You are here: Home
Input by Deputy Minister of the Department of
Telecommunications and Postal Services, Hon. Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize
During the Occasion of
e-Strategies Africa Conference
at The Vineyard Hotel
13 July 2016
Topic: National eStrategies and eServices
The National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030 is that ICT will underpin the development of a dynamic information society and a more inclusive prosperous knowledge-based economy. Seamless infrastructure will meet the needs of citizens, business and public sector, providing a wide range of services required for effective economic and social participation. The NDP further identifies ICT as an enabler, such that it contributes to service delivery, support analysis, build intelligence and create new ways to share, learn and build social capital.
WORLD INFORMATION SOCIETY TARGETS
Yesterday I spoke to you about the United Nation’s move to linking the WSIS Action Lines and the sustainable development goals. Bring this into our discussions today, you will be surprised that many countries have achieved the WSIS target of developing the National eStrategies by 2010 and about 80% of all economies have National eStrategies in place.
Different countries in various parts of the world face varying challenges in the development of either ICT or National eStrategies. There can be no one size fits all for the development of these strategies. In most African countries, ICT strategies are characterized by emphasis on addressing the lack of infrastructure and poor regulatory frameworks.
The NDP identified an action line that there is a need for a National eStrategy that cuts across government departments and sectors of the economy; energy, science, education, and health. The National eStrategy should stimulate demand by promoting e-literacy, stimulate sector growth and innovation by driving public and private ICT investment, especially in network upgrades and expansion (particularly in broadband) and development of local content and applications.
Our work on developing a coherent National e-Strategy continues and is seen as a step which will provide a clear direction for the implementation of e-Government in the public service. The adoption of this strategy will be essential for the transformation and modernization of public service delivery.
In line with our mandate to develop, maintain, sustain and support the implementation of the National e-Strategy, the DTPS has assumed a lead role in establishing the ground-work as part of envisioning process. In undertaking this role the DTPS recognizes that comprehensive and collaborative approach involving all government departments at all levels, government entities, academia, private sector, industry, Civic Organization and the public are paramount to the success of crafting the strategy.
While some different sectors of government and private sectors might have developed or are currently in the process of developing their own respective e-strategies, these would benefit considerably from an Overarching e-Strategy developed at the national level.
E-Government Strategy and eServices Programme
The socio-economic situation of South Africa requires the South African Government to look for efficient and cost effective means to provide service delivery to the citizens through the use of electronic government. The e-Government initiative provides an enormous opportunity to deliver Government services without having to rely on manual processes that require human intervention.
In countries which have a fully blown e-Government services have proved how e-government can improve the quality of public service delivery, increase cost efficiencies and government productivity through the automation of processes. E-Government can also allow users to have access to government information and services anytime and from anywhere in the world.
As part of the development of a National eStrategy, the DTPS is also developing a National eGovernment Strategy. The e-Government strategy articulates the overall aim and objectives and will set out the strategic initiatives, which will be prioritised in order to achieve a mature delivery of e-Government services. e-Government in South Africa includes the use of ICT to automate internal processes of Government (commonly referred to as “Government-to-Government or G2G systems) as well as external processes of Government (commonly referred to as Government-to-Citizen or G2C and Government-to-Business or G2B).
In efforts to achieve our vision of delivering e-government services, we have established and provide oversight to the inter-departmental e-Government governance structure by:
1. Ensuring that the e-Government Policy and Regulatory Portfolio are aligned with the Government Agenda and MTEF;
2. Coordinate and secure e-Government programme commitments across departments;
3. Initiate the change management programme across departments, through a skills development programme.
The Department’s Partnership with SITA
We are also working closely with SITA to develop a three year e-services programme. SITA has a track record of developing Government-to-Government (G2G) and Government-to-Citizens (G2C) systems. G2G systems developed by SITA includes:
• Basic Accounting System (BAS),
• Logistic Management Information System (LOGIS),
• National Population Register (NPR),
• Social Pension Fund (SOCPEN),
• Police Crime Administration System (CAS) and
• Electronic National Transport Information System (e-Natis)
G2G systems developed includes:
• Government Websites,
• Batho Pele Gateway,
• SARS e-Filing,
• Department of Labour (DoL) U-Filing and
• Department of Health (DHA) “Trace and Trace”.
I Thank you.
Speech By The Deputy Minister of the Department of
Telecommunications and Postal Services,
Hon. Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize
During the Occasion of
SHOPSTEWARD COUNCIL MEETING SHARPVILLE
23 JUNE 2016
Members of the REC
Leadership of the Federation here present
I am deeply honoured to stand before you this morning to share some notes and observations on the labour front. Before we could go anyway further, let me firstly remind you of some of our revolutionary milestones achieved to date. This year we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Women’s March to the Union Buildings and the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprings. These are acts of courage which give us strength as we tackle deeply rooted historical problems, which have created a highly unequal society.
My input will make touch on our current economic conditions, the notorious economic downgrading, unity, our achievements on the labour rights front since the dawn of democracy and one or two glaring challenges in the labour relations world of work.
SOUTH AFRICA’S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
According to the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures published by Statistics South Africa, our economy has experienced a tipped economic growth into a negative territory in the first quarter of 2016. South Africa’s economy contracted by 1,2 percent quarter-on-quarter. Year-on-year growth for the same quarter was -0,2 percent.
Reasons for this contraction could be attributed to amongst others:
A sharp contraction in mining – The mining industry contributed the most to the 1,2 percent quarter-on-quarter fall. Lower production in the mining of ‘other’ metal ores, largely platinum group metals and iron ore, saw the industry contract by 18,1 percent.
A decrease in Agricultural Production – The impact of adverse weather continued to plague agriculture as the industry recorded its fifth consecutive quarter of negative growth. Agricultural production has fallen by 14 percent since the fourth quarter of 2014.
A decrease in the demand for Freight & Passenger Land Transport – The transport industry recorded its second consecutive quarter-on-quarter fall in activity, now joining beleaguered agriculture in recession territory. A fall in demand for freight and passenger land transportation contributed to the decline.
Looking at a much broader picture, the slowdown in mining and agriculture has had a knock-on effect on industries further along the production chain. Lower demand for energy, especially from mining, saw the electricity industry contract by 2,8 percent.
SOUTH AFRICA’S CREDIT RATING
Shopstewards, the rating of your country is also depended on your actions. The degree of cooperation between business and labour or government and labour is one of the factors which determine a country’s positive/negative rating. This is greatly because this very cooperation determines whether we will have a stable labour market or not.
Fitch's credit rating for South Africa was last reported at BBB minus, with stable outlook. This came after the widespread scare that we could be rated to a ‘junk status’, meaning that no investor was going to be interested in investing in our country. In general, a credit rating is used by sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and other investors to gauge the credit worthiness of South Africa thus having a big impact on the country's borrowing costs.
EFFECTS OF A ‘JUNK STATUS’ RATING
It was through the hard work of our Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan’s hard work as well as on-going meeting between government and business that we ended up avoiding being rated a ‘Junk Status’. The situation could have worsened, some companies could have closed shop perpetuating the already rife unemployment.
Being rated a ‘Junk Status’ could have meant that:
Government will pay more for debt than what it paid before.
The rand will lose value because it will be less attractive to invest in South Africa.
Imported goods will become more expensive, which will push up inflation.
Consumers will have to pay more for the items they need every month, and the interest they pay on their home and car loans will increase.
With the increased government’s borrowing rate, all other South African entities, will have to pay more for any money they borrow. Meaning they will have less money to spend in expanding their businesses and employing more people or they will try to put up their prices, he said.
A CALL TO UNITY
Chairperson, In 1911 Pixley ka Isaka Seme once said, and I quote, "Forget all the past differences among Africans and unite in one national organisation." This of course led to the formation of the ANC as we know it today a year later in 1912.It was on 8 January 1912, where John Langalibalele Dube, a Church Minister and School Headmaster; Pixley ka Isaka Seme a Lawyer; Solomon T Plaaitjie, a Court Translator, Author and Newspaper editor; were elected Leaders the Oldest Liberation movements in Africa, the ANC as we know it today.
Josiah Gumede, a teacher, businessman and journalist was one of the keynote speakers at the Inauguration Congress. The operative word in all what our fore-bearers advocated was Unity. I want to argue therefore that without unity, the freedoms we enjoy today would not have been possible; likewise, advancing the gains of our democracy would be more difficult without the ingredient of unity being the catalyst.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PEOPLE IN OUR STRUGGLE
The word PEOPLE is mentioned about 28 times in the original Freedom Charter which gives the Charter the people’s centred character and the importance of what can be achieved based on Unity. It is therefore instructive Comrades that the Freedom Charter has to this day, remained the cornerstone of the ruling Party’s policies and it is, in all accounts, the foundation of the South African Constitution. There are many instances where the Freedom Charter is captured almost word for word in many sections of our Labour Laws. It is also true that our labour laws are an expression of the Congress of the people’s declaration that ‘There shall be Work and Security’.
The ANC strategy and tactics document that was adopted by the Morogoro Conference in Tanzania on 25 April - 1 May 1969, asked a critical question relating to our theme this morning, and that is “Is there a special role for the working class in our national struggle?” The answer to the question went something like this and I quote,
”It is historically understandable that the exploited working class constitutes a distinct and reinforcing layer of our liberation, and Socialism does not stand in conflict with the national interest. Its militancy and political consciousness as a revolutionary class will play no small part in our victory and in the construction of a real people's South Africa”. Close quote.
Well, if it is true that the ability of the working class to make the necessary impact is dependent on the high levels of organisation and unity among the working class formations, then the Unity of workers as an important component of the broader working class is an absolute pre-requisite for the attainment of our National Democratic Revolution objectives.
If the unity of our revolutionary Alliance remains a pre-condition for the success of the National Democratic Revolution, then this imposes a duty to all of us to preserve the unity of the workers and to do everything we can to strengthen it.
