Friday 20th Oct 2017

After careful consideration, I have decided to make the following changes to the National Executive;

1 Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize is the Minister of Higher Education and Training.

2 Ms Ayanda Dlodlo is the Minister of Home Affairs.

3 Ms Mmamaloko Kubayi is the Minister of Communications.

4 Mr David Mahlobo is the Minister of Energy.

5 Adv. Bongani Thomas Bongo is the Minister of State Security.

6 Mr Buti Manamela is the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training

I thank the former members of the National Executive for good service in their previous portfolios.

I wish the members who are assuming new portfolios all the best in their new responsibilities.

Issued by: The Presidency
Pretoria

Zuma's latest Cabinet Reshuffle 'self-serving'

Chantall Presence and Emsie Ferreira - Cape Times -

President Jacob Zuma's latest cabinet reshuffle was a self-serving bid to consolidate power with a view to the ruling party's elective conference, with no consideration for the good of the country, trade union leader Zwelinzima Vavi said on Tuesday.

"It is about Jacob Zuma first and the country last. It is not about advancing any revolutionary agenda. It also has nothing to do with advancing the republic," said Vavi, the general secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions.

"It is about consolidating power in cabinet, It is also about consolidating power in time ahead of (the ANC conference in) December 2017 and the elections in 2019." he added.

Vavi said shifting loyalist David Mahlobo from the state security to energy portfolio was a blatant attempt to push through contested plans to build new nuclear power reactors.

He said he doubted the firing of South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande as higher education minister would prompt the SACP to walk away from the tripartite alliance.

The time for the junior partner in the alliance to do so was the firing of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister in May, and it had chosen not to do so.

"He knows they like the perks and they are unlikely to walk in solidarity," he said.

"Zuma is very smart as footwork. The president had named National Secretary of the Young Communist League of South Africa Buti Manamela, as deputy minister of higher education in a divisive move meant to make the SACP think he was not acting against it as a whole."

Vavi was speaking on the sidelines of a parliamentary briefing by the Government Employee Pension Fund.

Meanwhile, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution said that the reshuffle was a "carefully calculated manoeuvre" aimed at advancing a nuclear deal between South Africa and Russia.
President Jacob Zuma has appointed former State Security Minister David Mahlobo as Energy Minister. Picture: IOL

David Mahlobo, a Zuma ally, was appointed as the country's new Energy Minister in a statement by the Presidency, which also announced various other cabinet changes.

"It seems its clearly all about the nuclear deal, putting in place a trusted lieutenant in David Mahlobo to the department of energy," said Casac executive secretary Lawson Naidoo.

"We know that Mahlobo has accompanied the president on several trips to Russia in recent times and one can now presume that was in order to lay the groundwork for this nuclear deal that I think is going to be the final signature on Presidnt's Zuma's tenure as president."

Naidoo said the axing of Nzimande as higher education and training minister was not surprising.

"I think this is something that has been in the pipeline for some time. I think the interesting thing is that he's only fired Blade and not other SACP-aligned ministers so one would have to see how the party responds to that."

African News Agency

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Address by President Zuma at the occasion of the opening of the Botlokwa bridges on the N1 freeway in Limpopo - 

The Premier of the Limpopo Province, Mr. Chupu Mathabatha,
The Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi,
The Speaker of the Limpopo Provincial Legislature, Ms Polly Boshielo
MECs present
His Majesty Kgosikgolo Mphephu Ramabulana
Regent Queen Mpampatla Modjadji
The Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders, Kgoshi Malesela Dikgale,
The Traditional Leadership, Kgoshi Machaka, Kgoshi Makgato, Kgoshi Ramokgopa,
The Provincial Chairperson of SALGA,
Faith Based leaders,
People of Limpopo,

Dumelang, Xewani , Ndimasiari, Good day!

We are happy to join you today on this important occasion aimed at improving the lives of our people.

Today’s opening of three bridges across the N1 freeway takes place during a significant month – the birth month of one of the most outstanding leaders that this country has ever produced, Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo.

