PSM July 2024

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2024 Tax Filing Season opens all you need to know

Nkambule’s groundbreaking work during the COVID-19 pandemic shines on Celebrating Mandela Month It is still in our hands to combat poverty and inequality

Contents: July 2024


8. Conversations with leaders

Ntombizodwa Matjila is fighting for the safety of South Africa's children and the vulnerable

10. Women in the public sector

South African Air Force's Sergeant Luisa Kalenga shares her story of grit and determination

12. Trailblazer

The work of South African Medical Research Council senior scientist Sizwe Nkambule helped avert more loss during COVID-19

14. Profiles in leadership

Celebrated University of Pretoria Forensic Pathologist Professor Ryan Blumenthal is on a quest for justice


16. Office of the President

A new era of partnership and national unity

18. It’s still in our hands to combat poverty and inequity

Interpreting the legacy of Nelson Mandela through acts of service

20. SARS records positive revenue results despite tough prevailing economic conditions

Revenue achievements of the past 30 years have sustained democracy

24. Changes for the 2024 tax season

SARS is working hard to make it easy to pay your taxes

26. South Africa highest ranked African country in 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index

Ranking affirms SA’s commitment to a strong tourism sector

28. Embracing change: the dawn of the 7th Administration

New chapter in SA’s history must emphasise innovation, efficiency and transparency in public service delivery


Publishers: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

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Private Bag X745, Pretoria, South Africa, 0001

Acting Director-General Nomonde Mnukwa

Acting Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services Terry Vandayar

Deputy Director-General: Intergovernmental Coordination & Stakeholder Management Michael Currin

Deputy Director-General: Content Processing & Dissemination Regomoditswe Mavimbela


32. Grooming and style Ladies, wear local to make Madiba proud

36. Food and wine

Locally produced ingredients dish-out nutritious meals

38. Travel Addo has it all!

Head of Editorial and Production

Zanele Mngadi

Managing Editor Tshepo Nkosi

News Editor Miriam Mokoena

GCIS Photographic Unit

Elmond Jiyane Ntswe Mokoena

Siyabulela Duda Kopano Tlape Busisiwe Malungwane

Production Assistants Jauhara Khan | Nonjabulo Ntuli

Graphic Designers Tendai Gonese Ntombenkosi Malgas

Appreciating strides made and planning for the future

The founding father of our democratic South Africa, Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, once noted, “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb”. It has been over 14 months since President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed me to serve in the Executive as the Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. The journey can be characterised by a series of hill climbing as we move towards building a country we can all be proud of. Each hill presents its own set of challenges and opportunities underpinned by the need to learn, expand, evolve and strengthen active citizenry.

The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) is at the center of coordinating government towards the implementation of our first long-term vision, the National Development Plan 2030 using the Medium-Term Strategic Framework and Annual

Performance Plans (APPs) as an implementation and monitoring tool. Under my stewardship, the DPME has led the charge for improved coordination in efforts to facilitate, influence and support effective planning, monitoring and evaluation of government programmes aimed at improving service delivery outcomes, and the impact on society. Therefore, as we continue celebrating 30 years of freedom and democracy, we recognise the essential role the planning ecosystem plays in consolidating our democracy.

Building a developmental state

In the past year, the urgency to strengthen the State’s capacity to make it ethical, developmental, and transformative has been foregrounded. Over the three decades of democracy, we have witnessed the orientation of the Public Service shift from serving the minority to serving all sections of the population. This is one of the most important outcomes in measuring the pro -

gress of our state. The building of a developmental state is a nuanced process that must be led at different strata of society.

Over the year, we have remained resolute in the implementation of the National Framework towards the Professionalisation of the Public Service aimed at moving government towards a single public service that is capable and responsive to deliver key services to our people and provide strategic leadership at the political and administrative interface. In addition, we supported the President in the assessment of APPs of the executive to facilitate alignment with key service delivery outcomes.

Improved service delivery is a key outcome of a developmental state. In the past year, I conducted frontline monitoring oversights in Limpopo, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. These visits aimed to monitor the quality of services offered to the people by government and find ways through coordination

to improve the quality.

In addition, in the past year, we released the 10-Year Review of the Implementation of the National Development Plan by the National Planning Commission (NPC) and the 30-Year Review Report of South Africa’s Democracy 1994 – 2024 by the DPME. Both publications will contribute to the growing knowledge of the public sector.

International relations

In 30 years, South Africa has established and strengthened diplomatic relations to unlock and promote high quality development, including a shared ideology for inclusive and equitable growth, and increased commercial opportunities. In the past year, we witnessed the power of economic diplomacy through the over 12 000 jobs created by Chinese businesses in South Africa at the second edition of the China Jobs Fair. The outcomes of the fair reflect years of building diplomatic relations that aim to

contribute to the structural challenges of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment.

Throughout the year, we have leveraged our diplomatic relations to refine, strengthen, and share best practices with the international community on institution building, and building a functioning and responsive planning machinery. In the past year, I met with senior officials, ambassadors, and leaders from South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Cameroon, Gabon, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and the People's Republic of China amongst others. The exchanges have been important in broadening perspectives and helping improve the country’s planning ecosystem.

In partnership with the United Nations in South Africa, we convened the multi-stakeholders Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Dialogue to find strategies to strengthen partnership and collaboration to accelerate the achievement of SDGs and meet the domestic imperatives of the country. Furthermore, I presented a diagnostic report on the progress made on SDGs in the context of South Africa at the SDG Summit in New York.

In addition, through the relations with our neighboring countries, we facilitated the exploration of purchasing of additional 100 megawatts of electricity from

Mozambique. The ongoing partnership is key to improving the energy security of our country, and improving diplomatic relations..

At the start of the year, I convened the Inter-Ministerial Meeting of Member States of the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative AfricaWide (PICI) and included the participation of Ministers and

continent through transboundary infrastructure development.

Partnerships and growth

This year, South Africa celebrates 30 years of Democracy and Freedom under the theme; “Partnerships and Growth”. This is a clarion call to promote active citizenry and social compacts towards achieving development

senior officials of PICI member states. In addition, the Chief Executive Officer, Her Excellency Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, and senior officials of the African Union Development Agency, the official Secretariat of the PICI were part of the meeting to collectively resume, resuscitate, and recommit to the transformative agenda of PICI to ignite and sustain catalytic collaborative partnerships among member-state countries toward the realisation of an integrated

targets. In the past year, the active citizenry has been the cornerstone of my tenure and has been amplified by the work done in the Active Citizenry, Capable State, and Leadership work stream of the NPC. Over the last 12 months, I have engaged and collaborated with a diverse range of stakeholders on strategies to promote active citizenry, including Coco-Cola Group Africa, the National Youth Development Agency, the Private-Public Growth Initiative, Forbes Women

Africa, United Nations Development Programme, the South Africa-China Economy and Trade Association, Earthshot Prize, the United Nations in South Africa, and the National Economic Development and Labour Council. These partnerships are critical in implementing the opportunities for the 7th Administration and towards Vision 2030 to advance targets as reflected in the 30-Year Review Report. The partnerships and social compacts remain necessary to closing the developmental gap by ensuring advancement is equitable and mutually beneficial.

As we move to the next administration, the work of building our country cannot lie solely on the shoulders of government, but instead, we must find ways to facilitate coordinated social compacts to advance a development imperative that promotes high quality development through an economic environment that creates opportunities, prioritises redistribution, promotes industrialisation and innovation, and attracts foreign direct investment opportunities. Ultimately, it is about inspiring active citizenry to move towards a developmental state.

The road does not end here. We have more hills to climb. ❖

Merchandise Catalogue

Honouring Madiba’s legacy

There is no question that South Africa is a truly democratic nation. Recently, our country held its successful seventh democratic elections.

As we speak, the Seventh Administration, under the auspices of a Government of National Unity, is about to be formed. Our country continues to be a place where everyone has an equal say over who governs them.

