MESSAGE FROM THE CONVENOR - Sipho Mbele
“I believe that here in South Africa, with all our diversities of colour and race; we will show the world a new pattern for democracy. There is a challenge for us to set a new example for all. Let us not side-step this task” Chief Albert Luthuli- former President of the ANC
The South African Constitution recognize our diversity, it recognizes and respect all languages and embraces different cultures. The month of September provides an opportunity to embrace our heritage, language and religious system. It is through these events that we can learn from other cultures.
This year theme for Heritage Month is “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Celebrating South African Heritage Intangible Cultural Heritage”. It embraces and includes our language, cultural practice and expression.
Business has evolved over time, new technology has shifted the way we conduct our business and this requires us to embrace different culture because we are part of the global community and we continuously interact and conduct business on the global stage.
Our diversity has given us a competitive edge in the business world, through our experience and our exposure we are able to do business and trade with various countries. These skills should assist in re-building our own economy.
The PBF shares the call to all South Africans to utilize the Heritage month to foster greater social cohesion, nation building and a shared national identity.
President Ramaphosa has addressed the nation and advised that the Cabinet and the National Covid Command Council (NCCC) have decided that the country should be moved from Adjusted Alert Level 3 and placed on Adjusted Alert Level 2. The adjusted levels will boost the economy and also allow political parties to campaign in preparation for the upcoming local government elections.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has revised the elections timetables following the Constitutional Court, findings that the previously proclamation was declared invalid. The Independent Electoral Commission announced the new elections timetable which also includes the registration of new candidates to contest the upcoming local government elections.
The IEC also announced the online voter registration system which allows potential voters to register to vote using the online registration system. The date for the upcoming local government elections was announced by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Paying our tribute to Deputy Minister Prof Mkhize and the late Executive Mayor Jolidee Matongo
On Saturday 18th September 2021, the dark cloud hovered in our country after the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Jolidee Matongo, passed away from a tragic car accident. His death comes at the time the country was mourning the passing of Deputy Minister Prof. Mkhize who passed away on 16th September 2021.
The late Prof Mkhize was the Deputy -Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities. Professor Mkhize was a member of the ANC National Executive Committee, elected at the 54th National Conference in 2017, served as a Board member of June and Andrew Foundation and previously served as Treasurer- General of the ANC Women’s League and also involved in the Progressive Women Movement . The Deputy- Minister was laid to rest on Saturday, 25 September 2021.
The accident occurred after Mr. Matongo participated in a local government voter registration with President Ramaphosa and the Premier of Gauteng. Mr. Matongo was elected unopposed as Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, following the passing of his predecessor, the late Geoff Makhubo. The son of Zimbabwean and daughter of South African, he was not apologetic about his roots. The late Matongo epitomized the true African roots.
The PBF, PCF and Management and staff, express their deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late Deputy Minister Mkhize and Executive Mayor Matongo, offering their prayers of support at this most difficult of times.
Growing the Economy:
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Fikile Mbalula launched a massive infrastructure project, Msika Bridge, which is part of an economic infrastructure project that was launched to stimulate investment and growth and initiate new sectors of the economy. The project will create jobs during the construction phase, it will also connect the rural communities to economic hubs in the country.
Promoting Trade and Investment on the Continent:
During this past month the Convenor met with the High Commissioner of Ghana to South Africa, H E Mr Charles Owiredu. Some exciting future possibilities were discussed in that meeting. The meeting was aimed at promoting trade and investment between the two countries.
As readers are aware, PBF engagements with various foreign Missions based in South Africa, to explore and promote enhanced business opportunities between the PBF subscribers and the businesses of those represented countries, is ongoing.
We will keep subscribers informed as these proposed events are finalized.
Readers will be aware that the local government elections are to take place on 1 November this year. The lead-up to those elections will doubtless see significant work across the spectrum and involve the country in much activity. Parliament is on constituency recess until after the elections. We encourage and urge every voter to exercise their Constitutional right to express their vote freely on the day.
The PBF is alive to the election realities, conscious that some of its activities may have to be adjusted over the period until after the elections, to ensure the fullest impetus and participation in those events.
We look forward to your ongoing active participation in the programmes of the PBF, confident that together we can make a difference by our actions.