Category Archives: General

Call for renewed global push to tackle child labour in agriculture

On World Day Against Child Labour, FAO urges greater attention to addressing child labour in local food supply chains

12 June 2019, Rome/Brussels – FAO today urged nations to pay greater attention and allocate more financial resources to addressing child labour in domestic and local food supply chains and in subsistence farming where the vast majority of child labour in agriculture occurs.

The call for action was made as FAO observed World Day Against Child Labour at a global conference “United to End Child Labour in Agriculture”, which the UN agency co-organised with the European Commission’s Directorate -General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), and the International Labour Organization (ILO), in Brussels, Belgium.

Currently almost all dedicated financial resources for fighting child labour are channeled towards addressing child labour in global supply chains whereas the child labour situations in small-scale households remain largely neglected, FAO warned.

“It is time we go beyond the exclusive focus on selected global supply chains and begin investing resources into tackling child labor in all situations,” said FAO’s Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva in a video message recorded for this year’s World Day Against Child Labour. “It is also essential to engage the agricultural workers and producer organizations.”

Graziano da Silva also highlighted the crucial role of the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labor in Agriculture, founded by the ILO, FAO and other partners. “Only together we can create change for a better, healthier and more prosperous future for our children,” he said.

Need to address root causes of child labour

Of the 152 million children in child labour situations around the world more than 70 percent or 108 million girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 17 work in farming, livestock, forestry, fishing or aquaculture. The number of children in child labour in agriculture has increased by 10 million since 2012. Moreover, 85 percent of child labour in Africa is found in the agriculture sector.

Some of the key factors that contribute to child labour in rural areas are low family incomes and household poverty, few livelihood alternatives, poor access to education and limited labour law enforcement.

In his remarks, the FAO chief said: “Household poverty remains a common cause of child labour in agriculture. In this context, social protection programmes and school feeding initiatives that link with family farmers are proven to be good antidotes against child labour”.

What is child labour?

Child labour is defined as work that is inappropriate for a child’s age, prevents a child to benefit from compulsory education, or is likely to harm their health, safety or morals.

In this context, the FAO Director-General noted that not all participation by children in agriculture should be considered child labour. For example, girls and boys learning how to grow vegetables or feed the chickens in their families’ farm can sharpen their skills and improve future livelihoods, he said.

“However, when children work many hours daily, when they do heavy work, when they carry out tasks that are dangerous or inappropriate for their age, when this impedes their education, this is child labour, and needs to be eliminated,” he stressed.

Furthermore, when children work in fields where pesticides have been applied, stay up all night on fishing boats, carry heavy loads, or use chain saws in the forest, it can interfere with their social and physical development and hence the ability to access decent and productive employment opportunities later in life.

Stepping up global efforts for Zero Child Labour

Child labour in agriculture is a global issue that is harming children and damaging the agricultural sector by perpetuating rural poverty. We will not be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, if we continue to leave this by far largest group of child labourers in agriculture behind, FAO stressed today. More investments and dedicated resources need to be allocated to addressing child labour in agriculture.

“To make progress towards Zero Child Labour (SDG 8.7), the international community needs to reach scale, which will not be achieved through the continuation of a few dedicated child labour programmes and projects,” said FAO Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development Maximo Torero Cullen.

He highlighted the need to develop cross-sectoral multi-stakeholder approach to ensure that policies, strategies, national and other large-scale programmes in agriculture, rural development, education, health, food security, poverty reduction, youth employment, social protection, community development, infrastructure, and trade include specific measures and components that help prevent and mitigate child labour.

“Each of these sectors and work areas have concrete potential to substantially contribute to the progress towards ending child labour, which are largely untapped,” Torero said.

The conference brought together EU institutions, international organizations, governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations, partner countries, resource partners, private sector, academia, researchers, agricultural workers’ and producers’ organizations and consumers’ organizations to share experiences and discuss concrete opportunities to end child labour in agriculture.

Source: The Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations

Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on Presidential Commission developing South Africa’s 4IR Strategy

Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution meets to establish a roadmap towards developing South Africa’s 4IR Strategy

The Minister of Communications, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, welcomes the swift action taken by the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution to concretise its workplan. On Saturday, 8 June 2019, the Commission held its first work session at the University of Johannesburg, to develop a high-level roadmap towards achieving its set objectives; as well as to establish and assign technical workstreams.