The democratic dispensation we enjoy today is thanks to the country’s liberation stalwarts, including former President Nelson

Mandela. As you know, former President Mandela dedicated 67 years of his life to public service. After spending 27 years in prison for his political activism and following the historic elections in 1994, Madiba was the first democratically elected president. That was 30 years ago, a milestone our country is celebrating this year. Ever smiling but resolute in his actions, as former President, Mandela surprised many by his steadfast commitment to peace and reconciliation. He was also known for his unwavering compassion and generosity towards

the marginalised and and children in particular. Despite his larger-than-life image, he remained down-to-earth and managed to connect with ordinary citizens, feeling their pain and articulating their aspirations. He was an exemplary servant leader who put the needs of others above his own interests – and we all can learn from him.

This is why, we, as South Africans, celebrate the former President’s life throughout his birth month, July. His birthday, 18 July has been declared International Mandela Day – an annual global celebration to hon-

our the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. This day is a call to action for individuals, communities and organisations to take time to reflect on Mandela's values and principles and to make a positive impact in their own communities. On this day, we are all urged to do various acts of compassion for the less fortunate so that we can collectively create a better world – just like Mandela did.

As a decision-maker you could be wondering how you can inspire your team to do their bit on Mandela Day. While there are many things to consider, I encourage you to consider the following worthwhile initiatives to commemorate Mandela Day:

• Volunteer your time to a cause: It could be joining hands with others to clean up the environment around you – parks, streams, roads and dump sites. It could also be linking up with others to paint a community hall or nearby school. Or helping to plant community gardens that can provide healthy food for those facing food insecurity. Or you could volunteer to help children who struggle with their syllabus at school, such as mathematics, science or accounting.

• Make a financial contribution to charity: There are many charities that already do a wonderful work of making a difference to those in need. Why not support them by making a donation so they can get most needed items, such as blankets for the homeless or shoes for needy school children? Word

of advice: make sure that any charity organisation you support is officially registered to avoid being scammed.

• Get sporty: Mandela loved sports. This year, you can inspire your team at work to join the Mandela Day Walk andRun, scheduled to take place on Saturday, 20 July 2024, at DP World Wanderers Stadium. This annual event is dedicated to promoting community service and inspiring a positive change within our communities. For more information, visit https:// php?id=6612%0A

• Live Mandela values every day: Yes, Mandela’s inspirational legacy is celebrated every July, but the best way we can all honour his memory is to live out the ideals he stood for in our everyday lives. It starts with compassion. It could be noticing that the elderly man who helps with your garden at home needs better shoes. Or making sure that the domestic worker who cleans your house needs a break to see her family over weekends or on public holidays. Or provide the workers doing renovations at your house lunch because they do not have means to bring their own food.

Any act of goodwill on Mandela Day and beyond, changes the world and makes us better individuals.

Most importantly, the acts of compassion we do to honour Madiba help us to over-

come the deep inequality in our society so that everyone can gain a measure of dignity and a better life. It is all about being selfless. “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return,” Madiba once said.

In championing generosity towards others, the former President was exhorting all of us to make things happen rather than bemoan the status quo. Indeed, each one of us has the capability to change the world. It is truly in our hands to leave a positive impact in the world we live in. ❖

Nomonde Mnukwa, GCIS Acting Director-General.

Matjila advocates for rights of children and the vulnerable

Like a seafarer steering a ship, Ntombizodwa Matjila has been navigating the National Register for Sex Offenders (NRSO) since its establishment in 2009.

Appointed as the first ever Registrar, she admits that the role has not been ‘a walk in the park,’ especially that she had to start the office from scratch.

“It was a daunting task, quite challenging at times, but I am glad we can now adequately declare that we are able to protect vulnerable persons against convicted sex offenders,” she says.

According to Matjila, the NRSO was promulgated as an Act of Parliament in 2007. However – at the time – the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) was not yet well positioned to implement the Act and deferred the implementation process to June 2009.

been a key driver, a principle that shaped my conviction, even if I can protect just one child, it will mean a lot to me,” she shares.

Asked how she felt being appointed to tackle this mammoth task, Matjila said she appreciates that she was seen as someone fit to hold the position, “quite a humbling experience indeed,” she chuckles.

The Act, Matjila highlights further, states that the person must be fit and proper, honest and experienced, meaning that such a person befitting this position is not just anyone with a qualification and experience but someone with integrity.

“For me, being passionate has always

Career history

Matjila is no stranger to the Public Service; her career dates as far back when she was appointed as an Administrative Officer at the Department of Home Affairs’ Refugee Affairs back in 1997, and further elevated to Refugee Affairs appeal board in the same year. She then moved up the ladder as a Legal Administration Officer within the same department in 2002, later joining the South African Police Service as a Senior Legal Officer in 2004. Through her remarkable

Ntombizodwa Matjila, National Registrar for Sexual Offences Register

work, Matjila broke through the ranks and joined senior management when she was appointed as the Director: Legal Services at the DoJ&CD in 2007 and subsequently elevated to the NRSO position in 2009.

Touching on the need for the existence of her office, Matjila explains that there was a dire need for the establishment of the NRSO as the country was – and is still – battling with people who are sexually abusing children.

“This, I think, was further aggravated by the myth that sexual intercourse with a baby cured HIV and AIDS back then.

“Government has since sought to create a protective net for vulnerable persons by creating the register to ensure that anyone who has been found guilty of committing a sexual offence against a child or a person with mental disabilities, are placed in the register,” she explains, adding that the primary objective of the register has been to ensure that perpetrators do not access children and people with mental illness.

“This means that such an offender cannot work in an environment that has children and mentally challenged persons. Moreover, one cannot adopt or be a foster parent to a child, even a child of a deceased relative,” she highlights.

The evolvement of the NRSO

Matjila admits that it took years to see changes brought by the NRSO. “Initially, my office simply recorded the convicted sex

offenders on the register; this was until we were able to issue certificates,” she recalls.

By issuing the certificates against the perpetrators of sexual crimes, she highlights, victims had a sense of protection because it empowers employers to exercise their discretion of not appointing and placing such perpetrators within that space.

“The breakthrough came in 2020, when we [started seeing] a massive transformation as the scope of the register changed; previously, we were recording only those who were found guilty of sexual offences against children and persons with mental disabilities,” she mentions.

The protection scope of the register has since changed and now includes:

• Older persons.

• Young women under the age of 25 (those attending tertiary institutions, staying in hostels or places accommodating students).

• People receiving 24-hour care (those classified under vulnerable persons).

When the scope was increased, adds Matjila, her office started registering all convicted sex offenders. All categories of rape are now included in the register. Time frames for possible removal on the register have also changed.

As the country commemorates 30 years of freedon and democracy, Matjila indicates that her office has come a long way as the DoJ&CD intensifies the rolling out of victimcentred sexual offences courts.

“These courts ensure that victims do not undergo secondary victimisation such as meeting with perpetrators in court. Children can now testify in a child-friendly environment rather than a crowded court. Although we still have a long way to go, I believe that the sexual offences courts have transformed the justice system holistically,” she boasts.

The NRSO also ensures that vetting is done to all persons who interact with children before they can operate into that space.

“Our offices are accessible countrywide, with shared duties in all the nine provinces. Our provincial offices are now able to vet people, there is no need for people to travel all the way to our national office for vetting,” says Matjila.

Matjila warns the youth not to engage in illegal activities that may catch up with them later in life as many later argue that they were still young when they committed such crimes.

She says her office has recently started working with the Department of Basic Education to ensure that all teachers are vetted against the NRSO. This resulted in a number of teachers being found on the register but never disclosed that status to their employer. She urges the departments of Health and Higher Education to also vet their employees. ❖

You can contact the NRSO on, 012 315 1656 or visit any DoJ&CD provincial office.