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN THE CREATION OF A CONDUSIVE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
There are limits to what government can do. For example, in most cases government can only create an enabling environment for unions to operate and advance the course. Government cannot organise workers into unions, cannot negotiate on behalf of the workers and cannot provide legal representation to workers. These remain the primary reasons for union’s existence. If unions continue to become weak, this carries a real risk of collapsing our labour market institutional arrangements.
Trade union leaders must be very worried about the fact that an average of 4.6 million of workers are dependent on the Ministerial Determinations as they have no trade union to represent them. Whilst I fully understand that sectors that are covered by Sectoral determinations are often the most difficult to organise, at least 22 years into democracy should have given enough time for unions to craft strategies to organise these workers.
We must leverage the space created by our labour laws to maximise trade union density in all sectors of our economy. The 76% unorganised workers in the economy remains a challenge that could diminish mass based trade unions and dismantle all what has been achieved.
This democracy has worked for the working class of this country. Our labour law dispensation is an envy of many countries around the world. The right to organise and organisational rights that accrue as a result thereof, are among the best that trade unionists can ever want.
Let us recall that our people demand of us to do things that could make an impact; and they demand of us programmes to build a growing economy which generates more decent jobs, redistribution of wealth, income and opportunities to benefit the society. Together we must tackle urgent challenges; craft interventions that have the potential to make the biggest impact in the shortest possible time.
You know as much as I do that the triple challenge of Unemployment, poverty and inequality, is still very much with us and this is not helped by the fact that the state of the global economy and by extension our economy, are in dire straits.
Workers are losing jobs in most of our economic sectors and this will require leadership and the ability to rise up to the challenge. In doing this work, we need to be frank and honest about what is to be done and we must to have the courage to get out of our comfort zones. We must be ready to accept that whilst some of the interventions may sit uncomfortable with our traditions, they may be what is needed at this time.
SOUTH AFRICAN LABOUR LAWS
Chairperson; I submit that our Labour Laws are a true reflection of the aspirations of our people as defined in the Freedom Charter of 1955 and many subsequent Declarations of our movement. The recent amendments to our labour laws confirm that indeed, we understand what consolidating the revolutionary gains of the working class means.
It is for that reason that those who are against progress and who seek to reinstate the status quo as existed before 1994, have used every trick in the book to attack our Labour Laws and the recent amendments. They had become used to cheap labour and repression of workers as the modicum of capital accumulation. Now that the new labour law dispensation seeks to abolish all forms of exploitation of workers, the labour laws are therefore accused of being rigid and anti-economic development. Making sure that workers are protected from exploitation can never be anti-economic development, but pro-progress.
We as government are disciplined cadres of our revolutionary alliance and therefore, we will not be swayed from our resolve to protect workers in general and vulnerable workers in particular using the legislative instruments at our disposal. Our labour laws are sound and often referred to as among the best in the world for both employers and workers alike. The checks and balances that are found in our labour laws are top notch on all accounts.
The affirmation that our labour market dispensation is premised on focusing on the promotion of minimum conditions to restore workers dignity as a people, is correct. It is also correct that the minimum conditions that we promote, give particular attention to issues of discrimination, equality, equity and vulnerability in the work place.
TRANSFORMATION IN THE WORKPLACE
Comrades: Whilst South Africa has made huge strides in transforming South Africa into a better place for all who live in it, transforming the workplace is the assignment that is still far from finish. It is ludicrous that some voices are already calling for sunset clauses on the Employment Equity when in actual fact, there is no sign that the sun has even arisen in some sectors.
Let me ask these pertinent questions which were at the center of why the recent amendment were necessary.
i. Is it correct that a worker can be a casual for the rest of his or her working life?
ii. Why should a worker be a temporary worker forever when the job that he/she does is permanent?
iii. Why should a worker just because he/she is employed by a labour broker not be able to take his/her case to the CCMA?
iv. Why should there be differences in pay and conditions of work between and among employees performing the same or substantially the same work, or work of equal value?
v. Why should a work seeker be charged a fee in order to be placed by temporary employment services Agency?
I submit that in the main, the recent labour law amendments were driven, largely by the 2009 ruling party’s Manifesto, and by giving careful consideration to these questions. So it was the exercise of consolidating the gains, tooling and retooling the labour market institutions so that they can do their work better.
I urge you to make time to familiarise yourselves with the revamped laws so that you can see for yourselves how they contribute towards our National Democratic Revolution.
We are very pleased that at the very least, most of what became the final Labour Law product, was the outcome of negotiations by social partners in Nedlac. Where absolute consensus could not be found in terms with few areas of the input from the general public, rigorous Economic Impact Assessment Tests were used. So I can say with no fear of contradiction that these laws were a co-creation by all our social partners, Organised Labour playing the leadership role.
Chairperson, I am advised however, that there are some employers who have dismissed workers in order to side-step the new amended laws. Others are contemplating approaching the Courts of the land seeking to water down the transformational character of the revamped labour laws. You will know that this has been the case for many years that some employers respond by dismissing workers every time when new labour law amendments that favor vulnerable workers are put in place.
