Public Sector Leaders | November

Page 1

NOVEMBER | 2021

COP26 IN FOCUS

A look at what happened at COP26 this year & how it affects SA

SUSTAINABLE FISHING

Fishing for The future - Creating a sustainable inland fishing sector

INDUSTRIALISATION IN AFRICA

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS

16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM

Increased manufacturing holds the key to economic development

Multiparty democracy opens up municipalities to coalitions

A call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls


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Contents

NOVEMBER 2021 | ISSUE 11

Editorial 16 | COP26 in Focus A look at what happened at COP26 this year & how it affects SA 18 | Sustainable Fishing Fishing for The future - Creating a sustainable inland fishing sector 20 | Industrialisation in Africa Increased manufacturing holds the key to economic development 14 | Local Government Elections Multiparty democracy opens up municipalities to coalitions

12

26 | 16 Days of Activism A call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls 36 | Women in Tech Increasing female participation in STEM fields 38 | Cybercrime in Focus Laying down the law on cybercrime & online fraudulent activity

22 | GBVF-NSP Focus GBV: National Council to lead the Government’s Response 24 | UNICEF Focus Child Protection - Where policy meets justice 46 | Covid-19 Update The South African Government is looking to rollout Covid-19 Booster Shots

16

Features 12 | Addressing The Nation President Ramaphosa addresses building a firm foundation for sustained economic recovery

56 | Upcoming Events South Africa commemorates African Industrialisation & all-round health and social awareness

28 | Trailblazer Edward (Eddie) Ndopu: Reinventing Activism Globally

48| Regional Focus Eastern Cape - Working towards water security

30 | Women in Leadership Fighting For Dignity - Ms Lindiwe Zulu: Minister of Social Development

52 | In Other News The State of Diabetes in South Africa

4 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

50 | Financial Fitness How to avoid financial stress this Festive Season 54 | Legal Matters SA Employment Law Vs. Domestic Violence Act


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Not for persons under the age of 18. Please drink responsibly


EDITOR’S LETTER BY FIONA WAKELIN

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

I

n his letter to the country this week – From the Desk of the Presidency - our President celebrates the economic investment into South Africa since the first Investment Conference in 2018.

“Through the investments that are now underway, through the work that social partners are doing to expand local production and through the progress we are making on key reforms, we are building a firm foundation for the success of the fourth South Africa Investment Conference next year. “Most importantly, we are building a firm foundation for a sustained economic recovery that encourages further investment, creating more jobs and providing new opportunities for emerging businesses,” – H.E. Ramaphosa. It is a busy month for our public sector leaders with the local government elections. The Chief Justice Shortlisting Panel submitted its report to President Ramaphosa and His Excellency attended the the launch of the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid vehicle. The month of November celebrates 16 days of activism for No Violence against Women and Children as well the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment, Africa Industrialisation Day and World Fisheries Day. In this edition we bring you an update on the local government elections and what COP26 means for South Africa. There is an update on the country’s growing fisheries economy and we take a look at industrialisation in Africa. Our regional focus this month is on water security in Eastern Cape and our regular feature “Financial Fitness” has some useful advice about how not to go broke over the festive season. We also bring you an interesting COVID update. 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.

FIONA WAKELIN | GROUP EDITOR


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In water-scarce parts of the world, water reuse has become a linchpin to better manage and deliver potable water. For example, the US state of Yet, it’s not necessary to replace At face value, such new systems California enacted Title 22, entire water management sites. might seem more expensive, which facilitates unrestricted By applying the right strategic but not if one considers the total water reuse standards. This law changes, even incumbent cost of ownership. When the City stipulates numerous conditions sites can reuse water and of Stockholm in Sweden looked under which water can be Xylem’s Sanitaire® brand provides innovative diffused aeration and biological wastewater treatment solutions. expand access to surrounding to revamp its water systems for reused, including irrigation, air communities. Such strategic better reuse and sustainability, conditioning and laundry. If Installed in thousands of municipal and industrial treatment worldwide, Sanitaire technologies investments in water sanitation it weighedwastewater its choices based on applications implemented correctly, ensure energy efficient operations. Standard andcosts customized aresignificantly designed with deep process can increase the the total life cycle (LCC) solutions waterreliable, sanitation can be an For more capability, experience and regulatory insight to meet a challenging range of customer demands. number of Nigerians who enjoyinformation for 20 years. One brand, Xylem’s enormous benefit for overall about Sanitaire, visit www.xylem.co.za. reliable access to clean water. n Wedeco systems, won the tender. water availability.

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ADDRESSING THE NATION BY FIONA WAKELIN

BUILDING A FIRM FOUNDATION FOR

Sustained Economic Recovery

P

resident Ramaphosa opened his letter to the nation on 8 November by referring to the first Investment Conference held in 2018 as part of the drive to raise R1.2-trillion in investment over five years. Subsequent conferences were held in 2019 and 2020 and together, all 3 raised just over R770-billion in investment commitments across a wide range of economic sectors. While the fourth conference was due to be held again this month, with everything going on – like local government elections, COP26 and the Intra-African Trade Fair – it has been decided to move it to March next year. This, however has not halted the investment drive and companies continue to make good on their commitments and to look for other investment opportunities in South Africa. His Excellency notes that In 2021 nearly R120-billion of investment commitments flowed into project construction or expansion – which means that around 38% of the total investment commitments (R290-billion) have to date flowed into the economy. Unfortunately, some investments into some sectors such as tourism and property development have been delayed due to COVID-19. At the end of October, President Ramaphosa attended the launch of Toyota’s expanded production line in eThekwini, which will produce South Africa’s first locallymade hybrid car. This investment was the result of a R2.4-billion commitment the company made at the 2019 South Africa Investment Conference. Also in KwaZulu-Natal, Tetra Pak is expanding its operations with an investment of R500-million. In this newsletter, His Excellency also referred to an exciting new area of growth – Pharmaceuticals. Aspen Pharmacare recently launched its R3.4-billion expansion (which it had announced at the 2018 Investment Conference).

12 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021


This investment has turned Aspen’s Gqeberha manufacturing facility into one of the largest global manufacturing hubs for general anaesthetics and has produced over 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. The World Health Organisation has chosen South Africa to host an mRNA vaccine manufacturing hub with the Biovac Institute, which is a public-private partnership with government. South African-born Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong and his company NantWorks recently announced an ambitious initiative to build capacity for advanced health care in Africa.

We are building a firm foundation for the success of the fourth South Africa Investment Conference next year In addition to the investments they will bring, these developments will also contribute to the collective ambition for the continent to manufacture 60% of its vaccine needs by 2040.

private investment in electricity generation projects. At COP26 South Africa secured an initial commitment by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and the European Union (in line with the Paris Agreement) of around R131-billion to fund a just transition to a low carbon economy by investing in renewable energy, green hydrogen and electric vehicles. This is good news and these energy investments will help overcome the load shedding issues that the country is currently experiencing. “We now have 13 special economic zones across the country, providing investors with targeted investment incentives, preferential tax rates and export support. These provide an attractive manufacturing base for companies seeking to supply both local and international markets. Their value has increased further with the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which officially commenced trading at the beginning of the year.

“While the rate of investment has slowed due to the effects of the pandemic, and several projects have been delayed, the investment drive is beginning to gather pace once again. “As we make progress with the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan – with its focus on infrastructure, industrial development, employment and structural reform – the environment for investment will improve further. “Through the investments that are now underway, through the work that social partners are doing to expand local production and through the progress we are making on key reforms, we are building a firm foundation for the success of the fourth South Africa Investment Conference next year. “Most importantly, we are building a firm foundation for a sustained economic recovery that encourages further investment, creating more jobs and providing new opportunities for emerging businesses, ” – President Ramaphosa. n

His Excellency then refers to another area of growth – Energy , with the 25 preferred bidders in the fifth round of our Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme being expected to invest around R50-billion into the economy. The increase of the licensing threshold for embedded generation to 100 megawatts is likely to result in substantial

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 13


LGE FOCUS BY JESSIE TAYLOR

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS

Multiparty democracy opens up municipalities to coalitions SHAKING UP THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE LANDSCAPE The Local Government Elections, which took place on 1 November, has seen a shakeup in the municipal governance landscape. With low voter turnout, the leading parties have seen an overall decrease in votes in favour of smaller parties, and almost a third of all municipalities did not see one party receive a majority vote. Out of 213 councils across the province, 68 councils are hung councils. A hung council is one where no single party has the majority of seats. This results in the parties with the most votes or seats as the key decision-makers and requires parties to form a coalition municipality. Even if a political party has the largest number of votes or seats, it will not automatically become the governing party. This only happens when a party secures a majority of 50% plus one. When no party wins a majority of seats

in a municipal council, the largest political parties in the council usually attempt to form a formal coalition with other parties to secure a majority. However, parties with fewer votes may still form a ruling coalition to make up a majority. Coastal provinces saw the highest number of hung councils. KwaZuluNatal has the highest number of hung councils at 21, including in the metro of eThekweni. The Western Cape has 16 hung councils, and there are three hung councils in both the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape (including in Nelson Mandela Bay metro). In the inland provinces, Limpopo has two hung councils, Mpumalanga three, Gauteng six, North West three, and Free State four. While hung councils may create challenges in putting together political coalitions, they speak to the health of South Africa’s democracy, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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“In the run-up to election day, we have seen images of parties and candidates everywhere, on billboards, on street posters and on social media, all making a case for why they should get our vote. This is a sign that multiparty politics is flourishing in South Africa and that everyone has an equal chance and opportunity to run for public office,” said President Ramaphosa. “This enriches us in many ways. It advances openness and transparency. It affirms that we are a diverse and tolerant society. It affirms the principle that leaders must be chosen by the people and be accountable to the people.” The 2021 elections saw low voter turnout at a record low across the country. Of the more than 26 million registered voters, only just over 12 million cast votes on election day, putting voter turnout at a mere 46%. In the last local government elections


held in 2016, voter turnout stood at 58% - a similar proportion measured in the 2011 local government elections. However, an Election Satisfaction Survey found that 68% of voters took less than 15 minutes to reach their voting stations. On average, 77% of voters waited less than 15 minutes in the queue before voting. The majority of voters (62%) said they had already decided on which party to vote for more than six months before the elections. President Ramaphosa added: “I want to thank the 12 million South Africans who cast their ballots in this election. By performing this important civic duty, you have contributed to strengthening and consolidating democracy. I want to congratulate all South Africans for holding an election that was peaceful, free and fair.” RESULTS IN THE MAJOR METROS: Nelson Mandela Bay: The DA secured 39,92% of the vote, which equates to 48 seats. The ANC won 39.43% of the votes and also holds 48 seats. The EFF secured eight seats or 6.43% of the votes. eThekweni: The ANC secured 42.02% of the vote, which equates to 96 seats. The DA won 25.62% of the votes and also holds 58 seats. The EFF secured 24 seats, or 10.48% of the votes. Cape Town: The DA holds 58.22% of the vote, which equates to 135 seats. The ANC secured 43 seats, or 18.63% of the votes. The EFF secured 4.13% of the votes and 10 seats.

Tshwane: The ANC holds 34.63% of the vote, which equates to 75 seats. The DA won 32.03% of the votes and holds 69 seats. The EFF secured 23 seats, or 10.69% of the votes. Johannesburg: With 33.60% of the votes, the ANC holds 91 seats. The DA holds 71 seats with 26.14% of the votes. ActionSA secured 16.05% of the votes and 44 seats. Mangaung: The ANC secured 50.63% of the vote and holds 52 seats. The DA won 25.73% of the votes and secured 26 seats. The EFF holds 12 seats, with 11.31% of the vote.

