National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) set to expand reach by opening new offices

The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration/Monitoring and Evaluation welcomes plans by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to open new offices and thus reach more of South Africa’s youth.

The NYDA has announced that in collaboration with some district municipalities, it will be opening a number of new offices in the 2018/2019 financial year. While discussions are ongoing, the NYDA envisages one office in every district municipality. Since its inception, the committee has highlighted problems with the small number of NYDA offices and their location, as most were in urban areas far from the majority of unemployed youth.

“The expansion of offices will ensure that unemployed youth have direct access to the agency’s offices and services. This can only bode well for dealing effectively with the high unemployment rate among the youth,” said Ms Mina Lesoma, the Acting Chairperson of the committee.

The increase in donor funding is also welcomed, as the committee has always highlighted the need to source other revenue streams to add impetus to the agency’s work. The national fiscus is currently stretched, which also impacts on the ability to appropriate adequate funding to address the worrying trend of youth unemployment in the country.

The committee has called for a coordinated effort from government departments to deal with youth unemployment. The committee urges the NYDA to increase engagements with government departments to ensure that this challenge is tackled harmoniously.

The NYDA board’s speedy appointment of a chief executive officer is also welcomed, as it will ensure the continuation of the good governance established over the past few years. The committee congratulates Mr Wassem Carrim on his appointment, believing that the experience he gained as NYDA’s chief financial officer will be of benefit and will ensure that the NYDA continues to offer services that have a positive impact on the lives of the youth.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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African cities tackle food and nutrition security challenges

More than half of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) population could be living in urban areas by 2050 posing huge challenges for poor towns and cities, which already face challenges such as poverty and inequalities. These are coupled with growing levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in a context of high vulnerability to climate change.

In preparation for the challenges attendant to rapid urbanization, some SSA local authorities have started implementing initiatives that improve food security and nutrition through ‘city to city’ collaboration and South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC). These initiatives will see all actors in the food chain, including, consumers, producers, processors, traders and retailers, acquiring new skills and opportunities through the innovative exchanges and projects.

Nine cities are gathered here at The South and East African City-to-City (CtCi) Food Systems meeting, which started today. The nine cities, from Namibia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the host country, South Africa are discussing how they would guarantee durable food systems that ensure a healthy and nutritious diet for all, while making a sustainable use of natural resources in light of the added pressure of increased food demand.

“Urban food systems strategies have the potential to amplify national and international efforts towards sustainability and facilitate a more integrated approach to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Fawzia Peer, Deputy Mayor eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.

FAO Representative, Lewis Hove, said as a result of rapid urbanization, cities increasingly impact food production, processing, distribution, preparation and disposal. As such, Hove added, the policy interventions and planning processes related to the development of cities can create opportunities to better-feed cities.

“Urban food issues have become a critical dimension of an integrated urban rural development. As half of the world’s population resides within or in proximity to small cities and towns, we are witnessing cities exerting a progressive pressure on natural resources like water and energy. It is imperative that city governments rethink the way they plan, function, provide services and respond to the needs of their citizens and the planet, now and in the future”, said Hove.

Hove added saying that the dichotomy between rural urban areas no longer exist as they are connected through a strong rural urban continuum. “Only when food systems are connected, do they become sustainable and a tool to end poverty and hunger,” added Hove.

Peer to peer learning vital

Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) Director for Africa, Kobie Brand, added: “This is why fora like the city to city forum are crucial, they are based on the premise that peer-to-peer learning and reflection is a valuable strategy to show cities what is possible in similar contexts, with similar socio-economic, agricultural and political challenges. We welcome this partnership on the CtCi Food Systems Forum, as resilient food systems are an integral part of the journey that cities and city-regions must take towards improved sustainability and resilience.”

The Forum stressed the importance of fostering collaboration among cities in Africa to make urbanization a more sustainable process through which they leverage economic, political, social and cultural opportunities across the urban-rural spectrum.

The city-to-city urban food system forum is a collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security Foundation (RUAF), C40 and the eThekwini Municipality, which is hosting the event.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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African cities tackle food and nutrition security challenges

More than half of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) population could be living in urban areas by 2050 posing huge challenges for poor towns and cities, which already face challenges such as poverty and inequalities. These are coupled with growing levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in a context of high vulnerability to climate change.

In preparation for the challenges attendant to rapid urbanization, some SSA local authorities have started implementing initiatives that improve food security and nutrition through ‘city to city’ collaboration and South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC). These initiatives will see all actors in the food chain, including, consumers, producers, processors, traders and retailers, acquiring new skills and opportunities through the innovative exchanges and projects.

Nine cities are gathered here at The South and East African City-to-City (CtCi) Food Systems meeting, which started today. The nine cities, from Namibia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the host country, South Africa are discussing how they would guarantee durable food systems that ensure a healthy and nutritious diet for all, while making a sustainable use of natural resources in light of the added pressure of increased food demand.

“Urban food systems strategies have the potential to amplify national and international efforts towards sustainability and facilitate a more integrated approach to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Fawzia Peer, Deputy Mayor eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.

FAO Representative, Lewis Hove, said as a result of rapid urbanization, cities increasingly impact food production, processing, distribution, preparation and disposal. As such, Hove added, the policy interventions and planning processes related to the development of cities can create opportunities to better-feed cities.

“Urban food issues have become a critical dimension of an integrated urban rural development. As half of the world’s population resides within or in proximity to small cities and towns, we are witnessing cities exerting a progressive pressure on natural resources like water and energy. It is imperative that city governments rethink the way they plan, function, provide services and respond to the needs of their citizens and the planet, now and in the future”, said Hove.

Hove added saying that the dichotomy between rural urban areas no longer exist as they are connected through a strong rural urban continuum. “Only when food systems are connected, do they become sustainable and a tool to end poverty and hunger,” added Hove.

Peer to peer learning vital

Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) Director for Africa, Kobie Brand, added: “This is why fora like the city to city forum are crucial, they are based on the premise that peer-to-peer learning and reflection is a valuable strategy to show cities what is possible in similar contexts, with similar socio-economic, agricultural and political challenges. We welcome this partnership on the CtCi Food Systems Forum, as resilient food systems are an integral part of the journey that cities and city-regions must take towards improved sustainability and resilience.”

The Forum stressed the importance of fostering collaboration among cities in Africa to make urbanization a more sustainable process through which they leverage economic, political, social and cultural opportunities across the urban-rural spectrum.

The city-to-city urban food system forum is a collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security Foundation (RUAF), C40 and the eThekwini Municipality, which is hosting the event.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Committee calls for Better Safety Procedures following the death of South African Actor, Odwa Shweni

The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture has called for better and safer working conditions in the arts industry following the tragic death of Mr Odwa Shweni on Thursday 12 April 2018.

Mr Shweni is believed to have lost his footing which lead to his untimely death at the Sterkspruit Waterfall in the Drakensberg KwaZulu-Natal during a movie rehearsal.

Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Xoliswa Tom, said that “the untimely death of Mr Shweni raises many questions about the safety procedures during filming and rehearsals, and this is a matter that should be looked in to with all urgency”.

The Committee extends its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Shweni and wishes them strength during this difficult time.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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