Same thing happened in 1996 when the new LRA became law and it also happened in 1998 when the BCEA became law.
Let me however alert you to the fact that employers who are engaging in this practice, will fall foul of provisions in the new law that are designed to prevent this practice if it is proven that they are doing so purely to side-step their legal obligations. As for those who are seeking Court intervention with malicious intents, government will be keeping a close eye on them.
Our Labour Inspectorate and Enforcement have been given more powers to do their job better, but they can only do so with your help on the ground.
IMPORTANCE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Comrades; Collective bargaining has in the recent past, occupied the centre stage in the public discourse concerning many issues regarding the recent developments in the industrial relations world of work. We have seen many analogies of the recent developments citing many things as the root-causes. Some are blaming government for being on the side of the workers; others are accusing labour laws of being too rigid, whilst others are pointing to social and economic deficit and the slow pace of transforming the workplace, as the main reasons for the challenges in our industrial relations.
Collective bargaining is an important pillar of our labour relations dispensation, and it remains one of the most important instruments to manage the inherent conflict in the industrial relations. It is also my firm belief that, collective bargaining is capable of addressing the challenge of unemployment, inequality and poverty in our society.
Comrades, evidence has shown that the Union density in the recent years has declined from about 36% in 1997 to about 24% lately. This means some 76% of workers remain unorganised;
Comrades it is said that Unions are quick to call workers out on strikes even in cases where a strike has no real potential of producing different results. Strikes tend to be protracted yet workers are often no better off than they would have been if the strike was somewhat shorter. It seems therefore that there is a disconnect between a long strike and the value of the final settlement.
Why go out on strike for several weeks or months if the final settlement is a mere half a percent? During the earlier times of union formations, the union leaders used to say that a strike that lasts for more than five days is lost, but today you even hear union leaders bragging about how long they were able to sustain a strike with zero recognition of the post-traumatic stress that often visit members after the strike.
It does not seem like the cost and benefit analysis informs the union leadership when deciding to call workers out on strike and at which point does a strike needs to be called off.
It looks like strikes are no longer considered as the last resort after everything else has failed and why is that? Well there are many conspiracy theories that are doing rounds in the public domain.
Others are saying strikes have become a fashion statement and are often used as something to prove a point among rival unions, rather than a tool to get what workers want. I am of the view that once the strike begins to severely hurt the very workers that it seeks to help, that should be the time when the leadership needs to re-think.
I am raising these issues comrades, as a wake-up call for all of us and the urgent need to go back to basics. Consolidating the gains of the working class is not helped by these developments and at best these will be a recipe that will compromise and roll-back all what has been achieved. Once again I argue that the consolidation of our revolutionary gains dependent entirely on the unity of the working class. If the working class is in disarray, we will lose the contestation of ideas resulting in the erosion of our gains.
I can say without fear of contradiction that the recent amendments to our labour laws went a long way in reinforcing the protection of workers in general and vulnerable workers in particular. The percentage of disabled workers remain too low in our individuals organisations, it remains our task to fight for their inclusion. You can also glean all the ruling party’s election manifestos and I can guarantee you that you will find that, protection of workers feature prominently in all of them.
As we go out to cast our votes on 3 August 2016, we must take a deep breath and recall where we come from as a nation and the amount of work that remains to be done.
What we have achieved to date is significant and what remains to be done is equally significant.
Let’s go with the tried and tested, the only party that has at least 22 years’ experience of governing.
Together let’s move South Africa forward.
I thank you
Speech by the Honourable Deputy Minister of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Honourable Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize
During the Occasion of
40th Commemoration of the Soweto Uprisings
Mathole Secondary School
17 June 2016
Theme: Youth Moving South Africa Forward: “Rural Youth Skills for Economic Inclusion”
Mr H Nkosi – Mathole Secondary School Principal;
Councillor Ester Qwabe – Deputy Mayor, Zululand District Municipality;
Cllr M.J Ntshangase – Deputy Mayor, Ulundi Local Municipality;
Councillor Ngcobo – Ward 6 Councillor;
Mr JM Mtshali – Deputy Inkosi, Buthelezi Royal House
Mr MK Buthelezi – Deputy Inkosi, Buthelezi Royal House
Councillor Mlambo – Ulundi Local Municipality Speaker
Cde Victor Dlamini – ANC Regional Secretary (Abaqulusi)
Cde Dubazane – ANC Sub-Regional Secretary ( Ulundi)
Mr Khakalethu Tshaka – Vodacom, school connectivity Manager;
Mr. Arthur Makhuvha – Finance Manager, MTN SA Foundation Mr. Lesimola Selepe – MTN SA Foundation
Mr. Tirron Moleko – South African Post Office
I greet you all!
