SA must join forces to create youth employment, says Mashatile

Deputy President Paul Mashatile emphasised the need to strengthen multi-sectoral partnerships to increase opportunities for youth empowerment and participation in the labour market.

‘Together, we can contribute to national efforts to create employmen…


Deputy President Paul Mashatile emphasised the need to strengthen multi-sectoral partnerships to increase opportunities for youth empowerment and participation in the labour market.

‘Together, we can contribute to national efforts to create employment and get South Africans working,’ he said on Tuesday.

Deputy President Mashatile was speaking at the National Council of Provinces during a question and answer session.

In 2020, he said Cabinet approved the National Youth Policy (NYP) 2030, which is a cross-sectoral policy intended to redress the injustices of the past and deal decisively with new challenges affecting the youth.

To reduce youth unemployment, the Deputy President said the Minister of Finance set aside R7.4 billion for the Presidential Employment Initiative for the 2024/25 financial year.

‘Thus far, the Presidential Employment Initiative has assisted over 1.7 million people through a combination of job creation, job retention and income and skills support interventions,” Mashatile said.

He al
so touched on the South African Employment Services System, which serves over seven million job seekers, and provides nationwide platforms for youth to register for employment, match with employment opportunities, and receive placement counselling.

Through public-private partnerships, government supports various internships, learnerships, and apprenticeship programmes across various government departments to provide experiential learning and facilitate entry into the labour market for young people.

By supporting the growth of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), he stated that government is playing a critical role in addressing South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis.

‘Government is also implementing the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act to promote SMMEs that are key to job creation, and economic growth,’ he added.

Agricultural land

Shifting his focus to agricultural land, he said government is accelerating land redistribution through a variety of instruments, such as land restitutio
n and expropriation of land, to boost agricultural output.

In 2023, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure announced that 221 land parcels measuring 148 796 hectares have been released to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development for transfer to the approved land claimants.

‘Approximately 1 576 hectares of land is earmarked to be released before the end of this financial year,’ he announced.

In addition, he said 125 land parcels, measuring 25 549 hectares of agricultural land were released to support subsistence farming and food security.

‘This is in keeping with what we have been doing over the last 30 years,’ he explained.

Meanwhile, the government is transferring State agricultural land, through Financial Assistance Land (FALA) properties, where there has been compliance with the rent-to-buy agreements.

On top of that, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, he said, is developing criteria for category 3 and commercial farmers as part of the
rollout plan for the release of state land.

‘Category 3 includes medium to large-scale commercial farmers who have already been, or intend to farm commercially at various scales, but are disadvantaged by location, size of land, and other resource constraints limiting their growth,’ the Deputy President explained.

As per the country’s second-in-command, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure holds national State-owned land. It receives requests from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development for releasing land to settle claims for restitution and agricultural purposes as part of the land reform programme.

‘As a government, we will prioritise providing extension and technical support to ensure that we distribute properties that are productive and contribute to South Africa’s food security,’ Mashatile said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Service station robbers take off with almost N.dollars 800 000Eliminate red tape to make it easier for African entrepreneurs to do business – Mashatile

WINDHOEK: The Namibian Police in the Khomas Region are investigating a case of robbery with aggravating circumstances, after suspected robbers stole N.dollars 789 707 from the Monte Christo service station in Windhoek on Tuesday.

According to police …

WINDHOEK: The Namibian Police in the Khomas Region are investigating a case of robbery with aggravating circumstances, after suspected robbers stole N.dollars 789 707 from the Monte Christo service station in Windhoek on Tuesday.

According to police spokesperson Chief Inspector Elifas Kuwinga, three suspects entered the service station and pointed a firearm at the cashiers before proceeding to enter the manager’s office and grabbing three cash boxes. The boxes, he said, were prepared for pick up by the G4S security company, for banking purposes.

‘The suspects got into a blue Mazda Demio vehicle and sped off with the cash in the amount of N.dollars 789 707. The fourth suspect is the driver who remained in the car,’ Kuwinga said.

No arrests have been made yet as the suspects are unknown. Investigations into the matter are ongoing and no recoveries are made.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has called for the elimination of red tape to facilitate cross-border trade for African entrepreneurs.

‘Countries on our continent typically perform poorly in various categories related to corporate performance and competitiveness due to an unfriendly environment, particularly in terms of intra-continental trade,’ the Deputy President said on Wednesday.

