Questions for Oral Reply by His Excellency, President of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma, at the National Council of Provinces, Cape Town
1. Dr H E Mateme (Limpopo: ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether the Presidency has established any (a) programmes and (b) initiatives to expand national, public and private investment in youth employment and development; if not, why not; if so, (i) what progress is the Government making in meeting its targets of creating work opportunities over the period of six years and (ii) what are the further relevant details;
2) Whether any of the (a) programmes and (b) initiatives target rural youth; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
We take youth development seriously, which is why the task is located in the Presidency, specifically in the Ministry for Planning, Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, under the leadership of Deputy Minister Buti Manamela.
The Deputy Minister is currently working on the development of the National Youth Policy 2020, focusing on economic participation and transformation, education, skills development, health care and combating substance abuse as well as building social cohesion.
These programmes will target all youth, including rural youth.
With regards to existing programmes in the Presidency, the National Youth Development Agency, (NYDA), has disbursed a total of 28 million rand to support new entrepreneurs, which has assisted 741 youth owned enterprises and created four thousand one hundred and eighty nine (4 189) new and sustainable direct jobs for the 2014/2015 Financial Year.
I launched the NYDA’s Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund last year. The programme, which is supported by the Department of Higher Education and Training as well as the National Skills Fund, which funds 300 young people in Higher Education and Training institutions.
The NYDA also runs a successful matric rewrite school to prepare our youth for a better future.
There are several youth development programmes in government departments.
The number of youth that have participated in the Expanded Public Works Programme has grown from two hundred and twenty nine thousand six hundred and forty two (229 642) in the 2009/2010 financial year to four hundred and fifty two thousand nine hundred and ninety nine (452 999) during the 2014/2015 financial year third quarter.
We also have the successful National Youth Service Learnership Programme and the Vukuphile Contractor Leanership Programme under the Expanded Public Works Programme, which provide construction skills training.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has provided training to more than 4000 young people in various trades as part of the National Rural Youth Service Corps programme.
The Department of Environmental Affairs continues to roll out programmes that benefit youth.
These include Working on Waste, Working for Wetlands, Working for Water, Working on Fire and the Environmental Youth Services Programme.
The Department of Higher Education and Training has assisted thousands of young people with funding for studies through the National Students Financial Aid Scheme.
The establishment of three new universities and 12 new training and vocational education colleges is also part of boosting youth development.
Through the Decade of the Artisan programme that was launched in 2014, the Department of Higher Education and Training, has also managed to reach over 15 000 learners exposing them to occupations such as plumbing, electrical, mechanical and other civil trades.
Training of our youth is also done through state owned enterprises and companies such as Transnet, Eskom, PRASA and others.
The National Treasury manages the youth employment incentive scheme to encourage employers to employ the youth so that they can gain experience. We also continue to encourage employers to take in young people as interns and apprentices, as part of the youth employment accord.
There are also new programmes being introduced.
The Department of Human Settlements launched a Youth Brigade in December last year to promote youth participation in construction, working with the Department of Small Business Development, the National Youth Development Agency and the private sector.
The Department of Water and Sanitation is to train 15000 young people as plumbers, artisans and water agents to eliminate water leaks in their communities.
To enable better coordination and championing of all this good work by the Presidency, last week I established a Presidential Task Team on Youth Development, which is chaired by Deputy Minister Manamela, comprising 18 Deputy Ministers.
I am also establishing a Presidential Youth Working Group to improve coordination with stakeholders and youth formations.
Ultimately, economic growth is the fundamental solution to improve opportunities for our youth.
We continue to work with business, labour and the community sector to improve the economic climate to enable inclusive growth and development.
I thank you.
2. Ms E C van Lingen (Eastern Cape: DA) to ask the President of the Republic:
What steps is he taking to (a) repair the relations with the neighbouring Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and (b) restore South Africa’s reputation internationally, that was dented by the recent wave of xenophobic attacks?
On 29 April 2015, South Africa provided a report to the SADC region on the steps it has taken as a means of bringing an end to attacks against fellow Africans and other foreign nationals living in South Africa.
This took place at the SADC Extra Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Harare, Zimbabwe.
This report was well received by the SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit as reflected in the final communique which noted amongst others that, “While condemning the attacks, Summit commended the measures that the Government of South Africa has put in place and resolved to work together to deal with the situation and ensure it does not recur”.
When these attacks on foreign nationals started, our Government directed all South African Ambassadors/High Commissioners within our continent to brief their host governments and countries.
Our Ministers also briefed all Ambassadors representing different countries in South Africa.
If necessary, South Africa will utilise bilateral engagements to explain its position further.
We will also present a report to the United Nations and the African Union on the recent attacks on foreign nationals.
We are grateful to the African continent and the international community as a whole for the understanding manner in which the unfortunate and unacceptable incidents were received.
