North West Human Settlements on housing needs register


Department works on cleaning up housing needs register

Incredible housing needs register would soon be a thing when the Department of Local Government and Human Settlements in Bokone Bophirima starts capturing data of prospective housing beneficiaries electronically, following a training programme of officials on housing needs register administration.

The training programme is part of the department’s effort to clean up the housing needs register and also to work towards establishing a single provincial register which will contribute to the national housing demand list. The three day long training which ended last week started in Mahikeng, will be rolled out to officials in municipalities across the province.

‘The housing needs register will be also be aligned to the human settlements development grant business plan in order to best capture and update the status of housing needs in each municipality, i.e. the total housing needs, beneficiaries registered project and the backlog that arise from regular updates”, said MEC Gaolaolwe.

The national housing needs register (NHNR) is a central database that offers households the opportunity to register their need for adequate shelter by providing information about their current living conditions, household composition & to indicate the type of housing assistance they require from government.

Households are also able to update their information to ensure that their details are relevant to their current situation. Records of households that have registered their need on other systems / waiting lists are received from provincial human settlement departments and municipalities.

Source: Government of South Africa

In Battle of Beliefs, Nigeria Targets Boko Haram’s Top Brass


ABUJA � It was a case of instant captivation when Shagari first heard Boko Haram’s founder deliver a jihadi sermon a decade ago.

Gripped by the message, Shagari swapped life as a father and electrician to join the militants and rose rapidly through their ranks, his ascent mirroring the group’s own growing stature.

He took easily to the extremism and brutality.

“If I saw a man wearing something like shorts and a T-shirt, I would be ready to finish him because of his clothing,” the 42-year-old told reporter in an interview.

The die-hard recruit was rewarded with rapid promotion � elevated from researcher to recruiter to regional leader � as he joined the fight to carve out an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria.

Boko Haram has killed about 20,000 people and uprooted 2.7 million since unleashing its brutal insurgency eight years ago.

The army has retaken much of the territory once held by Boko Haram, yet the group continues to carry out bombings and raids in northeast Nigeria, as well as in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Their attacks have ramped up in recent months, with suicide bombing, kidnapping and rape used as everyday weapons of war.

Once Shagari was a willing foot soldier, ready to kill for the cause. But now he has once more chosen a new direction, the product of a radical government program to reach out to Boko Haram’s top militants in the hope of reforming its underlings.

Man of peace?

“My views on killing changed,” said the one-time militant, a married father of seven from northeast Nigeria.

Shagari asked for his current location and full name to be withheld for fear of retaliation from Boko Haram, having cut ties with the insurgents as part of his new life.

The about-turn had its roots in 2011, when he was arrested for his role in the insurgency and jailed in the capital Abuja.

Held with fellow group members, Shagari was segregated from other prisoners. For three years, life was joyless. Then, in 2014, a state-run deradicalization project changed everything.

“The discrimination stopped,” Shagari said. “People started interacting with us, and we started going out of our cells.

“We were treated like human beings,” he added. “I was able to do away with all the ideology and become a normal person.”

Since his release from prison in 2015, Shagari has helped to deradicalize others, and enrolled in secondary school with the aim of going to university and working in conflict resolution.

Engaging with such high-ranking Boko Haram members is key to reforming its followers and reintegrating them into society, said Fatima Akilu, the psychologist who ran the state program.

“We needed Shagari to get through to the other Boko Haram members [in prison] because he was their leader,” said Akilu, now executive director of the Neem Foundation, an anti-extremism group. “We could not have done it without his help.”

Belonging and brotherhood

Poverty is often seen as the main driver for those joining Boko Haram, yet a sense of belonging, brotherhood and power tend to be bigger factors � especially for young people, Akilu said.

“Boko Haram’s idea of the caliphate fired the imagination of a lot of young people,” Akilu said.

“They [young people] want to be part of history, to form their own society and way of life … to wield a lot of power and reimagine the world in a way that they want it,” she added.

Deradicalizing people who buy into Boko Haram’s ideology � unlike those who join the militants for money or out of fear � therefore presents a huge challenge for the Nigerian government.

Nigeria last year launched a new program to rehabilitate repentant fighters, offering support and skills rather than locking them away. Officials could not be reached for comment.

For Shagari � who says he has survived three assassination attempts by Boko Haram for refusing to rejoin the group since his release from prison � returning home has been far from easy.

Although he values his freedom and education � and is proud to have enrolled six of his children in school � Shagari said the temptation to go back to Boko Haram has often proved strong.

“If not that I had changed wholeheartedly, I would have gone back because of the tough times,” he said. “Some people did … because of lack of a single penny. Some have been killed.”

Source: Voice of America



PRETORIA- The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has facilitated the creation of 18 206 new jobs that would have been otherwise lost.

This as the IDC, which is the national development finance institution set up to promote economic growth and industrial development, released its Integrated Results for the year ended 31 March 2017 on Monday.

The results show that the IDC’s profit grew to R2.2 billion while funding approvals increased to R15.3 billion, with marked increase in approvals for black industrialists, other black entrepreneurs, women and youth entrepreneurs.

These approvals are in addition to the creation of 18 206 new jobs. It also supported the retention of 2 675 jobs that would otherwise have been lost.

The value of funding approvals increased to R15.3 billion, which is 5.7% higher than the previous year. An additional R922 million was approved from funds managed on behalf of third parties.

In line with our strategy, majority of jobs created and saved were in the manufacturing sector, it said.

However, the IDC said levels of disbursements remained flat, with R11.0 billion disbursed in the period compared to R11.4 billion in 2016.

The corporation has also prioritised a number of sectors and value chains such as the metals, machinery and equipment and agro-processing and agriculture. New industries identified by the corporation are those sectors which are determined by forward looking trends and innovation.

Funding for new industries approved was R227.2 million, 52% higher than in 2016, while disbursements increased by 10% to R110.9 million.

The IDC also continued to increase funding for black empowered and black-owned businesses while prioritising women-empowered businesses.

The IDC reported that the value of funding for black-empowered and black-owned companies increased by 103% to R10.1 billion.

We recorded a significant improvement in approvals for women-empowered businesses at R3.2 billion. This amount is triple the R1.1 billion approved in 2016, said the IDC.

When coming to youth owned enterprises, the corporation said it remains committed to support youth enterprises to the value of R4.5 billion from 2016 � 2020.

The funding approved for youth-empowered and youth-owned businesses increased to R2.3 billion in 52 transactions up from the R970 million in 19 transactions from 2016.

Approvals for businesses with women ownership was at R3.2 billion.

Meanwhile, approvals to black industrialists also increased, this as government policy related to black economic empowerment is focused on the development of black industrialists.

To support this initiative, the IDC has developed a comprehensive framework for the development of Black Industrialists which covers several areas including opportunity identification, identification of black industrialists, facilitating access to finance and increased business support.

Approvals for black industrialists came to R4.7 billion in 83 deals, said the IDC which is an entity of the Department of Economic Development.