Madiba Day

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					              T ERN CAPE

                                      Legibrief   Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature Newsletter

             CIAL LEGISLA

        Issue 1
 September 2010

Women in
the way


Africa Day...
our past,
present and

             Madiba Day                                      Madiba legacy
                                                             continues to inspire

                                        A people’s assembly for good governance

 Editorial ............................................................................................................        3
 Message from the Speaker .................................................................                                    3
 Letter from the Secretary to the Legislature ..........................                                                       4
 Profile on the late MPL Thobili Bam .............................................                                             4


 Women in Parliament .............................................................................                             5

 general news

 Madiba Day celebration in Qweqwe village ...........................                                                          6
 Heeding Madiba’s call to action                                        ....................................................   7
 Workers’ Parliament ..................................................................................                        8
 Religious Parliament ...............................................................................                          9&10
 Speakers’ Forum ............................................................................................                  10
 Sharing best practices with Lesotho delegation ..................                                                             10
 Capacity training for MPLs ..................................................................                                 11
 EC schools debate in Youth Communicators Awards .......                                                                       11
 World Cup soccer fever ..........................................................................                             12
 Africa Day ........................................................................................................           13&14

 upcoming events

 Taking Legislature to the People ....................................................                                         14
 Swearing-in of new Member ..............................................................                                      14

       Editor-in-Chief: Elroy Jacobs
       Editor : Nombulelo Mosana
       Production : Tanishka du Plessis
       Regular writers : Bulelwa Jela and Tanishka du Plessis
       Photography : Thulani Tempi and Legislature
       archive photographs
       Publisher : Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature
       Editorial Enquiries: Nombulelo Mosana
       Tel: 040-6080039 Fax: 040- 6350016

         A dynamic people’s assembly for good governance to
         deepen and advance sustainable and transformative
            development towards effective service delivery.

                 MISSION STATEMENT
 The Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature strives to deepen democracy,
promote development and build a better life for all, through law-making,
        effective public participation, and vigorous oversight.

            LOYALTY:   Unswerving allegiance and support to the citizens
                       and the government of our country.

       COMMITMENT:     A pledge / commitment to perpetuate the cause
                       of freedom.

    ACCOUNTABILITY:    Being answerable for one’s actions.

          INTEGRITY:   Being honourable and following ethical principles.

       EXCELLENCE:     Continuous improvement in performance and standards.

REDRESS AND EQUITY:    Address the legacy of the past and gear resources
                       to address imbalances of the past.

editorial                                         message
Elroy Jacobs                                      from the
   t is important to note that the Legibrief
   is taking another innovative turn,
   therefore readers will observe the
difference in structure and outlook of the
newsletter. The circulation of the newsletter
has also been increased to include the

Legislature’s external stakeholders. The                 he Legislature recently got involved
change responds to a political decision                  in various community initiatives that
taken earlier this year that the circulation of          took place in Mthatha during the week
the Legibrief should be augmented. Prior          leading up to Madiba Day with a special                                    Fikile Xasa
to this change, the Legibrief was meant           commemoration taking place in Qweqwe
for internal stakeholders. With a need to         village on Friday, 16 July, at the Jongisizwe Junior
vigorously reach out to our communities,          Secondary school. Let me start by extending a          is in this context that our Strategic Plan for the
this communication tool will also be              hearty thank you to the MPLs, the Legislature          period 2009-2014 has been aligned with our
utilised to disseminate information to            staff, the Qweqwe community, the sponsors              constitutional mandate. The plan summarises
external stakeholders.                            and the various Departments for the significant        our purpose and values, and the functions that
                                                  role that each one played in making this day           we perform. The adopted strategy places a great
                                                  such a success. The selfless dedication shown          deal on the primary purpose of the Legislature.
                                                  during the 67 minutes and your commitment
      “To see this                                to positive change is truly inspiring. I would like
                                                  to encourage the Members to replicate this
                                                                                                         One of the key focus areas in the strategic
                                                                                                         plan is the promotion of public participation
  transformation in                               initiative in their respective constituencies so
                                                  that such interventions become a permanent
                                                                                                         in the programmes of the institution to enable
                                                                                                         members of civil society to develop a deeper
   action makes me                                part of our programmes.                                understanding of our work. In accordance
                                                                                                         with our mandate, the Legislature hosted
  earnestly believe                               This issue of our newsletter comes out only a
                                                  month after the National Women’s Day was
                                                                                                         the Workers’ Parliament and the Religious
                                                                                                         Parliament this year. Next month we will be
that the Legislature                              held in East London to commemorate the
                                                  9th of August 1956 when the Federation of
                                                                                                         taking the Legislature to the people of Amathole.
                                                                                                         Nkonkobe Municipality will host this important
 is gearing towards                               South African Women organised thousands of
                                                  women, from across the length and breadth of
                                                                                                         event at Lovedale FET College from 4-8 October
                                                                                                         2010. This will provide us with an opportunity
     being a real                                 the country led by stalwarts Lilian Ngoyi, Helen
                                                  Joseph, Sophie Williams and Rahima Moosa,
                                                                                                         to engage with our people on how their issues
                                                                                                         could be addressed.
People’s Assembly”.                               marched onto the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
                                                                                                         Going down memory lane; it was on 7
                                                  It is however very disturbing to note that women       September 1992 when about 100 000
It is prudent to note that this newsletter        continue to encounter rape, domestic abuse             people marched in Bhisho protesting for the
will be available in constituency offices,        and other forms of gender-based violence. The          dismantling of the Ciskei, which still maintained
district municipalities and government            case of mamu Bambusiba is a classical example          a measure of independence, and the removal of
departments. Readers may also access              of this cycle of violence wherein older women          Ciskei leader Brigadier Oupa Gqozo. The Ciskei
it on our website. The accessibility of this      who despite their immense contribution to              Defence Force opened fire, shooting dead 28
has been made wide to ensure maximum              their families and communities are particularly        people. On 28 September 2010, the Legislature
dissemination of information.                     vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft. The           community and the Eastern Cape government
                                                  Legislature community wishes to encourage              will participate in activities linked to the
To see this transformation in action makes        the police to pursue the perpetrators of these         revitalisation of Bhisho that seeks to change the
me earnestly believe that the Legislature         senseless killings and to ensure that they are         face of Bhisho.
is gearing towards being a real People’s          prosecuted and punished. I wish to call on all
Assembly. This initiative will ensure citizens    members of the community, the police and               There is increasing pressure in government
are informed of the activities of the Eastern     local authorities to work together to dispel           to ensure that the limited resources made
Cape Provincial Legislature so as to enhance      myths about witchcraft and promote positive            available for us to discharge our responsibilities
participatory democracy.                          intergenerational relationships between the            are properly managed and that value-for-
                                                  young and old.                                         money is achieved in all our operations. The
Readers will see more stories featured and                                                               Legislature as the institution charged with
a profile of an MPL in each issue. This has       As we move into September - the Heritage               the responsibility to exercise oversight over
been done to bring information on various         Month, we must embrace the opportunity to              the Executive has a responsibility to lead by
topical issues to our readers in relation         recognize the importance of our heritage and           example. I therefore, wish to encourage the
to national and international issues. The         our diverse cultural expressions that together         Legislature community to serve the institution
profiles of MPLs will make our readers            shape and build our national culture. During           with honesty and political impartiality. We must
understand their public representatives           this month, we reaffirm the right of each one          strive for excellence, effectiveness, efficiency
better.                                           of us to lead a rich and productive cultural life.     and accuracy, remaining always open-minded
                                                  I take this opportunity to invite all of you to        on the prospects for better ways of delivering
I hope that our readers will find the new         participate in activities linked to the National       our services. We must value a co-operative
approach taken by the Legibrief informative       Heritage Day celebrations on 24 September.             approach, based on mutual support, trust and
and enjoyable.                                                                                           respect for one another.
                                                  The Legislature derives its mandate from the
                                                  Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. It


