Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

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JUNE | 2021


The Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority


Creating agents of change - The National Rural Youth Service Corps

TRAILBLAZER Dr. Tashmia Ismail Changing young lives

FINANCIAL FITNESS Understanding the role of auditing

REBUILDING THE ECONOMY Building a resilient economy beyond the pandemic


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JUNE 2021 | ISSUE 5


28 | Rising Youth Stars in SA #YouthMatters - Celebrating SA’s Young Change-Makers

58 | Energy & The Environment The time is right to invest in Electromobility

30 | Education Focus SA Education Sector - Driving digital & preparing youth for future workplaces

62 | Sustainable Farming Growing food security in South Africa

38 | Rural Youth Programmes Creating agents of change The National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) 42 | Youth Focus Youth Employment - An opportunity to transform SA’s economic landscape 54 | Environmental Focus Economic recovery through Sustainability


66 | Focus on Recycling South Africa is committed to the green, circular economy 72 | Municipal Rates Update Municipal Property Rates Act - Acting in your best interest 80 | Rebuilding The Economy Building a resilient economy beyond the pandemic

Features 10 | Addressing The Nation Resolving the most pressing social and political issues facing humankind

20 | Women in Leadership Hon. Ndabeni-Abrahams is navigating communications in SA

68 | In Other News World Blood Donor Day Every single drop counts

12 | Cover Feature Mpho Mookapele - The Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA)

46 | Financial Fitness Understanding the role of auditing in Public Sector Governance

74 | Legal Matters Setting the Youth up for achievement, not failure

50 | Covid-19 Update Riding the Third Wave Safety measures are in order

76 | Upcoming Events SA celebrates the Youth and Environment for the month of June

18 | Trailblazer Dr. Tashmia Ismail - Changing young lives through the Youth Employment Service (YES)

4 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

52 | Provincial Focus Northern Cape - A shining example of the benefits of solar energy

THA 13-2021

Supporting industry to return to business unusual There is no better time to implement changes that can make your operations more efficient and sustainable. As industry gears up, the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) is there to help through the and advise.

implementation of resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP), companies can increase efficiencies and lower utility costs. Assessing your operations or production processes can lead to much-needed improvements:

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ServiCeS Are SubSidiSed ANd AdviCe CoStS NothiNg resource and energy efficiency training offered online and in-house We are currently not all in the office so please email us on For more information, visit The NCPC-SA is a programme that promotes the uptake and implementation of resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP), funded by the dtic and hoisted by the CSIR.

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REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 5


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CREDITS PUBLIC SECTOR LEADERS The Digimag For Leaders In The South African Public Sector Advertising Sales, Distribution and Subscriptions Top Media & Communcations (Pty) Ltd Tel: 086 000 9590 | CEO Ralf Fletcher TOPCO STUDIO Production Director Van Fletcher Group Editor Fiona Wakelin Assistant Editor Charndré Emma Kippie Contributors Silke Rathbone Jessie Taylor

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Head Office Top Media & Communications (Pty) Ltd T/A Topco Media Elkay House, 186 Loop St Cape Town Tel: +27 86 000 9590 Fax: +27 21 423 7576 Email: Website: DISCLAIMER All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written consent of Top Media & Communications (Pty) Ltd T/A Topco Media. Reg. No. 2011/105655/07. While every care has been taken when compiling this publication, the publishers, editor and contributors accept no responsibility for any consequences arising from any errors or emissions. ISBN:








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Letter from the Editor Welcome to the June edition of Public Sector Leaders (PSL).

Despite many of us suffering from Covid fatigue, it is crucially important that we continue to be vigilant about the protocols. On 31 May we climbed to level 2 lockdown, with some provinces showing that they are cresting the third wave. Under level 2, curfew hours are from 11pm to 4am and all indoor gatherings are limited to 100 people, with 250 for outdoors. Mask wearing and physical distancing continues and funerals remain restricted to 100 people. President Ramaphosa addressed the nation about the need for this move on 30 May: “Delaying the spread of the virus is especially important now to allow as many people as possible to be vaccinated before the third wave reaches its peak.” We cover this in more detail in our article on Riding the Third Wave. It is a busy month for our public sector leaders with our President swearing in the new Chief of SANDF; hosting President Macron of France; attending the Extraordinary Double Troika Summit of SADC and overseeing the deed of land handover to the Tafelkop community. The month of June celebrates youth as well as the environment and in this edition we look at what is happening in South Africa to address the unemployment issue – with a particular focus on our youth in the “Trailblazer” article featuring CEO of the Youth Employment Service (YES), Dr. Tashmia Ismail. Education is key to providing solutions to youth unemployment and it was my pleasure this month to interview EW SETA CEO, Mpho Mookapele, whose purpose, from the start, was to join public service. Our public sector leader this month is Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, the Hon. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and the regional focus is on exciting developments in Northern Cape. Special features include a look at Sustainable Agriculture, Energy and the Environment and the importance of recycling. “In other news” we commemorate World Blood Donor Day which takes place on 14 June. Whether you are in the public sector, the private sector, supply chain or an interested individual, PSL has something for you. We hope you enjoy the read


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Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 9


Resolving the most pressing social and political issues facing humankind


n his letter to the nation in the first week of June, President Ramaphosa announced that he would be travelling to the United Kingdom to attend the G7 Leaders Summit, together with other invited guest countries: South Korea, Australia and India. The purpose of the summit is to discuss how to promote future prosperity through free and fair trade, championing shared values and tackling climate

10 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

change, with the global recovery from COVID-19 likely to be on the agenda. The issuing of this invitation is an indicator that the G7 acknowledges South Africa’s role in driving the continental response to COVID during the time that our President was chairing the African Union and the contribution our country can make to global progress. “Gatherings such as the G7 are important opportunities for South Africa to promote its view of a

fairer and more peaceful world. They are also an opportunity to promote our country as a destination in which to invest and do business, as a partner for development, and as an ally in resolving the most pressing social and political issues facing humankind. These gatherings also give us an opportunity to promote our continent as a destination for investment.”

“Our delegation to the G7 Summit will be able to talk about the progress we are making in overcoming the pandemic and the measures we have taken towards our national recovery that are slowly but steadily yielding results.

and growth in mining, financial services and manufacturing. Important to note is the Presidential Employment Stimulus which, since it was launched towards the end of 2020, has directly benefited nearly 700 000 people.

“We will be able to talk about the green shoots of economic progress I spoke of in the Presidency Budget vote in Parliament last week. Among them are the tangible results of commitments made by this administration to resolve challenges that have long hindered our economic growth” – President Ramaphosa.

“The message I will be taking to the G7 Summit will be one of hope about the prospects for our country’s recovery, and indeed the global recovery.”

At the Summit Hon. Ramaphosa will have the opportunity to share with global powers the signals that indicate our country is emerging from the devastation wrought by the pandemic; these signs include a strengthening currency, a record trade surplus,

Our resilient nature allowed us to weather many storms. It is this drive and determination that must continue And while this is something to celebrate, President Ramaphosa acknowledges the frustration many are feeling at the high unemployment rate, exacerbated by the financial global meltdown

of more than a decade ago – and more recently the Covid pandemic - as well as the issues of corruption and energy shortages. In his letter he uses the opportunity to encourage us to be optimistic, rally together and to know that the government is acknowledging its shortcomings and is working to remedy them. “Throughout the course of our history we have had setbacks and false starts. But our resilient nature allowed us to weather many storms. It is this drive and determination that must continue to propel us forward as our country recovers socially, politically and economically. Let us look ahead and move forward. Let us nurture the green shoots of progress. Let us not only hope for better days, but let us work even harder to achieve them,” – President Ramaphosa. n

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 11




CEO of the Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority

Creating public value for a sustainable future CEO of The Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA), Mpho Mookapele, is dedicated to serving the public sector.


ostering an ecosystem in energy and water that creates inclusive economic development, Mpho Mookapele heads EWSETA, and is committed to enhancing South Africa’s energy and water landscapes through skills development. Her career spans more than 10 years in the private and public sectors in the finance and regulatory environment. For Mpho, her enthusiasm for development goes well beyond the boardroom, and she views every opportunity to serve others as a privilege. A calling to serve the public sector Initially, Mpho took Architecture at Wits University. However, after a year into the programme, Mpho realised that she was more interested in the ‘practical’ elements of things, rather than the creative side of it all. She made the decision to pursue a career in accounting and after obtaining her BCompt Honours degree in Finance through the University of Johannesburg, Mpho joined Ernst & Young to complete her training. She left Ernst & Young to join a small audit firm a year before qualification, but returned to Ernst &

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Young, a move for which she was penalised. In 2011, Mpho qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CA). “I was willing to take on the penalty to move back to Ernst & Young to get public sector exposure.” Interestingly, at the same time of making this decision, Mpho was studying Theology. This is where her passion to serve stems from. “When I was doing Theology I thought ‘where do I use my qualification being a CA?’”, she expresses.

I call it ‘success’ when I have actually impacted someone’s life to impact another. I feel successful when I see change happening around me “I had a desire to serve, and I might not be a pastor, but I found the public sector as a place for me to go and ‘preach’. I really had a heart for the public sector before I went into it”. Prioritising practical experience She then moved to London to gain international exposure and on returning to South Africa she joined the public sector technical team at Ernst & Young, and implemented her new skill set and experience. “I aligned myself, even before getting into the sector, making sure that I understood the challenges, the legislation”, she continues. It was whilst she was part of the technical team at Ernst & Young that she became interested in strategy. This was when she

began her journey as a manager leading strategy solutions for the public sector - assisting Boards with facilitating strategic planning sessions, reviewing strategic plans and annual performance plans for organisations. “As I was facilitating these sessions, and reviewing performance, I realised that within my role as a consultant I was advising, but I was not getting to the implementation stage”, Mpho explains. “This was when I began looking for opportunities in the public sector. I knew then that I had the right knowledge and experience to join a public entity, looking at strategy, as well as being involved in the execution and implementation of controls. This is how I ended up at the Energy and Water SETA.”


Respect: A sense of value and trust towards each other and stakeholders. Integrity: We act with honesty and integrity, not compromising the truth. Teaming: Positively contributing and collaborating towards the greater vision. Excellence: Striving for the best in all our actions.

EWSETA was established in terms of Section 9 of the Skills Development Act (SDA),

97 of 1998, as amended and reports to the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. An award-winning CEO As her passion for serving the public sector intensified, Mpho applied for a CFO position at EWSETA. Mpho was not specifically drawn to the energy and water sectors, that are served by the EWSETA, but rather what it is that a SETA does from a youth development perspective. “When you look at the mandate of the SETA, and you look at who they respond to – which is capacitating young people – that was what drew me in to serve”, Mpho admits. “I saw an opportunity for me to make an impact [as a CFO at first], especially in the Finance space, and I knew I was the right person for the job – to implement and not only advise.” Mpho joined EWSETA as a CFO in 2016, and after 18 months she was appointed as the Acting CEO for two years, before being appointed to this role on a permanent basis in November 2020. Previously, Mpho was announced as the overall winner of the 2019 Top 35-under-35 chartered accountants [CA(SA)] award launched by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) in 2014 to recognise its young CA (SA) achievers. “I didn’t even apply for the award. Someone applied for me and I was so surprised when I was shortlisted”, she says. “Being shortlisted, I started realising that I am actually contributing to South Africa,

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 13

through what I am doing both in and outside the workplace. “Before this, I hadn’t really realised that I was doing that much. So, I actually started really appreciating what I’m doing and appreciating myself.” For Mpho, the award was a way for people to recognise her efforts and the journey she is on, even though the steps she took did not seem “normal” to some peers in the beginning stages of her career. “This process [the competition] confirmed that following my passion was worth it, and that in following my passion the things I am doing are actually meaningful, and are touching people’s lives”, she exclaims. “Winning, for me, also meant a lot because of what it meant to others”, Mpho elaborates.“After winning, I had so many young people saying ‘I can’... it encouraged a lot of people to believe in themselves.” Living her true purpose Mpho constantly reiterates the importance of service and being lucky enough to serve the public sector to the best of her ability – reinforcing actionable solutions – and also being a role model for young people who live in the village she hails from, in Zeerust, North West. “I believe that I was created for a certain purpose, and serving is one part of my purpose. My inspiration and my ‘why’ is linked to the sun. I always say Im inspired by sun. Whether party cloudy,

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clear skies or thunderstorms, the sun comes out every morning and serves its purpose”, says Mpho. “We may not see the sun when it’s storming [dark], but the sun is always there. So, I do what I am called to do for a certain point in time regardless of circumstances around me.” The EWSETA’s Vision is “Creating a sustainable tomorrow, today through skills” and this will be achieved through: Research to determine the skills demand Facilitating and coordinating skills development programmes to respond to sectoral challenges Driving excellence through quality assurance Fostering an ecosystem in energy and water that creates inclusive economic development

Mpho’s tips for conquering hurdles Hurdles are there to refine and better yourself. It’s meant to be difficult to help you improve for the future. Keep jumping them and success will come. It is important to have a positive internal dialogue and talk yourself through things. Tell yourself to keep going - be your own coach. Stay open to constant learning and lead your true purpose daily.

Uplifting women in her community Mpho believes in uplifting women around her through skills development and offering support where possible. During her time as a Trainee Accountant, Mpho became close with a tea lady who had wanted to study, but did not have the means. “I encouraged her to register and finish Matric. I then talked to the employer to take her on as a trainee accountant. Today, she’s got a degree in BComm Accounting and a tax qualification, and has opened her own company to do tax returns, bookkeeping and registration and she had two children at the time”, Mpho explains. “So, for me, success is seeing her succeed and impacting her daughter and son’s life.” For Mpho, success means living her purpose daily, knowing and understanding her purpose [at work and in life], and fulfilling this purpose no matter what the circumstances may be. “I call it ‘success’ when I have actually impacted someone’s life to impact another. I feel successful when I see change happening around me – when I see that change bringing about more change, and EWSETA has been a good place for me where I’ve been able to implement change”, she expresses. “I measure my success when I see a successful sector; where I see employed communities, and I see the industry changing because

of what EWSETA is doing. My ‘success’ is when I am contributing to young people who are then able to contribute to communities to change.”

Mpho believes in uplifting women around her through skills development and offering support where possible Public service delivery EWSETA exists to inform the industry and to provide a credible information-base to the industry on what South Africa’s energy and water sector requires, from a skills development perspective, in order for the country to see real growth. The SETA is committed to assisting the country in meeting the energy and water needs. “When we address the skills needed for the country, we move the country in the right direction”, says Mpho. “It might not be where we are [right now], but that’s

what we are to do. EWSETA exists to be an authority that ensures that the skills needs which we’ve identified as a country for the sector, are addresses at the right time and the right quality. When it comes to training and skills development, we are putting both unemployed and employed people in the relevant quality training mechanisms so that they will be able to respond to the relevant sector needs. We are also responding to those unemployed individuals who can be trained and fed into the sector to meet the sectoral needs…This is the service we provide to the sector”, she concludes. Creating Employment Opportunities in SA As a skills development authority, EWSETA zooms in on capacity, capability and skill set. Therefore, advancement in employment and promotion to different levels, for employed workers, is dependent on additional training and experience. Mpho believes in giving people access to meaningful jobs, and giving

them the ability to be promoted and see growth in their careers through the attainment of relevant and in-demand skills. She also encourages other businesses and organisations to support venture creation and existing entrepreneurs and SMEs as they are the ones who are driving economic growth in the country. “They [SMEs] have an important role to play in bringing sustainable solutions to Africa’s energy and water challenges.“ The EWSETA is required to: • Develop and implement annual sector skills planning based on sector research and employer input •

Promote and provide funding for sector-relevant learning programmes

Perform quality assurance and compliance functions delegated by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO)

Disburse levies collected from employers in the sector

Provide career guidance services

Leading lady in Energy & Water Mpho’s primary role at EWSETA is “providing clarity”, in terms of giving her team direction, focusing on specific objectives and monitoring and celebrating achievements. She emphasises that it is important that she develops strategies that are wellaligned to the mission, vision and strategic plan of the organisation.

