President Jacob Zuma unveiled the skeleton of what he described as an economic “turnaround plan” in a State of the Nation Address dominated by the current plight of the South African economy, which was unlikely to grow by more than 1% in 2016 and would not nearly approach the 5%-plus levels outlined in the National Development Plan.
The address – initially interrupted by opposition Members of Parliament, which eventually resulted in members from the Congress of the People and the Economic Freedom Fighters leaving the National Assembly chamber – laid particular emphasis on the need to reignite growth and cut waste.
Growth was held up to be at the heart of the country’s “radical economic transformation”, with the President arguing that faster growth was vital to creating jobs, ensuring business profitability and creating the basis for the tax revenues needed to increase the “social wage” of education, health and security. The absence of growth was placing downward pressure on tax revenues, while threatening South Africa’s investment grade credit rating. “Importantly, our country seems to be at risk of losing its investment grade status from ratings agencies. If that happens, it will become more expensive for us to borrow money from abroad to finance our programmes of building a better life for all – especially the poor.” Zuma said the turnaround plan, and avoiding a downgrade by the rating agencies, required government and its social partners in business and labour to forge a “common narrative” that was supportive of improving the investment climate and positioning South Africa as a “preferred investment destination”. “If there are any disagreements or problems between us, we should solve them before they escalate. This is necessary for the common good of our country.” Zuma announced the creation of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on investment promotion, which would seek to set up a “one-stop shop” to facilitate direct investment into the country. In addition, he said a draft migration policy would be placed before Cabinet this year, with a view to easing the regulations for the entry of skilled foreign workers into the country. The response plan required “doing things differently”, acting more decisively in cutting red tape and bringing policy certainty, with Zuma specifically urging Parliament to finalise its deliberations on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, which he sent back to lawmakers on Constitutionality concerns.
It would also require the mandates and governance at State-owned companies to be tightened and for those agencies not playing a developmental role to be “phased out”. No mention was made, however, of possible privatisation, a point picked up upon by the leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane, who said the President should have prioritised the sale of State companies and assets to help fund programmes, such as infrastructure, that could help stimulate growth. TWO CAPITALS UNAFFORDABLE? Belt tightening within government was raised in the address, with Zuma even calling on Parliament to urgently review the financial sustainability of having separate administrative and legislative capitals, in Pretoria and Cape Town, while announcing that government would be cutting back on overseas travel, conferences, entertainment and catering. Even on the contentious area of South Africa’s plan to build 9 600 MW of new nuclear capacity, which many feel to be unaffordable, Zuma injected a new tone of prudency, saying any procurement would only proceed at a scale and pace that the country could afford.
He did not turn his back on nuclear altogether, however, announcing that the market would be tested to “ascertain the true costs” of the programme. The importance of renewable energy, coal and gas in the future electricity mix was also emphasised, with the announcement that independent power producer procurement programmes would either continue or be initiated during the year. Grant Thornton director: infrastructure advisory Grant Penrose applauded the emphasis placed on nuclear affordability. “His admission to this massive cost and South Africa’s current state of the economy, is laudable. We hope this process will be open and transparent going forward,” Penrose said. However, Maimane said that the cuts outlined were insufficient and that Zuma should have rather announced a trimming of his Cabinet to 15 Ministries, rather than repeating a number of plans that had already been canvassed, including a consolidation of the two capitals.
JOHANNESBURG – Another clean-up in Alexandra has left some residents skeptical of the Gauteng government’s efforts to keep their township clean.
On Sunday morning, the Gauteng province relaunched the Bontle ke Bothocampaign, aimed at mobilising the community into successful waste management structures.
“This is not the first clean-up in Alex there’ve been a lot of clean-ups but I think what’s important is that they’ve not been sustainable,” said Lebogang Maile, Gauteng member of the executive committee (MEC) for economic development, environment, agriculture and rural development.
The government wants residents to take responsibility for waste removal.
“It doesn’t help to wait for government and leadership to after a certain period of time to come and clean we need to get to a point where people here will take up this responsibility,” said Maile.
One local resident Walter Molewa said that the rubbish in Stjwetla, an area situated on the banks of the Jukskei river, has been piling up for years.
“Where is Pikitup? They hire people to clean everyday but where do they clean? This rubbish has been here for five years,” said Molewa.
Another resident, Victor Mahlaule, said “We have no life here, there’s no cleanliness.”
Gauteng generates 45 percent of the country’s waste.
With rapid urbanisation, the pressure on waste management infrastructure is overwhelming.
“In the past five years, a million people moved to Gauteng. There’s almost 20,000 people who move into the different parts of our province every month and so it puts lots of pressure on education, healthcare and the demand for housing,” said Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
Levels of waste are high in Stjwetla, with rubbish buried into the river embankment and a large mountain of waste next to communal taps.
“It is hazardous, this is a disaster, this is undesirable, and this is inhuman. We shouldn’t be having a situation like this but it’s unfortunate, it’s a sad reality and we have to do something as government,” said Maile.
Plans include building more parks and vegetable gardens to ensure that the public space is occupied and to deter illegal dumping.
According to authorities, 60% of Gauteng’s waste is recyclable. This, according to Premier Makhura, presents major employment opportunities.
