Enough is Enough – 365 Days to End Gender-Based Violence and Femicide

Enough is Enough – 365 Days to End Gender-Based Violence and Femicide

By Thandi Vivian Tobias, Brand South Africa’s Chairperson of the Board

As we come to the end of observing 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children, we spare a thought for all those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence. This has become a pandemic in our country, with women dying daily at the hands of men. It is an issue that needs to be consistently addressed for 365 days of the year.

The annual commemoration stems from the United Nations campaign which takes place from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). The United Nations identifies violence against women as a problem that transcends racial, cultural, religious, geographical and economic borders. This year’s theme for 16 Days of Activism for no Violence Against Women and Children is Enough is Enough – 356 Days to End Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. Violence of any kind is unacceptable, especially violence towards unfortified segments of society like women and children.

We are all affected by the scourge that plagues our country, whether directly or indirectly and so; all South Africans have a responsibility to play their part and take a stand. Enough is enough.

In raising awareness on issues of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, we cannot turn a blind eye to the very violent and brutal war underway against the women of South Africa. Earlier this year at a joint sitting of parliament on the scourge of violence in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Regardless of where we stand across the political divide, each of us here recognises the reality that we are confronting a crisis of violence and intolerance. We have to act now before anger, hopelessness and despair engulfs our country.

Let us to come together to signify the magnitude of the challenge we face, and the importance that our Parliament should attach to it. Confronted with this daily, the women of our country are demanding that we should have a ‘state of emergency’ which may go a long way in enabling us to deal more effectively with the scourge.”

To echo the President’s sentiments, Brand South Africa pleads with communities across the country to continue to play their part by unwaveringly calling out and reporting abusers, supporting victims and educating community members. The President has also called for harsher sentences for perpetrators and this has been witnessed with the recent arrests and sentencing of Luyanda Botha and Nicholas Ninow to mention a few.

South Africa can no longer afford to be seen as one of the most violent and dangerous countries for women and children. This is against our values of Ubuntu. Our focus is on positioning the brand of South Africa to be seen in a positive light and incidents on gender based violence take away from this focus.

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

About Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.

Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.

Promoting a culture of reading, writing and literacy at the 4th Annual Abantu Book Festival

Promoting a culture of reading, writing and literacy at the 4th Annual Abantu Book Festival

By Phindi Maduna

As the official custodian of the country’s Nation Brand, Brand South Africa was pleased to partner with the Abantu Book Festival for the second year in a row. The organisation consistently promotes African youth development and advocates for the culture of reading, writing and literacy.

The four-day celebration of African arts and culture which took place from 5 to 8 December this year, goes a long way in showcasing the vibrant township of Soweto to South Africans and people the world over. What started off as a mainly continental gathering has now developed to become an internationally supported and much anticipated get-together. There is no better place than the historic location of Soweto to redress the effects of the apartheid system that displaced spaces occupied by black people. In the post-apartheid era, education is at the heart of nation building. Education has proven to be instrumental in shifting this displacement and mind-sets.

Once again, Brand South Africa partnered on the Creative Writing Workshop Masterclass. This is an effort to mentor writers with skills and competencies to share their stories with the world. This is an important educational interaction and exchange of information for aspiring writers who may otherwise not get the opportunity to engage with seasoned authors.

Mohale Mashigo, the convenor of this year’s workshop, is one such seasoned author whose critically acclaimed debut novel ‘The Yearning’ brought much needed original subject matter to the South African literary scene in 2016. It is also noteworthy that Mohale is an all-round creative – a singer, songwriter and poet. Brand South Africa urged the participants to take the opportunity to learn and draw inspiration from her.

“To Thando Mgqolozana and his team of creatives, you exemplify youth who have emerged as a creative and constructive force that can find solutions to South Africa’s social, economic and political challenges.” Said Thulisile Manzini, Brand South Africa’s Acting Chief Executive Officer.

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

About Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.

Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.

In Pursuit of the Crown: Play Your Part Ambassador set to Compete at Mrs. Globe 2019

In Pursuit of the Crown: Play Your Part Ambassador set to Compete at Mrs. Globe 2019

By Phindi Maduna

On 25 November to 8 December 2019, businesswoman and philanthropist, Mrs. Lucia Ochan will represent Africa during the Mrs. Globe 2019 pageant in that will be held in Shenzhen, China.

In addition to being the Mrs. Mpumalanga 2017 second runner-up, Mrs. Ochan is also the reigning Mrs. Africa Globe 2019. She was also recently awarded the ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’ award at the 4th Annual Sunrise Women Award 2019 which took place in her home province of Mpumalanga.

She uses these esteemed platforms to raise worldwide awareness on work  being done  to advance the rights of the elderly, women and children.

Addressing issues around the education, leadership, health, safety and security of the elderly, women and children, especially young girls, is close to Mrs Ochan’s heart. She is committed to making change that allows for  exercising the values enshrined in the South African Constitution.

It is noteworthy that her participation in the pageant coincides with the period when South African will be observing the 16 Days of Activism of Violence against Women and Children Campaign between 25 November to 10 December 2019. South Africa has over the years dedicated this period to draw attention to issues on violence against women and children and finding meaningful ways to address it.

Brand South Africa wishes Mrs. Ochan well in her endeavor to fly the flag and amplify the voice of the country’s people. This is how she continues to Play her Part.

Opening remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa for meeting with the Black Business Council

Opening remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa for meeting with the Black Business Council

President of the Black Business Council, Mr Sandile Zungu,
CEO of the Black Business Council, Mr Kganki Matabane,
Leaders from business and Industry
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to begin by thanking the Black Business Council for initiating this meeting.

We are all keenly aware of the challenging economic climate and the urgency with which we have to improve the business and investment climate, create jobs and improve the living conditions of South Africans.

It is therefore encouraging that the business sector, particularly black business, is keen to engage with government.

Our success as a country depends on bringing all social partners together, and on using all available platforms for engagement.

The Black Business Council is an influential voice in articulating the position of the business community around key national economic issues.
You are to be commended for your enduring commitment to be partners in driving economic transformation and national development.

We have just concluded the second South Africa Investment Conference, which resulted in R363 billion in investment commitments.

As we look set to reach our goal of securing R1.2 trillion in investment over five years, what was most encouraging was that domestic investment in our economy is on the rise.

At the inaugural Investment Conference in 2018, local companies committed in the region of R157 billion.

This year, they committed just over R262 billion.

What this says to us is that local business confidence is slowly but surely returning.

Of course we welcome foreign direct investment, but it is our local businesses and industries that we really want to see ploughing capital back into our economy.

Local business must be at the forefront of our national investment drive.

When you reinvest in our economy, it gives confidence to foreign investors that this is a good place to bring their money. What this trend signals is that our economic reform agenda is gaining traction.

It suggests that there is less reticence in the local business community to commit capital to new operations or to expand existing operations.

Since taking office at the beginning of last year, we have worked consistently to address the concerns of business.

We have worked to improve policy certainty and the ease of doing business, remove regulatory impediments, maintain macroeconomic stability, reduce public debt and fix our state-owned enterprises.

Policy reform has taken place in key areas like mining, oil and gas, telecoms, energy and immigration.

Measures to reduce the cost of doing business are being implemented, including reductions in rail and port tariffs.

Guided by the recommendations of the Presidential Panel on Land Reform, we are working on the implementation of our accelerated land reform programme.

We have a new enhanced industrial strategy founded on partnerships between government, industry and labour.

We recently concluded master plans in the poultry and clothing and textiles sectors.

Master plans are in development for other industries with high-growth potential such as automotives; gas, chemicals and plastics; metals; renewable energy; agricultural and agro-processing; and high-tech ICT industries.

An Investment and Infrastructure Office is being established in the Presidency to coordinate the country’s investment strategy and infrastructure drive.

We are in the process of setting up the Infrastructure Fund to leverage investments from financial institutions, multilateral development banks, asset managers and commercial banks.

Measures to stimulate the economy must be matched by prudent fiscal policies and sound macroeconomic management.

The newly-appointed Presidential Economic Advisory Council will contribute to greater coherence and consistency in the implementation of economic policy, and will advise on policies to spur inclusive growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strengthening governance at our state-owned enterprises and restoring their finances to health is vital if we are to rein in public debt.

Energy security is critical if local industries are to flourish.

The Eskom board, working with government, continues to pursue a turnaround plan to address its huge debt, its liquidity problems and its operational challenges.

The appointment of a new permanent Group Chief Executive at Eskom is an important step towards restoring stability and forging a sustainable path at this strategic entity.

We are undertaking these measures in support of the overriding effort to address the unemployment crisis.

In my monthly meetings with leaders of government, business, labour and communities to track commitments made at last year’s Jobs Summit, we are focused on the practical work needed to protect existing jobs and create new ones.

As the Presidency, we have been working with stakeholders inside and outside government on a package of interventions to create pathways for young people into economic activity.

Ours is a singular determination to improve the business climate and to implement the reform that is necessary to attract more investment and create more jobs.

Ultimately, however it is the private sector that will create the bulk of the jobs that our country needs.

That is why engagements such as this one are critical.

We need you to work with us to remove the impediments that exist in the business environment so that business is able to take the lead in creating jobs and opportunities for our people.

We need you to work with us to fundamentally transform the economy.

As representatives of black business, you have a central role to play in the national effort to change the structure of our economy to ensure that it is representative, inclusive and benefits all our people.

Your experiences at the rock face of business transformation must serve as a guide as we seek to build on our achievements and address our shortcomings.

Your insights are particularly important as we work to strengthen the implementation of our broad-based black economic empowerment policies, ensuring that they achieve far-reaching and sustainable empowerment.

To fulfil its purpose, it is essential that broad-based BEE contributes to inclusive economic growth and job creation.

We should all be concerned about the slow pace of transformation in the workplace, particularly in the private sector.

This necessitates some serious introspection by business and clear strategies to promote employment equity.

We know that black businesses who do work for the State have a myriad of challenges, especially around payment for services.

Despite the introduction of a 30 day payment stipulation, we know that it is not being uniformly adhered to, and we are therefore working hard to fix the problems in this regard.

The Black Business Council has always maintained that business does not only have a responsibility to shareholders.

Business has an equally important role to play in building a more inclusive economy and society.

Businesses can and must be drivers of development and play a role in resolving our key national challenges of poverty and inequality.

We are reassured by the faith that black business has in this country and in its government.

We value your input on what more can be done to unlock the economy, which sectors should still be tapped to grow our economy and what strategies can have the greatest effect.

With these words I thank you once again for initiating this engagement, and I look forward to the discussions that will follow.

I thank you.

Growing Up Without a Father Foundation addresses resolutions for a ‘fatherless generation’ on International Men’s Day

Growing Up Without a Father Foundation addresses resolutions for a ‘fatherless generation’ on International Men’s Day

International Men’s Day is observed on 19 November every year to celebrate the well-being of young boys and men and the value they add to families and communities.

It is evident that there is a dire need for inspirational male role models in society today, to guide the next generation of men and raise awareness of socio-economic ills like gender-based violence. This year’s theme for Men’s Day is: Making a difference for men and boys.

The Growing Up Without a Father South African Foundation, a non-profit entity that was established to create awareness around the ripple effects of a fatherlessness generation, especially in poverty-stricken communities, has joined forces with Carling Black Label and Old Mutual for Carling’s #NoExcuse campaign against Gender-Based-Violence.

Statistics paint a bleak picture of the current state of GBV with an alarming rise in crimes against women & children, thus the implementation of International Men’s Day and Men’s Month to address these realities and call for accountability, while addressing the challenges men face.

Over the last few days, The Growing Up Without a Father South African Foundation has been honouring South African men. The Foundation and Carling Black Label are engaging with men from all walks of life, unpacking direct and indirect challenges men encounter.

International Men’s Day also provides an opportunity for conversations around issues of physical and mental health awareness, workplace challenges and overall wellness, and Growing Up Without A Father South African Foundation is delighted to be championing conversations that are often considered ‘weak’.

As the country prepares for 16 Days of Activism, Brand South Africa urges all men to take accountability and play their part in the fight against Gender-Based Violence. You can add your signature to Brand South Africa’s pledge here.

Promoting Constitutional Awareness with Play Your Part Ambassador Sihle Ndaba

Promoting Constitutional Awareness with Play Your Part Ambassador Sihle Ndaba

The social impact documentary film ‘Sisters of the Wilderness’ [Video] starts principal photography this May in the iMfolozi wilderness, in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’s oldest game reserve. It tells the story of five young underprivileged women on a life-changing wilderness journey.

‘Sisters of the Wilderness’, which started shooting in 2016 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, takes a fresh and unusual look at human and Nature interconnectedness and the power of wilderness to empower young people and develop a new type of leadership based on compassion and respect.

The passion project of London based, Ronit Shapiro, Founder of One Nature Films, will tell the story of a group of young women from disadvantaged background who aspire to elevate themselves beyond challenging life conditions and become a force for good in their communities. They embark on a life-changing journey, within and without, into the wilderness of Zululand where they experience true wild Nature for the first time.

“A journey into wilderness is an intense experience where one can expect to undergo a personal transformation. It can enhance personal growth and leadership development; and it is also a soulful experience that has the capacity to heal…” says project’s creator and producer Ronit Shapiro who experienced it herself on a wilderness trail few years ago.

The women will walk and sleep in big game country, totally surrounded by free roaming wild animals such as elephants, rhinos and lions. Exposed to the elements, and carrying on their back all they need for the journey, they will have to cope with emotional and physical challenges, and learn the practical skills of survival in the wilderness.

Women’s empowerment and leadership development; and the value of wilderness to our wellbeing are observed through the individual and collective stories of the women and their guides.

The film’s location, the iMfolozi Wilderness in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is home to one of the biggest rhino population in Africa. “I chose this location to highlight the plight of the rhino whose numbers keep plummeting due to the illegal hunting for its highly-value horn; and the threat to this unique wilderness area and the surrounding rural communities from intensive mining.

This is a place which has so much potential to enrich us but at the same time it is greatly vulnerable and threatened by man’s greed and his forces of destruction.”

The project which has a long term social impact vision aims to re-connect audiences with Nature in the light of the growing disconnection between man and Nature; and the deteriorating state of the planet. The global impact plan includes the development of a multi-platform immersive audience engagement experience which will combine an interactive website, app, virtual reality and a multi-media art installation.

Whilst locally in South Africa, Ronit is working closely with schools and organisations that work in areas related to the wellness of people and the environment to develop interactive community engagements and screenings. In addition, each one of the young women will have a twelve months mentorship and leadership development program beyond the film with the goal of creating a positive ripple effect which will benefit their families and communities.  This is Mrs Shapiro’s debut documentary after a career change she embarked on few years ago. “I bring to the project many years of marketing and project management experience; and my deep passion for the wellness of people and the environment. There is a wonderful committed team working with me on the project and we all have faith in this timely and important story.”

Ronit has recently launched an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to raise money to cover the costs of the social impact elements of the project and to build relationships with potential audiences. “We are delighted to collaborate in this campaign with many like-minded organisations and businesses who work across a wide range of environmental, community upliftment and women empowerment projects. We are honoured to have amongst our collaborators: The Bateleurs, The Mantis Collection, Thula Thula Game Reserve, The Wilderness Leadership School, Zuza Trading, Africa Ignite, In the Company of Horses, Royal Gypsy, Fezufunda and Planet Afryca .”  “By supporting our Indiegogo campaign one can make a real difference to young women’s lives and help us revive Nature in people’s imagination.”

For additional information about ‘Sisters of the Wilderness’ please follow this link: INDIGOGO

Contact: Ronit Shapiro, Producer – ‘Sisters of the Wilderness’ / Founder – One Nature Films on tel: +44 (0)7971 196446

SistersWilderness

 

NOTES:

About One Nature Films:

One Nature Films is a social impact film production company based in London, UK, founded by Ronit Shapiro in 2011. Our vision is to create engaging high quality films that inspire, connect and make a difference. We believe in the power of film to make social and environmental impact. One Nature Films has a deep-rooted passion for the environment, the natural world and human society. Our name ‘One Nature’ reflects our belief in the oneness of humanity and the interconnectedness of all things. We strive to be ethical and socially responsible. One Nature, beyond film-making, is a social enterprise focused on the wellness or people and the environment. Our aim is to bring about social impact in any project we develop.

About Ronit Shapiro:

Ronit’s career spans more than twenty years in marketing, communications, event production and project management. Ronit headed global marketing and branding projects in both public and private organisations and had her own event and marketing consultancy which focused on initiatives relating to the wellbeing of people and the environment. In 2011 Ronit founded One Nature Films with a vision to create high quality social impact films. She is a self-taught filmmaker and gained experience as an independent producer, executive producer, researcher, screenwriter and director whilst working on the adaption of the book ‘Zulu Wilderness: Shadow and Soul’ by Dr. Ian Player into a narrative feature film. The ‘Sisters of the Wilderness’ documentary and social impact project is a natural progression from ‘Zulu Wilderness’ and carries similar themes and messages. It is also set in the same location. Ronit conceived the project and drives it forward.

Wilderness Leadership School

The Wilderness Leadership School was the first non profit organisation in Africa dedicated to providing a pure wilderness experience for people of all backgrounds, races and nationalities. Steeped in a rich environmental history, The Wilderness Leadership School was founded in 1957 by the legendary Dr Ian Player who, together with his friend and mentor Maqgubu Ntombela, recognised the necessity for people to connect with the environment. Today The Wilderness Leadership School continues to provide an educational experience to thousands of South African youth and overseas visitors.