Programme director allow me to first start by thanking all our stakeholders who heeded to our call when we said to them, there is a school in deep rural areas of Mahlabathini that we need to support. A very special thank you goes to tomorrow’s leaders, our disciplined learners who never said that government gave us a long weekend but against all odds made it a point to come and welcome what government has to offer them. To all of you young people present today, you already possess one of the qualities that will make you a great achiever in life, persistence. Keep it up!
By today, I am sure that all of us gathered here today we know that in South Africa, the entire month of June is celebrated as a youth month. During the Youth Month, we pay tribute to the school pupils who lost their lives during the 16 June 1976 Soweto Uprisings. This years’ celebrations are special in that it is the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprising where more than 15 000 students gathered at the Orlando West Secondary School with the intention of participating in a peaceful march to the nearby Orlando Stadium were attacked by the police and armed forces.
The Youth of 1976 Struggles and the Youth of 2016 Struggles
As the youth of the present day South Africa you should be asking yourselves a lot of questions about this day or this month of June. What are we celebrating and why are we celebrating? What was so special about the youth of 1976? How was their leadership and aspirations?
During their time, there was a whole lot of things which they could have protested for as young people, but they protested against Afrikaans being used as a medium of instruction. What are your challenges today apart from “fees must fall”?
The world has changed dramatically since 1976, you have new set of challenges, and one of these is technological change. This to a larger extend affects your learning, it can be for good or for worst depending on your reception.
The provincial unemployment rate for Kwa-Zulu Natal was recorded at 20,4% in the third quarter of 2015. This is a 3,2 percentage points decline from the figure of the second quarter which was recorded at 23,6%. This is a clear indication that government’s efforts of improving the livelihood of people in rural and semi-urban areas is coming to fruition.
Perhaps coming from Ulundi Local Municipality is a disadvantage and an advantage at the same time. The fact that you are away from major towns and cities is a disadvantage. The advantage is that, government puts more emphasis on servicing the rural and the semi-urban areas. This brings opportunities to your neighbourhood.
We are part of the revolution that is driven by fast speed internet broadband access. The Department has a specific mandate which focuses on the radical socio-economic transformation of our society using ICTs to deal with the effects of structural challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty left behind by the legacy of apartheid.
We are working on multiple interventions to ensure an inclusive access and affordability of the Internet. Prior to our national broadband rollout project, it was discovered that the ICT market structure was inefficient, costly, duplicates infrastructure in urban areas and could not roll-out ICT infrastructure and services to reach all South Africans in line with the long term vision of a connected society.
Schools Connectivity Programme
Our programme of connecting schools is an ongoing programme whereby we identify rural schools establish computer laboratories for them and connect them to the internet. Since the announcement made by the President of our country Honourable Jacob Zuma, our focus has now been to the eight districts that he identified as the first priority for broadband roll-out. He said: “The year 2015 will mark the beginning of the first phase of broadband roll-out. Government will connect offices in eight district municipalities.
These are Dr. Kenneth Kaunda in North West, Gert Sibande in Mpumalanga, O.R. Tambo in the Eastern Cape, Pixley ka Seme in the Northern Cape, Thabo Mofutsanyane in the Free State, Umgungundlovu and Umzinyathi in KwaZulu-Natal, and Vhembe in Limpopo.”
One will notice that the eight districts listed above excludes Gauteng and the Western Cape provinces which have already gone far in terms of broadband rollout. We have set out plans for the implementation of digital opportunities programmes in the NHI pilot sites to ensure that residents in these areas are able to benefit from the rollout of broadband infrastructure.
The hard work of getting South Africa Connected started back in 2013 when the then Department of Communications and the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) started on a project to identify broadband gaps in the entire country. This entailed the process of identifying which areas were connected to broadband and who were the owners of this broadband. The study revealed that:
• Telkom has the largest fibre footprint. Mostly above-ground along poles next to roads.
• Broadband Infraco is using fibre on Eskom and Transnet. Mostly above-ground along power lines.
• National Long Distance (NLD) or Co-built: Vodacom+MTN+Neotel consortium with SANRAL for long distance ducts. Each partner has its own pipe in the duct under the road.
• FibreCo has long distance ducts under road, open access fibre.
• DarkFibreAfrica has majority of city fibre networks (underground), some long distance networks (underground)
• Liquid Telecom has long distance duct under highway
• Other fibre infrastructures included PRASA, B-Wired, Metros, security estates, which had a very short distance links.
Most other “operators” use fibers from the above, and sell as fibre services. Owners/controllers of access to routes/ducts/servitudes/rights-of-way were found to be: SANRAL, Provincial road authorities, Eskom, Transnet, Prasa, and Cities.
Telkom was found to be owning more than 147 000 “cable” kilometers (km) which translates to a calculation of route-distance equaling 88000 km. This was one of the compelling reasons why the entity was made a lead agency in the roll-out of Broadband.
We are also working this hard to be able to realize the targets made in our National Development Plan (NDP). Our targets in terms of the NDP are to achieve 100% broadband penetration by 2020. By 2016 the Broadband access in Mega Bits per Second (Mbps) per user experience is estimated to be 50% at 5 Mbps and by 2020 the estimation is 90% at 5 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps) and 50% at 100 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps). By 2030 the estimations are 100% at 10 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps) and 80% at 100 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps).
