challenges faced by the station were issues of licencing, funding and governance.

“Most of the people that are responsible for governance in this sector are not up to speed with what their responsibilities are. We have challenges with funding, we depend on funding from the government agencies such as the MDDA which at times takes a long time to come through,” Mfaladi said.

He said the sector also needs help with training.

“I think there’s been too many licenses that have been issued ….and a lot of the radio stations are failing to comply with the licenses conditions,” Mfaladi said.

Mamelodi FM Station is seven years old and has about 26 000 listeners.

Poort FM Poort Founder and Station Manager Tanya Ramatlo said her station has been livestreaming since the 1 April.

Ramatlo said the Department of Communication has been helpful in assisting with setting up with the radio station but the process is slow.

“Our funding was approved in 2016, we only signed a contract with MDDA in 2018 and funding still hasn’t been paid out,” she said.

Ramatlo said the radio station is also having issues with ICASA as the station has been granted a service license but not the spectrum licence as there’s no frequency available.

“This makes it difficult for Poort FM because we cannot stand on our own two feet, we have to rely on Mamelodi FM. We cannot apply for funding on our own, we have to do it with Mamelodi FM as they have the license,” she said. –


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