With the aim to reintroduce a pastime that has become obsolete with the advent of technology, the Education Ministry, in collaboration with the Communities Ministry, introduced a National Crossword and Word Search Competition (NCC), targeting more than 100 Grades Three and Four students.The crossword challenge seeks to harness the brainpower of students in a meaningful way that encourages word recognition, increases vocabulary, improves spelling, stimulates an interest in reading, and generally expands the knowledge of words.The competition also serves to reach those students with a borderline or introverted personality who may not be mindful of participating in a debating or spelling bee competition, but can master the art of word searches.Chief Education Officer (CEO) Marcel Huston at a simple launching ceremony said that development of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and motivation to work individually and collectively towards solutions for existing environmental problems must be fostered, adding that what was required was reorientation through the environment.Hutson said the competition could be considered as an alternative method of increasing academic performance at examinations and spoke to the development of certain values and attitudes that can protect the country.Speaking on behalf of the Communities Ministry was Public Affairs Officer Danielle Campbell-Lowe who said it was excitement worth sharing with every child and she believed that children could find joy in putting aside their tablets and computer for one game of crossword/word-search, as it would make a big difference.The NCC will form part of a broader menu of measures being undertaken through the Ministry’s “Green Generation Guyana Sanitation Programme” whereby students are encouraged to adopt safer waste management practices, including reducing, reusing and recycling.The competition saw more than 10 schools participating.The first student to finish the word puzzle wins the competition and will be representing their region at the national championships. (Yanalla Dalrymple)
Deputy sports minister Gert Oosthuizen still brims with pride at the organisation of the first World Cup to be held on African soil.“We built stadiums and infrastructure. We were way ahead of schedule, everything went perfectly, everything was in place,” he said. “From that perspective it did give South Africa a great mark in the world.”“But it was much more than that. More important was the nation-building and the social cohesion that we achieved. We felt proudly South African — and simply African.”To prepare for the most-widely watched event on the planet, the government of the day spent 30 billion rands (3 billion euros, $3.53 billion in today’s money) on roads, airports, stadiums and other infrastructure.The impact was felt almost immediately with a boost to economic growth as well as 60,000 new jobs created just from the construction of the 10 stadiums.From June 1 to July 11 when the tournament finished, South Africa welcomed 1.4 million foreign visitors — compared to 1.1 million a year earlier.Former South African President Nelson Mandela, pictured here holding the World Cup in 2004, made only a brief appearance at the 2010 finals © AFP / FRANCK FIFEBut did South Africa truly benefit once the fans’ noisy vuvuzela horns had been stored away and the FIFA bandwagon had moved on to Brazil?“The returns were much higher than the spending — much, much higher,” said Gillian Saunders of the accountants Grant Thornton.“There is a lot of infrastructure that we got like telecommunications, roads around the stadium areas that we wouldn’t have got,” she said, adding that there had been a subsequent “World Cup effect”.– ‘Good for S.Africa’s image’ –“It was a good marketing exercise, that had put us centre of the world stage — it was good for South Africa’s image and for tourism,” said Mike Schussler, director of market analysts Economists.co.za.“But we didn’t make our money back from the use of stadiums. Some municipalities are left with a bill to pay — and they will be left for a long time.”The Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria during the 2010 World Cup last 16 match between Paraguay and Japan © AFP/File / Monirul BhuiyanFollowing the tournament, the government handed control of the stadiums to their respective city councils — including responsibility for maintenance.Those in the major cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg fared better, finding use as concert venues, rugby grounds while still attracting national and international football.Johannesburg outsourced the running of its ground to the private sector.“The responsibility put on stadium managers is to commercialise the venues, attract events, generate revenue, maintain the venues to a world-standard and share profits with the municipality,” said the city’s sport supremo Siyanda Mnukwa. “The stadiums are not weighing heavily on the municipality.”Elsewhere in South Africa, the stadiums have proved less productive.– ‘It’s a burden’ –“Initially we were told that the stadium will pay for itself — (but) it’s costing us between 15 and 18 million rand a year,” said Frank Haas, leader of the opposition in northeastern Polokwane.“It’s a burden, whether we can justify to the community the almost 20 million rand a year, that’s actually the big question.”For Oosthuizen, the deputy sports minister, the answer is an emphatic yes.