THE ELECTION IN NUMBERS 26 204 579

Registered voters

1 110 257

Applications for special votes

23 148

Voting stations

95 000

Candidates

325

Political parties

64 502

Results expected

257

Municipalities

President Cyril Ramaphosa, & First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe, cast their votes for the 2021 Local Government Elections at Hitekani Primary School in Soweto.

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 15


COP 26 BY JESSIE TAYLOR

WHAT HAPPENED AT COP 26

South Africa in Focus LOOKING TOWARD A FUTURE LOW CARBON ECONOMY Climate change in the form of extreme weather events is impacting human health, water availability, food production, infrastructure and migration. The pace of global warming is rapidly increasing, and Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to be severely affected by changing temperatures – the region is already experiencing temperature increases well above the global average. When world leaders gathered to plan a response to the climate crisis at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26), South Africa set a mandate focused on securing funding and aligning with the Paris agreements. FOCUS ON ELECTRICITY SECTOR REFORM This focus has resulted in a partnership between Germany, France, the UK and the US to provide

pledged R131-billion over the next three to five years to fund South Africa’s move towards renewable energy sources. The funds will be in the form of grants, concessional loans and investment and risk-sharing instruments, including mobilising private sector funding. The partnership will focus on enabling South Africa’s transition away from coal towards renewable energy sources, and aims to prevent 1.5 gigatonnes of emissions over the next 20 years. It will also allow for support for the coal sector and its workers and the country transitions to cleaner energy sources. The electricity sector contributes 41% of South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions and will be the first phase of the transition to a lowcarbon economy, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa. South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 10.4% between 2000

16 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

and 2017. The country’s electricity is overwhelmingly generated by coal, with its coal use for electricity more than double the global average. The country has been ranked in the top 20 emitters of greenhouse gases and is one of the most reliant on coal of all G20 nations.

Developed nations have pledged $100-billion a year to developing nations “It will be the quickest industry to decarbonise and will have a beneficial impact across the economy. We will be decommissioning and repurposing coal-fired power stations and investing in new low-carbon generation capacity, such as renewables. We will also pursue ‘green’ industrialisation, such as manufacturing using green technology and a shift to the production of electric vehicles,” President Ramaphosa.


Another source of funding secured is a $1-million allocation from the Clean Technology Fund. This funding and other contributions from the developed world will play an essential role in allowing South Africa to meet the goals set out in the recently updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). Ahead of Cop26, Cabinet approved the updated NDC, which represents South Africa’s contribution to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This will soon be handed over to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The NDC sets out the country’s emissions targets towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “The top of the range of our revised NDC is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s temperature limit of ‘well below two degrees’, and the bottom of the range is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree temperature limit. South Africa has also brought forward the year in which emissions are due to decline from 2035 in the initial NDC to 2025 in the updated NDC,” says Albi Modise, spokesperson for the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. Along with the NDC, several policies and measures are being implemented to achieve South Africa’s emission reduction targets, and most of these focus on the energy sector.

and has been a talking point for all developing nations. These nations have called for developed countries to meet climate finance pledges made in 2009 and move beyond these.

“Countries with developed economies carry the greatest responsibility for climate change as they have historically been the biggest polluters while developing economies are the worst affected.

Research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that developing countries will require between three and four trillion dollars in financial support over the next fifteen years as they transition to lower carbon economies. Developed nations have pledged $100-billion a year to developing nations but have only met a target of $80 billion in 2019. And this amount falls woefully short of the $750-billion that developed countries are likely to need by 2030.

That is why wealthier countries have an obligation to provide significant financial support for developing economies to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions”, says President Ramaphosa.

At COP 26, developed nations acknowledged there was still some way to achieve the climate financing goal and vowed to reach their commitments in the next two years. Financing is expected to increase in 2025.

“We need to act with urgency and ambition to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and undertake a transition to a low-carbon economy. For while there are economic challenges and risks, there are huge economic opportunities that we must seize.” n Sources” thepresidency.gov.za environment.gov.za news24.com ft.com dailymaverick.co.za

PURSUING ECONOMIC BENEFITS This move to a low-carbon economy will require significant international investment from developed countries. This has been a critical focus for South Africa at COP26

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 17


SUSTAINABLE FISHING BY JESSIE TAYLOR

FISHING FOR THE FUTURE

Creating a sustainable inland fishing sector

A

new policy, recently approved by Cabinet, will unlock the potential of South Africa’s inland fisheries resources. This, in turn, will create jobs, add to economic development and help improve food security. The National Freshwater (Inland) Wild Capture Fisheries Policy recognises the informal activity of small-scale fishers in inland areas and formalises this sector. This will go a long way to ensure these inland resources are sustainably used and harnessed to their full potential. POTENTIAL AS ECONOMIC DRIVERS Inland fisheries have traditionally been managed as conservation and biodiversity resources, and until the new policy, had not been recognised for their potential as livelihood opportunities or economic drivers. “The lack of a national policy had hampered the sustainable utilisation of this natural resource and growth in the sector,” says Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy. The new policy will allow for the promulgation of national and provincial legislation to provide permits and authorisations to be issued to individuals, legal entities or community groups. The policy will effectively decriminalise fishing from inland fisheries for purposes other than sport.Fishing activities in South Africa are currently regulated by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. The existing regulations only provide for recreational fishing, which has created an informal sector around inland fishing for commercial purposes. The new policy adopts the ecosystem approach to fisheries which aims to increase the contribution of fisheries to sustainable development through considering ecological constraints. This includes habitat protection and restoration,

18 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021


pollution reduction and waste management, sustainable harvesting of fisheries resources, says Minister Creecy. “An efficient regulatory regime for the inland fisheries sector is created and aligned with the Constitutional approach to natural resource utilisation, and the importance of the small-scale fisheries sub-sector and trade by local communities surrounding inland public water bodies is recognised,” she says. Formalising this sector can have far-reaching effects for those who make a living fishing from inland water bodies. The majority of small-scale fishers are impoverished, and the role of fishing in their livelihoods ranges from part-time fishing for food to full-time commercial occupations.

The aim is to develop the most affordable permitting system “Because the value chains for freshwater fish are short with little value addition, fish are generally sold fresh informally or are consumed by the family the same day,” explains Minster Creecy. A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR FISHERFOLK The implementation of the policy will ensure socio-economic benefits reach the communities that rely on inland fishing. This is the first national policy to guide the sustainable utilisation of

freshwater fisheries and allow for the development of small-scale fisheries sub-sector and trade by local communities surrounding inland public water bodies. The inland fisheries sector has, for many years, operated with no legislative framework for its governance and little recognition for the vital role inland fisheries play as food producers. Due to a lack of clear, nationallevel policy and legislation regulating the inland fisheries, many inland fishers have been forced to rely on recreational fishing permits – the only permit option that currently exists for them, explains Carmen Mannarino, Programme Manager at Masifundise, an organisation that supports small scale fishers. Mannarino adds that the pandemic placed additional burdens on inland fisherfolk by destabilising their income and threatening livelihood. “The lockdown regulations and restrictions that were implemented by the South Africa government in response to the pandemic have greatly impacted the ability of inland fishers to access their fishing grounds and to ensure local food security. Inland fishers were, in some cases, prohibited from carrying out their fishing activities by local conservation and water management authorities as well as the police,” she said. However, formalising the sector will go a long way to securing the rights of fisherfolk, she adds. Small-scale

fishers living close to a water body of interest will be prioritised for issuing permits. The Department will investigate a registration and permitting system for all resource-user categories. “The aim is to develop the most affordable permitting system and ensure that the permit application fees are minimal and affordable, with the possibility of exempting certain categories from paying for fishing permits,” says Minster Creecy. The policy is necessary to sustainably develop the country’s inland fisheries sector, which produces an estimated 900 metric tons of fish and will be aligned to Operation Phakisa. As the government’s ocean economy strategy, Operation Phakisa looks to harness marine resources for economic development and aims to grow the aquaculture sector from R2 billion to up to R6 billion by 2030. The programme aims to create an additional 210 000 jobs in the next decade. n

Barbara Creecy.

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 19


INDUSTRIALISATION IN AFRICA BY JESSIE TAYLOR

INDUSTRIALISATION IN AFRICA:

Increased manufacturing holds the key to economic development

E

xpanding industrialisation is critical to achieving economic development. And as the continent recovers from the economic downturn brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is becoming increasingly clear that industrialisation can help lift Africans out of poverty. Due to its abundant resources – both natural and human – Africa is ideally placed to take advantage of the benefits of increased manufacturing and industrialisation. Pursuing policies that encourage industrialisation will stimulate economies on the continent and go a long way in reducing the income gap. EASING THE BURDEN OF POVERTY Africa’s share of global manufacturing sits at only around 1.9% of the global output. The continent still relies heavily on raw commodities, with manufactured goods making up less than 20% of its exports. Issues such as political instability and structural constraints have historically hampered development on the continent, resulting in a shortage of jobs for youth and significant brain drain. Africa is home to an increasing poverty gap, even though it has abundant natural and human resources. Estimates by the African Development Bank claim that 250 million Africans suffer from hunger, and another 333 million face food insecurity. Around a third of the continent’s people live in extreme poverty. And despite agriculture providing for 60% of the continent’s job opportunities, Africa’s yearly food import bill is nearly $4 billion. However, by embracing industrialisation, the continent could use its natural

20 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021


resources to eradicate poverty and prepare for the effects of climate change. If industrialisation can be successfully implemented, business-to-business spending in manufacturing on the continent is projected to reach $666.3 billion by 2030. This spending will have tripled over the last 15 years.

Africa remains the world’s least industrialised region. Only South Africa is categorised as industrialised. According to the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW), Africa’s abundant natural and human resources could kick-start the development process. This will require focusing on industrial policy, and governments will need to create an enabling environment for industrialisation. INDUSTRIAL POLICY FOR THE FUTURE African states will need to commit to industrial transformation inclusively and sustainably fully. Inclusive industrialisation will allow all sectors of society to participate, reducing the income gap and alleviating poverty. Sustainable industrialisation will be vital to reducing environmental impact, especially as the world faces a climate crisis. As industries on the continent expand, they will need to use modern technology to ensure cleaner and sustainable production – especially as the continent faces rising temperatures and other effects

of climate change. Environmentally sound manufacturing can significantly reduce environmental degradation while still ensuring economic development. Increasing manufacturing plays a critical role in economic development. Industrialisation in the West and East Asia stands as a testament to this: both regions experienced rapid technological advancement and rising income levels. Manufacturing brings with it the opportunity to create jobs for a large number of low skilled workers – something that has a direct impact on poverty levels. Africa remains the world’s least industrialised region. Only South Africa is categorised as industrialised. However, over the last decade, the developing world recorded a resurgence of manufacturing. This has brought with it increased employment in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda. The average manufacturing employment in these countries increased from around 7.2 % in 2010 to 8.3% in 2018. In fact, manufacturing across the entire continent has seen an uptick since 2010. This growth in industrialisation is primarily driven by smaller production companies, with many hiring workers to produce goods for the local demand, such as processed food, clothing and wood products. This is unsurprising, as the large population on the continent provides an ideal and largely untapped market

for manufacturers and is expected to open up further thanks to the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement. However, the future of Africa’s industrial growth will depend on expanding manufacturing production beyond the continent. International holds the promise of unlocking the continent’s performance and providing economic development. If the content can embrace a development agenda that incorporates private investments and industrial transformation, real economic growth will be possible. Domestic manufacturing and commodity-based industrialisation will not only capitalise on the continent’s abundant resources but will also reduce poverty and address climate change concerns. n

Manufacturing employment across Africa has seen an uptick since 2010.

