The Youth Voice
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Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza wishes the 2017 Grade 12 learners well for their examinations.

 

Premier Mabuza said he believed that the learners will perform better and excel in their results as long as they have prepared thoroughly for their exams.

 “We hope that the 2017 Grade 12 class will also make us proud as a province. We have full confidence on their abilities and we are rallying behind them during this period in their lives.

 “This is a crucial moment in their lives which will dictate their future, they need not to panic but they should stay focused and concentrate on what they have learnt throughout the year.

 “As a provincial government we have done everything in our power to help them achieve their dreams, the ball is now in their court, let them go out and make the best of the opportunity. They are one step closer to achieving their dreams by acquiring good results, only the sky will be limit for them,” said Mabuza.

The Premier reiterated that the provincial government hoped and intended to improve the matric results by 10 percent, from the current 77.1 percent to 87.1 percent.

Premier orders departments to settle municipal electricity bills

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has ordered all government departments - both provincial and national - who still owe municipalities to settle their accounts.

“This provincial government must pay every municipality they are owing, we should not be part of the problem,” Premier Mabuza said.

The Premier called on the municipalities to improve their billing systems in order to improve on their revenue collection at a recent meeting with executive mayors and municipalities.

He said municipalities needed to decide on whether they still wanted to continue distributing electricity on behalf of Eskom or consider surrendering the function.

People steal electricity and you battle with revenue collection. If you want to sustain this business, you must deal with illegal connections.

Running a municipality and selling electricity is a business, if you do not pay your service providers, they will not trust you and you will have a credibility problem. Eskom is a business; it cannot give electricity for free.

He said the leadership of the municipalities needed to educate citizens about the culture of paying for the services.

“We cannot have a country where people are consuming the services and do not pay. It does not take us any far as a country and as leaders if our choices are not good. We must share a common vision right from the bottom to the top,” Premier Mabuza said.

Executive Mayor Cllr Sylvia Nxumalo wishes class 2017 best of luck

“It is that season of the year when our matriculates’ sit for their year –end final examinations, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the matric class of 2017 the best of luck during the examinations which starts on the 23 rd October 2017. The Matric exams are probably the most crucial and vital exanimations which you will ever write; this will inevitably determine your lifelong career options”, said the mayor

 You have been anxiously preparing for this moment and your teachers and parents have been pushing you to go the extra mile and study harder. And now the final test is upon all of you and I hope you are ready and capable. I urge you not to let other people define the world for you because they will define it smaller for you. Please continue to revise with the same vigor, focus and dedication over the examination period. Make sure you keep calm and read the exam papers carefully.

I advise and urge parents, guardians and other family members to create enabling and conducive environment for all the matriculates while they busy preparing and writing their exams. Success in the exam rooms is not guaranteed and automatic; it is the continuous diligence and efforts that will see you passing with flying colours.

 Education is a great weapon for personal development and the late former President of South Africa Dr Nelson Mandela once said “It is through education that the daughter of peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become Head of mine, and that a child of a farm worker can become a president of a great nation”.

 Lastly, I urge all the matriculates’ to conduct themselves with honesty during the exams because cheating and other irregularities will result in the results withheld, criminal record and or the results declared null and void. I hope you will honour and abide by the National Senior Certificate Examination Pledge that all of you have signed.   

 I am encouraging all matriculates within Bushbuckridge Local Municipality who wish to further their studies at institutions of higher learning and who academically deserve yet they are financially needy to apply the municipal bursary scheme. The municipality allocates R50 000 per successful bursary holder annually for the duration of the study. 

Bursary application forms can be downloaded on the municipal website (www.bushbuckridge.gov.za) and obtainable in all the municipal regional offices. The closing date for the submission of the bursary application forms is 12 January 2018.

Good Luck and may God bless you

 Talks underway to address SAA debt 

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says any funds that are being considered to help address South African Airways (SAA) maturing debt will have to be appropriated through a special appropriations bill that will be introduced to Parliament.

He also said that SAA was in talks with its lenders in a bid to find ways to get an extension.

The Deputy President was responding to questions at the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday.

“[The] SAA debt of approximately R6.8 billion which matures on 30th September 2017 will be resolved through a two-pronged approach.

“Firstly, any funds being considered will have to be appropriated through the special appropriation Bill which will in part assist the airline’s working capital and repay some of the maturing debt.

“SAA is also negotiating with its lenders to extend maturing debt beyond September 2017.

“The precise make-up of the quantum of extension of debt and repayment of part of SAA’s maturing debt will be announced by the Minister of Finance and the SAA Board at an appropriate time,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Deputy President said at this stage, there was no need to invoke Section 16 of the Public Finance Management Act to support SAA on the matter of monies owed to it by the Angolan government.

“The position is that the new government in Angola has indicated that it will settle this debt,” he said.

IMC on SEOs looking into SAA challenges

Meanwhile, the Deputy President said an Inter-Ministerial Committee on SOEs was looking into strengthening SOEs that need support, including SAA, in order to return to their profitability.

He said the challenges faced by SAA were quite complex.

“SAA is a 100% owned state company and it is operating in a very difficult market. Airlines around the world are not your most profitable entities.

“The sector is a very competitive one and many have faced headwinds and difficulties in terms of becoming profitable and getting out of the difficult situations that they are in.

“Right now, SAA is right there facing headwinds and difficulties from an operational and profitability point of view. In the past, it operated well and made profits and right now, it is facing great difficulties and needs the bail outs that only the government can give it.

“From the IMC point of view, we have been looking at processes and policies that can enable our state owned enterprises to operate better.

“First thing that we looked at, which is covered by another question which I can address now, is how best the boards can operate and how best management can operate and how the financial stability of these entities can be upheld,” he said.

The Deputy President said it was government’s belief that once the boards of SOEs can be repositioned and empowered with good management, they can be run in a manner that they can be in a much better position.

“…this is precisely what we are doing right across the various state owned enterprises. Having set out the policy, we are also looking at how the balance sheets of these companies can be better managed and how the financing can be better structured so that they are not driven into bankruptcy,” he said

Malaria Cases Increase in Ehlanzeni 

 By: staff reporter

 The Department through its surveillance and malaria connect system has observed an increase of malaria cases during the last two weeks of August 2017 in Ehlanzeni district. Most of the cases have been reported from Nkomazi followed by Bushbuckridge and Mbombela sub-districts respectively. The cases are exceeding the cases seen previous year in the same period. The previous year was noted with severe drought which is probably the main contributor to the drop in numbers of cases. Increase of rainfall in April 2017 had made to increase malaria cases hence the malaria outbreak occurred .The Department has scaled up interventions to make sure that the cases are early detected and treated as soon as they present in the facilities. The Department has already started its annual Indoor Residual Spraying programme for targeted structures in the affected areas.

 Any person who is presenting with the following signs and symptoms should immediately visit the local health facility to be tested and treated:

 ·         Flu-like illness / Cough

·         Fever

·         Headache

·         Cold shivers / hot sweats)

·         General body pains

·         Weakness (general body weakness)

·         Dizziness

·         Loss of appetite / Poor feeding

·         Diarrheoa, Nausea and Vomiting

 A person who lives in or have recently visited endemic areas (areas known have malaria) should consult a physician or local healthcare practitioner immediately if these symptoms appear, especially during this time of the year.

 You can prevent the bite of malaria by:

 ·         Wearing clothing with long sleeve and cover your ankles especially at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active

·         Avoid wearing dark colours because they attract mosquitoes

·         Use  screens over  doors and windows

·         Apply insect repellents  to exposed skin

·         Use anti-mosquito sprays or insecticide dispensers or burn mosquito coils at night

·         Avoid unnecessary walking during the night: try and spend evenings indoors rather than outdoors as you are much less likely to get bitten by mosquitoe

South Africans will pay less for data - Minister 

Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele says very soon South Africans will pay less for data and that changes may be implemented as early as August next year.

Reducing the cost of data and roaming charges has been under the spotlight over the past three days as Ministers of Communication and ICT from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) gathered in Durban to discuss ITC infrastructure development in the region.

In an interview with SAnews, Minister Cwele said his department has mandated the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) to conduct a thorough study on the cost of data in the country and make recommendations. 

The majority of South Africans access the internet through their mobile phones and the high costs of data has been a contentious issue for many.

“ICASA is busy conducting this study and they have promised to prioritise it because the demand from our citizens is so high that we must do this. We have also spoken to the Minister of Economic Development as well as the Competition Commission regarding this inquiry into data costs and by August next year we will have reached a conclusion on the matter,” Minister Cwele said.

Ministers from 15 SADC member-states have been meeting in Durban since Monday to discuss strategies for communication systems that are accessible, cost effective and of high quality to ensure connectivity to the citizens of the region.

“There is massive change and a revolution that is unfolding in front of us. It is our responsibility to plan ahead. We must be able say, what we want this region to be in 10 years’ time? If it means changing the laws to meet our ICT goals, then we must do it,” Minister Cwele said.

Earlier this year, the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services was allocated a budget of R1.9 billion to invest in broadband internet infrastructure in public buildings and schools in eight pilot districts. This has enabled several public buildings to be Wi-fi hotspots.

Minister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo said high telecommunications prices had a negative effect on economic activity within the SADC region.

She bemoaned the fact that only 16.3% percent of the 300 million SADC’s population is accessing the internet compared to a penetration of 47% globally.

“We live in a society where too many of our citizens are still denied access to information and benefits. Despite the good progress we have made as a region, there are still challenges in rural and township areas,” Minister Dlodlo said. 

“An accessible, affordable and reliable telecommunications is essential for us to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This will also assist in our endeavours of transforming the SADC region into an information and knowledge-based economy,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za