                                               letter from the Secretary
                                               to the Legislature
                                                     easier. We have stayed the General Recognized         The degree of synergy and alignment
                                                     Accounting Practices (GRAP) for this financial        between organisational, team and individual
                                                     year as our systems are not yet compatible to         goals, systems and structures determines
                                                     the required standard.                                the success or failure of the organisation.
                                                                                                           The Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature is
                                                     The Legislature is governed by structures             endowed with an organised labour leadership
                                                     of politicians and management enjoined                that goes an extra mile in representing the
     Pumelele Ndamase                                by symbiotic relationship to build a better           aspirations of the employees of the institution.
                                                     participatory democracy; with the Executive           A great sense of maturity was displayed
                                                     Committee providing a leadership role over the        during the review and implementation of the

      et me take this opportunity to thank all       Secretariat. This interdependency between top         Performance Management and Development
      those employees who have contributed           management and the Executive Committee                System (PMDS). Yes there were points of
      towards the Eastern Cape Provincial            must receive accolades for the successful             disagreements, but like true winners those
Legislature achieving an unqualified audit           delivery of the 2011-2015 Institutional Strategic     ‘failures’ inspired us to achieve great ends.
report for the third time in a row. I take my hat    Plan. The delivery of the Strategic Plan was the
off to the employees of this institution who put     culmination of a consultative process among           Salary negotiations in any environment are
their shoulders behind the wheel and worked          all institutional stakeholders. It is my earnest      a catalyst for candor at best and rudeness at
zealously to get this positive opinion – they are    belief that in order to perform optimally, the        worst. However in the ECPL both negotiating
all my “leaders without a title.” However, matters   organisation needs to create a synergy and            parties displayed their understanding that
of emphasis are still a cause for concern and        work in an integrated manner with all its             there is a difference between being candid
that calls upon all of us to double our efforts      stakeholders.                                         and being rude. These negotiations unleashed
and improve our financial accounting situation.                                                            that mutual respect between management
                                                     Effective implementation and monitoring of the        and labour. Both parties saw themselves more
The current financial year (2010/11) auditing        above mentioned strategy resonates with an            as partners than opponents. This positive
process will pose a bigger challenge for our         organisational structure, systems and processes       atmosphere resulted in an agreement that was
organization. The Auditor-General will be            that will respond to predetermined goals and          signed on 14 July 2010. The by-product of the
paying particular attention on the performance       objectives, thus all internal stakeholders felt       positive atmosphere was the tranquility that
information this time around. The introduction       it prudent to review the organogram. The              was displayed in the Legislature by the staff
of the Financial Management of the Eastern           review process of the Legislature’s organogram        during the recent public sector strike. This is
Cape Provincial Legislature Act (FIMPLA) will not    started in June and we anticipate its completion      the type of commitment and collaboration for
make our financial accounting capability any         not to go beyond October 2010.                        a desired People’s Assembly.

tribute to the late
MPL Thobile Sithili Bam                                                                                        Deputy Speaker Bulelwa Tunyiswa-Gqoboka

      he Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature         the term 2004-2009, he served on the following
      celebrates the life of a seasoned and          Portfolio Committees: Economic Affairs, Safety
      selfless visionary of our liberation, who      and Liaison, and, Local Government. He also
understood the importance of our vigorous            served as a Whip just before the end of the third
oversight over the Executive in the realization of   Term.
our country’s reconstruction and development
agenda. Honourable Thobile Sithili Bam was           At the start of the Fourth Term, Hon Bam was
a cadre who epitomized the values of the             appointed as the Chairperson of the Portfolio
African National Congress within the legislative     Committee on Safety and Liaison in May 2009.
community.                                           He also served in both the Rules and the
                                                     Internal Arrangement Sub-Committees. For
The late Honourable Bam was born on 1 April          the Honourable Speaker, Presiding officers,
1962 and passed away on 16 July 2010. He             Political Parties, the Whippery and staff of the
fought with dignity and humility to build            Legislature, no words can express our sadness at
a better life for our people. Throughout his         the loss of a valuable Member and Chairperson
contribution as a Member of the Legislature          of the Legislature. He will eternally remain in our
he sacrificed himself for the emancipation of        hearts and minds as long as we shall live. We
the poor masses of our people, as they faced         will forever remember his valuable debates and
poverty and under-development.                       contributions. We treasure the moments shared
                                                     with him.
                                                                                                                 The Honourable MPL T.S. Bam
Hon Bam was sworn in as a Member of the
Provincial Legislature on 15 April 2004. During


  women in Parliament
  paving the way forward                                                                                                                                                         Nombulelo Mosana

            omen have come a long way in ensuring                        In the Legislative sector, the accomplishments                    issues and concerns raised by ordinary women
            their proper representation both in                          of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature are                    are taken into consideration by the Legislative
            Parliament and Legislatures. This issue                      noteworthy. Strides made are most visible                         processes; hence one sees programmes such as
  takes a close look on how women emancipation                           within the political arena wherein 28 out of 63                   Women’s Parliament hosted by the Legislature.
  in the legislative sector has espoused democracy.                      MPLs sworn in 2009 were women.                                    By so doing they not only increase their chances
  Although women remain significantly under-                                                                                               of successes, but also pave the way for the new
  represented in the corporate world, the Legislative                    This is an indication of the seriousness taken by                 generation of women that are still going to enter
  sector has looked beyond the numbers in                                various political parties in ensuring that women                  the legislative sector. This is because women in
  Parliament and Legislatures and focused on                             are well represented in the legislative processes.                this area can only maximize their impact in the
  placing women in leadership positions.                                 An increase in female representation on Party                     legislative process.
                                                                         lists for the Legislature can be attributed to the
  The Millennium Development Goals indicators                            ANC and COPE that have 50/50 representation                       The Legislature’s Women’s Caucus has also
  indicate that the proportion of seats held by                          of women and men in their representation. This                    played a significant role regarding gender
  women in Parliament by 23 June 2010 sits at 44.5%.                     is followed by the DA and the UDM.                                mainstreaming in the legislative processes.
  This puts the country firmly on course to achieve                                                                                        The Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus, MPL
  Millennium Goal no 3; that of gender equality and                      Women in the Legislature have not been                            Busisiwe Nodada, said the Women’s Caucus has
  the empowerment of women by 2015. Besides                              marginalised; they have been included in the                      helped to develop programmes in the fight
  the Southern African Development Community                             highest decision-making structures within the                     against domestic violence, child and women
  target of 50% women in decision-making by 2015                         Legislature. If one looks at the Presiding Officers,              abuse and the brutal killings of old women.
  is close to realisation by the Legislative Sector.                     the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chair of
  Information extracted from Bua News indicates                          Committees are women. Women also play                             As much as there is a lot that has been done
  that the increase in women representation in                           significant role in committees, although much                     in the legislative sector, a lot still needs to be
  the National Assembly has put South Africa in                          still need to be done in this area.                               done in the corporate world. According to the
  the international women in Parliament rankings                                                                                           study conducted by the South African Women
  behind Rwanda and Sweden.                                              Female public representatives perform a                           in Corporate Leadership census of 2004, most
                                                                         considerable role in ensuring that the knowledge                  companies still need to employ black females
                                                                         and understanding they have in promoting                          into top positions.

