Monthly Archives: May 2018

Minister Angie Motshekga: Launch of History Ministerial Task Team report

Speech by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, MP, at the Launch of the History Ministerial Task Team Report held at Freedom Park, Pretoria

Theme: Re-writing History from an African Perspective

Programme Director

Ministerial Task Team Members

All Senior Officials

Non-Governmental Organisations Leadership

Universities Leadership

Organised Labour

Distinguished guests

Members of the Media

Programme Director, from the onset, I wish to convey our heartfelt gratitude to all attendees for making the time for this important event. This is the second remarkable engagement on History, and its imminent curriculum recalibration.

Programme Director, on behalf of the Basic Education Ministry, I would love to extend our sincere gratitude to the Chairperson and members of the History Ministerial Task Team for the excellent work done so far. The Report was a labour of love from some of South Africa’s foremost historians. You can proudly give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Today, I am very excited to be receiving this Report. This has been a long awaited Report by members of the public, academia, and interest groups involved in the History Education landscape.

Programme Director, the launch of the History Ministerial Task Team Report comes just at the tail end of the celebrations of the Africa Month. We are proud and excited to be joining our brothers and sisters across the continent and the Diaspora in celebrating our African humanity. As the African continent, despite challenges that we face, nonetheless, we have made significant strides moving ourselves through struggle from colonialism to independence from imperial conquerors. Our rich history and heritage ties us together. More so, we now know that we have a common ancestry, which was discovered right here in our country, at the Cradle of Humankind. As the eminent politician and revolutionary par excellence Mr. Kwame Nkrumah once proclaimed: ‘I am not African because I was born in Africa, but because Africa was born in me.

This common ancestry points out to an important fact that Africa not only has a history, but a lengthy one than spans more than 3 million years. Africa played a leading role during the first 15 000 centuries of the history of humanity. The continent benefited from mutual exchanges and influences with Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Thus, we contributed largely to the global progress of humanity. The slave trade, slavery and colonialism had a major impact on the fabric of African life, resulting in the disintegration of our continent. However, the African Diaspora that resulted from this tragedy continuously contributes in a significant manner to the construction and development of African people across the globe. This history, told from an African perspective, should be taught to our learners so that they can know, understand and appreciate who they are as Africans.

At this point, Programme Director, I must repeat what I said in 2015 during the first History Roundtable: I must emphasise that we are in no way attempting to rewrite History for the benefit of the new ruling elites. This project is not a propaganda exercise destined to shore up and buttress support for the oldest liberation movement in Africa, the ANC. As a principle, we are against the rewriting of History for the sole purpose of achieving short-term political expediency.

In this regard, I must declare that our intentions remain noble as we believe in the wise words of the Anglo-Irish political theorist and philosopher Edmund Burke who put it succinctly a century ago when he said: Those who don’t know History are destined to repeat it.

All we are doing is to reclaim our history as Africans. Historians rightly conclude that, from a legacy perspective, we tell our stories for ourselves, and as a gift, to future generations.

Young Africans should be taught to develop a sense of pride in their heritage, which in turn will boost their self-esteem and confidence. Consequently, we would empower them to master their own destiny while simultaneously encouraging them to engage in the arduous task of improving the lot of our continent. To this end, it is important to dispel the myth that has existed for decades, that of Africa, as a “troubled continent”, renowned more for its wars and diseases, than as a source of human progress. We need to emphasise that questions of heritage and identity are not as straightforward as they might first appear. Perhaps, the first and best place to begin addressing these topics, is by acknowledging that in a continent like Africa, there is not one heritage, or an easily delineated set of distinct identities. The cultures, languages and heritages of Africa are multiple, diverse, and dynamic. Our young people must understand and appreciate this diversity, which is the cornerstone of African humanity.