This is the reason he believes that countries should take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which seeks to eliminate barriers to trade in Africa.

READ | Africa is an oyster for young entrepreneurs

‘The AfCFTA will significantly boost intra-African trade, particularly trade in value-added production and trade across all sectors of Africa’s economy,’ Mashatile said.

The country’s second-in-command was delivering a keynote address at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC+ Africa) at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

GEC+ Africa is a gathering of entrepreneurs and leaders
from more than 50 African nations committed to advancing entrepreneurial activity throughout their own countries in Africa.

Hosted by the Department of Small Business Development, the two-day event includes other international leaders who have become a part of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) movement that advances entrepreneurship as a means of building economies and expanding human welfare.

‘As policymakers, we have to create an enabling environment for our entrepreneurs,’ Mashatile said.

He told delegates that leaders should ensure that the core foundations of the digital economy are in place, including digital infrastructure, digital skills, cybersecurity capabilities, and affordable and accessible data.

Mashatile said nations need to do more to implement the African Union’s Digital Transformation Agenda, adopted at its Summit of Heads of State in 2019.

‘We must ensure that by 2030, every individual, business, and government on the continent will be digitally enabled and ready to support a g
rowing digital economy.’

He emphasised the need to enhance governance systems, such as combating corruption, improving macroeconomic management, and resolving disputes through negotiation rather than violent conflict.

‘We must do more to shift the narrative that Africa is a difficult place to do business.’

SMMEs

Mashatile said it was crucial to address the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) and start-up credit gap.

‘Africa has 18% of the world’s population but attracts only 2% of global capital, and even less global venture capital for start-ups.

‘In South Africa, Minister of Small Business Development Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has proposed a SMME and Cooperative Funding Policy, which was recently gazetted for public comment,’ he announced.

The policy requires that the Business Development Service providers in South Africa institutionalise the practice of assisting SMMEs and cooperatives with pre-funding support.

‘Without funding, our best start-ups are leaving for tech hubs abroad,’ Mashatile s
aid.

Skilled labour force

The Deputy President believes it is crucial to retain skilled professionals within the continent’s borders.

‘The loss of skilled professionals, also known as ‘brain-drain’ is one of the major reasons for the unsteady growth in our respective countries.

‘To prevent this, we need to make it easier for skills to move across the continent and increase the number of people who can learn new skills, especially in areas that are important to the digital economy.’

However, he said South Africa was making inroads in reforming visa requirements, which allows high-tech expertise to work in the country and develop the economy.

‘This move is supported by the underpinning principles of the AfCFTA, and propels us towards the integrated Africa that we want.’

In addition, the Deputy President called on the continent to work together to achieve socio-economic transformation that benefits everyone and one way to start is by assisting small businesses.

‘Together, this and the AfCFTA are importan
t steps towards the Africa we want. I am confident that this inaugural GEC+ Africa Congress will provide the appropriate policy advice and partnerships to take us there.’

Trade

The Deputy President has described Africa as a continent overflowing with untapped potential, a hub of innovation and invention waiting to be re-awakened.

‘However, Africa still plays a subordinate role in global value chains, and is confronted by deeply established structural constraints that stem from our previous position as an exporter of unprocessed raw commodities.’

South Africa, like the rest of the continent, according to the Deputy President, needs to be strategic in increasing its competitiveness in higher-productivity trade-able commodities and services, as well as in becoming ready for a digital and environmentally friendly future.

‘We must recognise that there is a link between the environment, economy, and agriculture. All economic activities either affect or are affected by natural and environmental resources.’

He
also called on farmers to adapt to current farming methods that increase production efficiency.

‘African innovators and entrepreneurs have the power to transform our economy, which will eventually allow us to participate in the global economy as players with equal status.’

Source: South African Government News Agency

South Africa participates in UN commission on status of women

The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, is leading the South African delegation at the 68th Session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68), currently underway at the UN headquarters in New York.

Tak…


The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, is leading the South African delegation at the 68th Session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68), currently underway at the UN headquarters in New York.

Taking place from 11 – 22 March, the largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment is instrumental in promoting women’s rights and shaping global standards on gender equality and women empowerment.

The CSW68 takes place under the theme, ‘Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective’.