For schools the targets are 50% at 10 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps) by 2016; 100% at 10 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps), 80% at 100 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps) by 2020; and 100% at 1 Giga Bits per Second (Gbps) by 2030. For health facilities the targets are 50% at 10 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps) by 2016; 100% at 10 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps), 80% at 100 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps) by 2020; and 100% at 1 Giga Bits per second (Gbps) by 2030. The targets for public sector facilities are 50% at 10 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps) by 2016; 100% at 10 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps), 80% at 100 Mega Bits per Second (Mbps) by 2020; and 100% at 1 Giga Bits Per Second (Gbps) by 2030.
The Youth and the ICT Sector
The ICT sector is relatively new many of you participate through things such as communication and social media. Beyond this, youth participation is very low. This is a sector which young people here in South Africa must be taking advantage of. Most innovative ideas are found in the ICT Sector, how many young innovators do we have? There are also plenty opportunities available in this sector, the challenge is skills shortage.
With the widespread availability of broadband there are some unintended consequences which the youth end-up being victims of. Issues such as online identity theft; online bullying; exposition to violent, exploitative and degrading practices. Young people are to this stage still not safe in the cyberspace. It all brings us back to our individual responsibilities, do we carry the same moral standards which we practice in the real world to the virtual world? The main problem is that what seems to be so difficult to do in real world all of a sudden becomes easier to do virtually. If you couldn’t be comfortable with a stranger in a real world why would you be comfortable in the virtual world?
These are some of the issues that we have realized as a department that they need our serious attention otherwise our moral fiber as a society will be weakened. We have a Cybersecurity Strategy which was approved in 2012 and work has long started in conducting awareness campaigns. In other instances we are partnering with organizations such as Google, Child Line South Africa and the Film and Publication Board to create awareness about being safe online as well as adherence to age restrictions.
South African is the member country of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and as a result the Department’s Child Online Protection programme is based on the ITU Child Online Protection (COP) Guidelines. The key objectives of the ITU COP are as follows;
• Identify risks and vulnerabilities to children in cyberspace
• Create awareness
• Develop practical tools to help minimize risks
• Share knowledge and experience
The children learn and get a lot information on the internet but there has been other negative developments and aspects of being online that children need to be made aware and be protected from, these include amongst others, the following;
• Exposure to inappropriate materials like pornography and extreme violence
The Department has started implementing the awareness component of Child Online Protection Programme by implementing awareness workshops in schools. In the previous financial year the department implemented the workshops at the following schools: Eersterust Secondary School (Pretoria), Ikusasa Comprehensive School (Thembisa) and Nongeke Senior Secondary School (Bhizana).
I Thank you.
Speech by the Deputy Minister of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Honourable Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize, MP
WCC/SACC Peace-building & Reconciliation Consultation:
The Place of the Church
at Soweto Hotel and Conference Centre
on 09 June 2016
Theme: “A Time to Reconcile and Build a Nation”
Bishop Zipho Siwa;
Rev Prof Mary Anne Plaatjies Van Huffel;
World Council of Churches Representatives
South African Council of Churches Representatives
Thank you programme director for the time afforded for me to be able to make a contribution in this crucial session happening at a time wherein there is plenty economic opportunities, continental integration and solidarity are taking place in our country. Let me congratulate you on the successful organisation of this conference tackling key issues such as peace-building & reconciliation. It is time for the church to take its right place in the society whilst being able to partake in coming up with relevant solutions for the challenges we face today.
Challenges in the Attainment of Social Justice
In pursuit of social justice post the apartheid era there are many aspects to deal with, but as government the starting point of bringing about a stable South Africa we came up with the notion of tackling the triple challenge i.e. unemployment with lack of economic inclusion, inequality and poverty. People have introduced new concepts such as social cohesion which are all aimed at nation building.
We have gone a step further to also come up with the nine point plan aimed at improving the country’s economic outlook. The nine-point plan priority areas ranked according to significance are:
• Resolving the energy challenge;
• Upping the agricultural value chain;
• Beneficiation through adding value to mineral resources;
• More effective implementation of higher impact industrial policy action plan;
• Encouraging private sector investment;
• Moderating work place conflict;
• Unlocking the potential of SMMEs, cooperatives, townships and rural enterprises;
• Reform of state owned companies, broad band roll out, water sanitation and transport infrastructure and
• Operation Phakisa which aims to grow the ocean economy - such as the shipping and storage of energy products.
The sectors mentioned in the nine-point plan are not only meant to improve the South African economic outlook but also to tackle socio-economic challenges such as unemployment, inequality and poverty through employment creation and community development so as to realise an inclusive economic growth.
There are concrete things which we have made to ensure that those who were initially excluded are now included. Some of these interventions include amongst others sector charters and funding for previously disadvantaged groups
Some of the challenges that we are still grabbling with includes exclusions due to lack of critical skills, exclusion due to lack of financial skills etc.