Our government declared 2017 the year in which we commemorate the centenary of the birth of Oliver Tambo. October being the month in which he was born, is a culmination of our celebration of his life and legacy.

An internationalist par excellence, he was known, respected and honoured all over the world for his visionary leadership of our liberation struggle and for inspiring our democratic transition.

We draw inspiration from him as we continue to soldier on in our task of improving the lives of our people, working with them.

The bridges that we are officially opening today are a visible example of Government’s commitment to deliver strategic infrastructure that will transform our economy, create jobs and stimulate opportunities for growth.

But, with these bridges and the reopening of a vital section of our national road, we go beyond the mere provision of transport infrastructure.

This project demonstrates the fact that government responds to the needs expressed by communities and the priorities they identify.

It also demonstrates how all three spheres of government, state-owned companies and traditional authorities can work together to solve issues that might place obstacles in the way of communities who want to grow and progress.

This project is a response to the concerns of the public, the people who live in close proximity to the N1, as it passes through this part of Limpopo, just to the north of Polokwane.

Local residents and a number of traditional councils representing the Machaka, Makgato and Ramokgopa authorities raised their concerns about safety and accessibility up with local and provincial representatives.

They complained about the safety of road users. They said that one of the busiest long-distance freeways in Africa cut straight through a community and children who walked to school.

They added that families who wanted to visit shops and citizens who seek to access government services were forced to cross the road, often under dangerous conditions.

Both the Molemole Local municipality and the Capricorn district have identified roads as key elements of their broader integrated development strategies.

They appreciate the fact that roads improve the mobility of people and facilitate the effective movement of goods and services.

SANRAL as an agency of the National Department of Transport has the mandate to design, build and maintain our country’s primary road network.

Currently SANRAL is responsible for some twenty-two thousand kilometres of roads, including the N1, which bisects South Africa from the Musina Border Post in the north to the southernmost tip of the continent.

In the National Development Plan, we highlight the importance of our roads network which is regarded as our single most important and widely-used public asset.

Such roads are planned years in advance to meet the projected need for strategic economic infrastructure; they are constructed according to globally accepted standards of design and engineering.

Once they have been built they have to be maintained to unlock their true economic value for the country.

SANRAL’s response to the issues relating to safety and accessibility on this stretch of road was to come up with original and innovative solutions.

A diversion of the road would not have provided a long-term solution but the alternatives were to construct a main vehicle bridge and build two pedestrian bridges at both ends of the village.

Following the recent completion of the construction work, the traffic flow has returned to normal. Importantly, local residents – and especially pedestrians – have now been given safe access to activities and opportunities on both sides of the road.

We are thus happy to unveil modern new infrastructure that conforms to the highest standards of safety and mobility.

This is a multi-million rand investment in this part of Limpopo and will greatly contribute to the future developmental trajectory
of the region.

I wish to appeal to the community to work with us to protect such infrastructure and property.

These new bridges have already been targeted by vandals who damaged some of the panels that regulate the flow of storm water and stole some of the handrails.

We are at the start of the rainy season in this part of southern Africa and we are only too familiar with the destructive power of water.

Last week we again saw the impact of heavy downpours on the communities in the Capricorn, Mopani and Vhembe districts. This destruction is aggravated when the infrastructure that is designed to cope with the excess water has been stolen or damaged.

My call on this community is to protect and safeguard the vital infrastructure because it belongs to you.

I urge you to work with the South African Police Service, with local government and with agencies such as SANRAL to look after and care for this infrastructure and to report to the authorities incidents of vandalism and theft.

This N1 road also plays a vital role in government’s broader objectives to transform the economy and accelerate growth and opportunities for all.

From where we are today the road leads northwards towards the border with Zimbabwe and then into the broader southern African region.

Earlier this month we hosted a meeting of the Bi-National Commission between South Africa and Zimbabwe, where transport and mobility were among the dominant themes.

One of priorities that will receive dedicated attention from both our governments is the establishment of a one-stop border post at Beit Bridge – a step that will, inevitably, also raise awareness about the N1 as a strategic regional artery.