I thank you.
3. Mr B G Nthebe (North West: ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:
(1) (a) What was the main objective of the (i) meeting held with stakeholders on 22 April 2015 and (ii) discussions with organisations representing foreign nationals on 24 April 2015 and (b) how will these meetings contribute to creating a stable and peaceful environment;
(2) whether these meetings have been able to reach their objectives; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
I met with South African stakeholders in April, which included leaders from various sectors amongst others the faith based organisations, business, labour, youth, community, creative industries, sports, children and professional associations.
We discussed the underlying reasons behind the attacks on foreign nationals in our country, especially brothers and sisters from the continent, and to find common solutions.
The meeting was fruitful. We were united in our condemnation of the attacks and in the need to work together to ensure that there was no recurrence in our country.
We also felt it would be important to meet with organisations representing foreign nationals who live in South Africa.
The meeting was very helpful and constructive and created an enhanced understanding of the situation on the ground and the challenges faced by immigrants in the country.
They also shared their own understanding about why they left their own countries and came to South Africa.
The representatives of the foreign nationals also explained that because of South Africa’s policies on migration they find South Africa to be a safe destination.
I emphasized in the meeting that the lines of communication that had been opened with government should be utilized to ensure continuous engagement. I assigned the InterMinisterial Task Team on migration to engage both stakeholder groupings to find lasting solutions and to promote peaceful co-existence.
I must emphasise that we value the presence of foreign nationals in our country as many bring much needed skills in our country.
It is also important to say that many others come as business people to invest or as tourists and their presence is much appreciated.
We also have a responsibility to protect refugees and asylum seekers and we will continue to do so.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration has also been tasked with improving the implementation of the country’s migration policies while also ensuring the safety of all in the country including foreign nationals.
Among the work carried out thus far to respond to the recent attacks, is an anti-crime clean – up operation called Operation Fiela.
The operation is aimed at ensuring that no area in the country remains in the control of crime syndicates and drug dealers.
Operation Fiela is also aimed at ensuring that all traders do so legally, which is why the police are among others targeting trade in contraband.
We wish to emphasise that while working to create a hospitable and welcoming atmosphere for foreign nationals, government will also not tolerate illegal migration.
All people should be in the country legally and be documented, as required in every country.
The laws of the country must be respected.
I thank you.
4. Mr L B Gaehler (Eastern Cape: UDM) to ask the President of the Republic:
Whether he will make the report of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the shooting at Marikana available to the public; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
I received the report of the Farlam Commission of Enquiry on the 31st March 2015 and also received a briefing from Judge Ian Farlam subsequent to the delivery of the report.
This is an important report which needs careful consideration so that the findings and the recommendations can be used to ensure that such an incident does not happen again in our country.
The report will be released to the public as soon as I have completed processing the findings and recommendations.
I thank you.
5. Mr L Suka (Eastern Cape: ANC) to ask the President of the Republic:
(a) How far is the Southern African Development Community from adopting the Regional Industrial Strategy and Roadmap (details furnished), (b) how will the Roadmap affect our own Industrial Strategy and (c) how will the revised Regional Indicative Strategy Development Plan affect our own development plans?
The SADC Secretariat has been tasked to prepare the Action Plan and to fully cost the Industrial Strategy and to present such an action plan at the next SADC Summit in August 2015.
The strategy seeks to produce major economic and technological transformation in SADC countries and the region, to increase growth and enhance the comparative and competitive advantages of the economies of the SADC region.
Our own Industrial Policy Action Plan is informed by our foreign policy which makes our continent Africa the primary focus of our country politically and economically.
Therefore, South Africa sees immense benefit from the direction that SADC is taking as it will create more opportunities as we move ahead with the further industrialisation programme inside the country.
The pending establishment of a Free Trade Area in the continent is also another great opportunity for South Africa as it means a larger market for our goods and services and improved employment prospects for all in the continent and a better life for the African peoples.
I thank you.
6. Mr M Khawula (KwaZulu-Natal: IFP) to ask the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether all Ministers have signed performance agreements outlining what each department will do to deliver on the programme of action (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) (a) which are the five (i) best and (ii) worst performing departments and (b) which are the two (i) best and (ii) worst performing provinces?
I have signed performance agreements with all Cabinet Ministers following their assumption of office.
The agreements are based on the Medium Term Strategic Framework which is derived from the National Development Plan.
The purpose of the performance agreements is to improve the performance of government, and to ensure that all ministers and departments are clear about what needs to be done and what the targets of government are.
I am currently in the process of meeting each Minister individually as well to ensure that all are clear about the goals set and my expectations regarding the performance of departments. Regular performance reports are provided to Cabinet and if any remedial action is required Ministers are informed.
I thank you.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS