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Land reform ‘must benefit Khoi, San’

first_img20 June 2013 The descendants of South Africa’s Khoi and San communities must benefit from the country’s land reform programme if the legacy of the 1913 Natives Land Act is to be reversed, says Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti. Nkwinti was addressing a business briefing in Cape Town on Thursday to coincide with the centenary of the passing of the Act by the Union Parliament on 19 June 2013. The notorious law laid the groundwork for the apartheid policy of racial segregation in South Africa. Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said the Khoi and San people were the first lines of defending the land when South Africa was invaded by colonialists. “We could not, as a democratic government, understanding our history, be happy and satisfied when some of us were not catered for, and I think it was not a deliberate exclusion, but it was more of a systematic exclusion,” the minister said. “The Khoi and San were left out of the process even though they were the first to be dispossessed of their ancestral land – before the notorious 1913 Native Land Act was passed – so now is time for us to go back and go beyond the cut-off date of 1913,” he said. Asked how the government aimed to redress the Khoi and San, Nkwinti said his department would be setting up a national reference group, with five representatives from each province, who would meet with his department regularly. “We’ve agreed that each province should nominate five representatives, that makes 45 in total, so that we will then discuss in terms of the Constitution and the 1913 cut-off date on how do we come up with a set of proposals to government which will then open up for the Khoi and San to make their own claim. “This work has already started,” he said. Land reform challenges Also addressing Thursday’s breakfast, former Land Affairs director-general Gilindwe Mayende said South Africa had redistributed “something in the vicinity of 8-million hectares” of land in the space of 18 years. “However, there are quite a number of challenges that seem to continue to bedevil the programme in its entirety,” Mayende said. “We are still struggling to come up with an integrated approach where we don’t only talk of transferring land, but transferring land as well as knowing how to access the market, or a totality of package to beneficiaries … that is why we’ve seen many projects not succeeding and which now need to be recapitalised.” Mayende said another challenge was that the land reform programme was not linked dynamically to agrarian transformation and in the broader sense to rural development. Asked if the country would follow the Zimbabwean “land invasion” model, Deputy Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Lechesa Tsenoli said: “We’ve not been hearing enough from every stakeholder … especially the farmers and property owners, who are our critical stakeholders in helping us avoid the Zimbabwean land invasion situation, so we would like to address them urgently,” he said. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Getting the export balance right