“We’re not talking billions here… It’s not like it’s draining the whole budget of little provinces or municipalities because of this monster that we have built,” he told AFP at his office in Pretoria.“You must see it as a good investment, it is part of a legacy, an instrument of getting people together and showcasing what we can do as the African continent.”Oosthuizen listed several tournaments hosted in South Africa since the World Cup — mostly minor affairs except for the 2013 Cup of African Nations.In May nearly 85,000 packed into Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium, known as Soccer City when it hosted the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands, to watch an exhibition match that featured stars from Barcelona.But South Africa has been reluctant to bid to host any other major sporting event on the level of the World Cup as it grapples with a sluggish economy.The country even spurned the chance to host the 2022 Commonwealth games despite having already won the bid to do so.The minister remains hopeful that South Africa will one day host the Rugby World Cup after missing out on the 2023 tournament.Oosthuizen even has dreams of one day hosting the Olympics.“We have the basics to host the big thing. That dream still lives on — but it would be largely determined by the economic circumstances,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Light beams shine out from the Soccer City stadium in Soweto, a suburb of Johannesburg, during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa © AFP/File / Yasuyoshi CHIBAJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jul 19 – South Africa’s turn as World Cup hosts in 2010 left the country with 10 world-class stadiums and an influx of tourists — but also vast bills to pay.Eight years on, the tournament is also held up as a rare moment of national unity in a country still deeply divided 24 years after the end of apartheid.
Anthony Limbombe [left] 1 Toulouse have emerged as the new favourites to land Leeds United target Anthony Limbombe this summer.It had appeared as though Leeds were closing in on the NEC forward after Club Brugge pulled out of the race to land him, as talkSPORT told you earlier this month.But now, according to reports in Holland, the 22-year-old is the subject of a fresh approach from Ligue 1.It has been suggested that Toulouse are willing and able to pay NEC’s £1.7m asking price and a deal could be completed by the end of the week.However, there could still be time for Leeds boss Garry Monk to firm up his interest with a late swoop for the Belgian.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2But for Delgadillo, defeated by Jerry Brown in his race for state attorney general, there are still three years left in his city term – plenty of time to look around at other offices or hope that a coalition of business and civic leaders decides to try to change term limits for local and state offices. A number of local officials are in the same boat, including Controller Laura Chick. She’ll be termed out in 2009 after rejecting pleas to run for various statewide jobs. George Kieffer, who chaired the Appointed Charter Reform Commission and was recently named president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said he has been working with the League of Women Voters on a proposal to extend limits by one term for local and state officials. “Two terms is just not long enough locally, and six years in the Assembly is too short a time for anyone to get anything done,” Kieffer said. “We are still studying it, but we realize that we have to act quickly if we are going to get something before voters to have any impact on our local elections.” Kieffer said the package could include ethics reforms in return for extended term limits. Councilman Alex Padilla was one of the lucky ones. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo wasn’t. Both were facing term limits in their city jobs and looking to last week’s primary to help them move on to other elective posts. Now that Padilla has won the Democratic nomination for the 20th Senate seat, it’s a virtual certainty he will be elected in November because there is no Republican opponent and only token opposition from Libertarian Pamela Brown. One practical problem, however, is finding a politician to take on the issue without being accused of being self-serving. While Padilla won the Democratic nomination for the 20th Senate seat, it doesn’t mean he took any time off. Joking with Padilla the day after the election, one official asked, “So, you’ve just won your party’s nomination. What are you going to do now?” Padilla’s answer should have been that he was going to Disneyland – or, at least, political Disneyland. Padilla actually went to Washington, D.C., where he participated in a panel sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. After one of the most consistently negative campaigns for governor in California history, the problem for Steve Westly was that he remained too positive for too long. At least, that’s the view of his campaign consultant, Garry South. South told the Sacramento Bee that Westly, who lost the Democratic nomination to Treasurer Phil Angelides, failed to push his image beyond being a founder of eBay. “What Steve could not bring himself to understand was that though his story is somewhat more compelling than Angelides’, you can only get so far with positives,” South said. “You have to engage your opponent and you have to define.” The problem might have been more that Westly’s definition of