“I am confident that South Africans will rise to the challenge,” writes Nhlanhla Nene. “They have a history of doing the right thing at the right time.” (Image: Brand South Africa)Nhlanhla Nene, South African minister of financeWe presented the medium-term budget policy statement last month in a difficult economic environment. Our growth performance has decelerated significantly over the last four years. Obviously, the global crisis of 2008 sent us into recession. The outlook for global growth remains gloomy, and in all likelihood it will be many years before the global economic returns to the growth rates experienced before the crisis.It has also become increasingly clear that structural constraints in the domestic economy are holding South Africa back. These include infrastructure bottlenecks, weaknesses in the delivery of government services and a conflictual labour relations environment. The 2014 budget policy statement is a response to this reality facing us.It is essential that we act now to defend the gains we have made. In 1996, government spending on education amounted to R1 100 for each South African. Today, we spend more than R4 000. If we remove the effects of inflation, this is a real increase of 50%. Similarly, health spending per capita has increased from about R500 in 1996 to nearly R2 400 for each South African today, a real increase of 93%. Overall, government spending has increased from R5 700 for each citizen in 1996 to more than R23 000. This has been achieved without increasing taxes.Defending these gains means doing three things proposed in the policy statement. First, we have to slow down the growth of government debt. To do otherwise would be to place our achievements at the mercy of fickle global markets. Therefore, fiscal consolidation can no longer be postponed. The fiscal framework achieves this through slowing increases in spending, and pencils in moderate increases in tax revenue.Second, we have to improve the quality of government services. Despite the huge increase in spending over the last 10 years, the quality of government services have remained a challenge.We have doubled the social wage (expenditure on housing and community amenities, health, education, and social protection) in real terms. Social assistance pays directly to vulnerable households, while the other public services that make up the social wage replace or subsidise expenses such as housing, education and amenities, reducing the cost of living.Capital spending has grown tremendously. The salaries of public servants have increased much faster than inflation. All of this should have translated into improvements that can be felt in the lives and wellbeing of ordinary South Africans.The key question we face in the years ahead is, therefore, how we can make sure spending does change the lives of South Africans in radical ways. Without improving the quality of our budgets it is doubtful that increases in the quantity of spending will have the desired effect. The challenge of doing more, together, with less applies to all government departments, to all provincial governments and, not least, to the state-owned companies.The third challenge is to restore the momentum of economic growth. Over the longer-term the money required to fund government spending can only come from economic growth. Faster growth is a key objective of the National Development Plan. But it is also a necessary condition to raise the resources needed to fund the country’s social and economic transformation.There are limits to what the budget itself can do to sustain growth. The budget relies on resources from the economy. We cannot pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps forever. High rates of inflation and a wide current-account deficit limit the scope for macroeconomic policy.The critical issue now is the structural transformation of the economy. The reforms we require are spelt out clearly in the medium-term strategic framework, which outlines a five-year strategic programme.But as the strategic framework points out, achieving a higher developmental trajectory and building a more equitable society cannot be the work of government alone. The burden of development cannot be carried by the fiscus alone. It requires partnerships between a capable developmental state, a thriving business sector and a strong civil society.The next two years will be challenging. All of us will be called upon to share in the burden. Unzima lomthwalo, ufun’ amadoda!But I am confident that South Africans will rise to the challenge. They have a history of doing the right thing at the right time.