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 21


GBVF-NSP FOCUS BY JESSIE TAYLOR

GBV: NATIONAL COUNCIL TO LEAD THE

Government’s Response SA’S GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND FEMICIDE NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLAN The establishment of a National Council to deal with gender-based violence has been placed on the political agenda. It is an essential forum to coordinate the country’s response to gender-based violence.

women are victims of femicide in South Africa each year. This number is five times the global average. In addition, estimates claim that almost half of all women have reported experiencing emotional or economic abuse at the hands of their intimate partners in their lifetime.

The National Council on GenderBased Violence and Femicide Bill 2021, which lays out the legal framework for establishing the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, should be introduced to Parliament before the end of the financial year.

South African women are vulnerable to very high levels of intimate partner violence and sexual violence. This is evidenced in statistics that between 25% and 40% of South African women have experienced sexual or physical intimate partner violence in their lifetime.

A STRATEGIC RESPONSE Gender-based violence has been dubbed the ‘second pandemic’ South Africa is facing. Statistics paint an alarming picture, with more than 2 700 women murdered due to gender-based violence in the last 20 years.

To address the scourge of genderbased violence, President Cyril Ramaphosa established the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide on 30 April 2020.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 12.1 in every 100 000

The Plan shows high-level political commitment to acting decisively against gender-based violence. The Plan feeds into President

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Ramaphosa’s Emergency Response Action Plan and was developed in partnership with civil society, activists, and researchers. The National Strategic Plan, which had around R21-billion allocated towards it, aims to eradicate gender-based violence by 2030.

The National Council will be inclusive of all South Africans, including women from urban and rural areas

But one of the key elements hindering the Plan’s progress has been the non-establishment of the National Council. According to a report on the progress made in the first year of implementing the Plan, the lack of a National Council hindered the effective monitoring of the government’s response.


LEADING THE FIGHT To allow for the establishment of the National Council, the Bill will be introduced to Parliament by Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Minister Maite NkoanaMashabane.

nomination and selection,” says President Ramaphosa.

“The Bill seeks to establish a multi-sectoral, independent and non-partisan advisory body, comprising representatives from both government and civil society organisations to ensure effective coordination and implementation of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide,” says Minister NkoanaMashabane.

“While the emergency response plan sought to address these and other immediate issues, the National Strategic Plan guides the broader changes that we must achieve in the medium- to long-term. This will be led by the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide National Council,” President Ramaphosa.

“This envisaged structure… shall be accountable to a Board. The National Council on GenderBased Violence and Femicide Secretariat, led by a Chief Executive Officer, will provide technical and administrative support to the Council.” The Bill will be the first step in establishing the National Council and will mark out the objects and functions of the Council. The Bill will also allow for the appointment of the Board of the Council. The National Council will consist of 13 members, 51% of which will be civil society representatives and 49% government representatives. “The National Council will be inclusive of all South Africans, including women from urban and rural areas, and different cultural, racial and class backgrounds. The members will be appointed through a transparent process of public

The National Council will play an essential role in the fight against gender-based violence, says the president.

“As a country, we remain determined to uproot the scourge of violence against our daughters, our mothers, our sisters, our grandmothers and our children.” THE NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLAN ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND FEMICIDE (GBVF-NSP) The National Strategic Plan provides a cohesive strategic framework to guide the national response to gender-based violence in South Africa. The Plan forms part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Emergency Response Action Plan, which was developed following mass action on 1 August 2018.

that encourage changed behaviour and societal norms to allow a safe environment for women and children; •

An efficient criminal justice system that is accessible and inclusive;

Removing systemic barriers that perpetuate victimhood and implementing programmes that care for gender-based violence survivors;

Economic transformation that addresses the inequality and vulnerability experienced by women; and

The creation of policies and interventions informed by research addresses systemic challenges and facilitates effective solutions and responses. n

The National Strategic Plan and the government’s response to genderbased violence are built on six pillars: •

Leadership that responds to gender-based violence strategically in a coordinated approach; Social cohesion programmes

President Cyril Ramaphosa established the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in 2020.

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 23


UNICEF FOCUS BY JESSIE TAYLOR

CHILD PROTECTION

Where policy meets justice V

iolence against children remains a significant challenge facing South Africa. Despite extensive efforts to reduce violence against children, the legacy of violence and inequality in the country make curbing the scourge a complex endeavour. VULNERABLE TO VIOLENCE South Africa's levels of poverty and unemployment create risk for many children, making them vulnerable to domestic violence, substance abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. One study estimates that about 42% of children had experienced some form of maltreatment (whether sexual, physical, emotional or neglect). Even school environments are not all safe spaces for children – the 2012 National School Violence Study found that 13% of learners had been bullied. According to UNICEF, children are affected

by many social issues in South Africa that exacerbate violence – children are orphaned through HIV, there is a large refugee population, and there are high levels of gender-based violence in the country. In addition, high poverty levels increase the likelihood that children will experience maltreatment – lack of housing, access to transportation, and substance abuse have all been linked to child neglect cases.

There are ways to create a safer society. This requires a whole of society approach Children's rights are a cornerstone of South Africa's democracy. These rights are enshrined in the Constitution and protected by the Children's Act. This Act advocates for

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children's rights to essential services, including shelter, protection, maintenance, education, social security, and parenting. A ROBUST SOCIAL CARE SYSTEM To protect these rights, South Africa relies on a child protection policy that aims to create social justice by addressing poverty and inequality, accompanied by a legislative and judicial approach that aims to shield children from abuse and maltreatment. South Africa spends more on social assistance than most other countries, according to a World Bank review. The report puts the social grant spend at around 3.3% of South Africa's GDP. The World Bank found that the social grants were by far the largest facet of South Africa's social protection system, with


the South African Social Security Agency paying out almost 18 million grants.

Publications Act (protection against exploitation in child pornography).

This means that one in every three South Africans directly benefits from a social grant, including child support grants. In addition, more than nine million learners have been reached through the national school nutrition programme.

Another protective measure in place is the National Child Protection Register. This register lists those unsuitable to work with children and protects children from culprits of abuse. It also helps the Department of Social Development to identify communities that need awareness and prevention programmes.

This indicates a robust system of social assistance programmes, which are targeted and support a large number of indigent citizens. But social programmes need to be bolstered by a robust judicial system. This includes various legislative measures such as Section 28 of the Bill of Rights, the Child Care Act (which ensures maintenance), and updates in the Children's Amendment Bill; the Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997 (preventing child labour); the Domestic Violence Act; and the Films and

HOW DOES SOUTH AFRICA MEASURE UP?

The register includes names of people guilty of crimes against children and those found not guilty but declared by the court to be unsuitable to work with children. The Child Protection Register is a crucial part of the implementation of the Children's Act. While South African children face high levels of violence, there are ways to create a safer society. This requires a whole of society approach, in which focused policy, advocacy and intervention are central.

The Children’s Act advocates for children’s rights such as shelter, protection, maintenance, education, social security, & parenting.

According to the annual Kids Rights Index developed by non-governmental organization KidsRight, South Africa scored 97th out of 182 countries. The index is the only annual global ranking on how countries worldwide are adhering to children's rights. The report measures 20 indicators across five categories such as healthcare, protection and education. The highest-scoring country was Iceland, with a score of 0.966. South Africa scored an overall mark of 0,723. The country's highest score was in the child's right environment category – which measures discrimination against children and enabling legislation – where the country placed 63rd. However, South Africa scored lowest in the life ranking (the measurement of child mortality and life expectancy) with a placement of 133. n

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 25


16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE

GBVF:

It Stops Now! WEAR ORANGE WITH PRIDE The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is the annual international campaign which takes place between 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and 10 December (Human Rights Day). A key supporting organisation, the United Nations SecretaryGeneral’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign), has called for global action to amplify awareness, solidify advocacy efforts, and disperse education information and news regarding innovations. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. The global theme has been announced as ‘Orange the world: End violence against women now!’. Thus, South Africans have been encouraged to show their support by wearing orange during this period and raising awareness in their communities.

TAKING CHARGE: JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST GBVF This year’s global campaign theme will be mobilising all UNITE networks, civil society and women’s rights organisations, as well as the United Nations system. In addition, the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence, government partners, universities, the private sector, and individuals have also been called to: Advocate for inclusive, comprehensive and long-term strategies, programmes and resources to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public and private spaces - prioritising the most marginalised women and girls.

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Amplify the success stories demonstrating that VAWG is preventable by showcasing effective strategies and interventions to inspire all actors to scale up what works. Promote the leadership of women and girls in their diversity and their meaningful participation in policy making and decision making from global to local levels. Engage Generation Equality Forum commitment makers in your country or region to collaborate in the implementation of bold new commitments and to inspire further action to deliver progress on the Gender-Based Violence Action Coalition Blueprint. The Minister in the Presidency, Hon. Mondli Gungubele, addressed the media regarding the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, 3 November 2021. Minister Gungubele commented that the United Nations campaign would in fact assist in heightening awareness of genderbased violence and femicide (GBVF) in the country. Speaking on the sentencing of rapists and those who enact GBVF violations, Minister Gungubele exclaimed that there would be a strict “zero-tolerance approach against GBVF by the criminal justice system.” Minister Gungubele called on all South Africans to remain vigilant and report all GBVF-related incidents to the police. Citizens can also call the National GBVF Command Centre on 0800 428 428 or Stop Gender Violence Helpline on 0800 150 150/*120*7867#.

THE MAIN PRINCIPLES OF UNITE CAMPAIGN ADVOCACY ARE: •

Honouring and acknowledging women’s mobility and their leadership in the 16 Days of Activism, and in preventing and ending violence against women and girls. Leaving No One Behind by taking a human rights-based approach and focusing attention on the most underserved and disadvantaged groups of women and girls who are experiencing intersecting forms of harm in efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls. Adopting a survivor-centred approach by empowering survivors, letting their stories be heard and advocating for their rights. Everyone in society has an important role to play in ending violence against women and girls and we all must work together across sectors to address the various aspects of violence against women and girls. Fostering critical examination of gender roles, regimes and practices, while seeking to create or strengthen equitable gender norms and dynamics for fundamental, lasting changes for women and girls. Elevating the voices of young feminists by creating platforms to elevate voices of the next generation of feminists who are shaping their future now.

HOW SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS CAN PLAY THEIR PART Reject and report abusers. Do not turn a blind eye. Sign the Pledge Against Gender-Based Violence. Challenge and denounce cultural practices that perpetuate gender inequalities. Be sensitive and supportive to GBV victims by sharing helpful information and supporting causes near you. Seek personal help to change harmful behaviors such as alcohol and substance abuse. Teach children values of gender equality. Protect children from exposure to violence and harmful content on internet and social media, including pornography, sexual solicitation. Develop policies that prevent and deal with gender based violence in your sector, workplace and communities. Organise targeted community outreach and dialogues on solutions towards a gender equal society. n

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 27


TRAILBLAZER BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE

E D W A R D ( E D D I E ) N DO P U :

Reinventing Activism Globally T o be an advocate for global change means thinking out of the box and reimagining a world where all people flourish. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, Edward Ndopu, follows this philosophy, using his platform as an activist to envision a world that doesn’t exist just yet.

DEFEATING THE ODDS Eddie Ndopu, born in Namibia and raised in the Western Cape, was diagnosed with a severe degenerative condition known as spinal muscular atrophy, when he was just 2 years old. His family was warned that he would have only five years left to live. Surprisingly, Ndopu defied all odds and survived through it all. This was symbolic of his very first steps into advocacy and using his adversity to inspire the world. Now, almost 29 years later, Ndopu is celebrated as a warrior for human rights. “Advocacy really emerges from one’s personal lived experience”, Ndopu said. “It starts with advocating for oneself.” Today, Ndopu is a South African award-winning activist, humanitarian, and public intellectual. He is also one of seventeen eminent global advocates appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Sustainable Development Goals. He has also served as a Special Advisor to RTW Investments — a leading investor in scientific and medical innovation. Aside from this, Edward Ndopu holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Oxford University, and has previously been invited to advise organisations such as the World Economic Forum, UN Women and Amnesty International. He also founded the Global Strategy on Inclusive Education, at the African Leadership Academy — an institution at the forefront of advancement and dialogue in international education and leadership through its membership of several bodies and is an independent school accredited and authorised by global organisations.

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“I feel a particular responsibility and a particular obligation, I think, to really ensure that we leave nobody behind as we try and get back on track in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030”, Ndopu explained. UN SECRETARY-GENERAL’S SDG ADVOCATES The UN Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates are 17 inspiring, influential people raising global awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the need for accelerated action. They use their unique global platforms to raise ambition around the SDGs and reach the most vulnerable first. SDG Advocates are strong public figures dedicated to peace, prosperity and the planet, rallying behind the vision of a better world and inspiring others to do the same. These advocates uphold the same goal of serving humanity and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs — also known as the Global Goals) by 2030.

“Just because somebody has the microphone it doesn’t necessarily mean that what they have to say is meaningful. A very intentional effort to give the mic, to pass the mic, to activists, and hear from them and spotlight their work and amplify their voices is really what we need right now in a world that feels so saturated with everything, and so saturated with content.” Ndopu continued, saying: “‘Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu’ is a wellknown South African phrase that lies behind the definition of Ubuntu. Directly translated from Zulu the saying means: ‘A person is a person, because of other people’, or ‘I am because we are’. It is a commitment to move together as a society and to treat all people with dignity and respect.”

Ndopu’s main priority is to make society aware that children with disabilities can be the protagonists of their own narratives

SERVING HUMANITY Ndopu has spent much of his life advocating for disability rights. His passion for achieving social justice revolves around ‘filtering out the noise’ and giving individuals who have been silenced, and have important messages to share, a space and platform to speak out about the humanitarian goals they hope to accomplish.

DISABILITY IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE Edward Ndopu understands that his life and journey seems incomprehensible for most individuals in the world who live with disabilities daily. Many living with disabilities, unfortunately, experience isolation and neglect.

“I think we need a space where we can really hear activists speaking in their own voice on their own terms”, Ndopu commented.

Ndopu has previously stated that more than 90% of these individuals have never seen the inside of a classroom.

As it stands, Ndopu is the first African with a degenerative disease to have graduated from Oxford University. Thus, he utilises his platform to raise the sound of the voices of the most vulnerable marginalised members of society. Ndopu’s main priority is to make society aware that children with disabilities can be the protagonists of their own narratives. He believes that there is a moral necessity to make sure that he does not merely represent himself, but also takes a stand for those who are unheard. “Humanity has done a disservice when we fail to acknowledge the immense brilliance and potential that people have”, Ndopu said. For Edward, true activism is about highlighting marginalised populations who have the capacity to be amazing. All they need is to be provided with equal opportunities. “Leaving no one behind means giving way for the most vulnerable segments of society to move from the back of the line to the front, so they can lead.” — Eddie Ndopu n

Ndopu addressed world leaders during the Opening Ceremony of COP26 on behalf of the @WeThe15 Campaign.

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 29


WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE

A HISTORY OF POLITICAL CHANGE Honourable Lindiwe Zulu is the Minister of Social Development and served as Minister of Small Business Development between 2014 and 2019. Previously, Hon. Zulu took on the role of International Relations Special Advisor to the President, and also served as the Head of Communication for the PAN African women’s organisation, in Angola, in 1988. She moved to Lusaka, Zambia, in 1989. This was where she played a key role as Head of Communication in the ANC Department of Religious Affairs. In 1990, she then left for Uganda, which was where she took on Head of Communication and Administrator in the ANC office. In 1991, Hon. Zulu returned to South Africa, becoming the new Head of Communication in the ANC Women’s League. Later, she was elected to the ANC Department of Information and Publicity as the spokesperson for the

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first democratic elections. In 2001, she was appointed Chief Director for Western and Central Africa (2001-2003). This was where Hon. Zulu became the Executive Head of Government and International Relations for the Vodacom group. She became the South African Ambassador to Brazil, in 2004, and in 2007 was elected to the ANC National Executive Committee. Today, with expertise ranging across parliament and various sectors, Hon. Zulu holds a Masters degree in Journalism, and is committed to getting South Africa on the global radar for future growth, and opportunities for better removal of barriers so that all citizens can journey toward their dreams with confidence and dignity. SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CAMPAIGNS Just last month, Minister Lindiwe Zulu was the MP at the launch of The Rapid Assessment of the Implementation and Utilisation of the Special Coronavirus Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant Report. For months, she has been actively involved in mitigating the devastating effects of the global pandemic, attempting to ease the pains of millions of South African citizens.


“As part of the Department’s observance of the series of markers of this year’s Social Development Month campaign that we are carrying out under the theme ‘Delivering DSD Services During COVID-19 in the Year of Charlotte Maxeke’, it is with great pleasure that today I am presenting to you The Rapid Assessment of the Implementation and Utilisation of the Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant report”, said Hon. Zulu.

Hon. Zulu will look to reaffirm and strengthen her commitment to South Africa’s social development and social security “This Report reinforces our call for meaningful investments in shock responses that cater for each South African, and thereby ensuring that no one is excluded from contributing to the reconstruction and recovery of our society and economy; the institutionalisation of human-level outcomes and the realisation of community-level impact; the freeing and promotion of the capabilities and prospects of each South African; and increasing the accessibility of Social Development services, deepening active citizenship, supporting community initiatives, and co-creating meaningful solutions where people live (together with the people).” She urged that this assessment is geared towards bettering social assistance and the accessibility of information. It is meant to also alleviate financial hardships. “The report is urging Government

to develop a single citizens’ registry for all services. In the times of big data and the capabilities of artificial intelligence, it is indispensable that social protection programmes should benefit from these technological developments”, Hon. Zulu concluded. FIGHTING AGAINST POVERTY On 8 and 9 November, Honourable Minister Lindiwe Zulu, hosted a delegation from the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire. This was led by the Minister of Solidarity and Fight against Poverty, Mme Myss Belmonde Dogo. This particular delegation took on the form of a 2-day study tour, seeking to share good practices between the two countries, in terms of social protection and social assistance. The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire has since complimented South Africa's social assistance programme and best practices. Hereafter, Hon. Zulu will look to reaffirm and strengthen her commitment to South Africa’s social development and social security reform, placing emphasis on the needs of our people and the right to life.

36th Candidate at African National Congress National Election List (2014)

Women empowerment Strengthening institution of government Human rights Youth empowerment Empowering people with disability GOALS & AMBITIONS FOR THE COUNTRY • To serve her constituency and the people of South Africa. • • Putting South Africa on the international map n

PREVIOUS POSITIONS HELD •

18th Candidate at African National Congress National Election List (2019)

Minister of Small Business Development at National Executive (2014-2019)

Member at National Assembly (Parliament)

Member-elect at National Assembly (Parliament)

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 31


ONYXMS INTERVIEW

Ronann Noble

C E O | O NY X M A N A G E M E N T S OL U T I ONS

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onann Noble is an incredible, passionate woman leader who is the driving force behind Onyx Management Solutions. She subscribes to the servant leadership philosophy and has been part of the IT industry for more than 24 years , putting her clients & subsequent employees first. Her ‘can do’ attitude and positive personality makes her a phenomenal leader. She has been instrumental in the growth of Onyx Management Solutions since inception. The company is a Software Development and Testing Services Provider that extends to other areas of business which includes IT Service Management, Strategic Resourcing, Cyber Security, IT Consultancy as well as Learning and Development.

Q. BRIEFLY EXPLAIN YOUR JOURNEY TOWARDS LAUNCHING THE BUSINESS. A. I have had the privilege of working in South Africa and abroad, and was blessed to have been mentored by some of the industry greats who have helped shape my career in IT. My passion has been and always will be people. I love the energy of engaging and finding solutions that bring about innovation and change. Having worked at some of the largest IT companies in the country, my experiences gained have shaped the OnyxMS ethos. I have also applied my own personal values and ethics, regarding servant leadership to how I manage the OnyxMS business. I push to ensure that our company values are practiced and not just merely written in our code of conduct. Q. WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE AT ONYX MS ENTAIL? A. I am responsible for the strategy and longevity of the business. It is important that our mission, vision and company goals align with our organic growth. I need to ensure that we have a sustainable,

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stable environment whilst tracking a profitable growth trajectory. Having said that, I am involved in every facet of the business. We are an ‘all hands-on deck’ company. Thus, we all jump in and play our part as best we can. Q. AS A WOMEN-OWNED ENTITY, WHAT ARE THE CORE VALUES THAT ONYXMS ADHERES TO IN ORDER TO CONTRIBUTE POSITIVELY TO THE EMPOWERMENT OF YOUR EMPLOYEES AND CLIENTS?

Integrity

Honesty

Transparency

Authenticity

By employing these core values each day, I have found that we get the best from our team. We build a strong culture when we work together, growing and learning from each other as a team. I personally like to create a safe space for the team to just be and then watch the magic unfold. To this end, I have asked each staff member to write their favourite quote mantra on the walls of the office to remind each of us that we are all chasing our own goals, and that OnyxMS is the vehicle that is going to get us there.. I love vision boards and encourage people to share their dreams and what motivates them.

Q. YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR PEOPLE AND I.T. HOW DOES THIS FACTOR INTO YOUR UNIQUE LEADERSHIP STYLE? A. Every person is unique and we each bring something new to the table. By encouraging that uniqueness, we see their growth and full potential. I am a peoplepleaser, and some perceive that as a weakness, but I use that trait of mine as a strength. Someone often wants to do and be more if they are appreciated and acknowledged. I love to see people happy and succeed. If I am able to help, inspire or influence that success, then that is my best reward. Q. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BUSINESS MILESTONES YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF? A. Signing our first client and then renewing with that client, over the last 4 years, is still our greatest achievement. We were very blessed to have a CIO of a global entity have the foresight and the courage to take a chance on a newly registered SMME, which then started the OnyxMS journey. Our next life changing milestone was signing our largest contract to date, which grew not only our team, but our portfolio substantially. That allowed us the stability to initiate our next new exciting adventure - Our Graduate Programme. Q. YOUR GRADUATE PROGRAMME IS TRULY MAKING A DIFFERENCE. PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOUR VISION FOR THIS PROGRAMME. A. We are very excited about this initiative. This is my opportunity to give back to our beautiful country. We have lost much with the outflux

of skills from South Africa for various reasons. This has resulted in us having to source offshore. Having lived and worked overseas myself, I know that our skills are widely sought after. I am grabbing this opportunity to re-ignite the growth and empowerment of our youth, especially our young women. We as women finally have a platform and are a force to be reckoned with. I want that platform to grow and bring back our skills to South Africa. This will contribute positively to our economy. The OnyxMS Graduate Programme is the vehicle I am utilising to affect this growth and empowerment. We have already spoken with a number of companies, in both Public and the Private Sector, and the response has been phenomenal thus far. ONYXMS GRAD PROGRAMME The grad programme will cover the following courses: •

AGILE & CLOUD: Develop a culture of creativity and experimentation and learn how to use Cloud platforms such as AWS and Azure.

SOFTWARE TESTING & AUTOMATION: Learn how to evaluate and verify software product performance, and to replace repeatable manual processes.

FRONT END: Build beautiful, fast and native-quality apps that simplify your user's ability to view and interact with your system.

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 33


BACK END: Build massively scalable, concurrent and serverless backends using cloud technology.

For more info on this exciting new initiative see: https://onyxcorp. africa/grad-programme/ Q. THERE IS CURRENTLY A HUGE SKILLS SHORTAGE IN TERMS OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SA. HOW CAN OTHER EMERGING BUSINESSES ALSO PLAY A ROLE IN ADDRESSING THIS? A. I think that the change has already begun. OnyxMS is a proudly 100% women-owned entity. We are predominantly a womandriven workforce as well. We do have dedicated male employees contributing to our team and mission. However, we are proud that Onyx MS is the poster child for Woman Empowerment at its best from CEO to Tester. Whilst we may not be unique in this, we strive to differentiate ourselves through our engagements and service delivery excellence, and strive to be authentic. Social media has also played its role with increasing awareness of women in

the workplace, especially with many companies using it as a platform for addressing equity, mentorship and women leadership. More women are stepping up and having the confidence, to not only empower themselves, but empower others as well. Q. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FUTURE BUSINESS GOALS? •

To encourage and promote servant leadership.

To establish Onyx Management Solutions as a service provider of choice.

Maintain and grow a stable and sustainable environment for our team, potential employees, clients and partners to grow and flourish. To gain and retain the reputation of trustworthiness backed by our company ethos - Quality Without Compromise and Service Delivery Excellence.

Q. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN IN SA WHO WISH TO PURSUE A CAREER IN IT?

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A. IT is an ever-changing, exciting career path. There are so many facets of IT to choose from and grow in. Think about the pandemic we found ourselves in, that brought the world to a grinding halt and affected so many lives. It was through technology that we were able to continue and sustain our economy as we continued to live, work and support our families. Technology allowed business continuity, and changed the whole mindset about the way of work and productivity. I am blessed and grateful to be part of and have a career in IT which has allowed me to make an impact and now give back through our Graduate Programme.

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There are so many opportunities in IT and Technology. So be brave, strong, and be authentically you take the plunge! n

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CONTACT: Address: 57 Sloane Street, The Campus, Wrigley Field, Ground Floor, Bryanston, 2021 Email: info@onyxcorp.africa Phone: 010 020 1681

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WOMEN IN TECH BY JESSIE TAYLOR

TRANSFORMING THE TECH SPACE

Increasing female participation in STEM fields

I

n South Africa, women currently account for only 23% of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals working in South Africa. And only 17% of those fill leadership positions. Changing this will not only result in far-reaching social benefits; it will also see companies making more profit and unlocking new markets. GENDER DISPARITY There remains an income gap between men and women. In South Africa, only eight women are employed or actively looking for work for every ten men. This is despite women making up more than half of the working-age population. Of those women who are working, they earn 60 cents for each rand earned by men – which, alarmingly, is higher than the global average. South African women in the STEM workforce earn around 28% less than their male colleagues. This requires them to work two and a half more hours a day to earn the same monthly salary. But reducing gender inequality can have big payoffs for companies. Closing the pay gap in developing countries could increase women’s earnings by more than 23%, or $2-trillion. In South Africa, if the gender gap closed by just 10%, there could be economic growth of around 3.2% in GDP, according to estimates by PricewaterhouseCoopers. If women’s employment increased by 10%, the unemployment rate could decrease by as much as 6.5%.

36 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021


In addition, male-dominated workplaces mean that men are developing products and services for men and that women’s perspectives are regularly overlooked. “Involving women in decision-making, design, and innovation will not only create more equality in society as a whole, but it will also lead to a whole new wave of product development that companies could benefit from.

Creating an equal workplace will require addressing the reasons that cause women to leave their careers. In addition, scarcity of skills poses a real danger to companies. In a 2018 survey, 38% out of a selection of CEOs said the availability of specific vital skills posed a threat to business growth. This will become even more of a challenge as technology evolves. In Africa, 63% of CEOs said they struggled to attract digital talent. BUILDING A WOMAN-CENTRED WORKPLACE Increasing female employment in the tech industry requires a holistic approach that makes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields accessible to women.

further education in the field. One way to ensure women remain in the workforce, and in STEM fields in particular, is through reskilling programmes. Reskilling can help women move into higher-paying jobs and will allow them to keep their careers on track after starting a family. It will also ensure skills gaps are closed, but increasing the skills pool within a company. A HOLISTIC APPROACH But graduate programmes are not the only way to encourage women to take up roles in the tech industry. The World Economic Forum suggests cultivating an interest in STEM fields as early as possible. This will require work at the classroom level to remove gender bias, rethink the way children are taught and ensure girls are exposed to tech and related fields. Creating an enabling environment at schools is essential – girls are likely to drop out of STEM fields between the ages of 12 and 14. There is potential for companies to partner

with schools to give girls access to job information, mentors and role models. Female underrepresentation does not only result from a lack of education. Women slowly exit their careers over time, often when they become mothers. Many women find themselves sacrificing promotion and career advancement to their desire to have a family – almost half of new mothers feel overlooked for advancement once they return to work. Creating an equal workplace will require addressing the reasons that cause women to leave their careers. This can include flexible work policies, parental leave policies and removing parental bias from advancement programmes. The participation of women in the workforce is essential for business growth. Mixed-gender teams produce more creative solutions and perform better – something every business needs to harness during these uncertain economic times. n

South Africa has significantly fewer women graduating from STEM degrees, with women holding only around half the degrees of their male counterparts. This is why graduate programmes are essential – they encourage women to re-enter STEM fields and provide them with opportunities for

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 37


CYBERCRIME IN FOCUS BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE

ACTION AGAINST

Cybercrime Here are a few tips on how you can avoid Cyber Fraud

I

nternational Fraud Awareness Week takes place between 15-21 November annually. This commemoration encourages organisations, businesses and individuals to proactively take the necessary precautions to minimise the devastating impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education. Raising awareness on fraud is essential, as organisations around the world are currently losing an estimated 5%of their annual revenues as a result of cybercrimes and cyber fraud — according to the 2020 ACFE Report to the Nations. In light of International Fraud Week, it is an optimal time to address cybercrimes, especially cyber fraud. WHAT IS CYBER FRAUD? Cyber fraud is a crime committed by way of utilising a computer/ electronic device with the intent to corrupt another individual's

personal and financial data, which has been stored online. This type of data can be used by a cyber fraud perpetrator to financially fund themselves, or they might intend to use this money to fund illegal activities. WHERE DO WE STAND? This particular type of cybercrime may harm someone's overall security and reputation as well. And one way for this crime to be committed is through the use of ransomware. Ransomware is everywhere and just about anyone can fall prey to this type of attack. Research has shown that throughout the first half of 2021, Africa accounted for 1,7% of ransomware attacks worldwide. South Africa made up 1,05% of these recorded attacks. This indicates that only 0,65% of the total recorded attacks were actually against users in other

38 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

parts of the African continent — Trend Micro’s midyear Cybersecurity Report 2021. The Trend Micro’s midyear Cybersecurity Report also highlighted a 47% year-on-year surge in email threats, as well as malicious files and URLs.

We were able to sustain our operations by continuously innovating, implementing robust turnaround strategies “Pre-pandemic, when most of the workforce was office-based, it was easier to secure endpoints and a company’s data centre. Traditional perimeter security has disappeared. It is now found wherever your workforce is located – at their homes, in hotel rooms, coffee shops or coworking spaces. Now, the task requires moving workloads to the cloud and securing every employee,


their homes and personal mobile devices, all of which have become companies’ new data centres,” explained Zaheer Ebrahim, Cybersecurity Consultant at Trend Micro. “As cybersecurity threats continue to increase in frequency and sophistication, Security Operations Center (SOC) teams must streamline their security processes without sacrificing reliability. One way to do that is through Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), which continually monitors and responds to mitigate cyber threats. EDR acts like a CCTV camera that records all the activities that occur at an endpoint. While it might not be able to prevent a cybersecurity threat, it can playback the breach to strengthen cybersecurity retrospectively and secure any vulnerabilities from future attacks”, Ebrahim concluded. LAYING DOWN THE LAW New laws documented in the Cybercrimes Act 19 of 2020, are bringing South Africa up to speed in terms of international standards for fighting cybercrime. A spike in global internet-based offences has been acknowledged this year. This has been due to the workfrom-home trend which came into play as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, there is no surprise why these laws have been updated.

Mashabane — Director-General in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and South Africa’s former Cyber Envoy to the United Nations. In addition to the Cybercrimes Act, the Protection of Personal Information Agreement (POPIA) Act 2020, is also now in play. Together, these two strategies play a key part in South Africa’s defence against cybercrime.

However, if we continue to enact new domestic legislation, our nation will convey a critical message to the world of its steadfast commitment to laying down the law and combating cybercrime, especially in relation to cyber fraud.

Advocate Mashabane has also indicated that the Cybercrimes Act will further “bolster our engagement at diplomatic and multilateral platforms with a view to developing a global framework on cybercrimes and cyber security.”

Define offences which have a bearing on cybercrime;

Criminalise the disclosure of data messages which are harmful and to provide for interim protection orders

Further regulate jurisdiction in respect of cybercrimes

Further regulate the powers to investigate cybercrimes

Further regulate aspects relating to mutual assistance in respect of the investigation of cybercrimes

South Africa does, however, stand as a major player internationally, contributing to multiple UN forums geared towards coming up with the best recommendations for how to govern cyberspace efficiently. It is an ambitious mission to successfully complete.

THE CYBERCRIMES ACT 19 OF 2020 INTENDS TO:

Our Cybercrimes Act has been described as “a groundbreaking and decisive step in the country’s cyber governance and policy space”, by Advocate Doctor

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 39


Impose obligations to report cybercrimes

Provide for capacity building

Provide that the Executive may enter into agreements with foreign states to promote measures aimed at the detection, prevention, mitigation and investigation of cybercrimes;

Delete and amend provisions of certain laws

Provide for matters connected therewith

COMBAT ONLINE FRAUD •

• •

HOW TO PREVENT CYBERCRIMES

Provide for the establishment of a designated Point of Contact; to further provide for the proof of certain facts by affidavit

The National Anti-Corruption Hotline for the Public Service is a government initiative. It ensures that all cases of alleged corruption are reported centrally and re-directed to the relevant departments/provincial administration for further attention. To report acts of corruption or fraud, call the toll-free number 0800 701 701 or SMS 39772.

You can also join the global effort to minimise the impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education

For more information: fraudweek.com

40 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

KEEP YOUR INFORMATION SAFE »

Backup all your important files, and store them independently from your system (e.g. in the cloud, on an external drive);

»

Always verify you are on a company’s legitimate website before entering login details or sensitive information.

CHECK YOUR SOFTWARE AND SYSTEMS »

Always upgrade to the latest anti-virus software

»

Secure email gateways to catch threats sent via spam

»

Bolster your home network

»

Secure system administrations vulnerabilities that attackers could abuse

»

Disable any third-party or outdated components that could be used as entry points

»

Download mobile applications or any other software from trusted platforms only

»

Perform regular health scans on your computers or mobile devices

BE HYPERVIGILANT »

Chat to your family members about how to stay safe online

»

Always check and update the privacy settings on your social media accounts

»

Change your passwords regularly and ensure they include a strong mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters

»

Do not click on links or open attachments in emails which seem suspicious n


FM SOLUTIONS INTERVIEW

Lydia Hendricks

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR | FM SOLUTIONS

WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT FACILITIES MANAGEMENT, AND WHY IS THIS FIELD AN ESSENTIAL ONE? No matter what business or industry you find yourself in, facilities management touches and impacts the lives of every person accommodated in that organisation. The discipline of FM is that of anticipating the needs of the organisation, planning and coordinating its support systems, and ensuring a functional, safe and pleasing environment for the occupants, and its visitors. What I find stimulating about facilities management is that it is so diverse. No matter what you have planned for the day, no day is the same and, therefore, you need to be an organised person and have the ability to think on your feet, be people-focused, whilst addressing the challenges in the best interest of the business. Change management and demand management are also essential competencies needed to be successful in this line of work. WHAT ARE THE MAIN TASKS OF FACILITIES MANAGERS, AND WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU COME ACROSS THUS FAR? The responsibilities of facilities managers will vary depending on the nature of the organisation, but generally entail maintaining the buildings and grounds of an organisation, overseeing the upkeep of equipment and supplies, determining and scheduling repairs or renovation projects, and coordinating safety

inspections. For Government, it has become an employment drive, and I agree this must be the goal. Whilst job creation is a top priority for government, it is imperative that employment must not override the objectives of sound facility management for well-run buildings. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT STRATEGIES ARE THERE FOR EFFECTIVE FACILITIES MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT AND THE PUBLIC SECTOR? Government Departments should work together in a more integrated and collaborative manner, working to the same good in order to be effective in service delivery. Without it, efficiencies will never be achieved. Through their outsourced service drive skills transfer, their employment objectives are achieved and in so doing capacity is built. Thus, consistency and performance management of Government staff and contractors will be key once these structures are set up, and the performance measurements (of both staff and service providers) will become paramount. ARE YOU WITNESSING ANY KEY TRENDS EMERGING IN THE FACILITIES MANAGEMENT FIELD IN SA? IF SO, PLEASE ELABORATE. Trends in the facilities management field are: •

Energy efficiency and sustainability given the impact of power outages

Planning and positioning business to meet Government’s 2030 environmental agenda. Hybrid workplace solutions: the workspace is being re-engineered to support hybrid working environments

Business sustainability: the hybrid workplace has resulted in a decreased demand for office space services. Innovative solutions whilst protecting jobs are at the forefront of decisionmakers for business survival

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOUTH AFRICANS WHO ASPIRE TO WORK IN YOUR FIELD OF EXPERTISE? Facilities Management is not for the fainthearted and having a passion for what you do in this industry is the first step to success. My advice to South Africans who wish to operate in this environment is to make a positive contribution to the economy of this country through sustainable business solutions. n Contact: Address: Unit 169, Block F, Millennium Business Park, 19 Edison Way, Century City Cape Town (Head Office) Tel: 021 528 8980 Website: www.fm-solutions.co.za Email: lhendricks@fm-solutions.co.za

Big data: drives procurement and long-term building sustainability and strategy

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 41


PSIRA INTERVIEW

ENSURING SECURITY

Manabela Chauke

DIRECTOR OF PSiRA

PLEASE DESCRIBE THE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PRIVATE SECURITY INDUSTRY REGULATORY AUTHORITY (PSiRA). The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority was established in 2002 in terms of section 2 of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act No. 56 of 2001.The Regulator was founded with the aim to regulate the private security industry to exercise effective control over the practice of the occupation of security service providers. Our mandate is to promote and ensure effective regulation of the security industry and to monitor compliance within the security industry. The private security industry consists of security service providers (i.e., private security companies and security officers) and inhouse security services – that are government departments, SOEs and municipalities that employ security officers and close protection officers. AS THE DIRECTOR FOR PSiRA WHAT ARE YOUR MAJOR FOCUS AREAS? My focus in the next few years is to achieve the Strategic Plan outcomes for the 2020-2025 Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) period and amongst others and in the endeavour to fully implement

42 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

the PSiRA Digital Transformation Strategy, which is geared toward automating the service offerings to our customers, and mitigating the effects of Covid-19 pandemic while improving service delivery. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LEVELS AND TYPES OF CERTIFICATES YOU ISSUE FOR PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS? IS THERE A REQUIREMENT FOR REFRESHER COURSES? We issue certificates to security businesses to ensure compliance in terms of the PSiRA Act and regulations. This is the only type of security business certificate that will legitimise a business function within the private security industry. Secondary to the business certificate is the accreditation award certificate for security training providers who have been accredited to offer security training in the industry. The other certification is that of individual security officers who are certified for their Grades Training on various levels (Grades E to A), predominantly in the guarding sector. We are also looking at the accreditation of other courses in the private security sector, especially certification for different categories which are more into specialisation. Currently, regulation 11(7) of the Code of Conduct for Security Service


Providers requires employers to provide staff in their employ at least once a year with refresher courses on legal aspects of regulation. We recently embarked on developing new grades training material to modernise the training and ensure equitable standards. However, we are very confident that the introduction of the newly revised Grades and review of the current specialised courses will call for all security service providers to conform to the new standards and advance proficiencies by deployed Security Officers.

We are implementing digital transformation strategy that will result in better service delivery WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY THAT LED YOU TO JOINING PSiRA? My career journey started in the Police Force as an Officer after obtaining a Law Degree, and over the years, a management qualification. From the Police, I worked for the National Prosecuting Authority as a Regional Public Prosecutor and later joined the then Security Officers Board, affectionately known as (SOB), as an inspector, and later PSiRA as a Prosecutor. After a stint at PSiRA, I moved to the private sector in different portfolios. My interest has always been in governance and leadership prior to coming back to PSiRA. When I was with PSiRA years ago, I told the previous CEO that I would one day come back as a CEO and of course, he thought there was something wrong with me. Then in 2010, I came back to PSiRA as the CEO, and this was a dream come true.

When I joined PSiRA, the Authority was going through challenging times, especially from a finance perspective. We however had an excellent accounting authority led by the late Mr Thula Bopela as a chairperson who trusted and believed in the new Executive team to turnaround the organisation. The first five years of term of office focussed on turning the organisation around to ensure efficient and effective business processes, establishing improvement to the organisational structure by introducing the Business Information Technology (BIT), Research Development as critical tool to inform policy position, Office of the Corporate Secretary to strengthen governance and Forensic Unit to address corruption and develop an ethical corporate culture within PSiRA. Amongst others, we revised our approach to regulation to focus on compliance and enforcement underpinned by strong capacity building and advocacy campaigns. In addition, we developed the PSiRA brand to be associated with efficiency and introduced certificates with unique security features to curb fraud and corruption within the industry. A decision to extend my term of office has offered an exciting period to lead

the organisation and direct the steps to visualise organisational goals. As the Regulator, we have embraced the digital transformation and the disruption that comes with innovation. For example, in 2018, we launched the PSiRA APP, deployed the geomapping software and currently we are implementing digital transformation strategy that will result in better service delivery, online certification, online accreditation, online registration, and most importantly, allowing our stakeholders to do what they do best instead of coming to queue for services at our offices. In 2013/14 financial year, PSiRA changed its certificate to the current certificate with security features designed with the assistance of Government Printing Works. The purpose of securing our certificates was to curb identity theft and improve industry compliance. Another milestone to be noted is the two research topics conducted by the Research and Development unit around 2015/16: A.

Improving the use of firearms and;

B.

Enhancing the training standards in the private security industry.

YOU HAVE BEEN WITH PSiRA FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAJOR CHANGES YOU HAVE SEEN IN THIS DECADE?

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 43


AMONGST OTHER HIGHLIGHTS ACHIEVED IN THE PAST 10 YEARS ARE: •

Strengthening of corporate governance.

Professionalisation of the private security industry in South Africa.

Financial stability through new revenue streams such as the renewal project.

Increased number of operations and inspections which resulted in severe punitive consequences against non-compliance.

Improvement in various industry sectors and knowledge areas through research and development.

Introspection in industry transformation challenges.

Establishment of industry sector advisory committees.

Great strides were made to improve Stakeholder Engagements.

IS PRIVATE SECURITY A GROWTH INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA? The Security industry is growing at a rapid pace and this growth is characterised by new technology and innovation with the use of security gadgets, artificial intelligence, and strides in embracing 4IR that must be regulated adequately. Over the last eight years there has been a 14% increase in the number of registered Security Officers and 33% of the number of registered active security businesses.

HOW CLOSELY DOES THE PRIVATE SECURITY INDUSTRY WORK WITH PUBLIC SECTOR SECURITY SERVICES? The private security industry works very closely with public sector security, where joint initiatives are held to combat crime. Due to the high number of security personnel in the industry, the public sector is assisted tremendously during operation and opening of cases as and when security businesses are involved in the crime scene and incidents. In addition, the public sector employs inhouse security officers who are also subjected to the regulations by PSiRA. HOW HAS COVID IMPACTED ON HOW THE REGULATORY AUTHORITY CARRIES OUT ITS RESPONSIBILITIES? The Covid-19 pandemic has hit us the same way as any other organisation. From an internal business continuity perspective, PSiRA had a business continuity strategy that was immediately activated. Our ICT services had been improved two years earlier to allow collaboration using Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. From the business side, PSiRA as a regulator is a self-funded organisation and if the security industry experiences an economic downturn, this will affect our ability to render services. However, we were able to carry out several inspections, especially in the first quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year, together with the assistance of our stakeholders, the SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE (SAPS). WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR MAJOR MILESTONES? •

Turnaround strategy in 2010 which has assisted in saving the organisation and maintained liquidity.

44 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

Introduce new PSiRA certificate with encrypted security features and expiry date in 2013.

Opening of the new offices in the Free State in 2017.

PSiRA becomes a member of an international body, IASIR in 2018 and the launch of the PSiRA APP.

Achievement of the first clean audit by the Auditor General South Africa in 2019 to date.

We were able to sustain our operations by continuously innovating, implementing robust turnaround strategies WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR MAJOR HURDLES AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? The Unsustainable Funding Model The Authority is self-funded mainly through prescribed fees in respect of applications for registration and annual amounts payable to it by members of the industry. Over the years, this funding model became defunct. In addition, fines are imposed on businesses found guilty of improper conduct, and interest from investments. The Authority has engaged the National Treasury regarding the sustainable funding model with a view to introducing the Private Security Industry Levies Act, 2002, which is still underway. We were able to sustain our operations by continuously innovating, implementing robust turnaround strategies from fiscal


discipline to heightened industry compliance campaigns to revenue collection. Deployment of undocumented foreign nationals We have been trying to address these challenges by intensifying compliance and the renewal project aimed at curbing identity theft and improving industry compliance. These include the non-registration of personnel and businesses, poor training, inadequate vetting, and background checks, issuing firearms to persons who are not competent to use them, and the failure to pursue criminal or disciplinary action against security personnel breaking the law. Inaccurate Declaration by security companies Some security service providers deliberately choose to evade the statutory requirements by under

declaring their personnel. Through the enforcement approach, we induce punishment for improper conduct by imposing sanctions against noncompliance. Continuous operational efficiencies made it difficult for the industry to sustain inaccurate disclosures of their staff. Transformation of the private security industry. In 2016/17 The Authority appointed a panel of experts to probe matters affecting the industry’s transformation holistically and eventually came up with a transformation concept document after consultation with key industry alliance partners. However, due to financial constraints experienced by the Authority, the discussion document remains to be taken through the next consultative process. The Authority is still hopeful and continues to try and secure

CONTACT DETAILS:

Email: info@psira.co.za

Avenue, Eco Glades 2 Office Park

Office Hours: 07:30 - 16:00

Address: 420 Witch-Hazel

Highveld Ext 70 Centurion, 0158

Phone: 086 133 3850

funding for the project from other stakeholders. HOW IS THE NEW DIGITAL ONLINE PLATFORM GOING TO CHANGE THE SECURITY INDUSTRY? The digital online system currently being developed will ensure effective and efficient customer service and improve regulation of the private security industry. For example, security officers and businesses will no longer need to book to come to our offices to renew their certificates. As a result, they will be able to renew online, thereby saving on travelling costs and time. Over 60 percent of our members are millennials. The new online system is a game changer for this cohort of the industry. Most of the services that are delivered in a face-to-face fashion will be phased out to the digital platform. n

Monday to Friday. Closed on

weekends and public holiday

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 45


COVID UPDATE BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE

Third shot’s a charm The South African Government is looking to rollout Covid-19 Booster Shots A DECLINE IN IMMUNITY PROTECTION It looks like Health workers in South Africa who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (as per the Sisonke study) are likely to be eligible for another dose. It is said that this may come into action as soon as the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has signed off on the trial’s adjusted protocol. The Sisonke study kicked off in February and came to an end in May 2021. 496900 healthcare workers were immunised using the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccination. The study aimed to protect South Africa’s frontline workers, first and foremost.Initially, it was thought that one Johnson & Johnson jab, and two Pfizer jabs, would be just for decreasing Covid-19 infections and death rates. However, news of the findings from two studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, have recently confirmed a decline in immunity protection levels from the two-dose Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. The study indicated that 6 months after taking the BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer), antibody-mediated immunity decreased substantially, especially in those who are 65 years of age or older, and those who experience immunosuppression. DO WE NEED BOOSTER SHOTS? In mid-October Dr Joe Phaahla, who is the South African Health Minister, made an announcement that the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid-19 Vaccines had strongly suggested that citizens who

46 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021


have a compromised immunity be given additional doses of the vaccine. THIS GROUP WOULD INCLUDE: •

Long-term oral steroid therapy patients being treated for autoimmune conditions (or receiving treatments for haematological or immune malignancies). Individuals with solid organ or bone marrow transplants, primary immunological disorders, and renal dialysis.

“The advice is that these categories of patients be offered an additional dose over the prescribed normal, but this must be strictly under the referral by their medical doctor under their supervision”, added Dr Phaahla.

The reduced protection against new variant(s) of concern will need to be addressed

The Health Minister also spoke on the matter of the frontline workers who were vaccinated under the Sisonke Study. These healthcare workers are to be considered for booster Covid-19 vaccine doses as it has been more than eight months since receiving their first J&J jab.

Whether mixing these booster shots with the vaccines already taken is completely safe or not is still up for debate. WHO RATIONALE FOR BOOSTERDOSES According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) there are a few reasons why countries may need COVID-19 vaccine booster doses: •

We need to remedy waning protection against the Covid-19 virus

The reduced protection against new variant(s) of concern will need to be addressed

We must consider the inadequate protection from the currently recommended primary series, for certain risk groups, for which evidence from the Phase 3 clinical trials may have been scarce.

The rationale for booster doses may differ by vaccine product, epidemiological setting, risk group, and vaccine coverage rates.

GOOD NEWS FOR SA TEENS On 15 October the Minister of Health announced that South African teens would be eligible to receive their jab. “Today I am happy to announce that we have reached a stage where we are ready to open up vaccination for children between 12- 17 years of age, and the majority of this cohort are in the secondary or high school level”, he said. “This follows a recommendation by the Vaccine Ministerial Advisory Committee which was supported by Health MECs and Cabinet. This service will start on Wednesday, 20 October 2021 to allow the necessary preparation on the EVDS and other logistics. “We believe this will come handy as schools start exams or are advanced towards concluding the academic year and are preparing for the next year. The Pfizer vaccine has been approved by SAHPRA for this age group and will be used for this purpose”, concluded Dr Phaahla. n

“The request is receiving attention and we are working with the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) on a possible approach,” said Dr Phaahla.

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 47


REGIONAL FOCUS: EASTERN CAPE BY JESSIE TAYLOR

WORKING TOWARDS

Water Security A

prolonged drought in the Eastern Cape has had an extensive impact on residents, industry and farmers – so much so that it has given rise to the development of various relief funds, such as that developed by Agri SA. The Agri SA Disaster Relief Foundation has been established to relieve the plight of farmers and farm workers as drought conditions persist. This fund channels donations from the public to assist farmers with feed after being affected by natural disasters. However, responding to the drought requires a holistic approach that requires the maintenance and upgrading of current infrastructure, creating new water supply channels,

and exploring alternative water sources. Persistent drought conditions. In October, dam levels in the province fell below the 50% mark. While the province holds out for summer rainfall, the dwindling water supply has left farmers, industry role players and authorities concerned. The debilitating drought started seven years ago and has left large parts of the province with unprecedented water shortages. Some of the hardest-hit parts of the province include some of the country’s main agricultural areas. While summer rainfall may bring some relief, there is no consensus on when the drought may lift, especially with such low water tables and dam levels requiring extensive rainfall before they show any noticeable recovery. In October 2019, the

48 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

Eastern Cape Government declared a provincial disaster. In July this year, the national government declared the drought a national disaster due to its magnitude and severity. This declaration will allow the national government to coordinate the response to the drought and will require various state organs to implement contingency plans. Water storage levels are continuing to decline, a situation that has been ongoing for months due to a lack of rain in the province. This has caused farmers to worry they may suffer livestock losses due to the prolonged drought. While low rainfall remains at the heart of the drought, failing infrastructure has also worsened the problem.


In several areas, dams are damaged and do not collect what rainfall there is. This is why the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform has committed to restoring 15 dams in the province by dredging and augmenting the stock dams in response to water shortages.

a seawater desalination plant in Port Alfred. The multimillionrand plant is fitted with stateof-the-art technology to treat and process seawater to be suitable for human consumption. The desalination plant produces close to two million litres of water a day.

“This has not just affected farmers. It has also affected industry, it has affected domestic use and so on. This is why all of us are really concerned that even at the moment, we are not seeing the kind of recovery that we wish to see,” said Water and Sanitation spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.

The Department has also allocated more than R71 million to address water challenges in Graaff-Reinet

A HOLISTIC RESPONSE The Department is looking at various ways to augment existing water supplies. The Tsomo Ngqamakhwe pipeline is busy being constructed at the moment. This will allow for the interlinking of different water systems, which creates opportunities for augmenting one system from another.

The Department has also allocated more than R71 million to address water challenges in Graaff-Reinet to upgrade the groundwater supply to the town. The first phase, which included the refurbishing and equipping of old boreholes and the drilling of new boreholes, was completed in August 2020. The second phase, which is currently underway, will see a Umasizakhe pipeline

constructed and a bulk meter installation. Another project under way is the R650 million Xonxa Dam Transfer Scheme and Bulk Water Supply Project in the Chris Hani District Municipality. The Xonxa Dam Transfer Scheme and Bulk Water Supply Project is already supplying water to the areas around Komani. The project aims to augment the current water supply shortfall within the municipality. The first five phases of the project are already complete, while the tender for the sixth phase is being awarded. The response to the drought requires various interventions – both in the short term and to secure water supply for the province in the future. The numerous projects under way aim to provide water security for residents and essential sectors such as agriculture. n

Interim measures have included allocating more than delivered 171 water trucks and 5 694 water tanks to all municipalities in the Eastern Cape since March 2020. The Department is also working to increase the water supply from the Gariep Dam in the Free State, added Ratau. The following projects are also under way in the province: One of the province’s flagship projects has been establishing

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 49


FINANCIAL FITNESS BY JESSIE TAYLOR

HOW TO AVOID FINANCIAL STRESS THIS

Festive Season

T

he festive season is a time for celebrating with loved ones – but these celebrations can often cause financial strain on families. The period is associated with the creation of debt, as many South Africans extend themselves financially. And after more than 18 months of economic downturn, many citizens may find themselves yielding to the temptation to borrow. However, there are ways to stretch your hardearned funds without putting yourself in debt this festive season. FINANCIAL TRAPS Research ahead of the 2020 festive season estimated that South Africans would spend around R200 billion – or roughly R5 706 per adult. This amount is more than a third of the average South African citizen’s take-home salary. The survey found more than three-quarters of respondents say they spent more than usual over the December period, with food and drink their most considerable expense. The average South African household spends an estimated 50% of its budget on food and beverages. Travel, both commutes and holiday trips, also ate up a large chunk of the respondents’ budgets, followed by gifts. But this year, with steep increases in living expenses due to the economic downturn caused by the global pandemic, coupled with job losses, many South Africans may find themselves unable to meet the demands of the festive season. Last festive season, 47% of South Africans said they were financially worse off than the previous year – something they attributed to the pandemic and resulting lockdowns. Only 20% said they had remained in the same position financially compared to the previous year.

50 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021


One of the biggest financial dangers consumers face over the festive season is the allure of credit. South Africans already have significant debt, with consumer debt standing at R1.9 trillion this year.

Try setting aside money for the start of the year before allocating funds to your festive season. Over the first quarter of the year, first-time defaulters made up an estimated R20.4 billion. Those defaulting on their loans for the first time appear to have spent over Black Friday and the festive season last year. The report found that people struggled to keep up with their payments related to the increased economic activity following the easing of strict lockdowns towards the latter part of 2020. FIVE TIPS TO AVOID OVERSPENDING THIS FESTIVE SEASON Many people struggle to manage their money over the festive season, falling into the trap of making debt. Try these tips to make your hard-earned money stretch.

ensure you’re still on track and adjust if you’ve overspent in one area. Shop smart: Start shopping for gifts early, as prices often increase once the festive season hits. Ensure you compare prices before buying to make sure you’re getting the best deal. And if you need a household or personal item, try to wait until after the festive season when you could benefit from clearance sales. Set aside savings: Consumers often only feel the effects of their festive season spending in January, when they have to pay household accounts and school fees. The start of the year always brings expenses, especially if you have children in school who will need stationery and uniforms. Try setting aside money for the start of the year before allocating funds to your festive season. Gifting guides: Buying gifts can be a significant drain on your pocket. One of the easiest ways to manage gifting expenses is by determining how much money will be spent on gifts and drawing that out. Keep this money in a

sealed envelope, and it will help you shop for gifts that fit into your budget. Ensure you spend wisely and purchase only gifts that your loved one wants to avoid wasting your money. If you’re at a loss for gift ideas, consider making a donation on behalf of your loved one or giving them a gift voucher. Alternatively, consider giving gifts only to children as a family – this will save the whole family some money. Avoid debt: It’s tempting to buy on credit over the festive season, but this can hurt your pocket in the long run. Many deals encourage you to buy on credit over the festive season, but the interest is often high, and you end up paying far more than if you’d bought the product outright. If you fail to make your repayments, you could have your assets repossessed or be blacklisted. The financial stress that comes with repaying this debt can not only affect your pocket but can impact your lifestyle and mental health – making managing your funds over the festive season a priority rather than a luxury. n

Budget: Setting a budget will help you establish what funds you have to spend and allow you to prioritise what you’d like to spend them on. Setting out a budget at the start of the festive season is just the first step, though. It’s best to regularly compare your spending against your budget to

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 51


IN OTHER NEWS BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE

TACKLING SOUTH AFRICA’S CURRENT

Diabetes Crisis KZN: MOST AFFECTED BY DIABETES Recent studies have indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the widespread influx of diagnosed diabetes cases in South Africa. Diabetes has been called a ‘silent killer’ as the earliest symptoms of the disease are often left undiagnosed. With this in mind, doctors have categorised diabetes as a ‘high risk factor’ for individuals who are infected with the coronavirus. Studies conducted in 2021, thus far, have also indicated that the prevalence of diabetes is higher in KwaZulu-Natal than anywhere else in South Africa. DIABETES VIRTUAL SUMMIT On Wednesday 10 November 2021 (ahead of World Diabetes Day on 14 November), the Diabetes Virtual Summit was opened to the public — an initiative geared towards educating the masses on the severe

impact of the disease in correlation with diabetes and finding actionable solutions to the crisis. The summit was themed: Building Back Better: Diabetes Response in SA post-Covid. “In the immediate wake of Covid-19, it is time to take stock. As one of the top comorbidities for severe Covid-19 infection and poor outcomes, diabetes has been brought into the spotlight”, said a release issued by the Diabetes Alliance. “The South African Diabetes Summit will take stock of the current diabetes situation and produce a Diabetes Charter that will allow the government and all interested parties to ‘build back better’ in terms of the South African response to the diabetes epidemic.” Bridget McNulty, the current Diabetes Alliance Chairperson, announced that the organisation, in collaboration

52 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

with the University of Pretoria’s Diabetes Research Centre (DRC), would be leading the inaugural summit. This high-priority response was deemed a necessity for addressing the “country’s exploding diabetes crisis”, said McNulty. “Instead of just telling people about diabetes in South Africa, we’ve invited all those living with and working with diabetes to join us in co-creating SA’s first Diabetes Charter which will be launched at the summit.

Every person in South Africa knows someone or has a family member living with diabetes “Do South Africans really need another summit? Yes, especially one about diabetes and especially in the wake of Covid-19 which was devastating for people with diabetes,” said McNulty.


According to research presented in the SA Medical Journal, “the crude prevalence of diabetes for KZN was 12.5% which was higher than the known prevalence of 9.2%”, she said. “This could be as a result of the large number of South African Indians in KZN, as there has been shown to be a strong genetic predisposition to Type 2 diabetes in SA. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to have an SA Diabetes Summit ‒ and Charter. Our multicultural society needs specifically South African solutions to the diabetes crisis”, McNulty indicated. Type 2 diabetes is often played down as a ‘simple lifestyle issue’ involving a bad diet and lack of good physical exercise. However, the hereditary predisposition of Type 2 diabetes patients is actually a critical part of this problem. “We have all been affected by this growing epidemic. Every person in South Africa knows someone or has a family member living with diabetes. Undiagnosed, untreated and uncontrolled diabetes is leading to serious complications. People with diabetes have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and many have died”, McNulty concluded. THE SOUTH AFRICAN DIABETES CHARTER This Diabetes Charter will be centered around 5 themes, in alliance with the WHO Global Diabetes Compact: Awareness and prevention 65% of South Africans aged 15

years or older have intermediate hyperglycaemia / fall in the prediabetic range. We have an opportunity to prevent this portion of our population from developing Type 2 diabetes, if we act now. Education Diabetes is primarily a selfmanaged chronic condition that should not be lethal. The right diabetes education can empower people with diabetes to live long, healthy lives. This includes the education of health care professionals. People living with diabetes need to be engaged in the development, review and updating of all promotional and educational resources. Management and access to care We know there is suboptimal control of people living with diabetes, with less than 20% meeting their treatment targets. We need to ensure that all healthcare disciplines work together on strengthening and ensuring continuity of care and integrated care pathways. Surveillance We need data on who has diabetes in South Africa: strong systems to monitor and measure our efforts and progress.

WHAT STATISTICS SHOW: South Africa is one of the 48 countries of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) African region. Diabetes is a leading cause of death in South Africa. Shockingly, about 463 million global citizens have diabetes, and more than 19 million these citizens reside in Africa. Socioeconomic disparities and other factors contribute to the prevalence of diabetes in South Africa. The prevalence of diabetes in South Africa is currently 9.2% It is predicted that by 2045, 47 million people in the African region will have diabetes n

Innovation and research Digital health, telemedicine and innovations could improve diabetes management in South Africa. This could expand cost-effective access to care from a shrinking pool of health professionals..

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 53


LEGAL MATTERS BY SILKE RATHBONE, PRINCIPAL PARTNER, LABOUREXCEL

SOUTH AFRICAN EMPLOYMENT LAW VS.

Domestic Violence Act “South Africa holds the tragic distinction of being one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman. We have the highest rates of intimate partner violence, and recently released data from Statistics SA show that rape and sexual violence have become hyperendemic. This is a scourge that affects us all: young and old, black or white, rich and poor, queer or cis, rural or urban. It pervades every sphere of our society.” — The National Strategic Plan On Gender-Based Violence And Femicide

W

hile you, as the employer, cannot take much control over what happens in your employees’ home life and outside of the workplace, you can instil a culture of zero-tolerance when it comes to gender-based violence and femicide.

For too long many have been silent. For too long have many sat back, thrown up their hands and declared that there was nothing they could do. However, we have a different stance on this. By speaking about it freely, by ensuring all people you work with and come into contact with are educated on the subject, you can make a really big difference.

As an upstanding citizen and business owner, you, too, can make your mark HOW CAN AN EMPLOYER HELP? The Employment Equity Act of 1988 (Act 55 of 1998) lays down very nicely what good practise should be in preventing and eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work.

54 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

To keep this simple and to the point, we have bulleted the most salient points you can implement into either your workplace culture or, even better yet, your company policy. The Notice 1367 of 1998 of the National economic development and labour council - Labour Relations Act, 1995 - Notice of good practice on handling sexual harassment cases also assists here with good governance on the subject. •

All employers should look to creating a working environment where, above all else, respect is top of mind. This alone will help those who are possibly part of abusive home life or bullying of a particular manner.

Having an open-door culture and clear acceptance will allow


those affected to know they are not ignored or unheard. •

It goes without saying that all management, employees, clients and suppliers should refrain from any acts of sexual harassment – and with that, make it clear what sexual harassment is: »

»

Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. The undesirable nature of sexual harassment distinguishes it from behaviour that is welcome and mutual. Sexual attention becomes sexual harassment if – The behaviour is persisted in, although a single incident of harassment can constitute sexual harassment; and/or

A complete list of the range of possible sexual harassment forms can be found in detail from the same document.

Where sexual harassment occurs or concern is voiced, the correct protocol should be followed in accordance with the code, whereby appropriate action is taken First and foremost, a sexual harassment policy should be put in place, and elements should be defined, such as:

»

Explaining the procedure to be followed by employees who feel they are victims of sexual harassment;

»

All allegations of sexual harassment will be dealt with seriously, expeditiously, sensitively and confidentially

»

And, that it is clear that all employees will be protected against victimisation, retaliation for lodging grievances and from false accusations ((from Labour Relations Act, 1995)

»

All information will be confidential, and that only appropriate and necessary people will be involved by consent

The recipient has made it clear that the behaviour is considered offensive; and/or The perpetrator should have known that the behaviour is regarded as unacceptable. (excerpt from Notice 1367 of 1998 – Labour Relations Act, 1995)

children kicking off again this year from 25th of November to 10th of December, we know that the government is heavily behind supporting this initiate. But, as an upstanding citizen and business owner, you, too, can make your mark and support. LabourExcel specialises in offering a variety of Labour Law and HR Solutions. Silke Rathbone, one of the Principal Partners, has crafted and honed her skillset and assists corporates and individuals along the Labour journey to ensure they understand what is required of them at all levels. n

With the 16 days of Activism for no violence against women and

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 55


UPCOMING EVENTS BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR 06

03 NOV - 03 DEC Disability Rights Awareness Month Each year, our country commemorates National Disability Rights Awareness Month, which links up with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. The Disability Awareness Month offers an opportunity for us to actively work on removing the barriers that individuals with physical, mental, cognitive, sensory, emotional, and/or developmental impairments experience daily. It is a chance to reaffirm our commitment to improving the quality of life of those living with disabilities. The Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite NkoanaMashabane, has launched this year’s theme as: The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke. It’s all about creating and realising an inclusive society upholding the rights of persons with disabilities.

SADC Malaria Day An estimated 3.2 billion people are at risk of being affected by malaria, which is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites, transmitted to the human body through the bite of infected female mosquitoes. Every year, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) commemorates its Malaria Day, to garner awareness about the disease and rally the malariaendemic community to play its part in the drive towards malaria elimination. The theme of World Malaria Day 2021 is: Reaching The Zero malaria Target. Malaria is predominantly found in tropical and subtropical areas, and currently it is Africa which carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. It is vital that our communities participate in malaria control programmes to combat the growing statistics.

56 | Public Sector Leaders | November 2021

14 World Diabetes Day The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is access to diabetes care. Why? Because a centennial after the discovery of insulin, there are still millions of world citizens living with diabetes around the world who cannot access the healthcare they need. Diabetic individuals must receive ongoing care and support in order to manage their condition and heed off complications. The scary reality is that without proper care, diabetics are at major risk of facing blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and/or lower limb amputation. According to the International Diabetes Federation, it is estimated that by 2035, almost 600 million of us may be living with diabetes. This is why World Diabetes Day is essential for educating everyone on the disease and making access to better healthcare a reality.


AFRICAN INDUSTRIALISATION MEETS

ALL-ROUND AWARENESS 20 Africa Industrialisation Day As per the 1989 recommendations of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa, the United Nations General Assembly historically announced the 20th November as ‘Africa Industrialisation Day’. This commemoration is geared towards mobilising the commitment of the international community to the industrialisation of Africa. This day, in particular, also reminds world citizens that more than 30 of the world’s 48 least developed countries are actually within the borders of the African continent. Industrial development is extremely important for fostering inclusive and sustainable economic growth in African countries. Industrialisation can truly up productivity, and create job opportunities. Thus, this commemorative day is essential for raising awareness on the importance of Africa’s industrialisation, the current opportunities, and the challenges faced by the continent.

21

25 NOV - 10 DEC

World Fisheries Day

16 Days of Activism

Fishing communities around the world unite on this day every year in order to highlight just how important water is for sustaining human life and the environment we live in. A range of themes come to the forefront of critical conversations that occur on this day. Human settlements and nearby water bodies,overfishing, mechanisation implications, water pollution, and sustainability are the hot topics amongst these themes. This year, justice for small-scale fisheries is a major concern in sustainable ocean development.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign is a UN campaign which takes place annually to move from mere ‘awareness’ to action and ‘accountability’ where violence against women and femicide is concerned. South Africa is plagued by Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF); it is in fact labeled as the ‘destination of femicide’ due to the alarming statistics.

We really need to work towards equity in the fisheries space and balancing the ecosystem. Unless we address these concerns all at once, a larger crisis will emerge. We must work towards finding solutions to these increasingly interconnected issues and maintain our fish stocks.

During the 16 Days period, Government together with civil society and the private sector will host a series of community and sector dialogues and activities to foster a collaborative effort in dealing with GBVF. We can also work towards the cause by reporting cases of abuse and addressing gender inequalities witnessed within our own communities - we all need to play our part.

Public Sector Leaders | November 2021 | 57


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