Minister tells young innovators they are the future

Shortly after delivering the Budget Vote speech for the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, Minister in the Presidency, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma interacted with young innovators who are championing the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP).

This includes Port Elizabeth young entrepreneur Allison Derrocks, who told Minister Dlamini Zuma that she has developed a retardant paint for informal settlements.

The paint, Derrocks said, is affordable and is made to delay shack fires. The paint releases substances – water and carbon dioxide – which delays the flame from consuming a housing structure by up to 30%.

“The paint basically gives occupants a chance to escape a burning house and can lead to many lives being saved,” she said.

This is one of several young innovators and NDP ambassadors who are making a meaningful contribution in their areas of work to improve the lives of all South Africans.

The Minister commended young people for their innovative ideas and added that they are the future leaders of the country.

“It is true that young people are the future, but they create the future now. Young people, we are proud of you,” she said.

The engagement session was part of the department’s post-budget vote activities which enabled members of the public to engage the Minister and officials under the department on the Budget Vote speech.

Tabling her Budget Vote speech during a debate at the National Assembly, the Minister said young people are the country’s most valuable asset in society.

“We must equip them with skills and knowledge so that they can actively contribute to our growth and development as a nation.

“The most defining factor in our development endeavours will be a massive skills revolution. Young people must be the primary architects of this revolution,” she said.

At the engagement session, the Minister said while young people should be allowed to be innovative, government should play an enabling role to help them patent their products and to commercialise by helping them find markets.

Progress made in implementing Operation Phakisa

Delivering her speech earlier, the Minister said since its launch in July 2014, Operation Phakisa in the Ocean Economy has unlocked R26 billion in both public sector and private sector investments, and a total of 6 633 jobs have been created.

She said the education sector, Operation Phakisa: ICT, has ensured that a total of 15 967 schools are connected by all devices out of a target of 24 775 since its launch in October 2016.

“Additionally, 152 offline e-library units were purchased for distribution to 65 second chance centres while the number of tablets distributed has reached 98 528 units.

“Further, a total of 17 233 teachers were trained in 2017 and Grade 9 Mathematics and Science interactive content has been developed for distribution to schools.

“The Operation Phakisa methodology has also been applied in the Mining and Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Restitution sectors, and chemical and waste economy in which 27 and 20 initiatives have been identified, respectively,” she said.

Mystery client model piloted at frontline services

The Minister said the department also gathers evidence related to the state of frontline service centres to change the experience of people’s access to government services.

“Over the past three months, a pilot has been underway of the concept of mystery clients who are deployed to various service points around Gauteng,” she said.

She said an improvement monitoring approach has also been adopted to ensure speedy resolution of issues identified in communities.

“For instance, the Traditional Council of Mulamule village raised the following issues with us: construction of Mdabula – Mphambo road, establishment of satellite police station, construction of a library, TVET College and the provision of running water.

“Subsequent to the DPME interventions, the road is being constructed, the plans and budget for the library and construction process will commence. The satellite police station is up and running, water has been provided by Vhembe District municipality, and a TVET college satellite campus has been constructed in Malamulele,” she said. – SAnews.gov.za