“Recycling can be a source of income for many in our communities so we want to work with them to ensure that we keep our province clean,” said Makhura.
However, after many years and different premiers Molewa said he was tired of false promises.
“Nomvula Mokonyane, Mbazhima Shilowa and Mathole Motshegka didn’t sort this place out. They’re playing games these guys,” he said.
Resident Emmanuel Malatji said, “This kind of problem is going on and on because we don’t have a dustbin, plastic bags and there’s no skip where we can recycle.”
“It’s not that we’re happy to live in a place like this – in this condition. All we need to have a skip where we can through rubbish so they can come and collect it easily,” he said.
The province has already invested R16-million in the programme and are calling on the private sector for more funds.
“We need a lot more money,” said Maile.
University fees have been under the spotlight since the latter parts of 2015, when students rose up in protest against the restrictive costs to study.
Following weeks of protests in October and November 2015, President Jacob Zuma eventually declared there would be a no fee increase at universities in 2016. To absorb the loss of revenue, government set aside R6.9 billion in additional funding for universities.
However, according to higher education minister, Blade Nzimande, on top of government funding, corporates in South Africa need to foot the bill for higher education, as they will ultimately be absorbing the skilled workforce.
Many companies in South Africa already offer a number of bursaries and scholarship programs, which help students pay for part of or all of the fees needed to study.
Bursaries and scholarship programs are often tied to recruitment, as companies pay for students to develop specific skills they are in need of.
BusinessTech looks at the 10 biggest companies on the JSE (excluding the recently-listed AB Inbev Breweries), to determine what graduate programs they offer.
It’s important to note that the bursaries listed below are not always an annual given – that is, bursaries for many of the fields of study paid for by the companies only open up when the specific skills are needed.
On top of bursaries, South Africa’s biggest companies do also offer apprenticeships and other opportunities.
With bursaries closed for study in 2016, prospective students should apply now (where applicable) for study in 2017.
1. British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco offers bursary options for students that have an undergraduate degree or are in their final year of study in these subjects:
- Agricultural Science
- Food Technology
- Food Chemistry
- Natural Science
- Physical Chemistry
- Public / International Relations
- Bcom Law
- Human Resources
The skills the group is targeting are primarily in (but not limited to) these fields:
- Information Technology (undergrad and post-grad)
- Industrial Engineering (undergrad and post-grad)
- Marketing (post-grad)
- Accounting (post-grad)
Applications usually close at the end of August each year.
SABMiller says that it is committed to helping South Africa develop its skills, and it does so by offering academic bursaries to deserving SA students.
On top of the financial support, the group says its bursars are “afforded the opportunity to learn more about the world of work”.
SABMiller offers bursaries in these areas of study:
- Control and automation
- Supply chain
Naspers says it is committed to developing its own employees as well as extending training outside the group to develop a “talent pipeline”.
“Given the strategic importance of technology and intellectual property to our sustainability in a competitive market, skills development is a priority for Naspers.”
The group has developed the “Naspers Academy” – which develops specific skills needed by the group (in terms of Internet engineering and classified businesses).
Externally, Media24 offers four bursaries for students wanting to complete their postgraduate qualifications in journalism at either Stellenbosch University, NWU, Wits or Rhodes University.
This is a two-year bursary programme – one year of postgraduate study and one year based at Media24.
Luxury goods group Richemont doesn’t offer any paid bursaries in South Africa, but the international group offers apprenticeships and other training programs as part of its corporate social responsibility.
The group also makes donations to South African universities such as the University of Cape Town, to provide financial aid for students.
5. BHP Billiton
BHP Billiton provides qualified students with exceptional bursaries every year.
The bursaries cover full university fees (including registration), accomodation, meals, text books and pocket money.
To qualify, candidates need high maths and science marks (at least a ‘C’ – or 60-69%).
- Mining Engineering
- Extractive Metallurgy
- Electrical Engineering (Light & Heavy)
- Mine Surveying
- Mechanical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering (Mineral Process)
Qualifying bursary students are required to sign an employment contract with the company for a period equal to the bursary term.
Bursaries close the end of May each year.
Steinhoff does not have any external bursary or scholarship programs, but does make training and development opportunities available to employees “as far as is reasonably practical,” it says.
“The group concentrates training efforts on its existing employees and not on people outside of the group. Learning assistance through bursaries and study loans is offered in divisions with skills shortages.”
Glencore Xtrata offers bursaries in the mining field, with offers of apprenticeships and recruitment schemes to build necessary job skills.
High English, Maths and Science levels are required to qualify (60-69% and 70-79%, respectively).
The following career paths will be available for study, depending on the need of the company at the time.
- Mining Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Financial Management (B Com)
- Geology Discipline
Sasol has many bursaries available for both under- and post-graduate students.
Sasol Post Graduate Bursaries are awarded for full-time University study in Science and Engineering, at Masters or Ph.D Degree level.
Undergraduate bursaries cover university fees, accommodation, and also gives money for textbooks and spending money.
These are available for the following undergraduate degrees:
- Engineering (B Eng, BSc Engineering – chemical, mechanical, electrical, civil, industrial, electronic, mining and computers).
