Daily Archives: May 15, 2013

Departments of Communications and Transport celebrate World Telecommunications and Information Society Day

_: The Minister of Communications, Honourable Dina Pule and the Minister of Transport, Honourable Dikobe Ben Martins, will celebrate World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal. The two principals will be joined by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, His Excellency Dr. Zweli Mkhize and senior national and provincial government officials.

Celebrated annually under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union, a body of the United Nations responsible for the regulation of telecommunications, the theme for the WTISD 2013 is Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Improving Road Safety.

As part of the celebrations, the Ministers will also host a round-table stakeholder workshop for experts in Road Safety and ICT, with the aim of developing a collaboration agreement that will be signed by both Ministers. (Umhlathuze Accord).

The details of the events are as follows:

1. WTISD Round-table stakeholder workshop
Date: Thursday, 16 May 2013
Venue: Protea Hotel Waterfront, Empangeni, Richards Bay
Time: 08h00

2. Official signing: Umhlathuze Accord on ICT and Improving Road Safety
Date: Friday, 17 May 2013
Venue: Umhlathuze Sports Complex, Richards Bay
Time: 10h00

Members of the media are invited to join the Ministers for the two events and attendance confirmations can be made with Lerato Kojoana on 078 952 5584 or Sam Monareng on 071 872 0744.

Health 2013/14 Budget Vote Speech by the Deputy Minister of Health, Gwen Ramokgopa

_: Honourable Chairperson,
Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi,
Honorable Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here today,
Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Bevan Goqwana
Honourable Members,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Non-Communicable diseases

NCDs are the number one killer in the world, with more than 63% of all global deaths due to cardiovascular and chronic lung diseases, cancers and diabetes.
Globally, 90% of preventable, premature deaths due to NCDs occur in low-and middle-income countries. In two-days time, this trend can be reversed with political will and sound action.

Over the past few years scientists have been highlighting the quadrupple burden of disease and alerting South Africans of what Professor Mayosi et al in the Lancet Medical Journal refer to as a cocktail of four colliding epidemics.

In asking this august house to support the Health Budget Vote 2013/14 as an enable to tackle these major challenges, we also say to you and our people that we bring good news. Good News that our children and young people are living longer ! Good news that our working population is more productive and alive and to nurture their children and our elderly are not burying their children and grand children at a rate of yesteryear.

An increase in life expectancy of any nation by 4 years over a short period of time as happened in our country is by no means a small occurance, it is profound and demonstrates the fortuitous and tenacious resolve by a people to survive. This occurance has left the global community and scientist in awe , refered ro this success as of this success refered ( Slim Karim) .

Our vision of a long and healthy life of South Africans is in the making, in our lifetime under the leadership of the ANC government through our collective effort as a nation! Six important success factors have been the love for our people, dicisive leadership, social cohesion, evidence based medicine, a dedicated health workforce and the appreciation that this high burden of disease not only threatens our development agenda but also mocks the democracy our people fought.

As we enter the second decade of our democracy the ANC is not only celebrating with our people her legacy as a liberation movement against political bondage but also a liberation movement against illhealth, suffering and threaths to our democracy and prosperity.

Tor Lancet article further warns however that we should not be complacent with the progress we have made to date as major challenges still exist relating to:-

the adverse social determinants of health and persisting racial disparities
the need to Intergrate and coordinate the Health system
the need to improve surveillance and information systems
the scaling up of innovative interventions for the benefit of the whole system
The budget we present today aims to consolidate our efforts, respond to the remaining challenges and to rally our nation to respond successfully the the NDP which calls amongst others for the increase of life expectancy from the current 60 to 70 years. Through strengthening evidence based approach and stakeholder involvement in our work we are well positioned to succeed.

Since the Declaration of the National Summit on Non Communicable Diseases identified the 10 priorities, the NHC has approved a strategic implementation plan, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Cancer has begun its work. The introduction of HPV vaccine will go a long way in reducing cancer of the cervix which is the leading cancer amongst women. Cervical Cancer presents a good example of the co- morbidity of infectious and non communicable diseases.

Patients who are also HIV positive are also more vulnerable to having this cancer and on the other hand smoking increases the risk.

Already there is emerging evidence from the 3 pilot sites in the country that the Intergrated Management of Chronic Diseases is an ideal, practical and patient centred effective manner to manage the double burden of HIV and NCD’s. This year we will roll out the model to the NHI sites. Silent killers especially, but not limited to, amongst the poor and rural communities.

Breast cancer, cervical cancer, diabetes and hypertension. This model will assist to pick up risk factors and early signs of disease to prevent complications such as amputations, strokes, kidney failure and blindness. Screening and early detection will also save costs in treating advanced disease, absenteeism, loss of income and the burden on the family to provide care.

The media platform the Minister has announced will certainly go a long way in ensuring an intergrated and effective approach to public awareness and health promotion campaigns.

We will also leverage the various other programs such as the Intergrated School Health and the Ward Based Programs as we strengthen PHC approach. We have begun to pilot the Intergrated Management of Chronic Diseases Model to ensure a patient Centred approach.