himself was – for most voters – murky at best, so when he tried to shift the attention to Angelides he hadn’t set himself up as a good alternative. For one brief moment this past year, a little-known Republican thought he had stumbled upon the winning political lottery ticket. That was when Michael Tenenbaum filed to run against Rep. Elton Gallegly for the 24th House District seat in Ventura County – and was as surprised as everyone when Gallegly announced March 10 he was retiring after 10 terms because of an undisclosed illness. The political newsletter, Flash Report, has an article by Ventura County GOP Vice Chairman David Tennessen that recounts Tenenbaum’s flirtation with fame ended six days later, when Gallegly changed his mind and re-entered the race. Tenenbaum ran a vigorous campaign, Tennessen said, without any response from Gallegly. But the biggest problem for Tenenbaum was that promises of campaign donations disappeared and he was never able to raise enough money to challenge the incumbent. Gallegly still has not revealed anything about the illness that prompted him to consider retiring. ——— TIPOFF Rick Orlov is a Daily News staff writer. Write to him at P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365-4200 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org For details on Neighborhood Council meetings, see Page 5.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January LATEST Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade LIVING THE DREAM Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ targets Everton are eyeing Sweden’s top player at the World Cup – Emil Forsberg. They would have to splash £25million for the winger as he recently signed a new deal with German club RB Leipzig. (Daily Star)Marcelo Bielsa wants West Ham’s forgotten striker Jordan Hugill at Leeds. The Elland Road boss is eyeing a loan swoop for Hugill, 26, who barely played after joining from Preston for £10million in January. But they face a battle for the hitman, 26, with Championship rivals Queens Park Rangers. (The Sun)Rafa Benitez must break Newcastle’s transfer record for hitman Salomon Rondon. Toon’s boss is ready to pay the West Brom striker’s £16.5million release clause to boost his attack for next term. (The Sun) RANKED REVEALED Yerry Mina impressed for Colombia at the World Cup targets Here’s a round-up all the top transfer-related gossip and news from Sunday’s newspapers and online…The Jack Wilshere transfer saga looks to be over with the former Arsenal midfielder set to join West Ham United on Monday. He has already undergone a medical ahead of his expected move to the London Stadium. (Daily Mirror) Manchester United believe they will land Willian now Brazil are out of the World Cup. Boss Jose Mourinho made the Chelsea winger his No 1 summer target and is competing with Barcelona to seal a £60million deal. United are ready to step up their bid to reunite Willian, 29, with Mourinho after the duo worked together at the Blues. (The Sun)Manchester United are keen on Barcelona youngster Nico González. Barcelona have been unable to tie down Gonzalez to a new contract and United are ready to pounce for the 16-year-old wonderkid. (Sport)Liverpool have spoken to cash-strapped Aston Villa over midfielder Jack Grealish but Spurs remain the favourites to sign the 22-year-old. The original asking price of £40million has been drastically reduced to half that because Villa boss Steve Bruce has been told he can’t even bring in loan players until a significant sale of one of his stars. Liverpool have made contact so far Kop boss Jurgen Klopp hasn’t responded with a firm bid leaving Spurs in pole position to snatch Grealish for a bargain price. (Daily Mirror)Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has expressed his belief that Nabil Fekir will line up for the Ligue 1 side next season after seeing a move to Liverpool fall through. Fekir won himself a place in the France squad for the World Cup after a wonderful season with Lyon. That form was also noticed by the Reds, who made the playmaker one of their top transfer targets in the current window. (Goal) Everton have pulled out of the race to sign Kieran Tierney — after deciding the Celtic star isn’t worth £25million after all. Toffees boss Marco Silva had indicated he was ready to meet the Hoops’ asking price but ut the Goodison side are now looking elsewhere because they feel £25m is too much for a Scottish Premiership player. (The Scottish Sun)Yerry Mina will be offered to Premier League clubs in a shock move by Barcelona. The 6ft 4in defender’s header shook Gareth Southgate’s men in the last 16 at the World Cup and soon he could be terrorising the opposition at club level. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is an admirer, while Everton have also been having talks with Mina’s dad. (The Sun) 3 IN DEMAND 3 Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Latest transfer news on talkSPORT.com It is thought Grealish may have played his last game for Villa moving on Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Jack Wilshere looks to be heading to the London Stadium Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father 3 Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer
The Red Door Youth Cafe, Letterkenny, has a whole series of activities and events lined up for the summer.All the details are below:The Red Door Youth Cafe at Cara House is offering a range of opportunities for teenagers this summer. No need to be book – just come along! Open 2 – 6 each weekday and 2 – 8 on Fridays. It gives a chance to chill out and meet friends, in a small comfortable environment. Pool, Table tennis, Playstation3, music and craic, Ice cream Days, Mexican Days, BBQs arranged all free!! – find us on facebook @the_reddoor_cafe 24th – 28th June: Art week with Bernie Wilson 2 – 4 each day – free. Young people are also involved in painting murals around the town.8th – 12th July: Digital Photography week will see young people taking pictures around the town for a ‘Young Letterkenny’ competition. A chance to learn how to edit photos, produce calendars etc – free15th – 19th July Computer programming – learn to make computer games with ‘Scratch’ – and other computer skills – freeAugust 8th Outing for 10 – 16 year olds Visit to W5 Belfast €25 Walking on Wednesdays starts 31st July for 5 weeks with walks at Glenveagh, Dunlewy etc.5th week climb Errigal!!! YOUTH CAFE LINES UP SERIES OF EVENTS FOR TEENS THIS SUMMER was last modified: June 10th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:YOUTH CAFE LINES UP SERIES OF EVENTS FOR TEENS THIS SUMMER
Since its origin away back in summer 1995, Noel Moore Lawn Cutting Services has gained vast experience, variegated skills and resources all over Donegal.“With pride, confidence and your satisfaction always in mind” is the motto of this flexible and versatile and well-established service.This has been rewarded by growing customer interest and a solid base of customers whose loyalty goes back many years. Private and commercial customers are catered for.Noel Moore Lawn Cutting Services has been taking care of all lawncutting needs – including lawn care management, weeding, pedestrian sweeping, aerating, spraying, moss care, planting, lawn feeds etc.Other services include cleaning courtyards, patios, footpaths, driveways, outside walls and concrete yards. And a power-washing service is available.It provides affordable rates for all types of gardens, sports grounds, school and church grounds, etc. Noel Moore Lawncutting Services is a year around service.It also has a wide range of winter services to choose from. Examples, pressure washing, gutter cleaning, yard maintenance, leaf blowing/gathering, ice removal and garden tidy-ups.Now based near St Johnston, Noel Moore Lawncutting Services has a website www.noelmoorelawncutting.com and a facebook page www.facebook.com/Noel.Moore.Lawncutting.ServicesWhy not take a look? You might find a service you need.If you have any questions, please call Noel on 087 1726589. NO ‘MOORE’ HASSLE WITH YOUR GARDENING NEEDS THANKS TO NOEL MOORE LAWNCUTTING SERVICES was last modified: October 21st, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessFeaturesnews
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14 June 2012South Africa has begun rolling out a new biometric card to social grant beneficiaries that will cut down on fraud and corruption in the country’s grants system, improve on the delivery of grants, and reduce the costs involved in making payouts.Between June and December, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will hand out the new, branded, biometric magstripe cards to grant holders, replacing the current Sekulula cards.The biometric cards will also replace temporary smart cards that social grant beneficiaries in Gauteng, Western Cape, the southern part of the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Free State – provinces which don’t use the current service provider – have been using since March.The first phase of the project, which began in March and ended in May, saw new beneficiaries being enrolled onto the new system.Second phase under wayThe second phase, which began this month and will end in December, will see existing eligible beneficiaries, including bank beneficiaries and children, being enrolled on to the new system at SASSA pay points, local offices and designated sites.SASSA will conduct home visits to those older than 75 years old as well as for bedridden beneficiaries at their homes and institutions such as hospitals.Beneficiaries of the child support grant will be required to bring their babies, along with their birth certificates, for re-registration. The child’s fingerprints will be taken to verify his or her identity. Beneficiaries will then be issued with a SASSA-branded smart card.The new cards, and the verification process attached to the issuing of the cards, will help SASSA to reduce the incidence of fraud and corruption, over which Auditor-General Terence Nombembe has repeatedly raised concern.A 2008 report by the Institute of Security Studies estimated that before the commencement of investigations by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in 2006, the government had been losing about R1.5-billion a year through corruption and the maladministration of social grants.The risk of fraud and corruption is ever more important, with the 15.7-million social grant beneficiaries registered as of 30 April this year expected to grow to 16.8-million in three years.Progress in reducing fraudulent beneficiariesHowever, in recent years, SASSA has made several advances in reducing the incidence of fraudulent grant beneficiaries.Between 2006 and March 2012, the SIU was able to prosecute 20 554 people for fraud and corruption relating to grants, which resulted in 17 880 convictions.In all, 46 237 individuals who have been incorrectly receiving social grants have signed acknowledgement of debts totaling R304.9-million.Individuals that sign acknowledgement of debts, which has the effect of a civil court order, commit to repaying the money received in installments that are financially viable for them.To this end, a total of 132 603 beneficiaries have been verified for eligibility and existence and 7 133 were found to be fraudulent.Kgomoco Diseko, SASSA’s senior manager: media relations, said grants paid to the 7 133 beneficiaries who defrauded the system had been cancelled and criminal charges had also been brought against them.Monitoring irregular practices by employees, publicSASSA has also successfully implemented its integrity model, which serves to address and monitor irregular practices by both its employees and the public.Diseko says the integrity model represents a more proactive fraud management approach which encapsulates all aspects of fraud management, namely prevention, detection, investigation and resolution.“Its emphasis is on regulating the behavior of staff, while improving systems and processes,” Diseko says. “The greatest feature of the model is the integrity policy, which allows the agency to conduct random checks on its high risk employees to determine their level of integrity.”The agency is also participating in anti-corruption forums driven by the Department of Home Affairs.The Department of Social Development will also be setting up an inspectorate to help the department weed out fraud.R30-million anti-fraud inspectorate to be set upSocial Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said in her budget vote in May that R30-million had been allocated to set up an inspectorate, which is expected to be up and running by 2015.Also in May, Dlamini told Parliament that an Inspectorate Establishment Framework had been developed, as well as the Inspectorate Programme Management Unit structure comprising various functional work streams.“The process to recruit specialists and work stream project managers is at an advanced stage,” Dlamini said.She said the inspectorate unit was currently in the process to commission various research projects, and had prioritised the Comprehensive Legislation Review Project as well as the Systems Integrity Evaluation baseline study.“This will enable office to determine the actual levels of fraud and misconduct and help to project savings for the South African Social Security Agency, once the Inspectorate is fully legislated and adequately resourced to commence with the execution of its investigative mandate,” Dlamini said.Over R104-million in fraudulent grants recoveredMarika Muller, the SIU’s acting head of communications, says that since the SIU’s investigation into the SASSA began in April 2005, the unit has helped the government recover over R104.6-million.She says the SIU is still collecting an average of over R2.3-million a month in cash repayments from those who claimed grants irregularly.The SIU has recommended to SASSA that it remove all improperly received grants, involving savings to the government (and the taxpayer) of over R1-billion, and the prevention of future losses of over R11.8-billion.Three types of wrongful beneficiaryMuller says individuals receiving grants to which they are not entitled generally fall into three categories. These include individuals who have been found to have purposely lied about their income, employment status and or state of health in order to receive grants.They also include individuals who initially qualified to receive a grant, but then saw an improvement in their financial status which generally disqualified them from receiving grants.In many cases these individuals do not notify the SASSA of this change in status in order for their grant to be stopped; in some cases, they are not aware they needed to do so, says Muller.Finally, there are individuals who are receiving social grants as a result of errors in the process.Muller says that in the first category of individuals – those who purposely lied about details to gain access to grants – the SIU concludes initial investigations before handing the cases over to the SAPS for a decision on further action.Criminal charges, she explains, are also laid in instances where individuals had gone more than 12 months without notifying SASSA of their change in circumstances.“A decision was made with SASSA and other role players that criminal charges would not be laid against individuals who did not understand the reporting obligation, or who erroneously received grants as a result of process errors.“These individuals are, however, required to pay back the money they were not entitled to, either in a lump sum or installments through an AoD (acknowledgement of debt),” says Muller.Biometric cards to save R800-million a yearThere are also other benefits to the new biometric cards. For instance, the new smart cards will allow beneficiaries to access grants through multiple channels across the country, such as points of sale, banks, merchants and cash pay points.Dlamini said in her budget vote speech that the new payment system would help the government save R800-million a year.The new system provides for a service fee of R16.44, totaling R2-billion collectively in fees a year – R800-million less than the total fees generated by the former service provider.However, the former service provider, All Pay, has launched a court bid to have the current contract, run by Cash Paymaster Services, set aside, alleging irregularities in the tender process.The Legal Resources Centre has joined the case as an amicus curiae over concern that the court action may disrupt the disbursement of grants and SASSA’s verification process.Sarah Sephton a lawyer from the Legal Resources Centre, says Judge Elias Matojane had assured the court that interim processes would be considered should a ruling be made to halt the tender.In 2000, Sephton assisted thousands of grant beneficiaries in the Eastern Cape in a class action case against then minister of social development, Zola Skweyiya, after a botched verification process, intended to consolidate grant beneficiaries from the former homelands of the Transkei and the Ciskei and old Cape Province, resulted in thousands not being able to obtain disability grants.However, SASSA had assured Sephton that there would be no disruption in the disbursement of grants with the current verification process.Source: BuaNews
SONA 2017: “The Year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Unity in Action Together Moving South Africa Forward”. Economic growth and transformation as well as education were priorities in President Zuma’s speech.Corrupt South African president Jacob Zuma participates in The New Age SABC Business briefing held in Cape Town on 10 February 2017, unpacking some of the key messages and actions from the previous evening’s State of the Nation Address. (Photo: GCIS)CD AndersonEconomic growth reaching 1.7%, the government using its buying power to grow SMMEs, expanding tertiary access to the “forgotten middle” and a renewed emphasis on maths and science teaching were the core of President Jacob Zuma’s 2017 State of the Nation Address.At the heart of true reconciliation was the reform of ownership of land and control of the economy, he said. The lag in appropriation of land for landless black African rural populations had resulted in a decline in the number of households involved in agriculture – there had been a 19% drop from 2.9-million in 2011 to 2.6-million in 2016. The Expropriation Act has been referred back to parliament because the president believes it will not pass constitutional muster.The government would encourage land claimants to hold on to their land instead of accepting payments. This, President Zuma said, perpetuated landlessness among black Africans especially. “Over 90% of claims are currently settled through financial compensation which does not help the process at all. It perpetuates dispossession. It also undermines economic empowerment.“Government has committed itself to support black smallholder farmers. I received a memorandum from the African Farmers Association of South Africa who say the year 2017 must be the year of the commercialisation of the black smallholder farmers. Indeed, government will implement a commercialisation support programme for 450 black smallholder farmers.”Radical socio-economic transformationThe State of the Nation Address marked the beginning of a new chapter of radical socio-economic transformation, said the president, who highlighted the gap between the earnings of white households and black – a differential of five. It mirrored ownership of the nation’s economy.“The skewed nature of ownership and leadership patterns needs to be corrected. There can be no sustainability in any economy if the majority is excluded in this manner. In my discussions with the business community, they accepted these transformation imperatives.”Beyond legislation, the government would be using its purchasing power to drive transformation and economic growth. “The state spends R500-billion a year buying goods and services. Added to this is the R900-billion infrastructure budget. Those budgets must be used to achieve economic transformation.”New regulations have been gazetted compelling big contractors to share at least 30% of work with black-owned businesses. The aim is to grow small enterprises, build township and rural economies and promote local industrial development.EducationThe coming year had been dedicated to OR Tambo, the late ANC president and maths and science teacher. Inspired by his example, South Africans should work together to build the united, democratic, non-sexist, non-racial and prosperous South Africa of which he had dreamed. The cornerstone of that dream was education.“This gives our children dignity. A total of 173 inappropriate structures have been eradicated since 2011. In total, 895 new schools now provide a conducive learning environment for our children.”The most disruption over the last two years had occurred at tertiary institutions as students demanded access to affordable education. The government had heard their demands and had listened to the multitude of solutions offered.It had covered the increases in 2016 tuition fees, settled outstanding debts of students in the NSFAS programme and would now expand the threshold for funding students, raising it from household incomes of R122,000. This new funding threshold would cover the “missing middle” of students – those whose parents earned too much to qualify for government aid, but not enough to afford tertiary study.“Honourable members and fellow South Africans, students and their parents should understand that the needs for services like water, sanitation, early childhood development and good public transport have to also be addressed, alongside access to quality higher education and training. But our commitment to finding sustainable solutions to the funding of the social wage in general, and education, in particular, is unwavering.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.