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 15

“As a leader, you need to be clear about the destination, direction you’re taking and how the destination will be reached”, she says. “Have a clear vision and believe in your own vision, then lead your people to actually make an impact.” Mpho provides a few leadership tips: You need to invest strategic intent into operational imperatives, and self-assessment is important to ensure credibility. You may have many people in your team, however, you need to be able to move with your people and the times. The passionate CEO admits that COVID-19 has had quite an impact on EWSETA. However, she mentions that the pandemic came with its own set of pros and cons, just like any other major event would.

She feels the pandemic “awakened” the SETA and the rest of the country to the notion that change is possible, and we have been able to successfully transition from traditional ways, learning new skills. “We learned that we can change and shift faster, implement more effectively, re-invent ourselves for better implementation, and the pandemic forced us to be creative and proactive”, she encourages. Mpho adds that another good thing that came out of the pandemic was acceptance and embracing virtual training by many. “Now, training can reach people who have not been reached before, but there is more consideration surrounding those who are underprivileged.” The future of EWSETA

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Mpho was excited to fill us in on her outlook for the year ahead, explaining that she still hopes to get the opportunity to expand her mind and study further. In terms of her role as CEO of EWSETA, Mpho indicated that the organisation looks forward to the following upcoming plans: •

• • •

Relooking at the “foundations, cladding and finishes” of the organisation Redesigning ourselves for the ‘new normal’ of the sector A current organisational design review is underway Continuing to position EWSETA as an authority in the space. n


Address: Ground Floor, Building B, Sunnyside Office Park, 32 Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown, Johannesburg 2198 Tel: +27 11 247 4700 E-Mail: Website:


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Changing young lives

through employment Zooming in on the CEO of the Youth Employment Service (YES), Dr. Tashmia Ismail Improving youth employment Workplace experience can make youth more attractive to recruiters, helping them secure jobs and passing on real-world skills for their chosen profession. This is the aim behind South African not-for-profit Youth Employment Service (YES). The joint national initiative between business, government and labour aims to address youth unemployment by placing unemployed, black youth into a year-long quality work experience. These placements provide not only an income to the participants but also represent a critical first chance at entering the workforce. Closing the inequality gap South Africa has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. In the last quarter of 2020, South Africa had around 20.5 million youth (aged between 15 and 34), of which almost 42% were not in employment, education or training. This high unemployment rate impacts the poverty levels and cycle of inequality deeply entrenched in South Africa. “The best way to close the inequality gap is to get people into work immediately and quickly. By earning an income, youth can begin to break the cycle of lifetime unemployment and poverty”, says YES Chief Executive Dr. Tashmia Ismail. YES aims to solve a problem facing many South African youth – they can’t get a job without experience, nor can they get experience without a job. Nearly 55 000 youth have participated in the programme over the last 124 weeks, with quality work experience placements at more than 1 480 companies. Some companies that have participated include Nedbank, Multichoice, Shoprite, Woolworths, PG Group, VW,

18 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

Toyota, St. Gobain, Absa, Investec, Telesure Investment Holdings and Netcare.The programme boasts between a 30 and 40% youth absorption rate.

and labour on how they could work together, that culminated in an operational executed strategy, rather than more talk shop”, says Dr. Ismail.

“We aim to create, with our private sector partners, work experiences in all sectors. Youth have a wide range of interests and aptitudes, and we aim to create as many options as possible to ensure the best fit for both businesses and youth”, says Dr. Ismail.

The organisation was registered as a non-profit in August 2018 and the B-BBEE amendment to the legislation enabling YES was Gazetted by the Department of Trade and Industry in October 2018. Youth placements began in January 2019.

Thousands of jobs mean new taxpayers, new skilled employees, and new customers

In return for placing youth in work opportunities, businesses gain one or two levels on their B-BBEE scorecard per year. “This has seen R3.1-billion being ploughed into communities and the economy through youth wallets. YES has been ahead of the curve, integrating virtual learning for YES Youth into its programme, logging 8.3-million minutes of mobile digital training time”, says Dr. Ismail. After the YES year, youth receive a CV, a reference letter and a certificate of completion. A future-focused workforce The programme was established as a special project of the CEO Initiative, challenging the private sector to tackle the youth unemployment crisis in South Africa. “YES started as a conversation between business, government

Quick YES facts: • 60% of YES Youth are women • 88.4% of YES Youth come from grant-recipient households • 90.7% of YES Youth have dependents • 500+ B-BBEE levels up awarded

How can businesses get involved in YES?

1 2

In just over two years, YES has established three community hubs in Alexandra, Saldanha and Tembisa, which have trained over 2 300 youths. Faced with the pandemic, the programme has allowed participating youth to continue contributing to their families – the livelihoods of many who have been impacted by Covid-19. “During lockdown, YES conducted a survey which measured economic activity and the impact of Covid-19 on YES Youth. Around 80% of the youth surveyed were supporting more people financially with their YES salaries since the lockdown started, including family, friends and even neighbours”, says Dr. Ismail. The survey also highlighted the importance of technology and digital networks in the youth’s ability to access jobs. Creating jobs, especially among the youth, is key to creating a new future for South Africa, adds Dr. Ismail. “Thousands of jobs mean new taxpayers, new skilled employees, and new customers. Thousands of jobs could mean a new, more inclusive South Africa.”


They can youth place inside their own business They can place youth externally through one of the 35 YES-vetted implementation partners (IPs) from across the country, consisting mainly of NGOs working in ten different industries, including healthcare, education, conservation and digital. Invest in YES Hubs, which connect youth and the community to global best practice in training and technology, specially located and designed to address barriers to youth employment and economic inclusion. A range of activities takes place at a YES Hub, enabling innovation and a crosspollination of ideas, seeding points for new business. n


Address: 2 Arnold Rd, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196 Phone: 087 330 0084 Website: Email:

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 19


Hon. Ndabeni Abrahams


Creating economic growth through connectivity The information and communication technology (ICT) sector is changing faster than ever, with rapidly evolving technology regularly providing innovative communication methods.. This advancing technology brings with it enormous potential for any developing country. But to tap into the advantages of this new era of communication, the nation’s policies need to embrace this fast-paced change. Harnessing untapped ICT potential The task of guiding South Africa’s navigation of this ever-evolving landscape falls to Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Hon. Ndabeni-Abrahams was appointed to the position in 2018, a move that was welcomed by both government and opposition parties. She brings with her numerous qualifications in the field: an advanced certificate in project management from Rhodes University; a Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation diploma in telecommunications and management systems; a certificate in telecommunications and policy and regulation management from Witwatersrand University, and a project management diploma from Cranefield College in Tshwane. Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams has identified the technology sector as a key factor in helping South Africa’s

post-Covid-19 recovery, as well as offering potential employment opportunities. To harness this untapped potential, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies has devised a Digital Economy Master Plan and is currently engaging various stakeholders to ensure the plan’s implementation.

The Digital Economy Master Plan will see the achievement of economic contribution upwards to 4.5% of GDP per annum “The Department’s vision is to see all South Africans digitally empowered to create and participate in tech-enabled opportunities that drive inclusiveness, employment and economic transformation across our cities, towns and provinces,” – Hon. Ndabeni-Abrahams.

under the Department’s Digital Economy Master Plan and the 4IR Programme. Together with the industry, we have identified a number of products that can be locally produced: these include phones and accessories; manufacturing of components for infrastructure/5G network expansion; sensors and telematics which includes lidar, smart metres for water and electricity and other tracking applications; and satellites and drone components.” To ensure the development of locally manufactured products, the Department plans to boost the ICT sector through the creation of a special economic zone (SEZ). SEZs are geographically designated areas of the country set aside for specifically targeted economic activities, supported through special arrangements and systems that are often different from those that apply in the rest of the country. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition is the custodian of the Special Economic Zones

programme and aims to use these SEZs to increase trade, investment and jobs through special incentives such as a preferential corporate tax rate, employment incentives and relief from VAT and customs and excise duties. The creation of an ICT SEZ is expected to boost the local production of technology and products such as cellphones, tablets and related components. “As part of the implementation of these programmes, the Department is working with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to facilitate the establishment and operationalisation of an ICT Special Economic Zone. To date, suitable land has been identified where this SEZ will be situated. The two Departments are working towards the digital products for local manufacturing, with government procurement capacity being utilised as a lever to enable the sector,” - Hon. Ndabeni-Abrahams.

“It is envisaged that the implementation of the Digital Economy Master Plan will see the achievement of economic contribution upwards to 4.5% of GDP per annum, creation of 1 million jobs over the next 10 years, [and] create massive opportunities for SMMEs.” Zoning for sector growth According to Minister NdabeniAbrahams, developing the ICT sector to produce locally manufactured products is a key focus for the Department: ‘The sourcing of locally manufactured products remains a key priority focus

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 21

Creating a skilled youth But to grow the sector, skills development will remain at the forefront of the Department’s plan. To keep up with the speed of change in science and technology, the Department has developed the National Digital and Future Skills strategy. This strategy aims to establish an education and skills development ecosystem that provides all South Africans with the required skills to create and participate in the digital economy. “We are partnering with both the public and private sector, with the intent to bridge the digital divide. For this reason, our training programmes will be conducted everywhere in South Africa including the remote areas”, Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams commented. To this end, the Department will collaborate with the Department of Higher Education and Training to train around 20 000 young people in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and related skills. Over the next year, six Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleagues in the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and KwaZulu-Natal will be included in the training programme. “We are deliberate in exposing and stimulating the young minds in these TVET colleges to be innovators and not just endusers of technologies”, said Hon Ndabeni-Abrahams. “We are also working with the Department of Employment and Labour to train 73 000 unemployed youth. Our

model pools together a given craft, skill and entrepreneurship such that every learner finishes their training already having an exit strategy.” To bolster these efforts, a partnership with the Digital Council for Africa will see young people from Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo trained in fibre splicing. “Never again, shall our youth be only trench diggers. Already we have trained 12 young people, and the Council is in a process of placing them in various companies. More of these young people will be benefiting from this partnership,” – Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The South African ICT industry contributes an estimated 4% of the country’s GDP Building a connected economy Training the youth to take up jobs in the industry is essential for future economic performance, as the sector holds the key to creating numerous job opportunities. To encourage this growth, Hon. Ndabeni-Abrahams has announced that R27-billion has been pledged collectively by the operators and vendors to expand the 4G network and to deploy the 5G and fibre technologies in South Africa. “This network expansion is also extending to rural and

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underserved areas, which will benefit communities and create jobs”, she said. “In line with the government’s vision of connecting 80% of public buildings by 2024, our entities will connect 6687 sites across the country. Through investment in digital infrastructure expansion, 5920 jobs have already been created by the sector and it is envisaged that there will be an increase of at least 25% of this target.” While the ICT sector holds great promise for creating future job opportunities, it holds the promise of aiding in the country’s economic recovery after the effects of Covid-19. The sector has proven itself to be reasonably resilient in light of the pressures caused by the pandemic, compared to other sectors relying on consumer activity. This resilience is no doubt rooted in the role connectivity plays in supporting economic and social activity across the country. But even before the pandemic, the sector played a vital economic role. The South African ICT industry contributes an estimated 4% of the country’s GDP, which equates to around R194-billion. Encouraging growth in the ICT sector will not only lead to a more robust industry, capable of supporting high levels of employment and creating significant economic revenue but will also enable other industries to grow by providing a foundation for e-commerce and connectivity. n

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Three common POPIA myths -

thoroughly debunked S

outh African organisations in the public and private sectors now have to ensure they are fully compliant to the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA). This leaves every organisation that collects, processes, shares, or stores the personal data of South African citizens, organisations or legal entities at risk of being in contravention of POPIA’s provisions, if they haven’t implemented reasonable organisational and technical measures to protect personal information. POPIA establishes eight minimum requirements for the lawful processing of personal data, but the provision most fraught with risk is arguably security safeguarding. Here, cybersecurity professionals play a vital role in protecting the organisation not only from cyberattacks, but also the subsequent regulatory risks. Since many public sector organisations handle large volumes of citizen data, it’s important that they understand the requirements of POPIA. And as they work to become compliant, it’s worth pausing to ensure they are not caught out by these three common POPIArelated myths:

“Breaches only apply when data leaves the organisation” The traditional view of a data breach is one where data is ‘stolen’ from an organisation’s systems. However, data does not need to leave the organisation for it to be considered a breach. POPIA applies to any unauthorised access to personal information. The global rise in ransomware attacks - such as the recent headline-grabbing attack on a US oil pipeline - adds more risk for organisations. Data that is encrypted in an attack constitutes a data breach. Mimecast’s State of Email Security Report 2021 found that half (47%) of all South African organisations suffered a ransomware attack in the past year. “I can outsource my compliance“ Many organisations believe they can simply outsource their responsibility of compliance to an external service provider, but this could put themselves - and their data - at immense risk. No one vendor or solution can ensure full POPIA compliance. A vendor - for example Mimecast - can certainly help organisations become compliant to some provisions.

24 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

But, there are multiple other moving parts that organisations need to attend to if they are to be fully compliant. “Any data breach puts me at risk of penalties” Under Chapter 3, Section 19 of POPIA, organisations must take appropriate measures to prevent “(a) loss of, damage to or unauthorised destruction of personal information; and (b) unlawful access to or processing of personal information.” The key here is to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to protect personal data. Organisations can still be considered compliant even if they fall victim to a data breach, provided they can prove that they took every reasonable step to prevent such a breach. The alternative - suffering legal, financial and reputation damage - is simply too damaging to the organisation to even consider. n

Contact: Address: Mimecast South Africa Sandton Gate , 4th floor 27 Minerva Avenue Glenadrienne, Sandton 2196 T: Local: 0861 114 063 T: Int: +27 (0) 11 722 3700 Email:

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Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 25



Celebrating SA’s Young Change-Makers South Africa has an abundance of talent and skill stemming from its powerful community of young people. We’re taking a look at a few standout local achievers who are making a difference across the country.

Sabelo Lindani-

Eco-tourism Empowering the Youth


abelo Lindani, Founder and Managing Director of the Contour Enviro Group, launched his Contour Training Academy with one mission in mind: To develop tomorrow’s conservation leaders today. Sabelo has 14 years’ experience in the conservation sector including protected area management, training and ecological advisory. He grew up in Eastern Cape, but it was when he moved to Western Cape to pursue his studies, that he really grew to love nature. He is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), one of the commissions of the IUCN and serves as a deputy vice-chair under the regional leadership of the East and Southern Africa Region. He also serves in the capacity development group steering committee of the commission and has served as the regional leader for East and Southern Africa developing young professionals under the WCPA. He also founded Youth for the Environment (Y4Enviro), an NGO that seeks to connect youth with the environment. Sabelo holds a B-Tech Degree in Nature Conservation and has wide-ranging experience in the environmental field including working for CapeNature as a conservation manager (Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve), he further has experience in capacity development, youth development and community conservation. He previously worked for the City of Cape Town as an Ecological

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Coordinator and Reserve Manager. He is trained as an IC Type 3. He is an experienced trainer and a CATHSSETA registered Assessor.

Tourism has the greatest potential for being one of the major contributors to the economy of the region He is currently studying a Conservation MBA with African Leadership University in Rwanda. His business is operating mostly in the Western Cape, Limpopo, Northern Cape as well as Zambia. Recently, as part of the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme, Sabelo was awarded the grand prize, the Tholoana Award, for his outstanding commitment to accelerating his business, exceptional growth performance (92%), and potential for future excellence. The Contour Enviro Group Established in 2010, the Contour Training Academy (CTA) is geared

towards providing high quality and relevant training within the conservation and tourism sector. CTA has more than 30 years cumulative conservation experience - in both training and protected area management. The organisation is dedicated to facilitating and maintaining a unique experience in conservation training, whilst sharing the beauty of the Cape Floristic Region with its clients through eco-tourism. CTA, in partnership with Cape Wilderness College, has embarked on a social responsibility campaign, geared towards making an impact through Youth Development within the Theewaterskloof Municipality. This Municipality is the largest within the Overberg District and experiences a high level of unemployment. According to Statistics South Africa, the Municipality has a population of over 108 000 people. The youth unemployment rate is at 19.80% and those who have finished matric are just over 20% whereas those with

no education at all make 5% of the population, and those privileged enough to attend higher education are just over 7%. The agricultural sector is the main employer in the town. However, tourism has the greatest potential for being one of the major contributors to the economy of the region. This programme is aimed at making a difference by identifying unemployed youth from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. The selection procedure includes a bootcamp in the wilderness, training in Field Ranging, life skills and business management. The 1-year programme assists learners with getting placed within various partner organisations in the conservation industry which are operating in the area.

CTA’s Vision Everything the organisation does is inspired by the high levels of poverty in our society. CTA, therefore, aims to challenge the status quo through the conservation and promotion of the local environment whilst developing, supporting and employing local people.


Tel: 074 534 7189 Address: PO BOX 1473, Elgin on Koffiekraal Farm, Elgin, 7151 Email:

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 27

Scott Clarke-

Supporting Philippi’s Youth


hen Scott Clarke founded Amandla, he was committed to finding a solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem: how to break the cycle of poverty in Philippi, a township in which only 50% of children graduate high school, and only 2 in 10 go on to university. He, thus, adopted a community-driven approach to creating learning opportunities by supporting a cross-sector collective of effective leaders, and building their capacity to drive change in the community. Girls face even greater challenges: one in three women are HIV positive, and the fastest-growing segment of those infections come from younger women and teenagers. Feeling overwhelmed by these statistics, Scott felt a need to contribute positively towards reducing these numbers and actioning significant change. The name ‘Amandla’ is part of an African call-and-response meaning “The Power Is Ours.” At heart, that is the philosophy that Scott has embedded in the Amandla Development. He calls out to Philippi’s youth, to the local community, and to global supporters. Amandla Development reminds the public that the power to change the world for the better is in our own hands. We have to use it, now, and work together as a community in order to break the cycle of poverty. Scott has a background in capacity building, fundraising, scaling operations, and feasibility studies. Prior to founding this project, he obtained a BA degree in Political Science at Yale University. He also attended New York University, obtaining qualifications in Public/Nonprofit Management and Public Policy Analysis. Amandla Development in Action Amandla Development works towards breaking generational cycles of poverty and transforming the lives of young people. Children in Philippi Cape Town, face brutal levels of poverty. Housing is haphazard, opportunities are scarce, and statistics have proven that HIV infections claim the lives of one in three young women. Amandla’s Community Solutions and

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Resource Access Programme is driven by data, uniting a wide selection of community resources, and includes a peer mentorship programme which is geared towards recruiting recent graduates to teach younger teens critical life skills.

The name ‘Amandla’ is part of an African calland-response meaning “The Power Is Ours.” The development also provides mentors with professional training and experience in the field. Amandla Development’s strength comes from understanding that, just as a pernicious web of interconnected challenges can completely change the trajectory of a young life, so, too, can interconnected forces work

together to assist in keeping young people safe, in school, and ready for today’s job market. Amandla Development zooms in on 3 specific areas levels, working towards long-term change, namely Street Level, Community Level and Government Level. The development is funded through a variety of supporting organisations, such as the Networking HIV & AIDS Community of Southern Africa NPC (NACOSA), the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and the Positive Action for Children’s Fund (PACF). Working Towards Breaking The Cycle Safe Space: Providing an anchor in a chaotic world, offering classes in music and dance, quiet study space, physical and mental health care, and sex education.

Community Solutions: Coordinating the Philippi Collective Network - a consortium of over 50 organisations dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and tearing down barriers to learning. Resource Access Programme (RAP): Gathering information on resources, making it possible for young people and their communities to discover what help is available and how to access it. Shared Measures: One of the keys to making a successful impact has been Amandla’s focus on research and data. The organisation’s data collectors go into the community to discover real numbers and statistics which guide its actions. n


Address: 62 Lillian Ngoyi Drive Samora Machel, 7785 Phone: +27 (0)61 547 1704 Website: Email:

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 29


Youth Employment Offering an opportunity to transform South Africa’s economic landscape


outh Africa faces one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. Not only does this untapped workforce have the potential to drive economic recovery after the Coronavirus pandemic and global economic downturn, but it also has the potential to create a real difference in the lives of many living in poverty. Youth as a major catalyst The persistently high youth unemployment rate has long been one of the most pressing socio-economic problems in South Africa. One of the challenges facing young work seekers is a lack of sufficient skills and previous work experience. The economy demands skilled and experienced work-seekers, which reduces the chances of unqualified or inexperienced young people finding jobs. Because of its importance, the National Development Plan

(NDP) places a focus on youth development, by singling this group out as the major catalysts in boosting economic growth and putting youth empowerment at the epicentre of development strategies.

Research has shown that youth employability programmes play an important role in increasing resilience in young work seekers “It is important to note that the scourge of unemployment is not a government problem alone. It is a societal problem. Youth development is therefore a matter of national importance. To ignore the plight of youth will be a major risk in the socioeconomic condition of our country”, former Minister of the Presidency for Planning,

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Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe said. The NDP initially envisioned an unemployment rate of 14% for 2020, but the country’s unemployment rate now stands at its highest level since 2008. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate increased from 30,8% in quarter three of 2020 to 32,5% in quarter four of 2020. In the last quarter of 2020, South Africa had around 20.5 million youth (aged between 15 and 34), of which almost 42% were not in employment, education or training. This amount had increased by 1,7 percentage points compared to the same time in 2019. Government intervention This focus on youth development has seen the government launch several interventions to increase employment among the youth. In 2020, President Cyril

Ramaphosa vowed to increase financial backing for initiatives to increase youth employment opportunities, by setting aside 1% of the budget to deal with high levels of youth unemployment. The plan included scaling up the Youth Employment Service and working with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and the private sector to ensure that more learners receive practical experience in the workplace to complete their training. During his State of the Nation Address this year, President Ramaphosa elaborated on the success of this plan. The National Youth Development Agency and Department of Small Business Development were tasked with providing grant funding and business support to 1 000 young entrepreneurs. While this was delayed with the onset of the pandemic, the target was reached by August last year. Building on this success, the government aims to have provided support to 15 000 start-ups by 2024. In addition, the Basic Education Presidential Youth Employment Stimulus successfully created over 300 000 job opportunities. Other government programmes include encouraging more inclusive hiring practices through B-BBEE, with incentives offered to companies who offer skills development investment to benefit unemployed previously disadvantaged people.

seekers by subsidizing the cost of such recruitment. The government has also, for many years, encouraged learnerships and internships, which combine theoretical training with experiential and on-the-job learning. A holistic approach While the government is measuring some success in reducing youth unemployment through such initiatives, reversing the high unemployment rate requires a whole of society approach. Research has shown that youth employability programmes play an important role in increasing resilience in young work seekers, as well as providing them with technical and soft skills – both essential to support their entry into the labour market. Employers face a serious skills challenge, with an estimated 500 000 entry-level vacancies existing in the country. By increasing vocational and skillsbased training, employers could

have access to a previously untapped talent pool. This could also significantly reduce the number of unemployed youth in the country.Another avenue that could see numerous job opportunities created lies in small enterprises, as these are likely to be the largest source of new jobs in the future. This will necessitate the government,along with funders and philanthropic organisations, working in partnership to promote entrepreneurship and support small and medium businesses. Reducing the country’s youth unemployment figures requires a comprehensive plan, with various role-players investing in creating a climate in which qualified youth can take up economy-driving posts. But the benefits of placing this potential talent into job opportunities are numerous – not only will it uplift families and communities out of poverty, but reducing unemployment will also help drive economic recovery following the pandemic. n

This programme runs alongside the Youth Wage Subsidy, which provides an incentive for private firms to take on first-time work

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 31







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Petroleum Agency SA Q | What is the mandate of PASA in terms of being a “custodian” of the country’s oil and gas rights. A | PASA’s mandate is threefold – firstly to attract investment to South Africa’s upstream industry, secondly to regulate the activities of oil and gas explorers and producers, and thirdly to act as the national archive and database for all data and information produced in the process of oil and gas exploration and production. The upstream oil and gas exploration industry requires technological capacity and is extremely high risk in terms of capital investment and needs long-term investment of resources before a return is shown. Because of this, many countries choose to share the risk of oil and gas exploration and production with private companies, and South Africa follows this model. Government has designated PASA as the custodian of South Africa’s oil and gas resources. Its role is to attract these companies to our investment opportunities and facilitate their entry into and operations in the upstream industry.

Q | What is the thrust of PASA’s new five-year strategy? A | The Agency has identified five new strategic objectives below to enable it to effectively deliver on its mandate by capturing the opportunities being presented by the changes in the environment as well as ensure that the Agency overcomes the challenges it faces. These are: • Increasing exploration activity to move the industry from a predominately exploration phase to development and production phase; • Sustainability to ensure the company has sufficient financial and human resources to carry out its responsibilities into the foreseeable future, • Advocacy to provide input into policy and regulations that impact the industry we regulate; • Digital transformation to adopt new, more efficient technologies; and • Operational excellence, to ensure efficiency of our process.

34 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

These five strategic objectives will position the Agency as a strategic entity of government in its goal of diversifying the energy mix and developing the domestic gas market, embrace digitisation and automation to improve efficiency, rise to the requirements of the new legislation and find a place in the global transition towards a low carbon future. Q | What are the key aspects of PASA’s new value statement? A | The company’s internal value statement remains unchanged. We have however, recently reconsidered a further aspect of value - that of value representation and creation. PASA delivers value to its shareholders and stakeholders as follows: •

• • • •

Contributes to the security of energy supply through the development of the domestic upstream petroleum industry Attracts investments that create jobs Creates opportunities for economic transformation and diverse participation. Risk reduction of exploration plans (preliminary data) Investment opportunities

This value is created for all South Africans, for oil and gas companies investing in opportunities and for our stakeholders including the DMRE, DEFF, CEF, host communities and NGOs and NPOs representing interested parties. Q | Please describe the changes that are happening internally at PASA and in the industry, and why these changes are necessary in order to move forward. A | The Agency has been restructured internally in line with the new strategy. It has been elevated beyond its former role as a support function, to drive the company’s digital transformation. In addition, the Agency will now have a communications and stakeholder engagement function to respond to the negative perception about the oil and gas industry. South Africa’s energy mix is coal dominated therefore gas is a transition fuel to a cleaner energy future. Q | When will the moratorium on new applications for rights be lifted and PASA be open for new bids? A | As of December 2020, there is no longer a moratorium on applications for rights onshore, other than those for shale gas in a specified area covering the central Karoo. Other onshore applications continue to be received and processed in terms of the MPRDA. The moratorium for shale gas rights and new offshore applications remains in place and is expected to be lifted with the enactment of the hydraulic fracturing regulations (for environmental management and water use) for the shale gas extraction technologies. Q | With a strong international focus on decarbonisation, what is

PASA’s position on the continued exploitation of fossil fuels? A | The transition to cleaner fuels and renewables is inevitable if the world is to reduce the negative impact of climate change. South Africa is a signatory to the Paris Agreement and has committed to a “Peak-Plateau-Decline” carbon emission trajectory. The government policy is to diversify the country’s energy mix which is currently coal dominated to a lower carbon future by introducing proportionately higher renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, into the energy mix as well as gas-to-power. Gas burns with less than half the CO2 emissions from coal and additionally has no SOx emissions. It is thus a suitable transition fuel towards a lower carbon economy for South Africa especially since gas-to-power technologies are flexible and would therefore compliment the intermittent renewable energy being added to the national grid.

PASA continues with its programme of promoting investment opportunities at local and international oil and gas conferences and exhibitions.

much easier for the domestic gas market to develop including beneficiation of the gas to chemicals. Q | What is PASA doing to attract investment into the industry and promote new drilling projects? A | PASA continues with its programme of promoting investment opportunities at local and international oil and gas conferences and exhibitions. South Africa has a history of political stability, the new administration is widely regarded as business friendly and the new UPRD bill will assist the Agency in expediting exploration through close management of acreage allocation and work programmes. The Bill also empowers the Agency to commission multiclient or speculative surveys enabling the acquisition of data to attract investment. South Africa currently offers an attractive fiscal framework. These positive factors create a conducive environment for the Agency to pursue its mandate of attracting investment into the upstream petroleum industry Q | What does PASA look for when evaluating the credentials of potential explorers or developers?

Q | What conditions are contributing to the sense that the market for gas in South Africa is set to grow exponentially?

A | Applicants must demonstrate that they have the technical capability and financial resources to carry out the work programmes agreed, as well as any future development that may ensue.

A | The two recent world-class discoveries in our South Coast placed South Africa at pole position to be a notable gas producing country. Once indigenous gas becomes available, it becomes

A track record of experience, a good health and safety record, environmental compliance record and compliance with oilfield practice is essential. Having said that, PASA is determined to increase

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 35

the involvement of local companies in our upstream industry and develop local capacity. One way of achieving this is through partnerships between international and local companies.

parliament: does it provide greater certainty to investors? Is the link between exploration rights and development rights made clear? •

Q | Does PASA have a strategy to retain existing investors? A | All investors want to see a return on their investment and a reward for taking on risk. PASA’s approach is to facilitate their activities and guide them through compliance and regulatory requirements to achieve the best outcome for both government and the investing companies. Advocacy plays an important role and PASA is concentrating on communicating the role that the upstream industry can play in reconstruction and development of our economy to the government. A recent example was the facilitation of logistics for the drilling of the Luiperd well during Covid 19 lock down. Q | Is there an international interest in South Africa’s oil and gas resources? A | Definitely – you need only take a look at our exploration map on our website. You will see international companies such as Total, Shell, ENI, Kosmos, Africa Energy Corporation, Azinam, Impact Oil and Gas, CNR, Qatar Petroleum, New Age and others all hold interests in exploration acreage. In addition, we have agreements in place with international service providers to acquire seismic data. Q | Please outline the implications of the passing of the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill by the South African

Oil and gas exploration and production is currently regulated under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (MPRDA). The Bill will repeal and replace the relevant sections pertaining to upstream petroleum activities in the MPRDA. The Draft Bill therefore provides greater policy certainty and a stable environment for investment in the South African oil and gas sector. The Bill provides security of tenure by combining the rights for the exploration, development and production phase under one permit.

Q | What changes are envisaged in the amendment to the National Environmental Management Act of 1998 (NEMA)? How will these changes affect environmental compliance? A | The National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill, which was revived in June 2020, proposes various amendments to the National Environmental Management Act, 1998. Proposals that may positively impact upstream petroleum operations include the provisions empowering the Minister responsible for mineral resources to delegate a function entrusted to him/her in terms of the Act to any organ of state, and designate as an environmental petroleum inspector any staff member of any

36 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

other organ of state that executes a regulatory function. The Minister in this regard may delegate certain competent authority functions to the Petroleum Agency SA, which may improve the turn-around timelines for making decisions on the EA applications. Furthermore, designating staff members of the Agency as environmental petroleum inspectors means that all compliance monitoring and enforcement functions prescribed in the Act as far as upstream petroleum operations would be efficiently executed. Q | Please give an update on the issuing of exploration rights over the last 18 months. A | A total of 21 exploration rights for both onshore and offshore were issued during the period this includes renewals and new exploration rights. Q | Please outline the potential and current state of play (is there exploration or drilling going on?) in the following offshore areas: Orange Basin (off west coast) A | There is drilling of the Gazania-1 prospect scheduled for this year in the shallow water block ER105, operated by Azinam with its partners Thombo, Main Street and Panoro. This is in the area of the A-J 1 oil discovery made in the 1980s. Gamtoos Basin (southern coast, one of five sub-basins of Outeniqua Basin) A | New Age Algoa holds acreage together with Rift Petroleum in the shallow water while Impact Africa’s application for renewal of their ER in deeper water is in process.

Northern Pletmos Basin (ditto) A | The northern Pletmos Basin is under application by Sungu Sungu. East Coast Basin (Tugela study area) A | The shallow water part of the Tugela area is held by Impact Africa while deeper water acreage is under licence to ENI in partnership with Sasol. These explorers have reached the end of an exploration period and PASA is awaiting their decision on future exploration which could include drilling. Western Bredasdorp Basin A | The Western Bredasdorp basin is currently open acreage and will most probably be released on licence round once the UPRDA is enacted and the moratorium on offshore applications is lifted. Q | Please give details about Total’s two finds off Mossel Bay. A | The Brulpadda and Luiperd discoveries of gas and condensate are the largest hydrocarbon discoveries made in South Africa to date and have opened a worldclass exploration play and sparked further interest in deep water exploration.

Kloofpadda, which consists of a number of large and encouraging leads. There are also prospects identified in the north of the block.

Other CBM discoveries include those in the Soutpansberg, Springbok Flats and Amersfoort areas.

Q | Please give an overview of the various onshore exploration opportunities. A | Onshore exploration opportunities are represented by unconventional resources such as shale gas in the South– Central Karoo, coalbed methane in the coalfields of the east and northern sectors of the country and biogenic gas in the Virginia and Evander regions.

Biogenic gas (FS) A | Tertra4, a subsidiary of Renergen, holds the only onshore Production Right (PR007) in the Virginia area of the Freestate. They are currently expanding operations and are building a new plant to switch from CNG to LNG and Helium production. The LNG will be utilised in the transport industry. Once the project comes into operation in early 2022, it will place South Africa in the top helium producers in the world. n

However, geological analysis is showing that there may well be significant potential for conventional oil and gas resources onshore. Q | Please give a sample of activity/drilling/exploration rights granted at:

These results are for only 2 drilled prospects in the Paddavissie feature where 3 further prospects remain to be drilled. There could be sufficient gas to feed the Mossel Bay Plant at full capacity for more than 40 years.

Karoo Basins (Shale gas and other? WC/NC) A | There are no granted exploration rights for shale gas in the Karoo. There are three applications in the process in the Northern Cape, but as yet these have not been granted and there is no activity. PASA and CGS are collaborating on baseline studies in the Karoo on background soil gas, ground water status and seismicity. This includes the drilling of a deep scientific well near Beaufort West which is nearing completion.

The Paddavissie feature is only a fraction of the Block 11B/12B therefore these two gas finds do not even begin to represent the full potential of the licence block. Further seismic data to the east has confirmed the existence of another geological feature, named

Coalbed methane (FS/Lim/Mpu) A | Coalbed methane discoveries have been made by Anglo in the Waterberg (ER002) on the Botswana border. They are currently conducting feasibility studies for the commercialisation of the resource.


Address: Tygerpoort Building 7 Mispel Street Bellville 7530, Cape Town Phone: + 27 21 938 3500 Website:

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 37


Creating agents of change

The National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC)

A focus on providing character building programmes, soft and hard skills training, and encouraging development of the youth in rural areas Empowering the youth The National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) is South Africa’s youth skills development and employment programme, which acts as a youth flagship programme of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development - which also forms part of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP). NARYSEC is dedicated to facilitating and encouraging soft and hard skills training in rural communities. The goal is to empower the youth in rural areas to upskill and garner the capacity to undertake various rural infrastructure and development

projects. At present, NARYSEC is transforming youth from rural areas, growing ‘job seekers’ into active job creators in their own right. These admirable efforts are breaking the generational cycle of dependency on social grants from the South African government. The impact of the NARYSEC To date, more than 25 244 young people have been trained as a result of the programme. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has also previously partnered with the Agricultural Research Council to train around

38 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

900 agri-paraprofessionals in smallholder livestock and dairy production. Many candidates in the programme have also received training in vegetable gardening and soil sampling, in order to start their own farms and provide for their families. Speaking on creating selfsustainable youths in rural areas, Hon. Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, said: “South Africa will never change if young people just wait for government to provide. Let us go to the farm and start farming. Once you are done with the

programme, we want to see you being able to farm. The programme is meant to kick-start your life so that you can change your lives. It is expected that once training is received, participants should become change agents who contribute towards the vision of building vibrant; equitable and sustainable rural communities”, said Minister Didiza. She went on to say that there are still underlying issues that need to be addressed in order to truly uplift South Africa’s youth: “In any country the youth are important. The youth have the potential to drive the development of the country”, she encouraged. “There is a need for districts to have economic development. If there is no economic development, we will never deal with poverty in our communities.” Hundreds of youths have also received valuable practical training in construction by Engineering company, Murray

and Roberts. This has been part of a partnership with South Africa’s private sector. Youth participation in construction projects include housing construction) in Worcester, the construction of a youth hub in Beaufort-West, and brick making and paving in the Limpopo Province.

South Africa will never change if young people just wait for government to provide

whilst contributing towards enhancing the conditions of rural communities. Some programme successes includes: • A stipend was received during the Programme which contributed towards improving the livelihoods of the youth and their families. •

“As pioneers, you [programme participants] have a lot of responsibilities to contribute toward the economy of the country”, said Minister Didiza when addressing the youth in rural regions.

Some of the programme attendees reported that household income increased for them during and after the NARYSEC Programme due to some of the youth being employed and having started their own businesses.

She went on to add that the programme is geared towards empowering the youth to transform their own lives and change the lives of their families,

Opportunities were provided for youth to acquire a skill they did not have before joining the programme – large numbers of youth have been certified through the Programme.

A culture of community service has been instilled in the youth.

Hon. Thoko Didiza Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 39

Recruiting change agents All recruitment for the NARYSEC Programme is conducted via various forms of digital and traditional advertisements. The selection process is overseen by community cohorts. Successful NARYSEC participants are required to stay in the programme for a period of 48 months, following their recruitment from rural communities. The first two years of the programme zoom in on skills development, while the two years thereafter focus on incubation of enterprises. Recruitment is done for two main streams, namely National Defence Force training and Rural Development and Land Reform training. National Defence Force training The Department of Defence successfully instituted the National Youth Service (NYS) training programme back in January 2011. This was done in collaboration with participating

state departments. The curriculum of this programme provides subjects such as drill, physical training, leadership, civic education, life skills, youth regeneration, diversity management, environmental management, public service induction, communication and social responsibility. It is important to note that this involves nonmilitary training, as no combat training is provided. Rural Development and Land Reform training The skills developed by DALRRD’s National Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) are construction, agriculture, disaster mitigation, office management, basic administrative skills, project administration and enterprise development. The skills development phase is followed by the communityservice phase, in which the youth apply their newly acquired skills

40 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

in rural communities under mentorship of the responsible department. The exit strategy of the NARYSEC is connected to the maintenance and operational activities of local and district municipalities. Strategic outcomes of the programme include: Decreasing the level of youth unemployment in rural areas Enhancing literacy and skills Increasing the disposable income of youth in rural areas as a result of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities Lowering dependence on transfers from family members working in urban areas At the end of the four year NARYSEC programme, participants are ready for employment, or are able to contribute to the economies of their respective communities through building enterprises of their own. n

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Public SectorSkincare Leaders |& June 2021 | 41 Africology Africology Skincare Spa & Spa Africology Africology Skincare Skincare & Spa& Spa


SA Education SectorDriving digital & preparing youth for future workplaces


he world is increasingly becoming more connected and digitally-led – a fact that has been brought into sharp relief by the pandemic, which has seen almost all businesses developing their digital strategies to cope with remote working and new consumer behaviours. But to keep pace with this digital transformation, the workforce also needs to acquire new skills and competencies. This is why the education sector is moving to teach learners and students digital skills that will prepare them for future workplaces. A new digital perspective Minister of Higher Education and Technology Blade Nzimande has said that the pandemic has shown the education sector that it needs to support augmented

and remote learning. Not only has this allowed for basic and higher education to continue during various levels of lockdown regulations, but it has also seen the sector move towards embracing the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). He adds that the education sector needs to move towards preparing students and learners for emerging, new and innovative business models.

The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the digital divide in society

“At the core of it all – we need education – education and training that keeps pace with

42 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

the 4IR”, said Hon. Nzimande. Just some of the future jobs youths will take up include data analysts and scientists, AI and machine learning specialists, big data specialists, new technology specialists, and software and applications developers and analysts. “However, alongside robotics specialists and engineers you will find jobs like people and culture specialists, client information and customer service workers, and client information and customer service workers” - Minister Nzimande commented. “We have to fill the whole spectrum of the job market – we are not going to replace people with machines, we are going to make people better workers using innovative technologies.”

Driving competitive edge Digital skills are driving competitiveness in today’s economy, and students who possess them will be more in demand in the workplace. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges are ideally placed to impart these skills with their focus on preparing students to become functional workers.

data science and advanced IT skills in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Another similar partnership - between Microsoft, the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA), and Afrika Tikkun Services - promises to provide online opportunities for 20 000 young people under the Microsoft Global Skills Initiative.

Imparting these digital skills is already underway in many TVET colleges. Recently, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and industrial manufacturing company Siemens South Africa entered into a partnership to empower the country’s students with digital skills, working through TVET colleges.

The initiative has helped over 30 million people in 249 countries and territories, and nearly 300 000 in South Africa, to gain access to digital skills. The programme aims to build digital skills capabilities in South Africa and to improve the employability of the country’s youth in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.

This will equip students with critical technical and digital skills, making them more employable, with a focus on

Going beyond basics For South Africa to have the skills it needs to compete in an increasingly digital world,

technology-focused training needs to be carried through to all education sectors. To this end, the Department of Basic Education is moving ahead with the introduction of coding and robotics at South African schools as of next year under the new Coding and Robotics Curriculum. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says that the subjects would form part of the curriculum at different school levels from Grade R to Grade 9. The new curriculum will be introduced through a pilot project with Grades R to 3 in 200 schools across all provinces. Around 1000 schools will pilot the Grade 7 curriculum. The subjects introduced will include pattern recognition, algorithms and coding, robotics skills, internet and e-communicating and application skills. The subjects are aimed at preparing learners to solve

Hon. Blade Nzimande Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 43

problems, think critically, work collaboratively and creatively, and function in a digital and information-driven world, says Hon. Motshekga. “The subjects aim at equipping learners to contribute in a meaningful and successful way in a rapidly changing and transforming society,” Minister Motshekga. The new curriculum has had the full support of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who says building the e-skilled economy as envisaged in the National Development Plan hinges on making changes at the basic education level, especially as studies have shown that the country lags behind in the information technology skills needed for the digital revolution. Focusing on the school curriculum on the 4IR will ensure that learners have the best possible chance at succeeding in a fast-changing global environment. “The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the digital divide in

society, particularly with regards to the adoption of technologies for learning and teaching. It underscores the need to intensify efforts to ensure connectivity and equitable access to data,” - President Ramaphosa. “This calls for stronger publicprivate partnerships to ensure that we mobilise the necessary resources to help our learners. One of the key focus areas of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is boosting education and skills development.” A new workforce Rolling out this new curriculum is a vital step in securing future economic growth. Research has shown that the most critical future skills that businesses will require in the next five years are all digital, with data analysts, data scientists and machine learning specialists topping the list of the most in-demand roles. This need will only increase over the next few decades. Already, more than 40% of businesses in the country say

they struggle to find employees with the required digital skills. And this is likely to soar, with more than two-thirds of businesses predicting they will be hiring into more positions that require deep technology skills over the next couple of years. South Africa’s youth have borne the brunt of the economic downturn, with around the demographic carrying the highest rate of unemployed. If the country can meet the need for digital skills among employees in the market, there is great potential for increasing employment among youth and growing economic activity, which in turn will reduce the inequality gap. The world as we know it continues to rapidly change due to technology, and the careers of the future are more and more relying on computer-based skills. The education system, both at a basic and higher level, has both the responsibility and opportunity to equip learners for this ever-increasingly digital world. n

Hon. Angie Motshekga Minister of Basic Education

44 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 45


Auditing The Role of

in Public Sector Governance


ublic sector auditing is absolutely imperative as it provides legislative and oversight committees, individuals in governance, as well as the general public, with critical insight independent and objective evaluations regarding the conduct, administration and performance of government programmes, operations and policies.

9 institution according to the Constitution). The scope of the annual audit in the public sector includes the audit of the financial statements, formally disclosed performance data, and compliance with key legislation. The AGSA is also at liberty to perform discretionary engagements, such as performance audits, inquiries and special audits.

What is Public Sector Auditing? Public sector auditing is a systematic process of impartially gathering and assessing evidence needed to ascertain whether financial, compliance and performance information (or actual conditions influencing this data) abide by established criteria. In terms of Section 188 of the Constitution, the AuditorGeneral is responsible for auditing and reporting on the accounts, financial statements and financial management of the public sector.

Types of Public Sector Audits Financial audit All financial statements must be audited in order to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements, as a whole, are free from ‘material misstatement’ ie. fraud or human error, and are in accordance with the applicable financial reporting and regulatory framework.

The mandate of the AuditorGeneral South Africa (AGSA) to audit public sector institutions, is informed by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Additionally, the Public Audit Act (PAA) authorises the functions of the AGSA (which is a Chapter

Performance audit Performance audits are necessary for guaranteeing that the reported performance information for the selected programmes, objectives, and development priorities (which are presented in the annual performance report) is truthful, useful and reliable. This is analysed according to the applicable criteria developed from

46 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

the performance management and reporting framework, which is set out in the Directive.

Compliance audit The aim of compliance audits (which checks compliance with key legislation) is to obtain affirmation on whether or not the auditee, with reference to the individual compliance sections scoped into the audit, has complied with necessary requirements of key legislation that have been selected as the compliance criteria for the engagement. Principles of Auditing As a Supreme audit institution (SAI), the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) fundamentally believes in making a difference in the lives of all South African citizens. Its overall objective is to strengthen the accountability, integrity, and the transparency of government and all public sector institutions. AGSA also aims to demonstrate ongoing relevance to citizens, Parliament and stakeholders. Thus, it is essential for AGSA to exhibit a model organisation by way of leading by example.

This organisation operates according to the following core principles: Ethics & Independence - Auditors should comply with the relevant ethical requirements and be independent Professional judgment, due care and scepticism Auditors should maintain appropriate professional behaviour by applying professional scepticism, professional judgment and due care throughout the audit Quality control - Auditors should perform the audit in accordance with professional standards on quality control Audit team management & skills - Auditors should possess or have access to the necessary skill set Audit risk - Auditors should manage the risks of providing a report that is inappropriate in the circumstances of the audit Materiality - Auditors should consider materiality throughout the audit process Documentation - Auditors should prepare audit documentation that is sufficiently detailed to provide a clear understanding of the work performed, evidence obtained and conclusions reached Communication - Auditors should establish effective communication throughout the audit process

Public Audit Act (PAA) In terms of Section 39 of the PAA, the overseeing cohort established in terms of Section 10(3) of the PAA is required to appoint an auditor to audit the accounts, financial statements, and financial management and performance information of the Auditor-General, every year. The PAA also requires the AGSA to audit and report on the accounts, financial statements and financial management of: •

• •

• • •

National and provincial state departments and administrations Constitutional institutions The administration of Parliament and of each provincial legislature All municipalities All municipal entities Any other institution or accounting entity required by other national or by provincial legislation to be audited by the Auditor-General

Auditing in the public sector is a highly specialised field. All individuals taking up auditor roles need to make sure that they have the required knowledge set to accurately conduct audits according to prescribed quality control standards, thereby ensuring the performance of high-quality public sector audits. n

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 47


Riding The



Safety measures are in order as South Africa faces the ‘Third Wave’ - here’s what to expect Rapid increase of infections On Sunday 30 May, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on updates surrounding the state of Coronavirus infections in the country. As the public braced itself, in the midst of talks about a third wave of the virus arriving in SA, President Ramaphosa announced that despite all efforts under Alert Level 1, infections have now begun to rapidly increase in many sections of the country. “Over the last seven days, we have seen an average of 3,745 daily new infections”, said President Ramaphosa.

“The proportion of Covid-19 tests that are positive has more than doubled in the last month from around 4 per cent to more than 11 per cent, even as we have increased testing across the country.

The recent surge in new infections is due to the increasing number of social gatherings “The provinces of Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng have reached the threshold of a third wave of infections...It may only be

48 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

a matter of time before the country as a whole will have entered a third wave.” Turning a setback into a comeback Two months ago the country had felt some relief, with thousands of patients having recovered from the second wave of Covid-19 infections and 3 338 vaccination sites operating across the country. We made significant progress as Phase One of inoculations began and healthcare and frontline workers received their vaccines. Then, more than 325,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in the country in May, with Johnson &

Johnson vaccines on the way too. The government even implemented technological solutions to the vaccine rollout, with the launch of the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). However, with more ‘relaxed’ restrictions following the hard lockdown last year, and the number of infections increasing daily, we have entered a new level of distress, especially with The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirming that the new Indian variant of the virus has landed on our shores, in early May. Even so, the NICD has reassured the public that the two cases are isolated and that they are being managed according

“These protocols include the wearing of masks, social distancing, ensuring adequate ventilation and limits on the number of people who attend gatherings. Other sites of increased transmission are funerals and so-called ‘after tears’ parties, as well as camps and sporting activities at schools.”

to strict guidelines. Additionally, contact tracing has been conducted to limit the spread of the variant. Third wave protocols As we face the early days of the Third Wave, President Ramaphosa empathises with all individuals experiencing ‘pandemic fatigue’, but warns against complacency. He has insisted that all citizens take accountability for their actions and be mindful of health protocols put in place for everyone’s safety.

“We have not been as vigilant about wearing our masks all the time, we have not been avoiding crowded places, and we have been socialising more. As a result, infections are surging again”, exclaimed President Ramaphosa.

“According to our health experts, the recent surge in new infections is due to the increasing number of social gatherings where people are not observing essential health protocols”, said Ramaphosa.

The country was placed under adjusted Level 2, effective as of Monday 31 May.n

Adjusted Alert Level 2 Protocols Curfew has been adjusted

Funeral services have

No-essential establishments

Night vigils and other

to 11pm - 4am

must close by 10pm

All gatherings are limited to

a 2-hour limit

post-funeral gatherings are prohibited

100 people indoors and 250

The sale of alcohol

Social gatherings should be

Masks remain mandatory in

people outdoors

kept to a minimum

A maximum of 100 people

continues as per usual

all public spaces - no mask is committing an offence

may attend funerals

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 49


Northern Cape: A shining example of the benefits of solar energy

Solar Power Leader A R11.6-billion project is set to secure the Northern Cape’s position as a solar power leader. The investment will see the development of a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) tower project, with Absa appointed as the lead arranger, senior lender and hedge provider. The Redstone CSP Project will be built about 30km east of Postmasburg and is expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2023. But the project will unlock more than just the province’s potential to lead in the energy sector – it could also bring with economic transformation and develop local industry. Powering growth A CSP tower plant makes use of mirrors, called heliostats, to concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a small area known as the receiver.

When the concentrated light is converted to solar thermal energy, electricity is generated. The project is being developed by ACWA Power of Saudi Arabia and forms part of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers’ Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The project will be one of the largest renewable energy investments in South Africa The South African REIPPPP is a competitive tender process that was designed to facilitate private sector investment into gridconnected renewable energy generation in South Africa. ACWA was named as the successful bidder under REIPPPP in 2015. The construction was due to begin in 2016 but was delayed

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due to complications. In 2018, Eskom signed the purchase power agreement – estimated to be worth around R50-billion – for a 20-year contract. However, the project hit another snare a year later, when one of the partners, US-based SolarReserve, declared bankruptcy. ACWA has since secured financing from several backers, including the African Development Bank, ABSA, Investec, Nedbank, and Sanlam. The project will be one of the largest renewable energy investments in South Africa under the REIPPPP, says Shaun Moodley, Resource & Project Finance executive at Absa. “An important feature of the Redstone CSP Project is that it will have 12 hours of full-load energy storage which will enable the CSP power plant to reliably deliver a stable electricity supply to more

than 200 000 South African homes during peak demand periods, even after the sun has set”, he said. This electricity generation will go a long way to supplementing the country’s power grid. Heavily dependent on coal for electricity generation, the country is currently the world’s 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases. To address this dependence, the South Africa Government recently finalised a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy which envisions a lowcarbon, sustainable and climateresilient future. The drive towards encouraging investment into renewable energy stems from the National Development Plan (NDP), which proposes a diverse energy mix with which to meet the country’s electricity needs to 2030. The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, updated in 2019, identifies 39 696 MW to be added to the national grid by 2030.

keeping lights on: At least 2 000 direct jobs will be created during the construction phase, of which 400 jobs will directly benefit the local community. More than 560 jobs will be created once the power plant is fully operational. In addition, the local manufacturing industry will receive a huge boost, with up to 40% of the required equipment and materials required to be procured locally. The construction of the plant is expected to take just short of three years, and after that, the power plant will be progressively commissioned to reach 100% of design capacity. This should be completed within three years of the plant commencing operations. “Overall, one can see that this is a very important project not only from an energy perspective, but also in the form of both direct a nd indirect job creation.

Absa is pleased to have been appointed as a mandated lead arranger for this project. We have a strong appetite to finance commercially viable renewable energy projects in Africa and we have already established a track record in this area”, says Moodley. “Absa has been a leading financier of renewable energy projects in Africa and we have so far arranged and provided more than R50-billion of financing for more than 30 such projects and we certainly have the appetite for more, whether it is wind, solar PV, solar CSP, or biomass.” The multi-billion dollar investment could well be the boost the province needs to accelerate its development as a leader in renewable energy. As investments into the province gain momentum, they bring the promise of job creation, economic development and supplement to the national power grid. n

The province has seen several solar plants established in the last few years, with the most recent plants coming online in October. Aggeneys Solar Project (46MW) as well as the Konkoonsies II (86MW) were connected to the grid last year. BioTherm Energy’s sister solar plants, situated within 35kms of each other, are expected to produce enough each year to power 110,000 households collectively. Shaping the future But the benefits of the Redstone project plant extend far beyond

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 51


Economic recovery through

Sustainability C

ovid-19 and the resulting national lockdown have left economies around the world in a downturn. Like many other nations, South Africa has established a plan to facilitate economic recovery, and a key component of this plan is protecting the country’s natural wealth. In November, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan would target a 3% average annual economic growth over the next decade.

Climate change driving new sectors But central to the post Covid-19 economic reconstruction and recovery programme is a focus on South Africa’s natural resources. Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister, Barbara Creecy, has unpacked the Green Stimulus Recovery Programme, which will contribute to equitable economic growth, provide employment to marginalised communities and grow economic sectors reliant on the environment without destroying it.

The plan includes the details of a R13.8-billion investment into job creation of around 800,000 jobs and economic opportunities. A further R86.2-billion will be spent on employment creation over the next two years. In addition, a state infrastructure fund will provide R100-billion in finance, in the hopes of unlocking around a trillion rand in investment.

The government also plans to generate more than 17 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 Under the Green Stimulus Recovery Programme, measures are being put in place to ensure the country contributes its fair share to the global climate

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change effort. This includes the establishment of a Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission, which will advise the government on an ambitious and just transition to a lowcarbon economy and climateresilient society. A focus on reducing carbon emissions is front and centre for the South African government, with Ramaphosa recently announcing the government’s plan to reduce carbon emission target ranges a decade earlier than initially planned. The government also plans to generate more than 17 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 and plans to have no new coal plants built after 2030. The aim is to have 80% of coal plants closed by 2050, with renewable energy sources supplying the bulk of electricity in the country. Not only will the shift to renewable energy

reduce the country’s impact on the environment, but it has the potential to create a significant number of jobs and grow supporting industries, in turn aiding economic recovery. To facilitate the renewable energy sector’s development, several pieces of legislation have been developed under this programme, including the revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) recently released for public comment. This is expected to be finalised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in November. Other key legislation includes the country’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, finalised in 2020, and the Low Emissions Development Strategy. These will inform the country’s transition to a low-carbon, sustainable and climate-resilient development path. In addition, the Climate Bill is on its way through the Cabinet system in preparation for tabling later this year. Waste management as a job creator Alongside a shift to renewable energy, a key element of the Green Stimulus recovery plan is the circular economy.

The circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. “The plan promotes waste recycling, renewable energy generation, revitalising our ecotourism and forestry sector, as well as the retrofitting of government buildings to improve climate resilience and save on water and energy consumption”, says Hon. Creecy.

“This will not only ensure circularity but will see product design taking the environment into consideration,” – Hon. Creecy. The new requirements aim to ensure that household, industrial and commercial waste is diverted from landfills and instead used to bolster the product development and waste management sectors. The plan will also include the informal sector, such as waste reclaimers.

Creecy emphasizes that a healthy environment must be one free from waste pollution and has committed to prioritising the implementation of the National Waste Management Strategy.

Under the same theme, marine litter is also an issue the government plans to address. As such the Source-to-Sea Programme will be expanded in 16 coastal districts with the target of creating a minimum of 1 600 work opportunities

Plastic is the main focus in managing pollution, Creecy says. To this end, the focus of government efforts has been to decrease plastic waste and enhance the recycling of plastics. One of the ways the plan addresses this is through amended plastic carrier bag regulations. The new requirements for plastic carrier bags will require all products to contain 50% recycled content from 2023. This will increase to 100% by 2027.

Not only does the Green Stimulus Recovery Programme aim to bring about real environmental change by reducing industry and consumers’ impact on the environment, but it also looks to create sustainable job opportunities. By investing in sectors such as renewable energy and waste management, the Green Stimulus Recovery Programme looks to drive economic growth while protecting the country’s natural resources. n

Hon. Barbara Creecy | Minister of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 53


Mzi Tyhokolo CEO | SLG (Pty) Ltd


reviously a recipient of a Sasol bursary, the Bethulieborn energy specialist, Mzi Tyhokolo, has had quite the journey prior to being appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of SLG, in April this year. From working as a Junior Energy Advisor for Sasol to implementing consultation expertise and practicing servant leadership in SLG, Mzi has acquired more than 15 years of experience within the South African gas and energy sector. Additionally, from 20162017 he was the General Manager of SLCNG - a subsidiary of SLG delivering compressed natural gas directly from source to factories 150km from source. A plant which Mzi started from conception, construction, commissioning, resourcing and ultimately For Mzi, it is of the highest importance for SLG to be a leading energy partner by optimising energy input, advocating for cleaner, renewable energies, and preventing gas waste across the country. Committed to providing quality services and being consistent, Mzi prioritises customer education (on all things gas-related) and customer

satisfaction, whilst working towards SLG becoming a trusted source and provider of gas -His view of a future SLG is that of a leading integrated energy company in South Africa. We sit down with Mzi to discuss his recent appointment as CEO of SLG, and his outlook for the future of SLG the award-winning and leading supplier of premium quality gas natural to industrial and commercial companies situated in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.

“The last 15 years with SLG have been an interesting journey and an exciting time in my life where I have also had many firsts. I was the first Business Development Manager of SLG, and the first General Manager for the SLCNG subsidiary before becoming the Acting CEO, and then CEO. This most recent promotion was a great affirmation of my abilities and the confidence of the Board in not only my contribution to the immense growth of the business to”

Mzi speaks on his career and background before joining SLG: “I started my career at Sasol Gas after graduating, as a Sasol bursary recipient, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. I was the first Black student to join the Sasol Gas sales team and, effectively, have only ever been involved in the gas industry.

Speaking on what products and services SLG provides the industry with: “We trade Natural Gas and Methane Rich Gas, which is synthetic natural gas, to industrial customers via pipeline and as Compressed Natural Gas. In addition, we offer a suite of Value-Added Services like energy optimisation and safety training, as well as advisory services regarding equipment engineering and energy regulation.”

I spent 6 exciting years at Sasol Gas, starting as a Junior Energy Advisor, and moving through the ranks. I then left the company after being headhunted by SLG. I was positioned as a Principal Energy Advisor at first. I wanted to grow the sales team at SLG. Then, in 2006, I was appointed as Chief Energy Advisor.

54 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

What does being the largest CNG operation by volume facility in Southern Africa mean for the regional economy: “Gas can now basically travel further than just the pipeline network. For the first time, those

who have previously been unable to get hold of natural gas can gain access. Thanks to new technologies access for heavy duty logistics to cleaner more cost effective fuel source is now a reality for natural gas vehicle. We are now able to optimise energy input more, create international linkages with reputable OEMs, and be part of a competitive market, with competitive prices.” Mzi comments on the importance of clean energy for the environment: “The impact of greenhouse gases is very well known across the world, as far as its impact on climate change. The environment pays the cost for our progress. The pictures we see of industrial operations billowing plumes of smoke, and a heavy haze hanging in the atmosphere laden with all sorts of chemicals from sulphur dioxide to carbon monoxide which lead to major health issues, are alarming. “A clean energy source not only mitigates the impact of our civilization and industrialisation on the environment, but it creates a generally healthier society. Cleaner energy means a better future for us all…We need to allow the environment to recuperate and deal with the burden we’ve already put on it. “We need to be considering cleaner and renewable energies such as wind, solar energies and gas driving economies as this means the planet will be in a much better state. We need to decrease the burden on the ozone layer and the overall health of the human population.” Industrialization does not have to come at so great a cost

On what achieving the ISO 9001:2015 certification means to the Group and its customers: “This is an affirmation of the quality of not only our processes, but of our service to our customers. This recertification is a testament of the consistency thereof. It’s one thing to preach it, and another to do as you preach. You have to prove yourself and consistently keep it up to avoid complacency and letting things slip through the cracks.” How Mzi measures success: “My measure of success is in seeing results! Building and commissioning the CNG plant, our first customer in GP, reaching our contract quantity milestone, delivering real value for our shareholders, these are but a few examples of measures of success However, I care passionately about ‘how’ our results are achieved. Financial performance results may be a primary focus, yes, but human and societal well-being must be also be considered before celebrating these results. ” Mzi talks on exciting plans for the year ahead: “We hope to see real growth in establishing a national footprint through the proliferation of natural gas throughout the country. There is scope from growth as gas only accounts for 3% of the energy mix in the country”. We are also looking forward to vertically integrating and becoming a source of gas rather than being a procurer, and are looking into embedded power generation. SLG will build on its impressive track record and leverage its expertise to create a superior energy company. We want to be a reliable source of gas for South Africa.”

SLG’s Mission SLG is dedicated to addressing the growing needs of their customers regarding efficient energy solutions, and making sure customers are adequately served to meet their business energy needs. A leading supplier of premium quality gas, SLG delivers its gas products (natural gas, methane rich and compressed natural gas) directly from source to factory via an extensive, well-built pipeline network, and by way of Compressed Natural Gas. n SLG offerings include: An environmentally clean and cost efficient energy alternative to conventional forms of energy, such as liquified petroleum gas, coal, heavy fuel Oil, Illuminating paraffin and electricity. Product versatility (Cogeneration and Tri-Generation) to improve the overall energy efficiency of companies. Tailored technical services. Supplementary valueadded services such as consultations to promote safer use of gas and limit gas wastage.

Contact UMHLANGA OFFICE Tel: (+27) 031 812 0555 UMBOGINTWINI OFFICE Tel: (+27) 87 286 8719

JOHANNESBURG OFFICE Tel: (+27) 031 812 0555 Email: info@slgas. Website:

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 55



The time is right to invest in

Electromobility T

he global move towards electric mobility has been a result of three major shifts – the volatility of the oil price, the COP agreements regarding carbon emission reduction commitments and overall pollution concerns. And while South Africa does not yet have the policy framework in place for the industry to grow, if battery prices continue to fall the price of electric vehicles (EVs) will become competitive in the country. This will be a natural progression for the automotive sector which is a key contributor to the GDP. “For South Africa, a thriving EV market supported by the robust local manufacturing capacity, holds the promise of economic growth and job creation in South Africa. It will also counteract the inevitable decline in demand

for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles globally,” says Khanyiselo Kumalo, Energy Analyst at GreenCape.

Electromobility is one of a suite of alternatives to the fossil-fuel based nonrenewable power that is polluting the environment

The EV market brings with it a number of possible opportunities: • Lithium iron batteries • Passenger vehicles • Electric busses “For SA, a thriving EV market supported by local manufacturing holds the promise of economic growth and job creation. It will also counteract the inevitable decline

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in demand for ICE vehicles globally.” - Green Cape By mid-2021 the sales for electric vehicles reached about 10 million globally with China responsible for 40% of the purchases and in May Chinese tech giant Baidu became the first company to implement a paid driverless taxi service. Things are moving fast in this tech/electromobility space. For South Africa the shift to EVs would have a triple benefit to the environment, the economy and motorists themselves and to get the policy framework developed, Minister of Trade Industry and Competition, Hon. Ebrahim Patel is in discussions with the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). BC (before Covid) South Africa’s local vehicle manufacturing industry was

responsible for contributing roughly 7% to GDP and currently South Africa exports in the region of 60% of its vehicles to the European Union. A red flag here is that the EU is considering emission rules that could ban internal combustion vehicles by 2025.

can change the incentive programme for multinational car companies, which already manufacture in South Africa, so they can get rebates on local electric vehicle manufacturing. I think this is the biggest carrot that government can put out there.” – Hiten Parmar.

“South Africa could lose its principal markets of export — of its crown jewel industry — if it does not change to EVs [electric vehicles]. This is where production incentive programmes are critical.” Hiten Parmar, Director of the uYilo e-mobility programme.

Electromobility is one of a suite of alternatives to the fossil-fuel based, non-renewable power that is polluting the environment.

How do we ensure that the country does not lose out on getting electromobility op pad not just for the export market, but for local consumption and the environment? “Government

The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme In 2020 the country’s reliance on non-renewable coalbased Eskom-generated power nearly brought the economy to a standstill with rolling load shedding taking place day and night. Twelve years ago, in 2009,

we started investigating how to increase and sustain private investment in renewable energy and in 2010, after the necessary legislation had been passed, the Department of Energy launched the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) to enhance South Africa’s power-generation capacity. This programme encourages independent power producers (IPPs) to generate power using renewable techniques which the Government then buys for Eskom. Renewable energy sources include: • Solar - photo voltaic cells • Onshore wind, • Hydro • Biomass

KHANYISELO KUMALO Energy Analyst | GreenCape

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 57

The REIPPP was also structured to contribute to broader national development objectives: • Job creation • Social upliftment • Broadening economic ownership

What is an independent power producer? An IPP is a company established by a range of shareholders to bid for the construction and operation of an independent power plant.

“South Africa’s renewable energy procurement policy is unique in its emphasis on stimulating socio-economic benefits at the local level for communities in the vicinity of renewable energy (RE) projects.

The shareholders typically could include: • Black industrialists • Other South African shareholders • Community Trusts representing the local communities where the projects are located • Foreign shareholders

In addition to potential indirect benefits for communities, deriving from procurement and construction, government policy places specific requirements on independent power producers (IPPs) to foster community ownership in the form of shareholding in RE projects, local employment, as well as annual monetary contributions to stimulate local development” - Cobenefits Study 2019.

An example of IPPs Globeleq South Africa Management Services, operates and majority owns three IPPs: • De Aar Solar Power • Droogfontein Solar Power • Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm Together these three generate enough clean renewable energy to power over 138 000

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South African homes. During construction of the three projects, an average of 2 000 people were employed on the sites from local communities and 1.5% of project revenues were invested in socioeconomic and enterprise development programmes and skills development to ensure the sustainability of the renewable energy industry. How successful has the Programme been to date? The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 reported that a total 6 422 MW under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme had been procured, with 3 876 MW operational and made available to the grid. South Africa’s 2030 target is to reduce emissions by up to 26% below 2010 levels with a longerterm target of decarbonising electricity completely by 2050. n

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Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 59


Sustainable Agriculture:

Growing food security in South Africa


n a world already grappling with COVID, climate change, water shortage and famine, the future presents profound challenges for feeding a growing population. According to the United Nations World Food Program (UNWFP) hunger arguably kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined in Africa. Food production must double by 2050 to meet the population growth in developing countries. Organic Crops Address Challenges The organic production of crops is viewed as key to addressing environmental, social and economic challenges. It is known to deliver nutritious food products, which will help address the significantly high levels of malnutrition in Southern Africa. Its adoption by smallholder farmers would help to build resilience to the effects of climate change. Organic production focuses on building soil health, including its water-retention capacity, which helps mitigate the effects

of drought on production. South Africa, Namibia and Zambia have been subject to more frequent and severe droughts in the past few years. It also builds resilience to the emergence of new pests and disease vectors likely to result from a changing climate. Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) has been working with smallholder farmers for more than two decades. The organisation has developed training manuals, delivered training and built capacity within its member organisations, and cooperated with regional

What is needed is a change agent that uproots old ideas and changes how people think organisations to develop the organic market, particularly the participatory guarantee system in Zimbabwe and Malawi. PELUM has been working with smallholder farmers for more than two decades. The organisation

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has developed training manuals, delivered training and built capacity within its member organisations, and cooperated with regional organisations to develop the organic market, particularly the participatory guarantee system in Zimbabwe and Malawi. Urban Harvesting The urban environment plays a huge role in shaping peoples’ health, food security and dietary habits, as well as their access to livelihood opportunities. South Africa is undergoing a rapid urbanisation, which places huge demands on land, water, housing, transport and employment. In 2005, a piece of land that is now a thriving social enterprise was barren and blended into the rest of Bezuidenhout Park. It took a dream and lots of hard work for that land to become a locally, nationally and globally recognised hub for knowledge, growth, research and social change. It all began as a 1-hectare food garden that supplied a wide

range of fresh fruits, vegetables, maize, and herbs to local Early Childhood Development Centres and NGOs that provided homebased care to HIV+/AIDS patients and their dependents. Since then, the garden has transformed and expanded to become a city, region, nation and even worldwide demonstration site, training and research hub that was named Siyakhana which directly translates to “we are building each-other”. South Africa is in the midst of a food insecurity where many go to bed hungry, and a lack of dietary diversity leads to detrimental health outcomes such as diabetes and obesity. Micronutrient deficiencies cause stunting in children, which compromises future academic ability. What is needed is a change agent that uproots old ideas and changes how people think, learn and practice urban food farming. Vertical Farming Seventy percent of our water supply goes to agriculture. Current events, future predictions, and common sense tell us we cannot continue on this path. Vertical farms use +-95% less water than

field farming and have developed a closed loop water circulation system that recirculates water to plants. Imagine the impact if even 10% of produce was grown this way. In the field, overuse of pesticides has decreased the beneficial microorganisms in the soil and allowed bad ones to proliferate. Our soil is no longer healthy enough to filter out pesticides and render them inert, leading to toxicity and runoff. Runoff leads to algal blooms and oceanic dead zones. By growing indoors, vertical farms can avoid these issues. Twenty five percent of the world’s land is now highly degraded, with soil erosion, water degradation and biodiversity loss. Arable land is a precious resource and as soil health depletes, so does the nutrition of our food. Vertical farms use less than 1% of the land required by conventional growing. That means they are over 390 times more productive per square foot vs. traditional agriculture, while also ensuring that plants get all of the macro and micro nutrients they need all year round. Vertical farmers AeroFarms was the first agriculture company to be

honored by the “Ellen MacArthur Foundation” as one of the circular economy 100, because of the part they are playing in sustainable agriculture. What we think of as farming is going through a lot of changes for sustainability. From drilling for water, pumping from deeper reserves than ever before, operating tractors, tillers, and harvesters, to washing three times in large scale processing facilities that operate 24/7, traditional commercial farming is quite energy intensive. Vertical farmers reduce harmful transportation emissions by 98% on average. That is because they build farms on major distribution channels and near population centers to bring local, fresh greens to communities who wouldn’t normally have them. The Forestry Sector South Africa has a responsible and sustainably managed forestry sector that balances productive plantations with sound environmental management and social responsibility. With some 1.2-million hectares of commercially farmed trees and thousands of products made from them, timber plantations not only play an important role in South Africa’s economy, but also in society and our natural environment. Trees in both indigenous forests and commercial plantations act as nature’s greatest recyclers. Through photosynthesis, they take in carbon dioxide, keep the carbon for their growth and release oxygen. The carbon stays locked

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up in the wood, even when it is converted into other products i.e. furniture. This is why forestry can help to mitigate climate change. The forestry and forest products sector contributes around R69-billion to the South African economy and employs more than 156 000 people. The majority of forestry’s workforce live in rural communities, where unemployment levels are high and a single wage supports multiple dependents. The forestry sector invests millions of Rands every year in education, health and welfare, community infrastructure and enterprise development programmes. Ahead of the United Nations’ international day of forests on 21 March 2020, Forestry South Africa Research and Protection Director Dr Ronald Heath spoke about how the commercial forestry industry is leading the way in conserving and rehabilitating areas of high biodiversity value. He also challenged people to think differently about plantations. South Africa has approximately 1.5 million hectares of forestry-owned land, 1.2 million hectares of timber plantation and 300 000 hectares of conservation area that stretch from Limpopo and Mpumalanga to KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern and the Western Cape. The country boasts the highest forest certification rate in the world, with some 80% of South Africa’s forestry landscape certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), ensuring that the land is managed properly and

timber is produced in line with global environmental and social sustainability standards. Livestock On 01 August 2019, the Sernick Group welcomed the opening of the Future Farmers office on its premises in Kroonstad, Free State. The Future Farmers Foundation has offices in Kwazulu-Natal, Western Cape and now Free State. This new partnership between Sernick’s emerging farmers programme and the Future Farmers Foundation marks the beginning of new opportunities for the youth that are interested in agriculture and the agricultural sector. The Sernick emerging farmers programme is supported by the Jobs Fund at the National Treasury and is currently assisting 660 emerging farmers to become established commercial farmers. Up until now the model to assist emerging farmers has not been focused on youth development. With this partnership, the company hopes to include more young people from Free State in its programme and give more people an opportunity to successfully enter the agricultural job market with the necessary knowledge and experience. Nick Serfontein, chairperson of the Sernick Group said “The Sernick Emerging Farmers Programme creates jobs, but more importantly it creates hope”. As a vocal supporter of helping emerging farmers he went on to say, “All commercial farmers want to make a difference, but they don’t know how. This is possibly the last

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chance to get it right. We must believe we can, and we must push on because we can make a difference in agriculture.” The Future Farmers Foundation was founded in 2006 by Judy Stuart, a farmer from Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. The organisation is aimed at providing meaningful employment for future farmers and developing them to their full potential. The company uses an apprenticeship-model to qualify farm managers who are capable of running commercial operations. If candidates show passion, commitment and potential after the two-year apprenticeship they are sent overseas for practical experience. Globally, there are more than 1.3 billion young people ages 12 to 24. Many of these are rural youth these young people can lead the next “Green Revolution” that will build a truly sustainable future. n

Mondi South Africa

Paper A natural fit for the circular economy Paper has a fascinating history. Developed centuries ago, it has been through the mill – literally and figuratively – in terms of what it’s made from and how it is made. It also has many interesting side stories: one narrative that often goes untold is how it actually stores carbon, making paper and the wood it comes from good for the planet. “To understand why paper and wood products are vital to a lower

carbon footprint, we can borrow from Nobel Prize-winning physicist

Richard Feynman’s assertion that trees don’t grow from the ground, they

New chapters for wood

Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA).

As the paper sector finds ways to diversify

grow from the air,” says Jane Molony, executive director of the Paper

Many of us first learned about photosynthesis in primary school: how

plants absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide (CO2) to make food. Trees take in CO2 from the air, and water from the ground — which also came

from the air at some point — and convert this into growth (trunks, roots and leaves). Oxygen is returned to the atmosphere. This carbon cycle is

why trees of all kinds are such a vital part of keeping our planet regulated, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change.

in the face of digitisation and reduced

printing and writing paper demand, chemists

and chemical engineers are increasingly discovering the wonder of wood.

Wood is made up of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, sugars and extracts. The properties of these elements make them suitable

ingredients in countless, low-carbon products.

A good story

Dissolving woodpulp, a purified form of

“In South Africa, trees can be divided into two groups — indigenous trees in

natural forests and commercially and sustainably farmed trees in plantations. The latter were introduced some 100 years ago to protect natural forests, by providing farmed wood for productive purposes,” says Molony.

Plantation trees are essentially crops that are planted and replenished in rotations, with only 9% of the total tree count being harvested in any

given year. This means that there are always trees growing, at different

stages of maturity, and these trees are contributing to the carbon cycle, not to mention the economy and the livelihoods of thousands of people. Even when planted trees are harvested for their wood — for construction

or for paper, packaging and tissue — the carbon remains locked up in the wood fibres and stays there for the lifecycle of those products. It’s just one of the reasons paper recycling is important — it keeps the carbon locked up longer.

Watch our video

cellulose, is suitable for chemical conversion into a range of products – it is spun into

viscose and lyocell textile fibres for use in

fashion and decorating textiles, cast into a film or regenerated into a sponge.

Extremely versatile, cellulose can also bind

active medicinal ingredients or vitamins into palatable tablets, stabilise emulsions or

increase viscosity — which is why it’s added to low-fat yoghurt and lipstick!

Nanocellulose — tiny cellulose nanofibres — can be used in food supplements and

edible packaging, or even as a composite for screens on electronic devices.

And by growing more trees and making @paperrocksza

innovative things from them we make our

lives better, our jobs easier and our world more sustainable.

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Recover Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,

South Africa is committed to the green, circular economy


limate change and sustainable development are key issues which companies and individuals need to factor into decision-making and processes on a daily basis in order to ensure sustainability of the planet. Supporting the Green Economy Recycling is an important factor in the green economy – when we re-use materials from products to create new ones this uses fewer resources, saves money, uses less energy and results in less pollution. Paper products that are recyclable include magazines, newspapers, packaging, milk and juice boxes. According to an Incpen study, packaging is responsible for, on average, 8% of the carbon footprint of products consumed at home and, therefore, reusing, recycling and repurposing is a key component in its design.

South Africa has 7 recognised Paper and Packaging Responsibility Organisations (PROs): • • • • • • •

The Glass Recycling Company METPAC-SA Paper Recycling Association of SA PETCO POLYCO Polystyrene Association of South Africa SA Vinyls Association

The PROs objectives include: Identifying where there are opportunities in the waste streams in SA where the members can, within the framework of the law, work together to improve recycling rates of the various packaging materials; Engaging and communicating with key individuals within the Central and local Government to achieve

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the following: Highlighting the key role that packaging plays in the modern world and how packaging helps in the reduction of waste and providing information on the various initiatives that are in place in the recycling and recovery of used packaging. SA’s Paper Recovery Rates According to MPACT Recycling, South Africa’s paper recovery rate is well above the global average of 59.3% (ICFPA, 2019 Sustainability Progress Report), and according to PAMSA sitting at 68.5% for 2019 – with 1.2 million tonnes of paper and paper packaging being diverted from landfills in that year. Looking at plastics, the recycling rates for cool drinks and water bottles have improved over the years. The latest statistics indicate that 62% of all plastic beverage bottles produced in SA, in 2019,

were collected for recycling – an increase from 55% in 2016. South Africa is, therefore, ahead of international standards and is currently a recycling worldleader. “South Africa’s recycling infrastructure has developed to make it as easy as possible to #SeparateAtSource as certain recyclable materials can be grouped together. This is called “multi-recycling” and simply means separating recyclables from general waste. In fact, all paper-based recyclables can go in one clear refuse bag, making recycling accessible and easy. The balance of recyclables such as glass, plastic and cans can be placed in a separate bag, purely because they often carry liquid which can contaminate paper and cardboard.” – MPACT.

“How recycling is collected differs from community to community. There might be a formal recycling collector, collectors who service particular residential areas, or local community collection points such as schools, retirement villages or shopping malls”, comments John Hunt, Managing Director of MPACT Recycling.

South Africa’s paper recovery rate is well above the global average of 59.3% Government commitment to recycling and waste management On 21 April 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that R100-billion would be allocated for job protection and creation, as part of the emergency relief package in response to the

Covid-19 global pandemic. The Presidential Employment Stimulus sets out to create and support 800,000 job opportunities, with R12.6-billion committed in the current financial year and an investment of R100-billion over the next three years to support the recovery of employment. The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has commenced various programmes to provide job opportunities for unemployed graduates in sectors such as water and energy efficiency, the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme, facilities management, waste management and real estate management. In the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, a number of programmes to address climate change adaptation measures, sustainable forest management and retention of jobs in wildlife, eco-tourism and bioprospecting value chains aims to provide more than 50 000 job opportunities – with an investment of R1.9-billion from government. This includes expanding existing programmes through contract extensions, as well as new programmes. The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries promotes the following as healthy waste management practices: reduce, re-use, recycle and recover – collectively known as the 4 R’s and defined as the “waste hierarchy” in the Waste Act of 2008. n

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Every Drop

Counts Every time you take 30 minutes in your day to donate blood, you’re giving someone a new chance at life.


ach year we commemorate World Blood Donor Day on 14 June. This worldwide celebration is an acknowledgement of the millions of global citizens who dedicate a few hours each year to making voluntary blood donations - to save the lives of patients in dire need of transfusions.

lost a lot of blood, or those who have bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, or even cancer patients. In addition, blood products can help patients who are fighting off life-threatening conditions live longer, with a higher quality of life, and support critical surgical and medical procedures.

World Blood Donor Day raises awareness surrounding the need for safe blood, to honour blood donors who make these transfusions possible, and to educate communities about how to become eligible donors.

The SANBS values all blood donors who contribute to fulfilling the lifesaving mission of the organisation

Saving millions of lives Blood products and transfusions help save millions of lives every year, whether it be patients who have been injured and have

Donating a unit of blood can save the lives of up to three patients who need blood. Regular blood donors make sure that the safety of blood is maintained, and make it possible for the South African

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National Blood Service (SANBS) to collect enough safe blood to meet the demand. South African National Blood Service (SANBS) SANBS is a not-for-profit organisation. Meaning that should SANBS stop operating, for any reason whatsoever, all its assets would be required to be transferred to another organisation with similar goals and objectives. Providing a most essential service within our country, SANBS is rated amongst the best in the world with regards to the provision of blood and blood products, as well as all research and training provided by the organisation. Furthermore, it is regarded as a key role player in the provision

of support to countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The organisation operates across all of South Africa, with the exclusion of the Western Cape, which has its own dedicated organisation known as The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS). This non-profit regional health organisation supplies safe blood and blood products to all communities in the region, from Cape Town all the way up to George. How to become a donor The SANBS values all blood donors who contribute to fulfilling the lifesaving mission of the organisation. Donors go through a comprehensive screening test, get their blood pressure and iron level checked, and receive counselling before becoming eligible for donation. However,

to make sure that donors and prospective donors are welleducated on the donation process, SANBS stipulates the following rights and responsibilities of all donors: Donor’s rights Donors must be treated with courtesy and must respect all SANBS employees and volunteers, and have the right to a respectful blood collection experience in which they receive prompt, transparent, and clear information about the donation process. Donors have the right to be assured that SANBS meets all quality standards regarding collection and handling of blood donations. All donor information must be handled with confidentiality, privacy, and security. All donors also have the right to know what intentions

SANBS has and to be assured that donations are used for their intended purposes. Donor’s responsibilities Consideration and respect: You are responsible for being considerate and respectful of other donors and SANBS staff by maintaining civil language and conduct in your interactions at all times. The SANBS does not tolerate any form of abuse or harassment of other donors or staff at its collection sites. Eligibility: You are responsible for providing accurate and complete information to SANBS regarding eligibility to donate blood. Following instructions: You are responsible for following post-collection instructions as given. Please ask questions or tell administrators if you do not understand the instructions and notify the organisation about any health issues after leaving the donation site. Different Ways of Donating There are 4 main ways that potential donors will be able to donate their blood and assist in sustaining the healthcare system. Whole blood donations: This involves donating a unit of blood for a patient, which takes 30 minutes. This unit of blood can, then, be processed into 3 components, namely red cells, platelets and plasma. The components are used to save 3 lives. Platelets donations: Platelet donation is a simple process that takes 90 minutes. Platelets play

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 67

a vital role in blood clotting and prevention of excess blood loss. The blood is processed through a cell separator, which retains the platelets and returns the other blood components to the donor’s system. This procedure enables people to donate platelets every month.

Autologous donations: This is a specialised form of donation, where you may donate blood for yourself before a preplanned surgery.

Plasma donations​: This is a similar process to that of platelet donation, and takes 90 minutes to complete. The blood is processed through a cell separating machine that filters out the plasma and returns the red cells and other cellular components to the donor’s system. Plasma can be donated every 2 weeks where possible.

Minimum requirements to be a blood donor • You are between the ages of 16 and 75 years old, for first time donors. • You weigh a minimum of 50 kgs (and platelets a minimum of 55 kgs) • You are in good health. • You lead a low risk lifestyle.

Designated donations, where your family and friends donate blood for you, may also be arranged.

• •

• •

You consider your blood safe for transfusion. You have had a balanced meal within four hours of donating blood. You have not donated blood in the last 56 days (and platelets in the last 14 days.) Your pulse is between 50-100 regular beats per minute. Your blood pressure is below 180 systolic (first number) and below 100 diastolic (second number) (180/100mmHg) and above 100 systolic (first number) and above 60 diastolic (second number) (100/60mmHg). Your haemoglobin level is 12.5 g/dL or above. n

Do you know your blood group? All donors belong to one of four blood groups: A, B, AB or O. You are also categorised as either Rh positive or Rh negative. In total, there are eight different main blood groups. It is important to note that not all blood groups are actually compatible with each other, and the success of modern transfusion medicine always depends on categorizing and matching up patients and donors correctly. Fun Fact: The O blood group is the universal blood type, and can be administered to patients of any blood group.

68 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

Two million children go to bed hungry...

One Red Bowl can change it all Help stop the injustice and reduce hunger, one child at a time, by giving a gift of great value – a JAM Red Bowl filled with 75% of a child’s daily nutritional needs. For only R50 a month (or R600 per year) you can sponsor the feeding of one or more children by donating online at OR SMS”JAM” to 42181 to donate R30 towards feeding a child. Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 69



Property Rates Act:

Acting in your best interest


he Municipal Property Rates Act Is a national law which regulates the power of a municipality to value and rate immovable properties located within the boundaries of municipalities. Municipalities derive their power lo levy rates from section 229(1) of the Constitution.

Makes provision for municipalities to implement a transparent and fair system of exemptions, reductions and rebates through rating policies.

Makes provision for fair and equitable valuation methods of properties.

Why do we need a Municipal Property Rates Act?

Makes provision for a fair objection and appeal process regarding valuation of property.

The Municipal Property Rates Act: • Regulates the power of a municipality to impose rates on property (in accordance with section 229(2) of the Constitution). •

Provides a uniform framework for regulating the rating of property throughout the country. Excludes certain properties from rating in the national interest.

What must ratepayers do to effectively participate in the implementation of the Municipal Property Rate Act? Chapter 4 of the Municipal Systems Act requires a culture of community participation in the affairs of the municipality. Ratepayers have a responsibility to engage with their municipalities when municipalities invite public comments/submissions/ inputs on their proposed rates,

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policies and budget. The rates policies deal with issues like relief measures to ratepayers such as rebates, and reductions in respect of owners of categories of properties which include the following: • • • •

indigent owners Owners dependent on pensions or social grants Owners temporarily without income Owners of property situated within an area affected by a disaster

What is the municipal property rates revenue used for? Municipalities need a reliable source of revenue to provide services and perform their functions. Property rates are the most important source of general revenue for municipalities, especially in developed areas and are used to fund services

that benefit the community as a whole as opposed to individual households. These include: •

Maintaining streets, roads, sidewalks. lighting, and storm drains Building and operating clinics parks, recreational facilities and cemeteries

These include: •

Property rates revenue is also used to fund municipal administration and governance. •

Ratepayers have a responsibility to engage with their municipalities Property rates are set by municipal councils, collected, and used locally. National and provincial governments do not have the power to levy rates nor do they share in the revenue collected. Revenue from property rates is spent within the municipality where the citizens and voters have a voice in decisions on how the revenue is spent as part of the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and budget processes. The Local Government Municipal Property Rates Amendment Act 29 of 2014 The Local Government Municipal Property Rates Amendment Act 29 of 2014 aims to amend the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act, 2004, so as to provide for the amendment and insertion of certain definitions.

That a rates policy must determine criteria for not only the increase but also for the decrease of rates The exclusion from rates of certain categories of public service infrastructure Infrastructure above the surface in respect of mining property is rateable and the rates are payable by the holder of the mining right or mining permit The exclusion from rates in respect of land belonging to a land reform beneficiary is extended to the spouse and dependants A municipality may levy different rates on vacant residential property The period of validity of a valuation roll is four years in respect of a metropolitan municipality and five years in respect of local municipalities A professional associated valuer may be appointed to the valuation appeal board if a professional valuer cannot be appointed;

This Amendment was enacted from 1 July 2015. Tariff hikes across the country At the end of May this year, Cape Town, Johannesburg and eThekwini presented their 2021/2022 financial budgets reflecting the price hikes that residents can expect to pay for electricity and other tariffs from July:

Electricity Cape Town Johannesburg eThekwinin

13.48% 14.59% 14.59%

Water Cape Town Johannesburg eThekwinin

5.0% 6.8% 8.5%

Refuse Removal Cape Town Johannesburg eThekwinin

3.5% 4.3% 4.9%

For most households, the cost of both water and electricity is set to rise noticeably from July, which is when most local authorities implement their new annual tariff structures. “Those who receive their electricity supply directly from Eskom will already be experiencing an increase of around 15%, and electricity costs in most municipalities are expected to rise by the same percentage from 1 July, thanks to the recent High Court order formalising an agreement between Eskom and the National Energy Regulator. “Meanwhile municipal water costs are expected to increase by between 6% and 10% this year, having already risen by far more than the rate of inflation over the past few years, while refuse removal and sanitation cost increases are also expected to be higher than the rate of inflation in most cases.” - Gerhard Kotzé, managing director of RealNet. n Sources | Dplg information sheet Business Tech

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 71

Section 8, MPRA 8(2)(a)

Residential properties


Industrial properties


Business and commercial properties


Agricultural properties


Mining properties


Public Service Purpose (PSP) properties


Public Service Infrastructure (PSI)


Public Benefit Organisations (PBO)


Properties used for multiple purposes


033 343 2868 72 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

Category of Property

Vacant land

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 73


Achievement Setting the Youth up for

not Failure


s we approach Youth Day on the 16th of June, a day of commemoration to highlight the importance of equality and youth appreciation, I think about the many youth working full time. Some have stepped into jobs where they must learn as they go, and others bring with them their tertiary education, but both with very little or no experience. As it goes with many companies, especially under the trying times we live in and the year of 2020 that still lingers on the fringes, the ‘last in - last out’ philosophy applies. However, many are also adopting the ‘youngest out first’ methodology, primarily because of their lack of skills

and/or experience. Statista shows that the average % of unemployed youth over the last 4 years in South Africa is around 54%, and with 63.4% of the total unemployed population being young people, these stats don’t seem to be about to change any time soon.

If the employer can, they are encouraged to top-up the remaining 25% of the salary Focusing on the youth – using the resources you have Many employers are avoiding employing youth for the reason that they may not be able to upskill them quick enough.