Deputy Chairperson of Committees       MEC: Transport & Safety         COPE MPL                     Whip              Chairperson: Youth, Gender           COPE MPL                      Premier
          ANC MPL                            ANC MPL                                              ANC MPL              & Disability; ANC MPL                                            ANC MPL

   Chairperson: Roads & Public        MEC: Human Settlements        MEC: Public Works             ANC MPL                    ANC MPL                         Whip                         Whip
       Works; ANC MPL                       ANC MPL                   ANC MPL                                                                              ANC MPL                      ANC MPL

       Chairperson: Health            MEC: Social Development           DA MPL                   COPE MPL                      Whip                Chairperson: Women’s Caucus     PETELA-NGCANGA
           ANC MPL                          ANC MPL                                                                          ANC MPL                        ANC MPL                    COPE MPL

  ALICE NOMVULA PONCO                ZUKISWA THABANENG               XOLISWA TOM             BULELWA TUNYISWA-            TABISO WANA               ANGELA WOODHALL                 NTOMBIZODWA
           ANC MPL                          UDM MPL               MEC: Sport, Recreation,        GQOBOKA                     ANC MPL                      COPE MPL                  TAMARA XHANTI
                                                                 Arts & Culture; ANC MPL    Deputy Speaker; ANC MPL                                                                 Chairperson: Social
                                                                                                                                                                                  Development; ANC MPL
                                                                                                                        general news

                                 Madiba Day
                                                                                            Bulelwa Jela

        n the dawn of a chilly Friday morning on      king’s councillors expressed concern about the
        16 July, Members of the Eastern Cape          low attendance levels of scholars which often
        Provincial Legislature and the community      led to scholars becoming involved in criminal
of Qweqwe location heeded Madiba’s call to            activities. They also mentioned challenges such        Chief Zwelivelile Mandela and Speaker
contribute 67 minutes of their time to community      as the abuse of government properties and the          Fikile Xasa participating in the tree-planting
development in honour of his 92nd birthday. The       grant system. Scholars were encouraged to act          ceremony in celebration of Madiba Day.
focus of the day was education, as the Legislature    responsible and help take care of their school.
and the Department of Education had jointly
sponsored this initiative. The Department of Arts     The Speaker of the Legislature, Mr Fikile Xasa, told
and Culture, the Department of Correctional           the crowd that people, including government,
Services and the South African Police Services        should follow the example set by Madiba who
also came on board to support the programme.          believed in “doing instead of speaking”. He said
The aim of the day was to encourage scholars and      that Madiba priotised education during his
parents to be serious about education as to ensure    presidency; he initiated the schools nutrition
a strong foundation is laid for our future leaders.   programme and built schools in the rural areas.
                                                      The Speaker encouraged people to emulate the
Tins of donated paint, paintbrushes and ladders       wonderful work done by Madiba to help rebuild
were brought in and MPLs wearing protective           our nation. He said ‘by working together, we can
clothing did their part to paint and decorate the     do more’.
walls of Jongisizwe Junior Secondary School.
An official from the Hansard Section of the           The national Department of Arts and Culture
Legislature, Language Practitioner Ms Jeanie          also participated in the programme by handing
Goodrum, who is a talented artist, painted a big      over a South African flag that was hoisted at
                                                                                                             Qweqwe community members listening
picture of Madiba on the school wall.                 the school. The Department runs a ‘Flag in
                                                      Every School’ project that aims to make people
                                                                                                             attentively to the various speeches delivered
Local community members streamed into a tent          understand and appreciate national symbols             at Jongisizwe Junior Secondary School.
that was erected on the school premises to watch      by equipping schools in South Africa with a
the official proceedings and listen to guests         national flag and flagpole.
speakers. Their joyous singing and ululating
warmed up the cold morning. The community             As the day drew to a close, Madiba’s grandson,
can be proud of their local junior and senior         Chief Zwelivelile Mandela, planted a tree on the
school choirs who rendered beautiful pieces of        premises of the school in remembrance and
music and the talent of their local dancers who       commemoration of Madiba’s 92nd birthday
performed invigorating traditional dances.            and dedication to education. He also stressed
                                                      that children should go to school as Madiba
A theme that was strongly conveyed in the             did and the community should work towards
messages delivered by the various speakers was        brightening the future and development of all
the importance of investing in education. The         children in the area.

                                                                                                             MPLs Edmund van Vuuren and Dennis Neer
                                                                                                             doing their 67minutes of goodwill.

                                                                                                             Inmates from a Correctional Centre provided
    The happy faces of some of the pupils from the Jongisizwe Junior Secondary School                        a helping hand by doing general repair work
    who benefitted from the goodwill done by others for those in need.                                       on the Jongisizwe school building.

heeding Madiba’s call to make
the world a better place
                                                                                                                                      Tanishka du Plessis

     “We are not                                      Referring to Madiba’s humility, humanity and
                                                      his earnest hands-on approach which was
                                                      revered during his term as President, Speaker
                                                                                                           continue study. Now it is my time to identify
                                                                                                           those who have potential, to assist them
                                                                                                           and to encourage them… and as a leader, to
      here to see                                     Xasa called upon leaders to continue Madiba’s
                                                      legacy by getting involved in empathy-driven
                                                                                                           encourage those who are in similar favourable
                                                                                                           positions such as I am to assist and make a

    through each
                                                      goodwill projects within their communities to        change where they can”.
                                                      help eradicate poverty. It will not only serve as
                                                      a project to bring the community closer, but

     other, but to                                    such acts of kindness or generosity could have
                                                      a profound emotional and financial impact on

    see each other
                                                      people in ways unimaginable. Speaker Xasa
                                                      described the scale of poverty within society
                                                      as immense, adding that he firmly believed

      through.”                                       that education could serve as a powerful
                                                      barrier to poverty. He said leaders had a role
                                                      to play in identifying a child within a needy
      Unknown                                         family who ultimately through education could
                                                      become a change agent for the family and the

       he inimitable legacy of Nelson Mandela
                                                      “If you want to make a change within a family,
       continues to inspire our nation and the
                                                      then education is your top priority. Invest in
       world to make the world a better place
                                                      that child’s education. Invest in that child’s
for all. No matter how small one’s contribution,
                                                      future. In your own small way, you can make             Speaker Fikile Xasa believes in exemplary
the knock-on effect has the potential to
                                                      a difference. If there are many small ways,             leadership.
change the life of a person or a community in
                                                      imagine the huge impact at the end of the
profound ways.
                                                      day”, explained Speaker Xasa.
This rings true for Speaker Fikile Xasa who
                                                      He sighted examples of many of today’s top
believes that leaders should embrace Madiba’s
                                                      successful businessmen or politicians who
humanitarian and ubuntu leadership style and
                                                      hail from poor rural backgrounds, including
way of life in order to make a positive change
                                                      himself, who can attest to the goodwill and
within their own communities. The Legislature’s
                                                      encouragement received from benefactors that
recent involvement in the renovation of a local
                                                      helped them to chart new paths into previously
school in Qweqwe village, a rural area that lies
                                                      unimagined territories. Speaker Xasa emphasized
on the outskirts of Mthatha, inspired Speaker
                                                      that one of the most potent contributions that
Xasa to sustain this momentum by putting
                                                      leaders could make within their community was
plans in motion to replicate a similar project at a
                                                      to make other people, especially children, aware
local school in his constituency area of Molteno.
                                                      of their own potential and their greatness. The
He said the process will entail collaborating with
                                                      Speaker followed suit in his adult life by acting
a number of local stakeholders to realise this
                                                      as a financial benefactor and mentor for many
worthy community project and demonstrate
                                                      young men in his community; some who are
that change can be effected in various ways,                                                                  Brighten the world for a child by helping to
                                                      currently employed as principals and teachers
regardless of money being available or not.
                                                      after being spurred on by the Speaker’s passion         unlock their endless potential.
He further plans on expanding this project by
                                                      for the teaching and education profession. The
posing a challenge to all 63 MPLs to do the
                                                      Speaker and his family are currently helping a
same within their constituencies; the ultimate
                                                      young man who is a student at an FET college
goal will be for each MPL to ‘adopt’ and renovate
                                                      in Butterworth.
a school within their constituency during one
financial year.
                                                      When asked about the reward that comes from
                                                      doing such deeds for others less fortunate, the
Speaker Xasa felt it was important that leaders,
                                                      Speaker smiled broadly and answered simply: “I
especially public representatives, were hands-
                                                      appreciate their achievements for they are like
on with their communities and understood the
                                                      sons to me and I have a strong connection to
environment in which they found themselves,
                                                      them. And it does feel good to be considered a
so that they were enlightened about the
                                                      role model. I never expected to be where I am
realities faced by the communities that they
                                                      today. One feels that society has invested in you,
represented and could adequately respond to
                                                      so you should do the same and beyond. When
the needs of their constituents. He cautioned
                                                      I was young, I worked hard as I had a bursary
leaders against creating distance between
                                                      from high school, but people still had to assist
themselves and their communities as that
                                                      me. Back then, if you passed matric, you could          Joyous celebrations on Madiba Day in the
could inevitably impede accountability and
                                                      go to Johannesburg and work in the mines as             Qweqwe village.
their credibility as public representatives.
                                                      a clerk. One fellow encouraged me to stay and

                                                                                                                               general news

engaging in meaningful
discussions with workers
                                                                                      Nombulelo Mosana

      he Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature             different sectors of the labour market. Common
      continuously gives voice to different              among unions was the issue of deprivation of
      sectors of our society. This year the              land rights and land reform. Rural development
second Workers’ Parliament was hosted in the             and access to farming were amongst the issues
Raymond Mhlaba Chamber. Workers’ Parliament              raised. Another matter of concern raised was             The Provincial Secretary of Cosatu,
is designed to ensure that workers have a say            the exploitation of vulnerable groups such as            Mr Isaac Rayi, addressing the House
in the decision-making processes and hold                farm workers and workers within the clothing,
the Executive and the Legislature accountable.           textile and footwear industry. Job losses in the
This event also affords MPLs an opportunity to           textile industry due to global economic crisis
engage with ordinary workers.                            were also raised as a matter of concern.

The Speaker of the Legislature, Mr Fikile Xasa,          Mr Isaac Rayi, the Provincial Secretary of Cosatu
reminded delegates in his opening remarks that           in the Eastern Cape province, whilst raising
the first Workers’ Parliament, which was held in         challenges faced by workers in different sectors,
2005, was the first of its kind. All other provinces     reiterated the issue of land reform that is
have subsequently come to the Eastern Cape               moving at a very slow pace, huge infrastructure
to learn about how to organise the event. The            and service backlogs in the former Transkei.
first Workers’ Parliament culminated into a job          The Legislature was put under scrutiny,
summit that was organised to look specifically           whereupon he raised their dissatisfaction
at the socio-economic challenges facing                  with the manner in which the Legislature
the province. “This year’s Workers’ Parliament           conducts its oversight function, more especially
takes stock of that formidable foundation and            when analysing government’s strategic plan
evaluates the work done during that time and             documents.
what needs to be taken forward”, said Speaker
Xasa.                                                    “The committees fail to ensure that resolutions
                                                         taken at various summits are captured in these
                                                                                                                  Labour representatives participating
The MEC for Human Settlements, Ms                        plans and access to portfolio committees is
                                                                                                                  at the Workers’ Parliament
Nombulelo Mabandla, outlined the progress                limited”, said Mr Rayi.
made by the Executive in terms of implementing
resolutions that were taken by the previous              The Department of Labour is embarking on a           At the end of the session, the following
Workers’ Parliament, which were inter alia:              process of reviewing labour laws, after having       issues were raised in the Workers’ Parliament
                                                         realised that most of the challenges that face       declaration:
•	 	 irstly	workers	agreed	that	strategic	initiatives	   the labour market affects the workers and
   should be undertaken that state land should           the ability of the Department to monitor                W
                                                                                                              •	 	 orkers	are	deeply	concerned	that	after	all	
   be given to farm workers who work on it and           implementation of labour market policies and            this time basic demands have not yet been
   that training should be provided.                     enforce compliance to legislations. This was            met. Workers are angered that widespread
•	 	t	 also	 resolved	 to	 promote	 sustainable	         revealed by the Deputy Director General of              poverty and degradation continue to persist
   human livelihoods by formulating a Spatial            the Department of Labour, Ms Siyanda Zondeki.           in a liberated South Africa.
   Development Strategy to ensure that land              The amended laws will enable the department             W
                                                                                                              •	 	 orkers	 pledge	 their	 solidarity	 with	
   transferred to farm workers was productively          to address challenges such as:                          oppressed people and those under attack in
   utilised and that housing and basic services                                                                  occupied Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma,
   were provided.                                           I
                                                         •	 	nability	of	inspectors	to	access	certain	           Western Sahara, Swaziland, Somalia and
•	 	 orkers’	 Parliament	 resolved	 that	 acting	 in	       workplaces, particularly farms.                      all other countries affected by imperialist
   consent with other social partners, a strategy           I
                                                         •	 	nability	of	inspectors	to	resolve	cases	            oppression under threat from the West.
   to stem job loss should be developed and                 timeously due to prolonged enforcement               They resolve to push ahead with effective
   a provincial industrial strategy should be               processes.                                           worker solidarity action through boycotts,
   formulated to unlock structural economic                 C
                                                         •	 	 ommercialization	of	employment	contract	           propaganda and whatever other activity
   challenges and set the provincial economy                through the process of externalization and           may be effective to ensure support for them
   towards high economic growth and a                       other means.                                         in this country.
   development trajectory that creates jobs                 F
                                                         •	 	 ast-tracking	the	pace	of	transformation	of	        I
                                                                                                              •	 	n	dealing	with	the	provincial	situation,	they	
   and alleviate poverty.                                   the labour market.                                   demand a moratorium on all retrenchments
•	 	 he	 last	 resolution	 was	 to	 implement	                                                                   and immediate government intervention to
   comprehensive public sector transformation.           “This process of labour law amendment is                prevent closures and retrenchments.
                                                         underway and it is envisaged that by the end            T
                                                                                                              •	 	 he	 extent	 of	 retrenchments	 during	 this	
The Chief Executive Officer of the Border Kei            of financial year we will be able to have them          crisis was a serious threat to the integrity of
Chamber of Business, Mr Les Holbrook, gave a             passed by Parliament. We are also aware of the          affiliated unions. Workers need to be vigilant
business perspective in relation to employment           fact that laws alone will not be able to transform      and guard against employer’s attempts to
creation, investment opportunities and lastly            the labour market if they are not enforced. In          restructure the labour force in the guise of
reflected on industrial policy and strategies.           dealing with these challenges, I have highlighted       retrenchments allegedly made necessary by
                                                         that we have to explore other means to improve          adverse market conditions.
The Congress of South African Trade Union                our visibility and ensure that we protect the           W
                                                                                                              •	 	 orkers	 call	 for	 the	 upwards	 reviewing	 of	
(Cosatu) and Nactu affiliated unions used the            dignity of workers,” Zondeki said.                      current standards and intensification of
platform to raise challenges faced by workers in                                                                 service delivery.

religious fraternity engages
Legislature and Government                                                                                                              Zukisa Nduneni

                                                                                                      collapsing health services and growing
                                                                                                      bottlenecks impeding the poor from accessing
                                                                                                      government and developmental services”.