Sergeant Kalenga finds cutting-edge opportunities in the SAAF

Based at Air Force Base Langebaanweg, Sergeant Luisa Kalenga ‘s first encounter with the military was when she was called upon to join the South African Military Health Services. She stayed there for four years.

While there, she enrolled for a course with the South African Air Force (SAAF). She says the experience changed her whole perception about a career in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), “I knew that I had to ‘Free the Eagle’ because the encounter was truly one that transcended space and time. I told myself that I wanted to be like the SAAF personnel and do what they do, so I applied for a service transfer and when it was approved, I knew that it was the beginning of big things for me in uniform.”

Since then, she has not only qualified as a physical training instructor but is also a drill instructor (Cat C), a weapons instructor (Cat B), a qualified Budo Jigga, and a qualified facilitator

and assessor. Kalenga, who is also a VIP protector, has also successfully completed courses in sports first aid, sports administration, advance static line and air assault.

Kalenga’s life, talents and strength to debunk gender stereotypes is about as heterodox as it gets. She excelled in most of the courses she has completed, mostly being the only woman or one of the few, and garnered her honorific status of ‘Star Girl’ across the many competitions that she participates in with other members from other arms of services, including the SANDF Fittest Soldier Competitions and Chief of the SANDF Prestige Sports Week. The numerous accolades, including certificates and trophies she attained, attest to the sterling effort she puts into what she does.

Support from seniors

“With meticulous training in the SANDF, we use our endurance to show the public just how plainly

Sgt Luisa Kalenga

human we are. Another twist in the soldiering course is that we are inspired by the vast experience and skills that our seniors have that they unreservedly transfer to us. They not only convey the military culture, but the history as well, and let us rewrite it together, to build bridges that no one has walked on before,” she said.

Kalenga loves everything about her job, which also gives her opportunities to travel in and outside the country on military duty.

“It helps that I have a strong support system that also encourages me to do what I really want and that has inspired me to be fluent in most of our indigenous languages to understand the cross-cultural nuances that we have on our continent. We are privileged that military deployments offer us internal and external travel opportunities... seeing the diversity feeds my curiosity [and helps me] understand the world around me,” added Kalenga.

K alenga wears many hats

in her job. If she is not doing regimental services next to the Regimental Sergeant Major or hurling instructions at new recruits, correcting them on disciplinary standards and military behaviour, she is busy with Task Force courses. This, she says, “will make me combat ready and deployable as a Task Force member.

Advice to other men and women in uniform

“We need to be ourselves at all times, that is what has kept my adrenaline rush going. Every soldier is different, find out what makes you tick and what makes you want to serve because there is enough space for every one of us to excel beyond measure,” she said.

The woman warrior says what makes her tick are the opportunities she gets to keep expanding her knowledge through furthering her studies and “keeping fit by sticking to a healthy lifestyle makes me happy. I run mara -

thons, track and field 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres whenever I am free, and I am an avid hiker in this beautiful country of ours.

“I have two most memorable moments in the military thus far – I had the opportunity to be a wreath layer for the SS Mendi in 2020, next to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the second one was when I did my first jump out

of the Caravan during my Basic Static line course,” explained Kalenga.

She looks up to her mother and says she will forever be grateful to her colleague, Sergeant Kamogelo Nxumalo, who informed her that the Air Force needed female Instructors, helping her move in the profession she loves. ❖

During kit jump at TEMPE Drop Zone on the Basic Static line course.
Water crossing during the SAAF Fittest Soldier 2023 at AFB Hoedspruit.
Parachute Regiment after successfully completing Paratrooper selection.

A young scientist’s contribution to the country’s wellbeing

Senior Scientist at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Sizwe Nkambule, is part of a team that conducted groundbreaking research that helped the country avert the loss of more lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched in 2020, as an extension of several interventions to support the country’s efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the SAMRC Wastewater Surveillance and Research Programme (WSARP) is still in place and is being used to detect the virus.

The 35-year-old geographer specialises in understanding the interactions between humans, the environment and the space in which these interactions occur.

He is dedicated to preserving the environment and reminds society that improper disposal of waste materials and neglecting the environment can be hazardous to human health and wellbeing.

“Long-term exposure to environmental hazards has the potential to negatively impact our health. South Africans have a constitutional right to a healthy and clean environment,” he said. He implored everyone to make use of recycling facilities in the country instead of burdening the landfills so that there can be less chemicals that leach back into the environment.

About five years ago, he said, there was already a concern that the landfills in the country are running out of space.

“This is because we are not disposing of waste in a proper manner. It is everyone’s responsibility to keep the environment clean,” he added.

Nkambule’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Science Degree, an Honours Degree in Geography and Environmental Management, as well as a Master of Science Degree all from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He joined the SAMRC in 2019 as a project manager in the En-

vironment and Health Research Unit and was appointed a senior scientist in the same unit in 2020.

As part of his job, he conducts independent research that can best address issues of how to identify environmental hazards, including contaminated water and how it impacts communities or human health.

“Our research helps in identifying environmental problems and come up with possible solutions,

Writer: More Matshediso
Photo: Sizwe Nkambule

alternatives or interventions that can assist policy and decisionmakers to address some of the challenges the country faces,” he explained.

Groundbreaking research

Because of the WSARP initiative, the SAMRC was able to detect the presence of the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in wastewater from several towns in the Western Cape using their wastewater-based early warning system for COVID-19.

According to the SAMRC, it was the first time that South African scientists were able to adapt this rapid and costeffective method for mutation profiling of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant in wastewater in the country.

The organisation said wastewater-based surveillance for detecting SARS-CoV-2 has been carried out in several countries, and a good correlation has been found between viral load in wastewater and subsequent COVID-19 cases.

Briefly explaining this, Nkambule said detecting fragments of SARS-CoV-2 delta variant in samples of people’s faeces from the wastewater treatment plant helped to determine the amplitude of the infections within a particular community.

“This is because if you are infected with the virus, whether

you have symptoms or not, you start releasing the fragments of the virus in your faeces,” he said.

“We have been conducting this research every week for the past two-and-a-half years, and once the results come out on a weekly basis, we map the trends out so that we can have an indication of which areas may potentially have a COVID-19 outbreak in the country,” he added.

Furthermore, Nkambule said the interesting part of this method is that it can be used as an early warning system for disease surveillance.

He said the programme can indicate when there are upward trends in data ahead of reported cases, such as an increase in COVID-19 variant cases that were ultimately reported in the cities of Cape Town and Tshwane, and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro during COVID-19 outbreaks.

His main role in the programme was to manage the field work. Initially, the team collected samples from 80 wastewater treatment plants across the country and operated in 11 local and metropolitan municipalities in Limpopo, Gauteng, KwaZuluNatal, the Easter Cape and the Western Cape.

“We had different teams that collected the samples, and I ensured the smooth running of that process. I was also entrusted with playing a supervisory and

advisory role when the teams experienced challenges, including logistics and accessing the treatment plants so that we can maintain consistency in our work,” he explained.

The WSARP includes a SARSCoV-2 Wastewater Surveillance Dashboard, and Nkambule was at the forefront of the establishment of this innovative method of reporting scientific data.

The dashboard is an interactive public-facing tool that shares information on levels of SARSCoV-2 in wastewater in participating communities.

He led the designing of the dashboard together with officials in SAMRC’s Information Technology, Communications and Biostatistics units.

“I have to ensure that the research results are being fed into the dashboard,” he explained.

His team is also responsible for disseminating information to the broader audience outside the scientific community.

He has presented the WSARP findings to different municipalities and their stakeholders across the country, especially about how the programme is creating an understanding in the circulation of COVID-19.

Flying the South African flag high

Few months ago, Nkambule submitted an e-poster to the International Conference towards

a Global Wastewater Surveillance System for Public Health which is spearheaded by the European Union.