The Commission has committed to produce the strategy document to guide South Africa’s 4IR Vision by March 2020; this will be preceded by a broad consultative process with relevant stakeholders. The commissioners further established and assigned the workstreams as follows:

The Infrastructure and Resources workstream will be chaired by Andile Ngcaba.

The Research, Technology and Innovation workstream will be chaired by Dr Thulani Dlamini.

The Economic and Social impact workstream will be chaired by Mr Rob Shutter.

The workstream on Human Capital and the Future of Work will chaired by Ms Beth Arendse.

The workstream on Industrialisation and Commercialisation will be chaired by Ms Nomvula Mkhonza.

The Policy and Legislation workstream will be chaired by Ms Charmaine Houvet.

The 31-member Commission was established by President Cyril Ramaphosa and is mandated to advise government on 4IR policies, develop a framework for implementation of a multi-sectoral 4IR strategy; and coordinate, monitor and evaluate multi-sectoral initiatives that will position South Africa as a globally competitive player in 4IR.

The commission is set to meet with its chairperson, President Ramaphosa within the next few months.

Source: Government of South Africa

Limpopo hosts first Executive Council meeting

The Limpopo Provincial Government held its first Executive Council meeting for the 6th term of administration on the 11th June 2019 to discuss issues pertinent to service delivery in the province: The following were discussed:

Reconfiguration of the Limpopo Provincial Administration

EXCO discussed the possibility of reconfiguring government departments in line with the new mandate. The process will include thorough consultations with employers and employee representatives. These discussions will ensure that there is no loss of employment or benefits. The proposed reconfiguration will be done within public service the legal prescripts. The process plan highlighted the following key milestones:

Merge the Department of Community Safety and the Department of Transport into one department, which is to be renamed Department of Transport and Community Safety with one MEC and one HOD;

Transfer the Roads Maintenance function from the DPWRI to RAL;

Relocate the Early Childhood Development (ECD) function from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Education;

Relocate the Limpopo Agri-business Development Corporation (LADC) from LEDA to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development;

Re-establish the Limpopo Business Support Agency (LIBSA) as a stand-alone entity with the MEC LEDET as the shareholder;

Constitute a Task Team conduct a substantive feasibility study on the unbundling of the LEDA Structure;

Conduct feasibility study on the creation of a Shared Services Unit for transversal specialised functions;

Undertake a review of the roles and responsibilities of the Provincial Treasury and COGHTSA in executing their Municipal Finance function so as to eliminate duplications and to create synergy between the two departments;

Undertake a diagnostic re-engineering of the organisational structure (Work-study) of the Department of Health so as to enhance the effectiveness and efficiencies within the departmental Human Resources and financial management performance

Undertake a feasibility study on the transfer of the HIV\AIDS function in Schools to the Department of Health.

Upcoming Events

Youth Day Celebrations: 16 June 2019

The Office of the Premier, Department of Arts and Culture and the Presidency are planning to host 2019 National Youth Day Celebration at Polokwane Cricket Club on the 16th of June.

The theme for the Youth Month programme and the Youth Day celebration is 25 years of Democracy, A celebration of youth activism.

The Youth Month Programme will also focus on empowering young people in the country in various fields.

The following activities have been earmarked to celebrate the Youth Month:-

National Launch of the Youth Month Programme: 04 June 2019;

National Presidential Dialogue: 13 June 2019 at University of Limpopo;

Computer Skills Development Programme;

Youth/Africa Day Celebration Carnival: 15 June 2019 from SABC Park, Polokwane;

Activation blitz for mobilization with celebrities for Youth Day;

National Youth Day Celebration: 16 June 2019

The youth day celebrations will be held in Polokwane Cricket Club, Polokwane Municipality, Capricorn District.

Provincial Youth Seminar: 17 June 2019;

Launch of the Unemployed Youth Digitized Database: 21 June 2019, Tzaneen; and

Career Expo: 28 June 2019.