‘During the commission, South Africa will demonstrate its commitment to addressing poverty, inequality, unemployment and social exclusion based on gender, race, disability or geolocation, using the country’s Constitution as the cornerstone for human rights and equality, which are clearly articulated in the legislative framewor
k,’ the department said in a statement.

Reducing poverty and inequality has been an overriding concern of South Africa’s development since the advent of democracy in 1994, as articulated in the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) to the present National Development Plan Vision 2030 (NDP).

South Africa remains committed to addressing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening our institutions so that all women and girls are empowered and enjoy their human rights, as stipulated in the country’s Constitution, which is the Bill of Rights.

The country is also committed to financing women and girls’ empowerment and achieving gender equality.

On Tuesday, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu addressed the Commission during the high-level

Ministerial Roundtable on the theme, ‘Mobilising Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of all Women and Girls: Strategies to End Women’s and Girls’ Poverty’.

The discussions aimed to mobilise fin
ancing for gender equality and empower all women and girls, with a particular emphasis on policies and strategies to end poverty among women and girls.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Service station robbers take off with almost N.dollars 800 000

WINDHOEK: The Namibian Police in the Khomas Region are investigating a case of robbery with aggravating circumstances, after suspected robbers stole N.dollars 789 707 from the Monte Christo service station in Windhoek on Tuesday.

According to police …


WINDHOEK: The Namibian Police in the Khomas Region are investigating a case of robbery with aggravating circumstances, after suspected robbers stole N.dollars 789 707 from the Monte Christo service station in Windhoek on Tuesday.

According to police spokesperson Chief Inspector Elifas Kuwinga, three suspects entered the service station and pointed a firearm at the cashiers before proceeding to enter the manager’s office and grabbing three cash boxes. The boxes, he said, were prepared for pick up by the G4S security company, for banking purposes.

‘The suspects got into a blue Mazda Demio vehicle and sped off with the cash in the amount of N.dollars 789 707. The fourth suspect is the driver who remained in the car,’ Kuwinga said.

No arrests have been made yet as the suspects are unknown. Investigations into the matter are ongoing and no recoveries are made.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Outapi mayor raises concern over theft of manhole covers

OUTAPI: Outapi Mayor, Selma Asino-Shaumbako, has expressed dismay over the theft of the town council’s sewer manhole covers by unknown individuals.

In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, Asino-Shaumbako expressed concern about the theft, not only b…


OUTAPI: Outapi Mayor, Selma Asino-Shaumbako, has expressed dismay over the theft of the town council’s sewer manhole covers by unknown individuals.

In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, Asino-Shaumbako expressed concern about the theft, not only because it is stolen property but also because open sanitary manholes pose a serious danger to the town’s inhabitants.

‘As a council, we are dealing with an issue where thieves have taken the sewer covers, which now poses a danger to our people,’ she said.

The mayor pleaded with residents to refrain from such actions, since they cause the town’s development to be delayed and funds meant for future development in the town to be diverted.

According to Asino-Shaumbako, the matter was reported to the police and is under investigation.

Moreover, she indicated that the council is busy replacing the covers and urged residents to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activities, either at the Outapi Police Station or the council office.

Source: The Namibia Pr
ess Agency

Minor dies after hit-and-run accident

ONIIPA: The Namibian Police Force in the Oshikoto Region opened a case of culpable homicide against a driver of a white light truck that drove over and killed a seven-year-old boy.

According to the region’s crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Co…


ONIIPA: The Namibian Police Force in the Oshikoto Region opened a case of culpable homicide against a driver of a white light truck that drove over and killed a seven-year-old boy.

According to the region’s crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Titus Ekandjo on Wednesday, the incident occurred around 15h00 on Tuesday at Onamulunga village on the B1 road between Onethindi and Iihwali village in the Oniipa Constituency.

The deceased was identified as Hiskiel Davids from Onamulunga village and a case of culpable homicide read with failing to stop after causing an accident has been opened against the suspect.

‘It is alleged that the suspect of a white light truck motor vehicle with an unidentified private registration number and a black loading box hit a pedestrian, who is a school learner, who was crossing the road from school,’ said Ekandjo.

He added that the suspect failed to stop after causing the accident. The truck was allegedly headed from the direction of Omuthiya towards Onethindi.