The e-poster was selected as a winner because it gave the conference an insight into challenges facing South Africa and Africa regarding the roll-out of the WSARP and similar programmes, and its general display was declared succinct and straightforward.

“The e-poster that I submitted focused on the key pillars for designing a multi-pathogen wastewater surveillance system in developing countries and the African perspective. I based it on the lessons that our team learnt in developing and rolling out the WSARP,” he said.

He added that the team saw this as a good opportunity to present its work at the international stage so that it can add an African voice to the conversation.

As a winner, he will travel to Italy later this year to get more insight on the type of work that is being done regarding wastewater surveillance systems globally.

Nkambule is motivated to address socio-ecological challenges experienced in South Africa’s marginalised communities through scientific research. ❖

Globally celebrated forensic pathologist’s quest for justice

For internationally acclaimed Senior Specialist Forensic Pathologist and Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Forensic Medicine, Professor Ryan Blumenthal, doing autopsies is more than just work, it is about responding to a higher calling to be of service to the greater community of humankind.

The author, scientist and humanitarian is a decorated expert whose proficiency is recognised beyond the country’s shores. He

is a finalist in the 2023/24 National Science and Technology Forum-South32 Awards in the ‘Communication Award’ category, scheduled for 11 July 2024.

Blumenthal joined the Gauteng Forensic Pathology Service in June 2001 and has since garnered widespread acclaim for his impressive list of achievements, highlighted by numerous career milestones such as:

• Performing over 10 000 autopsies to date.

• One of six pathologists to

Source: Gauteng Department of Health

Photo: Gauteng Department of Health

perform the autopsy on a Head of State.

• Involved in both Marikana and Life Esidimeni autopsies.

• A National Research Forum (NRF)-C2 rated scientist, with over 42 articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

• Formed part of the original paper that led to the formation of the South African Academy of Forensic Sciences on 16 April 2018.

• Serves on the editorial boards of the Academic Forensic Pathology Journal and the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology.

• Authored and co-authored ‘lightning and electrocution’ chapters, in leading forensic reference textbooks.

• Recognised as a public figure by Google in February 2024.

• Established the African Forensic Medicine Development Fund at the University of Pretoria.

• A founding member of the African Forensic Science Academy.

• Instrumental in bringing the African Society of Forensic Medicine to South Africa, scheduled

“There is still so much injustice in the world. In the battle against the forces of evil and darkness that beset this world, forensic pathology is not some side show”, Dr Blumenthal.

for 10 to 13 March 2025 at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria (www.ASFM2025.

Reflecting on his career, Blumenthal shared insights into his passion for pathology. “I chose forensic pathology because I feel a moral obligation to serve both my immediate community as well as the greater community

of humankind. An autopsy is the biggest procedure in medicine, there should be no questions about the cause of death after the autopsy is conducted”.

He recently received the NRF Award for Public Engagement in Research and the ABSA Achievement Award for Public Communication of Science.

In his speech at the NRF Awards ceremony, Blumenthal

underscored the crucial need to recognise forensic pathology services and practitioners in South Africa. He highlighted the pivotal role they play as pathologists at the scene of death; the employment of scientific expertise, the dedication, often working late nights and enduring challenging conditions. Reflecting on his achievements, he said with conviction, “there is still so much injustice in the world. In the battle against the forces of evil and darkness that beset this world, forensic pathology is not some side show. It plays a central role. I consider it the main arena. My battle is personal, I am determined to bring perpetrators to justice”. ❖

A new era of partnership and national unity

In the coming days, Miinisters and Deputy Ministers of the new Government of National Unity (GNU) will be sworn in. This is a significant moment in our country’s democracy. We have made good on our promise to the South African people to work together as political parties for the good of

the country, and to deliver a government that will be united in action and purpose. This provides a firm basis for greater stability, coherence and a focus on implementation. Even in some of the world’s most established democracies, the formation of multi-party governments is often

protracted and fraught with challenges. That we have reached this pivotal point just over four weeks since the election results were announced is a credit to our constitutional order. It is also testament to the authentic, collaborative spirit that has underpinned the negotiations over the past few weeks.

This is the first time in South Africa’s history that such a broad range of parties, from across the political spectrum, will constitute a government. In mandating us to form a government that serves all, the South African people have a rightful expectation that the Seventh Administration begins its work as soon as possible. South Africans appreciate that a GNU is the best way to take our country forward. As political leaders, we must prove ourselves worthy of

the trust our citizens have placed in this government.

The partnership between the GNU parties is guided by a Statement of Intent, which outlines fundamental principles and a minimum programme of priorities.

The incoming government will prioritise rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and the creation of a more just society by tackling poverty and inequality. It will continue the economic reforms that are underway in key industries like electricity, telecommunication, water and transport.

The new administration will build on the progress that has already been made in the drive for greater investment in

infrastructure and an improved environment for business.

Guided by the Statement of Intent, the GNU will safeguard the rights of workers and ensure there is adequate social protect for the poor and vulnerable.

will work to build state capacity, address crime and corruption and strengthen social cohesion. The administration will pursue a foreign policy based on human rights, solidarity and peace.

While the Ministers and Deputy

“We have made good on our promise to the South African people to work together as political parties for the good of the country, and to deliver a government that will be united in action and purpose”.

Government will invest in South Africa’s people through quality education and health care. It

All the parties have made a commitment to respect the Constitution and to promote an accountable and transparent governance, evidence-based policy and decision-making, the professionalisation of the Public Service, integrity and good governance.

Ministers who make up the National Executive come from different parties, they will be

expected to serve the people as a whole. They will be expected to implement a shared mandate and a common programme of action.

The new government will soon hold its first lekgotla to collectively develop the programme of government for the next five years. This will be outlined in greater detail in the Opening of Parliament Address to be delivered in just over two weeks’ time.

In the spirit of partnership and collaboration, the incoming government will work together with other formations to convene a national dialogue. All parties, civil society groups, labour, business and other stakeholders will be invited to work together to address the critical challenges facing the nation.

We are determined that the principles and programme that underpin the GNU extends beyond the institutions of the State.

This is an opportunity for all South Africans to work together more closely and with greater purpose to ensure that we build a South Africa for all.

*This President's message was first published on 1 July 2024.

It’s still in our hands to combat poverty and inequity

Fighting inequality and poverty are some of the key issues that former President Nelson Mandela was famous for in the country and globally. This still stands out as the world commemorates and celebrates Madiba’s life this Month. While 18 July has been declared International Nelson Mandela Day, South Africans celebrate the former statesman‘s dedication to fight for freedom throughout the month of July.

In 2009, former President Mandela called on the world to honour him by working in

communities rather than just celebrating his birthday.

In this edition, Public Sector Manager magazine spoke to the Head of Mandela Day at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Gushwell Brooks, to highlight the 2024 Nelson Mandela International Day campaign.

Every July, South Africans embrace the chance to celebrate Mandela’s life. This gives everyone the opportunity to heed the call to action for people to recognise their individual power to make an imprint and change the world around them.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation also invites people around the world to interpret Madiba’s legacy in their own way and to honour him by doing voluntary work with a social justice focus in their communities.

“Moving forward, this broad scope for the campaign will be maintained. We will rely on a network of partners both to promote the campaign and to provide it with issue-based focus in specific countries and contexts,” explained Brooks, who joined the foundation in 2022.


This year, the global theme is; “It’s still in our hands to combat poverty and inequity.”

Brooks said the call to action is as broad and as inclusive as possible. “Identify those in need around you and do what you can to make a difference for them,” he said.

Part of his job is to ensure that the international relevance of Nelson Mandela International Day remains predominant. They should be conceptualised such that Mandela Day interventions benefit communities so that they are sustainable and deal with some of the root causes of poverty and inequality.

As former President Mandela

was dubbed one of the founding fathers of South Africa’s democracy, Brooks said it is extremely important for the foundation to ensure that the country is able to celebrate three decades of democracy.

“Despite stability and peace over this period, challenges of poverty and inequity remain, unfortunately due to poor leadership at times. If anything, the last 30 years illustrate the need for everyone to be accountable in maintaining the freedoms and dignity we enjoy today and Mandela Day, in particular, should serve as a catalyst for such action,” he said.

In addition, Brooks believes that the most recent elections demonstrate that after 30 years, the majority of South Africans are still exercising their constitutional and democratic right to choose their leaders and to hold them to account.

“These elections send a clear message to all political leaders that people are able to exercise their right to vote to hold those in power to account and that leadership should serve the needs of the people,” he said.

“We are our own saviours. Our action cannot only be limited to singular events such as Mandela Day or national elections, but

our efforts in making life better for ourselves and others,” he added.

Sharing experiences

With powerful tools such as social media and digital technologies, he believes that people and organisations from across the world are able to take action and deal with the specific needs of their communities and share it with a global audience through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

He sees the foundation’s website as the perfect opportunity to see the work that will unfold throughout Mandela Day – from partners within the international community such the United Nations and embassies across the world, to government, business, civil society, community organisations and individuals. ❖

For more information, visit www.mandeladay. com or call 011 547 5600.

Photo: GCIS

SARS records positive revenue results despite tough prevailing economic conditions

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) recently announced its preliminary revenue collection outcome for the 2023/24 fiscal year.

SARS was established in 1997 and remains inextricably linked to

the country’s democracy, now 30 years old. This link is premised on a pivotal role that SARS plays in fulfilling its legal mandate, often expressed as its higher purpose. The organisation is realising its Vision 2020 – 2025 of a SMART,

modern SARS, that can be trusted and admired by all. Since its inception, SARS has collected R21.6 trillion in net tax revenues.

Tax revenue collections have increased from R114 billion in 1994/95, at a compounded annual growth rate of 9.9% and an average tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of 22.2%. To put this in perspective, our collections over the last four business days this fiscal year amounted to R114 billion or the total collected for the entire year of 1995.

As at the end of March 2024, SARS collected a record gross amount of R2.155 trillion, year on-year, 4.2% against the nominal GDP of 4.9%. SARS paid out refunds of R414 billion to taxpayers, the highest ever quantum in refunds compared to R381 billion in the prior year, representing growth of 8.6%. This brings the collected net amount to R 1.741 trillion which is almost R10 billion higher than the revised estimate

and R54 billion more than last year’s R 1.687 trillion.

Just in Value-added Tax (VAT) refunds the amount of R343 billion represents a growth of 7.5% over the prior year. Total refunds this year, represent about 6% of the GDP. It is, therefore, pleasing that R120 billion and R37 billion of the refund benefit, respectively, were directed to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) and individuals. This is good as business and individuals remain cash strapped.

“Whilst we are pleased that the R414 billion returned into the hands of taxpayers is good for the economy, I remain concerned about the refund fraud and abuse” says SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

In the period under review, SARS was able to prevent the outflow of R101 billion of impermissible refunds.

• Compared to the 2022/23 fiscal year, total tax revenue

Photo: Supplied
SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

increased by R54.2 billion (3.2%), driven by personal income taxes of R49.5 billion (8.2% year-on-year) on the back of higher than estimated compensation of employees, as well as higher domestic VAT of R39.3 billion (8.1% year-on-year).

• Net Personal Income Tax (PIT) which accounts for 37.3% of total revenue, grew by R49.5 billion (8.2%) in 2023/24, as employment improved yearon-year and average wage settlement rates improved from an annual average of 6.0% in 2022 to 6.3% in 2023.

Pay As You Earn (PAYE) collections from incentives and bonus payments, predominantly from the finance sector, also boosted PIT revenue.

• Net Corporate Income Tax (CIT) contracted by R31 bil-

lion (-8.9%) in 2023/24, while the mining sector saw a decline to R42 billion, which is lower than the previous year by 49.0%. The CIT contribution of large businesses contracted by 17.5%, while the contribution from small businesses increased by 8.8%.

CIT collections accounted for 18.0% of total revenue.

• Net VAT growth of R25.4 billion (6.0%) is largely attributable to Domestic VAT (up by R39 billion (8.1%), import VAT (higher by R10.0 billion (3.9%) and higher outflow of VAT Refunds R23.9 billion (7.5%).

The revenue authority is determined to make it hard and costly for taxpayers who wilfully fail to meet their obligations. The SARS Compliance Programme contributed R293.7 billion as at end of March 2024 (preliminary).

This is an increase of R61.9 billion (26.7%) from the previous year’s R231.8 billion.

The programme uses data, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to successfully counter criminality and wilful non-compliance. These systems also ensure that no legitimate refunds are denied, whilst preventing impermissible and fraudulent refunds. Examples of the successes of the SARS Compliance Programme include:

• R91.3 billion debt collected from 2.6 million cases, including R420 million from 895 000 outstanding returns.

• Voluntary Disclosures contributed R3.5 billion made up of 1 435 concluded applications.

• Where provisional taxpayers have underpaid their taxes [Paragraph 19(3)], SARS has

collected R19.3 billion from over 28 000 cases from the large business and individual unit and SMMEs.

• The specialised audits and investigations contributed to stoppage of revenue leakage prevention of R5.7 billion, whereas audits from large business and internation (LBI) segment contributed R23 billion from 341 cases.

• The investigations of syndicates crimes contributed R20.1 billion and executed 147 preliminary investigations made up of preservation orders and collapsing one tobacco and gold illicit financial flow scheme.

• Completed 230 000 customs compliance inspections and interventions compared to the prior year’s 235 000 inspections. A total of R8.4 billion in

customs-related assessments were raised leading to the issuance of letters of demand. We collected outstanding debt totalling R2 billion. We curbed impermissible claims related to the VAT Export Incentive Scheme, totalling R92 million. SARS also completed 6 550 customs seizures totalling R6.6 billion.

• The detailed work undertaken through the management of risk, comprising revenue leakage prevention, fraud, impermissible refunds and debt equalisation is critical. This work alone has contributed R101 billion and completed 1.8 million cases. We remain concerned though. The refund risk remains stubbornly high, and SARS will continue its efforts to manage this.

SARS is making significant inroads in its litigation strategy which resonates with our strategic objective to provide certainty and clarity for taxpayers, ensuring proper interpretation of tax or customs laws. In the year under review:

• 110 judgments were handed down, in which SARS was successful in 94 cases – resulting in an 84% litigation success rate.

• SARS conducted 871 criminal investigations dealing with Income Tax, VAT and PAYE executed, and 294 were handed to the National Prosecuting Authority. A total of 85 cases

were finalised, securing guilty verdict direct imprisonment sentences totalling 49 years to be served, four acquittals and a conviction rate of 95%.

Rebuilding SARS

More than five years ago, state capture left SARS as an organisation in distress and severely compromised. We embarked on a journey to re-imagine the organisation. SARS is succeeding in its strategic intent of building a tax and customs system that is based on voluntary compliance and sharpening its capability aimed at detection and deterrence of wilful non-compliance.

Rebuilding of SARS entailed broadening the tax base, instilling and improving a culture of voluntary compliance and fiscal citizenship, seamless intersection of people, data and technology to optimally deliver on our mandate and working with all stakeholders in the tax ecosystem and fostering trust and confidence on the revenue authority. We are seeing

positive results to this end.

• Tax register grew by 411 000 companies, of which 1 500 contributed R214 million in gross revenues in the year under review.

• 39 900 new employers voluntary registered for PAYE, of which 19 000 contributed R2.7 billion additional tax, totalling R3.4 billion in the year under review.

• Tax register grew by 57 700 new VAT vendors, of which 14 200 contributed R4.4 billion in gross revenues in the year under review.

• Tax register grew by 1.1 million individuals.

Contribution to democracy

“The R21.6 trillion tax collections represents a compound growth of 9.9% per year since the inception of SARS in 1997. This has funded the South African democracy and touched the lives of millions who would be destitute without government support and services.

We, who have the privilege to work at SARS are justly proud of these achievements because these efforts contribute directly to nation-building and sustain our democracy,” said Kieswetter. He added that the revenue achievements of the past 30 years would not have been possible if it were not for the effective and beneficial partnerships established by working with compliant stakeholders in the tax and customs ecosystems that deliver maximum benefits for taxpayers, traders, government and citizens. “Ultimately, we are augmenting the work of our employees, with the investment in data science, technology and artificial intelligence, towards the goal of making the fulfilment of tax obligation a seamless process.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all South Africans, especially compliant taxpayers and traders as well as all SARS employees for contributing to this significant revenue outcome,” concluded Kieswetter. ❖

Changes for the 2024 tax season

The 2024 tax season kicked off on 1 July with the rollout of auto-assessments for taxpayers whose tax affairs are less complicated. If you agree with your auto-assessment, then there is no need to ‘accept’ the assessment. If a refund is due to you, it will automatically be paid into your bank account.

What has changed this year?

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is continuing its journey towards building its vision of a smart, modern organisation with unquestionable integrity, that is admired by all. It is working hard to make it easy for taxpayers to comply with their legal obligations.

The updates for this Filing Season are:

⦿ Pro-rata deduction in respect of contributions to retirement funds

⦿ Section 11F(2)(a) of the Income Tax Act of 1962 was amended as follows: Where any person’s

year of assessment is less than 12 months, the amount stipulated in section 11F(2)(a) of the Act used to calculate the allowable retirement contribution deduction (currently R350 000) shall be adjusted. The adjusted amount will bear the same ratio to R350 as the

number of days in that year of assessment bears to 365 days.

⦿ Therefore, if any person’s year of assessment is less than 12 months, the allowable retirement contribution deduction (currently R350 000) will be applied pro rata.

⦿ Exemption of amounts re -

ceived or accrued in respect of tax-free investments

⦿ Section 12T(4)(a) of the Income Tax Act was amended as follows: where any person’s year of assessment is less than 12 months, the contribution limitation stipulated in section 12T(4)(a) of the Act (currently

Photo: Barbhuiya on
The 2024 tax season has kicked off.

R36 000), shall be adjusted.

The adjusted contribution limitation will apply in aggregate for any year or years of assessment during the 12-month period, commencing in March and ending at the end of February of the immediately following calendar year.

⦿ Therefore, if any person’s year of assessment is less than 12 months, the applicable contribution limitation (currently R36 000) will be applied pro rata

⦿ Deductions in respect of erection or improvement of buildings in urban development zones

⦿ Section 13quat of the Income Tax Act, was amended by substituting the following paragraph in subsection (5) for paragraph (c): ‘‘(c) which is brought into use by the taxpayer after 31 March 2025.’’

⦿ Therefore, the Income Tax Return (ITR12) form will be amended to extend the allowable deduction until 31 March 2025.

Solar Energy Tax credit

⦿ To encourage individuals to invest in clean electricity-

generation capacity, the solar energy tax credit was available for one year. It applied to new and unused solar PV panels that were acquired by the individual and brought into use for the first time from 1 March 2023 to 29 February 2024.

⦿ The amount of the solar energy tax credit allowed as a deduction to an individual was 25% of the cost of the solar photovoltaic panels described above, up to a maximum of R15 000. It should be noted that a deceased estate did not qualify for solar tax credit.

⦿ Redesigned deduction in respect of certain machinery, plant, implements, utensils and articles used in production of renewable energy

The redesigned renewable energy tax incentive will apply to the currently eligible renewable energy sources, with no electricitygeneration limits for the duration of this temporary incentive. Assets will qualify if they are used in the generation of electricity. Businesses can deduct 125% of the cost incurred with reference to eligible assets, upfront.

Where a taxpayer disposes of an asset on or before 1 March 2026, for which a redesigned re -

newable energy tax incentive is granted, the amounts deducted (a maximum of 125% of the cost of the asset) will be fully recouped.

ITR12 Form changes

Redesign sections 10(1)(o) (i) and 10(1)(o)(ii): Foreign Employment Income Exemption: SARS has redesigned the s10(1)(o) (i) and s10(1)(o) (ii) questionnaire to make it easier for taxpayers to complete the return.

⦿ It noted that the ITR12 form rules were a challenge to taxpayers. Previously, taxpayers had to first select the applicable wizard questions for the income, exemption, and foreign tax credit containers before completing the exemption amount for qualifying criteria.

⦿ The updated form streamlines this process, making it easier for taxpayers to complete the return.

2. Beneficial owner:

⦿ In recent years, SARS has observed that tax practitioners sometimes put their own details in the contact information section in the place designated for the individual

taxpayers that they represent when submitting ITR12 forms. SARS wishes to emphasise to practitioners that when completing and submitting ITR12 returns for individual taxpayers, they must ensure that the container designated for the individual taxpayer’s details is filled with the taxpayer’s information, not that of the Tax Practitioner.

⦿ Importantly, it must be noted that there is already a designated container for Tax Practitioners to declare their own particulars. Therefore, Tax Practitioners must not use fields intended for individuals to declare their own details.

⦿ In addition, remember that the information in the declaration must be true and accurate.

The dates for the 2024 Filing Season are:

⦿ Individual taxpayers (nonprovisional): 15 July to 21 October 2024

⦿ Auto-assessment notices: 1 to 14 July 2024

⦿ Provisional taxpayers: 15 July 2024 to 20 January 2025

⦿ Trusts: 16 September 2024 to 20 January 2025 ❖

For more information, visit:

South Africa highest ranked African country in 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index

As South Africa’s tourism sector makes headwinds with rapid recovery and efforts to enhance tourism growth, the Department of Tourism has reported that South Africa has been ranked the highest in the African region in the 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The TTDI 2024 is the second edition of an index by WEF. South Africa was ranked 55th among 119 countries and emerged as the leading country in the rankings for the African continent. The findings revealed that South Africa is home to the largest travel and tourism economy in Africa.

The TTDI 2024 measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and

resilient development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn contributes to the development of a country.

“We are extremely pleased with this ranking as it affirms our commitment and work to elevate the significance and contribution of the tourism sector in South Africa. The tourism sector has achieved robust growth over the past year, and this is due to closer

Hout Bay, Cape Town.

partnerships and collaborations with the private sector to grow tourism to its full potential,” Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille said.

In the 2024 Index, South Africa moved up seven places compared to its previous ranking and scored high for price competitiveness, information and communications technology readiness, natural resources and travel and tourism socioeconomic impact.

“We are delighted by the growth and our mission remains to exponentially grow arrival numbers and the overall performance of the tourism sector. The sector already makes a significant contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product and job creation efforts but there is still so much more to be done. We have been working closer with the private sector and we are bearing fruit.

“I want to acknowledge and thank the tourism private sector stakeholders for all their hard work and collaborating with government to grow this exciting and important sector. The South Africa tourism sector’s greatest asset is our people, and we will continue working to grow tourism’s contribution to the prosperity of people and the planet,”

added Minister de Lille.

In 2023, South Africa welcomed close to 8.5 million international visitors, of which 6.4million were from the African continent. This represents a significant increase of 48.9% compared to 2022 arrivals.

During the first quarter of 2024 – January to March – South African welcomed 2.4million visitors from the rest of the world. This represents a notable 15.4% increase when compared with the same period in 2023.

The TTDI serves as a crucial benchmarking tool for stakeholders to gauge the progress of the travel and tourism sector, informing policy and investment decisions. It offers insights into travel and tourism economies’ strengths and areas for improvement, and the interconnected nature of travel and tourism development, as well as facilitating strategic planning and multistakeholder dialogue to encourage sustainable and resilient growth at various levels.