Programme Director, allow me to remind the house that today’s event signifies the culmination of a process that started in 2015. During our 2015/16 Budget Speech, we committed ourselves to conduct research on the desirability of making the teaching of History as a compulsory subject for all learners. We did this because of public concerns that, while History is considered to be one of the critical subjects in advancing the ideals of a democratic South Africa and fostering social understanding and cohesion, the subject is not compulsory in the FET Band. In pursuit of this, we appointed a Ministerial Task Team on 04th June 2015 to look into the matter.

Furthermore, on the 03rd of December 2015, we held our first History Roundtable discussion with all relevant stakeholders. The discussion was well attended. We managed to communicate the intention of government, and to generate ideas from participants towards strengthening the offering of History as a subject. The majority of people who attended the Roundtable also indicated their support for the implementation of compulsory History in the FET Band.

The report of the History Roundtable was provided to the Ministerial Task Team, to use as a foundation towards their work. The main recommendations that emerged from the Roundtable included:

the MTT to increase the scope of international comparative study to include Asia, Latin America and more African countries;

the MTT to review and strengthen History curriculum to address content related issues in GET and FET;

whether History should be offered as a stand-alone discipline, or be integrated into Life Orientation. This was thought to be a viable option because Life Orientation is already a compulsory subject;

the MTT to consider the issue of demand-and-supply (History teachers), if the subject is to be made compulsory; and

the MTT to seek avenues for the funding of History teachers, regarding undergraduate studies (pre-service), and post-graduate studies (in-service training).

The MTT increased the scope of the initial comparative study by including countries such as China, India, Russia, Brazil, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. They managed to identify areas of weakness and strengthened the curriculum content for Grades 4 12. They audited History teacher trainees in Higher Education Institutions in the country. They convened nine provincial consultative meetings from 25 July to 4 August 2017. They also received inputs from various stakeholders on how to strengthen the GET and FET curriculum content, and sought comments on whether History should be offered as a compulsory subject in the FET band.

Ladies and Gentlemen, join me as we applaud the excellent work presented by these great men and women today, who served on the History Ministerial Task Team. They sacrificed their time away from their families, including on weekends, engaged in this important national duty. On behalf of my Department I want to reiterate our appreciation to the History Ministerial Task Team. Ke a leboga, Ngiyabonga, Ndo levhowa, and Baie Dankie.

The acceptance of this Report by the Basic Education Ministry does not constitute any policy changes just yet. Ladies and gentlemen, the Report will be presented at Heads of Education Departments Committee Meeting (HEDCOM), Council of Education Ministers (CEM), the Basic Education Portfolio Committee in the National Assembly, and the Select Committee for Education and Recreation in the National Council of Provinces for further consultation and input.

In addition, public consultations will be held and comments sought from society at large, to guide us towards a History that reflects all of us. Furthermore, the Report should ignite rich, constructive debates and robust discussions in society on the place and importance of History in the school curriculum. The Report will be available on our website, and we invite you all to join the debate and make your voices heard.

We are also alive to fact that, “the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed, so eloquently said the son of the soil the late leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, Stephen (Steve) Bantu Biko. Hence, the purpose of the recalibrated History curriculum, must include the last bid attempt at the decolonisation of the African mind. We must without any apology remove the vestiges apartheid’s sanitised version of History. We must do so, without air-brushing the actual story and multiple interpretations of the apartheid past � neither must we glorify the story of the liberation movements, presenting themselves as an equivalent of moral virtue. In this equation, the apartheid rulers will henceforth be presented as folk devils. We want, A Nuanced Approach to both the writing and teaching of History.

History should, by design, enable learners to be active citizens including being able to engage critically with the truths of colonialism, apartheid, and the liberation struggle. Young people should be empowered with values, attitudes and behaviours that contribute to nation-building, social cohesion and national reconciliation. This kind of knowledge will enable the 21st century generation, to comprehend the nexus between global and national citizenship.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, the History curriculum should be relevant not only for the market place, but also for the decolonisation of the African mind.

I thank you!

Source: Government of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNITIES URGED TO HELP GOVT CURB POACHING OF MARINE RESOURCES

PRETORIA, The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has again called on local communities to work work with it to curb poaching and the illegal trade of marine living resources (MLR).

The call Wednesday followed the arrest of more than 40 suspected poachers of marine living resources recently by fisheries control officers from the department. Five boats which had been used in alleged poaching activities were confiscated as efforts intensified in curbing illegal harvesting of MLR.

The department said the five confiscated boats had been linked to poaching in the Gansbaai area uin Western Cape Province, about 160 kilometres southeast of Cape Town, with 13 suspects arrested for abalone poaching.

The latest confiscation took place on Saturday, 26 May when a boat of suspected poachers was pursued by law enforcement officers. The suspects reportedly jumped from the boat after, which a search immediately ensued,” the department said in a statement.

No arrest has been made. The boat was found to have more than 2,400 abalone units, 33 diving cylinders and other diving equipment which were confiscated. Further investigations are underway.”

The department said it had resolved not only to deal with illegal harvesters of the marine resources, but also to deal with illegal buyers.

Meanwhile, a suspect was arrested in Kalkbay harbour near Cape Town for a case related to smuggling of West Coast rock lobster. The case was opened in Muizenburg police station.

Another case involves the arrest of a suspect involved in illegal buying. The suspect was arrested in China Mall in East London in Eastern Cape Province for illegal possession of squid and swimming prawns.

Five suspects were also arrested in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal Province for illegal possession of 575 East Coast rock lobsters. A vehicle, a freezer and other items were confiscated during the arrest.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

SOUTH AFRICAN FINANCE MINISTER TO CHAIR NEW DEVELOPMENT FOR COMING YEAR

PRETORIA, South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has been appointed Chairman of the New Development Bank (NDB) Board of Governors at the 3rd annual meeting of the NDB Board of Governors and the 14th meeting of the NDB Board of Directors (BoD) held in Shanghai Monday.

Mr Nhlanhla Nene was elected as the Chairman of the BoG and will serve in this position until the end of the next BoG annual meeting, said the NDB in a statement received here Wednesday.

The New Development Bank is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS grouping of leading emerging nations comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in 2014.

It is mandated to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.

At this week’s meetings, members of the boards noted the progress of the Bank and expansion of its business scope and provided guidance for its future. During the 14th Board of Directors meeting, the board discussed the Bank’s work, including project pipelines in the member countries of the NDB.

Meanwhile, the directors also approved six projects from all five member countries of the NDB with loans totalling 1.6 billion US dollars.

It was highlighted that in 2018 the Bank has significantly strengthened its project portfolio, and the total amount of approvals in 2018 has reached 1.7 billion USD. With the six projects approved today (Monday), the total amount of the Bank’s portfolio has reached over 5.1 billion USD.

Among the six projects is South Africa’s Durban Container Terminal Berth Reconstruction Project. The project is aimed at helping the South African state-owned transportation company, Transnet, to enhance the capacity of its port in Durban, through the rehabilitating of its container terminal berths that are currently operating beyond their original design and the upgrading of port infrastructure to provide additional slots for larger vessels. The loan amount for the Durban Container Terminal Berth Reconstruction Project is 200 million USD.

It was also decided that the next annual meeting of the bank’s Board of Governors will be held in South Africa in 2019.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Minister Jeff Radebe: Energy Media Engagement

Remarks by the Minister of Energy, Mr Jeff Radebe at the Energy Media Engagement, IPP Office, Centurion; Pretoria

Programme Director and the Director-General of the Department, Mr Thabane Zulu

Deputy Director-Generals

Chairs and CEOs of our SOEs

Head of the IPP Office

Members of the Media,

Welcome to this engagement with yourselves

Thank you for making the time to join my department as we take this opportunity to engage with yourselves in order to share with you the vision, mission, programmes and developments of the Department of Energy.

The month of May is a very busy one for my department because, it is a time when we celebrate Energy Month, whereby we take the opportunity to make South Africans conscious and aware of the issues of Energy Efficiency in their daily lives. I again take this opportunity to make a call to the nation to be energy smart at all times by using energy efficiently and within the safety boundaries.

May is also the month when we present our Budget Vote to Parliament where we present to Parliamentarians past years’ achievements, challenges but the importantly indicate the Department’s plans for the financial year ahead. It is also worth noting that this year’s budget speech is the last for this current term of the fifth administration of our democratic government. I therefore invite all of you to join us when we deliver this important policy statement on 16 May 2018 in the National Assembly.

The Department of Energy is responsible for ensuring exploration, development, processing, utilisation and management of South Africa’s energy sources.

In the main our primary role is to formulate energy policies, regulatory frameworks and legislation, and oversee their implementation to ensure energy security, promotion of environmentally-friendly energy carriers and access to affordable and reliable energy for all South Africans.

Our vision is to improve our energy mix by having 30% clean energy by 2025 within a transformed and sustainable Energy Sector with a universal access to modern energy carriers for all.

Our mission is to regulate and transform the Energy Sector for the provision of secure, sustainable and affordable energy

The Department of Energy was established in 2009 following the reconfiguration of government after the 2009 elections, in which the then Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) was split into portfolio.

Over and above the main portfolio, the Depart has oversight responsibilities over six (6) State Owned Entities (SOE) and their subsidiaries which are either classified as schedule 2 or 3 in the PFMA. They are the Central Energy Fund (CEF), National Nuclear Regulator (NNR), the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), National Radio Waste Development Institute (NRWDI) and Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA).

Let me now turn to some key programmes that we are responsible for.

Petroleum: – the main objectives in this area include:

Promoting an efficient manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing petroleum industry;

Facilitating an environment conducive to efficient and commercially justifiable investment;

Promoting the advancement of historically disadvantaged individuals; and

Creating employment opportunities and small businesses in the petroleum sector.

Electrification: – The department is mandated to ensure and secure sustainable provision of energy for socio-economic development. Integrated National Electrification Programme is the Department’s programme responsible for achieving universal electrification in the country. The Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP) is responsible for planning, project management and funding the bulk infrastructure (e.g. MV lines and substations), grid and non-grid new connections for households that cannot afford to pay for themselves to receive access to electricity.

As from the end of March 2018 the programme delivered over 292 705 connections against 235 000 target set

Renewable Independent Power Producers: -The White Paper on Renewable Energy of 2003 is one of the policy documents that laid foundation for the promotion of renewable energy technologies such as solar, hydro, biomass and wind. Through this policy document, a ten year target of how renewable energy technologies could diversify the country’s energy mix and secure cleaner energy was set. The objectives of the White Paper on Renewable Energy of 2003 were to:

Ensure that an equitable level of national resources were invested in renewable technologies;

Direct public resources to implementation of renewable energy technologies;

Introduce suitable fiscal incentives for renewable energy and;

Create an investment climate for the development of the renewable energy sector.

Nuclear: – the department administers all matters related to nuclear energy as required by legislation and international agreements. These can be divided into three key activities, namely Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Technology, and Nuclear Non-Proliferation.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are all aware that South Africa is the current Chair of BRICS and as you know the BRICS 2018 Summit will be held in July at the Sandton Convention Centre; Johannesburg. Since 2015 Energy has become a strategic programme for BRICS and my department will host two BRICS events during this year. The first activity will be held on 17-18 May 2018 whereby the Director General will host a Technical Working Group meeting on Energy in Cape Town in preparation for the Energy Ministers which I will Chair0 at the end of June 2018. In addition to the BRICS activities, the Department will host the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Energy Ministerial meetings in June 2018.

Ladies and gentlemen, the DoE’s legislative and policy framework are key in changing the country’s future energy landscape. The vision of South Africa’s energy strategy, as championed by the Department of Energy, is to contribute towards affordable energy for all, and to minimise the negative effects of energy usage on human health and the environment, especially in recognition to the Paris Agreement aimed at reducing carbon emission.