The government has launched the Trans-Limpopo Spatial Development Initiative, which forms part of broader plans to unlock investment and economic growth.

At the core of this approach is our belief that the future of our country is dependent on well-planned and well-maintained infrastructure.

In this part of the country the focus is on the growth of opportunities in the mineral and mining sectors, the beneficiation of our unique natural resources, light industrial manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing.

In the past 18 months we have started to implement the Special Economic Zone programme which includes the designation of such a zone in the Musina/Makhado area, close to our northern border and right next to this freeway.

The benefits of this initiative will spread wider into the region including to the Capricorn district and to the people living in Botlokwa, in Dendron, in Ga-Ramokgopa, in Sekgosese, Bochum, Manthata and the other towns, villages and settlements in Limpopo.

We are re-opening this road and unveiling these bridges during Transport Month, which is this year being marked under the theme of “Together we Move South Africa Forward.”

During the month of October, we want to draw attention to the impact that transport and infrastructure can have on job creation, on local economic development and on career choices for our young people.

Our focus this month goes beyond motorised transport but also includes the safety of pedestrians and cyclists – especially in communities such as this who will enjoy greater mobility and safer journeys thanks to the bridges that we are opening today.

In conclusion, I want to return to the subject of O.R.

O.R. Tambo started his career as a science and mathematics teacher before moving into law, and later into politics.

This should serve as an inspiration for young people across South Africa – and especially in this district – to consider science, mathematics, engineering and technology as subjects of choice that will enable them to build the infrastructure, the roads, the drainage systems and the bridges of the future.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Fellow South Africans,

It is my honour and privilege to declare the Botlokwa Bridges officially open!

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Sono un italiano: fin qui, nessuna colpa.

Appartengono alla “classe 1984”: nemmeno questa una colpa. Una “sfiga” forse si: quella di appartenere ad una generazione di mezzo, quella generazione “Y” nata a cavallo tra gli anni ’80 e ‘90: né “figli dei fiori” (per lo più “figli di papà” in lotta per superbi ideali, almeno finché non entrati in banca o ottenuto un posto fisso); né figli della globalizzazione (svezzati a pane e smartphone e quanto mai “cittadini del mondo”). Una generazione “ibrida” cresciuta in un mondo jurassico ormai estinto, dopato da un benessere diffuso e indottrinato dal mito della crescita felice.

“Studia e farai strada”, dicevano in tanti; “Una laurea in Legge è meglio di un’assicurazione sulla vita”, aggiungevano altri. Ed eccomi qui, a 33 anni, crocifisso dal mercato del lavoro, con una Laurea (cum Laude) in tasca e tanti sogni in un cassetto che non si aprirà mai… Il miraggio resta sempre lo stesso: né la fama, né il successo, né la ricchezza, nemmeno il famigerato “posto fisso”… Semplicemente un lavoro, un dignitosissimo lavoro, che consenta finalmente di esclamare: “Ce l’ho fatta!”.

Una doverosa puntualizzazione -per tutti i tastieristi seriali pronti a sparare giudizi come sentenze-: non datemi del “choosy” o “kippers” o “neet”, per favore! In primis, perché odio l’esterofilia imperante: quantomeno usiate un epiteto nostrano (“sfaticato”, “fannullone”…); in secundis, poiché non mi sono di certo adagiato sugli allori. La laurea è stata un traguardo raggiunto dopo anni di fuori corso, ma al costo di mantenersi a tutti i costi da solo, alternando lavoretti in nero e tirocini “aggratis” (anzi, a proprie spese): per definire al meglio la mia posizione, conierei il neologismo di “diversamente occupato”!

Dimenticavo: oltre ad esser figlio degli anni ’80, sono un figlio del Sud: la medaglia al petto di “sfigato”, dunque, me la sono meritatamente conquistata! Cosa vuol dire, per un giovane -non raccomandato e senza un’impresa di famiglia alle spalle- cercare lavoro al Sud? Il più delle volte, un gioco al lotto: con la differenza, in questo caso, di giocare sulla propria pelle!

