Monthly Archives: May 2017

Madibeng Business Forum pledged to pay back millions at Nkandla

Madibeng Business Forum pledged early
on that it will help President Jacob Zuma
to pay back the R7.8 million used at his
Nkandla residence in Kwazulu-Natal. This
came sometime 2016, during the time when
President Zuma visited Letlhabile to wrap
up the ANC election campaign.
According to the information, the forum
also gave Zuma six cows and the North
West premier Supra Mahumapelo was given
two cows. The chairman, Robert Ngwenya
emphasised that this is a token of appreciation
that the party has improved the lives of the poor
people. “You have been under tremendous strain
regarding your residence in Nkandla. We feel
your pain and we are going to pay that money.
When you read the judgment it does not say you
must be assisted,” said Robert Ngwenya. It was
said that Zuma was given 45 days to pay back
R7.8 million used for non security features at his
Nkandla residence. The man who offered to foot
part of President Jacob Zuma’s multimillion-rand
Nkandla bill says he is doing it to relieve him of
stress because he feels Zuma is a “father” who
cannot be left to suffer.
Robert Ngwenya, chairman of Madibeng
Entrepreneurs Forum, made headlines when
he, on behalf of the forum, made Zuma
the tempting offer. Ngwenya, a property
development mogul from Maboloka, outside Brits
in North West, offered to help Zuma by paying
a portion of the R7.8 million Nkandla bill the
Constitutional Court has ordered the president
to pay. And if the “heavens open” he said, then
the entrepreneurs would make sure that within a
few days at least half the R7.8m debt had been
raised. “We believe that we will help him with
as much as we can. We won’t be able to put a
figure to it but we know we are going to go out
there to make sure that within a few days we try
our level best to reach half the costs,” he said.
It’s a known fact that about R248m in taxpayers’
money had been used for “security upgrades” at
Zuma’s private home in rural KwaZulu-Natal.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela ordered the
president to reimburse “a reasonable portion” of
the money spent on improvements which were
not linked to security. Zuma, however, disputed
the findings, but lost his battle in the country’s
highest court. He now has less than 40 days to
settle the Nkandla debt.
“Under President Zuma, rural development
has been at the forefront of small, medium and
micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) and a lot of
black people today are making it in business,”
said Ngwenya. “We had been discussing helping
the president even before the Constitutional
Court’s ruling. When the Concourt decision
came, we then said this is the opportunity and
a gesture to say thank you because to us he has
done much,” he said.
Ngwenya said their act of generosity to
Zuma was not motivated by politics or a desire
to gain any favour from his government.
He said the forum, made up of property
developers, taxi owners and spaza shop owners,
continued to build houses for the poor and all
its members contributed towards this.
“The reality is that the president has
delivered to SMMEs and, as you know, it’s
difficult to reach out to him so we had to grab
the opportunity of him coming here,” said
Ngwenya. “We are going to help the man
who is a father and a president to us. We
don’t care that we will be accused of all sorts;
the president himself has been accused from
day one,” he said. “As Africans we could not
leave our father to suffer if he has done good
to us.” The offer of help comes despite ANC
secretary-general Gwede Mantashe’s warning
that those who raised funds for the president
would be in contempt of court. However,
Ngwenya said Mantashe had been referring to
political party branches and not entrepreneurs
and said how Zuma gets the money was up to
him.

