Deputy President Mashatile to address National Youth Day commemoration

Deputy President Paul Mashatile will speak at the 48th anniversary of Youth Day at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo, on Sunday.

According to the Presidency, the commemoration will focus on ‘actively embracing the socio-economic gains of our democracy’.

The annual event recollects the sacrifices of South Africa’s youth in the fight for democracy, an event immortalised by the Soweto Uprising of 16 June 1976.

‘This important national day provides an opportunity, for our country, to commemorate and honour the bravery of young people and to champion youth development in South Africa,’ the Presidency said.

In his speech, Mashatile will highlight the progress made in improving the lives of young people and reflect on the remaining challenges, which require immediate attention.

Government, working together with all relevant stakeholders, said it will continue to promote initiatives aimed at improving the physical and mental well-being of young people.

The State said it was also addressing the chal
lenge of substance abuse, crime and gender-based violence, and promoting academic excellence and economic participation, as well as improving efforts to strengthen solidarity and social cohesion amongst the youth.

The commemoration will also have an expo, which will showcase opportunities relating to skills training, learnerships, bursaries, careers and entrepreneurship.

The province will also host a marathon in the morning, bringing together young people with various sporting personalities and government representatives, followed by a cultural programme, which will include a music concert, cultural dances, and poetry.

Various leaders including Ministers Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Maropene Ramokgopa and Ronald Lamola, Limpopo Premier-elect Dr Phophi Ramathuba and National Youth Development Agency Chairperson Asanda Luwaca, will accompany the Deputy President.

Source: South African Government News Agency

All set for President Ramaphosa’s inauguration on Wednesday

Government is all set for the Presidential inauguration, which will take place on Wednesday, 19 June 2024, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

This is after Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected as the President of South Africa on Friday at the first sitting of the National Assembly of the seventh democratic administration, which was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Three hundred and thirty-nine ballot papers were issued and counted, with 12 invalid ballots. Ramaphosa received 283 votes against Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, who received 44 votes from MPs.

READ | President Ramaphosa re-elected to lead South Africa

Section 87 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa prescribes that the President of the Republic must be sworn in within five days after his or her election by the National Assembly.

‘Consequently, the provisions of Section 87 kick in and the President of South Africa must accordingly be inaugurated on Wednesday, 19 June 2024,’ Minister in the
Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, announced at a briefing on Saturday.

Ntshavheni described the Presidential inauguration as an important feature in a year in which South Africa is marking 30 Years of Freedom.

‘The inauguration will bring together South Africans from all backgrounds, walks of life and political orientations, united in our diversity. It offers us an occasion to celebrate our democratic values and system of governance, including the agreed commitment of our body politic that the seventh administration will be one led by a government of national unity.’

READ | President-elect reiterates commitment to uplifting South Africa

Ntshavheni said this year’s theme, ’30 Years of Democracy, Partnership and Growth’, brings together the country’s past and the road travelled since 1994 when Nelson Mandela took his oath at the Union Buildings as the first democratically elected President.

The ceremony will be held at the Union Buildings Amphitheatre and its South Lawns.

According to the Minister, the Am
phitheatre will host national and foreign dignitaries, including Heads of State and Government.

Preparations have been made for South Africans to participate in the ceremony.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will perform the ceremonial elements of the inauguration, as they pledge their allegiance to both the Republic and the Commander-In-Chief.

The ceremonial elements will include, amongst others, a 21-gun salute, a salute flight by the South African Air Force, inspection of a SANDF battalion, a battalion march past, and massed fly past.

Ntshavheni, the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) preparing for the inauguration, stated that the President-elect would be sworn in by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and would take an oath or affirmation as outlined in Schedule 2 of the Constitution.

The newly sworn-in President will also deliver his inaugural address.

Attendees will also enjoy an array of music genres and other cultural and artistic performances that reflect the achievem
ents of the past three decades.

In terms of road closures, she said there will be no private vehicle access to the Union Buildings or the area immediately surrounding the venue.

‘Tshwane Metro Police will effect road closures in and around the Union Buildings precinct. Residents in streets affected by these closures will be alerted on how they will access various exits and entrances.’

Ntshavheni said law enforcement is fully deployed to continue to ensure the safety and security of all South Africans and guests on the day and throughout the post-election phase of the country.

The Minister encouraged South Africans to be part of this momentous occasion, and for those who cannot attend to follow proceedings on television and radio.

‘Government, therefore, calls on South Africans to take a few hours out of their time to devote attention to this special occasion and especially to encourage children and young people to observe this event as part of building social cohesion and developing an appreciation for w
hat makes us special as a nation.’

She told the media that the ceremony will commence with an entertainment programme at 9am, while the formal proceedings are scheduled to commence at 11am.

Source: South African Government News Agency

President-elect reiterates commitment to uplifting South Africa

President-elect Cyril Ramaphosa has reaffirmed his commitment to continue to work towards the objectives of building a united and prosperous South Africa.

In his acceptance speech after being elected by Members of Parliament to be the President of the seventh administration, Ramaphosa on Friday said he was ‘humbled and honoured’ to be entrusted with the responsibility of the office.

‘It is with pleasure that I accept [the re-election]. It will once again be a privilege and pleasure to serve this great nation in the position of President. I wish to thank all leaders for their congratulatory messages.

‘Your messages are a clear clarion call for working together, and they constitute what I see as a well of encouragement, good advice and wisdom,’ President Ramaphosa said.

READ | President Ramaphosa re-elected to lead South Africa

Ramaphosa, the President of the ANC, was re-elected at the first sitting of the National Assembly of the seventh administration held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre
(CTICC). Earlier in the day, he was also sworn in as a Member of the National Assembly. However, once elected, he ceases to be an MP.

The Constitution stipulates that once elected as President by the National Assembly, the President-elect must assume office within five days by taking an oath or affirming their faithfulness to the Republic and their obedience to the Constitution.

After the conclusion of the first sittings, MPs will proceed to attend the Inauguration of the President-elect, which is scheduled for 19 June 2024 in Pretoria.

Addressing the House as President-elect after securing 283 votes of 339 during Friday’s proceedings, Ramaphosa said he believed that this is an era of hope and inclusivity. He acknowledged the reality of the 2024 National and Provincial Elections results, where no party represented in the National Assembly achieved an outright majority to enable it to work alone legislatively and at the executive level.

‘Through their vote, our people expect all parties to work together wi
thin the framework of our Constitution, and to work as political parties to achieve the objectives of a democratic society based on non-racialism, non-sexism, peace, justice, and to ensure stability and tackle the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality, and to achieve prosperity for all,’ President Ramaphosa said.

He challenged the political parties represented in Parliament to pledge to cooperate to foster national unity, and through the voluntary government of national unity.

Once the President has taken the oath of office, he will proceed to form a Cabinet, selecting Ministers who will head various government departments and execute the administration’s policies. Additionally, the President will convene a joint sitting of the newly established National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces for the Opening of Parliament.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Why coups persist in Africa- UNDP

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has identified lack of core value and over-ambition of young military officers who do not want to wait for their turn as the major causes of coups d’├ętat in Africa.

The UNDP Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security, Matthew Alao, said this in an interview with newsmen after the graduation ceremony of the Leadership and National Cohesion Course at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State.

Alao said that though the military cannot be divorced from the society where it situates, but over-ambition by young military officers, eroding core societal values, religious beliefs, and lack of education are the key reasons for more coups in West African countries and Africa at large.

Alao who noted that the fundamental problem the world is facing today is the lack of core values, said this resulted to persistent coups and counter-coups staged in Africa by military officers.

‘Our core values are fast breaking down. You will
see agitation and expectation on so many issues that may not be reality.

‘Most people don’t go to school. Some do go to school but do not have employable skills. This contributes to what is happening.

‘And, because the military cannot be divorced from the society where it situates, they also feel part of that agitation. When that cry is going on, it speculates and overshadows the event. I think that is one of the reasons for coups.

‘Then, may be over-ambition by the young officers, they don’t want to wait for their turn. The idea of young people wanting to be there is another cause of coups.

‘Young people need to learn, because if young people don’t learn, we will continue to somersault. After all, this country was ruled by 27-year-old officer at a time.

At a point they delivered, but they didn’t deliver well. If the military of those days had the necessary experience and requisite vision, when Nigeria was still in the morning, they would have planned our future and laid the foundation and we wouldn’t b
e where we are today.

‘We wouldn’t be clamoring for roads, infrastructure, and all that.

Suppose the people that found this country, like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, were able to do something up to the late 80s, Nigeria would have been better than this. The situation we are now is dangerous.

‘In those days, Ibadan was flourishing, Kaduna was a hub, Lagos was a factory ground, but within a blink of an eye under the Structural Adjustment Program, everything collapsed.’

The UNDP Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security, Matthew Alao during an interview with newsmen in Jaji, Kaduna State on Friday

He expressed concern that this leadership deficit was taking a toll on the country and should be addressed right from the family unit to the community level.

Alao described Nigeria today as very individualistic, saying, ‘We have lost it. Now it’s all about I and my family. And this is leading us nowhere. This is why this course is very critical at this moment.’

‘Leadership starts with us as parent that brings little
children to this world. Leadership starts from grassroots.

‘Unfortunately, we have lost it. Nigeria today is very individualistic. It’s all about I and my family. And this is leading us to nowhere. This is why this course is very critical at this moment.

‘If nothing is done to address the leadership deficit from the family unit, from the community unit and community level, we are not going anywhere. Money cannot save our society.’

‘As an individual, how much do we need, how much can we use to take care of ourselves in a day? And how much are we earning?

‘And how much of resources committed to us are we diverting that is causing the crises today? That communal relationship

and values been thought to us while growing up has left us and that is why we are stuck today.

‘Everybody is looking for downfall of our leadership. We don’t build up by looking for downfall of our leaders,’ he said.

He said the leadership course, which happened to be the brainchild of the past Commandant of the Peacekeeping Centre, M
ajor General Obinna Onubogu was born due to the spate of coups happening in West Africa.

‘They felt that providing leadership training to the middle-level military and civilians is an antidote to it.

‘They felt that because that quality training, that orientation on subordination is weakening in the military and political space of West Africa.

‘They felt that UNDP, with the funding made available by the government of Japan, is sponsoring it,’ Alao added.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Veritas Kapital workers donate blood to save lives

In commemoration of the World Blood Donor Day, staff of Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc, on Friday donated blood to the nation’s blood bank to save lives, and as service to humanity.

The blood donation drive was through a partnership with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service(LSBTS) and the National Blood Service Commission(NBSC) in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the World Blood Donor Day is held annually on June 14 to appreciate voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need.

The 2024 World Blood Donor Day, which marks the 20th year anniversary of celebrating blood donors, is with the theme: ’20 years of celebrating giving: Thank you, blood donors!’.

Commenting, Mr Sunkanmi Adekeye, Executive Director, Operations of Veritas Kapital Plc, said that the blood donation was done simultaneously in the insurance company’s Lagos and Abuja offices.

Adekeye said this was part of the insurance company’s Corporate Social Responsibility(C
SR) to the public and to also support the government’s campaign on voluntary donation into the country’s blood bank.

Adekeye explained that Veritas Kapital had keyed into the blood donation programmes since year 2022 when it partnered the NBSC in Abuja for its staff to donate blood.

The Executive Director noted that the insurance company extended the mandate to staff of its Lagos office through the LSBTS this year, as a commitment to reach more Nigerians who need blood.

‘As a corporate entity, we are committed to saving lives and giving more people opportunities to live; service to humanity is the best gift of life.

‘We are fully aware of the importance of blood for survival, and as a dutiful insurance firm, we are committed to support government’s campaign and effort to ensure sufficient blood supply in the nation’s blood bank.

‘We need all Nigerians to live in good health and sound mind, as it is a living being that can be insured; hence our effort to also contribute and champion the course of blood d

Reacting, Mrs Temitope Balogun, Lead Team, LSBTS Voluntary Blood Donation Drive at Veritas Kapital, lauded the underwriting firm for partnering with LSBTS and championing the mission for sufficient blood supply in the country.

Balogun said that Veritas Kapital through its partnership with the blood donating services has joined the league of companies with life saving culture in the country.

‘Veritas Kapital is now on the list of partnering companies with the LSBTS and saving lives of Nigerians,’she said.

According to Balogun,voluntary blood donation increases the availability of blood in blood bank for those who need blood urgently to survive.

She listed patients in need of blood to include: sickle cell and cancer patients, children that are anemic and need blood transfusion, accident victims, a woman who delivered of a baby with complications or bleeding, among others.

According to her, blood donation is beneficial to donors, as it helps them to shed excess iron in the heart, ascertain their b
lood pressure and hemoglobin level, as well as check their prostrates and weights.

Balogun advised male Nigerians to donate blood every three months and for women, every four months.

This, she said, would help in maintaining appropriate well-being as well as contribute to saving the life of others.

NAN also reports that Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc is a leading insurance company in Nigeria licensed to cover all classes of non-life insurance products and services.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane elected unopposed as Chair of NCOP

The African National Congress’s Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane was elected unopposed as the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Saturday.

The newly-elected Chairperson vowed to execute the obligations of her Office in accordance with the Constitution.

This morning, delegates from nine provinces were sworn in at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) at the first sitting of the NCOP since the General Election in May.

In the first sitting of the National Assembly (NA) on Friday, new Members of Parliament (MPs) took the oath and affirmation. This session also saw the election of Speaker Thoko Didiza and the re-election of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who presided over the proceedings, also administered the prescribed oath and affirmation to the NCOP members and presided over the election of the NCOP Chairperson.

Mtsweni-Tsipane, who is the outing Premier of Mpumalanga, emphasised the need for transformative leadership, women’s inclusion, and progress
ive governance in the provinces.

‘It is with great humility and a deep resolve to honour your trust that I assume the position of Chairperson in the National Council of Provinces during the seventh parliamentary dispensation.

‘It is indeed an honour for me to serve our Constitution, which is the base framework for democratic governance in South Africa, far from being purely prescriptive and constraining. Our Constitution is permissive and enabling, putting the power of the State in pursuit of a positive project of achieving equality, justice and freedom,’ she told the House.

Since its inception, she said the NCOP has always played an important role in the promotion of the principles of cooperative governance and inter-governmental relations.

‘The NCOP will need to address the uncertainty which is rife around the status of intergovernmental relations, decisions and recommendations. We must also address issues relating to who takes responsibility for the follow up of recommendations and key executive undert
akings while addressing the lack of horizontal integration between the activities of various government departments,’ said Mtsweni-Tsipane.

According to Mtsweni-Tsipane, the NCOP has been strategically repositioned over the past few years to improve the quality of life of ordinary South Africans, particularly the poor and the marginalised.

‘As we begin with the task of the seventh parliament, the NCOP must foster and maintain a dynamic relationship with provinces, particularly the provincial legislatures, as well as the communities that we serve.’

She said she hoped that permanent delegates would serve as active agents for the ongoing promotion of a dynamic interaction with their provinces.

‘The significance of this ongoing interaction cannot be overemphasised, as this facilitates a useful link between both provincial and national spheres of government is faced with a wide variety of developmental challenges, which include the high levels of inequality and unemployment, slow economic growth, as well as th
e gender-based violence and femicide.’

The Chairperson believes the House has made great strides in institutionalising key oversight and report back programmes.

These include the Women’s Parliament, Youth Parliament, Men’s Parliament, as well as the provincial women’s charter report back programme.

She said the NCOP must collectively strive to work cooperatively with all stakeholders to address the developmental challenges of the nation.

Kenneth Mmoiemang, who is a member of the Northern Cape delegation, was also elected unopposed as the Chief Whip of the NCOP.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Chief Justice Zondo explained the contents of the oath and affirmation.

The delegates promised to fulfil their duties as permanent delegates to the NCOP or as members of their provincial legislatures to the best of their abilities.

The NCOP is one of the two Houses of Parliament and consists of 54 permanent members and 36 special delegates.

Delegations consist of 10 representatives from each province and the NCO
P must have a mandate from the provinces before it can make certain decisions.

The House aims to represent provincial interests in the national sphere of government.

South African Local Government Association (Salga) President Bheki Stofile congratulated Mtsweni-Tsipane on her election while the heads of delegations from provinces also offered their messages of support.

Source: South African Government News Agency