The notion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was an endeavour to say how we deal with the injustices of the past. Our rich history of negotiations has taught us that great progress can be achieved sitting around the table and discuss issues.
Some of the challenges that we faced after the process was the question of how do we deal with the perpetrators. We are still today faced with issues such as racism. In a plight to save a decaying morals in the society we’ve had to come up with programmes such as moral regeneration.
Talking about reconciliation, one cannot help but remember the earlier contributions and work of our internationally renowned icon, uTata Nelson Mandela. There are two occasions where he talked extensively of our self-consciousness as the people and where his work was praised.
The former President uTata Nelson Mandela delivered the 5th Steve Biko Annual Lecture on the 10 September 2004, where he talked about the life of Steve Biko and black consciousness. He made reference to the achievements made at the time when he said: “We South Africans have succeeded quite admirably in putting in place policies, structures, processes and implementation procedures for the transformation and development of our country. We are widely recognized and praised for having one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. The solidity of our democratic order, with all of its democracy supporting structures and institutions, is beyond doubt. Our economic framework is sound and we are steadily making progress in bringing basic services to more and more of our people.”
He further said that “the values of human solidarity that once drove our quest for a humane society seem to have been replaced, or are being threatened, by a crass materialism and pursuit of social goals of instant gratification”.
We are also reminded of what Mary Robinson said when she gave her speech during the 10th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture on the 5th August 2012. Her speech was focused on the pillars of our democracy which were also the results of the selfless work by the President uTata Nelson Mandela, these were: “freedom”, “truth” and “democracy”.
Mary Robinson linked these pillars directly with the work that the former president has completed successfully, she said:
“Freedom” – evokes Madiba’s own long walk, and the struggle and sacrifice of ordinary South African citizens, unsung heroes, who stood up against a brutal regime to win their freedom. Physical freedom, from imprisonment in Robben Island, and political freedom, from the shackles of apartheid.
“Truth” – brings to mind South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first of its kind designed to enable the people to come to terms with the past, admit the truth about atrocities and gross human rights violations, and start the process of reconciliation. But it seems, and understandably given the circumstances, that this process only really scratched the surface, and South Africa remains, a nation of wounded people.
“Democracy” – puts in mind those long queues at polling booths in 1994 all over the country, the tangible excitement as the majority of people voted for the first time. It puts in mind South Africa’s Constitution, admired around the world for the way it values human dignity and frames human rights at its heart. It puts in mind the promise of a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world, symbol of the possibilities for transformation, reconciliation and national unity.
Values Enshrined in the South African Constitution
Our democracy is still at its youthful age and this gives us an opportunity as the society to sop up the values which our democracy subscribes to. We have our Constitution, promulgated in 1996, provides the foundations for building a democratic and inclusive state and is undeniably one of the most progressive in the world. It embodies the noble ideals of unity in diversity, and tolerance and respect for all our cultures and religions. Our Constitutions also promotes values such as truthfulness, openness and integrity as a basis of promoting aspects of our culture which underscores ubuntu.
All of these values can be amplified through our cultural conduct and religion.
It is through processes such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that we have achieved the progress we are realizing today as a nation. In any situation where hostility, violence and war have divided the people, made them enemies and there is distrust and misunderstanding prevailing amongst them; national reconciliation will be a precondition to building that nation.
The TRC was meant to show and teach the world true meaning of ubuntu. The emphasis was on forgiveness but at the same time holding people accountable and ensuring that this does not happen again.
South African National Human Rights Action Plan
In the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in June 1993, the World Conference on Human Rights recommended to States to consider the desirability of drawing up a national action plan identifying steps whereby States would improve the promotion and protection of human rights.
In December 1997, South Africa launched the “National Plan of Action for Human Rights”. The plan of action stated, among other things, the following:
“Democracy is irreconcilable with racial inequality and social injustice. Democracy is incompatible with poverty, crime, violence and the wanton disregard for human life. Democracy is strengthened and entrenched when society is fully aware of its fundamental human rights and freedoms and lays claim to these.”
This was meant to clearly carve out a way towards a conducive environment within which South Africa’s democracy will thrive.
The Role played by the Youth in our Society
It is always important to constantly reflect on the past in terms of what have we achieved and what it took for us to achieve that.
This month our country celebrates forty years since the ground breaking revolution by our youth which changed our educational landscape. This is exactly forty years since the legendary Soweto Uprisings.
A lesson can be learnt from a young education activist and a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. At the age of 17 years she is already in ranks of the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Tata Nelson Mandela. She triumphed from a specific cultural context which embroiled certain values. Against all odds she managed to stand out and showed extraordinary courage and continues inspire hope in the lives of other young girls. She openly objected to gender inequality and women oppression; and advocated for young girls' rights to education. She even got to a point where she was shot in a school bus for being vocal about issues which affected young girls and the right to equal chance to education as the boys counter parts.