                                                                                                      The Chairperson of the Institutionalised Days
                                                                                                      sub-committee in the Legislature, MPL Alfred
                                                                                                      Mtsi, said the focus was on using interfaith
                                                                                                      dialogues to ensure religion was resurrected as
                                                                                                      the cornerstone of law-making and oversight
                                                                                                      of the work done by government, as well as a
                                                                                                      cornerstone for inclusion of all groupings of our
                                                                                                      society in the legislative work of the Legislature.

                                                                                                        “We need to make people
                                                                                                        understand how they can
                                                                                                         make their democracy
Members of the religious fraternity who participated in the successful 2010                                 work for them.”
annual Religious Parliament.
                                                                                                      “As the Legislature we concede that we still have

     he Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature,       representatives from various faith institutions,   a long way to go in educating our electorate
     in partnership with the Eastern Cape          including the South African Council of Churches.   and our civic society on various platforms
     Interfaith Working Committee, hosted the      Representatives from the religious community       available to them to engage with government
provincial Religious Parliament in the Raymond     within the province deliberated on synergies       and their elected leadership, including us as
Mhlaba Chamber of the Bhisho Legislature.          that need to be enhanced to use religion as        Members of the Legislature. We need to make
                                                   a means of enhancing moral regeneration,           people understand how they can make their
The Religious Parliament is part of the            eradicating    corruption     and     improving    democracy work for them” asserted MPL Mtsi.
Legislature’s institutionalised days that are      service delivery that improves the economic        He expressed concern that beyond casting
observed as part of enhancing participation        development of people. Reverend Mpumelelo          a vote, people at civic society do not know
of civic society’s designated groupings in the     Qwabaza, the Chief Executive Officer of the        that special parliamentary sittings, such as the
law-making, oversight and citizen participation    South African Council of Churches, said “This      Religious Parliament and other institutionalised
activities of the legislative arm of government.   year’s Religious Parliament is practical. We       days, were aimed at enhancing the voice
It is championed by the Legislature and the        seek to engage Government and Parliament           and the will of the people in governance and
Interfaith Working Committee which has             on decisive interventions to deal with our         accountability of the elected.

                                                                               The Eastern Cape led the way forward when it
    providing a                                                                held South Africa’s first Religious Parliament
                                                                               on 11 July 2001 in its Bhisho Chamber.

Godly and moral
                                                                                    he Legislature’s objective was to deepen interfaith dialogue for
                                                                                    social cohesion, moral regeneration, public participation and
                                                                                    enhancing service delivery in the province. The resolutions

 perspective on                                                                that were adopted by the participants on that historic day included
                                                                               the establishment of an Interfaith Working Committee to pursue
                                                                               a common vision of providing a moral and godly perspective on

                                                                               matters of governance.

                                                                               The event drew a high level of interest nationally; it spurred on
                                                                               other Legislatures to hold similar events and created interesting

          issues                                                               debates on ‘the relationship between religion and the State’. The
                                                                               guest speaker at the event, former Deputy President Jacob Zuma,
                                                                               emphasized the need for a partnership between government and
                                                                               the religious community, stating that “while the transformation of
                                                    Tanishka du Plessis        our country needs political, social and economic wisdom, it also
                                                                               needs spiritual power”. The former Deputy President would launch
                                                                               the Moral Regeneration Movement a year later as a move to curb
                                                                               society’s succumb to moral decay.

                                                                                                                             general news

                                                        by a legislative sector policy which aims to
                                                        set up common norms and standards for all
                                                        legislatures, while respecting the constitutional
                                                                                                            sharing best
                                                        status of each Legislature. A five-year strategic
                                                        plan has been developed to implement the
                                Tanishka du Plessis     sector policy and has been adopted by the
                                                        Speakers’ Forum. Speaker Fikile Xasa explained      with Lesotho
      he Eastern Cape played host to a Speakers’        during the Legislature’s 2010 policy speech that
      Forum meeting that was held on 19-20
      August in Port Elizabeth to discuss issues
                                                        the activities of the strategic plan would be
                                                        integrated into the plans and programmes of
                                                                                                                                                   Bulelwa Jela
affecting the legislative sector. The Speakers’         the Legislature.

Forum is a major role-player in strengthening
                                                                                                              n the past few weeks, the Eastern Cape
the legislative sector in order for it to flourish in   “The norms and standards of this policy are of
                                                                                                              Provincial Legislature was visited by a
South Africa.                                           great importance to the Eastern Cape Provincial
                                                                                                              delegation from the Lesotho Parliament. The
                                                        Legislature. Not only will it change the way in
                                                                                                            objective of their visit was a study tour which
The Forum emerged when National Parliament              which we perform certain functions, but it
                                                                                                            entailed how the ECPL does things so they can
and the 9 Provincial Legislatures collaborated          may also introduce new activities that will play
                                                                                                            emulate whatever they’ve found suitable for
to join forces to provide a forum for collective        an important role in deepening democracy in
                                                                                                            them back home in the Mountain Kingdom.
decision making on key issues affecting the             South Africa,” said Speaker Xasa.
legislative sector; it therefore serves as the
                                                                                                            As their parliament is presently undergoing
highest decision making body on policy                  The sector policy identified nation-building,
                                                                                                            restructuring, they hope to learn more from how
matters. It is composed of the Speaker and              the deepening of parliamentary democracy,
                                                                                                            the Legislature conducts its House business.
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, the            oversight, accountability, public participation
                                                                                                            The delegation was warmly welcomed by
Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the           and building a strong parliamentary support
                                                                                                            the Legislature officials during their visit to
NCOP and Speakers and Deputy Speakers from              service as some of its key policy priorities. The
                                                                                                            the various administrative sections within
the 9 Provincial Legislatures.                          Speakers’ Forum is supported by the Secretaries’
                                                                                                            the Legislature who gladly shared their best
                                                        Association of the Legislatures of South Africa
                                                                                                            practices and information with the group.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed                (SALSA) which makes recommendation to the
on 17 March 2010 which included a basis for             forum on matters of common interest and
                                                                                                            The delegation learnt about the processes
the sharing of experiences, co-ordination of            sector-wide programmes. Each Legislature has
                                                                                                            involving official House Business documents
common interest programmes and projects                 a Secretary to the Legislature who is responsible
                                                                                                            such as the Announcement, Tablings and
and improving the standard of service                   for running the administration of his/her
                                                                                                            Committees (ATC), the committees system and
within the sector. The sector is governed               respective Legislature.
                                                                                                            the administrative support that MPLs receive
                                                                                                            from their support staff. The delegation was
                                                                                                            fascinated by the new concepts, as they were
                                                                                                            exposed to a whole lot of ideas that were novel
                                                                                                            to them.

                                                                                                            Their exposure visit to the province was
                                                                                                            concluded with an informal braai and an
                                                                                                            outing to a local beach. This was a memorable
                                                                                                            experience for one of the delegates as he saw
                                                                                                            the beach for the first time in his life. Before they
                                                                                                            flew back home, the Legislature gave them gifts
   Seated front row (left to right): Speaker JF van Wyk (Northern Cape), Speaker S Easo                     as mementos of a fruitful visit.
   (Western Cape), Speaker F Xasa (Eastern Cape), Speaker M Sisulu (National Parliament),
   Chairperson MJ Mahlangu (NCOP) and Speaker N Maloyi (North West)
   Standing back row (left to right): Deputy Speaker B Tunyiswa-Gqoboka (Eastern
   Cape), Deputy Speaker MM Ramadwa (Limpopo), Deputy Speaker V Siwela
   (Mpumalanga) and Deputy Speaker MA Tsopo (Free State)

The 2001 successful Religious Parliament                and, in particular, the cultivation of ubuntu (or   Dr Motshekga described the Religious
was consequently followed with Religious                Botho) values and principles is a prerequisite      Parliament event as “a historic event which
Parliaments held in 2002, 2003, 2008 and                for nation building and social cohesion. Thus       should be emulated in other provinces as
2010. The Chief Whip of the ANC in Parliament,          the central tasks of moral regeneration and         a platform through which the legislatures
Dr Mathole Motshekga, who was a guest                   creation of a just and caring society requires a    interface with and collaborate with the faith
speaker at the 2010 Religious Parliament,               unity of purpose and collaboration between          communities for the creation of a just and
provided insight into the Interfaith Movement           government and the interfaith movement”,            caring society”. He told the participants that
and echoed the sentiments of our former                 said Dr Motshekga.                                  the National Assembly was following suit
Deputy President of the need for collaboration                                                              as it had adopted a resolution approving
between government and all sectors of                   He did not mince his words with his opinion         the establishment of a Parliamentary
society, including the religious sector.                that the country needed a campaign and              Interfaith Council to facilitate dialogue and
                                                        programmes with clear targets for the               collaboration between Parliament and the
“South Africa needs a partnership between               creation of a just and caring society based on      interfaith movement in the country and
government and the interfaith movement for              ubuntu values and principles instead of “talk       abroad.
reconstruction, development and progress.               shops on a value centred and developmental
The need for this partnership has historical            state”. He added that a national campaign           In his closing remarks, he called upon faith
roots and is buttressed by the understanding            for the recognition of one day in a year as         based organizations “to put aside their
that human development has both a spiritual             Ubuntu Day was in the pipeline following a          differences and build a strong and progressive
and material aspects and that there can be              decision made at an Interfaith workshop on          interfaith movement for the creation of a
no social without spiritual transformation. It          26 July in Johannesburg.                            just and caring society based on ubuntu (or
is abundantly clear that moral regeneration                                                                 Botho) values and principles.”
  capacity-building programme
  for MPLs enhances oversight
                                                                                                                                         Nombulelo Mosana

        he Speakers’ Forum has undertaken to           The programme content was informed by the            task demands collective effort which would
        enhance the professional legislative and       following:                                           not be rigid, but rational and founded in the
        oversight capabilities of the Members of           r
                                                       •	 	 ecommendations	 of	 the	 training	 needs	       sophistication of an inner eye” said he.
  Parliament and Legislatures through capacity-            assessment exercise conducted in Parliament
  building programmes. This was revealed during            and provincial Legislatures in September-        Deputy Speaker Tsopo, who was the guest
  the launch of the capacity-building programme            October 2009;                                    speaker, took the gathering down memory lane
  for Members of the Eastern Cape Provincial               f
                                                       •	 	eedback	,	new	innovative	ideas	and	inputs	       by outlining the background of the capacity-
  Legislature (MPLs) in East London. The launch            received from Members;                           building programme. She explained that the
  was attended by MPLs, the Premier of the                 a
                                                       •	 	 nd	 evaluation	 and	 analysis	 of	 previous	    Speakers’ Forum deliberated in June 2009 on
  Eastern Cape, Ms Noxolo Kiviet, and various              legislative sector programmes.                   how they could make an impact within the
  Members of the Executive Council (MECs). The                                                              legislative sector by ensuring that things were
  Deputy Speaker of the Free State Legislature, Ms     The Public Administration Leadership and             done differently during the Fourth Term for
  Ouma Tsopo, told delegates that the capacity-        Management Academy (PALAMA) is the entity            Legislatures and Parliament. It was agreed that
  building programme was a unique professional         that has been approved by the Speakers’ Forum,       there was a need to make Legislatures and
  training and development programme that              together with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan        Parliament more vibrant and to serve as an
  was sponsored by the South African Legislative       University, to design a programme content that       activist’s legislative sector that would champion
  Sector Programme, under the leadership of the        will be tailor-made to address skills required       democracy, she told delegates. Delegates were
  Speakers’ Forum.                                     by Members in the legislative sector. The            told that in order to achieve the notion of
                                                       programme will have a flexible entry and exit        activist’s legislative sector, Members needed to
                                                       levels depending on experience, academic             be capacitated. Having identified that need, the
                                                       qualifications and any other criteria determined     Speakers’ Forum appointed a reference group to
                                                       by Parliament and respective Legislatures.           proceed with the capacity-building programme
                                                       Curriculum developed is as follows:                  for Members as a matter of urgency.
                                                       •	 Introductory	programme;
                                                       •	 	 ost	Graduate	certificate	in	Governance	and	     The Chairperson of Committees, MPL Alfred
                                                           Leadership;                                      Mtsi, commended the programme as ad hoc
                                                       •	 Master’s	programme.                               training that was based on workshops or
                                                                                                            seminars had little impact to further knowledge
                                                       The Chief Whip of the Ruling Party, MPL              and skills. Premier Kiviet congratulated the
                                                       Humphrey Maxhegwana, said in his welcoming           Speakers’ Forum for pushing through until the
                                                       address that human beings can change the             programme succeeded. South Africa needs
                                                       world by developing their skillls. If MPLs are       a calibre of leaders that are able to provide
                                                       not capacitated, the world can not change, “our      solutions that the nation desperately requires.
Empowering MPLs to make a difference in
the legislative sector.

  Eastern Cape schools compete
  in hot debates                                                                                                                                Bulelwa Jela

        cores of Grade 11 and 12 learners from         and newspapers alike, so as, to improve their        judges comprised of representatives from
        different Eastern Cape high schools            language and grammar skills. It was emphasized       Rhodes University, Walter Sisulu University, the
        participated in the annual provincial leg      that the correct use of language could make a        Department of Education and the Hansard
  of the Anglo American Young Communicators            significant difference for those learners who        section of the Legislature.
  Awards debating competition held in the              wanted to embark on a career in literature or in
  Raymond Mhlaba Chamber of the Legislature            the law profession one day.                          The awards included medals for the forum
  on 24 July. The prestigious public speaking                                                               discussions winners and a floating trophy
  competition is held annually in all nine provinces   Most scholars expressed their excitement as it       for the top scholar. The top scholar award
  and is in partnership with the Department of         was their first time for many of them to be inside   went to Clarendon High School Pupil, Mati
  Education and the Sowetan newspaper.                 the Chamber, hence they were tempted to ask          Ndhlovu from East London. Proof that the
                                                       questions about the House gadgets not related        Eastern Cape turns out winners was when Mati
  The competition is open to learners whose            to the competition itself. The debates which         Ndhlovu went on to represent the province
  mother tongue is not English. The competition        were of a high standard, were divided into two       at the national tournament and won hands-
  aims to boost the learners’ self confidence, their   categories; prepared and unprepared speeches         down! Congratulations Mati on a wonderful
  communication skills and their future leadership     that ranged from a number of different topics        achievement!
  skills. Seeing that English is considered the        such as perceptions, attitudes, discrimination
  global business language, learners were              and corruption, which, as they argued, were
  encouraged to read as much as possible, books        the cancer of South Africa. The competition

                                                                                                                   general news

FIFA World Cup brought
success to our shores!                                                                                                          Tanishka du Plessis

       rguably at the heart of South Africa’s    community as MPLs and staff learnt the            been seriously looked at by the International
       success as host of the 2010 FIFA          moves ahead of the World Cup kick-off. The        Marketing Council’s (IMC) whose main
       World Cup is the unity and true spirit    entrance to the Legislature’s Raymond Mhlaba      objective is to market our country through
of ubuntu that South Africans displayed          Chamber underwent a slight transformation;        the Brand South Africa campaign. It was the
during the event to the world. Our nation        it was decked out in a soccer theme and           IMC who initiated the World Cup nation-
proudly stood tall, united in yellow-and-        soccer balls were strung from the ceiling and     building campaigns such as Football Friday.
green, to showcase our country’s capabilities    banners with words of encouragement were          On 24 August they launched the Legacy
in hosting the highest anticipated sporting      hung on the walls.                                campaign which calls upon all South Africans
event in Africa.                                                                                   to continue this momentum and celebration
                                                 In the build-up to the World Cup, it was not      by becoming involved in various nation-
The spin-off from an event of this magnitude,    unusual to hear a non-follower of soccer          building, cultural and heritage activities.
held on African soil for the first time, could   commenting about ‘not understanding the
yield positive results, because it was an        unnecessary racket’ that was sweeping the         The Legacy campaign targeted every Friday
opportunity for South Africa to shine and to     country… that was until the soccer gogga          over a period of six weeks; it kicked off on 27
project a positive image of South Africa and     bit them! The enthusiasm and support for          August with a ‘Support the Class of 2010’ that
Africa. Unsurprisingly Afro-pessimism reared     our Bafana Bafana players, led by captain         included encouraging people to donate their
its ugly head when FIFA announced on 15          Aaron Mokoena, was irresistible. Our hopes        time and skills to help a pupil study or to give
May that our country had been selected as        for victory were clearly etched on the faces of   old textbooks to a school. This was followed
the host country of the World Cup; sadly         the South African supporters who attended         up on 3 September with the ‘Do something
this negativity was not only expressed           the nailbiting matches. When Bafana Bafana        different’day that celebrated the diverse forms
from outside our country’s borders, but          was knocked out, the despair was tangible in      of creativity found in our nation. Recycling
also within. There was speculation being         South Africa, but in true sportsmanship style,    and the environment received priority on 10
bandied around about whether SA had the          we picked ourselves, dusted off the anguish,      September during the ‘Our beautiful country’
infrastructure to pull of this massive project   and zealously went on to support Ghana;           day. People were encouraged to host a
in the time allocated, whether our stadiums      Africa’s last remaining hope.                     recycling day, plant a tree or organize a clean-
would be world-class or not and whether our                                                        up of one’s community. On ‘Do it day,’ which
foreign visitors would serve as easy pickings    Though the FIFA World Cup trophy did              took place on 17 September, people rolled
for criminals. Well, the world now knows         not remain in Africa, Africans were still the     up their sleeves and volunteered their time,
that one must never underestimate the will       victorious winners of an awesome historic         money or resources to helping an existing
and the ability of South Africans. This was a    event. Accolades streamed in from all corners     project within the community. Our South
golden opportunity that the South African        of the world, proclaiming the distinctiveness     African heritage will be celebrated on 24
government and ordinary South Africans           of the 2010 World Cup, shortly after the          September; so go head and light a fire, throw
could not let pass… and boy-oh-boy, we           glittering closing ceremony that was held in      some inyama or vegetables on the coals,
pulled off an amazing hat trick in the unique    the spectacular calabash-shaped Soccer City.      invite your friends from different cultures and
style that is synonymous with iAfrika and her    Even the initially reviled vuvuzela became        celebrate our diversity, our strength and our
glorious rainbow nation!                         a must-have memento across the world. In          achievements.
                                                 fact, vuvuzela became a celebrated buzzword
The Legislature community wholeheartedly         in its own right; the word ‘vuvuzela’ was         Our pride as a nation should be evident
supported the Fly the Flag and Football Friday   entered into the latest edition of the Oxford     in the way we treat each other and in the
campaigns as an incredible celebratory and       Dictionary of English and the social internet     way we address each other. We have only
patriotic mood descended on our country.         site YouTube had placed a button on its           seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of our
MPLs and staff demonstrated their support        screens, which when pressed, would emit           potential for greatness as a nation. There is so
by wearing soccer jerseys, at House sittings     that infamous deafening sound that became         much more that we have to offer each other
or portfolio committee meetings, and also        symbolic of South African soccer.                 and the world. We are South Africa, a nation
had an opportunity to pen their signatures                                                         brimming with hope and zeal… our success
on the giant replica of the Bafana jersey that   A question that was being asked post-FIFA         story has only just begun!
toured throughout the country. The Diski         was whether we as South Africans could
dance craze also took hold of the Legislature    keep the momentum of unity going? This has

Africa Day...
celebrating our past, present and future                                                                                                 Tanishka du Plessis

   With one voice,
let’s loudly proclaim:
     “I am a proud
    South African,
      I am a proud

        frica Day - commemorated on 25
        May - celebrates the day when
        the Organisation of African Unity,
the forerunner to the African Union (AU),              Let us as proud South Africans celebrate our achievements as we continue moving
was formed in 1963; the catalyst for the               forward as a united nation.
commitment of African leaders to the ideal
of emancipation of African countries from           desire to live in a free and just society with        MPL Abraham-Ntantiso believes that “in
colonialism. Africa Day calls upon African          dignity and peace. Yes, we do have a long             the journey forward, in the journey towards
countries to recommit themselves to the             way to still go, but just reflect on the many         development we need each other, we need
goals of democracy, good governance and             milestones that have been achieved in a               the power within each of us”. She added that
accountability as advocated in the African          relatively short space of time… how can one           it was expected that the journey forward
Peer Review Mechanism. Africa Day is an             not appreciate the beauty and marvel at such          would not be smooth sailing and recalled
important part of our heritage and should           achievements?                                         Madiba’s words in ‘Long walk to freedom’:
be respected as a day that evokes a sense of                                                              “I have walked that long road to freedom. I
unity, hope and patriotism amongst citizens         One truly proud South African who                     have tried not to falter; I have made missteps
of African countries.                               greatly treasures South Africa and Africa’s           along the way. But I have discovered the secret
                                                    resilience and accomplishments is MPL                 that after climbing a great hill, one only finds
When one reflects on the history of our             Noxolo Abraham-Ntantiso, who serves as                that there are many more hills to climb. I have
continent, it is a tale laden with the horrors      Chairperson of the Eastern Cape branch                taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of
of oppression, colonialism, civil wars,             of the Commonwealth Parliamentary                     the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look
poverty and hunger, but yet it is also one          Association’s Executive Committee. She                back on the distance I have come. But I can rest
of tremendous courage; the courage to               said that Africa Day celebrated the identity          only for a moment, for with freedom comes
persevere in the quest to seek freedom and          and achievements of Africa and helped to              responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long
the tenacity to bring forth an economic and         strengthen the continent in a variety of ways,        walk is not yet ended.”
social upliftment in our country and in our         especially on the economic front.
continent despite a myriad of challenges.                                                                 The success of South Africa’s own ‘long walk’
Mother Africa has an indomitable spirit which       “Africa realised that her strength as a continent     forward is closely linked to the future of Africa.
surges fervently in her people. Our feistiness      lies in the fact that there has be unity in Africa;   The South African legislative sector has over
as Africans is found in the likes of Kenya’s        hence we have structures such as NEPAD                the years forged a number of relationships
Wangari Maathai, Ghana’s Kofi Annan and             which is the blue print of an integrated              with other African states to deepen
South Africa’s Madiba, Desmond Tutu, Albert         socio-economic development framework for              democracy in Africa and pledge support to
Luthuli, and Nadine Gordimer. It does not           Africa,” explained MPL Abraham-Ntantiso.              move forward together as a continent. The
subscribe to a particular race or culture; but is   NEPAD’s primary objectives include                    Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
deeply embedded in the knowledge of who             eradicating poverty, directing African                (CPA) promotes the advancement of
we are and our love for our country. It lies        countries towards sustainable growth and              parliamentary democracy by enhancing
in knowing, and rejoicing, that you are truly       development, halting the marginalization of           knowledge and understanding of democratic
home when you are able to close your eyes           Africa on the global front, boosting Africa’s         governance. The South African Development
and lift your face to embrace the warmth of         integration into the global economy and               Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF),
the African sun as it beats down on you on          speeding up the empowerment of women.                 of which the South African Parliament is a
a hot summers day or listen to the beat of          African countries can learn a great deal from         member, provides a platform for parliaments
an African thunderstorm as it pelts down on         each other by sharing information and lessons         and parliamentarians to promote regional
the African soil to cool the heat of the night.     learnt from our shared experiences said MPL           integration in SADC and promote human
Being South African and African fills one with      Abraham-Ntantiso. If Mother Africa wants her          rights, peace and good governance. The Pan-
immense pride. Look at South Africa; we are         voice to be heard on the global playground,           African Parliament, which is the legislative
a beautiful rainbow nation who have risen           she needs to show a united continent, for             body of the AU, implements the policies and
above our violent apartheid past due to our         there is power behind the voice of a united           objectives of the AU and provides a platform

                                                                                                                 general news

for Africans and grassroots organisations to       Orlando Stadium in Soweto in support of our
be more involved in meaningful discussions         Springboks.
and decision-making pertaining to the
challenges facing the continent.                   Africa has proven that she is no push-over
                                                   in the international athletic arena; many of
MPL Abraham-Ntantiso sighted that the              the world’s top athletes are Africans. MPL
challenges that our continent needed to            Abraham-Ntantiso made special mention of
address in order to become a global force          our athletes with disabilities who have set
included eradicating disease, illiteracy,          the athletic world ablaze with their talent
poverty and the civil wars that continue to        and also helped promote the participation
rage. “We need to maximise our agriculture         of people with disabilities in the competitive
sector for the economy of Africa rest on           sports arena. We don’t have to look any
agriculture. We need to prevent disease. We        further than our own backyard to admire the
need to emphasize the importance of ABET           skill and determination of athletes such as
if we want to eradicate illiteracy; through
education we can unlock the potential and
                                                   Paralympian David Roos and Zanele Situ.
                                                                                                          The beauty of
creativity of our youth. We need to change         Sport also reaches beyond the boundaries of
the mindset of our youth from ‘who can             other countries and helps to unify countries,
employ me?’ to ‘how can I create a job for         such as was seen during the 2010 FIFA World
myself and for others?’.”                          Cup which helped to transform the image
                                                   of South Africa and Africa. MPL Abraham-
She added that Africa should not be looked         Ntantiso described the 2010 Cup as a
upon as a continent of hand-outs, but              “celebration for the entire Africa, as the World
rightfully rather as a continent from which        Cup was held on African soil for the very
other continents can learn. Mother Africa          first time. This celebration was on another
has produced many internationally hailed           level; we may have lost on the field, but as
intellectuals, academics, writers and leaders      African people we won. The whole world
who were taught at academic institutions           knows about us. They know that Africa can
on our very home soil. She made an example         overcome and can make it happen. The
of our local Fort Hare University which can        sceptics who said SA would not be able to
boast with an alumni list that contains the        host a successful tournament were proven
names of distinguished political leaders - its     wrong. South Africa was just a stage for the
most famous alumni being Madiba. She               entire Africa…an example of how we, as                 Africa lies within
praised African writers such as Tiya Soga, a       Africans, can overcome anything.”
prolific writer whose work influenced and
transcended the image of African literature.       She added that the success of Football Friday,
On the issue of gender representation, MPL         which encouraged South Africans to wear
Abraham-Ntantiso was of the opinion that           soccer shirts on Fridays to show support
certain African states, especially South Africa,   for the World Cup and BafanaBafana, has
had made progress in relation to this issue        spurred South Africans to look for “something
and were committed to the advancement              that will bring us together again and identify
of women’s rights and gender equality. AU          us as that successful host and as Africans”.
member states have played a significant            As a person who highly values her Xhosa
role in shaping debates on women                   heritage, she laughingly suggested that we
empowerment. The CPA’s Commonwealth                should perhaps look at wearing traditional
Women Parliamentarians Association, of             gear on Fridays. For this MPL, it is not unusual
which an Eastern Cape branch was launched          to see her attending House sittings dressed
in the Legislature in March, is based on the       in traditional Xhosa attire and wearing her
premise of discussing ways to increase female      favourite pair of beaded takkies; so move over
representation in Parliament and including
gender mainstreaming in CPA activities. The
                                                   Jimmy Choo, because in Africa the beaded
                                                   takkie rules in the Legislature corridors!             her people
SADC PF has developed a protocol stating
that there should be 50% women in areas of
decision-making by 2015.
                                                                                                          upcoming events
The continent has also grown in terms of
sport. MPL Abraham-Ntantiso explained
that sport had played an important role                         Taking the Legislature to the People
in SA’s history and as a means to fight for                     The annual Taking the Legislature to the People public participation initiative
freedom during the apartheid era; sanctions                     will be taking place in the Nkonkobe Local Municipality (Lovedale FET
ensured that the country was banned from                        College in Alice) from 5-7 October. This public outreach programme aims
participating in international games. Today                     to bring MPLs closer to the voters within an identified municipal area and
sport transcends cultures and race groups                       to encourage citizens to participate in the legislative processes so that their
and helps to build nations. A perfect example                   voices are heard on issues affecting them.
of the power of sport to cut across boundaries
is the recent international Tri-Nations rugby
test that was played in front of a staggering                   Swearing-in of new Member
90 000 crowd, a blend of all races, that packed                 A new member of the Provincial Legislature will be sworn into office at the
                                                                Taking the Legislature to the People event in October 2010.

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