The South African Government appeals to communities and citizens to stop attacks on foreign nationals. In addition to the human cost, the attacks damage the country’s reputation and development, and ignore migrants’ contribution to our society, as a new booklet explains.The South African government appeals for peace and tolerance following the recent violence against foreign nationals.Click image to download the booklet. For leaflets in other official languages, click the links below.Following the recent shocking and unacceptable incidents of violence against foreign nationals in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg in Gauteng, government appeals for peace, tolerance and restraint.South Africans are generally peace-loving and friendly people. South Africans at all levels – from the President to citizens – have condemned and rejected the violent attacks on foreign nationals in our country. These terrible acts of violence were perpetuated by a few misguided people.Citizens from across the continent supported our struggle for freedom and liberation. They made immense sacrifices to provide safety and refuge to our people in exile, including our leaders such as former President Nelson Mandela.Government is working together with all stakeholders to stop and discourage attacks on foreign nationals.We must all Play our Part to stop attacks on foreign nationals• The government urges all South African citizens to support efforts to stop the attacks on foreign nationals. We cannot allow attacks on foreign nationals in our country.• South Africa is internationally renowned for using dialogue to solve differences and problems peacefully. As a peace-loving and law-abiding nation, we must use this noble approach to deal with our problems instead of using violence.• The South African government is receptive to people’s needs and urges all citizens to use relevant platforms to express their concerns and frustrations, including talking to elected officials in their communities.• Anger and violence will never provide sustainable solutions to challenges, but will only bring strife and suffering.• We appeal to citizens to play their part in ending these attacks on foreign nationals. Please exercise restraint and calm, and express your concerns through the available channels.• Anger and violence will not take away your challenges, but will have a negative impact on the image and reputation of our beautiful country.Let’s protect the South African brand• Brand South Africa is the agency mandated to manage the reputation of South Africa while positioning the country as an investment and tourist-friendly destination of choice.• If South Africa has a negative reputation, it will impact on potential investments and tourism, the latter which is one of the largest contributors to job creation.• When violence causes our visitors to cancel their travel plans to South Africa, it impacts negatively on our country’s economic growth and development.Questions and answersSouth Africa belongs to all who live in it!What is the South African government’s position on the attacks on foreign nationals?Government condemns the violence in the strongest possible terms. No amount of frustration or anger can ever justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops.We appeal for calm, restraint and an end to the violence. Criminal elements should not be allowed to take advantage of the concerns of citizens to sow chaos and destruction.Any problems or issues of concern to South African citizens must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue. The police have been directed to ensure the protection of both foreign nationals and South Africans, and to arrest looters and those committing acts of violence.The attacks are contrary to Ubuntu (humanity)What does government expect South Africans to do?We urge communities to assist the police by providing information so that the perpetrators of violence and crime can be brought to justice without delay. Government will ensure justice for all and speed up the process of convicting criminals.While we strongly condemn the attacks, we are aware of, and are addressing some of the issues that have been raised by affected South Africans.We appeal to our people to support and protect refugees and asylum seekers. We urge all of you to exercise calm and restraint. We also urge people to refrain from using Facebook, Twitter and other social-media platforms to incite violence. We all have a responsibility to promote social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and good relations in the country.Foreign nationals help us to develop a cosmopolitan atmosphere and we welcome their presence. We also want to see an increase in tourism figures from African countries and to share business opportunities, as part of promoting sustainable economic development in the continent.Appeal in isiZuluBakwethu, siyakhuza sithi asehliseni imimoya.Ukuhlaselwa kwabantu bokufika kulelizwe akwemukelekile neze.Sathola usizo emazweni amaningi ngesikhathi silwela inkululeko.Abazange basixoshe noma basihlukumeze.Siyazizwa izinkinga ezibekwayo njengokuthi abanye abangabokufika abanamvume yokuba seNingizimu Africa.Kubuye kukhalwe nangobugebengu obenziwa ngabanye bokufika kanye nokuthatha amathuba okuhweba nemisebenzi.Siyazizwa lezizikhalazo futhi sizozilungisa. Kodwa siyagcizelela ukuthi akukho okungenza udlame lolu lwamukeleke. Siyalugxeka kakhulu.Njengohulumeni siyayisebenza indaba yokuqinisa ezokuphepha emingceleni ukuze abantu bangangeni ngokungekho emthethweni ezweni. Sesitshale namasosha ukuze asize umnyango wezasekhaya, kuloludaba.Fellow South Africans, help your fellow African brothers and sistersWhat are the values that South Africa stands for?The attacks violate all the values that South Africa embodies, especially the respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and Ubuntu. Our country stands firmly against all intolerances such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, etc.We reiterate our view that South Africans are generally not xenophobic because we have a high number of foreign nationals who have been successfully