As the country’s economy steadily taking an upward trajectory, the demand for energy continues to become a focus for attention among interested international investors, and local users across the spectrum � including business, captains of industry, and householders. As the policy setter and regulator of the energy sector, the Department plays a pivotal role in the development and promotion of this sector of the economy.

The National Development Plan (NDP) has elevated the role of energy in the country’s economic growth and development. This role, as envisaged in the NDP, ensures that by 2030 South Africa has an energy sector that promotes economic growth and development, social equity through expanded access to energy services and environmental sustainability through efforts to reduce pollution and mitigate the effects of climate change. In realizing this vision, the South Africa’s energy initiatives are supported by effective policies, institutions, governance systems, regulation and competitive markets.

Ladies and gentlemen before I hand over to the DG and his capable team of Deputy Directors Generals (DDGs) to share with you briefly some of the progarmmes of the Department, I wish to reiterate that following the Cabinet decision of December 2017, the department is steadily working towards concluding the review of the IRP by no later than mid-August 2018. Finalisation of this critical policy document and related Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) is key towards ensuring policy certainty in the sector.

The IEP provides an overarching planning framework for electricity, liquid fuels and gas sector plans such that the development of these plans are done in a coordinated and integrated manner.

I trust that the matter of policy certainty can be seen in the recent signing of the 27 Independent Power Producer Power Purchase Agreements on 4 April 2018 in this very building we are gathered in here today.

As part of bringing certainty to the energy sector, I also intend to ensure that we stabilise governance issues at our State Owned Entities. This is key because if our SOEs perform optimally, we will be able to deliver on many our key strategic programmes without hindrance and with speed. We have no time delays: Our people need jobs and jobs will only be delivered if we ensure that that investment into the economy is realised.

In closing, I also take cognisance of the fact that 2018 is the year of the centenary of founding father of the nation, former President Nelson Mandela, our icon. As you are there a series of activities lined up to celebrate the sacrifices of this great son of the soil under the theme Be the Legacy. Nelson Mandela was a giant of our times and his contributions to the development of our nation will be forever remembered.

In the same breath we celebrate the contributions and achievements of uMama Albertina Sisulu, another stalwart and servant of the South African people who dedicated her life to the achievement of the freedom of the people of this land.

The upcoming Africa Day celebrations is another opportunity for all of us who call this Continent Africa � Home, to celebrate the achievements of not only our South African hero’s but, of all those across the Continent who have been instrumental in fighting for the freedom of all the our people.

Indeed today is not the day for long speeches, but we felt it is important to invite you come and interact with you on a more leisurely mood. I invite you relax and network with the leadership of this great portfolio we call Team Energy. On this note, I wish to reiterate my invite to you to join us during our Budget Speech at 14h00 in the National Assembly next week Wednesday, 16 May 2018.

I thank you

Source: Government of South Africa

MABUZA LEADING SOUTH AFRICAN DELEGATION TO KENYA FOR FREEDOM DAY CELEBRATIONS

PRETORIA, Deputy President David Mabuza leaves for Nairobi Thursday at the head of a South African delegation to undertake a working visit to Kenya to attend the country’s Madaraka Day (Freedom Day) celebrations.

The day marks Kenya’s attainment of internal self-rule in 1963 from Britain.

South Africa and Kenya enjoy strong bilateral relations, with the two countries’ Heads of State meeting on the margins of various international and multilateral engagements to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma also undertook a State visit to Kenya in October 2016. Following his re-election in November 2017, President Kenyatta made a working visit to South Africa in January this year to attend the African National Congress (ANC) annual anniversary celebrations in East London.

This engagement forms the basis for the invitation to the Deputy President from Kenya’s governing Jubilee Party to strengthen party-to-party relations, as well as trade and economic relations on the occasion of the Madaraka Day celebrations.

During the working visit, it is envisaged that President Kenyatta and Deputy President Mabuza will discuss issues of mutual concern including the proposed reform initiatives of the African Union, the ongoing security challenges in South Sudan and Somalia, as well as mutually beneficial economic opportunities between the two countries.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK