SEPTEMBER | 2021
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS South Africa – The Home To 8 World Heritage Sites
TOURISM SECTOR RECOVERY South African Tourism in Focus: Where to from here?
SERVICE DELIVERY Civil Society - A Key Partner in Ensuring Service Delivery
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SEPTEMBER 2021 | ISSUE 8
Editorial 18 | Heritage highlights South Africa – the home to 8 world heritage sites
58 | Service Delivery Civil Society - a key partner in ensuring service delivery
26 | Heritage month How you can practice social cohesion and our national identity this month
60 | Public Service Month Growing SA together for an ethical public service
36 | Digital Transformation Digital transformation in healthcare
68 | Focus on Water Hon. Senzo Mchunu - Bringing a renewed focus on the improvement of municipal water infrastructure
40 | Suicide Prevention in SA World Suicide Prevention day: Fighting the mental health impacts of the pandemic 42 | Covid-19 Update Driving vaccinations: Youth may hold the key to reaching immunity targets
72 | Tourism Sector Secovery South African tourism in focus: where to from here?
46 | Youth Employment Accessibility & employability: Can South Africans find opportunities in this current crisis? 54 | New Minister Alert Hon. Ayanda Dlodlo - Minister of Public Service & Administration
Features 10 | Addressing The Nation Staying Committed To Building An Ethical State 30 | Trailblazer All eyes are on SA’s new Minister of Finance – Hon. Enoch Godongwana 32 | Women in Leadership Advocate Lungisa Malgas: Building an inclusive heritage landscape for all
44 | Provincial Focus All Aboard: Reviving Gauteng’s economy through Public transport transformation 74 | Financial Fitness 3 Things You Need To Know About Carbon Finance 76 | In Other News Upcycling & Recycling: Regulations bring manufacturers into the circular economy mode
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78 | Legal Matters Investing in a Diversity & Inclusion Policy = Productivity 80 | Upcoming Events Heritage, Tourism and Public Service take centre stage this September!
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EDITOR’S LETTER BY FIONA WAKELIN
Letter from the Editor Welcome to the September edition of Public Sector Leaders (PSL).
n his letter to the country this week – From the Desk of the Presidency our President celebrates Public Service Month and the dedicated public servants who are committed to Batho Pele principles:
“Our commitment to building a state that is ethical, capable and above all developmental necessitates that civil servants see themselves not merely as state functionaries but as development workers,” – President Ramaphosa. It is a busy month for our public sector leaders with H.E. Ramaphosa attending the National Police Service Commemoration Day. His Excellency held a bilateral meeting with the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Angela Merkel ahead of the G20 Compact with Africa Summit and attended the inauguration ceremony of President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema in Lusaka, Zambia. He also participated in the 41st Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State. Apart from celebrating the first day of Spring, South Africa commemorates Heritage Month; Public Service Month, Tourism and recycling in September – a busy time indeed – and in this edition of Public Sector Leaders you will find a bouquet of articles covering not only these themes but also advice about finance, upcoming events, a Covid update and mental health. The regional focus this month is on Gauteng and “In other news” we look at recycling initiatives. The publication takes a look at what is happening around the country to celebrate Heritage Month, and the moves afoot to assist with the recovery of our Tourism sector. 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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Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 9
ADDRESSING THE NATION SEPTEMBER 2021
Addressing The Nation:
Committed To Building An Ethical State
n his letter to the nation, penned on 6 September, President Ramaphosa focussed on Heritage Month, public servants and service delivery. His Excellency acknowledged the number of stories concerning corruption and maladministration, but emphasised that this was far outweighed by the number of committed public servants who fulfil their roles with integrity and veracity. South Africa has set itself the goal of building a capable, ethical state run by a professional, committed public service and President Ramaphosa took the opportunity to pay tribute to those public servants who abide by the principle of Batho Pele, of ‘putting people first’. His Excellency used the example of our tenacious fight against Covid as a prime example of our capable and committed civil servants: “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, civil servants have displayed courage and resilience in discharging their
duties, often under the most difficult of circumstances. Despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, they have kept the wheels of our country turning and have ensured that service delivery continued.
Civil servants have displayed courage and resilience in discharging their duties, often under the most difficult of circumstances “Frontline health personnel have made sure that the ill are attended to. Members of the SAPS have continued to serve and protect our communities. “Teachers have continued to care for and educate our learners. Officials in government offices have ensured that our people continue to receive services.” President Ramaphosa then went on to discuss the District Development Model for integrated service delivery that is “responsive, adaptive and brings development to where it is needed most”
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and which perfectly fits the requirements of the Batho Pele White Paper. “We call on public servants to be part of this process by identifying ways in which we can realise a public service focused on meeting the needs and advancing the interests of citizens. “Our commitment to building a state that is ethical, capable and above all developmental necessitates that civil servants see themselves not merely as state functionaries but as development workers.” H.E. concluded his letter by once again paying tribute to the ethical, committed majority of public servants who bring hope to the citizens of South Africa: “It may be said that they are just doing what they are paid to do. But public service is a calling – one to which they have ably responded in order that the rights of all people in this country are fulfilled. We are grateful to all our public servants and for all that they do.” n
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Prof. Dipiloane Dipiloane Phutsisi Phutsisi EDUCATION FOCUS
BY FIONA WAKELIN
Principal of Motheo TVET College
Q. Please give us an overview of the journey which led to becoming the Principal of Motheo TVET College. A. I served as a Lecturer, a Senior Lecturer and Acting Head of Department in the Education Faculty at Sefikeng College of Education until 1999. I then moved to the Free State Department of Education where I got appointed as a Chief Education Specialist for Curriculum Management Exams and Skills Development. With the unfolding of events in my career, I moved to the Human Resource Development Section in the same Department, where I served as a Deputy Director for HR Planning and later HRD, and also acted as a Director for Organisational Human Resources Development.There was a need for me to later return back to the Colleges sector, where I came back to support the then Administrator at Motheo TVET College as an Acting Deputy Principal for Academic Affairs in order to improve the academic results at this college, which was in dire need. In August 2013, I got appointed as the Principal of Motheo TVET College and that was a defining moment in my life and career. I acquired various leadership qualities: being sterner, patience; coping
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with various personalities and character in the workplace as a leader, emerging stronger in the midst of challenges, to remain focused in the midst of challenges and confusion, and also that it’s not about you but your position and women leaders are expected to perform more than their male counterparts. Above all it’s good to perform at your maximum to realise maximum performance and indeed it paid off in the end. The following achievements were obtained throughout my career: •
An outstanding Leadership Idahlyn Kare’ Leadership Award received from the Chair Leadership Academy in Texas, USA in 2014.
A driver for change Award, Vision 2030 by the Vision 2030 unit in the office of the President of South Africa.
An Honorary Professorship of the Academic Union, Oxford, UK.
mandate in an integrated, compliant and performancefocused manner. Focused manner. Furthermore, my responsibility are to: •
Establish and monitor effective human resource management and stakeholder engagement systems incorporating both marketing and communication.
Create a platform for effective management decision-making through the establishment of an accurate and accessible information management platform.
Lead the development and delivery of responsive vocational and occupational curricula and programmes and monitor the associated quality assurance programme and impact on student performance and placement.
Operationalize business partnerships and linkages that translate into student placements, workplacebased learning and articulation.
Q. What does your role entail? A. My role is to drive the efficient and effective implementation of college governance frameworks and systems and functioning of governance structures, including the college council and the academic board. I am also involved in building and fostering an effective management team that plans and executes the college
Fulfil the role of accounting officer of the college by establishing and monitoring college financial and supply chain management systems towards the achievement of strategic goals and in compliance with all relevant legislation and regulations.
Establish and manage a student management framework and system that facilitates student support and governance and provides all enrolled students with holistic academic and social support.
Establish and lead college infrastructure and estate management system that assures the acquisition, maintenance, management and disposal of physical resources that facilitates the achievement of strategic and operational objectives.
Facilitate programme articulation and upward progression
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Other Milestones Introduction of Maritime Studies at the College and the vision to have Maritime Faculty or Academy in the form of Jumbo Ship The Establishment of the National Artisan Academy that will offer 12 trades at the centre in Bloemfontein Free State Successful implementation of online application and registration process An increase in the college pass rate from 6% to in 2012 to 82.5% in 2020
Q. What services does Motheo TVET offer? A. The College operates from seven campuses, The College thus spans diverse catchment areas from urban to peri-urban to rural, from the more affluent communities to the financially disadvantaged. In this manner the college is ideally situated to bring a comprehensive range of learning programmes to the entire Free State. The Hillside View Campus boasts of sophisticated engineering workshop facilities accredited by the SETA’S, including various
skills programmes for artisan development. It is one of few sites accredited to deliver the traditional automotive trade tests. The Bloemfontein Campus is well-geared for the presentation of programmes in the hospitality services, management sciences, the humanities, SETA accredited hairdressing and beauty technology which is also an accredited trade test center facility. The growth in the Hospitality Services Department has been considerable and its products are sought after. The college is currently operating a state of the art restaurant in that regard. Despite its rural setting, Thaba’Nchu Campus offers programmes in civil engineering, management sciences, clothing production and fashion design as well as Maritime Studies, thus providing services directly to the community. Botshabelo Campus will resuscitate the sport administration programme in collaboration with local sport federations. Plot 32 is a small farm of the College where a smart water and agriculture green house has been installed, In addition, the plot offers primary agriculture and farming management. In the near future, aquaculture will form part of this campus. Zastron Campus is offering Farming Management in
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collaboration with Mohokare Local Municipality and local farmers. On the other hand, Koffiefontein Campus in partnership with the Petra Diamond Mine is offering an Electrical Engineering programme.
The TVET College sector has a focus to train students to be self-employed. Motheo TVET College Centre for Entrepreneurship and Rapid Incubator (CfE and RI) is funded by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) under the Departments of Small Business Development and Trade and Industry, ascended from the need to address the issue of youth unemployment rate. The Centre aims to provide exit opportunities to qualified students of the college, unemployed youth graduates and women between the ages of 18 – 35, business owners, NGO’s aiming to become entrepreneurs, to set up their own businesses and start contributing to the economy of South Africa. National Development Academy was established with the intention of fast-tracking the development and provisioning of artisans in line with the third National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) target of producing 30 000 artisans by 2030. The College has fostered partnerships with a spectrum of local businesses, government
institutions, municipalities to assist with skills development and produce employable graduates. International partnerships include Coleg Gwent (UK), West Lothian College (Scotland) and Warwickshire College Group in Leamington Spa (UK). Memorandum of agreement have been entered into with local Universities and Business Chambers.
Top Empowered Organisation in Education and Training in Johannesburg during 18 Annual Top Empowerment Awards
Diamond Prize for Excellence in Quality in Austria in 2019
European Award for Best Practices in Belgium in 2018
Motheo TVET College operates closely with SETA’s. We recently entered into a signed agreement with the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) in producing ICT related skills in advanced technologies.
Majestic Falcon Award for Quality and Excellence in Dubai in 2017
Best Enterprise in Barcelona, Spain in 2018
The College won the following national and international Awards: •
PMR Africa Golden Arrow Awards in 2014
Excellence in education by European Business Academy in Lucerne in Switzerland on 2017
PMR Diamond Award: The highest award focusing on customer service and satisfaction Free State TVET Training institutions from 2015 to 2021 The Principal awarded Driver for Change Vision 2030 award in 2018 Best TVET College in Disability Support in 2018
Platinum Technology Award for Quality and Best Trade Name in Berlin, Germany in 2018
Q. How has COVID -19 affected Motheo TVET College? A. The College has seen an improved hygienic culture in line with the COVID -19 protocols, and our staff and students were trained on COVID-19 protocols. This pandemic has also given us a push towards the accelerated implementation of 4IR at the College. We managed to procure ICT equipment for both lecturers and students as well as equip classrooms with smart android TV’s to enable digitisation of teaching and learning and introduced e-books to support teaching and learning. Q. In your view how important is the TVET sector in growing the South African economy?
A. The TVET Sector plays an important role in the economy as it is responsible for producing a skilled and capable workforce for this country. It offers programmes that are responsive to the economy at an affordable amount. TVET holds the key to technological progress, rapid industrialisation, wealth creation and poverty reduction. The TVET College Sector plays its role as a catalyst for socioeconomic development more effectively when local manufacturing enterprises become more involved. What trends have you noticed in the sector in the last few years? There is a strong focus on entrepreneurial development in the TVET College sector. I have also seen the incorporation of innovative trends related to digital technology and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Q. How has technology impacted your business model? A. We are working with two online teaching and learning platform to offer teaching and learning virtual: •
Moodle platform was developed by three IT specialists at the college for all Business Studies NATED programmes.
A Student Hub platform for all Engineering Studies NATED and NCV programmes.
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We have employed an Electronic QMS business manual for the college against the ISO 9001:2015 quality standard. We have adopted an E – procurement system for our college and constantly work to improve the internet system and WIFI connection for all delivering sites of the college. A supply of laptops for 280 lecturers and 3000 laptops to all Engineering Studies and all NCV Students was made available. We were also granted accreditation as IT Academies of Excellence by CISCO and Huawei for IT programmes in line with ideals of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
Q. What exciting plans do you have for the upcoming year? •
A. Opening of National Artisan Development Academy as a Centre of Specialisation.
Piloting of New IT Robotics NCV Programme level two to four at Hillside View Campus.
Building of Maritime Academy at Thaba Nchu Campus.
Establishment of Centres of Specialisation for skill development at three campuses.
Establishment of Centre for Entrepreneurship and Rapid Incubator at Koffiefontein campus.
Q. Do you have a message for people out there struggling to survive? A. Going through struggle is not about suffering, it’s about overcoming adversity. The aim is not to avoid but embrace this struggle. We learn through this. Even after experiencing the darkest places, we can find the light again in our lives because the Lord is with us at all times. We must be strong in our faith. n
Contact Physical address: c/o St Georges and Aliwal streets Private Bag X20509, Bloemfontein 9300 Tel: 051 406 9300 Email: email@example.com Website: www.motheotvet.co.za
Strengthening Staff Skills
University of Stellenbosch officially hands over Greenhouse/Tunnel to Executive Management of the College for optimizing water usage and Climate Smart Agriculture , August 2021
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HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS BY FIONA WAKELIN
Home To 8 World Heritage Sites
Sometimes when we feel there is only a faint glimmer of light at the end of the Covid tunnel,
it helps with the malaise that constant anxiety and stress bring with them, to remind ourselves of how rich we are as a country in terms of natural and cultural heritage. This article looks at our 8 World Heritage Sites – and hopefully provides some armchair travel.
ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK On 1 December 1999 the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park - now known as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park - was declared South Africa’s first Natural World Heritage Site. “iSimangaliso” means “miracles” and this, South Africa’s third largest park, stretches from Mapelane (Cape St. Lucia) in the South, to Kosi Bay Nature Reserve in the North. A Ramsar Site is a wetland which is considered to be of international importance; South Africa currently has 27 Ramsar sites and iSimangaliso contains four of them: • • • •
Turtle Beaches/Coral Reefs of Tongaland (Ramsar Site # 344) St. Lucia Lake System (Ramsar Site # 345) Kosi Bay Lake System (Ramsar Site #527) Lake Sibaya (Ramsar Site # 528)
The Park comprises 8 interlinking ecosystems with a 220 km coastline and ancient 25 000-year-old coastal forests.