integrated into communities all over our country – in towns, cities and villages. We have been living and working together in harmony for years.Addressing misconceptions about foreign nationalsIt is misleading and wrong to label or regard all foreign nationals as being involved in crime in the country. Many foreign nationals are in the country legally and contribute to its economy and social development. Many bring scarce skills that help us to develop the economy and are welcome to live in our country.Others came to South Africa as refugees who fled from conflict or war in their own countries, in the same way that many South Africans left this country at some point to live in other countries in the continent and beyond.We were treated with generosity, dignity and respect by our brothers and sisters from the rest of the continent. We will never forget that hospitality and solidarity.In this regard, government will continue to play its part to fulfil our responsibilities and obligations as members of the African Union and the United Nations (UN).Refugees and asylum seekers will be given support in line with international law and protocols, with the support of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.What is South Africa’s position on immigration into the country?South Africa is committed to the free movement of people, goods and services within the continent. This free movement will enable the transfer of skills and contribute to the economic growth and development of African countries.The South African Government acknowledges that most immigrants in our country, particularly African immigrants, enter South Africa properly with documents and therefore are in this country legally.Plans are underway to establish the Border Management Agency (BMA), which will guard and protect our country’s land, sea and air borders, working in partnership with other state agencies. The BMA’s specialised capacity will create credibility for our border management mechanisms.Working with foreign nationals to improve South AfricaWhat is the value of foreign nationals to South Africa?The South African Government acknowledges that most foreign nationals in the country make a very positive contribution to our society and economy.1. Immigrants contribute to South Africa’s economy and also pay taxImmigrants contribute towards our country’s economic growth and development.They also supply critical skills and transfer their knowledge to, among other things, our healthcare and education systems.They also pay tax, which contributes towards expanding the national fiscus.Many nationals from our neighbouring countries travel to South Africa daily, weekly and monthly to buy groceries and other goods from our retail shops to sell in their own countries, paying toll fees on our roads and thus contributing towards the country’s revenue.2. Foreign nationals contribute to enhancing South Africa’s national securityBy entering our country through our designated ports of entry as regular migrants, and by complying with both our immigration and other legislation, most foreign nationals contribute towards enhancing South Africa’s national security and ensure that we can manage and protect our visitors.We recently enhanced our migration legislation and regulations to be more effective in protecting South Africa by managing and minimising risks.3. Immigrants contribute towards South Africa’s diversity and nation-buildingImmigrants contribute towards nation-building and enhance social cohesion by bringing more diversity to our nation and creating more understanding of the diverse nature, not only of Africans but also of the peoples of the world.By having new groups of immigrants in South Africa in the recent years, we have become a more cosmopolitan country and our understanding of who we are as a nation has been deepened, based on the new complex dynamics that have enriched our nation.4. Immigrants have helped South Africa integrate into the global communityImmigrants have integrated South Africa into the global community and African immigrants in particular, have made South Africa an integral part of the African continent.South Africa is home to many foreign nationals and there are South Africans in fellow African countries.South Africans are better and more humane because of fellow Africans and peoples from other countries in the world who have chosen to live amongst us and make South Africa their permanent home.The only country that their children know is South Africa.The South African government has introduced measures to address the attacksWhat actions has the South African government taken to address the recent violence?President Jacob Zuma deployed the Ministers of Police, State Security and Home Affairs to work with the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government to end the violence and bring the situation to normality. The problem requires a much more comprehensive and sustainable long-term intervention.President Zuma has also mandated the entire Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to work on this issue intensively, together with the Ministers of Social Development, Trade and Industry and Small Business Development. The security cluster and economic departments had been working on this matter, since the Soweto incidents in January 2015.The President also appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee to systematically look at all aspects of migration in the long term.The President has directed all Ministers to work faster and to engage affected communities, organisations representing foreign nationals, business, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders address all concerns.The objective is to prevent similar incidents by improving relations and promoting peaceful coexistence between citizens and foreign nationals.South Africa will also be seeking the cooperation and support of the affected foreign missions based in South Africa. The Ministers of Home Affairs and International Relations and Cooperation have met with African Heads of Missions.We must use the following terminology appropriately and responsibly to describe relevant situations:Afrophobia: Intense or irrational dislike or fear of black people and people of African descent.Asylum seeker: A person who has left his/her home country as a political refugee and is seeking asylum in another.Criminal activity (mugging, looting, etc): A criminal offence that is punishable by law.Discrimination: The unequal, unjust and unfair treatment of other people.Emigration: To leave one’s country and settle in another, in order to work and/or become a permanent resident.Foreign national: A person who is not a citizen of the host country in which he/she is residing.Immigration: To enter another country in order to work and/or become a permanent resident.Migration: Movement from one place to another with the intention of settling temporarily or permanently in the new location.Racism: The belief that each race has specific characteristics, abilities or qualities that distinguish it as being inferior or superior to another race.Refugee: A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution or natural disaster.Violence against foreign nationals/Attack on foreign nationals: An act that causes physical harm or death to people who are not citizens of the host country.Xenophobia: Intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material. read more
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It is the time of year when the thoughts of Ohio’s cattlemen turn from frozen pastures and feeding hay to state policy and an annual celebration of success. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet is this weekend in Lewis Center at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center.“We’re looking forward to our Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Saturday. We try to encompass all of the state’s beef industry at the event. It is a day of business through the policy meeting and it is also a celebration of Ohio’s cattlemen through the banquet in the evening,” said Stephanie Sindel, director of member services and youth programs for the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. “We have some brand new youth programs with a youth quiz bowl in the morning and some quality assurance sessions as well. We have some industry resource speakers for cattlemen coming in including Dr. Alvaro Garcia Guerra with Ohio State talking about pregnancy loss in beef cattle and how to prevent that. We have a live and silent PAC auction too. Saturday evening we look forward to celebrating some of the folks who have done great things with Ohio’s beef industry. It will be a great event and we sure look forward to seeing you there.”There is plenty to discuss in terms of accomplishments in the past and goals for the future.“We are taking a look back at 2017 and what to look for in 2018,” Sindel said. “We are proud of this event and it is important for all of the beef producers in the state to be engaged at a policy making level. We are looking at guiding principles for water quality and protecting nomenclature for beef in the policy meeting. If ever there was a time to be involved in a grassroots organization that represents your hobbies and livelihood, now is the time.”Other featured speakers at the event include Colin Woodall, with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cathann Kress, dean of the OSU College of Food Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and John Foltz, chair of the OSU Department of Animal Sciences.Click here for a full schedule and more information about the event. read more
Samajwadi Party’s (SP) State chief Abu Azmi faces a stiff contest in his stronghold of Mankhurd-Shivajinagar this time. Giving the two-term Member of the Legislative Assembly from the area a tough fight this time is the Shiv Sena’s Vitthal Lokare. Mr. Lokare recently quit the Congress to join the Sena and has a following among the area’s Marathi population. However, the majority Muslim population may not vote for the saffron party and may give Mr. Azmi a third term.One of the city’s most underdeveloped areas, the Mankhurd-Shivajinagar constituency consists of housing societies, chawls and sprawling slums in Shivaji Nagar, Rafiq Nagar, Bainganwadi, and parts of Deonar. The slums consist of pucca or makeshift multistoreyed structures in the area’s narrow lanes, which have seen incidents of fire or building collapses in the past. The residents also face acute water shortage as most either do not have a legal water connection, or the existing ones do not receive water. This leads to people having to buy water at exorbitant rates.“People spend a large amount every month on simply buying water. Before the previous Assembly election, Abu Azmi said he would resolve the area’s water problem, but five years on, the problem persists. Some people even use creek water, and that leads to health issues,” said Mumtaz Shaikh, an activist associated with the M-East Project and Right to Pee campaign. “Besides, children do not have a playground or open spaces. At Rajiv Gandhi maidan, Mr. Azmi first made a dispensary, then a gym and party office. Now, we don’t even get entry,” she said. Traffic congestion is another major issue in the area. “The biggest problem plaguing the area is drug abuse. Schoolgoing children are consuming drugs with the police not being able to do anything. The other problem is the Deonar dumping ground. People of this area are fighting for the closure of this ground for years as it causes severe respiratory diseases. There is a plant here that processes biomedical waste. The fumes lead to severe health issues,” said Yusuf Siddiqui, a resident of Shivaji Nagar. In 2014, the area had 3.09 lakh voters, but just 1.27 lakh cast their votes. Abu Azmi got 41,719 votes while the Sena’s Suresh Patil won 31,782 votes. In 2009, the area had 1.14 lakh voters. Mr. Azmi won 38,435 votes against the Congress’s Syed Ahmed, who got 24,318 votes.Mr. Azmi is the State president of the SP; known for his controversial statements. He was recently trying for an alliance with the Congress-NCP in Maharashtra but the talks fell through. The SP is now contesting on its own. Mr. Lokare is a three-term corporator from the Shivaji Nagar. He left the Shiv Sena along with Narayan Rane and joined the Congress. Around a month ago, Mr. Lokare returned to the Sena while Mr. Rane recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr. Lokare’s wife is also a former corporator. Mr Lokare faced initial hiccups when former Sena corporator Suresh Patil also filed his nomination to contest the election as an independent but retracted his application. The Congress’s Sufiyan Wanu too filed his nomination but retracted it. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) has not fielded anyone from the area while the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi has fielded Suraiya Shaikh. According to his affidavit, Mr. Azmi has 10 first information reports against him including criminal cases and breach of model code of conduct. He has declared assets worth around ₹200 crore, making him one of the richest candidates in Maharashtra. Mr. Lokare has declared assets totalling ₹1.3 crore. He has no criminal cases against him. read more
Real Madrid coach Solari: My future? Let’s focus on day to dayby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid coach Santiago Solari says he isn’t looking beyond the current season as far as his own job prospects go.Solari penned a three-year deal with Real to replace the sacked Julen Lopetegui.But he says, “I see myself as coach of Real Madrid beyond this season? What connects coaches and players is the heart, the desire and the enthusiasm to live from day to day. “I am happy everyday and I focus on that. In football, a month is a year, and a year is an eternity. “It’s a good exercise to focus on daily work.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say read more
Sevilla reveal ambitious plans for its Sports Cityby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla have announced plans to turn its Ciudad Deportiva José Ramón Cisneros Palacios sports city into a new corporate hub, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.The complex upgrades, which are costing the club €20 million (US$22 million), will take between three and four years to complete and will span 260,000 square metres. 60,000 metres will be allocated for use by the first team, which will include training pitches, a gym, medical centre, dining area and accommodation with forty rooms.The development will have eight football fields, split between three artificial grass surfaces and five natural grass ones. The Jesús Navas stadium, home to Sevilla’s reserve and women’s teams, will apparently have its capacity extended.The stadium will also be renovated to including corporate offices, capable of holding up to 400 employees. Further offices will be built under another of the stadium’s stands.A new soccer pavilion will be constructed, plus a gym and swimming pool for players not in the first team, making up 3,500 square metres of the site. In addition, 3,000 square metres have been allocated for a series of auxiliary buildings, such as a press room, cafeteria and meeting spaces.With work on the project possibly not due for completion until summer 2023, Palco23 reports that Sevilla has opted for construction to be carried out in phases, lessening the impact on the club’s players and staff who train and work there.As well as investing in the new corporate hub, the club have already revealed that they are looking to expand the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium by adding a third ring to their 43,000-seater home. TagsSpanish Football NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say read more
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has sued a New Jersey ex-politician for writing on his Facebook page that O’Reilly sexually harassed his ex-girlfriend and wanted her to dig up dirt on another accuser.A summons filed on Friday in New York state court seeks redress for Michael J. Panter’s “intentional, malicious, and bad faith actions in making defamatory and false statements in a publicly available social media post.”Panter served in the New Jersey assembly as a Democrat for two terms from 2004 to 2008. There was no immediate response to a phone message left at his office.O’Reilly is asking for at least $5 million in damages “for the public hatred, ridicule, disgrace, and permanent harm to his professional and personal reputations” as a result of the post, according to the court document.In a Facebook post earlier this week, Panter wrote that his ex-girlfriend, a Fox employee he didn’t name, had settled a claim against O’Reilly and was bound by a non-disclosure agreement. But he said he felt compelled to speak out after hearing “O’Reilly spinning his falsehoods almost daily.”Panter then detailed a phone conversation between the girlfriend and O’Reilly in which, according to Panter, O’Reilly asked her if she knew anything about another accuser’s sex life and use of illegal drugs.“In essence, the leadership of Fox … was demanding information to attack another victim,” he wrote. read more
New Delhi: Around 31 per cent potential homebuyers will wait till the end of the ongoing general elections to purchase a property, a 360 Realtors report said on Sunday. The report, however, said that the scepticism with respect to the elections have softened. “Around 31 per cent of the respondents have indicated that they would prefer to wait and watch rather than making a purchase,” said the report, adding that nearly 60 per cent of such respondents thought that a change in government might lead to policy amendments. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAs per the survey carried out on 1,000 potential homebuyers in the country, 55 per cent of the respondents indicated that their property buying decisions will remain unaffected by the elections, while 14 per cent of them were undecided. According to the report, Indian home buyers are confident about the potential of the market owing to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, among others. “Amidst growing formalisation and attractive rates, it is natural that property transactions will mostly remain insulated from the upcoming elections,” it said. read more