PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Thembelani Maphanga
 
Comments: 9
Article views: 821
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Thembelani Maphanga's badges.
 

Letter to my government

14 May 2014, 09:55

Dear Minister of DPE

My name is Thembelani Maphanga, an IT Manager in local government. I have extensive experience and qualifications in IT and feel that the manner in which some of the infrastructure projects are done in a manner that does not address the dire needs of our people. First of all please accept my apology for addressing you on this matter as it may not be an area of jurisdiction I am doing this because you are a minister in my government and may have access to offices that are not made available to us the public.

I have written many letters and proposal to departments and these have fallen on deaf ears for reasons best known to the institutional heads. Minister the issue of alignment and public participation as a principle is very critical and central to human development. We must continue to engage our people earnestly so that we share our experiences and expertise, so that we learn from others instead of assuming that we public officials know it all. I am saying this because we have been trying hard to engage officials tasked with investment decisions and the public views are never taken into account. A case in point is the manner in which Universal Service Agency of South Africa and the Universal Access Fund. We have been trying to engage this agency by interacting with their teams with no luck. Funds from USASA have been used for many years to develop rural communities with minimal impact to our people. The fund has accumulated so much money  that is not being used to change the lives of our people. We have seen a number of computer centres being developed with minimum impact to the rural people of the south. Alfred Nzo District Municipality has around 76,000 households that have electricity. Using an estimated R130m of these funds we could deliver internet access to all our communities that currently have electricity. This will allow us to start talking about the development of content to be delivered and mode of delivery when we have started implementing the infrastructure upgrades. The use of “Web-box” (Vodacom) and “Internet in a box” (MTN) and many other products that are currently available may start the revolution we need to deliver to the expectations of our rural poor people. The more we talk about these projects the more time we loose and never deliver the services that these communities needs desperately. We have the statistics that more than 80% of our people are still living in rural communities and yet we are doing very little to impact on delivery of services to them. We still have almost 99% our rural schools without libraries (national study says that only 10% of public schools have libraries). We must do something about this issue because we continue to produce children that will not impact positively the economic and human development of our country. We continue to have less than 6% of our people without matric (Alfred Nzo District Municipality has only 5.8% people with matric). Whatever we have as a development initiative, minimum effect will be achieved as long as our people are not ready to respond to the initiatives. We continue to have high levels of literacy and unemployment but we do not see developments that will see a change in these communities. Minister I know that you have access to these statistics in your offices and you may have even more detail than I do. I would like to come up with proposals that will see our people begin to benefit from government investment :

  1. Schools Infrastructure Investment – Building a bigger middle class

It is common knowledge that when building a school between 25% and 35% of government investment will go to profits. If we are going to invest R10bn in the next 10yrs we know that at least 25% of this amount will go to profits. This approach will create the millionaires that are found in the region. The sad fact is that the companies that venture into these projects are not sustainable in the medium to long term. These companies live from one tender to the next. The majority exist on paper and they are staffed only when they have been awarded contracts.

It is my view that creating a 10yr plan that is focused of creating sustainable living for our people can be achieved if we were to change approach in this area:

    1. Identify the needs in the next 20yrs taking into account the population growth and the backlogs that still exist in the country

    2. Develop a programme made up of different projects

    3. Identify the skills requirements for the building of schools

    4. Partner with institutions of higher learning and develop training programmes that will deliver the skills required for the building projects

    5. Identify unemployed youths and train them as resources of the programme

    6. Employ the youths under the department of public works (to build schools in the next 10yrs) – giving them salaries between R8,000 and R15,000

    7. Pull out the schools building projects from Tenders and allocate this task to the department of public works

    8. Start with the schools building project using the R10bn

This approach will most definitely not create millionaires but will create a big middle class. This approach will see economic activity in rural areas of the south. More people will be able to afford decent living and be able to take their children to school. Skills and literacy levels will improve and we will see better living conditions. Some of excess skills will be able to venture into other projects and programmes run by public sector and private sector

Is it my view that this will be a pilot project on how we can best utilise infrastructure investment to uplift the rural communities. It is not the priority of government to create more millionaires as opposed to creating a better life for all. Restructuring the R4 Trillion Strategic Infrastructure budget can be used to impact positively in the lives of our people.  

  1. Universal Access to information – Technology Project

The next 20 years will see economic growth in the Information Economy. It is therefore critical that we position our strategic planning to accommodate this growth and therefore get the benefit in this growth. We must develop programmes that will utilise the existing resources. Given that our skills and literacy levels are very low there is a need for us to rapidly develop skills in the technology space and introduce more young people into the field. We also must utilise the IT investment to introduce more organisations and entrepreneurs into the filed. It is from this basis that we need to utilise the Universal Access Fund to bring about long term change that will see young people involved in IT from an early age. We must deliver solutions that will make sure that our people have got access to information in rural areas. This project will then look at three areas:

    1. The tools and facilities that we can use to receive and process information e.g. Tablets, Smartphones, Web-box, Internet in a box etc.

    2. The second project will be a massive skills development and training across rural villages of youths in different areas of IT

    3. The development of content/products and services

All three areas require significant investment yet the benefits could lead South Africa into a direction that will change how business is done, whilst making sure that our communities can benefits from the information growth economy.

  1. Green Economy – ANDM The Food Basket of South Africa

The last programme is to present ANDM as the food basket of South Africa. The area covered by ANDM stretches from the mountains bordering Lesotho, the hills and valleys bordering KZN, the coastline and the borders with OR Tambo. This area has access to vast areas or arable land, and have access to human resource that can be re-trained to participate in this economy. This project possesses all the areas of expertise that our young people would be interested in, including:

    1. Research and develop

    2. Engineering

    3. Transportation and logistics

    4. Economic and Accounting

    5. Agriculture

    6. Zoology and botany

    7. Horticulture

    8. Livestock farming

If managed well, all these areas of specialisation could be developed to support achieve the main objective to make this region “the food Basket of South Africa”. This focused vision can and will allow all future planning to be more focused in making sure that this vision is a reality.

Minister Gigaba, we have been dictated to for a very long time by big business and farming communities. There is a need that we break the cycle of poverty, underdevelopment, poverty and unemployment in our country. For this to happen we need focused programmes that we change the lives of our people in the rural areas using the resources that are at their disposal. We must begin to invest heavily in programmes that may not benefit big multi-national organisations but benefit our people.

I do hope that this email will reach your desk and will benefit my people in the medium to long term

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Meta
News in the digital age

How do you think that spreading your hate/bigotry and or intolerance helps anybody? Read more...

11 comments 681 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
How and why a Dictator is born

One needs to remember looking back in history these hard times is when a dictator is more likely to get born. It is during these hard times that a dictator gets voted into power. Read more...

5 comments 1429 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

2 comments 397 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Celebration

Make a list of at least ten things that you can celebrate, and write two or three reasons why you can celebrate those things or events. Read more...

1 comments 119 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Last squeak of the year

 Read more...

12 comments 139 views
Submitted by
MarkH

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.