As we honor and salute our health workers for their role in halting the HIV and AIDS epidemic and saving our children, we call on them to be at the forefront to consolidate our gains and decisively tackle maternal mortality, NCD’s as well as injuries in an Intergrated manner. There should not be a missed opportunity to reverse all quadruple epidemic onslaught.

We will fastrack the process of establishing a National Health Commission as a multisectoral partnership forum to strengthen our capacity to make Health a Societal Priority in tackling the socio-economic determinants of illhealth. We should remember that globally as well as in South Africa the major NCD’s are cardiovacsular diseases like hypertension and stokes, metabolic diseases like diabetes, cancers, chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma and mental illnesses like depression and anxiety disorders.

The Commission will also help in focussing our society to find lasting solutions in tackling the four risk factors namely poor diet , physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol.

The process of legislation to prohibit alcohol advertising is at an advanced stage and regulations on warning labels on alcohol containers will be revised.
Regulations will be enhanced to further reduce passive smoking at the workplace and other public places and to educate the public effectively about the health dangers of smoking through graphic warnings.
A Health Promotion Strategy incorporating the promotion of physical activity and nutrition will be finalised this year.
Working with industry we will ensure that preparations to meet the the 2016 deadline for the reduction of salt and for fatty acids in food are met and together we will also launch a public awareness campaign. 60% of intake of salt in South Africa is through industrial supplies and in line with WHO recommendations we call on our people lets limit salt intake to not more than 5 grams per day.
The effectiveness and efficiency of the Health System remains a top priority.

In endorsing World Health Organisation and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on eHealth being at the core of responsive health systems and that expectations are that the health sector must inevitably integrate technology into its way of doing business, last year we finalised the eHealth Strategy and have completed a Normative Standards Framework, in partnership with the MRC and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In 2013, we will apply this framework to mitigate against the current 42 health information systems in the public sector many of which are not interoperable.

Honoured members, the National Development Plan 2030 indicates that ‘ given the escalating costs of services in both the public and private sectors and the high proportion of the GDP that goes to health service funding, it is essential to create a culture of using evidence to inform planning, resource allocation and clinical practice.’

To achieve this goal and in implementing the National Health Research Summit of 2011 the National Health Scholars Programme has been established with an aim to produce 1 000 PhD graduates over the next 10 years. Already 13 PhD scholars have been funded for this financial year. In the near future, these PhD Scholars will become the new generation of health researchers, and also contribute to clinical teaching and training and health service delivery.

The National Health Surveillance System is assisting the Department to swiftly contain infectious disease outbreaks. This year we will finalise the Intergrated National Plan on Disease Surveillance with the aim of aligning to the quadruple burden of disease, to strengthen monitoring and to measure the impact of our interventions on a continuous systemating basis.

Chairperson, the billions of rands saved through a more efficient drug procurement system has enable more patients to access medication. The National Essential Medicine List Committee periodically reviews the Treatment Guidelines and updates the Essential Drug List. A national monitoring system has been designed and implemented for the early detection of facility stock outs.

With the inefficiencies, losses and expiry of medicines experienced through the Medical Depot System, we are encouraged that a number of provinces have begun a model of Direct Deliveries to Point Care in health facilities. The National Central Procurement Unit will be assisting provinces to move with greater speed.

In partnership with the World Health Organisation, the Tshwane University of Technology as well as the Japanese International Cooperation respectively training in Health Technology Audit and Maintainance has already benefitted more that 50 Clinical Engineering Technicians from six provinces. This program augments the capacity of facilities in various districts to be compliant to the Essential Equipment List approved by the NHC.

Chairperson, later this year in KZN we will officially open the National Forensic Chemistry Laboratory in Durban and had started functioning with the first 15 employees from 2 April 2013. This laboratory will be performing post-mortem and ante-mortem blood alcohol analysis for KwaZulu-Natal and some parts of the Eastern Cape – the borders of which will still be announced. It is envisioned that the first samples would be received for analysis in July 2013, and the procurement of analytical equipment is currently in the final stages.

This would enable us to decrease the current blood alcohol backlogs more effectively. The department made funding available for the building of a brand new Forensic Chemistry Laboratory in Phoenix, in the KZN province as well. This facility will be responsible for post-mortem and ante-mortem blood alcohol analysis, toxicology analysis in cases of unnatural death, as well as food analysis in terms of the Foodstuffs Act.

Furthermore, 70 Forensic Interns have been enrolled for the Forensic Toxicology Certificate at Continuous Education at the University of Pretoria in April 2012. These interns successfully completed the course and have been absorbed within the four Forensic Chemistry Laboratories, namely 13 in Cape Town, 12 in Durban, 30 in Johannesburg and 15 in Pretoria.

This significant increase in human resources will also contribute to the Directorate’s strategy of decreasing toxicology backlogs and to decrease the turn-around time of toxicology analysis in cases of unnatural death.

In this financial year the National policy on Emergency Medical Services Training and the Regulations governing the provision of Emergency Medical services will be published for comment and approved. With the Framework on the management of EMS data finalised training provided by Health Information System to provinces. The introduction of Obstertrics Ambulances will help to further halt the increase in maternal morbidity and mortality, Western Cape. The number of community members trained in first AID in partnership with Red Cross.

Chairperson and the house, please allow me to thank the Minister for his goal orientated leadership, Colleagues MECs for Health, the Director-General and staff throughout the health system, especially our management, professionals and support staff for placing the health of our people as their occupation. Working with our people and partners, focused on excellence, equity and effectiveness we are well poised to halt and reverse the cocktail of the four colliding epidemics.

Learner shot at Spes Bona High School

_: It is with great sadness and concern to report that a Grade 12 learner from Spes Bona HS was shot while entering the school premises early this morning.

Enrico Martin, age 17yrs is currently in a critical condition at Groote Schuur Hospital. We pray for his recovery and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this very tough and emotional time.

The school has reported that Enrico was shot at 08h06 this morning by a person (who is not enrolled at the school) dressed in school uniform.

The school called an ambulance and the Athlone police. Paramedics were able to revive Enrico before taking him to Groote Schuur Hospital.

The school also contacted the parents and our District Office.

The Western Cape Education has arranged for trauma counselling at the school for learners and educators.

We will continue to monitor’s Enrico’s condition.

South African Police Service are maintaining a strong police presence in the vicinity of the school.

Bronagh Casey, Spokesperson for Minister Donald Grant
Tel: 021 467 2377
Cell: 072 7241422

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant to table Budget Vote Speech under the theme: ‘Working towards a peaceful environment in labour relations and collective bargaining’

_: Labour Minister Mildred Nelisiwe Oliphant is to present her third Budget vote speech in the National Assembly on 22 May 2013 at 10am at the Old Assembly Chamber followed by another presentation on 23 May 2013 at 14:00 before the National Council of Provinces Chamber.

The Minister is expected to deliver the breakdown to allocation of the Department of Labour’s R2,4 billion for the 2013/14 financial year. Oliphant will reflect on the state of a raft of labour legislation currently in Parliament for amendments – such as the Basic Conditions of Employment Bill, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, Employment Equity Bill and the soon-to-be introduced Employment Services Bill.

Oliphant will take the opportunity to reflect on key achievements during the previous financial year and projects undertaken in relation to turnaround strategy for Compensation Fund, DoL Organisational Review, ICT plans, the Public Employment Services, professionalisation of the Inspection and Enforcement Services among others.

She will also shed light on the role played by the Department of Labour’s public entities and wrap-up with the department’s strategic priorities for 2013/14.

Oliphant is inviting the media wherein she will elaborate and answer questions on the details of the budget vote on May 22 in Parliament.

Details for the media briefing are:
Time: 14h00
Venue: Imbizo Media Centre, Ground Floor, 120 Plein Street – Cape Town
Parliamentary Precinct.
Date: 22 May 2013

Former legislature secretary’s death tragic loss – says North West Premier Thandi Modise

_: The untimely death of former secretary of the North West Provincial Legislature, Dr. Tuelo Joshua “Baba” Schalk has robbed the province of a committed son of the province who was and loyal servant of the people, a true revolutionary and a cadre, North West Premier Thandi Modise.

“Dr. Schalk who was affectionately known as Baba was well read, capacitated, humorous and humble. He was helpful to those in need, forthright, articulate and arrogant in argument to the arrogant. In him we have lost a fighter and a brother who was a snazzy dressed with a ready smile.

We are saddened by his premature death as his contribution will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this period of sadness,” said Premier Modise in conveying her condolences.

Modise who had worked closely with Schalk when she was Speaker of the provincial legislature said that his contribution as a trade unionist at the height of oppression, former chief representative of the ANC to Namibia and secretary of the provincial legislature have left an indelible mark in the sands of time.

Dr. Schalk who was affectionately known as “Baba” was appointed six weeks ago as a Resort Manager for Madikwe River Lodge, a subsidiary of Dirapeng Pty Ltd, a state owned entity established by the North West Parks and Tourism Board. He was on route to Tourism Indaba when he reportedly slipped and fell down an escalator at OR Tambo Airport and succumbed to injuries in hospital.

Dr. Schalk was born on 8 December 1960 in Huhudi Township near Vryburg. He had obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Masters in Business Administration Degree (MBA), Honors Degree in Public Management & Governance and a Masters Degree in Development & Management including Masters in Public Administration (MPA). He studied at various tertiary institutions including University of South Africa (UNISA), New Port University (USA) and North West University.

Dr. Schalk has 32 years working experience with skills including strategic and change management, public policy analysis, project management, office administration and labour relations, financial and human resource management, communication and marketing, diplomacy, qualitative and quantitative research and writing of speeches and articles.

Dr. Schalk had a deep passion for developmental issues in all sectors of society as well as Public Service and had a solid understanding of Section 9 institutions including Quasi – State Institutions.

Memorial services in honour of Dr. Schalk are to be held at 11h00 am Cookes Lake in Mahikeng on Thursday and at Vryburg Banquet Hall at 3:00 pm.
His funeral is to be held on Saturday at 7h00 at Vryburg Fairview Estate.

Lesiba Moses Kgwele, Spokesperson
Tel: 018 388 3705
Cell: 083 629 1987
Fax: 018 388 3157