first_imgChief economist Chris Hart said South Africa had not had a great start to the year: the price of petrol had gone up, the rand had declined, interest rates were up, trade unions with political ambitions were fighting employers and not working together with them to find solutions. All of these factors were not good for investors. (Image: Ray Maota)• Sandisiwe GugusheCommunications: Brand South Africa+27 11 482 0133Ray MaotaSouth Africa and Sweden have long-standing political and development connections, and linking up to find ways to monitor South Africa’s export competitiveness is the latest venture in the nations’ partnership.Brand South Africa, custodian of South Africa’s image, and Business Sweden discussed designing an export competitive index for South Africa at a networking session held at The Michelangelo in Sandton on 10 February.At the inaugural Brand South Africa Competitiveness Forum held in 2013, it was established that a Country Performance Tracking Index was needed to enable South Africa to track and respond to key challenges within its economy and society. At the networking meeting this week, economists Mauro Gozzo from Sweden and Chris Hart from South Africa spoke about the state of exports in their respective countries, and how to improve the sector.Dr Petrus de Kock, the research manager at Brand South Africa, also spoke about how Brand South Africa tried to aid South African exports. Olov Hemstrom, the Swedish trade minister, said: “We from Business Sweden are working a lot to help the export development in South Africa. We have an industrial school in Temba and are working closely with the Department of Trade and Industry as well as Seta.”The panel consisting of Hart, Brand South Africa research manager Dr Petrus De Kock and Swedish economist Mauro Gozzo discussed ways to improve South Africa’s export competitiveness. (Image: Ray Maota)Exports are crucialSweden’s economy is faring better than that of many of its peers: the nation has low public debt and a current account surplus, and since the early 1990s its growth rate has outpaced that of other members of the European Union-15 and the United States, according to the McKinsey Report, produced by the global management consultancy firm. The firm works with its clients to apply its understanding of market and industry forces to develop long-term macroeconomic perspectives.“Sweden has an export driven economy as 50% of our gross domestic product comes from exports. And of this 50%, about 20 % comes from just three companies,” said Gozzo. He also said that Sweden’s economy had been rising better than that of North America.“If you have a lot of cyclical exports, your economy will be hard hit at bad times, just like Sweden was in 2009. Our recovery was quick though and by 2011 we were back to normal.” Gozzo said that consumer credit was important in emerging markets.Sweden’s economic growth mainly reflects productivity gains in the areas most exposed to international competition: manufacturing, and business and financial services, which together account for only about one-third of the nation’s economy. In its two other main components – the public sector and local services – economic growth has been much slower, at a pace comparable to that of the rest of the EU-15.The EU-15 refers to those member countries of the European Union prior to the accession of 10 candidate countries on 1 May 2004. They are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.“Sweden would never have had such a stable economy had IT and telecoms companies never boosted the Swedish economy,” said Gozzo, talking about major companies such as Ericsson.South Africa’s weaknessesHart said South Africa had not had a great start to the year: the price of petrol had gone up; the rand had declined; interest rates were up; trade unions with political ambitions were fighting employers and not working together with them to find solutions. All of these factors were not good for investors.“All this does not mean doom and gloom; we are part of the fragile five. These are countries with huge twin deficit markets in emerging markets and include Brazil, India, Turkey, Indonesia and South Africa,” said Hart. South Africa was a triple deficit country as even households had deficit.“The reason why South Africa is part of the fragile five is the current account deficit because our production has fallen off due to labour unrest.”The way forward“Boosting competition and promoting deeper regional trade integration are critical for restarting South Africa’s export engine to bolster growth, which would help create jobs and reduce poverty,” Gozzo explained.About Brand South Africa’s involvement, De Kock said its job was to give South Africa an endearing image to the rest of the world to boost investments.Hart added: “South Africa has identified the exports sector as an engine for higher, more inclusive and job-intensive growth with the [National Development Plan], aiming for export volume growth of 6% a year in order to achieve an annual increase in real gross domestic product growth of about 5.5%.”last_img read more

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Making it Official: Government Agencies Sign Agreements with YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, and Blip

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification frederic lardinois U.S. government agencies can now officially use YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, and blip.tv, using special service agreements that comply with federal terms and conditions. Today, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced that, after nine months of negotiations, the government has signed agreements with these companies that will allow federal agencies to officially post content to these sites. The GSA is also negotiating special terms and conditions with MySpace and Facebook, and it has already determined that Twitter’s service agreement is in line with federal requirements.Legal ConcernsAccording to stories on Nextgov and Federal Computer Week, the GSA had a number of other legal concerns about the standard terms and conditions of these services, including problems with indemnification clauses, liability limits, and endorsements, which led it to enter negotiations with these services. Also, a lot of the standard agreements call for dispute resolutions by state courts, while for government agencies, federal law has to apply.It is important to note that these new agreements only cover the free services offered by these companies. The GSA is also looking into expanding these agreements to a wider range of social media services.A number of federal agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Library of Congress already use services like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. To do so, however, these agencies either needed special waivers, or they negotiated terms directly with these services. Some of these initiatives have been very successful. Pictures from the Library of Congress, for example, have been viewed over 15 million times.Library of Congress on iTunesIn addition, the Library of Congress today announced that it will begin to share more of its content on YouTube and, as podcasts, through Apple’s iTunes. This initiative will launch in the next few weeks.Engaging the PublicWe are glad to see that the GSA has now removed some of the major stumbling blocks that stopped a large number of government agencies from using social media sites. Now we just hope that these agencies will also use these services to actually engage with citizens. Tags:#news#social networks#Video Services#web The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

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