- Science 9BSc: chemistry, geology and metallurgy).
- Commerce (BCom: accounting)
FirstRand offers the Laurie Dippenaar Scholarship, which is for students complete their postgraduate studies abroad in any country and any field.
The program covers a maximum period of two years to the value of R400,000 per year. This is to cover tuition, books, accommodation, meals and other relevant needs.
This scholarship has bursaries available in all fields of study, as long as it’s at any internationally-recognized university in any other country outside of South Africa.
Candidates have to return home to South Africa, work and stay in South Africa for a minimum period of five years after completing their studies.
Applications open from the beginning of January each year and close the end of February.
MTN offers a number of external bursaries to help boost and develop skills, especially for those coming from a previously disadvantaged background.
The MTN graduate program also looks to fill the openings within the company.
The company offers numerous bursaries across many fields, such as:
- Human resources
- Computer science
- Computer engineering
- and many others
The group specifies that while its bursaries are open to all, candidates from previously disadvantaged backgrounds will get preference.
Location: n/a,N/A, South Africa
Closing Date: Not specified
The Red & Yellow School has listened to South Africa’s call for education and will this year offer a greater number of bursaries for all its full and part time programmes in Marketing and Advertising.
“The 2015 Fees-must-Fall campaign once again highlighted the lack of tertiary opportunities for deserving previously disadvantaged candidates, especially in our industry,” says Red & Yellow’s CEO Lynette Oelschig.
“In addition to the desperate need for free education in our country, our industry struggles to reflect the markets it intends to connect with.”
These new bursaries are also driven by Red & Yellow’s Vision to educate 100 000 graduates in Africa by 2020, with 10% of those receiving free education.
Students who want to pursue a rewarding career in marketing & advertising should apply for one of the following programmes:
• Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications
• Diploma in Copywriting
• Marketing, Advertising and Communications Diploma aimed at the graduate student
• Advanced Diploma in Digital Marketing (distance learning)
• National Certificate in Advertising
For the past 22 years Red and Yellow has shaped the creative marketing industry by feeding in capable talent.
How to Apply?
Applications for 2016 are now open, and applicants are encouraged to apply immediately to avoid disappointment. Please email a letter of motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to complete the application form and submission test for the course of your choice. Alternatively visit Red & Yellow at their Open Day on Saturday 16 January 2016 between 10am and 1pm to find out more.
Sedibeng was followed by Gauteng West, the Overberg district in the Western Cape and the Cape Metropolitan area.
The Sedibeng district in Gauteng was overjoyed on Tuesday night after being named as the best performing district in the 2015 matric examinations, beating out 80 other districts for top honours.
The 2015 matric results were announced in Johannesburg by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Tuesday.
South Africa’s 2015 matric pass rate stood at 70.7 percent, a drop of five percent compared to the 75.8 percent achieved in 2014.
But for the Sedibeng district there was joy, with the office of the Executive Mayor Busisiwe Modisakeng “delighted at the exceptional results”.
Spokesperson Lebo Mofokeng said: “We thank Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi for the vision he has put out for us. Congratulations are in order for those matriculants who worked hard.”
Sedibeng was followed by Gauteng West, the Overberg district in the Western Cape and the Cape Metropolitan area.
Earlier Motshekga said: “We congratulate Sedibeng for the best district performance. I should state that in the Free State, Thabo Mofutsanyana distric led that province, Cradock led in the Eastern Cape and Vhembe district has the best result in Limpopo.”
“No district in the Western Cape performed below 80 percent,” Motshekga had also announced.
The Western Cape was the top performing province and achieved an 84.7 percent pass rate, followed by Gauteng in second place at 84.2 percent. The Free State came third with 81.6 percent.
Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has announced that China will provide 30,000 government scholarships for African students as well as 2,000 educational opportunities with degrees and diplomas, as part of the country’s aim to strengthen cooperation with Africa.
Speaking at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit Xi said China will also offer 40,000 training opportunities to African students in order to further boost education and training relations.
China will set up a number of regional vocational education centres across the continent, as well as several schools for “capacity building”, which will help to accommodate the training of 200,000 technicians.
“We will also support African countries in building and upgrading five transportation universities,” he said in his address to the delegates.
China also committed to sponsoring visits from 200 African scholars as well as study trips by 500 young Africans to China. In addition, the country will train 1,000 media professionals from Africa annually.
Between 2000 and 2011, 79,000 African students studied in China, according to a paper published by NORRAG, a Switzerland-based independent network for international policies and cooperation in education and training.
It added that the cooperation between the two regions is “becoming a new form of China’s higher education internationalisation”.
“The current new cooperation modality between China and Africa has provided the opportunity for Chinese higher education institutions to export Chinese knowledge to the world,” it said.
In his address, Xi also committed $60bn in funding over the next three years to plans in 10 major areas including industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, financial services, infrastructure, green development, poverty reduction and public welfare.
The funding tranche will include $35bn of preferential loans and export credit, as well as a China-Africa production capacity cooperation fund which will see an initial capital of $10bn. Five billion will come via interest free loans and aid, Xi said.
The plans in these ten areas will be implemented in order to address “three bottleneck issues holding back Africa’s development”: inadequate infrastructure, lack of professional and skilled personnel, and funding shortage.
He said the country aims to help in “accelerating African industrialisation, and agricultural modernisation and achieving sustainable self-development.”
The summit took place last month in Johannesburg, and was attended by representatives of 50 African countries. Focusing on “win-win cooperation for common development”, this was the second conference held by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
Here we present members of our younger generations, from Millennials to Generation Z, in their own words.
San Francisco Bay Times: Where do you see yourself a few years from now? What would be your ideal career?
Jay Lykens: In a few years I’d love to be even more immersed in LGBTQ research. I’d like to move the medical and psychological field forward when it comes to transgender and genderqueer health. So that would probably be a career in the research or public health field. Within the next five years I’d like to get more experience heading research projects, and hopefully make my way to UC Berkeley’s social psychology PhD program.
Samukezi Ngubane: I see myself continuing with my grassroots activism. My goal has always been to work with marginalized communities that are often invisibilized. In South Africa, I based most of my work in rural areas, attempting to create awareness of, and advocacy for, issues affecting rural communities. I believe that rural spaces require more activist attention. Not to generalize, but I found that in such communities, conversations about gender and sexuality are often taboo. People are also not aware of their sexual and reproductive rights, or their basic rights to health care, water, and shelter. My ideal career is just starting these conversations with the rural communities, engaging in dialogues, sensitization workshops, and awareness programs.
Nicolette Gulickson: Once I complete the Sexuality Studies Graduate Program at San Francisco State University, I intend to work for an organization that advocates for and provides resources to transgender communities. My ideal career would situate me to make a tangible, positive impact on the life chances of trans people in my community and beyond.
Enkhmaa Enkhbold: Geographically, I see myself in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I hope to work in academia, particularly in the Global South. I am interested in researching Human Rights issues, International Relations, with particular attention to the influence of institutions and organizations such as The United Nation, World Bank, and Peace Corps, etc. in relation to their impact on reproducing global inequalities. Also, I hope to work towards change in patriarchal structures in Mongolia by particularly addressing the representation of women in politics, sexist language/proverbs that promote gender inequality (so naturalized) and representation of LGBTQI communities.
Miglio: Ideally, I will continue on in school to get a Master’s Degree. My ideal career would be working inside a queer space that feels safe and productive probably doing work inside queer communities and/or environmental justice inside queer communities. I identify as transgendered so it would be great to remain in the transgender community and help do necessary reparative work there.
Lexus Killingsworth: I would like to be close to finishing a PhD program a few years from now! My ideal career would involve studying visual representations of queer black women, especially pornography. I would also love to study anime and manga.
Jillian Salazar: My ideal career would involve working with activists, academics, and researchers to eradicate racism, sexism, ableism and state violence. A few years from now I see myself working for a non-profit that serves those affected by domestic and sexual violence.
San Francisco Bay Times: What are you doing now to prepare for that ideal career?
Jay Lykens: Right now I’m working at a great organization called YTH in Oakland, and doing my best to move forward some projects related to transgender health care access. I’m also working with Dr. Allen LeBlanc over at SFSU on his study, Project AFFIRM, focusing on transgender identity development and resilience. Overall I think I’m preparing by pursuing research studies that really focus on the positive aspects of what it means to identify in the transgender spectrum.
Samukezi Ngubane: Besides engaging with academic texts and learning constructive ways in which praxis can be effective, I volunteer at Magnet, a clinic that offers health care services for gay, bisexual and transgender men. I am also working on traditional dance scripts based on theories that I am learning from my program such as intersectionality, theories of difference, and disidentification. I am writing these scripts in isiXhosa (my home language) and I hope to use their performance as part of grassroots awareness building.
Nicolette Gulickson: To be the best ally that I can be and to gain the knowledge necessary to not only complete my thesis research, but also to equip me with the skills I will need once I join the workforce. I am volunteering at the Transgender Law Center (TLC) in Oakland. My work there has given me insight into the discrimination and bureaucratic negotiations faced by trans people on a daily basis. It has motivated me to conduct thesis research on the efficacy of state-level protective legislation. I also attend community events and demonstrations to stay abreast of the issues the community is facing as well as to keep me connected to the community I work to serve.
Enkhmaa Enkhbold: I have been doing quite a lot, actually. Education is a vital aspect of my ideal career. I am a senior student of Women and Gender Studies (WGS) at SFSU. The fact that the WGS program at SFSU was originally designed by Angela Davis makes me feel that I am going in the right direction in my ideal career. Davis is a scholar and activist; one of my favorite works is her book, Are Prisons Obsolete?
Practical work is vital to my ideal career; I have been volunteering and interning all around the Bay Area. With genuine modesty, I list the NGOs that I’ve been associated with: Optional Recovery Center, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Bay Area Legal Aid, Project Homeless, Asian Women’s Shelter, Refugee and Human Rights Clinic at UC Hasting, Mongolian Women’s Association, and the Mongolian Student Association at Laney College.
This summer, I had an opportunity to volunteer in three different NGOs in Ulaanbaatar for three months: National Center Against Violence, LGBT Center, and the Young Women’s Club. Although short, my experiences with these NGOs were rich, as was that of living as a local in Ulaanbaatar, because I left Mongolia when I was sixteen years old. All of my experiences with these NGOs have a profound affect on me as an individual. Also, they have helped me to grow and identify my strength and areas where I need to improve. Of course, I have not volunteered for these organizations just for personal gains; I stood with their mission and vision.
Currently, I have been thinking about doing ethnographic research in the Mongolian community, hoping to contribute to creating an archive for the next generations of Mongolian Americans.
Miglio: In order to prepare for my ideal career, I am looking to apply for a Master’s Degree as well as looking into internships and job opportunities that could prepare me for a career in my desired field.
Lexus Killingsworth: I am in the beginning stages of writing a thesis that discusses visual representations of queer black women in the films The Color Purple and Daughters of the Dust. This has allowed me to read numerous sources on the subject. Outside of academia, however, I just enjoy consuming anything with representations of queer black women. I currently love How to Get Away With Murder.
Jillian Salazar: I am enrolled in a M.A. program is Sexuality Studies and reading everything I can get my hands on about different approaches to trauma and sexual violence. I am also applying to be a rape crisis counselor at a local non-profit.
San Francisco Bay Times: Do you think that your chances for future success are better in the Bay Area, or do you plan to leave this region, or perhaps even the U.S., to pursue your goals?
Jay Lykens: I think overall that my chances are much better in the Bay Area. I grew up in the South, so the relative progressiveness here allows me to pursue a lot of opportunities I didn’t have. I still think a lot of work needs to be done here, but the queer community is so close knit, and I think this lets us have strength in numbers when it comes to making real change.
Samukezi Ngubane: My chances of turning my dreams into reality are not in the U.S. Though I admire the Bay Area, its diversity and “freedom” (if I can put it like that), the people I want to work with are not here; the change that I am aspiring for is not here; and most definitely the issues that I want to engage with are not here. Not to say there are no issues here, but I feel I am needed back in South Africa more than I am needed here.
Nicolette Gulickson: While San Francisco is a hub for trans folks, there are many resources already available to trans communities here. My immediate plans for the future include moving to Minneapolis, after graduation, for both personal and professional reasons. There is a large trans community in Minneapolis, and the local government appears to be directly focusing on improving the lives of trans Minneapolitans as well as focusing on combating racial inequality. For example, just this year, the mayor of Minneapolis hired a Black trans man as a senior policy aide and advisor. I would like to be a part of this effort.
Enkhmaa Enkhbold: My plan is to leave, although I love the Bay Area. Let’s face it: it is ridiculously expensive. I can only wait tables for so many hours of the week while being a student. To succeed, it is a necessity for me. Vocational choice is a life choice, so I heard somewhere! Plus, part of my ideal career goal is to work in Mongolia. I want to continue my education there and live as a local. It has been almost fourteen years since I left the country. I’ve changed and the country has changed!
I believe that diverse experiences keep me on my toes and help me make critical analysis of coexisting. They also keep my values and beliefs at hand to be challenged. I plan to go all the way to PhD. For me, it is a necessity. (Don’t ask me why! Okay, you can ask me why! Because I want to make my parents proud! Little humor!) But with all seriousness, I identify with the Global South, aka “the third world,” so I feel like in order to enter the global Academic World, a PhD is a must, and I hope and plan to make my career somewhere in the Global South.
Miglio: I would love to leave the U.S., but finically, that is not an option right now. Ideally I will work in the Bay Area until I can leave the U.S. because that is a goal I have.
Lexus Killingsworth: I do feel as though my chances are better here. While I plan to move away for a PhD program, I would definitely like to be back in the Bay Area soon after. If I am going to make a career out of studying pornography, the Bay Area feels like the best place to do so.
Jillian Salazar: The Bay Area would be an amazing place to further my career. However, if I felt that my skills could be used in a region with fewer resources for those affected by sexual violence, then I would consider relocating. I’ve often felt that my work may bring me back to the Central Valley of California where I grew up because I witnessed a severe lack of services for survivors of sexual violence when I lived there.
San Francisco Bay Times: What are some of your biggest concerns now about meeting your education and career goals?
Jay Lykens: I think it’s rough being a graduate student and working full time. My biggest concerns are juggling my finances with my future educational goals. If I could be a fulltime student and dedicate all of my free time to my studies I would, but that’s unrealistic with how expensive it is to live here in the Bay Area.
Samukezi Ngubane: I guess my biggest concern is to be the best that I can be, and to meet my own expectations, both personally and academically. I am not concerned with the work I want to do. I will do whatever it takes to reach out to the communities I want to work with, even if it means I start these conversations alone with no funding.
Nicolette Gulickson: My main educational concern lies in the applicability and practicality of the Sexuality Studies Master’s Program. As such, I will be incorporating my work at TLC with my program coursework through SFSU’s community service learning program next Spring. This allows me to receive credit for my volunteer work with TLC and provides practical experience working with an organization that mirrors my career goals. Additionally, I have made connections through my program that will help me to find work in Minneapolis when the need arises.
Enkhmaa Enkhbold: Money, Money, Money!!! Educational institutions are capitalist entities in the majority of the world. I’ve always been a student and an employee. For me, there is no escape, and it is quite evident that it will continue to be the case. I have no means of independent financial support, so to be a student means to be an employee, regardless of where I end up in the world. Yes, there are grants and scholarships, but when you are a fulltime student and working, it’s not easy to earn A’s in all your classes. Plus, if the language is not your first language, it makes it even harder. But somehow I’ve always managed.
Miglio: The biggest concerns I have about meeting educational and career goals would have to do with money and safety. It is expensive to stay in school, and I don’t know how long I can maintain that. I was in community college for ten years while I worked retail jobs and survived in the Bay Area. I’m 30 years old and am graduating this year. School is just not sustainable all the time for me, but I’m going to push for a Master’s Degree because I believe it will help me live a life that is more stable.
I also really hope to work in a space that feels safe to me as I continue with my career. As a queer individual, I want to go into a work space where my gender pronouns are respected and I can feel comfortable in the bathroom and so on. It’s hard to find that kind of atmosphere, and without a college degree that was impossible.
Lexus Killingsworth: My biggest concern is money. I do currently live in the Bay Area. Do I even need to say more? However, another big concern is whether I’ll be taken seriously because I want to study pornography and anime and manga.
Jillian Salazar: Trying to balance work and school while living in one of the most expensive cities in the world is a constant concern. If my job were in jeopardy because of school, I would have to choose my job over school to continue to live in the Bay Area. But my studies have become the driving factor in my love of San Francisco, so it would really be a lose-lose situation.
San Francisco Bay Times: Do you believe that job prospects for students such as yourself are better or worse than they were a decade or so ago?
Jay Lykens: I think they’re undoubtedly better, especially with some of the non-discrimination acts that have been passed. But it’s still difficult to determine if you’re safe in certain areas, especially when it comes to the workplace. I always struggle with deciding to “come out” or not to employers and colleagues. But in regards to the past decade and where I used to live in the South, my job prospects are much better.
Samukezi Ngubane: I think things are slowly changing. From my experience, I have been given chances to work in organizations where I might not have had experience in their field, but they saw my potential and/or they believed I was someone that they could invest in, so they gave me a chance. I have been given platforms to learn, to make mistakes, and eventually to excel. Things are changing, slowly, but something is moving.
Nicolette Gulickson: Trans visibility in popular culture and political discourse is at its apex, so job prospects for a student like me, who is focused on contributing to the movement, are sure to be plentiful. Ten years ago, the needs of trans folks were not even on the radar of legislators in the U.S. Now, there are so many more trans advocacy organizations, increased trans activism, and policy discussions happening all over the country. There is still much work to be done; I have no doubt that my skills and passion will find a home within the trans movement.
Enkhmaa Enkhbold: For students like me (those whose career goals are similar to mine) I believe that job prospects are getting better because I think that the academic world has been advanced since the World Wide Web became available to the public in 1990. I believe that before 1990, access to the academic world was limited for those in non-western contexts. There were limited spaces to discuss and critique the dominant mainstream ideologies and imbalance of knowledge production. I feel that in this era, the space is expanded dramatically, which has tremendous effect. However, there is much to do and my hope is to take part in it.
Miglio: I believe that the rift between wealthy and the poor is getting larger and thus affecting the job market in drastic ways that are only getting worse. The options for good paying jobs, even inside non-profits where I might find community or safety, are slim. There are tons of opportunities on Craigslist to work with youth in inner cities and such, but all the jobs start at $13.00 an hour. I could apply for a job at FedEx and make twice that amount as a starting wage. The reason I am pursuing a Master’s Degree is so that I can have a skill that guarantees a living wage—but who knows if that will work? I have little faith in the job market, which means I have to work twice or three times as hard to develop a good resume. Even then, I could still end up not using my degree. That’s a reality I have to live with.
Lexus Killingsworth: Both. Better because it feels like people in the U.S. are becoming more aware of the importance of visual representations and the need for the further development of that type of scholarship. Worse because it seems as though jobs want candidates to have travelled to the moon, cured cancer and have been President for two consecutive terms before they even think about considering you! It’s hard to apply for jobs when you feel as though you’ll never be qualified enough, even if you just graduated with a degree in that field.
Jillian Salazar: I believe job prospects for students are much worse than they were a decade ago. The only advice parents and mentors give students nowadays is to stay in school for as long as they can, take out student loans, figure out a job when the economy is better, and not to worry about paying back the loans later.
San Francisco Bay Times: What do you think makes your generation unique, and how do you hope it will make its mark on history?
Jay Lykens: My generation is extremely connected by social media and other technology. It’s easy for me to see what’s going on in other parts of the country and the world, and I feel like we can all make a bigger difference than ever before. It’s also really easy to spread the word about social movements and get more people involved. I think this generation has the greatest potential to really kick-start change from the ground up.
Samukezi Ngubane: Hmmm, unique? I guess technology makes our generation unique. In a sense that activism now happens online: job opportunities, networking, and campaigns now have a platform online that they previously didn’t have. Look at all of the hashtag anti-prejudice, discrimination and awareness campaigns that started online. It is just amazing how our generation is engaging with technology.
Nicolette Gulickson: As I said above, acceptance of the LGBT community has advanced so much in recent years. I’d like to think that my generation would be the one to break the silence on the social justice issues our society has ignored for so long with regards to trans people. I hope that my generation will end the stigma surrounding membership in the LGBT community. I’ve read conflicting research about whether or not millennials are truly more progressive than our predecessors, but I think the shift in cultural attitudes towards the LGBT community speaks for itself.
Enkhmaa Enkhbold: Uniqueness is definitely the advancement in technology. I hope our generation will make its mark on history as the beginning of a transnational paradigm. In my Utopia, I hope that our generation will be marked as a generation that is disloyal to civilization. This would be awesome. But it is only my Utopia.
Miglio: I’m not sure if I qualify as “this generation.” Like I said, I’m thirty years old so I’m a different generation. I think that the youth of this generation will have to join their parents and grandparents to rise up against the environmental injustices that are occurring and reclaim this planet from corporate destruction. I don’t think there is any choice left. I think the mark that the “youth” will make is finding solidarity within their peers and other generations in order to fight racism, white supremacy, classism, homophobia, water shortages and climate change. There is always such a push for “a different or upcoming generation” when so much of that idea is constructed and created. Power lies within human solidarity that values all generations together—not separate and not hierarchal. If there is anything that makes “this generation unique,” I would say it’s the short amount of time this generation has to reject capitalism and take action to save a planet that is not yet dead.
Lexus Killingsworth: My generation feels really connected to technology. I feel as though we have really excelled in taking this new technology and expanding it in order to help others.
Jillian Salazar: My generation is unique in the sense that we’ve been coddled more than prior generations. Most folks may see this negatively, but in a way it makes this generation less willing to put up with things that prior generations would have accepted as “just the way things are.” I think this generation expects the world to bend over backward for them, and if that means expecting the world to become more equal and less hateful, then I see that as a positive thing.
PRETORIA, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) — Foreign ministers from African countries on Thursday said bilateral ties with China have a promising future given the political goodwill and sincerity from both sides.
The foreign ministers whom spoke to Xinhua on the sidelines of the 6th ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Pretoria, South Africa said Beijing will be a critical partner in the endeavor to accelerate Africa’s socio-economic transformation.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the ministerial conference that was a precursor to the FOCAC Heads of State summit to be held in Johannesburg from Friday to Saturday.
African foreign ministers who attended the forum emphasized that strong bilateral cooperation with China is key to achieve long-term growth and shared prosperity in the continent.
In her opening remarks, South African Minister for international relations and cooperation, Nkoana Mashabane, said that Sino-Africa cooperation has evolved to cover issues that address poverty alleviation, peace, security, health and ecosystems protection.
“Our relationship with China has addressed major issues ranging from education, health, tourism and infrastructure development. Ours is a true friendship that has stood the test of time,” Mashabane remarked.
She added that China’s involvement was crucial to help African countries realize the UN sustainable development goals and the African Union’s agenda 2063.
The blossoming Sino-Africa cooperation provides a durable solution to the continent’s endemic challenges like poverty, infrastructure and skills gap alongside an under-developed industrial sector.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that China’s assistance was crucial to boost industrialization in Africa.
“We have a nascent industrial sector and require China’s help in areas like capacity development and technology transfer to enable us establish industrial parks,” said Ghebreyesus.
He added that China’s model of rapid economic transformation in the last two decades was an inspiration to African states aspiring to transition from agrarian to industrial powerhouses.
“We can borrow China’s best practices like manpower development and harnessing of innovations to drive industrial growth,” Ghebreyesus told Xinhua.
The landmark FOCAC summit to be held in Johannesburg will strengthen Sino-Africa bilateral cooperation in strategic areas like industry, infrastructure development, energy and cultural exchanges.
Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said that China is a critical ally that will help African countries realize peaceful and inclusive development.
“There is no question China is an important ally for the African continent. The country has global influence and FOCAC summit presents us an opportunity to review our friendship with Beijing,” Mushikiwabo remarked.
She was upbeat Sino-Africa cooperation will be elevated to new heights in order to help address the continent’s pressing challenges.
“We look forward to major undertakings between China and Africa. We expect China to help us develop infrastructure and link up the continent,” Mushikiwabo told Xinhua.
The theme of the sixth FOCAC summit to be held for the first time in the Africa is in tandem with the continent’s ambition to realize prosperity, peace and cohesion.
Somali Foreign Minister Abdusalam Omer said the landmark summit will lay a strong foundation for future cooperation with China.
“Our expectations for the FOCAC summit are high. We expect China and African countries to come up with a blueprint to guide future development of this continent,” Omer remarked.
He added that in future, Sino-Africa cooperation should focus on development of modern infrastructure alongside social amenities like education and health.
Across the US, and around the globe, we have echoed a decades-old mantra: reduce, reuse, recycle.
For years, this meant making the effort to compost the food, recycle the bottle, or reuse the plastic bag. But through the evolution of the recycling industry, the bar has been raised to attain a higher goal: zero waste.
It is a philosophy that contends every ounce of salvageable trash — that which can still serve a purpose — can be turned into valued commodities. In embracing this philosophy, its proponents say, we can capitalize on resources while taking some of the load off our landfills.
Holly Elmore, Atlanta GA-based Elemental Impact founder and CEO, works with the industry on creating sustainable best practices. Among her work to reach zero waste, she developed Zero Waste Zones, which was acquired by the National Restaurant Association.
While the idea has its merits, one may wonder: is zero waste really achievable? If so, how do you convince a “throw-away” society of this lifestyle? And what are ways to get zero waste to make sense from a logistics and economic perspective?
Waste Dive caught up with Elmore to address these questions and more.
WASTE DIVE: Is Zero Waste attainable? And if so, how do we get there?
HOLLY ELMORE: I do think zero waste is attainable. To get to zero waste, you must recognize which materials have value. Set up a system to recycle it. And reduce … If you are a corporation, begin for instance by asking yourself, are you printing more than you have to? Then you replace. An example: with shipments, tell companies you purchase from you want recyclable packaging. There is power in consumer demand. Once you have reduced and replaced, separate valuable material and find a local recycling option.
What is key to getting the public to buy into zero waste?
ELMORE: You need to cultivate a culture. That culture has to come from the top management down in the case of large organizations. In the community it has to start with the mayor and city council …There should be green team leaders or sustainability leaders who have zero waste responsibilities written in their job descriptions. It should be tied to their compensation and evaluations … There should be good signage and recycling bins. Their use and why we use them should be in newspaper articles. And community leaders should be talking about this … The Georgia World Congress Center is the world’s largest LEED certified conference center. They were one of the nation’s pioneers in the commercial collection of food waste for composting in 2009. You can’t tell me most people are busier than them. But they make the time because this is in their culture.
Can you speak to the role of education in changing a culture?
ELMORE: Education is crucial. Charlotte, NC has an MRF that had low contamination rates, but the community spent mega time educating and rewarding residents on clean recycling. The MRF got great material. When they started accepting from other communities, who had not been educated and did not have comprehensive programs with government support, contamination increased.
What are the biggest roadblocks to obtaining zero waste?
ELMORE: It is that mentality that waste is trash. As long as we view it as trash it will end up in the landfill. We must recognize it as valuable material … determining what is trash and separating it once you have reduced and replaced is where challenges happen … Single-stream recycling is a big problem leading to contamination. According to the Container Recycling Institute, about 25% of material sent to MRFs ends up in landfills due to contamination. And one person or corporation can contaminate an entire single-stream load, with two main contaminants being food and glass.
How do you address this road block?
ELMORE: First know that according to US Zero Waste Business Council, you can only claim 100% zero waste if the entire value chain is zero waste, which includes suppliers, manufacturers and consumers … It’s important to get manufacturers to understand their responsibility for packaging. Packaging should be reusable or recyclable, and labeled as recyclable with clear instructions. Those instructions should include if items need to be separated … If caps are a different plastic than bottles; well, tell us …Consumers can avoid contamination by removing food, and if packer trucks are crushing materials, remove glass.
What is the MRF’s role in working toward zero waste?
ELMORE: First, they should not be there to clean, but to separate. The MRF is simply the destination. Haulers, citizens, and government should take responsibility for clean material. So for MRFs to be affective, consumers [and organizations] must put only clean material into the stream … I think MRFs should fine haulers. Or reject dirty loads. The hauler would have to go to landfills and pay tipping fees.
Can you speak of “benefit of scale” to justify investments made to reach for zero waste?
ELMORE: You need scale for zero waste efforts to make economic sense. It’s expensive to put trucks out there, so you need route density. Cluster pickup places where there are generators of material in a zone. Haulers have to fill that truck to justify overall cost of their routes. Bales of waste to be sold to end markets must be large enough to fill tractor trailers of materials sold by weight … If you travel outside your community, especially, you have to have volume.
How do you get corporations and other business entities to support zero waste goals?
ELMORE: Look at what material is generated in the community, corporations, universities, government and other organizations. If a significant amount of material is generated in the community, for instance, but you don’t have an end market, look at who would use the “commodities.” And attract businesses that could capitalize on it … keep dollars in your community to build a vital local economy, create jobs and new products … and remember, it’s a team effort between businesses, government, citizens … As far as trash collectors, they have to tell municipalities, your citizens are sending contaminated stuff … Let’s work together: the government, businesses, citizens, haulers and MRFs.
In order for South Africa’s agricultural sector to grow there must be more education on food and an agricultural and health policy is needed.
According to the National Development Plan, South Africa wants to create a million jobs in agriculture by 2030, but this will not be easy, due to increased mechanisation, amongst other challenges, employment in the sector fell from 1.4 million people to 600,000 between 2000 and 2014.
To help boost this sector, the state plans on establishing agri-parks across the country, which will boost output and production. The department has been allocated R6 billion over the next three years for the project to boost agro-processing output and agricultural production. Farmers will own 70% of the parks.
Agricultural expert, Louise Fresco believes the boost also needs involvement from farmers and communities. However, one of South Africa’s main concerns is that there isn’t a next generation of farmers, as people are not interested in farming.
Fresco, also wants children to learn how seeds become a vegetable and school gardens are a great way to help educate children about the process of food and its safety.
Supermarkets should get involved with agricultural schemes which will increase production.