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The interlinking ecosystems of grasslands, swamps, lakes, beaches, coral reefs, woodlands, wetlands, and coastal forests, results in a myriad of flora and fauna which people travel from all over the world to enjoy. These include hippopotami, elephant, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, kudu, hyena and water buck on land - and Nile crocodiles, whales, dolphins, turtles and a plethora of fish species in the water. It is also a bird watchers’ haven with over 520 bird species to tweet home about. Lake St Lucia is one of the most important breeding areas for water birds in South Africa The six settlements in the Park are in the Kosi Bay Coastal Forest Reserve and management at the provincial level is by KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation, working with the provincial administration in accordance with national and provincial legislation. The Park is also protected by the World Heritage Convention Act, 1999.
uKHAHLAMBA DRAKENSBERG PARK The uKhahlamba (Barrier of Spears) Drakensberg National Park in South Africa and the Sehlathebe National Park in Lesotho make up the transnational Maloti-Drakensberg Park. Covering an area of 249 313 ha and stretching along most of KwaZuluNatal’s south-western border with Lesotho it is the largest protected area along the Great Escarpment and is home to a number of endangered species - both flora and fauna. The flora includes most of what is left of the subalpine and alpine vegetation in KZN as well as a Ramsar high altitude wetland. The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is recognised globally as an important bird area and refuge for a number of endangered species
such as the Yellow-breasted Pipit and Cape and bearded vultures. Not only is the Park a place of physical beauty, it is rich in cultural heritage, with the 4 000-year-old rock art being the largest group of rock paintings in Africa south of the Sahara. But the Park is not just a pretty face with extensive grasslands offset by basaltic buttresses, yellow sandstone cliffs and traversed by dramatic river gorges - due to its significant number and type of natural habitats and biological diversity, it has been acknowledged as a Global Centre of Plant Diversity and endemism, occurring in its very own floristic region – the Drakensberg Alpine Region of South Africa.
ROBBEN ISLAND From 2 environmental heritage icons to one that is at the forefront of our cultural heritage – Robben Island. “The unique symbol of ‘the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, suffering and injustice’ with a rich 500-year-old multi-layered history, is visited every year by thousands of people eager to understand and honour the important aspects of South Africa’s history that the Island represents” – Robben Island Tours. For a place that has had enormous impact on peoples’ lives – from lepers to political prisoners Robben Island is quite small: 3.3 km long and 1.9 km wide, with an area of 5.08 km2. Flat and only a few metres above sea level, its limestone quarry supplied the dressed stone for the foundations of the Castle of
Good Hope in Cape Town and the prisoners who worked at the quarry over the centuries included Nelson Mandela. “Robben” is a Dutch word which means seals - without the translation it is an appropriate name for an island and system which robbed Nelson Mandela and political prisoners of years of their lives. “In the winter of 1964, Nelson Mandela arrived on Robben Island where he would spend 18 of his 27 prison years. Confined to a small cell, the floor of his bed, a bucket for a toilet, he was forced to do hard labor in a quarry. He was allowed one visitor a year for 30 minutes.” - Frontline. The island was used as a prison from the late- seventeenth century until 1996, after the end of apartheid and now is a popular tourist destination.
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STERKFONTEIN, SWARTKRANS AND KROMDRAAI “Around 40% of the world’s known hominid fossils were unearthed in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, earning it UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999.” –Maropeng The fossil sites Swartkrans, Sterkfontein and Kromdraai are situated in close proximity, not more than three kilometres apart, in the Sterkfontein valley near Krugersdorp and have been the centre of exciting archaeological hominid fossil finds – not least of which is that the African continent is the undisputed Cradle of Humankind.
human and animal remains that have allowed scientists a window into the past. Thus, this site constitutes a vast reserve of scientific data of universal scope and considerable potential, linked to the history of the most ancient periods of humankind.” - UNESCO Museums like the Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History help us understand about our origins:
They contain some of the most important Australopithecine specimens dating back more than 3.5 million years which provide a window to the origins and evolution of humankind.
“South Africa is a country rich with heritage to be enjoyed by all. It has evidence that supports the belief that Africa is the cradle of humanity. Therefore, learning our origins should include a trip to the museum to learn more about these incredible collections.
Think Mrs (Mr?) Ples. Think Little Foot. In the Sterkfontein Caves palaeontologists have unearthed some 500 hominids, making the dolomitic limestone site one of the richest fossil repositories in the world.
“Palaeoanthropology being a complex discipline onits own, a visual interaction with the vast collections we have in our museums would contribute to the understanding of the topic,”
“The serially nominated sites are situated in unique natural settings that have created a suitable environment for the capture and preservation of
- Dr Gaokgatlhe Mirriam Tawane, curator of Plio-Pleistocene fossils at the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History, Pretoria.
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MAPUNGUBWE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE Keeping with the cultural heritage theme, let’s journey to the remains of one of Africa’s largest kingdoms – Mapungubwe - right up in the northern border of South Africa.
lived and were buried on Mapungubwe Hill which is where, in 1934, an archaeologist found the famous gold rhinoceros – a symbol of the wealth of the state and pre-settler history.
Over the course of 400 years it developed into the largest kingdom in the sub-continent before being abandoned in 1300 AD due to climate change. As a powerful state trading with Arabia and India via East African ports, the rise of Mapungubwe was a significant stage in the history of the continent.
“In 1999 the gold rhinoceros was designated a National Treasure. In 2002 the ANC created the Order of Mapungubwe, the highest honour in South Africa, of which there are four classes: platinum, gold, silver and bronze.
The economy of the kingdom was based on agriculture, hunting and trade in ivory, hides and gold. The upper classes
Nelson Mandela was the first to receive the highest of these awards, platinum. At the centre of the award is a representation of the gold rhinoceros.” - Sian Tiley-Nel, chief curator, University of Pretoria Museums.
VREDEFORT DOME Now here is a blast from the past – literally! Do you know what an astrobleme is? I didn’t until Dr Google came to my aid. An astrobleme is a crater left by a meteorite - and 120 kms south of Jo’burg in Free State is the biggest, oldest and most clearly visible one in the world – and when I say old, I mean more than 2 000 million years old! Not only is it the oldest, but it is also the one that is the most intact, providing evidence of the huge impact the meteor (which scientists have calculated to have been 10 kms in diameter travelling at 20kms per second) had on landing – blasting a crater in the ground that was originally around 300 kms wide and which is now still around 190kms in diameter. The impact structure is estimated to have taken about 4 hours to create.
“Vredefort Dome bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which had devastating global effects including, according to some scientists, major evolutionary changes. It provides critical evidence of the Earth’s geological history and is crucial to understanding of the evolution of the planet,” – UNESCO On a side note, I was wondering why it is called a “dome” when actually a crater is underground, but then I discovered that the mighty rebound of rock – those which had not been vapourised on impact – had resulted in the formation of a dome above ground and the rounded hilltops and valleys which we see today, are its eroded remains. How amazing is that!
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CAPE FLORAL REGION From Free State we go to Western Cape and the Cape Floral Region - which made the World Heritage list in 2004. Of the six floral kingdoms in the world it is the smallest in size but is one of the ones that is home to the greatest diversity – it boasts 9000 plant species, 69% of which are endemic – and contains nearly 20% of Africa’s flora. “This extraordinary assemblage of plant life and its associated fauna is represented by a series of 13 protected area clusters covering an area of more than 1 million ha. These protected areas also conserve the outstanding ecological, biological and evolutionary processes associated with the beautiful and distinctive Fynbos vegetation, unique to the Cape Floral Region.” - UNESCO On first glance Fynbos is a trifle unremarkable if you are looking for an immediate visual feast - low growing, bushy, scrubby plants - but look closer and you will find a wealth of beauty: Proteas, Cape reeds, Cape heathers, irises, daisies and orchids. Not to mention our national flower the King Protea! The fauna associated with Fynbos are also quite modest at first sight but are all crucial in terms of ecological balance and wellbeing – they include the rare
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geometric tortoise, the endangered Table Mountain ghost frog and the endemic Cape sugarbird, as well as baboon, jackal, duiker and bontebok and grysbok antelopes. If this is not enough to convince you of the amazingness of Fynbos, it also has a complex dark side – it is pyrophilic and just loves to play with fire – true story! In fact, it loves fire so much the plants cannot germinate without it. The leaves and stems of the vegetation have perfectly adapted to fire and smoulder at a rate and temperature which allows the fauna to get out of Dodge. Tragically the flammable oils in alien vegetation like wattle burn at a much higher intensity and wreak havoc with the rate of spread of conflagration - devastating for animals, birds and insects, as well most of the Fynbos itself. The Cape South Easter and tinder dry conditions of a Cape Summer all add fuel to the flame – literally. The Cape Floral Region includes a wonderful mosaic of wilderness areas, forests, national parks, nature reserves, and mountain catchment areas – and if you are in Cape Town, visiting the Table Mountain National Park will bring you up close and personal with why it is a World Heritage Site.
RICHTERSVELD CULTURAL AND BOTANICAL LANDSCAPE Last, but not least, is the 160 000ha Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape in the north western part of South Africa which was declared a World Heritage Site in 2007. A hybrid of cultural and botanical heritage, the cultural aspect is based on the uniqueness of the pastoralism practised there:
which have ensured the protection of the Karoo vegetation and ensured a balance between people and the environment. The seasonal, nomadic pastoralism is “a practice that was once much more widespread over southern Africa, and which has persisted for at least two millennia; the Nama are now its last practitioners.” - UNESCO n
“This site sustains the semi-nomadic pastoral livelihood of the Nama people, reflecting seasonal patterns that may have persisted for as much as two millennia in southern Africa. It is the only area where the Nama still construct portable rush-mat houses (haru om) and includes seasonal migrations and grazing grounds, together with stock posts. The pastoralists collect medicinal and other plants and have a strong oral tradition associated with different places and attributes of the landscape.” – UNESCO. The botanical side of things is actually intrinsically linked with the land management processes by the Nama in this mountainous desert region,
Robben Island Tours
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 23
BY CLICKS GROUP
women in pharmacy
his Women’s Month, the Clicks Group is shining a spotlight on three female pharmacy professionals who are dedicated to pharmaceutical excellence and making an impactful difference in the communities they serve. “We recognise the role of retail pharmacy in supporting the healthcare system during the pandemic. We are committed to building a pipeline of future healthcare professionals and investing in capacity creation and skills development,” says Clicks Group Corporate Affairs Director, Bertina Engelbrecht. In 2020, the Clicks Group funded bursaries for 112 pharmacy undergraduate students and provided internships for 165 pharmacy graduates: 91% of bursary recipients were black and 68% were female. “These young people are the future of pharmacy and it’s been especially rewarding to see them move through the ranks and become leaders in their field,” adds Engelbrecht. A passion for healthcare “I’ve always loved science and the way we can use it to help people,” says Azola Kandanga, who received annual bursaries from the Clicks Group from 2011 to 2013, while a student
at Rhodes University. “Working with medication gave me the opportunity to make a real difference and build a healthier community.” Azola has earned multiple promotions over the years, having managed the largest Medicross dispensary in the business at Clicks Pearce Road in East London. In her current role as Trainee Retail Area Manager, she manages the entire in-store operation for four stores across the Eastern Cape. Delivering superior patient care “I always knew I wanted to help people,” says Faatimah Kazi, who received a Clicks Group bursary to complete her studies. “I am proud to play a part in making quality healthcare easily accessible to ordinary people. In the fight against COVID-19, the role of healthcare is more crucial than ever.” Faatimah completed her degree in Pharmacy, summa cum laude, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2017. Today she is known as a highly professional pharmacist, with an excellent work ethic and dedication to superior patient care. Keeping our communities healthy “At Clicks Pharmacy, we play an essential role as healthcare educators,” says Sandisiwe Madonsela, who received a 4th-year bursary from the Clicks Group in 2017. “We work as a team with the community to educate them on the importance of living a healthier lifestyle and, more recently, COVID-19 guidelines and FAQs around the vaccine.”
Just nine months after joining Clicks as a pharmacist in 2020, Sandisiwe was promoted to Pharmacy Manager, where she is recognised as a popular and natural leader.
TRAINEE RETAIL AREA MANAGER
SANDISIWE MADONSELA PHARMACY MANAGER
CORPORATE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR | CLICKS GROUP
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topco.co.za/topco-publications/ Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 25
HERITAGE MONTH BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE
Celebrating Heritage Month
Here’s how you can practice social cohesion and our national identity this September Commemorating SA’s Cultural Abundance The Government has called upon South Africans to use Heritage Month to foster greater social cohesion, nation building and a shared national identity.
Tips For Practicing Better Social Cohesion: •
Organisations in all sectors must continue the fight against discrimination, social exclusion and inequalities.
It is a most opportune time for citizens to zoom in on the country’s strong cultural identity and common heritage, and build upon our shared values.
We must focus on building social capital by forming strong networks of relationships, trust and identity within, and between, different communities.
Remain committed to enabling upward social mobility.
Spatial transformation in all regions of the nation must be addressed to eliminate structural exclusion and displacement.
Always encourage dedicated citizenship and positive, healthy participation in decisionmaking processes.
As we celebrate Heritage Month this year, it is important for us to remain mindful of the collective goal that is to ensure South African society becomes as socially integrated and inclusive as possible. We must continue to demonstrate our commitment to this goal by honouring the diversity and richness of our heritage recognising this as a sign of the nation’s resilience and strength. We’ll be taking a look at the vast array of activities that South Africans can partake in this year in celebration of our heritage.
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Putting Our Children First Hon. Nathi Mthethwa, who is our Minister for Sport, Arts and Culture,
has encouraged all South Africans to make sure to pass on their unique cultural heritage to the children of our nation. “Our call to action is in our cultural endeavours to promote conversations and illustrations of South Africans sharing with each other in food, music, rights and created knowledge on indigenous practice systems”, said Minister Mthethwa earlier this month. Upon the launch of Heritage Month, he drew attention to the significance of celebrating diversity as a way of preserving our heritage treasures and elevating the collective sense of self as one ‘diversified unit’ rather than highlighting our differences in terms of exclusive racial, gender, ethnic, religious and linguistic features. “The Constitution enjoins all of us to employ the diversity of our heritage as a source of strength
and unity. In keeping with the ideals of utata Nelson Mandela, we look to national reminders like Heritage Day as levers to bring about cohesion and national unity,” the Minister said. Encouraging More Reading The Government has also asked that citizens place more of an emphasis on supporting the culture of reading and incorporating it into their daily lifestyles. Thus we need to encourage South African children to visit their local library and foster a passion for reading. This in turn will assist in developing a broader vocabulary and increasing general knowledge. With literacy levels currently being a huge concern in both South African children and adults, it is critical that we nurture a culture of reading. Having better literacy levels will work wonders in empowering
the education sector for a better future, and bolstering the job market and larger economy, in the long run. South African Literary Classics To Look Out For: •
Mafeking Road and Other Stories – Herman Charles Bosman
The Story of An African Farm – Olive Schreiner
A Long Walk To Freedom – Nelson Mandela
Fiela Se Kind – Dalene Matthee
Cry, The Beloved Country – Alan Paton
My Mother’s Laughter: Selected Poems – Chris Van Wyk
Buckingham Palace - District Six - Richard Rive
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 27
Revitalising The Tourism Sector The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on our Tourism Sector. In line with the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP) – guiding the recovery of the sector in terms of preserving jobs and livelihoods and strengthening transformation – Heritage Month is a golden opportunity to support organisations and rediscover heritage sites.
the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation as places of outstanding cultural and historical importance. Each of these sites offer a diversity and abundance of cultural and natural values that encapsulate the value systems of the country.
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in Limpopo
Robben Island in Western Cape
Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng
Some awesome sites dedicated to heritage and struggle icons are:
Cape Floral Region in both the Western and Eastern Cape
The Sol Plaatje Municipality in the Northern Cape
Vredefort Dome in Free State
The Nelson Mandela Museum in the Eastern Cape
uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
ISimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu- Natal
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape in Northern Cape
Luthuli House in Gauteng
Shaka Zulu Airport in KwaZulu-Natal
Tshwane Municipality in Gauteng
Steve Biko Memorial in the Eastern Cape
In addition to these remarkable sites, South Africa is also home to eight of the 981 World Heritage Sites which are recognised by
Support Local Artisans: Play your part in contributing to a better society and stimulating the South African economy. n
There are as follows: •
It is imperative that we use this period to recognise the value of our tangible heritage; our museums, commemorative sites and interpretation centers, in building an inclusive society.
put a spotlight on traditional dishes and a good old proudly South African boerewors!
Cradle of Humankind | Gauteng
Vredefort Dome | Free State
Other Ways To Celebrate Heritage Day Acts of Kindness: Reinforcing the spirit of uBuntu is a must. Have A Covid-Friendly Braai: With Braai Day taking place this month, it is a great time to
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Shaka Zulu Airport | KZN
INTERVIEW ICEBOLETHU GROUP Q. How long has Icebolethu been operating? Please describe the services Icebolethu Group offers. A. Icebolethu Group has been in business since 2009. The company was founded by Nomfundo Mcoyi who is also the GCEO of the organisation. Icebolethu Group currently has over 100 branches in and around KwaZuluNatal and has recently opened a head office and a customer service centre in Kempton Park, Gauteng. The company also has 26 operational mortuaries in KwaZulu-Natal. The organisation has a branch based in the UK focused on global repatriation for the SADC region. The group is composed of funerals and burials, catering, tombstones, memorials and parks, security, academy, properties and investments and foundation. Q. What is the meaning of Icebolethu? A. The name was inspired by my grandfather’s name, Bakhaliphicebo. Cebo, meaning ‘plan’, is the common thread. In the context of Icebolethu, we reflect on our plan to serve the community. Q. How does Icebolethu “Arise and Rebuild”? A. The brand has been intentional in creating platforms, such as the Icebolethu Foundation, which is committed to meet societal needs. This has allowed the brand to build a community in which we are able
Nomfundo Mcoyi Founder & CEO | Icebolethu Group
to rise through the integration of skills, sharing of resources, and strategic partnerships. Q. In the company, how do you support people “to be the heroes we want to see”? A. Icebolethu Group recognises the importance of instilling confidence in its employees. This year we announced the launch of the Icebolethu Learnership Programme; an opportunity providing various learning opportunities to help its staff meet their personal and professional goals. We also have various skills recognition programmes aimed for staff development. Also, part of the Icebolethu Foundation is the Rhoda Girls, which is a mentorship programme for a period of five years and is an opportunity to give young girls between the ages of 15 to 21 confidence and positive self-image. The programme comprises 50 young girls which Icebolethu Foundation provides school fees and tertiary funds for. Q. What has it meant for your clients that you have gone cashless? A. It simply means that our clients no longer have to stand in long queues in branches to make payments. Icebolethu Group has availed digital payment options for the payment of premiums, sign-ups and any other related payments. We have added a number of payment options that our clients can use to pay for their policies and all these methods are of ease and convenience. Q. Please tell us about your most memorable achievements. A. There have been many! But I would say having the honour of burying some of the most prominent members of society, such as His Royal Highness; King Zwelithini. We were also one of the few black-owned parlours that managed to maintain operation
standards during the height of Covid-19 mortality rate, and perhaps the biggest one yet; Icebolethu Funerals UK- expanding our business across international borders. Q. How did you overcome adversity? A. By always remembering that we have a calling greater than us. Being entrusted to bring some level of relief to a grieving family, no matter how small, is a gift we take seriously. That is what keeps us going. Q. What are your CSI projects? A. We have many CSI projects running under Icebolethu Foundation, such as the House Handover Project, Rhoda Girls Leadership Programme for young African women, our Back To School Campaign for underprivileged students, Gogo’Fit Initiative for old age women, and the Richmond Garden Project, just to name a few. Q. What plans do you have for the coming year? A. Growth! Without revealing too much I will mention that we are officially in Gauteng now and have great plans to expand in that direction and beyond. Q. Do you have a message for people out there struggling to survive? A. Remember to stay positive and believe in yourself. Contact Address: 277 Umbilo Road, Congela, Durban, 4013 and 397 Surrey Avenue, Ferndale Randburg, 2194 Website: www.icebolethugroup.co.za Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 031 208 9102
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 29
TRAILBLAZER BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE
Towards a new Financial Er Financial Era All eyes are on SA’s new Minister of Finance – Hon. Enoch Godongwana
uring President Ramaphosa’s cabinet reshuffle on 5 August 2021, Honourable Enoch Godongwana was appointed as Minister of Finance.
Prior to his appointment, Hon. Enoch Godongwana had fulfilled the role of Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises between 2009 and 2010. Thereafter, he was the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, from November 2010 to 2012. Minister Godongwana has also been a member of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) since December 2007, as well as a Member of Parliament from 2008. A Man of Action Minister Godongwana began his journey into the South African political landscape in the late 1970s, taking on the role of Shop Steward for the Metal and Allied Workers Union MAWU, in 1979. He also worked as Local Organiser of the National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) Springs/Brakpan/Nigel Area, between 1983 and 1989. Thereafter, he became the National Organiser of NUMSA. Then, in 1990, he was elected as the Regional Secretary of
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NUMSA, and served on the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)’s Executive and Central Committees for five years. Aside from nurturing a political career, Minister Godongwana was passionate about education and the finance sector, going on to obtain his MSc degree in Financial Economics from the University of London, in 1998.
Hon. Godongwana is dedicated to assisting South Africa by bolstering all economic activity Prioritising Action & Economic Growth After being promoted from his role as Head of Economic Policy for the ANC — after the big cabinet shuffle — Minister Godongwana spoke out on the current state of the country’s economy: “Our economy has not performed well for a long time for a number of reasons. Even during the previous commodity super-cycle that ended in 2011, we didn’t do well, because during that period we had long debates about things like whether we should nationalise mines. We had that debate for two years, which undermined investment in the sector.”
to repeat previous economic and financial mistakes. “If we manage to grow the economy and build the labour force that can be absorbed by that economic growth, then we can really grapple with the problems”, he encouraged. Spotlighting Skills Development In line with his strategy regarding refocusing and realigning South Africa’s finances, Minister Godongwana has recently made the suggestion that the funds dedicated to supplying a basic income grant should rather be utilised to assist with getting black youth work ready for emp-loyment. His outlook comes as no surprise as the country faces alarmingly high youth unemployment rates. “People are missing the point: about 4.2-million of these people that are unemployed — using the narrow definition — are young people between 15 and 35 years. My argument is that we must invest in them. Even the amount we may spend could be more than a grant”, he explained.
Hon. Godongwana went on to express that these young people should not be directed towards a cycle of dependence, with the Basic Income Grant fostering a culture of ‘reliance’ rather than redressing core elements actively contributing to youth unemployment. “What we need to do is invest in skilling these kids, and obviously, they will have some cash which will be a stipend or per diem. And in addition let’s get them better development in terms of skills”, concluded Minister Godongwana. Memberships • Previously served as a member of the Pan African Benefit Services (Pty) Ltd. • Founding member of the Border Kei Development Forum • Member of the Robben Island Museum Council • Member of the National Housing Finance Corporation • Representative of the Real People Assurance (Pty) Ltd. • Associate of the Policy Board for Financial Services and Regulation n
Taking on his new role, Minister Godongwana is dedicated to assisting South Africa by bolstering all economic activity and repositioning focus, as he feels the country cannot afford
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 31
WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP BYJESSIE TAYLOR
Lungisa Malgas Advocate
CEO of SAHRA:
Building an inclusive heritage landscape for all
rich historical and cultural past have seen South Africa awarded numerous heritage accolades. But protecting this heritage for future generations is not without its challenges. In the face of development and progress threatening delicate heritage resources, the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) – led by CEO Advocate Lungisa Malgas – must work to both create and protect inclusive and representative heritage spaces. A commitment to heritage The SAHRA is the national body that is mandated to identify and manage South Africa’s heritage resources and to protect them for future generations. Heritage resources include any place or object of cultural significance, either publicly or privately owned. SAHRA works with local communities to identify heritage resources and record the oral and living histories of these resources.
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The organisation also works to educate the public and increase public involvement in the preservation of heritage resources. National Heritage Sites need protection to safeguard them from damage or alteration and prevent development that could endanger them.
These heritage resources are essential for creating a new South Africa, in which all cultures and histories are celebrated The protection also offers a way to regulate public use of the site, as well as provide education around the importance of the site. Alongside South Africa’s eight World Heritage Sites (Robben Island, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Cradle of Humankind, Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, Mapungubwe Heritage Site, Cape Floral Kingdom, Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape and Vredefort Dome) there are also several heritage sites declared by SAHRA. These include the Castle of Good Hope, Bushmanskloof Rock Painting Landscape, The Daljosafat Cultural Landscape, SS Mendi Memorial, The South African Astronomical Observatory, Liliesleaf Farm
and the West Coast Fossil Park, among others. Advocate Malgas’ appointment marked a new chapter for the organisation. Prior to her taking on the role, SAHRA’s Council had undertaken a forensic investigation which resulted in the dismissal of the former CEO and a range of remedial actions such as disciplinary action against other officials. Having served as the Company Secretary and Head of Legal for several years, Advocate Malgas was ideally placed to take on the position of Acting CEO. She has since been appointed into the role. “I did not take this role for granted, and, as an internal appointee who has worked with Councils and CEOs of this institution, I was grateful for the opportunity. This responsibility created a space for us to change the narrative and perceptions about the institution which, in the past, has seen itself embroiled in controversies that almost tarnished its mandate,” says Advocate Malgas. “SAHRA’s staff members have demonstrated that they are more than capable of driving this change as well as responding to the needs of our country through heritage.” Protecting unique resources At the heart of SAHRA’s operations remains a steadfast
focus on the organisation’s mandate: the identification, conservation, promotion and preservation of our heritage. SAHRA celebrated two decades of existence in April last year, as the Coronavirus pandemic swept through South Africa. While the world grappled with the healthcare crisis that the pandemic wrought, SAHRA has also been forced to relook at heritage management following the outbreak of Coronavirus. Lockdown regulations limited access to unique heritage spaces across the world, with UNESCO data showing that 72% of all World Heritage Sites had removed public access in April 2020. South Africa was no different, with museums, cultural sites and theatres forced to close to the public. This resulted in many employed by this sector losing their livelihoods and has left many heritage institutions in crisis. SAHRA implemented several interventions during this time, such as encouraging community involvement in the ongoing protection of heritage sites, ensuring they remained inclusive and representative spaces. It has also used the National Heritage Resources Act as a tool to safeguard heritage items by keeping them in the public domain and on local soil. Some of Advocate Malgas’
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 33
achievements include commemorating the bi-centennial celebrations at the SA Astronomical Observatory through the laying of a plaque, as well as signing a partnership between Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to ensure the university’s heritage infrastructure and artefacts are correctly maintained and restored. The partnership will allow SAHRA to work towards the development of a Centre
for Sustainable Heritage Research and Management with CPUT, where academics, scholars, historians and other stakeholders can work to protect heritage infrastructure and artefacts.
public access to the collection while ensuring its management and conservation. These heritage resources are essential for creating a new South Africa, in which all cultures and histories are celebrated.
In a similar collaboration, SAHRA, the University of Pretoria and South African National Parks entered into a heritage agreement regarding the Mapungubwe Collection. This partnership will facilitate greater
This focus on inclusion is essential in healing the wounds of the past and creating a unified society in our young democracy. n
TAUNG FOSSIL SITE
Taung Paleoanthropological Fossil Site is the locality for the early hominin, Australopithecus africanus; this was the first site in the world where this species was found.
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The iconic granite structure renowned for its Art Deco design commemorates the Voortrekkers that left the Cape between 1835 and 1854.
Z O N K E T ECH (PTY) LTD
INT E RVIE W
ZO N K E TECH INTERVIEW WITH SESHNI DO ORS AM Y, DIRECTOR OF ZONKETECH Established in 2016 ZonkeTech (Pty) Ltd is a women-owned software development
empowerment has diversified the way we interact with our clients.
of custom software solutions and digital services. Seeking to enhance the productivity
communicate effectively with them.
company based in La Lucia Ridge, Durban. ZonkeTech offers a unique combination
of businesses by providing quality, cost effective digital solutions, our highly competent staff are constantly exploring new ways to develop novel solutions, therefore, encouraging a culture of continuous learning at ZonkeTech so that we can serve our clients in the best possible way. ACHIEVEMENTS: 2018 Nominee at the MTN
Women in ICT – SME Recognition Award, 2020CSS Design Awards for Innovation, UX Design, UI Design and the Special Design Kudos Award, Clutch Top B2b Companies in Africa SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY INITIATIVES: ZonkeTech is involved in several feeding schemes and digital learning initiatives at schools around the Durban North Coast. GENDER POLICIES: ZonkeTech fosters a culture of continuous learning, transparency and gender equality. Our policies mandate an ethos of awareness on understanding gender equality in the workplace by implementing a mentoring system that encourages morale, while educating our employees. HOW HAS GENDER EMPOWERMENT STRENGTHENED YOUR ORGANISATION? Having a multiplicity of viewpoints within our organisation ignites creativity and innovation, and has helped us identify and
seize new opportunities. ZonkeTech adopts an inclusive culture that enhances morale and opportunity. When you create more opportunity within an organisation the need to spend time and money on recruitment is reduced allowing us to concentrate on our core business while making a saving. Our clients come from all walks of life; gender
If your organisation reflects the client then you are more likely to
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT AND FUTURE TRENDS IN YOUR SECTOR? The Covid-19 pandemic has got the world in turmoil, forcing many businesses to relook and streamline business operations. At this point software development has played a pivotal role in enhancing productivity within businesses. Staying up to date with the current and future trends ensures the longevity of a business. Within the software development sector, the use of artificial intelligence, “future proofing” applications, continuous integration and delivery, and rapid prototyping have proven fruitful within our sector. The goal is to develop effective fast loading applications that are easy to enhance in the ever-evolving tech industry. WHAT TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS ARE YOU USING IN YOUR ORGANISATION TO KEEP IN LINE WITH THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION (4IR)? When we started ZonkeTech we had this
vision of radically changing the way the world
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU THINK LEADERS OF THE FUTURE ARE GOING TO NEED? Passion and determination have always proven to be a winning factor when it
comes to being a successful leader. However, communication is a skill set that is paramount when trying to get a message across. Having effective written and verbal communication skills will help you to build good working relationships. WHICH FEMALE LEADERS INSPIRE YOU THE MOST, AND WHY? Grace Hopper was one of the most inspirational leaders in the tech industry. She developed the COBOL programming language, invented the first programming language compiler, and coined the term “De-Bugging” after her team removed a moth stuck in a computer relay. In the male dominant tech industry, we can take
works, things like automating businesses, building better communities, connecting people and most importantly playing my part
solace in knowing that there are women out
Since then, we have not used technological innovations to keep in line with the 4IR, rather we have created the innovative
divide within the tech industry.
eradicating the digital gender divide.
there who braved the odds and succeeded. Inspiring leaders like Grace Hopper have given women in tech the confidence to achieve their goals and play their part in closing the gender
business tools that build a better tomorrow. Sharing our amazing ideas with many developing and blue-chip companies, wowing our clients with our fast-loading
websites, progressive web applications, business automation software and basically just helping businesses do the things they love more efficiently by going digital.