74 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

But, what many employers do not know is that SETA will pay for 75% of the employee’s salary while they obtain training. How so, you ask? Before considering retrenchment, employers who contribute to SETA via their SDL Levies should sign up for the Training Layoff Scheme. The way that it works is like this: The employment relationship is essentially suspended whilst the employee goes on a skills training programme;It is important to note that this scheme is voluntary, and both the employer and the employee must agree to it;

The employee does not receive a salary during this training period but

rather a training allowance amounting to 75% of their salary;

• •

The employer continues to pay the employee’s basic social security contributions, such as UIF, death/disability cover and pension/provident funds; If the employer can, they are encouraged to top-up the remaining 25% of the salary; The training programme generally lasts up to six months and is arranged by the relevant SETA department; In order for the employer to qualify for the Training Layoff Scheme, they must prove that the business is in financial distress, i.e. show by way of their financials that there has been at least a 10% decrease in turnover.

skillset and assists corporates and individuals along the labour journey to ensure they understand what is required of them at all levels.

owners are passionate about helping the youth, they will consider this way instead of retrenchment. Where to apply Employees who qualify can apply for the Training Layoff Scheme through the CCMA at 021 469 0111 or by e-mail at:

The services Silke offers are: • Human and Industrial Relations Related Services • Retrenchments – assisting with everything relating to the restructuring of a business • Unfair dismissals cases • Unfair discrimination cases • Drafting of employment contracts • Transferring of a business as a going concern • Labour Law Statutory Compliance – audit • Monthly retainer packages for IR advice • Outsourced HR services n

saben@ccma. or Should you have any questions about the Training Layoff Scheme, retrenchment or any other Labour Law or HR-related query, you can also reach out to Silke Rathbone of LabourExcel. LabourExcel specialises in offering a variety of Labour Law and HR Solutions. Silke Rathbone, one of the Principal Partners, has crafted and honed her

A win-win situation for both employer and employee Both the employer and the employee/s benefit from the Training Layoff Scheme. The employer saves financially and gains a more skilled employee, whilst the employee keeps their job and gains new skills, setting them up for a bright future. It is essential to know that the process between employers, CCMA and SETA is not a quick one. It is timeously receiving the 75% where many employers and employees alike end up giving up. Another more significant point to note, is that if business

Get in touch with Silke

Email: Cell: +27 72 018 5827

Work: +27 086 1000801 Web:

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 75



08 Environment Month

Each year, National Environment Month is celebrated in June, with the South African government and industry leaders raising awareness about significant environmental issues, and challenging all citizens to become active agents for change. In addition, World Environment Day — the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) biggest annual event — is celebrated on 5 June, and is geared towards facilitating positive environmental action. Important areas of concern are: the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming. The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ and will see the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Ecosystem restoration can take many forms: Growing trees, greening cities, rewilding gardens, changing diets or cleaning up rivers and coasts.

76 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day is geared towards raising awareness about the role of our oceans and the importance of conserving and protecting our marine environment. The 8th of June is celebrated internationally as World Oceans Day. While the day has been unofficially celebrated since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, in December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to officially recognise World Oceans Day annually. Our oceans are necessary for ensuring food security and the overall survival of all life on Earth. On this day we also celebrate the power the oceans have over our climate and biosphere. World Oceans Day encourages global consciousness surrounding the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.

14 World Blood Donor Day

Countries across the globe celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) annually. This event aims to educate the public about the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving contributions to public health systems. Blood donations are key to ensuring that healthcare systems garner a sufficient supply of blood for injured and near-death patients. For 2021, the World Blood Donor Day slogan is ‘Give blood and keep the world beating’. This message highlights the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating by saving lives and improving others’ health. It reinforces the global call for more people all over the world to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health.

South Africa celebrates

Youth and the Environment for the month of June 16

Youth Month - Youth Day

This month is allocated to paying homage to the youth of 1976 who fought against the apartheid government, laying down their lives in the fight for freedom and the right to equal education. 2021 marks 45 years since the youth uprising, in which many young people lost their lives while standing up against a system that sought to condemn their identity, and break their spirit. During June, government and its agencies, such as the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), will host a number of initiatives, including youth expos and youth entrepreneur hubs to showcase opportunities available to the South African youth. The country is encouraged to take part in Youth Month by recognising the present and future role of the youth in shaping the socio-economic landscape of the country.

23 Africa Public Service Day

Africa Public Service Day is a commemorative day in the African Union calendar. It was launched on the back of a conference between African Ministers for Public or Civil Service agendas, held in Tangier, Morocco in 1994. This day aims to draw attention to the value and virtue of service to the community. It is also a platform to reflect and share practical recommendations on women empowerment in public service nationally and across the continent. This year’s theme is ‘The role of Public Administration in Building and Sustaining peaceful coexistence among communities’. Pan-African Ministers agree that this continental strategy is needed to boost public administration programmes, public sector performance and governance as well as recognise the value and virtue of service to the community.

26 International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking

On 7 December 1987, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) made the decision to observe 26 June, annually, as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. This was the General Assembly’s way of expressing its determination to reinforce action and cooperation geared towards achieving the objective of an international society free of drug abuse. Acknowledged each year by communities, various health and support organisations, and individuals all over the world, this global observance is intended to raise awareness around major issues posed in society by illicit drugs. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) encourages individuals, nonprofit organisations, the private sector and Member States to get involved in its social media campaign to mark this day.

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 77



Tourism in SA A case for change - responsible tourism is the need of the hour


ince the start of 2020, tourism and travel across Africa has taken a huge knock, due to travel restrictions and the implementation of lockdown. South Africa has witnessed a drop in tourist visits of 71% - from just over 15.8 million in 2019 to less than 5 million in 2020 (reported by Statistics South Africa). With fears of social gatherings and contracting the Covid-19 virus, many South Africans have been hesitant to do much travelling, both locally and internationally. As pandemic fatigue sets in, we all realise that a break is long overdue, however. Thus, responsible tourism is top of the agenda as we now move into the Third Wave. The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP) The tourism sector makes an essential contribution to the South African economy. In terms of its significant value chain and incredible scope for labour absorption. Tourism is South Africa’s tool for economic development, playing a significant

role in responding to the country’s socio-economic challenges. In light of this, the government has developed the The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP), which aims to target, coordinate action to reduce the effects of the pandemic, and set the Tourism sector on a path to recovery and long-term sustainability.

Enjoy simple activities in nature that involve minimal physical activity and human contact. “This [Covid-19] crisis is an opportunity to rethink the tourism sector and its contribution to the people and planet; an opportunity to build back better towards a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient tourism sector that ensures the benefits of tourism are enjoyed widely and fairly”, commented the Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Mr Zurab Pololikashvili.

78 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

The Recovery Plan, made available earlier this year, is based on the following themes: • The protection and rejuvenation of supply • Reactivating the demand for tourism • Strengthening and enabling long term sustainability These anchoring themes involve the implementation of the following seven strategic interventions geared towards supporting the revival of the sector: 1.

2. 3.



Implement norms and standards for safe operation across the tourism value chain to enable Safe travel and rebuild traveller confidence. Stimulate domestic demand through targeted initiatives and campaigns. Strengthening the supply-side through resource mobilisation and investment facilitation. Support for the protection of core tourism infrastructure and assets.

6. Execute a global marketing programme to reignite international demand. 7. Tourism regional integration. 8. Review the tourism policy to provide enhanced support for sector growth and development. Responsible tourism in action Businesses and organisations need to work together to uplift the Tourism sector to boost the economy. However, the onus also falls on local citizens and international tourists to abide by safety and regulatory practices to ensure that the Covid-19 infection rates do not spike - especially since revenue in the sector has mainly come from increased domestic travel this past year. While this means that proper hygiene, sanitation, mask-wearing and social distancing remains

vital to limiting the spread of the virus, there are other critical factors to consider and steps to take to ensure safe domestic travel going forward. These include: Being considerate of fellow citizen’s quality of life: Do not endanger the lives of other travellers. If you are sick, or have come into contact with someone who has contracted Covid-19, isolation is required. Managing ‘over-tourism’: We must optimise our intake of tourists to ensure the right balance is ensured between the number of visitors allowed at any location and the potential collateral impact these visitors will have on the destination’s physical, social or cultural environment.

Embracing the concept of Soft Tourism: Adopt consciousness surrounding environmental sustainability and social compatibility. Enjoy simple activities in nature that involve minimal physical activity and human contact. Travelling in small numbers: With the onset of the Third Wave, we all have the responsibility of limiting human contact. If you wish to travel within the country, make sure you’re in a small group, everyone has been tested for possible infection, and safety precautions are adhered to. Solo Staycations It is advisable to use this time for solo mini ‘staycations’ to decompress and combat pandemic fatigue. n

Here is a list of some of the most ideal local spots to safely visit in SA: Boschendal Cottages & Villas - Franschhoek, Cape Town

Cabine Du Cap Klein Karoo

Mongena Game Lodge Hammanskraal,

Northern Gauteng Belaire Suites Hotel North Beach, Durban

Heartwood Homestead - East London,

Eastern Cape n

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 79


The road to

Recovery Building a resilient economy beyond the pandemic


conomies around the globe have experienced economic downturns in the wake of the global pandemic, and South Africa is no exception. But a detailed economic recovery plan, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in October, will focus on key sectors to boost the economy and grow employment. In the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, the President outlined clear and practical interventions that are crucial for not only building a new economy but also ensuring recovery from the effects of the pandemic. The plan will focus on building essential infrastructure, stimulating employment and support export industries, as well as creating a supportive policy environment. Working through private-public partnerships, the economic recovery plan has the potential to attract around R1-trillion in investments in infrastructure. It could also result in around 875 000 jobs and enhanced food security, greatly reducing

poverty and inequality in the country. Three critical sectors the government is focusing on to drive economic growth and create jobs are enterprise development, agriculture and manufacturing.

Over the last five years, R32-billion has been invested through funding initiatives to nearly 800 black industrialist businesses Building up young businesses One of the arms of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is enterprise development – supporting the businesses that are enabling economic growth and creating jobs. To this end, the Black Industrialists Programme of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has been integrated to work with the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. The Black Industrialist Scheme seeks to

80 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

address the low representation of black industrialists with majority ownership. The Scheme provides the support they need to transform their organisations into viable, sustainable enterprises that increase economic development and economic inclusivity. The Scheme has already invested more than R4-billion in projects owned by black industrialists. Around 20% of these businesses were owned by women. In April, the DTIC has released the first yearly Black Industrialists Report, which unpacked the funding provided by the department, the National Empowerment Fund and the Industrial Development Corporation to support black industrialists and entrepreneurs. The Fund is an agency of government, mandated to grow meaningful black economic participation and has attracted over R8.8-billion in third-party funding. The DTIC allocated over R640-million to the National Empowerment Fund for the support of businesses that have been

at the forefront of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, for women empowerment, for economic distress and manufacturing enhancement.Over the last five years, R32-billion has been invested through funding initiatives to nearly 800 black industrialist businesses and black entrepreneurs, the report found. The funding has supported the creation of new enterprises across all nine provinces, as well as creating and saving nearly 120 000 jobs, says Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel.

Growing the agricultural sector The agriculture sector also holds promise to aid South Africa’s economic recovery. The industry is one of the few that has proven itself resilient despite the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Because of this reliance, the industry has been identified as a key focus in South Africa’s economic recovery.

“Black industrialist funding, provided by the DTIC and its entities, is creating platforms for a new entrepreneurial class to play its rightful role in boosting industrialisation and fully harnessing the resources of our country.

As part of the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has been drafting an Agricultural and Agro Processing Master Plan. This plan identifies industries that can play a critical role in bolstering economic performance. Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Hon. Thoko Didiza has said that agriculture will play a vital role in the country’s economic recovery.

“These platforms have been enhanced by the DTIC even further through reforms enabled in competition law, efforts to improve the ease of doing business and the implementation of the national sector masterplans”, says Patel.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated the importance of both commercial and smallholder producers in safeguarding food security and promoting selfemployment in rural and periurban areas”, she said.

The sector’s impact is farreaching. In the 2018/19 financial year, gross farming income totalled around R27-billion. In the same financial year, exports of agricultural products earned the country R109-billion. And even during the economic crunch brought on by the pandemic, the sector continued to perform well. Statistics South Africa measured the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector growing by 15.1% in the second quarter of 2020, despite the local economy declining by 51% quarter-on-quarter. To keep up this momentum, the department is working with the private sector to develop wide-ranging support to farmers and traders to keep food supply chains intact and sustain agricultural exports. These interventions are already showing positive results. “The impact of government interventions in the agricultural sector is reflected in the positive agricultural growth rate of 15.1% obtained in the second quarter of 2020”, said Hon. Didiza. The support also boosted agricultural exports. This saw the country generate foreign earnings of R16.07-billion on

“For the country to realise its economic potential, it must embark on a focused and determined effort to transform its industries and make them more dynamic and competitive, “ says Patel. “In doing so, we are developing our industrialisation efforts around strategic localisation by boosting domestic demand for South African manufactured goods and expanding our access to export markets.”

Public Sector Leaders | June 2021 | 81

average per month between April and August 2020. These earnings are 23% higher than the same period in the previous year. But the impact of the sector could be even greater with nurturing, providing extensive opportunity for job creation. Commercial farmers currently employ around 800 000 workers yearly. But the master plan for the sector could create around 317 000 new jobs, most of which will be in the private sector among producers of fruits, nuts, wine and vegetables, as well as in agroprocessing. Expanding production and promoting export is expected to contribute around R80-billion in gross production value – this, in turn, will help the economy recover from the pandemic. Zoning for manufacturing growth Another area that will play a critical role in supporting the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, is the development of the local manufacturing sector through the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) programme. SEZs are zones area created in geographically designated areas, which have been set aside for specifically

targeted economic activities. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition uses these SEZs to increase trade, investment and jobs through special incentives such as a preferential corporate tax rate, employment incentives and relief from VAT and customs and excise duties. The programme will play a critical role in the implementation of South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Hon. Fikile Majola says. “The SEZ programme is at the core of the reimagined industrial strategy, which is purposefully structured to stimulate local and foreign direct investments.” - Hon. Majola. “It is only through cooperation at national, provincial and local government levels that we can successfully build an inclusive economy. Inter-governmental relations, both horizontally and vertically, are important in us achieving the set objectives of the reimagined industrial strategy.” The value of private investments in the South African SEZs had increased by R1.8 billion from

R17.7-billion in March 2019 to R19.5 billion in March 2020. A working example of these benefits is the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ). This project has empowered 45% of local businesses in the construction phase, qualifying it as a model project for localisation. “The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone clearly illustrated the positive impact of the implementation of this approach. The success of the Tshwane Automotive SEZ has reignited the desire and the vision to turn the Gauteng city region into a single multi-tier and integrated SEZ. This is one of our recent shining examples of successful SEZs, joining the likes of Coega, Dube Trade Port and East London SEZ”, explained Hon. Majola. While the workings of the three sectors may differ vastly, they all hold the potential to bring significant economic growth to the local economy, through bolstering local production and providing exporting potential. As these sectors grow, they also bring the promise of job creation, which will have the long-term effect of creating a more inclusive economy and reducing poverty. n

Hon. Ebrahim Patel Minister of Trade and Industry

82 | Public Sector Leaders | June 2021

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