The failure of the ANC

In order to ascertain whether or not the
ANC is a failure we have to run an objective
due diligence on what they have done so
far, ignoring the pseudo-science of politics.
The unemployment rate currently stands at
26.4% (the 8th highest globally), with youth
unemployment standing at 52.5% (the 6th
highest globally). We cannot however, be so
quick to blame the current regime for these
statistics without attempting to find the root
causes of this unemployment scourge and
analysing what the government has done to deal
with these root causes.
One of the contributory, ‘whys’ behind the
unemployment crisis in South Africa’s overly
protective labour laws. This is the second
worst problem hindering business progress in
South Africa. As progressive as these laws are
to the employee they arguably have an adverse
effect on employment rates as the cost, risk and
difficulty of employing people rise as a result of
protectionist labour laws. Consequentially the
private sector has less capacity to employ people
thus creating an adverse effect on employment
rates, affecting women and the youth the most
(because women often take career breaks to
have children and the youth are just entering the
labour market and have very limited experience).
Research has also shown that when employers
perceive labour laws to be overly strict, they
tend to pay lower wages to offset the costs and
risks they take when employing someone. The
less the government intervenes in the business
environment and the less they ‘over-regulate’,
the smoother businesses run, the lower the
employment rate and the higher the wages.
ANC however, understands that a ‘laissez-faire’
approach to labour laws is not necessarily good
for their short-term political bottom-line (to
appease the trade unions and the employed
through populist policies). The low quality of the
education system has been cited as one of the
failures of the ANC government. According to
this school of thought, the education system is
so poor that it produces poorly skilled potential
employees and graduates.
Service delivery has been cited as one of the
failures of the ANC. Incidents of unnecessary
delays in service delivery have been cited as
examples of this failure. Allegation of high
levels of corruption, nepotism, financial
mismanagement, lack of institutional capacity
and poor prioritization of resources are rife,
however all is not bleak, South Africa is not a
‘broken country’.
3.4 million houses have been built since 1994,
the proportion of houses without electricity has
been halved, the number of people benefiting
from social grants has drastically risen, more
houses have access to clean water and average
wage increases have outpaced the increase
in inflation over most of the past 15 years.
One cannot talk of service delivery without
mentioning the current ‘failure’ of Eskom and
the ANC’s contributory role towards that failure.
There are some merits to the arguments on
both sides (the ANC inherited an already ‘rotten
Eskom’ and the ANC should have foreseen the
electricity problems the nation is currently facing
and should have done more to prepare our power
grid for increased economic activity).
The ANC finds itself in the unique
position where it has to ensure the continued
growth of the South African economy, whilst
concurrently addressing wealth inequality. To
do so, the government must protect its economic
bottomline. In drivers of exports, such as the
mining sector, while it has to concurrently
appease the masses by enacting policies
that address economic inequality. This is a
complicated position because as much as we live
in a capitalist, free market world, the government
has to balance this capitalism with a certain
degree of socialism.

Workers day celebrated in Madibeng

Following the first democratic elections in
South Africa in 1994, 1 May was inaugurated
as an official national public holiday. Every
year on this day, South Africa celebrates
Workers’ Day and regard the day as a holiday.
This day celebrates the role played by trade
unions, the Communist Party and other labour
movements in the struggle against Apartheid.
May Day, or Labour Day, is a day off for workers
in many countries around the world, it is a public
holiday in many countries. It usually occurs
around May 1, but the date varies across countries.
It associated the start of spring as well as the
celebration of workers. Many people in Madibeng
viewed Workers Day as just a normal holiday, when
talking to the Madibeng Times they did not specifically
have a clear meaning of what the day means to
them. Here is some of the comments:
Amos said that ßWorkers Day is for people who
are working to have at least a day off. “I do not
want to talk much about the past but what is very
important for us as South Africans is to focus on the
future and stand up for our own rights especially the
working class not to be oppressed by the employers
and must work under good conditions,” said Amos.
Thabo had a different view on the matter and said
the day to him does not matter. “In South Africa
this day we have too many foreigners who constantly
give employers advantage to abuse their powers
because such people agree on anything the employers
say.”
“Imagine working in an environment full of
foreigners who obeys every condition in the company
including to work on holidays. Our rights as South
Africans will be undermined and of course we will
then have to loose our jobs for not obeying bad
decisions made in the company,” said Thabo. Maria’s
view concerns unemployment in Madibeng. “I do
not see any problem with the unemployment rate
in Madibeng precisely because white people have
everything under control, thats what they say. They
own farms, hire people and pay them small money,
how cool is that?” “I also want to challenge those who
sit at home and expect free gifts. People must learn to
wake up in the morning and look for work, and they
must also learn to respect their work. Workers day
does not mean we should only remember the past and
hold on to it.”
“It means we must also plan for the future and
build a balanced nation with the same opportunities
and the same behaviour. No one is more special
than the other, let us give our municipality a chance
to work and provide without disturbing and wait to
blame thereafter,” said Maria. Sthembiso encouraged
people not to be discouraged and not to depend on the
government. “If we all depend on the government
and say the government must provide to every citizen
are we going to see prosperity and success?”
“Of course not! Our government have means and
ways to govern and the people in the country have
means and ways to live. If we learn to understand
that the government and people is one thing we will
know our roots as human beings.” “The employment
is the condition of having paid work, we cannot
expect the municipality to provide jobs to everyone
in Madibeng. We can become self-employed and
assist the government in providing work to the needy
people. Let us celebrate workers day by bringing new
ideas and plan for the municipality to become the best
government ever,” concluded Sthembiso.
In light of the foregoing it is therefore important
for the South African workers to change their
perspective and approach to Workers Day, which has
been scandalously misused and abused by most of
the employers. Since independence, more so since
1994 May Day has been used to ignore the very
conditions of South African workers. This must stop
so that the South Africans begin to now focus on the
very issues and concerns of the workers and the South
African nation, which is the very purpose of May
Day. The fact remains that workers of South African
are abused, misused, underpaid and disrespected in
all sectors of our economy. Even though we have a
Labour Act and other laws that protect the rights of
workers, the fact remains that workers face poor and
exploitative working conditions. One just has to go
to the supermarkets for example to see how young
South African men and women are being overworked
and paid little. In the tourism sector one can find
the same exploitation of our workers as waiters,
waitresses, porters, houseboys and girls and indeed
as cooks and security officers, etc. In our companies,
banks, petroleum companies as well as insurance
firms, commercial farms and other companies the
necessary incentives and rights of workers are ignored
with impunity. Furthermore, many young women are
discriminated against for employment.
This can be seen even within the NGO sector
and other areas. While our private sector companies
make super profits, yet the worker goes home with
pittance after long hours of hard work in poor
working conditions. This is unacceptable. When it
comes to the public sector, our workers are hopelessly
paid less with horrible working conditions. In many
public offices across the country workers have limited
tools and facilities for safety and hygiene. Poor toilet
facilities, poor living quarters, lack of Internet and
lack of transportation and other incentives remain
major obstacles for the workers. There are limited
opportunities for upgrading skills. Yet heads of
institutions and CEOs continue to enjoy immense
benefits at the expense of the rank and file of these
institutions and companies. Incidents of sexual
harassment and unfair dismissal are prevalent in our
public institutions, private companies and NGOs.
In many private companies workers are not given
appointment letters while their fair share of social
security contributions are not paid.
Above all taxes on workers are so high when
they do not have the commensurate services and
facilities that should come from their tax money. In
essence there are absolutely no safeguards for the
South African workers. It is therefore no wonder that
numerous South African work all their lives only to retire
in poverty. There are also companies that are doing a
tremendous effort for their employees and excel in
their human resources. On the other hand, employees
need to fulfill their duties as well. Productivity is a huge
challenge, as many employees think that if they attend
to work their duties are done. It is about doing your
work to the best of your capability. And not waste
time. To be productive during those hours you are at
work. And to top it all, we as tax payers don’t get the
services normal citizens are supposed to get. So we
work and pay taxes and don’t receive services.

Job creation in Madibeng a concern to community

In his State of the Nation Address,
President Zuma announced 2011 as
“the year of the job creation” through
meaningful economic transformation and
inclusive growth. What plan do the Local
Municipality of Madibeng have for job
creation.
Rural areas are becoming increasingly
popular destinations for travel, especially
cultural landscapes that allow a glimpse into
how rural people live and work. Agriculture and
Tourism Program improves agriculture value
chain linkages, smallholder access to export
markets, product diversification, increased food
security, and promotion for agricultural products
within the tourism sector of a destination.
Madibeng needs more jobs in tourism, services,
businesses and street workers. Lack of job
creation strategy in Madibeng is a concern and
a worrying factor to all community members.
Elections have the effect of turning the spotlight
on issues of importance for a set period of time.
However, they can also turn the spotlight
away from other issues that need to be constantly
highlighted. Only one party was bold enough to
make jobs created at local municipality level a
focus of its election campaign and that is a cause
for concern for the township economy. Major
municipalities, and the metros, in particular,
serve a number of townships, and their ability
to generate jobs at local level is paramount. If
municipalities are at the coalface of service
delivery, then it is a no-brainier that any role that
government is going to play in the creation of
jobs will come through local government.
The much-maligned black economicempowerment
(BEE) policy is a good example
of a government policy whose roots and
implementation strategy should be fully based
in the local government sphere. While the
campaign focus for one or two parties was on
jobs, BEE should be focused on as a stimulant
for local business growth. Any jobs created
directly by government through the Public
Works Extended Programme will always have
a defined timeframe. In other words, it will
be a temporary form of employment or work
opportunity.
But proper implementation of BEE will
ensure that funds used to create businesses
in the township economy create a longerlasting
kind of work opportunity, one that is
dependent on the longevity of the business
created rather than a project that only lasts for
a while. The funding projects meant to benefit
the youth and women will give the BEE policy
an entry point into helping the most affected
groups of people in the township economy,
youth and women. The far-reaching effects of
the programme will ensure that the constant
criticism that BEE programmes only empower
the already empowered becomes a thing of the
past. With the elections now over, it is time for
municipalities that have been constituted
already to take another long look at the
programmes they have in place already and
decide if these programmes contribute to the
alleviation of the job burden on the formal
economy. Where election results have given
a new party a chance to govern where it has
never governed, the new party has a great
opportunity to partner with entrepreneurs in
the township economy in a totally new way
that will give hope to both entrepreneurs and
job seekers.
There is no magic to the creation of jobs
in both the formal and informal economies,
the creation of new and sustainable businesses
is the only way, in addition to boosting and
supporting businesses that are already in
existence. The tourism industry provides
an important export market for a host of
agricultural products where hotels and
restaurants demand diverse agricultural inputs,
and tourists demand agri tourism experiences
and destination-branded specialty crops to bring
home as souvenirs.
The mandate of the Department of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)
includes supporting and promoting agricultural,
forestry and fisheries resources management
through policies, strategies and programmes to
enhance sustainable use, and achieve economic
growth, job creation, food security and rural
development. The department has prioritised
improving food security, creating jobs and
increasing the contribution of the agriculture
sector to the country’s gross domestic product
(GDP). Everyone in South Africa agrees that the
current levels of unemployment and poverty are
intolerable.
Differences arise when it comes to how to go
about reducing unemployment and eradicating
poverty. On the other hand, the businesses say
that the low growth of employment in South
Africa during the last decade is the consequence
of high wage hikes, overprotective and restrictive
labour legislation, and the unproportionate
strength of trade unions. In short, the businesses
believe that the easier it is to hire and fire
workers, the more jobs would be created. During
the last ten years, South African economy has
recorded impressive expansion. However, that
growth did not translate into more jobs.
In 1994, ANC inherited a R800 billion a year
economy. Today, South African economy turns
R2.2-trillion a year, which represents an increase
of 2,5 times. This much larger economy has
about the same number of people in formal
employment as it did in the late 1980s.

May Day sports at Oukasie Sports field

Once again May Day came on Monday the 1st of May 2017, where many South Africans acrossthe country enjoyed playing different sporting activities. This is a very important event popularly known for the May Day sports. The people enjoys the holidays by participating in sporting activities. This time, Oukasie masters battled  each other. They once boasted a great
rivalry on the local stage that could barely be matched. The opponents always proved
to be a spectacle, especially when both great footballing meet. Yet in recent years, one
can’t help but feel the rivalry has mellowed. Despite the Corrie Sanders Masters loosing
2-1 in a recent match against Oukasie Masters, there is no doubting that the Oukasie Masters are the far superior team right now. Corrie Sanders is constantly preparing in a latter stages to participate in major tournaments not only wait for workers day to play. Both the teams played to their out-most best to entertain their supporters and also to score many goals. Winning something was the option ofboth the teams but unfortunately only one team has to walk away with the victory. Well the Corrie Sanders team at the moment is not great and is hoping to perform a number of practices to stay fit and be able to up the challenge? Thomas went on to add: “We are always looking for reasons. To me, I think the match went on well and it was a great game. We lost the match right towards the end of the game and we will go back to the drawing board to correct our mistakes.” “The quality is there, but that probably means our team has suffered for it as there isn’t such a big pool of players to pick from. We managed to entertained the crowd and I felt it, everybody loved our style of play.” “They wanted us to continue playing even if we were very much tired. Imagine playing without practicing, what will happen to your muscles? The following day, many players were complaining about muscle pulls and cramps and that shows that we need practice more than anything,” said Thomas. Although he questioned whether it is worth it at the expense of failing the club the crowd will continue
supporting them. According to him, “the best would be to have a good team and a top
one in the area to represent Corrie Sanders,” emphasised Thomas.
On the otherside, Oukasie Masters captain never stopped talking on how challenging the
match was. “I want to say to everyone that the match was very tough and everyone felt
it. We have been playing for quite a long time but never had a challenging team like this
one.” “We believe that this will bring a little bit of change but also a big, big chance for new players. But we have top young players, so for this, I’m not really worried that we cannot play
at the same level. It won’t be straightaway and it will take some time for sure.” “I know that our coach will bring this group of players to a different level and I think we have a good chance to hold this level or even do better in the future with some experienced players and some new young talented players,” said the captain. “To play against Corrie Sanders is always a big thing particularly during holidays like workers day whereby all the workers are off and having fun. The rest of the day is then spent on fanfare.