CONTACT INFORMATION Phone: 031 566 2135
Public Sector | September 2021ER| 35 STAN D AR D Leaders BAN K TOP W OMEN L EAD S 000
HEALTHCARE FOCUS BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE
Digital Transformation in healthcare
Covid-19 accelerates the adoption of digital technologies in the South African healthcare sector
he last two years have proven that innovative digital ways of working in healthcare are constantly improving outcomes for patients. Thus, the world is witnessing an increase in global health equity, especially during this unforeseen Covid-19 era, and South Africa is no exception.
Virtual care resolves issues of access for individuals Tech Empowerment On The Rise South African healthcare dynamics have been dramatically affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the country saw a skills shortage in the sector, low patient coverage, disempowerment and issues surrounding accessibility.
Though there are multiple explanations for this, the reality is that the pandemic amplified these concerns. More than 8 million (under 14%) of the 59 million estimated population, in South Africa, invest in medical aid. This means that the rest of the population lacks private health cover. This, combined with high unemployment rates that have been worsened due to Covid-19, has indicated that there is a huge burden being exerted on the state to make provisions for quality healthcare to cover the majority of the population. The current condition of our healthcare sector is a clear indication that we need interventions. This is why digital transformation is trending in the sector as of late - techempowerment is the future of healthcare.
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Quality Smart Healthcare The sector has seen new adaptations of tech equipment in the form of digital, wearable devices, facial recognition properties, smart medication prescriptions, the implementation of robotics, and even medical 3D printing. These technological innovations are actively enhancing the quality of healthcare in South Africa’s historically low diagnostic environment. These advancements will, in time, allow for speedy intervention and more optimistic health outcomes. With more investment and funding, we will see more and more citizens become active users of digital healthcare services. We’re already seeing smartphones and apps create better accessibility. However, we’ve still got a long way to go in ensuring access for all.
Patient Care, Anyway The Covid-19 pandemic has bolstered interest in the adoption of virtual care. Virtual care makes receiving consultations and healthcare easier, as patients can receive care closer to home, and even from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual care resolves issues of access for individuals who have not had access to a health provider, within a reasonable radius, in previous years. We do, however, need to invest in better technology infrastructure and assist in limiting data costs. This is where partnerships between telecommunication companies and healthcare investors should be encouraged. Data-Driven Solutions We are seeing a drive towards streamlined electronic health records systems, which has resulted in great advancements in health outcomes. Policy-driven interventions, in this regard, will need to be prioritised to maintain impeccable digital data standards and efficient technological infrastructure. The privacy of patients will also need to be protected, and will need continuous monitoring. The key to data-driven decision making is making sure that the correct data is transferred to the right clinician to make the best decision. Data-driven decisions have allowed us to leverage historical and new data to inform process enhancement strategies, incorporate data into our workflows and impact value in the eyes of the patient.
The National Digital Health Strategy for South Africa (2019 - 2024) The National Digital Health Strategy for South Africa was announced in 2019. At the core of The National Digital Health Strategy for South Africa, is the vision of ‘Better Health for all South Africans enabled by person-centred Digital Health’. The strategy aims to: •
Benefit patients who need access to healthcare services
Assist healthcare workers with providing better services
Aid health system managers with fulfilling their roles
Empower all South African citizens to better manage their personal health utilising digital technologies.
The strategy is underpinned by five strategic principles: •
A person-centred focus
Innovation for sustainable impact
Digital health workforce for economic development
A whole-of government approach
Digital health in South African health systems The strategic thrust for digital health, by The National Digital
Health Strategy for South Africa (2019 - 2024), is to support and enable the health sector vision of “A long and healthy life for all South Africans”.
Stipulated targets are as follows: A life expectancy rate of at least 70 years for men and women A generation of under-20s largely free of HIV A reduced quadruple burden of disease An infant mortality rate of less than 20 deaths per thousand live births and underfive mortality rate of less than 30 deaths per thousand live births A significant shift in equity, efficiency, effectiveness and quality of healthcare provision UHC achieved A significant reduction in the risks caused by the social determinants of disease and adverse ecological factors n
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SUICIDE PREVENTION IN SA BY JESSIE TAYLOR
World Suicide Prevention Day:
Fighting the mental health impacts of the pandemic
he global pandemic has had far-reaching effects on how we live and do business, but one of its less recognised impacts has been on mental health. Isolation, the shift to online work, job losses, economic downturn and increased insecurity and uncertainty, have all taken their toll on South Africans, leaving many struggling to cope with feelings of depression and anxiety. And while the country battles both a healthcare and economic crisis, a mental health crisis could also be unfolding in the country. Covid-19 and its effect on mental health Growing levels of depression among South Africans has been a cause for concern for some
time. Friday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day and an opportunity to educate the South African public about the chronic under-reporting yet widespread occurrence of these deaths.
There are around 23 suicides every day in South Africa. But for each of those cases, there are at least 20 attempted suicides. According to statistics from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), there are around 23 suicides every day in South Africa. But for each of those cases, there are at least 20 attempted suicides. While men are more likely to die by
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suicide than women, very few age groups or socio-economic classes are left untouched by mental illness: around one in three South Africans will have a mental illness at some point in their lives. Before the pandemic, SADAG received around 600 calls to its helpline daily. This has more than doubled to about 1400. SADAG’s helplines receive calls from people across the country - from all races, gender, age, socio-economic backgrounds – which again shows that mental illness does not discriminate. Many callers are stressed about a combination of issues, including the spread of Covid-19, finances, relationship problems, job security, grief, gender-based violence and trauma, says
SADAG’s Operations Director Cassey Chambers. During an on-line survey conducted early last year, SADAG found that more than half of respondents experienced anxiety and panic during the first lock down. Other respondents said they experienced financial stress and pressure, as well as depression. Growing levels of depression have been consistently highlighted in the findings of the National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM). Changing workplaces The NIDS-CRAM surveys found that around 28% of South Africans screened positive for depressed mood between April and May 2021. This figure remained constant from the fourth report, in November and December 2020. The reports found that, especially in households experiencing food insecurity, some adults were not chronically depressed but were instead “moving in and out of a low mood state”.
“Becoming newly unemployed was significantly associated with moving from no depressed mood to experiencing depressed mood,” the NIDS-CRAM report said. But it is not just those who have experienced job losses experiencing mental illness. South Africa’s workforce has increasingly reported higher cases of depression and anxiety, driven by the demands of remote working. Many employees are now working longer and harder, even when working from home. Following the pandemic, South Africans started working on average an extra 38 minutes a day – which adds up to more than one and a half full work days every month. Added to longer hours at work, employees are juggling the burdens of childcare, losses of loved ones, and social isolation. All of this has created increased pressure and anxiety for much of the workforce.
Also closely linked to mental health and depression symptoms were environmental factors such as employment type, unemployment, loss of household income, and hunger.
“Covid-19 and the lockdown has affected many South Africans, and it has had a serious impact on people living with a mental health issue, often making their symptoms more heightened. SADAG has been receiving calls from people with no history of anxiety or depression who are feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stressed,” says Chambers.
In addition, job losses due to the pandemic and resulting lock down regulations were linked to people with signs of depression.
Warning signs of suicide Around 75% of people who commit suicide give some warning. Look out for the
following signs that someone you know could be in danger: • • • • • •
• • •
Talking or joking about suicide Depression Preparing for death Self-criticism Changes in personality Loss of interest in appearance or lack in hygiene Risk taking behaviour Excessive feelings of guilt, self blame, failure Sudden improvements in depression
How to get help for anxiety or depression If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety or depression, contact SADAG at: sadag.org Sms 31393 and a counsellor will call back (available 24 hours a day) Phone the helplines for free telephonic counselling on 0800 21 22 23, 0800 70 80 90, 0800 456 789 (24 hours a day), 800 12 13 14 (24 hours) and the Suicide Crisis Helpline 0800 567 567 (24 hours) Whatsapp chat (076 88 22 77 5) with a counsellor 7 days a week, 9:00 to 16:00 n
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 41
COVID UPDATE BY JESSIE TAYLOR
Youth may hold the key to reaching immunity targets T he opening of the national vaccination drive to all those older than 18 promises to give the country’s fight against Covid-19 a boost. The vaccination programme, which started in May, has been vaccinating according to age groups. This strategy is based on prioritising those most vulnerable to contracting severe cases of the virus, need hospitalisation or die. However, the programme will now be open to anyone older than 18, allow youth to access vaccines across the country. Tracking targets This move could potentially change the trajectory of the pandemic in the country, with youth a key sector for fighting the Covid-19. Not only are they the most mobile age group – and therefore at risk of spreading the disease – they also have the opportunity to influence older relatives to get vaccinated. The further opening of the vaccination programme to this age group will make additional 17 million people eligible for vaccination. Those older than 18 were able to register and receive and vaccination from
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20 August, after the date was moved forward from 1 September. With the government needing to fully vaccinate around 30 million adults to reach the target of inoculating 70% of the adult population to protect the country against future waves of Covid-19, including the new age cohort will go a long way in bolstering vaccination numbers. At the time of opening the vaccination programme to all adults, the government had already fully vaccinated close to five million people, with around eight million people partially vaccinated.
The opening up of the vaccination programme comes after several weeks of decreased vaccine demand. This despite vaccine hesitancy decreasing, according to a recent study by the Centre for Social Change survey at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The study found vaccine acceptance rates had increased overall to around 72%. However, the rate had dropped among the youth. In the 18 to 24 age group, only 55% showed vaccine acceptance between June and July this year, compared to 62% in
December and January. Among students, vaccine acceptance sat at 58%. Increasing access to vaccines will also benefit tertiary education institutions, as more than 700 000 tertiary students will now be able to vaccinate against the Covid-19 pandemic and serious illnesses. This will, in turn, reduce disruptions in learning at tertiary institutions. Changing the trajectory of the pandemic Ensuring youth have access to vaccines could change the pandemic’s trajectory, says Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia, CEO of Higher Health. Higher Health is the health, wellness and development agency of the Department of Higher Education’s post-schooling education and training sector. “The youth will decide the trajectory of this pandemic in the African continent and the world because young people are the biggest carriers of this virus,” he says.
“By opting to be vaccinated in large numbers... youth can stay healthy, protect those who are older and help reduce the risk of mutations that produce new and possibly more dangerous Covid variants.” The youth also have the potential to influence their older relatives to receive their jab, says Ahluwalia, and increasing the number of those vaccinated could help reduce the impact of the next wave. Along with increasing the vaccination numbers, opening up the programme to all adults over 18 would go a long way towards streamlining the process, says Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla “The benefit of opening up early among the 18 years plus is that now we can say all the vaccines have been certified to be safe and all these adults can be vaccinated. We can now cut out administrative and bureaucratic
red tape because as long as you have an ID which means you are over 18, you can be registered,” he says. In addition, vaccination at workplaces can now take place without the hindrance of age differentiation. Opening up the vaccination programme to all adults also means that travellers for business or educational purposes would no longer require approval for an advanced vaccination. Not only will the increased number of adults now eligible for a vaccine move the government closer towards its target of immunising 70% of the population, but it will also allow for a more streamlined vaccination programme. Eliminating red tape in the vaccination programme will benefit workplace vaccination drives and tertiary institutions, which will reduce the impact of the next wave of the pandemic. n
Launch of the walk-in section of the Athlone Stadium ‘Vaccination Centre of Hope’. 40 vaccination stations will be accessible to the public, with four drive-through lanes in operation since the end of August.
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 43
REGIONAL FOCUS: GAUTENG BY JESSIE TAYLOR
All Aboard: Reviving Gauteng’s economy through
Public transport transformation
proposal to launch the next phase of the Gautrain holds the promise of improved public transport, cleaner air and economic gains. The public transport model links Pretoria and Johannesburg via high-speed train but will be expanded to reach areas such as Soweto by more than doubling its current network. Not only will this provide more commuters with safe and reliable transport to business hubs in Johannesburg and Pretoria, but it will also increase jobs in the province. Creating new economic links The Gautrain consists of two lines that link Johannesburg’s central areas to Pretoria and OR Tambo international airport via 80-kilometres of track.
The expansion plans, dubbed Gautrain 2, will see another 150 kilometres of track added to this network, with a further 19 stations constructed. The first phase of construction will run from Marlboro to Randburg, Cosmo City, and Little Falls. The second phase will then link Little Falls to Jabulani in northern Soweto via Randburg. The link will ultimately be extended to Lanseria airport. Once the link between Soweto and Randburg is complete, it could save commuters around 86 minutes compared to the current trip time between Soweto and Randburg, estimates Gautrain Management Agency CEO William Dachs. In addition to the Gautrain 2 expansion, the company plans to add new stations at Waterfall, Samrand and Modderfontein and further
44 | Public Sector Leaders | September 2021
commercialise Centurion and Marlboro stations. The expansion plans on the current system would cost around R24.4-billion, while the Gautrain 2 expansion is priced at an estimated R110-billion.
These savings are especially important if you consider that around R300 million a year is lost to traffic congestion. While it was initially hoped the five-year construction of the Gautrain 2 first phase would start mid-2023, delays in financing could see this pushed out to the end of 2024. An application for authorisation for the project in terms of the Public Finance Management Act is still with the National Treasury.
The multibillion-rand project would be funded via investment and loans from a mix of private investors and state institutions such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Close to a 100-million trips have been made on the Gautrain since it was built in 2010, ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and around 70% of those cross a city boundary. The Pretoria-Johannesburg N1 highway, one of the busiest in the country, sees more than 157 000 vehicles daily. This is increasing at around 7% a year. The Gautrain hopes to see more than 20% of commuters changing from vehicular traffic on the congested highway to rail transport. This move can save the average commuter around 43 minutes commuting between Pretoria and Sandton during peak morning traffic. Unlocking public transport’s potential These savings are especially important if you consider that around R300 million a year is lost to traffic congestion. These losses include production time lost during travelling time, higher transport costs and aboveaverage accident rates.
burning of fossil fuels can significantly impact society and community health. As well as the individual benefits of using the Gautrain, its development has brought significant economic boosts. A study on the socioeconomic impact of the Gautrain found that the rapid-rail system adds around R6.64-billion province’s gross domestic product (GDP) during the average year of operation. The study, carried out by Hatch, also found that for every rand spent on the railway’s construction, double has been gained in economic benefit over a decade. The construction phase alone has provided an opportunity to support local businesses. During the development of the Gautrain 1, R1.42 billion was spent with around 300 SMMEs and approximately R5.5 billion with black-owned companies.
The railway also created more than 120 000 direct, indirect and induced jobs. With the first stage of development creating such a vast economic impact, the second round of development is likely to bring a much-needed boost to the provincial economy. The expansion would add an estimated R5 billion to Gauteng’s GDP during a typical year of construction and more than R12 billion to GDP during a typical year of operations. It is also likely to create another 175 000 jobs. With this level of economic potential, it’s no wonder President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed infrastructural development at the centre of his economic recovery plans. Not only will it link production and labour hubs to central business areas, but it will also ease the burden of employment by creating jobs and bolstering provincial coffers. n
Aside from the reduced quality of life caused by traffic congestion, there are also environmental impacts. Effective public transport in cities around the world has been shown to improve air quality. The poor air quality associated with heavy traffic and the
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 45
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT BY W, GOOGLE SOUTH AFRICA COUNTRY DIRECTOR
Accessibility & Employability: Can South Africans find opportunities in this current crisis?
As the economy takes a beating, digital tools may help your job search and career upskilling journey Fostering a better sense of self = Better Employability Unemployment rates in South Africa have scaled to new heights, climbing from 32.6% in the first quarter of this year to a shocking 34.4% in Q2, according to Stats SA data. For young people, the situation is concerning, with nearly half of the country’s youth unable to find work despite their eligibility to join the labour force. The journey to employment can be one of the most nerve-racking and frustrating experiences for any South African to go
through. Looking for a job can be anxiety-inducing, and filled with stress and disappointment. It can leave you feeling lost and uncertain because it impacts your livelihood and your career is likely closely linked to your self-identity. These sobering statistics (54 000 less people employed in Q2 compared to Q1), coupled with the anticipated aftershocks from recent social unrest, show just how crucial it is to make sure that the journey to employment and personal upskilling is as easy
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and accessible as possible for everyone. Nonetheless, it is important that the youth not lose hope. Accessibility and employability is achievable! Here’s a look at how… Finding the right job opportunities The Internet must become the first port of call when looking for job openings. Not only is there a greater volume of job listings available online but there are filters to refine your searches by job title, location, salary range, date of posting and even company size. This can become overwhelming
but luckily, there are online tools that can make the search easier. For example, Google brings together thousands of job posts from across the internet and helps job seekers easily find what they’re looking for, in one place, with a simple search. For Omphemetse Motene, 26, who has been unemployed for the past three months, online tools have been the most helpful in linking her to new openings. She notes that even with increased access to available job opportunities online, looking for a job can be daunting, especially when you don’t know where to start.
There are a number of resources available to job seekers looking to upskill for an increasingly competitive, digital, and ever-changing jobs marketplace “Trust me, this is one of the most emotional journeys of your life, having to spend almost five hours daily searching for jobs online, filling in those applications, uploading documents and composing cover letters for every position you’re interested in,” says Motene. “Being rejected and, at times, not even getting any responses, is not easy. I get so frustrated sometimes that I even want to quit hunting for jobs.”
Director of BossJansen Executive Search, Jeremy Bossenger understands that not finding work can be frustrating to deal with but encourages people not to give up the search.
else in your industry. No matter what field you have chosen, you need to become an absolute specialist or expert in it or in a particular part of it. ”He adds that prospective recruits should also be working
“Simply applying to job adverts is not enough,” he says. “If you are an active job seeker, it’s probably best to approach the right decision-makers at various brands you would like to work for. It’s also a good idea to keep your professional social media profiles up-to-date and be reasonably active on them.”
on a range of softer skills when looking for new opportunities such as learning to network. “Learn to build your network and put time and energy into constantly growing it.”
Obtaining the right skills for the job you want Social media coordinator, Kauthar Slemang, 25, found that her biggest obstacle in landing a job was the paradox of the chicken-and-egg. Many graduates often find, when searching for entry-level opportunities, that those jobs have a requirement of at least two years of experience. But how can you gain experience when you don’t meet the requirements of an entry-level position? Bossenger notes that there’s one key way you can differentiate yourself from other job seekers despite not having the relevant experience in the field, and that’s your skillset. “Specialise! Specialise! Specialise! It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a job if you have the same generic skill sets as everyone
There are a number of resources available to job seekers looking to upskill for an increasingly competitive, digital, and ever-changing jobs marketplace. Online learning tools like Google Digital Skills for Africa offer more than 152 courses covering career development, digital marketing, as well as data and technology. Through the platform, you can enhance your skill set at your own pace with flexible and personalised training courses that can prepare you for the career you want. “These courses are very helpful because they teach you a lot and you get exposed to many new things. It helps to boost your image as an individual and helps you improve your career prospects,” says Motene. Prepping for the interview After the laborious process of applying for available job positions comes the often nail-biting experience of
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 47
the interview. Sitting in front of people who will decide something so important to your future can be quite intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. By making sure you’re fully prepared for an interview, you can move past those nerves and focus on your excitement for the job. Although you can’t anticipate every question you’ll be asked, you can research and practice your responses to the most common questions asked by recruiters, as well as any interview dos and don’ts. YouTube has thousands of videos that can help job seekers get ready for job interviews, which can be particularly helpful to those
who have never gone through the process before. “Videos help job seekers better prepare for any unexpected questions pertaining to a certain job, giving them tips on what to wear, how to display confidence, and help keep the interviewee calm,” says Slemang.
accelerate your career journey - the pathway to finding a job becomes much easier to navigate with online tools.
While the search for a job can often be one of the most discouraging experiences to go through, there are many resources out there that can help to alleviate the stress and difficulty of finding the right job.
About Google Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people, and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.
From using the right search tools so you have access to every opportunity, to interview preparation playbooks that can help you stand out, and upskilling resources that can
For more information: Visit our Google Africa Blog: google-africa.blogspot.com. You can also follow Google’s Africa team on Twitter: googleafrica. n
Alistair Mokoena Country director at Google South Africa
48 | Public Sector Leaders | September 2021
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Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 49
INTERVIEW SUPREME ICT ACADEMY
Building Skills For the Future S
upreme ICT Academy began in 2016 with a collective staff experience of more than 60 years. The Academy’s vision is to implement a blended training delivery approach to offer flexible options for our customers and learners. The Covid-19 pandemic ensured that the organisation accelerated the implementation of blended training delivery. Passionate about empowering the youth through skills development, Mr. Bonisile (Boni) Gantile, Founder & MD of Supreme ICT Academy, sits down for a discussion on the importance of Digital Skills for the future of work. Q. What are the Academy’s main values and objectives? A. Supreme ICT aims to assist organisations and individuals to build the ICT and management skills they require to execute their plans. For the solution to be effective there must be understanding what generic or specific problem solution is addressing. Supreme is guided by the following values:
Listen and Seek to understand
Link the solution to address identified problem
Honesty and integrity in all our dealings
Q. Please unpack yur role at Supreme ICT Academy. A. I am the founding member and the Managing Director. Thus, my role is to map the direction in which we move so that it is relevant, delivers value to the society and is sustainable. I also assist in facilitating supplementary work readiness workshops for participants in our employability programmes. Q. Your organisation holds an experienced team of facilitators and curriculum designers. What is your opinion on the current state of youth employability and lack of work readiness in SA? A. Unemployment levels in our country are extremely high; this is a ticking time bomb that needs urgent attention. Unemployment
50 | Public Sector Leaders | September 2021
is, however, not an easy problem to solve. I am of the opinion that there are two critical dependencies to solving the problem, one dependency being the capacity of the economy to create sustainable jobs, and the other being the employability profile of the unemployed population. Q. What do you believe are the key factors that will increase the employability of our youth? A. Sometimes we make the mistake of treating ‘unemployment’ and ‘employability’ as if they are the same. The two are related, but are different. For example, one may be highly employable yet find oneself unemployed if the economy cannot accommodate all employable candidates. Equally, one may be unemployed to their employability profile, whilst there are sufficient jobs in the economy - in this case the economy may import skills whilst the locals remain unemployed. Employability is the level to which one’s profile matches the skill demand profile of the economy.
The higher the match, the higher one’s employability level. The World Economic Forum lists Critical Thinking and ProblemSolving, Active Learning, Complex Problem Solving, Technology Use, Monitoring and Control, Technology Design and Programming amongst the top 10 job skills for tomorrow. Most of the listed job skills were previously regarded as noncritical soft skills. I view these as being key and generic skills that we should all have at a varying degree across all sectors as we transition. The technical skills such as IT, Telecoms, mechatronics and other science and technology skills will continue to be a specialisation The key factors affecting employability are the relevance of one’s qualification and skills profile in relation to current and future labour market demands, and the behavioral profile of the candidate. Q. Offering key skills development in IT, ICT tech and telecommunications, how is Supreme ICT Academy making a positive contribution to addressing the digital skills gap? A. At Supreme ICT Academy we recognise that like all other Industrial or Technological revolutions, some skills become redundant, others get revamped and newer skills emerge based on where the economy finds itself in the transformation journey. We realise that a person might have a relevant qualification, but might require top-up training to achieve his/her objective, or similarly the
organisation may need to retrain its team based on planned or anticipated skills gaps. To that effect, we offer specific short courses that lead to international certifications or offer customised short courses depending on the need. For skills transformation or development of specific pipeline skills, organisations sometimes want a full SAQA accredited qualification to be used for a learnership or part qualification to be used for an internship or skills programme. To address this challenge, we are accredited for End User Computer NQF3, Telecommunications Network Operations NQF4 and Technical Support NQF 4, and we are currently busy expanding our scope of accreditation by 10 additional SAQA registered qualifications. We are also a recognised CompTIA Training Delivery Partner which allows us to offer international certification courses to build IT skills in Computer Software & Hardware, Computer Networking Skills, Network Security Professional (CNSP) etc. Between 2018 and 2020, in partnership with a National Department and a large South African Corporate, we have managed to build telecommunication field operations skills and fibre splicing skills to more than 1000 unemployed youth nationally using structured credit bearing skills programmes. Some of the participants have since got employed and others
operate small businesses whilst others unfortunately remain unemployed. Q. Why are you so passionate about the concept of Learnership Programmes? A. Learnership Programmes contain structured academic and workplace learning. The Learnership and related such as Internship, and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) give youth an opportunity to apply learnt theory in practice whilst they gain real life experience. The added advantage for the participants is that their visible active participation in experiential learning at the workplace, markets their capability to the potential employer, this speaks volumes compared to sending a CV. I have noticed employers being impressed by the actual displayed skill such that they offer the participant permanent opportunity without waiting for the programme, particularly in internships. Q. How can SA successfully foster “Digital Citizenship”? A. Organisations must recognise and utilise the employees who acquire digital skills whenever it is possible. Individuals must recognise that being a Digital citizen is also beneficial for personal productivity and social contribution and they, therefore, should not wait for t he employer to sponsor training where possible. With a little bit of research, youth can gain access to free training content on Digital skills.
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 51
Organisations can integrate Digital Citizenship training as part of a planned transformation agenda from time to time. To ensure that the sponsored pipelines are also Digital Citizens , we could include Basic Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentation Application etc. to be an integral part of sponsored skills programmes. Q. Digital skills are transferable both locally and globally. What tips do you have for learners and corporates in terms of adopting a global mindset for the future? A. In planning your career, it is important to understand whether the skills you want to acquire have local or global relevance or both. Getting the skill with global relevance means that you can export your acquired skill and work in any country of your choice either as an expatriate of an SA company global presence or through a foreign owned international company. South African Youth have got to recognise that the world is their playground. If they possess emerging and globally relevant skills, they must not be shy to seek global opportunities. Q. Do you foresee any new trends emerging in your field in the next 3-5 years? A. Although the Blended Learning concept, which is a combination of classroom and online, has been implemented at a very slow scale, Covid-19 has accelerated the increase in usage of online learning, and blended learning is
fast becoming a new normal in cases where practical learning is critical. Macro learning is fast becoming regular and is beneficial to meet the short attention span of the modern days. With the further maturity of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and Virtualisation, the training business model will not be immune from these disruptive technologies. l anticipate that adoption of macro training nuggets based on virtual reality as opposed to standard text or video and text based e-learning will accelerate. More training institutions will build their online training delivery capability including academic institutions.
on the issue and your input may be valuable. Asking questions to seek clarity or understanding is not a sign of stupidity but is an opportunity for personal growth. Be curious, research and ask questions. Remember that whilst the acquired technical skill is critical for employment, employers hire for attitude. They will not hesitate to choose someone with potential and the right attitude over someone skilled with a bad one. Social networks are increasingly becoming the source of reference about who you are, and must be used wisely. n
Q. What advice do you have for school leavers as they approach the workplace? A. Unlike at school where your performance affects only you as an individual, your performance at the workplace impacts the team and has consequences for profitability and sustainability of the organisation. It is important to learn and understand the culture of the particular workplace to be able to see if there are no major differences, so that you can decide whether or not you would want to continue with your career in that workplace. Actively engage and participate during work and team meetings, remember that even if you do not have the experience, you may have the intelligence and relevant theoretical knowledge
52 | Public Sector Leaders | September 2021
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Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 53
NEW MINISTER ALERT BY JESSIE TAYLOR
Dlodlo Minister of Public Service & Administration
The architect of a new professional public service In a recent Cabinet reshuffle, Hon. Ayanda Dlodlo was appointed as the new Minister of Public Service and Administration by President Cyril Ramaphosa. While Minster Dlodlo took up the role as of August this year, she’s no stranger to the challenges faced by the Public Service. Having served in the role previously, Minster Dlodlo has first had experience in the transformation the sector needs to ensure professional and committed public servants are appointed to the key roles that will not only ensure service delivery but will also help reduce poverty and inequality. Bringing value through experience At the helm of the Department of Public Service and Administration, Minister Dlodlo brings multifaceted qualifications and experience to her role. She holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) amongst several postgraduate qualifications covering a range of fields, such as Shipping and Transport Management, Management Development, Business Management and Executive Development. Along with these qualifications, Minister Dlodlo has filled several senior posts at a corporate level, including at organisations such as Telkom, Spoornet and Sanlam. She has worked at the SA National Ports Authority,
54 | Public Sector Leaders | September 2021
SA Freight Rail Company and has also worked on special assignments for the New York and New Jersey Port Authority as well as the Associated British Ports. Minister Dlodlo has worked in several government portfolios, including in the Gauteng Department of Community Safety and the Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions). She was appointed as Minister for State Security in June 2019, after having held the positions of Minister of Public Service and Administration between 2018 and 2019, Minister of Home Affairs between 2017 and 2018, and Minister of Communication in 2017. In the face of challenges brought by the global pandemic, Minister Dlodlo implemented several steps to professionalise the state intelligence agencies. She played a key role in restricting the SSA, by combining the South African Secret Service and the National Intelligence Agency. She also appointed the former head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and a veteran intelligence operative Robert McBride as head of the foreign wing.
A record of innovation While previously at the Department of Public Service and Administration, Minister Dlodlo made great strides in reforming policy and regulatory interventions to improve service delivery. “Through these various policy and regulatory interventions, we are making it possible for our people, especially the youth, to interact with Government with ease and at less cost. The technological advancements and innovation that we are gradually introducing into the public service will expedite the pace of service delivery and ultimately open access to our people on a 24-hour basis,” Minister Dlodlo. Some of the reforms introduced by Minister Dlodlo included the launch of the e-Recruitment system. This system aims to make it simpler and easier for
people, especially the youth, to apply for job opportunities in the public service. The e-Recruitment system is a beginning of a process to introduce a paperless administration across the public service. The process also included a review of regulations for all entry-level posts, to allow the recruitment of new entrants without prior experience into these jobs. The amended regulations, which came into effect in 2019, aimed to enhance the government’s human resource development capacity and remove unnecessary barriers to entry into the public service. “For job-seekers, the new e-Recruitment system will be beneficial because it is webbased and accessible from different locations for all job seekers who submit applications to a centralised
She is well versed in the Department of Public Service and Administration. Not only did she serve as Minister of Public Service and Administration previously, but she also held the position of Deputy Minister twice – once in 2010 and again between 2014 and 2017.
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 55
database. This will enable the applicants to post their CVs and supporting documents once and the process will save them the cost of making multiple copies for applications,” she said. “This exercise will be structured in such a way that it does not compromise the professional and technical requirements for various fields, all we want to do is to streamline career paths and align skills which will make the public service fit for purpose,” - Hon. Dlodlo. Among Minister Dlodlo’s innovative implementations in the Department was the introduction of a National Public Service Hackathon. The Minister convened over 400 of the brightest and most innovative minds in South Africa for a three-day event, aimed at solving some of the biggest challenges facing service delivery in the country. The Hackers were given 40 hours to develop innovative solutions to challenges in the Education, Health, Environment, and Accountability sectors, amongst others. Some of the solutions included systems to enhance the implementation of the NHI Scheme, apps to assist learners
in acquiring critical skills, and a way to digitise the public health system.
Minister Dlodlo has dedicated herself to improving the training of public servants The future of public service Minister Dlodlo has earned a reputation for promoting a values-driven public service, soundly rooted in the country’s National Development Plan. This plan centres around reducing poverty, unemployment and inequality in society, and the Public Service Minister has been vocal about ensuring government employees contribute to this vision. “We have thousands of committed, honest and hardworking public servants. We have an enduring duty to kill this perception through words and deeds and rid the public service of such rogue elements that taint the image of the public service.” Minister Dlodlo insists that public service is about serving
the citizens of the country and ensuring the development of the nation by responding to its citizens’ needs. To achieve this, the Public Service, governance and administration must be underpinned by the values of the Constitution, including human dignity, social justice, equity and respect for everyone. This is especially important, the Minister says, because the public service was once a “discriminatory instrument based on race and class”. To attain the vision of the National Development Plan, Minister Dlodlo has dedicated herself to improving the training of public servants to ensure they have integrity, are professional and have the commitment to serve society. The public service forms an essential part of a capable and developmental state. This means that state institutions need to be well-run and effectively coordinated by committed professionals. This will allow the public sector to deliver consistently highquality services while prioritizing economic growth and reduced poverty and inequality.n
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56 | Public Sector Leaders | September 2021
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25 Years on the Front Line of Local Democracy November 22, 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the national voice of South Africa’s 257 municipalities is as relevant today as when it was founded. Since inception, SALGA has been playing an increasingly important role in the provision of leadership for the local government sector and its range of policy, legal and technical advisory and capacity building services to its member municipalities has benefitted communities and residents across the length and breadth of the nation. Officially founded in November 1996, the organization was formed against the backdrop of the Organised Local Government Act, a product of the White Paper on Local Government - and in January 1997, the Minister of Constitutional Development recognised SALGA as the national organisation representing local government. Twenty-five years later, SALGA’s impact in local government continues to be felt in six broad focus areas: lobby, advocate and represent, employer body, capacity building, support and advice, strategic profiling and knowledge and information sharing.
Financial stewardship excellence SALGA is immensely proud to be recognized for financial management excellence by South Africa’s supreme audit institution, the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA). The financial year 2019-20 saw the organization sustain a clean audit outcome for a consecutive eight-year period.
SALGA’s high level of commitment to financial stewardship of public resources and its adherence to best practice in its corporate and financial governance is the result of the integrity, commitment, and experience of its financial management staff and all SALGA employees. SALGA’s clean bill of health from the AG also sets an inspiring example for municipalities to follow and the organisation will continue to provide its members with platforms for the exchange of experiences and best practices in local government financial management.
Equal Opportunity Employment SALGA is intentional about bringing equality, diversity and inclusion to the workplace. Among SALGA’s strengths is its workforce and an organisational culture that is built on a diverse range of beliefs and values that foster a sense of belonging for its employees. As of 2020, SALGA has a staff complement of 390. Broken down by gender, 250 (64.1%) are female and 215 (55.1%) are black African. SALGA also believes that young people will ultimately shape the future of the nation. The average age profile of SALGA employees is 38 years, with the majority between 30-39 years. This indicates that SALGA is not only committed to hiring a diverse workforce but also enabling them to reach their full potential. SALGA is proud of its 25-year history and the organisation is looking forward to what it can accomplish in the years to come. w w w. s a l g a . o rg . z a
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YEARSof DEMOCRATIC LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Years of Local G ove r n2021 m e|n57t Public Sector Leaders | September Y
SERVICE DELIVERY BY JESSIE TAYLOR
espite the numerous gains made during South Africa’s democratic years, service delivery shortfalls still exist in several areas. Service delivery is one of the key ways to eradicate poverty and uphold human rights, and civil organisations play an essential role in lobbying for these. Civil society organisations provide partnerships for Government to reach communities, and with their roots in these communities, are the first in line to highlight areas in which the government can increase its presence. Bridging the gap In South Africa, there are still millions of people who do not have access to basic services. Around 20 million South Africans cannot access safe water and 14 million have no access to basic sanitation.
Many also have no access to formal housing, with around 12.5 million people living in informal settlements.
have a role to play in raising awareness of socio-economic issues and holding authorities accountable for their failures.
With basic services such as these enshrined in the Constitution, service delivery is an essential role that not only improves the circumstances in which people live but also underpins the country’s democracy.
A helping hand South Africa has an active civil society in which many organisations lobby for the rights of citizens and access to services, of which the following are a few:
Service delivery is critical to reducing poverty and inequality. It can improve the standard of living for South Africans by reducing poor health, lack of education, and other environmental factors, in turn having a direct impact on child mortality, healthcare, water access and sanitation levels. While service delivery remains the responsibility of the government, civil organisations
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- Section 27 Section27 is a public interest law centre lobbying for social justice. The organisation focuses on improving access to healthcare and education, with the goal of achieving structural change and accountability to ensure the dignity and equality of everyone. The organisation works to secure vital resources for the education sector, such as textbooks and funding, while also lobbying for safe and hygienic education facilities.
On the healthcare front, Section 27 works towards better quality and more affordable public and private health systems. Lobbying for access to sustainable ARV treatments and other medication forms a part of its mandate. - Black Sash Black Sash works towards the realisation of socio-economic rights, as outlined in the Constitution. The organisation is concerned with social security and social protection for society’s most vulnerable, particularly women and children. Many of the organisation’s interventions aim to significantly reduce poverty and inequality. The Black Sash has been at the forefront of calling for the reinstatement and increase of the Covid-19 relief grant. The organisation stands on the belief that socioeconomic rights demand open, transparent and accountable governance, and the organisation is known for supporting active civic engagement by all living in South Africa
Amnesty International South Africa has also launched the #DignityNow campaign, which centres around promoting Accountability and transparency on the part of government and an active citizenry, to strengthen the systems delivering basic human rights. - Corruption Watch This non-profit organisation has been launching investigations into corruption in public offices since January 2012. The organisation provides a platform for reporting corruption and will investigate reports of alleged acts of corruption, especially if the cases have an impact on the rights of disadvantaged South Africans – such as in the basic health or education sectors. These reports are issued as a source of information for the public, and a means to hold public leaders accountable.
Corruption Watch also gathers data to identify patterns and hot spots of corruption, which recommendations to solve systemic corruption. While Government, especially at a local level, has a role to play in service delivery and the provision of basic services such as water, sanitation, housing and electricity, civil society can also ensure these basic rights are met. Delivering these services can lift millions out of poverty and improve living conditions. But reducing poverty and inequality requires a collaborative approach. Civil organisations offer the unique opportunity of holding leadership accountable and assisting in lobbying and rolling out the services on which future development is based. n
- Amnesty International South Africa Amnesty International works to promote human rights across the globe. At a local level, the organisation encourages accountability and transparency in municipalities. It also lobbies for communities to have access to information to participate in budgeting and planning processes.
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PUBLIC SERVICE MONTH BY JESSIE TAYLOR
Growing SA Together
For an Ethical Public Service
eptember marks Public Service Month and offers the opportunity to reflect on the essential work carried out by the public sector. This year, the commemoration comes at a time when the South African government is putting measures in place to strengthen the public sector. The range of measures come on the back of the Commission into State Capture, chaired by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, which has investigated allegations of widespread corruption in state institutions. President Cyril Ramaphosa recently gave his testimony at the Commission and unveiled several government processes to fight corruption and improve the public sector. Bolstering professionalism in the public sector Public Service Month serves as
a reminder of what it means to serve communities and the impact the government and civil servants have, especially in terms of service delivery. It’s with this impact in mind that President Ramaphosa has announced measures to bolster public service delivery. These primarily look at how the Cabinet functions, strengthening institutions that had been ‘captured’ or influenced. This process has included changes in the leadership at some key institutions and changes to management at state-owned enterprises, as well as making policy changes. “One of the critical projects currently under way to strengthen the state involves the professionalisation of the public service. This aims to ensure that the public service is shorn of political partisanship and that
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the most qualified individuals enter its ranks,” President Ramaphosa says.
Government would implement rigorous controls over the use of public money Professionalising the public service involves training accounting officers across all spheres of government on the applicable legislative provisions, and the National School of Government (NSG) has a vital role in this. The NSG is a State training institution tasked to build public sector capacity, which was established based on the premise that a capable public service is necessary for society to flourish. The NSG plays a critical role in building an ethical,
professional and capable public sector by providing quality education, training and development interventions that are relevant to the needs of the public sector. “The public service is diverse, with a huge range of skills, qualifications and capabilities. Many public servants have specialised skills that are necessary for the effective provision of services. It is therefore not necessarily the case that we need a smaller public service: what we actually need is a fit-for-purpose public service with suitable skills, a professional ethic and a commitment to serving the people,” says President Ramaphosa. Reforming state institutions Several other measures have also been taken to foster a culture of ethical public service and accountability. With a focus on rebuilding and restoring law enforcement agencies weakened by state capture, President Ramaphosa has established an Investigating Directorate in the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions to work on high profile complex cases of corruption and fraud. “Other areas of progress include the work that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit has done recovering the proceeds of economic crimes, re-capacitating the NPA with more qualified personnel, and
changes in leadership of entities such the Public Investment Corporation,” President Ramaphosa says. Added to these efforts is the work of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) Tribunal, which has recouped funds wrongfully taken from state coffers. A commission has also been established to investigate governance failures at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and propose ways to restore the confidence of taxpayers. The recommendations of this commission are currently being implemented and have already shown results. Regarding other state enterprises, the President said Government envisages a fundamental overhaul of the state-owned enterprises model. This new model would address deficiencies that had allowed corruption while putting in place measures to enable the companies to fulfill their mandates effectively.
“These include the prohibition on all public service employees conducting business with the state, the development of norms and standards of integrity, ethics and discipline in the public service, and the establishment of the Office of Standards and Compliance. Further sections will be commencing this year.” Building a robust public sector is essential not only for service delivery but in creating an equal society in which democracy can thrive. “The men and women of the public service need to be capacitated to play their role in driving development and consolidating democracy. This is our best guarantee of a capable state that serves the interests of citizens,” adds President Ramaphosa. n
Alongside these measures, the President said the government would implement rigorous controls over the use of public money. These include amendments to the Public Administration Management Act. “Another set of powerful measures to prevent corruption and state capture include changes to the way in which the public service is managed,” - Hon. Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa Addresses Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and Corruption
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VIRTUAL SUMMIT & AWARDS in association with
THE FUTURE OF HR
Brought to you by
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INTERVIEW FP&M SETA
CEO of FP&M SETA Q. Please tell us a bit about yourself. A. I was Born in Soweto, and grew up in Soweto and Pietermaritzburg, where I attended Immaculata High School in Diepkloof. I have a BA Honors degree in Social Work, a Diploma in Integrated Marketing Communications from AAA School of Advertising, and a Masters degree in Public and Development Management. I am currently completing a PhD in Public Sector Leadership and Management and Fourth Industrial Revolution Digital Technology. Q. What are you most passionate about in life? A. Making a difference to people’s lives through education and training skills development. I feel strongly about transforming the lives of our unemployed youth – giving them opportunities to escape the shackles of poverty. I come from humble beginnings myself and when I see poverty all around me, especially in the rural areas, it urges me to want to do more. Q. How would you describe your leadership style? A. The short answer would be high level, strategic and firm, but fair and very transparent. I thrive on being an excellent role model by accepting full responsibility in everything that I do. I build strong high performing teams that would take organisations to new heights
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Q. In your opinion, how are we doing with transformation in corporate South Africa thus far? A. Transforming the lives and careers of people has become my passion. I would be in denial, if I do not say that from a skills development perspective, much more needs to be done to transform the corporate sector in South Africa. The FP&M SETA recently launched the International Leadership Development Programme to foster transformation and create future leaders through cutting-edge thinking, design and innovation. The objective of the programme is to develop potential leadership and strategic positions with a view to expose learners to international benchmarks and best practices. It is anticipated that this extensive programme will provide the sector with front runners that have strong business and leadership acumen as well as both a local and international focus.
Q. You are now at the helm of FP&M SETA. Tell us more about the vital function of this SETA and what your most immediate challenges are you need to face. A. The core business mandate of the FP&M SETA is to provide skills development services to 13 industrial sectors, which includes some of the most challenging sub-sectors from an economic growth and sustainability perspective. The FP&M SETA provides skills development services to the clothing, footwear, textiles, leather, forestry, furniture, general goods,
print media, printing, packaging, publishing, pulp, paper and wood products sub-sectors. Yearon-year the SETA would like to do more to upskill the workers, create sustainable collaborative partners with various stakeholders including higher-education and training institutions, but with a very constrained budget we can only do so much. We still continue to receive an overwhelming number of discretionary grant applications, but unfortunately we cannot please everybody.
The core business mandate of the FP&M SETA is to provide skills development services Although we have done everything and more in formulating efficient strategies to address socioeconomic challenges facing the sector and to maximise the impact of skills development initiatives on the lives of the most vulnerable groups including, the unemployed youth, people living with disabilities and women, this is still work in progress. Q. Besides the challenges, tell us more about the good work the SETA has accomplished? A. Currently, there are too many to mention. To fully understand the growth and successes of the FP&M SETA one needs to go back and trace significant events over the last four years, post amalgamation. The introduction of a highly strategic business model developed by myself paved the way for a complete turnaround and the streamlining of the SETA’s operations and processes. This
has resulted in the establishment of a best practice organisation that has met and exceeded organisational objectives and performance standards. I am pleased to inform all of our stakeholders that strategically we are fully aligned to support the Government in addressing the MTEF priorities, more especially unemployment and poverty alleviation. In order to promote labour absorption within our sub-sectors we have encouraged our industry partners to develop sector strategies aligned to skills development action plans that would promote economic growth and sustainability of our industries. Our research partnership with WITS University has yielded excellent results – everything we do at the SETA is informed and underpinned by research. Key to the success of this intervention has been to accurately identify the critical research activities undertaken in collaboration with our research partners to identify the occupations in demand within our sector. Q. Can you please tell us about the Government’s role supporting your efforts? A. I am so pleased with all of the support that I am getting from my direct executive authority, the Ministry of Higher Education and Training and other Government Departments. I must commend the Honourable Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, in putting a support strategy in place to ensure that our SETA succeeds in implementing theNSDS III strategy.
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Our regular meetings with Government representatives and the fact that the Ministry has advisory and support structures such as QCTO, NAMB, and the SETA Directorate to support the work of SETAs eases the pressures of implementation. Here, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Auditor-General of South Africa in ensuring good corporate governance and compliance – SETAs deal with billions of rands and obtaining “clean-audits” is the ultimate goal. The FP&M SETA also played a leading role in the development of fit-for-purpose occupationallydirected qualifications that will be registered by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). The results of our Tracking and Tracer Study (2014) revealed that by engaging in a learnership or apprenticeship programme of the FP&M SETA, the employability of unemployed learners and their earning potential was greatly improved, as well as the value they added to the workplace. The FP&M SETA received another impressive unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General of South Africa, which is a testament to the FP&M SETA which complied with generally accepted business practices and good corporate governance.FP&M SETA has largely ensured increased access to training and skills development opportunities to achieve the fundamental transformation of inequities linked to class, race, gender, age and disability in our society. •
The profile of learners demonstrates a fair balance between people from rural and urban areas.
63% of female representation in learning programmes, apart from in apprenticeship programmes
99% of black people have access to learning opportunities across programmes.
Learning programmes provided opportunities to 73% of young people, less than 35 years of age across programmes.
Awards Individual: 2015, BBQ, PUBLIC SECTOR VISIONARY AWARD An acknowledgement for someone who has made a significant impact in the public sector 2015, YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AWARD SA - by the South African Graduate Development Agency in recognition for courageous leadership in growing the number & quality of work exposure placements for unemployed youth and graduates in South Africa and for engaging stakeholders in rural as well as disadvantaged communities as a distinguishing hallmark of her contribution in skills development. 2015, AFRICA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT - by CEO Global for advancing African economies and communities. 2017, BBQ, Big Time Strategic Group Platinum Award: IQHAWE MENTORSHIP AWARD 2019, THE NATIONAL SKILLS AUTHORITY AWARDS – Minister’s Award for Recognition of Most Outstanding Individual in Skills Development.
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2019, GUTTENBERG AWARD – a rare achievement for a woman in the Printing Industry. RECOGNITION BY THE AUDITORGENERAL OF SOUTH AFRICA – for the unqualified clean audit opinions attained in 2015/2016, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 . Three clean unqualified audit opinions in 5 years as Chief Executive Officer of the FP&M SETA. FP&M SETA awards under CEO Felleng Yende 2016, BBQ, Amsco Transformation Champion Of The Year Award 2019, GOLD AWARD for FP&M SETA - as the most outstanding SETA for its performance against the set targets, governance, compliance, Management; Corporate Services, the SETA’s financial sustainability, partnerships, innovation and creativity. n
Head office Address: PO Box 31276,Braamfontien, 2017, 1 Newton Ave, Killarney 2193 Email: fpmseta@thehotline. co.za Website: thehotline.co.za Toll Free Number: 080 000 7395
Advocate Boyce Mkhize
INTERVIEW COMMUNITY SCHEMES OMBUD SERVICES
Chief Ombud of the Community Schemes Ombud Service
regulate. Nobody wants to live in an environment where there is constant nuisance, bickering and conflicts.
Q. Congratulations on your appointment! How do you hope to make a valuable contribution to CSOS? A. Thank you for the congratulatory note on my appointment. I seek to infuse energy, agility, innovation, responsiveness, quality and outstanding customer relationship management in our dealings with our various stakeholders. CSOS is a State-Owned Entity, but I do want to turn it away from the perception that Government is ineffective, inefficient and tardy. This spirit must be modelled first by myself as a Leader and cascade throughout the organisation. Governance of Schemes and resolution of disputes is our key mandate and, therefore, all interventions I seek to bring will be geared towards enhancing best practices and models in these areas, without neglecting the impact of support functions. Q. Resolving administrative disputes can be quite a daunting task. Why is this such an important field to be in? A. Resolving disputes is such an important field because it contributes to peaceful co-existence of individuals living in the communities that we
Q. What are the key drivers in providing an impartial and transparent service to resolve administrative disputes in community schemes? • • •
Objectivity Sound knowledge of legal frameworks and principles Appropriate interpretation of law and application to facts
Q. How has CSOS successfully maintained the running of an inexpensive and efficient system for its customers? A. By emphasising the importance of conciliating disputes rather than embarking on a fully blown adversarial system of adjudication of disputes. Conciliations provide a quicker, inexpensive and more long lasting solution to disputes as it becomes an agreed upon resolution of the dispute, as opposed to an adjudication order where there is a winner and a loser. Q. In which ways has the pandemic affected the organisation, and how have you overcome this? A. The management of disputes has suffered some setbacks due to restrictions on physical meetings etc. However, we have instituted other alternative means for resolving disputes, such as online or virtual hearings as well as adjudications
that are conducted on paper. This has created an environment where disputes do not pile up waiting for physical meetings, but can be resolved speedily through virtual platforms or determinations on paper. Q. What are your plans for the next year at CSOS? A. I would like to see an efficient and effective machinery developed within CSOS for the enhancement of governance of Schemes as well as efficient resolution of disputes. A viable Business Automation Solution must be procured and implemented in order to fast track the registration or onboarding of new Schemes and maintenance of their registrations with CSOS. Our public profile must be enhanced through public campaigns and our performance must increase to at least 80% of our targets. We also need to reverse the qualified audit opinion that we received and move much closer to a clean audit. Our brand should invoke positive feelings of confidence amongst our stakeholders with a highly competent and suitable team of employees. n Address: Berkley Office Park, 8 Bauhinia Street, Highveld Techno Park, Centurion, 0169 Website: www.csos.org.za Tel: 010 593 0533
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FOCUS ON WATER BY FIONA WAKELIN
Minister of Water and Sanitation
Hon. Mchunu Bringing a renewed focus on the improvement of municipal water infrastructure
n August President Ramaphosa announced a Cabinet reshuffle as well as changes to the structure of the Executive Committee. “Water and Sanitation should be a separate Ministry [from Human Settlements], which will enable a dedicated focus on ensuring that all South Africans have access to a secure and sustainable supply of this precious resource, ” – President Ramaphosa. Our new Minister of Water and Sanitation is Honourable Senzo Mchunu who previously served as the Minister of Public Service and Administration. He also served as Premier of KwaZulu-Natal from 22 August 2013 until 23 May 2016 and is a former provincial chairperson of the ANC in KZN. Born at eNhlwathi, Hlabisa in northern KZN Minister Mchunu was educated at the University of Zululand and the University of South Africa, qualifying with a BA in Education and International Relations. From 1985 he worked as a high school teacher, resigning to become a full-time politician in 1991.
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Given that water is our most precious resource and with the ongoing stressors of climate change, the dedicated Water and Sanitation ministry was hailed as good news across the board: “A dedicated ministry is appreciated, and it needs to be well capacitated — capacity that can also be leveraged through effective partnerships. In addition, given water’s cross-cutting and central role in achieving our development ambitions and striving for water security, we simply must prioritise and dedicate investment in strengthening coordination mechanisms and institutions across ministries, departments and the different portfolios, at multiple levels and between levels — national, provincial and local,” - Ruth Beukman, Freshwater and Policy Lead, WWF South Africa (Daily Maverick, 9 August). And Minister Mchunu has hit the ground running. He delivered the keynote address during the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) World Water Week seminar, online from 23-27 August 2021 which engaged participants
from more than 130 countries. The theme of the seminar was “Building Resilience Faster” and Hon. Mchunu’s address focussed on “Step-forward: building resilient institutions through spaces for adaptive and participatory decision-making.” Then from virtual engagement to on the ground appraisals, Minister Mchunu has been making onsite visits to asses the issues in various provinces. On August 31, the Minister, together with his Deputy Ministers, Hon. David Mahlobo and Hon. Dikeledi Magadzi, held a series of engagements with DWS Management, Eastern Cape provincial leadership, led by the Premier Oscar Mabuyane and the Amatola Water Board (AW) management at the Regent Hotel, East London. From Eastern Cape to Limpopo: during the second week of September the Honourable Minister and his Deputies visited Limpopo assessing water provision and sanitation – there he met Premier Stanley Mathabatha, representatives from local government, water boards, water and sanitation, the provincial government leadership and various stakeholders.
meet with stakeholders from government, municipalities and the Lepelle Northern Water to quantify the figures, because it is not guaranteed that after spending such money, the people of Giyani will have clean running water in their communities.” Minister Mchunu outlined the issues facing the project: “From the briefing, I am told it seems there was no proper planning in place during the initial stages of the implementation of this project. There were no designs and no rigid budget put in place. That is why we have problems today,” - Minister Mchunu. Giving assurances for the way forward the Hon. Minister said: “The timeline is in a week’s time, the plan will be placed before
us as the ministry and we will consider it. If we agree on it we will then source money and fund it so that we know that is now the full scope, this is the full budget, while investigations continue but strongly monitored and supervised by us.” Leading from the front, Minister Mchunu has made it abundantly clear that his ministry has zero tolerance for corruption and is working through the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate allegations of tenderpreneuring and water crimes. All of which is serving to bolster public confidence in the new, stand alone Department of Water and Sanitation. n Sources: People’s Assembly, Daily Maverick, AllAfrica, News24, The Citizen
One of the items on the agenda was the Giyani water project which will cost an additional R844 million to complete: “Government has already spent a total of R3.3- billion on the project. We are still going to
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The Disinfecting LET’S Muscle of UV and RELY OzoneON
n 1861, one man changed the world. Louis Pasteur published his theory on microorganisms, opening a new front in the battle against tiny creatures that cause humans great agony. Pasteur, along with many contemporaries, opened our eyes to a world beyond our sight and the means to reduce its harm. Today, food lasts longer, and a minor infection is no longer a death sentence. Ironically, one of the greatest germicide defences known to the world was discovered 60 years prior by Johann Ritter: ultraviolet (UV) light, and in the 1930s, William F. Wells noted that UV attacks airborne diseases.
PROVEN utility water to new levels: “UV and ozone are very potent, but the technologies had admittedly been demanding to implement and sustain. Consequently, water treatment relies heavily on chlorine, which is highly effective and inexpensive.
helped improve results without adding more management overheads. The self-contained systems often reduce the cost of established chemical purification regimes.
SOLUTIONS. LET’S SOLVE
WATER. But it has drawbacks, such as chemical contamination, corroding infrastructure and requiring special facilities and skills to stockpile and operate at scale. What we’re seeing in the market is water treatment managers are adding UV and ozone systems to reduce chlorine reliance, and use these systems where chlorine isn’t feasible.”
In situations where using chemical disinfectants are impractical - such as cleaning public areas, including hospital rooms or taxi ranks - mobile Wedeco ozone and UV systems are highly effective. Wedeco has developed these technologies for over 40 years, an investment that is paying out handsomely for Xylem customers, says Mistry: “Xylem’s Wedeco brand has transformed the industry by drastically reducing the carbon footprint of water treatment plants around the world with highly-efficient, reliable and environmentally-friendly technologies.
For example, Xylem deployed its Wedeco UV and ozone systems to eliminate bad tastes from A decade after Pasteur, water served by the Anderson Cornelius Fox realised that ozone Regional Joint Water System, gas is a potent disinfectant We are very proud of the which provides potable water to Today, public utilities use both brand’s strong heritage 14 water utilities in Upstate South technologies broadly to manage and look forward totreatment future Carolina,diffused USA. Similar projects microorganisms water. provides innovative Xylem’s Sanitaire®inbrand aeration and biological wastewater solutions. milestones as we continue were successfully deployed in According to Chetan Mistry, to leadworldwide, the way in helping Algeria and Singapore,treatment to name applications Xylem Africa spokesperson, Installed in thousands of municipal and industrial wastewater Sanitaire technologies customers to efficiently treat a few. Rather than ripping and the rapid modernisation of ensure reliable, energy efficient operations. Standard and customized solutions are designed with deep process drinking water while reducing replacing existing purification these technologies is elevating capability, experience and regulatory insight to meet a challenging range of customer demands. For more information the use of chemicals.” n systems, the Wedeco additions the management public about Sanitaire, visit of www.xylem.co.za.
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Give your plants a hand. Stake it specializes in Coco Coir and Sphagnum Moss plant poles stake it
PLANT ACCESSORIES | PRINTS | CRAFTS
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TOURISM SECTOR RECOVERY BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE
Where to from here? The New Norms Early last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that his Cabinet had approved brand new standards and regulations for safer operations to be implemented in the South African tourism sector. This was decided keeping Covid-19 and other future pandemics in mind. Talking on the new norms and standards, as well as important health and safety procedures, Acting Minister in the Presidenc,y Khumbudzo Ntshavheni added that: “This will ensure uniformity across the tourism sector... They will cover services such as accommodation, food, tour operators, casinos, weddings and other related activities.” Acting Minister Ntshavheni also noted that the launch of these new regulations should place South Africa on the same level as international markets, and
may enable the tourism sector to be completely open for international tourist arrivals. As of recently, the country has maintained its open borders for incoming international tourists, as a result of eased lockdown restrictions which occurred mid-2020.
We are now in the recovery phase, and a summit of this nature is critical in ensuring that we are aligned as a continent Unfortunately, however, other countries have not reciprocated in this approach, and South Africans are facing strict travel restrictions. This situation has also had an impact on tourists who are hesitant to visit South Africa due to the difficulties experienced when returning home.
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SA Tourism Challenges • The Tourism 2020 report, composed by Statistics South Africa, indicates that all foreign arrivals in the country had dropped by 71% from just over 15, 8 million in 2019. •
This number then dropped by 5 million in 2020.
The overall number of travellers (arrivals and departures) decreased by 71,0% between 2019 and 2020.
The overall number of travellers decreased by 50,7% over a 15-year period from nearly 24,6 million recorded in 2006 to 12,1 million travellers recorded in 2020.
Revitalising the Sector The Department of Tourism and South African Tourism recently announced that they’d be hosting Africa’s first ever
Travel and Tourism Summit from 19 to 21 September 2021 - which will take the form of a hybrid summit. The summit will coincide with Tourism Month in South Africa and aims to be a catalyst for engagement on the current state of tourism on the African continent.
up the momentum within the sector, as it works towards an inclusive recovery”, emphasised Dlamini.
Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit It’s not all ‘doom and gloom’, as Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit (ATTS) is set to reinvigorate the continent’s (and South Africa’s especially) travel sector in an effort to remedy the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Acting SA Tourism CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini, ignited conversation around the summit ahead of the event to garner awareness. Dlamini emphasised that the Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit will bring together the tourism sector cohort to share valuable insights and ideas to explore collaborative efforts that possess the potential to lead the continent’s recovery. She also said the summit is geared towards attracting African community delegates, African Tourism Ministers, industry associations, tourism boards, destination marketing organisations, as well as various collaborators across the tourism value chain. “The African continent is resilient and this summit is important, as it will contribute towards picking
Discussion Topics For The ATTS Include: •
Health and Safety Protocols
Africa’s positioning post the Covid-19 pandemic
“The COVID-19 pandemic may have dealt both business and leisure tourism a heavy blow, but we are now in the recovery phase, and a summit of this nature is critical in ensuring that we are aligned as a continent, whilst reigniting the tourism industry”.
contributes significantly to the African economy”, said Dlamini. She also noted that the Department of Tourism has developed the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, whose aim is to preserve and save as many as 125 000 jobs. With the success of this event, Africa should be able to steadily move forwards with a game plan to revitalise the tourism sector, especially now that the vaccination rollout is making progress. Thus, safer travel precautions and safeguarded immune systems should assist in getting society back on track - as well as the economy. n
Dlamini also spoke on delegate participation at the summit, indicating that they will have the choice of attending the event virtually or at any of the stipulated venues across South Africa - or at one of three additional locations located in other parts of the African continent (pending COVID-19 lockdown regulations). “All venues will have COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place. We have opted for the hybrid format in order for us, as a continent, to lead the way in demonstrating how tourism can be enjoyed safely whilst adhering to health protocols. It is important that we are diligent in reigniting the sector, as it
Ms Sthembiso Dlamini
Acting Chief Executive Officer; Chief Operating Officer | SA Tourism
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FINANCIAL FITNESS BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE
3 Things You Need To Know About
Carbon Finance W
ith the introduction of the Carbon Tax Act, in June 2019, South Africa has witnessed a revived interest in its slow offset market. This was a great step towards reducing emissions. However, we need to make sure that the best projects are invested in, and are delivered at scale.
and renewable energy projects, while securing financial benefits and successfully responding to climate change.
The Carbon Tax Act (CTA) is administered and collected by SARS. The CBT is assessed, collected and enforced as an environmental levy in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, read with the relevant provisions of the Carbon Tax Act, 2019.
The African continent finds itself in a favourable position to benefit from investment opportunities linked to carbon finance. It possesses abundant natural resources suitable for sustainable energy production. The lack of existing energy infrastructure, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, makes it possible to leapfrog the emission-intensive stage of economic development to clean technologies.
Here’s what you need to know about carbon tax in South Africa, and how it affects your business. Carbon Finance in Africa Matters Carbon finance could potentially be the ‘golden ticket’ for South Africa, Africa at large, and its investors. This financial stream presents a way to stimulate new development initiatives
An estimated R2. 5-billion was raised in the 2020/21 tax year.
The Carbon Tax Act has made sure that the “polluterpays” principle comes into effect for large emitters. This assists in ensuring that firms and consumers are held accountable for the adverse
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costs (externalities) that will come into play in future production, consumption and investment decisions. Firms are now being incentivised towards adopting cleaner technologies over the next decade and beyond. Carbon tax, at this early stage, will only apply to scope 1 emitters in the first phase. The first phase began on 1 June 2019, and will continue until 31 December 2022. The second phase will be from 2023 to 2030. Calculating Carbon Tax Liability As legislated, those emissions that are subject to being taxed are carefully determined in accordance with either an approved reporting methodology of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), or the designated formulas in terms of the Carbon Tax Act 2019. The first phase, that we currently find ourselves in, has a carbon tax rate of R120 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
This rate will increase annually by inflation plus 2% until 2022, and annually by inflation thereafter. Significant industry-specific tax-free emissions allowances ranging from 60% to 95% will result in a modest nett carbon tax rate ranging from R6 to R48 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions to provide current emitters time to transition their operations to cleaner technologies through investments in energy efficiency, renewables, and other lowcarbon measures. SA’s Carbon Tax Threshold Carbon tax is imposed on entities in the country that operate emissions generation facilities at a combined installed capacity equal to or above the carbon tax threshold. South African companies are taxed on direct emissions at a rate of R127 per CO² equivalent emitted. This rose to R134 this year, and will escalate at a rate of 10% per annum over the next five years. An estimated R2. 5-billion was raised in the 2020/21 tax year.
This means registering and licensing each of their emissions generation facilities with SARS as ‘customs and excise manufacturing warehouses’ for environmental levy purposes. Carbon tax has an annual tax and accounting period. Every licensee must submit an annual CBT environmental levy account in respect of each licenced facility of that licensee in the month of July of the year following the tax period. All licensees must be registered for eFiling as the submission and payment of CBT accounts should be made via eFiling.
SA’s Biggest Contributors To Net CO2 Emissions Energy industries Transport & Logistics sector Metal industry Other fuel combustion activities Manufacturing & Construction industries
The following process should be followed: •
Register on eFiling;
Once registered, log on;
Click on the Request Declaration button;
Insert the warehouse number;
Click on continue and the form will be generated.
*These statistics come as a result of research conducted by the Cova Advisory.
If you are unable to access the SARS eFiling service, you may contact the nearest SARS Excise Branch Office for assistance.
How You Can Comply Anyone conducting tasks or seeing through operations that are resulting in the emission of greenhouse gases above the threshold, will be liable to license each of their facilities.
For more information: Phone the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277; or visit your nearest SARS Excise branch. n
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 75
IN OTHER NEWS BY JESSIE TAYLOR
Regulations bring manufacturers into the circular economy mode
s South Africa’s population and economy grow, so too does its waste generation. But failing to correctly manage this waste will not only increase pollution and use of landfill sites, but it can also rob the country of job opportunities. In a bid to reduce the waste disposal at landfill sites, and encourage a circular economy, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has published the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations. This legislation will see industries and product manufacturers taking an active role in the disposal and recycling of their products, after consumer use. Relooking at waste disposal This is the first comprehensive set of regulations seeking to regulate EPR measures in
South Africa. Internationally, EPR Regulations has been used to hold the brand owners of certain products on the market accountable for the waste generated by their products. The brand owner is often regulated because they make decisions on the design of the product and are best able to include more recyclable materials into their product specifications.
It is also an opportunity for the government to work closely with industries that produce varying amounts of waste South Africa’s legislation, however, takes a broader approach by including
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manufacturers, converters, refurbishes, importers and brand-owners of products in the EPR Regulations. It also includes packaging components and not just final products. Initially set to come into effect last year, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy extended the implementation of the EPR Regulations to 5 May 2021. Under this regulation, all existing producers, and producer responsibility organisations, must register with the Department before 5 November 2021. The regulations apply to the electrical and electronic equipment, lighting and paper, packaging and some single-use product sectors.
They outline a new approach to waste management in South Africa and will contribute significantly to the diversion of waste from landfills. “This will increase the recycling, reduction, reuse and recovery rate, thus achieving one of the aims of the National Waste Management Strategy published earlier last year. It is also an opportunity for the government to work closely with industries that produce varying amounts of waste to enhance the country’s capacity to recycle, thus expanding the Circular Economy,” said Creecy. “As a means through which the manufacturers and importers of products are required to bear a significant degree of responsibility for the impact their products have on the environment, Extended Producer Responsibility ensures that those products are either recycled or up-cycled, and that waste products diverted to landfill is kept at a minimum.” Producers of the products listed must develop and submit their EPR Regulations schemes or establish a Producer Responsibility Organisation that will prepare and submit an Extended PRO Scheme. Creating opportunity through circular economy The EPR Regulations will ensure producers take responsibility for the life cycle of their products, including waste disposal after consumption. This regulation is a transformative move, because
it places the cost of waste management with industry, as opposed to the government and public. The regulations also encourage a circular economy, by creating economic opportunities in the recycling and reuse of products. The circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. A key element of the Green Stimulus recovery plan is the circular economy. The Green Stimulus recovery plan forms part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP). The ERRP would target a 3% average annual economic growth over the next decade. The Green Stimulus Recovery Programme will contribute to equitable economic growth, provide employment to marginalised communities and grow economic sectors reliant on the environment without destroying it.
and instead used to bolster the product development and waste management sectors.As South Africa’s waste generation increases, significant volumes of waste will be diverted to landfills. The ERP Regulations are a step towards building a circular economy, in which natural resources are protected, green economies can thrive, and producers and manufactures can play an active part in reducing their environmental impact. As manufacturers become more financially and operationally responsible for the life cycle of their products, the circular economy will be increased resulting in increased job opportunities and economic spin-offs. n
As part of the plan, the government has zoned in on managing pollution, decreasing plastic waste and enhancing the recycling of plastics. Regulations that promote recycling not only reduce waste but add to the circular economy and provide opportunities for job creation. The new requirements aim to ensure that household, industrial and commercial waste is diverted from landfills
Minister of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 77
LEGAL MATTERS BY SILKE RATHBONE, PRINCIPAL PARTNER, LABOUREXCEL
Investing in a Diversity & Inclusion Policy = Productivity
“Diversity is having a seat at the table, and Inclusion is having a voice and taking part in the conversation” – Satrix.
he words, Diversity and Inclusion have become commonplace - but do we really understand and appreciate the seriousness and necessity of these practices? Let’s break it down … How to bring the importance of DIVERSITY and INCLUSION into the workplace In South Africa we have a diverse workforce and embracing it will lead to increased creativity and innovation, giving companies a competitive advantage. When a company learns the importance of embracing Diversity and Inclusion, they will be able to: •
Retain their best people and talent pool
Drive innovation within that pool
Better understand their customers
And bring about better financial performance
Let’s break that down further … Retaining your best people When your staff feel they are heard and valued, you stand a higher chance of staff retention – thereby not only keeping the cream of the crop, but also reaping the benefits of their training and upskilling. Should they leave, your competitors will profit from your investment. Driving innovation When you have people
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around you who are secure in themselves, in their colleagues, and you, as the business owner, you will find they open up to greater possibilities. They will feel they can be more creative, more daring with their ideas, thereby producing more effective work and results. Better understanding your customers Through your employees’ eyes, you will see how they welcome your customers better, taking time to understand their needs, their problems that need solving, and how they can be the best for your customers. Bringing about better financial performance This will, in turn, lead to higher productivity and better financial performance all
around. They are all interlinked. And, at the end of the day, you want your business to grow and prosper. And, what is at the heart of your business’s success? Your people. Diversity is represented at these levels: • • •
Board members and directors Hiring roles Leadership positions
Get them thinking openmindedly and with a thought for the greater good, and it will filter down into all the rest of your people, even your customers and suppliers. The place to start is actually measuring your Diversity and Inclusion by using a Score Card.
with a more positive outlook. The Score Card will be a go-to tool to ensure you are keeping everyone on the right path to a cohesive, diverse and inclusive environment. It will help you see whether everyone is being recognised, heard and valued. A typical Diversity and Inclusion Score Card will measure areas such as: • How transparent and dedicated your organisation is towards this way of working and living •
How aware your organisation and people are about Diversity and Inclusion and how much is understood
How much you involve everyone to get stuck in and shine through their differences and similarities
How clear your Diversity and Inclusion plan is and whether it takes into account changes environments and situations into the future
How agile your plan is so that no matter who steps into a leadership role or other role, knows precisely what this plan is about and how to implement/carry on with it
The Diversity and Inclusion Score Card Having a Diversity and Inclusion Score Card will show you: • • •
Where you are currently Where you want to go And, how you will get there
The Diversity and Inclusion Score Card can help your business achieve equality across all spheres. Your Diversity and Inclusion culture can be significantly adjusted
The idea around keeping a scorecard is not to call anyone out. Instead, it is about agreeing to a plan of
action, formulating the plan, implementing the plan, and checking in regularly to ensure the plan is still on track. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes everyone at an organisation to keep a strong Diversity and Inclusive policy going.
Yes, this will be tough. Yes, this will be trying and stressful. But, at the end of the day, you will have moulded your team with one vision in mind – a 100% diverse and inclusive organisation. n
Get in touch with Silke
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: +27 72 018 5827 Work: +27 086 1000801 Web: labourexcel.co.za
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 79
UPCOMING EVENTS BY CHARNDRÉ EMMA KIPPIE
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR 08
Tourism Month Each September South Africa celebrates Tourism Month which is geared towards raising awareness on the critical role of the tourism sector’s contribution to the South African economy. Tourism Month incorporates a variety of themed programmes and campaigns that are aligned with the values of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day initiatives which kick off, annually, on 27 September. This year, the theme for all tourism celebrations is: “Tourism for inclusive growth”. In addition, the international official celebration will be held in Cote d’Ivoire, in Africa. With the impact that Covid-19 has had on SA’s tourism, this year it is vital that organisations use this period to uplift their business and focus on recovery and growth.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month - a time to honour all the children and families who have been and are affected by childhood cancers. During this time, the importance of supporting research on these devastating conditions is emphasised. Even though childhood cancer is relatively rare, the incidence rate has been on an upward trajectory - statistics show that currently less than half of children with cancer in the country are diagnosed, and many of those who are diagnosed are in an advanced stage of illness. The key, here, is early detection. Thus, the Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa (CHOC) initiated an Awareness Programme which ensures that the early warning signs of childhood cancer are noted at all levels of our health system.
80 | Public Sector Leaders | September 2021
Public Service Month Public Service Month is commemorated in South Africa as an integrated strategic national event in the calendar of the Department of Public Service and Administration. In September, Public Service Month is geared towards reminding citizens of the significance of serving communities. It is also a time to assess the influence that Government has, especially around issues of service delivery. This year, all South African public servants are encouraged to audit their service delivery strategies, visit hospitals, schools, police stations and courts, talk to citizens, mediate the delivery of services and getting things done, and eliminate the red-tape in the delivery of services. This month we also prioritise making sure that all systems and infrastructure are working and use public resources correctly to the benefit of all citizens.
Heritage, Tourism and Public Service
take centre stage!
21 SEP-18 OCT
International Literacy Day
Eye Care Awareness Month
Heritage Month Heritage Day
For more than 40 years, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has celebrated International Literacy Day. As an important human right, and the base for all learning and development, literacy is a key component of everyday human life. Unfortunately, literacy for all – children, youth and adults – is a goal that has still not been achieved. Thus, governments and organisations are working tirelessly across the globe to improve the statistics, with only about four billion people in the world being literate at present. This year’s theme will be “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”, as the pandemic has had a disastrous effect on teaching and learning as a whole.
Health awareness in general is always important, but each September and October South Africans are reminded to take special care of their sight. Eye Care Awareness Month is acknowledged to bring attention to the necessity of eye health, and to all preventative measures and treatment of avoidable blindness. According to our statistics, around 75% of all cases of blindness are actually avoidable, through prevention or treatment. This is why it is so incredibly important to make an appointment with your local optometrist and get your eyes tested at least once per year. Other than regular eye assessments, you can maintain good eye health by getting your family medical history, avoiding smoking and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Heritage Month falls in September each year, with Heritage Day taking place on 24 September. This period is acknowledged annually to celebrate South Africa’s diverse culture and heritage. The SA Government encourages all South Africans to use Heritage Month to positively contribute to social cohesion, our shared national identity, and nation building. The celebration of Heritage Month has created a conducive environment for all people to embrace and celebrate what was passed on to us by our forefathers. More importantly, ‘living heritage’ is the basis of all communities - a critical source of continuity and identity. Living heritage plays an important role in promoting cultural diversity, social cohesion, reconciliation, peace and economic development.
Public Sector Leaders | September 2021 | 81
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