T
he victim was rushed to Onandjokwe State Hospital but succumbed to serious head injuries upon arrival at the hospital.

An autopsy will be conducted and the next of kin are informed.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Government PROs should work as ambassadors: Theofelus

KATIMA MULILO: Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Emma Theofelus has called on all communication and public relations officers of public entities to become ambassadors not only in their institutions, but outside as well.

The minist…


KATIMA MULILO: Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Emma Theofelus has called on all communication and public relations officers of public entities to become ambassadors not only in their institutions, but outside as well.

The minister was speaking at the official opening of the first annual public entities communication and public relations conference at Katima Mulilo on Tuesday.

The ICT minister noted that gatherings of this nature allow the communicators to reflect and see how they can better their skills.

‘You are the face and brand of the institutions that you are coming from. Learn from each other. Let’s look at the guiding documents, especially regarding professionalism and ethics, so we give exceptional service,’ Theofelus stated.

She further urged the communicators to be proactive and effective in their communications, encouraging them to keep an eye on new and emerging trends of communication.

‘We want you to be the ambassadors of Namibia, because someone across the world could
look at the Oshikoto Regional Council page and see Namibia, so we should be ambassadors beyond our institution, over the entire country. As a ministry, we have the Nationhood campaign, as you communicate on behalf of your institution, you’re able to bring pride to the nation,’ Theofelus emphasised.

She further reminded the communicators and managers in public service to always collaborate and communicate Government business accordingly.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Botswana celebrates Geingob’s life

OSHAKATI: Botswana President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said that the late President Hage Geingob significantly contributed to the excellent relations between Namibia and Botswana.

Masisi made the remarks during a memorial service held for the late Presiden…


OSHAKATI: Botswana President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said that the late President Hage Geingob significantly contributed to the excellent relations between Namibia and Botswana.

Masisi made the remarks during a memorial service held for the late President Geingob in Gaborone, Botswana on Wednesday.

In a live broadcast by Botswana Television (BTV), Masisi highlighted the longstanding nature of this relationship, recalling that before Namibia gained independence in 1990, Botswana provided refuge and safe passage to Namibians fleeing oppression and persecution from white minority settler regimes.

‘We are humbled that such an enduring legacy of sustained democratic ideals and a climate of peace gave the necessary assurance to our neighbours who fled atrocities from East, West, North, and South, to finally settle in Botswana, or opted to use Botswana as a reliable conduit to Lusaka, to Arusha, and Dar es Salaam,’ he said.

Masisi then described the late Geingob as a towering figure, a leading statesman both in stat
ure and accomplishments, who however bowed himself lowly and dressed himself with unmistaken humility.

He noted that Geingob was never in a hurry to outpace some of them who came well after him and needed to lean on him, learn from him, and mimic his well-orchestrated craft of steering the presidency, not to mention his nimble dancing skills, particularly on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, President Nangolo Mbumba, at the same ceremony, indicated that the bond between Masisi and the late Geingob transcended governance.

He highlighted that Masisi was the first Head of State to visit President Geingob last year following an operation he had, and also the first to travel to Namibia after news of the late president’s death broke to support the bereaved family.

President Geingob, who died at the age of 82 in Windhoek, was buried at Heroes’ Arce on 25 February 2024.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Mbumba to deliver SONA on Thursday

KEETMANSHOOP: President Nangolo Mbumba is expected to deliver the 2024 State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday.

A statement issued by the NA on Wednesday indicated that the SONA is delivered during the committee s…


KEETMANSHOOP: President Nangolo Mbumba is expected to deliver the 2024 State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday.

A statement issued by the NA on Wednesday indicated that the SONA is delivered during the committee stage of debates on the annual Appropriation Bill in the NA.

According to the statement, the address is in accordance with Article 32 (2) of the Namibian Constitution that states that, ‘In accordance with the responsibility of the executive branch of Government to the legislative branch, the President and the Cabinet shall each year during the consideration of the official budget attend Parliament. During such session the President shall address Parliament on the state of the nation and on the future policies of the Government; shall report on the policies of the previous year and shall be available to respond to questions.’

This is the first time President Mbumba delivers the State of the Nation Address, which was initially going to be the last SONA of the late
President Hage Geingob. Mbumba was sworn in as President on 04 February 2024, following Geingob’s passing on the same day.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency