Government

How to raise cash for studies

If your family cannot afford to pay for your studies, don’t despair. There are several options available to deserving students who have trouble paying for their studies.

Tertiary education is very expensive. For example, the average tuition fee for first-year medical studies at Wits University will set you back up to R43 520 while a law degree costs R24 800 per year. This excludes accommodation, books, meals and travel costs.

The following are funding models you can use:

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

This scheme offers a study loan if you are academically deserving and financially needy. To qualify, you must pass the means test, which will assess whether you are really needy. You can use your NSFAS loan to pay for tuition, books and accommodation.

At some universities the NSFAS will not pay for your accommodation, especially if you reside outside the campus. The NSFAS pays for registration at some institutions but not at others. You will be required to repay your loan after completing your studies.

NSFAS funding is only available to South African students registered at a public university or Further Education and Training college.

You only have to start paying back your loan one year after you have completed your studies, and only if you have a job and earn more than R30 000 per year. If you pass all your subjects, a maximum of 40% of the loan will be written off and you will only have to pay back 60%.

How to apply for NSFAS funding:

  • Apply to study at an institution of higher learning.
  • Complete a means test. The test will assess your family’s financial situation and calculate what amount, if any, your family will be expected to contribute towards your studies.
  • You may borrow the rest of the money from NSFAS or you might qualify for a bursary, which is also administered by NSFAS. You need to submit the following:
    • Grade 12 Certificate
    • A certified copy of your ID
    • Your parents’ salary slips and certified copies of their IDs
    • Proof of registration of siblings (brothers, sisters who have registered for studies at school) if they live in the same household.
    • If you are disabled, you’ll need a letter from your medical doctor as proof of permanent disability.

If your parents are unemployed, you will need an affidavit signed by a commissioner of oaths, such as a police officer. If you have siblings studying at tertiary level, provide certified copies of documentation showing this. The financial office at the institution will inform you whether your application has been successful.

Bank loans

Banks offer study loans, but the strict lending criteria can be a challenge and paying the money back after you have qualified and started working is not always the ideal way to start your career.

Some banks require surety or a guarantor, someone who will guarantee to repay the loan if you fail to do so. For further information, contact your local bank or visit its website.

Private financial services provider

A company such as Eduloan could be a viable choice as it focuses specifically on educational finance. You have to pay back your loan in fixed monthly instalments over a period ranging from six to 22 months.

You will need a guarantor who must submit a copy of his or her latest bank statement, latest pay slip, certified ID copy and a fee quotation from the institution.

Self-funding

Some students choose to work first or work part-time to earn money and save for their studies. People who choose this option often work really hard when they start.

Bursaries

There are corporate bursaries from companies such as Sasol, Eskom and Telkom available to students. These bursaries differ in selection criteria and in what they cover. Some of them are comprehensive, while others offer relatively small financing.

Most bursaries are renewable annually, depending on successful completion of the academic year. You should check the current bursary register book, which is usually available at high schools or the financial aid offices of universities, or you can visit the website of the company offering bursaries.

Government departments

Various government departments offer study bursaries to students who perform well and need funds to study. Most of these departments are at provincial government level and offer bursaries in line with their scope of work. For more information, contact the relevant provincial department. An example is the North West Department of Health, which offers bursaries for student to study medicine in Cuba.

Municipalities

Some municipalities offer bursaries in a way similiar to that of government departments to students who live in the specific municipality. For more information, contact your local municipality about bursaries or other available funding options.

For more information, visit www.eduloan.co.za or contact the Eduloan centre on campus. Contact the NSFAS Call Centre on 021 763 3232 or visit www.nsfas.org.za for more information.

Source: Vuk’uzenzele, November 2012

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Road safety – Arrive Alive

Together We Can Save Millions of Lives

The Easter and Festive Season (December/January) period in South Africa are often the leading critical periods for road traffic management authorities.

Road traffic fatalities are among the main causes of death in South Africa. This results in serious social and economic costs for the country. These consequences include the loss of family members, bread winners and leave behind traumatised families. Currently South Africa’s road fatalities remain unacceptably high at 40 road related deaths a day.

Road fatalities cost the country more than R3 billion each year, diverting scarce resources from other social and economic needs of the country.

South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. As such, the country has committed itself at an international level to reducing fatalities by 50% by the year 2020. This means that all the critical components that make up the “Safe Systems” approach under the 5 Pillars of the Road Safety Global Pillar must work in tandem to ensure that the greatest impact is made to offence rates and road traffic crash casualties.
Cause of accidents

The analysis of fatal crashes for the festive seasons of 2010 to 2012 and the crash trends of the recent few months have demonstrated that road crashes are caused by the following factors:

  •  excessive speeding
  •  drinking and driving
  •  drinking and walking / pedestrian safety
  •  driver fitness / fatigue
  •  moving violations.                   

Analysis of the contributory factors reveal that human factor is highest followed by vehicle and road factors.

The Accident Report of 2010/11 contains the following breakdown of the contributory factors:

Human factor

  • Speed too high for circumstances (40.4%)
  • Pedestrian jay walking (32.5%)
  • Overtook when unlawful or unsafe to do so (10.6%)
  • Fatigue (3.3%)
  • Hit and run (7.0%)
  • Close following distance (5.3%)

Vehicle factor

  • Tyre burst prior to crash (63.2%)
  • Faulty brakes (21.0%)
  • Faulty steering (15.8%)

Road factor

  • Sharp bend (50.0%)
  • Poor visibility (12.5%)
  • Poor condition of road surface (18.8%)
  • Road surface slippery or wet (12.5%)

Government plans

Government steps up operations through visible and proactive traffic enforcement on all key routes during the Easter and Festive Season periods. Our law enforcement agencies examine driver and vehicle safety, impounding un-roadworthy vehicles.

Public awareness and education are at the heart of the road safety strategy, while we continue to reinforce our law enforcement capabilities throughout the year.

We also have the International Road Assessment Programme which assesses road safety solutions that relate to road infrastructure. Under the programme, we are targeting 4 000 kilometres of road in the 2013/14 financial year.

The Road Traffic Infringement Agency, the Road Accident Fund and the Cross Border Road Transport Agency implement road safety programmes as set out in their respective Annual Performance Plans.

The Department of Transport is working with all stakeholders to revise the current road safety strategy taking into account our international commitments in terms of the UN Decade of Action 2011-2020 and the National Development Plan.

Government on road safety

Speeches and statements

Statements on road safety

Speeches on road safety

Opinion pieces

  • Put the brakes on dangerous driving, 3 Dec
  • Billions lost due to road fatalities, 16 October 2013
  • Putting brakes to the road carnage, 26 Mar 2013
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Domestic violence

The rigorous steps the justice, crime prevention and security (JCPS) cluster is taking to root out genderbased violence is the adoption of zero-tolerance towards rape, violation of the rights of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and other forms of violence towards women and children.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) has, after engaging with Regional Court presidents, identified 57 Regional Courts across the country for use as dedicated Sexual Offences courts. The department allocated a separate budget in its 2013 MTEF to increase the capacity of these courts. The earmarked budget was used in particular for the following:

  • the creation of additional Regional magistrates’ posts to increase the capacity of these courts
  • appointment of additional personnel including intermediaries
  • skills development programmes and social context training for regional magistrates and personnel of these courts
  • enhancing the services provided by the TCCs which are essential in addressing secondary victimisation. More funds will be mobilised to increase the 51 TCCs across the country
  • the installation and maintenance of the technological equipment fi tted in the designated courts, such as CCTV cameras, to ensure the integrity of the judicial process.

The Ndabezitha Project with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) trains traditional leaders and clerks of the court in domestic-violence matters in rural areas. This includes the development of a safety tool and intersectoral statistical tool by the NPA and the DoJ&CD.

The department engaged in research methodology called the 10-Year Review of Implementation of the Domestic Violence Act of 1998 aimed at taking stock of all initiatives and projects in courts and the CJS to address the reduction and prevention of domestic violence.

The Protection from Harassment Act, 2011 (Act 17 of 2011), is the first specific legislation to address sexual harassment in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The essence of the Act is to provide a quick, easy and affordable civil remedy in the form of a protection order for incidences of stalking. The legislation arose out of a SALRC investigation into the legal framework governing stalking and domestic violence. A key component of the Act is that it seeks to cover all forms of stalking, not just that involving people engaged in a relationship. A protection order can be issued instructing the harasser to cease harassment.

The Act sets out how a complainant is to apply for a protection order and the procedure to be followed in granting one. The legislation also provides for the issuing of an interim protection order without the knowledge of the respondent, given certain conditions. A victim of cyberstalking can apply to a court for an interim protection order even when the identity of the alleged stalker is unknown. The law will also empower the police to investigate a stalker to identify the perpetrator even before a victim launches an application for a protection order.

More on domestic violence.

Source: SA Yearbook 2013/14

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Back to basics

The core services that local government provides – clean drinking water, sanitation, electricity, shelter, waste removal and roads – are basic human rights, essential components of the right to dignity enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Local government (municipalities) has been a primary site for the delivery of services in South Africa since 1994. We have made tremendous progress in delivering water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal at a local level. These rates of delivery are unprecedented in world-wide terms.

Yet despite our delivery achievements, it is clear that much needs to be done to support, educate and where needed, enforce implementation of local government’s mandate for delivery. The transformation of the local government sector remains a priority for the current administration.

Our National Development Plan makes it clear that meeting our transformation agenda requires functional municipalities and a capable machinery at a local level that can create safe and healthy and economically sustainable areas where citizens and people can work, live and socialise.

Our goal is to improve the functioning of municipalities to better serve communities by getting the basics right. The Department of Cooperative Governance is tasked to build and strengthen the capability and accountability of municipalities.

Building blocks for the Back-to-Basics approach

Basic services: Creating decent living conditions

Municipalities must:

  • Develop fundable consolidated infrastructure plans.
  • Ensure infrastructure maintenance and repairs to reduce losses with respect to:
    • Water and sanitation.
    • Human Settlements.
    • Electricity.
    • Waste Management.
    • Roads.
    • Public Transportation.
  • Ensure the provision of Free Basic Services and the maintenance of Indigent register.

Good governance

Good governance is at the heart of the effective functioning of municipalities. Municipalities will be constantly monitored and evaluated on their ability to carry out the following basics:

  • The holding of Council meetings as legislated.
  • The functionality of oversight structures, S79 committees, audit committees and District IGR Forums.
  • Whether or not there has been progress following interventions over the last 3 – 5 years.
  • The existence and efficiency of anti-corruption measures.
  • The extent to which there is compliance with legislation and the enforcement of by-laws.
  • The rate of service delivery protests and approaches to address them.

Public participation

Measures will be taken to ensure that municipalities engage with their communities.

Municipalities must develop affordable and efficient communication systems to communicate regularly with communities and disseminate urgent information. The basic measures to be monitored include:

  • The existence of the required number of functional Ward committees.
  • The number of effective public participation programmes conducted by Councils.
  • The regularity of community satisfaction surveys carried out..

Financial management

Sound financial management is integral to the success of local government.

Performance against the following basic indicators will be constantly assessed:

  • The number of disclaimers in the last three to five years.
  • Whether the budgets are realistic and based on cash available.
  • The percentage revenue collected.
  • The extent to which debt is serviced.
  • The efficiency and functionality of supply chain management.

Institutional capacity

There has to be a focus on building strong municipal administrative systems and processes. It includes ensuring that administrative positions are filled with competent and committed people whose performance is closely monitored. Targeted and measurable training and capacity building will be provided for councillors and municipal officials so that they are able to deal with the challenges of local governance as well as ensuring that scarce skills are addressed through bursary and training programmes. The basic requirements to be monitored include:

  • Ensuring that the top six posts (Municipal Manager, Finance, Infrastructure Corporate Services, Community development and Development Planning) are filled by competent and qualified persons.
  • That the municipal organograms are realistic, underpinned by a service delivery model and affordable.
  • That there are implementable human resources development and management programmes.
  • There are sustained platforms to engage organised labour to minimise disputes and disruptions.
  • Importance of establishing resilient systems such as billing.

Source: Back to basics! Serving our communities better

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Public works

Department of Public Works (DPW)
Expanded Public Works Programme
Budget

Department of Public Works (DPW)

By May 2013, South Africa was well on track with the creation of an Assets Register intended to accurately reflect for the first time the State’s assets.

To establish an Immovable Assets Register, the records of 180 000 land parcels, which ascribed custodianship to a responsible department or level of government, were investigated.

A physical verification process started in July 2013 and by 31 March 2015 an Immovable Assets Register was expected to be completed.

Still waiting to be completed was the allocation of custodianship of 4 500 land parcels, while about 24 000 land parcels also had to be vested.

This process would be rounded off by March 2016. With a sustainable register of State immovable assets in place, the department has at its disposal the tools to leverage a massive portfolio for economic development.

The DPW manages 2 788 leased properties in South Africa, all of which have been reviewed.

Of these 1 316 needed attention, revision or renewal, while 365 have already been addressed.

Recommendations for the remaining 951 leases were expected to be in place by the end of June 2013.

The DPW experienced challenges when it opted for a turnaround project to rebuild the department.

A Business Improvement Unit was created to drive this process.

The core of this unit is located in the offi ce of the DG to ensure that the process is not derailed in the event of the Minister being recalled.

The turnaround strategy homed in on five areas, including developing a credible register of State immovable assets, auditing leases, and reducing fraud and corruption.

Working closely with the SIU, the department investigated a number of irregular leases and projects, with 23 out of a total of 40 investigations completed.

Expanded Public Works Programme

The EPWP remains an effective part of government’s response to the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Through the EPWP, projects such as building low-cost bridges over rivers, were making a real difference to people’s lives.

The initial target in the second phase of the EPWP, for the period 2009 to 2014, was to create 4,5 million work opportunities.

This target had been increased to nearly five million new work opportunities, with a special emphasis on unemployed youth and women.

Some 8 000 youth were recruited for artisan training to be employed by the national and provincial branches of the Department of Public Works.

The projects carried out by the EPWP sought to improve the quality of life of poor communities, in particular.

Road maintenance projects; the Working for Water projects, which also involve the removal of alien vegetation; Home Community Based Care projects; the Community Safety Programme and a cemetery maintenance programme piloted in rural municipalities are among the projects that made a positive impact on the lives of poor communities.

Departments should investigate an expanded role for the EPWP in the roll-out of the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs), and ensure that government departments and SOEs all use the EPWP and labour-intensive methodology to maximise job creation.

Budget

The departmental budget allocation was R6,2 billion in 2013/14. The department’s adjusted baseline refl ects the ongoing reorganisation and includes the reprioritisation of R827 million to the Administration and the Immovable Asset Management programmes to provide for the implementation of the turnaround programme in the department.

Capital projects created some 40 000 jobs during 2013/14.

Some 300 capital projects were expected to be completed by the end of March 2014.

The erosion of core professional services in the department has negatively affected its ability to deliver on its mandate. The department secured a budget appropriation of R66 million to fi ll 88 out of 219 vacant and unfunded core professional positions.

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