The development framework of the index looks at various factors in the travel and tourism economies of countries, including enabling environment (business environment, safety and security and health and hygiene), travel

and tourism policy and enabling conditions (prioritisation of travel and tourism, openness to travel and tourism and price competitiveness), infrastructure and services (air transport infrastructure, ground and port infrastructure and tourist services and infrastructure) as well as travel and tourism resources.

The compilation of the TTDI involves a multi-stakeholder approach by the WEF and the 2024 TTDI report is based on research collaboration between the Forum and the University of Surrey. The report was also developed through input from leading travel and tourism stakeholder

organisations, thought leaders and data partners.

“As the South African travel and tourism sector – government and the private sector – we will continue to work with all partners to further interrogate the TTDI findings and identify the areas where major improvements and work is needed to further improve South Africa’s ranking. We remain committed to growing and affirming South Africa’s status as a leading global travel destination and growing tourism’s contribution to the economy and job creation,” Minister de Lille concluded. ❖

Link to the Travel and Tourism Development Index 2024:

Photo: SA Tourism
Ushaka Marine World, Durban.

Embracing change: the dawn of the 7th Administration

The transition to the 7th Administration marks a new chapter in our nation’s history. It brings with it a fresh wave of leadership, new policies, and a renewed focus on delivering quality services to our citizens. This administration is expected to emphasise innovation, efficiency, and transparency in public service delivery. It is an exciting time, but it also requires us to adapt, evolve and be prepared for changes that will impact our roles and responsibilities.

Anticipating changes and challenges

With every new administration, there are changes in priorities and strategies. Public servants should anticipate shifts in policy focus areas, such as increased digitalisation of services, a stronger emphasis on sustainable development, and renewed efforts to combat corruption. These changes will bring about new ways of working, necessitating that we acquire new skills and adapt to new technologies.

One of the critical changes anticipated is the digital transformation of public services. The 7th Administration is likely to push for a more technologically advanced public sector, aiming to streamline pro -

Yoliswa Makhasi and Dr Mataywa Busieka, DPSA Photo:
Yoliswa Makhasi .

cesses and enhance service delivery. This means that public servants must be ready to embrace digital tools and platforms, participate in training programmes and stay updated with the latest technological advancements.

Moreover, there will be an increased focus on accountability and transparency. Public servants will be expected to operate with the highest standards of integrity, ensuring that all actions and decisions are transparent and can withstand scrutiny. This shift will require a deepened commitment to ethical behaviour and a thorough understanding of governance frameworks.

Impact on jobs and career development

The incoming administration's policies will inevitably impact jobs within the public sector. While some roles may become redundant due to automation and digitalisation, new opportunities will arise in areas such as data analysis, cybersecurity and e-governance. Public servants should see this as an opportunity for career growth and development.

Continuous learning and pro -

fessional development will be crucial. Public servants must proactively seek out training and upskilling opportunities. The DPSA will play a pivotal role in providing these opportunities, ensuring that all public servants are equipped with the necessary skills to thrive in this new environment.

Supporting the new administration

A s public servants, our primary role is to support the administration in implementing its policies and achieving its goals. This support goes beyond merely following directives; it involves actively contributing ideas, providing feedback and finding innovative solutions to challenges.

Engagement and communication are key. Public servants should strive to maintain open lines of communication with their supervisors, colleagues and the public. This not only fosters a collaborative work environment but also ensures that we are all aligned with the administration's vision and objectives.

Furthermore, public servants should embrace a culture of excellence and accountabil-

ity. By consistently delivering high quality work and taking responsibility for our actions, we can build public trust and confidence in government. This trust is essential for the successful implementation of any policy or initiative.

Embracing the spirit of the Public Service

On 23 June 2024, the continent celebrated Africa Public Service Day to recognise the value and virtue of service to the community. In South Africa the commemorations were deferred to the integrated Public Service Month. Although the activities will now be held in September, the heart of event is the recognition of the dedication and hard work of public servants. It is a time to celebrate our achievements, reflect on our challenges, and renew our commitment to serving the public. As we look ahead to the 7th Administration, let us embrace the spirit of public service with enthusiasm and determination.

Public service is not just a job; it is a calling. It requires a deep sense of duty, a commitment to excellence and

a genuine desire to make a positive impact on our society.

As we prepare for the changes and challenges that the new administration will bring, let us remember the core values that define us: integrity, accountability, transparency and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

The dawn of the 7th Administration is a moment of both excitement and responsibility. Let us keep in mind our crucial role in shaping the future of our nation. As we navigate this transition, let us be proactive, adaptable and committed to continuous learning. Let us support the new administration with dedication and integrity, always striving to deliver the best possible services to our citizens.

Together, we can make this new chapter a success. By embracing change and working collaboratively, we can ensure that the Public Service remains a cornerstone of our democracy, driving progress and improving the lives of all South Africans. This is our moment to shine, to lead by example and to demonstrate the true value of public service. ❖

Ladies , wear local to make Madiba proud

Encouraging South Africans to consciously support local brands, products and busi nesses is one message that you should never go tired of hearing if you want to see the economy of the country growing and more jobs being created.

This Mandela Month, Proudly South African’s Chief Marketing Officer Happy MaKhumalo-Ngidi reminds us that the Proudly SA campaign was launched by former President Nelson Mandela 24 years ago at the inaugural Job Summit to address the triple challenges of unemploy

ment, inequality and poverty.

“You cannot have a conversation around 30 years of democracy without including Madiba. If he could have a sneak peek into Proudly SA today, he would be extremely proud of what we have achieved, and in the past eight years we have ensured that the campaign is relatable,

truly local and is making a difference in people’s lives,” she said.

She said this during an exclusive visit to a factory of a member company of Proudly SA, Chepa Streetwear in Johannesburg. The company was launched in 2017 and it manufactures Afrocentric garments for the young and old.

Product Developer at Chepa Streetwear, Mbali Nkutha, recommends garments for women this winter.


“I recommend dresses that are made of a heavy fabric because most women prefer them in winter than in summer. We have a variety of colours, but most people gravitate towards black and white than bright colourful garments,” Nkutha explained.

She recommends the Makeda

Dress from the Kumkanikazi collection because monochrome is quite a big trend in fashion currently.

Because the dress is sleeveless, Nkutha advises ladies to wear it with a fair amount of layering, either a long sleeve shirt or collared shirt to lean towards a professional look.

“You can even go further and wear your shirt with a tie and be more daring,” she added

Because the dress is long, you can wear it with warm leggings underneath and pair it with heeled shoes or boots and it would not even show because they is quite long. You can even wear it with sneakers if you are going for a casual look.

Nkutha also recommends the Nefertiti dress from the Kumkanikazi collection.

“This is a modular dress that

can be turned into a skirt, and I would recommend it to be worn as a skirt in winter because it gives you a variety of options to wear on the top part of your body, including a t-shirt, shirt, jersey or jacket,” she said.

The dress is a bit short and works well for winter days that are a bit warm. You can wear it

with casual or formal shoes or heels as well.


Chepa Streetwear has a variety of jackets for ladies and recently introduced new ones. Nkutha recommends the Kwantu Bomber Jacket because it goes well with the Makeda Dress.

For a business-casual look, she recommends the Mudcloth Makara Jacket that shows some cool details.

“The fabric is a bit light but I recommend these jackets for winter because you can layer them with a warmer item inside, and they are waist jackets,” she explained.


Kimonos give you a flexible op -

tion for winter outfits and can also be worn on warm days because they are made of various types of fabric.


There is a variety of belts that go well with the dresses and skirts that ladies can choose from Chepa Streetwear. ❖ 4 5 6


For cold days, Nkutha recommends Amina Kimono and Aminatu Kimono from the Kumkanikazi collection.

“These are some of our Kimonos that are offered in a fairly heavy fabric, and they are quite popular among our customers,” she said.

She recommends the Khethu Kimono for warmer days because it comes with shorter sleeves and slits on the sides.


For more information, visit or call (011) 568 3789, email: or WhatsApp: 079 185 8695.

1. Mudcloth Makara Jacket: R1 699. 2. Nefertiti dress from the Kumkanikazi collection: R1 550.
3. Makeda Dress from the Kumkanikazi collection: R1 550.
4. Kwantu Bomber Jacket: R1 550.
5. Amina Kimono: R1 100.
Aminatu Kimono: R1 100.

Locally produced ingredients dish-out nutritious meals

Proudly South African and Nestlé South Africa recently hosted a media cook-off in Bryanston, Johannesburg, to encourage South Africans to buy locally manufactured or produced ingredients when grocery shopping.

I was part of the Proudly SA media friends who participated in the media cook-off with the guidance of professional chefs.

In this edition, I am sharing two recipes that we used at the event – the Roasted Butternut, Quinoa, Rocket Salad with Pomegranate Rubies, which my team and I made, and the Grilled Filled Chicken Supreme with Nestlé Maggi Chili Sauce, Peppadew, and Ricotta, prepared by the other team. I thoroughly enjoyed preparing this salad with the help of my team members, although parts of the process

were stressful because we wanted to get everything right as chefs for the day.

Roasted butternut, quinoa, rocket salad with pomegranate rubies


• 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch cubes.

• 3 cups of quinoa, rinsed.

• 6 cups of water.

• 10 cups of rocket leaves washed and dried.

• 2 cups crumbled feta cheese.

• 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (optional).

• Olive oil.

• Salt and pepper to taste.

• 175g Pomegranate Rubies.

• Greek Maggi Oil Free Dressing.


• Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

• Place the diced butternut on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.

• Roast in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the butternut is tender and slightly caramelised. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

• In a large pot, bring six cups of water to a boil. Add the rinsed quinoa and reduce the heat to low. Simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it cool.

• In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled roasted butternut squash, cooked quinoa, rocket leaves, crumbled feta cheese and pomegranate rubies. Arrange the salad on a large serving dish. Serve with Greek Maggi oil free dressing.

Grilled filled chicken supreme with Nestlé Maggi Chili Sauce, peppadew and ricotta


Grilled filled chicken supreme:

• 15 boneless, skinless chicken Breast (100 g).

• ½ a cup of Nestlé Maggi Chili Sauce.

• 1 cup of ricotta cheese.

• ¼ cup of chopped peppadew peppers.

• 2 cloves of garlic, minced.

• ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped.

• Salt and black pepper to taste.

• Olive oil for brushing.


• Preheat the oven to 200 °C.

• In a mixing bowl, combine ½ cup of Nestlé Maggi Chili Sauce with one cup of ricotta cheese, chopped peppadew peppers, minced garlic and chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

• Lightly oil a frying pan and place on a preheated stove.

• Brown each side of the chicken breast by frying it in a pan.

• Place the chicken breasts in a lightly oiled grate.

• Place the chicken in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

• Flip and brush with olive oil.

• Continue to grill until chicken breasts are no longer pink in the centers and juices run clear.

Nestlé Maggi Chili Sauce glaze:


• 1 cup of Nestlé Maggi Chili Sauce.

• ¼ cup of honey.

• 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.

• 2 cloves garlic, minced.

• 1 teaspoon ginger, minced.

• Lay a chicken breast flat onto your work surface. Use the tip of a sharp boning or paring knife to cut a pocket in the chicken breast through a slit in the side. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Stuff chicken breasts evenly with the vegetable mixture.

• 1 tablespoon lime juice.

• Salt to taste.


• In a saucepan, combine one cup of Nestlé Maggi Chili Sauce, honey, soy sauce, minced garlic, and minced ginger.

• Heat the sauce over low heat and let it simmer for about five minutes, allowing the flavours to combine together.

• Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the salt and spiciness according to your preference

• Set the glaze aside for later use.

This meal pairs well with a sauvignon blanc.

* The teams were guided by professional chefs, and the Sous Chef on the day was Kabelo Senoge of HTA Training Development.

Addo has it all!

Addo Elephant National Park, the third-largest national park, is not only home to the traditional Big Five, but the Big 7, which includes the Southern right whale and Great white shark in its marine environment.

Situated 30 minutes from the nearest large town and airport in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), the Park is perfectly situated to show off all its natural wonders to all who wish to visit – from the herds of majestic elephants to small flightless dung

beetles, the Park was formed to protect the environment and so much more.

Activities at Addo abound –from self-drive game viewing, guided game drives and 4x4 trails to short walks and longer overnight hikes, bird watching or relishing in a relaxing spa treatment. Addo has it all!

Natural & Cultural History

In the early centuries, when great herds of wild animals roamed the Addo region, the Khoisan of the Iqua, Damasqua and Gonaqua clans lived in the area. They hunted and kept cattle but tragically were largely wiped out in the 1700s by the smallpox epidemic.

The Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) was proclaimed in 1931 to protect the remaining 11 Addo elephant. The great herds of elephant and other animal species had been all but decimated by hunters over the 1700s and 1800s.

The original size of the park was just over 2 000 hectares. The area is classified as semiarid to arid, receiving an average rainfall of less than 445mm per year.

Although the park was originally proclaimed to protect a single species, priorities have now changed to conserve the rich biological diversity found in the area.

The Alexandria dunefield is home to many archeologi-

cal sites – the middens of the nomadic ‘Strandloper’ or ‘beach walker’ people. These contain shells and bones of animals eaten by the people, and fragments of pottery and stone implements. The caves in the Zuurberg Mountains also contain rock art and stone implements.

The Domkrag Dam in the game viewing area of the park is named after a giant mountain tortoise which once roamed the park. ‘Domkrag’ is the Afrikaans word for a ‘jack’, as this tortoise had a habit of walking underneath cars and lifting them up with enormous strength.

The magnificent elephant head mounted in the Interpretive Centre is that of Hapoor, the legendary dominant bull in the park for 24 years. ‘Hap’ means ‘nick’ in Afrikaans, while ‘oor’ means ‘ear’ - it is believed the distinctive nick in his ear was caused by a hunter’s bullet. Hapoor retained a deep hatred of humans throughout his life.

Hikes, walks & trails

The two-day Alexandria Hiking Trail in the Woody Cape section of the park is a 36km circular trail. It is an unforgettable experience that leads hikers through three distinctly different environments ranging from forest to coastal dunes to seashore. No other trail in the country boasts such diversity, as you hike through forests, spectacular beaches, desert-like dunes and cliffs crumbling into the sea.

The shorter 7km Tree Dassie Hiking Trail, also in the Woody Cape section, is for more relaxed hikers wanting to experience the beauty of the Alexandria forest. The Cannon Trail is 7km long and is equally split between the coastal forest and the beach. It is a popular trail with locals for birding, walking and running.

Game drives

Addo offers some of the most spectacular elephant viewing in the world. Addo’s over

600 elephants live among an abundance of Cape buffalo, lions, spotted hyenas, zebras and antelopes. There are a number of game drive options: guided game drives, hop-on guides and self-drive game viewing.

Marine eco-tours

As Addo Elephant National Park is home to the ‘Big 7’, guests can take the Marine Eco-tour to catch a glimpse of a great white shark and/or southern right whale. The Addo Elephant National Park Marine Protected

Area (MPA) is one of three new MPAs within South African National Parks (SANParks) which were gazetted by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) on 23 May 2019.

Addo Indlovu Spa

Addo Indlovu Spa provides guests with the opportunity to unwind in the comfort of their rooms or a private massage in their unit. There are treatments for both overnight and day guests. ❖

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