The sixth National Imbizo Focus Week which kick started on Monday, 17 April 2017 under the theme “Together we move South Africa forward: Our future – make it work” is currently underway until the 23rd April 2017. This government initiative seeks to promote public participation and ensures that voices and perspectives of communities are heard.
To date, sixteen izimbizo activities have already taken place across the country. Notable events include the visit to Moretele Local Municipality and Madibeng Municipality by the Premier of Bokone Bophirima, Supra Mahumapelo, as part of boosting private investment and growing local economies in labor-intensive areas.
In engendering the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst citizens of North West, Premier Mahumapelo mobilised government departments, state owned entities and the private sector to attend the engagement sessions and share procurement opportunities with communities. The visit forms part of the Premier’s Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) enterprise development economic forum engagements.
Premier Mahumapelo also encouraged community members to start and grow their own businesses and grow them as part of reducing unemployment and poverty. He restated the provincial government’s commitment to ongoing public participation every month for ten days in all province’s districts. Residents appreciated the visibility of the Provincial Government in their communities and the much needed information shared to empower them to participate in local development programmes.
Today, 20 April 2017 the Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Senzeni Zokwana is visiting the Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute and the Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry in the Eastern Cape Province. The imbizo is focused on strengthening our colleges of Agriculture to improve the employability of agriculture college graduates and the participation of women and youth in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors.
The Imbizo will also emphasise the implementation of norms and standards for agricultural training institutes which are expected to be officially endorsed as a guideline to the mandate of these colleges. This gathering will also provide a platform to engage with labour, community and commercial farming stakeholders to support and drive the development agenda of food security and rural wealth creation.
The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson is also holding an Imbizo event today at Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal province with stakeholders in the recycling industry, in combination with South African Waste Pickers Association as part of promoting environmental sustainability and enhancing our natural resources.
Many families generate an income from waste recycling, minimising the environmental pollution and promoting a cleaner and greener environment through their efforts. This undervalued work improves the livelihood of these individuals and contributes to a cleaner and safer South Africa.
Another notable Imbizo event taking place today is the visit to Cape Agulhas Municipality by the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, to provide update and feedback to the fishing community on the progress being made by the Department on Infrastructure Projects in the town as a whole.
In promoting partnerships and active citizenry in aid of transforming the country into a better country for all to live in, the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Mr Jeff Radebe will be in Mopani at Hlohlokwe Community Hall on 21 April 2017 as part of Frontline Service Delivery Programme and Community Imbizo. As part of this visit the Minister will conduct unannounced Front Line Service Delivery Monitoring (FSDM) and community Imbizo to solicit inputs on how to enhance service delivery at the coalface of the public service.
As part of government plans to revitalise distressed mining communities and build sustainable mining towns, the Minister of Small Business Development Ms Lindiwe Zulu will visit the Free State province at the TVET College in Welkom on 21 April 2017 to launch a Centre for Entrepreneurship. This centre will aim to harness entrepreneurial innovation and unlock potential among the youth.
The Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Ms Susan Shabangu will on 21 April 2017 host an Imbizo in Soshanguve, Tshwane to address the challenges faced by parents and grandparents regarding children and the usage of social media. The objective of the Imbizo is to give impetus on the 365 Days of No Violence against Women and Children while raising awareness on the new HIV infection amongst adolescent girls and young women.
The Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, will host an Imbizo with sugar cane farmworkers in Ndwedwe, KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday 23 April 2017. Some of the issues that affect workers in this region are complaints from workers relating to unlawful deductions of wages; productivity based pay system (umjarho); non-payment of public holiday rates; inadequate protective clothing and other issues.
The Imbizo is aimed at educating the farmworkers about the rights accorded to them by various pieces of labour legislation such as the labour relations act, basic conditions of employment act, employment equity act, and occupational health and safety act. The Department of Home Affairs will also be represented in this farmworkers’ Imbizo owing to the many workers that are foreign nationals working in this area.
These events are but a few of the exciting visits during the National Focus Week that provide opportunities for citizens to interact with their elected public representatives. More activities planned can be accessed on the government website www.gov.za.
Government will also use the Focus Week as a platform to profile the local government achievements particularly through the Back-to-Basics approach adopted in 2014 as well as to promote a multi-sectoral collaboration between all sections of society and effective leadership by government on matters affecting the country and its people.
“Government remains committed to have constructive dialogues with citizens. Community members are encouraged to take part in these izimbizo and participate in dialogues and engagements said Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo”.
For updates during Imbizo Focus Week, follow at @GovernmentZA @GCISMedia and @SAGovNews. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #ImbizoWeek.
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