Our youth should not be subject to the negative image they are been portrayed with, alcohol abuse, substance abuse and exposed to risk. As a nation we ought to learn from other cultures, look at our fellow Indian communities. They have been here since the past 150 years but in no way has their culture been diluted or influenced by our varied cultures. If you look at their education system, their houses of faith and their work ethic; they stick to their tradition throughout and that is the reason why they are successful.
South Africa has been called the rainbow nation because it is made up of so many diverse cultures. Our own culture must be used to pursue reconciliation and social justice. Through our culture and religion we can amend the past social ills. We all know that in the past the colonial laws highly prejudiced our cultures and as a result they are now still underdeveloped.
Positive Economic Policies to Foster Reconciliation
Our evolution as a society has required us to be as vigilant and as aggressive in implementing credible institutional mechanisms and strategies, such as the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) Strategy, Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA), New Growth Path and National Development Plan. All these policies were designed with the aim to reverse the negative socio-economic impact of the former regime, not only that, but also catapult our ability to deliver services to our people within the context of available set of skills in the 21st century.
Using Culture as a Cornerstone of Nation Building
You will agree with me that culture is not something we are born with. It is learned from family, school, religious teachings and nowadays through television and other media. Indeed issues of culture and heritage are with us 365 days a year. Issues of heritage and culture are the cornerstone of nation building. A child is born into a cultural setting, with a rich heritage which, through the process of parenting and socialisation shapes her/his wellbeing throughout the stages of life. Our culture instils in us norms and standards of relating towards each other and behaving in society as a whole. It shapes our identities as well. We all remember what uTata Nelson Mandela said when he addressed parliament in Cape Town on 05 February 1999, he called for the reconstruction of the soul of the nation, "the RDP of the Soul: by this we mean first and foremost respect for life; pride and self-respect as South Africans rather than the notion that we can thrive in senseless self-flagellation."
I believe he said this in realising that in reality there is a mismatch of what our culture teaches us versus our behaviours as society.
The government now speaks about monitoring and evaluation. The church as well should though programmes such as the National Development Plan, form strategic partnerships with government institutions to participate in nation-building programmes such as social cohesion.
I thank you!
HON. PROF H.B. MKHIZE, DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES
06 JUNE 2016, 17h00
ON THE OCCASION OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden, H.E. Mr Anders Hagelberg,
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps,
Members of the Diplomatic Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, it is with great pleasure that I congratulate the Kingdom of Sweden in celebrating its National Day.
Sweden has been a steadfast friend and supporter to South Africans in our struggle for freedom through the very special role it played in the anti-apartheid movement. Since the advent of democracy in 1994, Sweden continued this constructive relationship by extending its generosity through projects that assisted in advancing the lives of ordinary South Africans in support of South Africa’s goal for a better life for all and the fight against poverty. Your development assistance programme has assisted in consolidating our young democracy and the upliftment of our people.
These bonds of friendship between our countries are based on the shared values of democracy, respect for human rights and social justice, as well as a commitment to the development of Africa.
I am pleased to note that today, relations cover a number of partnerships in various areas such as water resource management, science & technology cooperation, environmental protection and climate change, ICT, renewable energy and arts & culture. These projects all fall within the overall framework of the South Africa – Sweden Bi-national Commission, which was established in 2000.
The Bi-national Commission is an important platform for the long-term development of relations between our two countries. In this regard I express our satisfaction with the outcomes of the 9th Session of the BNC held in October 2015, which was co-chaired by Deputy President Ramaphosa and Deputy Prime Minister Romson. Amongst the key outcomes was the extension of the scholarship programme offered by Sweden for South African post-graduate students. These students from across South Africa will pursue their Masters Studies in various fields from August 2016.
Another demonstration of the close ties between our two countries is the number of technical and official visits which have taken place this year, in particular in the field of higher education and renewable energy. As South Africa, we look also forward to exploring new areas of cooperation with Sweden, such as the Blue Economy, within the context of the outcomes of the BNC identified in 2015.
Your Excellency, this year South Africans celebrate the 22nd anniversary of democracy. As a country we have made great strides creating a better life for our people; however we are well aware that we still have a long road ahead of us in our endeavour to redress the structural imbalances of the past.
In this context the Government has adopted the National Development Plan 2030, which outlines South Africa’s development trajectory with a focus on areas such as skills development, youth employment, manufacturing and local beneficiation, amongst other things. We trust that the Swedish government and its people will continue to act as our partners as we build a better life for all through the NDP.
We are also aware, Ambassador, that you are due to depart shortly, having served as Sweden’s Ambassador to South Africa for four years. I would like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation for your personal contribution in strengthening the ties between our two countries; in particular for managing the transition of Sweden’s traditional aid programme to South Africa into an equal partnership that is mutually beneficial for both South Africa and Sweden. I would also like to congratulate you on your next assignment and wish you well in all your future endeavours.
Your Excellency, may I once more, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, congratulate Sweden on celebrating your National Day.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I ask you to join me in a toast to the Government and People of Sweden, and to the continued warm relations between our two countries.