Arrivati al primo bivio della propria vita (i trent’anni), così, è facile voltarsi indietro ed accorgersi di aver sprecato i propri anni migliori tra cumuli di libri e lavoretti eternamente precari, temporanei, a scadenza… Il prezzo necessario da pagare per non essere scavalcati da chi gioca al rialzo nella disperazione!

Si superano i trent’anni, poi, e si scopre d’improvviso di esser troppo presto invecchiati per il mondo del lavoro: bonus a go-go per l’assunzione di under-29, con buona pace per chi non è né tanto giovane né tanto vecchio!

Allora ci si ributta nuovamente a capofitto negli studi, preparandosi per un concorso pubblico. Peccato che, eliminati tutti quelli per i quali vige il solito dolente limite d’età, di corposi ne restano ben pochi. E quando per mesi ti prepari per uno dei pochi concorsi a cui aspirare (si veda quello per Assistenti Giudiziari), ti ritrovi a tirare le somme con altri 300 mila candidati per poche centinaia di posti!

Giunge inesorabile, così, il momento di pensare alla fuga, a scappare all’estero! Quale meta migliore della vicinissima Svizzera (e dell’italianissimo Canton Ticino)? Ripensi ai tanti che ce l’hanno fatta, trovando la loro fortuna tra la Svizzera, il Belgio e la Germania, e molli tutto -gli affetti e le amicizie di una vita- per partire, pronto a sfidare la sorte per un tozzo di pane.

Passano i mesi, e ti rendi però conto che il Paradiso non è di questa Terra… Cerchi un lavoro attinente ai tuoi studi? Ben presto ti accorgi che qui la tua laurea è fondamentalmente “carta straccia”! Cerchi un qualsiasi lavoro, pur umilissimo, che ti permetta di vivere dignitosamente? Nella migliore delle ipotesi, qualora non si richieda il Tedesco Madrelingua (un’oscenità per qualsiasi italiano medio!), o uno dei tanti attestati federali immaginabili (anche per un posto di lavapiatti!) o un permesso di soggiorno (un miraggio senza prima un contratto in mano…), ti rispondono: “ma lei è sprecato per questa posizione…”.

Col morale a terra, continui ancora a cercare la tua strada, tra cartelloni pubblicitari che raffigurano gli italiani come “ratti” e, un po’ ovunque, giornali che sfoggiano titoli a tutta pagina del tipo “Costretti ad emigrare!” (riferiti, stavolta, ai Ticinesi, a causa dell’immigrazione italiana).

Sconfortato, sull’orlo di una crisi di nervi, chiudi gli occhi, e ti accorgi di vivere con un pugno di mosche in mano… ma un tesoro inestimabile attorno: la tua Famiglia, gli affetti più cari, sempre al tuo fianco, comunque pronti a sorreggerti. Ed è in questi momenti che un dilemma, come una preghiera, ti scuote brutalmente la coscienza: si può certamente vivere “per” la Famiglia; ma fin quando si può sopravvivere “di” Famiglia???

G.S.

(Un italiano in Svizzera)

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Address by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors Presidential Gala Dinner, Muldersdrift -

CEO of the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, Mr Webster Mfebe,
Members of SAFCEC,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour and privilege to address the 2017 SAFCEC Presidential Gala Dinner.

It is fitting that the Forum has chosen as its theme, “Ready to Deliver”, because this captures the sentiments of many South Africans.

In villages and towns, in townships and cities, in churches and rallies, South Africans are united in popular song capturing their readiness for a new era of implementation.

Theirs is an expression of hope for a new dawn that guarantees their inalienable right to dignity and place in our society.

Theirs is a call for a more humane society, where talent, hard work and excellence is nurtured and rewarded, not stifled and marginalised.

Our people are one in their demand for a just society based on social inclusion and shared prosperity.

They want a country where one’s race, gender or class does not determine their chances to meaningfully contribute to the wellbeing of our society.

They are acutely aware that an economy that caters only for a privileged few is not only morally reprehensible, but is also unsustainable.

We are thus heartened to see an organisation like SAFCEC that is attuned to the wishes of our citizens and taking the necessary actions to build a just and inclusive future.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to SAFCEC for its ground breaking initiative to partner with government to transform our built environment which historically was an integral part of the architecture of grand apartheid.

We applaud the Forum for leading the Voluntary Rebuilding Programme which led to a landmark agreement with our government exactly a year ago.

This initiative has earmarked R1.5 billion towards supporting emerging contractors.

It will also support black engineers and artisans and provide social upliftment programmes in poor and needy communities.

We encourage other established business to follow in the footsteps of the Forum to develop the capabilities of our diverse nation and to support emerging black businesses in the sector.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The members of this Forum are literally building the National Development Plan.

Infrastructure is critical to the growth of our economy, the expansion of our economic potential, the creation of jobs and the improvement of people’s lives.

It requires effective collaboration between government and the private sector, efficient deployment of our national resources and, most importantly, the effective marshalling of the country’s engineering and other skills.

Through the significant investments made by both the public and private sectors, the apartheid landscape is progressibly changing.

Cranes tower over our cityscapes.

We see continuous investments in social infrastructure and public amenities that not only benefit the poorest of the poor, but improve our economic capacity.

Each day, we see new roads being built.

We see public assets like hospitals, clinics, schools, universities and courts being built through partnerships between government and the private sector.

We see low cost housing developments where there were once only shacks.

And in this process, we are changing lives.

We are bringing services closer to communities.

We are creating more productive spaces and conducive work places.

And most importantly, we are creating jobs.

We are aware of the challenges that the sector faces as it is presented with technologies and innovations that could potentially replace the jobs that are so badly needed in our economy.

While we should not stand in the way of technological advancements that brings economic and social benefit, we commend those firms that have maintained labour intensive methods to deliver infrastructure.

We look to the built environment sector to make our society more inclusive by bringing South Africans into shared spaces – to close the physical and social distances caused by apartheid social engineering.

This will require that we fully embrace the imperative of social transformation in word and deed.

To be ready, means that that the leadership of SAFCEC and its members must do even more to reflect the diversity of our nation.

To grow achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth, we need more black and female participants.

It is in infrastructure development and spatial planning where the public and private sector are inextricably linked.

This means recognising that our progress as a nation is linked to this relationship.

As a developmental state, the private sector cannot see its role in this relationship as only making huge margins at all costs.

We must condemn those instances where contractors thriving under the cover of this strong partnership commit collusion.

Collusion and anticompetitive behaviour is a form of corruption that undermines the proper management of public resources and undermines social cohesion.

We must exorcise from our thinking the idea that government must pay more for goods and service.

Government, which buys on behalf of the poor, should be able to procure at competitive rates.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We look to this industry to help turn Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan into a reality.

The built environment must be a place in which all South Africans will be comfortable.

It must be a place where all our citizens will feel at home and be supported to prosper.

It must reflect and enable us to become a more cohesive society.

And while we put up walls, we shouldn’t put up social barriers.

The foundations that we lay must be the bedrock of an inclusive, egalitarian and safe society.

The bridges we build must connect us as South Africans.

We are all aware that we operate in tough economic conditions.

Our collective commitment to hard work and collaboration will help us turn our economy around.

Our commitment to the South Africa of our dreams will allow us to fix our weaknesses and achieve national success irrespective of global conditions.

Even as we face difficult conditions, it is encouraging to see new projects getting off the ground.

Because every crane at work, every part of bricks mixed with mortar, every hard hat worn is a positive indicator that we are a nation on the rise.

We hope that all stakeholders will keep working together to ensure that we keep building this better future.

The National Development Plan provides a blueprint for the construction of a new nation that will demand and consume the skills and technologies of this sector.

We pay tribute to all engineers, town and city planners who are changing our lives daily.

You help us rise to new heights.

You make our development visible not only to us, but to the millions of international visitors who come to our country.

So we hope that the built environment will continue to serve as a metaphor for change because you are continually opening new vistas to all of us.

With every storey you build, we can see further across the horizon.

We see people in wonderment at how derelict spaces and assets can be turned into new value and utility.

So we look to this industry to continue to give us hope and pride; to remain a part of shaping our society and making us ready for an even brighter future.

We believe that the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors is indeed ready to better serve our nation, our people and our continent.

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Manuelita Scigliano - 

Ancora oggi il tallone d’Achille di molte università italiane è quello dell’internazionalizzazione, che penalizza enormemente gli atenei nostrani nei ranking internazionali. Sebbene i grandi atenei abbiamo già messo in piedi da anni programmi di scambio e progetti specifici per attrarre talenti esteri, le piccole università soffrono della mancanza di una politica unitaria di promozione del sistema paese a livello accademico. In questo contesto poco possono gli Istituti Italiani di Cultura, la cui vocazione non è sicuramente quella di accompagnare gli studenti stranieri nel percorso accidentato delle iscrizioni presso gli atenei italiani. 

La politica migratoria italiana è inoltre in controtendenza con quella che è la direttiva europea a riguardo, ma anche con la richiesta esplicita degli atenei italiani, e anziché favorire ostacola spesso in maniera immotivata i percorsi degli studenti stranieri che tentato la strada degli studi in Italia. Procedure non chiare e uniformi, ostacoli finanziari e linguistici, che mal si accordano con il desiderio di internazionalizzare davvero il panorama accademico italiano.

In mezzo a questo mosaico di tentativi e al caos che sembra regnare, un esempio di eccellenza proviene da uno dei più piccoli paesi nostri vicini, da quella Tunisia che è assurta alle cronache internazionali per aver scatenato la Primavera Araba e per essere, ad oggi, il più fulgido esempio di transizione democratica riuscita, pur in mezzo a grandi difficoltà, nei paesi arabo-musulmani. Un paese che ha ricevuto gli onori del Premio Nobel per la Pace nel 2015, che ha attuato una serie di riforme interne senza precedenti, tutti nella direzione della modernizzazione e democratizzazione. Un paese che ha inoltre enormemente investito nella formazione dei giovani e ha una vicinanza geografica ma anche culturale e storica con l’Italia. I giovani tunisini fino al 2008 si rivolgevano però sempre a Francia, Germania, Romania, Ucraina, Spagna, Stati Uniti, Canada, per la prosecuzione degli studi universitari, per i periodi di scambio e ricerca all’estero, per le collaborazioni fra università. Finché nel 2009 una società privata italo-tunisina ha dato il via a una campagna di promozione dell’offerta accademica italiana nel paese. L’agenzia Athena Services, dal 2009, offre assistenza e consulenza ai tanti giovani che desiderano proseguire gli studi in Italia, li accompagna in tutto il percorso burocratico e amministrativo, li orienta e assiste nel periodo di iscrizione, promuove inoltre i corsi e i programmi di numerosi atenei italiani e promuove le attività di cooperazione internazionale fra università italiane e tunisine.

 L’agenzia è, dal 2009, riconosciuta ufficialmente dal Ministero Tunisino dell’Insegnamento Superiore e della Ricerca Scientifica, e collabora fin dalla sua creazione con l’Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Tunisi. Le storie di successo sono molteplici, così come innumerevoli sono state però, negli anni, le difficoltà, dovute proprio alla mancanza di una politica migratoria chiara, e specifica per studenti universitari, il lavoro svolto dall’agenzia e dalle università si è dovuto scontrare spesso con uno stato schizofrenico che chiama e rifiuta nello stesso tempo a seconda degli organi di governo competenti (Miur o Mae).

Nonostante le difficoltà l’esempio di Tunisi, unico al mondo, potrebbe fornire la falsariga di un modello esportabile agli altri paesi, in un partenariato pubblico-privato che, guidato dal Ministero Italiano dell’Istruzione dell’Università e della Ricerca e dagli Atenei Italiani, sappia finalmente parlare con una sola voce e lavorare in modo uniforme e concreto per la promozione del sistema accademico italiano nel resto del mondo.

M.S.

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