The GCIS, NYDA, Department of Arts and Culture and Office of the Premier website will outline the entire programme.

Good Green Deeds: Provincial Launch: 27 June 2019

The Executive Council approved the framework on the proposed launch of the Clean and Safe South Africa: Land A Hand Programme to take place on 27th June 2019 at Marapong, Lephalale Local Municipality, Waterberg District.

Recognition: Raphahlelo S.J.: Regent: Raphahlelo Traditional Council

The Executive Council approved the recognition of Raphahlelo Shapo Johanna as a Regent Senior Traditional Leader under Raphahlelo Traditional Council in Mopani District in terms of Section 14(1) (b) of Limpopo Traditional Leadership and Institutions Act, no. 6 of 2005, and that she be remunerated accordingly.

Revenue and Expenditure Close-out Report for 2018/19

A report on the revenue and expenditure for the Provincial Administration for the period ending 30 April 2019 was presented to the Executive Council meeting.

The report highlighted the following:-

Overall provincial expenditure was R5.1 billion representing 7.3% of the R69.5 billion allocated budget;

Compensation of Employees (CoE) recorded an expenditure of R3.9 billion or 8.0% of the total budget of R49.1 million;

Goods and Services recorded an expenditure of R762.4 million or 7.5% of the total budget of R10.1 billion;

Transfers and subsidies recorded an expenditure of R357.6 million or 4.4% of the total budget of R8.2 billion;

Payment for Capital Assets recorded an expenditure of R53.6 million or 2.8% of the total budget of R2.0 billion;

Conditional Grants recorded an expenditure of R316.7 million or 3.5% of the total budget of R9.0 billion;

Provincial Infrastructure recorded an expenditure of R226.9 million or 4% of the total Provincial infrastructure budget of R5.6 billion; and

The total Provincial Own Revenue target for 2019/20 financial year is R1.3 billion. As at the end of April 2019 the Province had collected an amount of R95.8 million or 7.3% of the annual revenue target.

Source: Government of South Africa

Presidency confirms receipt of notice from Public Protector

The Presidency confirms that President Cyril Ramaphosa has recieved a notice in terms of section 7(9) of the Public Protector Act with respect to an investigation into allegations of violations of the Executive Ethics Code.

In terms of the Public Protector Act, a section 7(9) is issued If it appears to the Public Protector during the course of an investigation that any person is being implicated in the matter being investigated and that such implication may be to the detriment of that person or that an adverse finding pertaining to that person may result, the Public Protector shall afford such person an opportunity to respond in connection therewith, in any manner that may be expedient under the circumstances.

The President has responded to the Public Protector requesting an extension of the period given to him to respond to the matters raised in the Public Protector’s provisional report. The Public Protector has granted such extension until 21 June 2019.

The President has further requested to exercise his entitlement to question the complainant, Mr Maimane and several witnesses which had appeared before the Public Protector during the course of her investigation in terms of section 7 (9) (b) (ii) of the Act.

he President remains committed to fully cooperating with the Public Protector in the course of her investigation and to ensuring that this matter is speedily brought to conclusion.

Source: Government of South Africa

Youth Development Agency launches National Youth Service Day in Limpopo, 14 Jun

NYDA calls on all the youth of South Africa across all sectors to join in service of their communities

Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Mr. Sifiso Mtsweni alongside Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Honourable Mr Nathi Mthethwa and Premier of Limpopo, Honourable Mr Stan Mathabatha will on Friday, 14 June 2019 launch the National Youth Service Day at Ntshitshane Village, Mankweng, Limpopo Province.

The National Youth Day as declared by the NYDA is implemented through its National Youth Service Programme (NYSP). The objectives of the day are to promote nation building, patriotism and social cohesion. Young people are urged to participate on this important day of action scheduled to take place across eight provinces.

Details of the official launch as follows:

Date: Friday, 14 June 2019

Time: 12h00

Venue: 30250, Ntshitshane Village, Mankweng, Limpopo

NB: For details of NYS day events taking place across the country see attached poster. Members of the media interested in attending the event should RSVP to media@nyda.gov.za or call 060 978 6000 by Thursday, 13 June 2019 before 12h00.

Source: Government of South Africa