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

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

Mpox cases rise to seven in SA after new infection recorded in W Cape


The Department of Health has advised people on medication for any health condition to adhere to their treatment, as the number of Mpox cases has risen to seven.

The department has noted that all diagnosed patients have chronic illnesses, suggesting a high probability of immunocompromise, unless adherent to prescribed treatment.

‘Treatment adherence can prevent new or worsening health problems, and failure to adhere to your prescriptions can negatively impact the quality of your life,’ the department said.

The latest confirmed case is a 39-year-old male patient, who was admitted on 28 May 2024 at a local private health facility in Cape Town.

On Thursday, he tested positive for Mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, at a private laboratory.

‘The patient presented with extensive lesions and he is RVD (retrovirus disease) positive with unknown CD4,’ the department said.

The latest patient listed his residential address as Northcliff, Gauteng.

On Thursday, Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla announced a second death
linked to Mpox.

Meanwhile, the department said it was scheduled to receive a batch of Mpox treatment, Tecovirimat, which has been described as effective in preventing morbidity and mortality associated with the disease, especially when initiated within a few days of incubation and diagnosis.

In addition, the department said it was working closely with other stakeholders and will continue with surveillance, contract tracing and health education activities across the country and empower citizens with information to make well-informed health choices.

‘The effectiveness of contract tracing and case finding depends on the cooperation and accuracy of information provided by both confirmed and suspected cases.’

Some of the common symptoms of Mpox include a rash, which may last for two to four weeks, fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy and swollen glands or lymph nodes.

The painful rash looks like blisters or sores and can affect the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, groin, genital an
d/or anal regions.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Stakeholders call for improvement in nation’s electioneering processes

Some stakeholders have called for improvement in the nation’s electioneering processes to ensure credible, free and fair elections in 2027.

They stated this on Thursday at a town hall meeting m in Ibadan to review the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SOS Children’s Village Nigeria organised the meeting with community stakeholders in Akiny?le and Ibadan North Local Government Areas.

The Assistant Secretary, Joint Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Musa Akinsawe, emphasised the need to increase access for persons with disabilities and involve them in planning during electioneering processes.

He also stressed constant reorientation for electoral officers and continuous voter education.

‘Part of what we are clamouring for is accessibility to electoral venues and convenience in voting.

‘Elections for people living with disabilities must be easily accessible; the ballot box must be where PWDs can vote without being assisted by anyone,” Akinsawe
said.

Also, the Assistant Secretary, National Council for Women Societies, Chief Isimiola Olowoyo, identified the need for increased community engagement to restore eroded cultural values.

Olowoyo said such engagements came up toward the 2023 general elections and that her association would sustain them.

She said this would ensure that the right values were imbibed to translate later to good governance in Nigeria.

According to her, lapses recorded in the last elections, such as inadequate security personnel, should be worked on.

‘They should empower more security officers so that there will be no violence and there were places where electoral materials were not available on time; this should be worked on,’ Olowoyo said.

Representatives of religious bodies and traditional rulers from the two local government areas called for continuous voter registration and increased awareness from the basic education level.

The Programme Officer, SOS Children’s Village Nigeria, Grace Sambo, said communities should lea
rn from past elections and choose their representatives based on competency.

Sambo said ethnicity, tribalism and religion should not be the criteria to elect leaders, adding that sentiments must be thrown away.

Calling for social reengineering, Sambo identified the benefits of peaceful elections and existence to include family stability which would impact children positively.

Also, the state Coordinator, SOS Children’s Village Nigeria, Mr Gabriel Adajie, urged participants to rejuvenate cultural norms that promote value systems in communities.

According to him, poverty and other factors have been weaponised to divide Nigerians, hence the need to change the narrative come 2027.

He noted that the electorates were, in a way, encouraging the political class to continue with the norm in the country.

‘For us to change what is on the ground, we have to make sacrifices. We need to endure hunger so as not to continue to make the same mistakes,’ Adajie said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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

Don tasks African leaders to prioritise welfare of citizens

A University Don, Prof. Steve Iyayi has urged African leaders to prioritise the welfare of their citizens to avoid repeated military interventions as recently witnessed in the continent.

Iyayi is a Professor of Public Administration and Dean of Social and Management Sciences, WellSpring University, Benin.

He stated this while delivery the 2nd Inaugural Lecture of the WellSpring University, Benin, with the topic: ‘Imperative of Human Centric Governance In Sustaining Democracy in Africa: AN Insight in Niger Republic’.

Iyayi said that several decades after gaining independence, African countries were still grappling with problems of true democratic practice beyond its mere claim.

According to him, indicators of democracy like the rule of law, free and fair elections and people’s participation in state affairs are hardly present in most African countries, adding the relevant institutions that supported impactful governance were also weak, and failed to raise the people’s standard of living.

‘This has signifi
cantly added to the explanations for the rather unending military interventions in most African democracies,’ he said.

On the average, he said, African ranked among the top regions of the world that had experienced military coups and overthrow of constitutionally elected governments.

‘Out of 54 countries in African continent, 45 have had at least one coup attempt since 1950. The total number of coups by the year 2011 was 214, with 106 of the coups being successful.

‘Since then, there have been additional seven coups, all successful thereby bringing the total to 221 coups,’ he said.

Prof. Steve Iyayi

According to Iyayi, democratic governance remains generally unstable in African occasioned by mask of welfare for the people.

He noted that the current situation in Niger Republic was a reflection of the happenings in other countries in the continent with minor variations where they exist at all.

The don said that democratic governance had, therefore, not really addressed the needs of the society and the pe
ople in African region.

Iyayi stressed that the welfare of the people should be prioritised and necessary environment created for them to participate in the affairs of their country.

He said that there was an urgent need to reduce the cost of governance in Africa because the costs were adversely affecting the welfare of the people, adding that, ‘African leaders should evolve workable strategies to fight and reduce poverty in all forms to a tolerable level’.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Isaac Ajayi commended Iyayi for the robust lecture which provided insight into Africa’s problems and proffered solutions to them.

Ajayi urged him not to relent in his research efforts and academic pursuit because the education sector would always need researchers like him.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria