‘We’ll all be ambassadors in 2010’

first_img30 July 2008Ordinary South Africans will all be ambassadors for the country and the continent when the world descends on South Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, says Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad.Speaking at the 2010 National Communication Partnership conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Pahad said it was ordinary South Africans who would “be the first point of contact for those travelling to South Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.”The conference, taking place for the third year, provides a platform for communicators from across the continent to share ideas on how to project a positive image of the continent to the world in 2010.Pahad said the eyes of the world were already on South Africa, but that the international spotlight would intensify after the 2008 Beijing Olympics concluded in late August.Journalists and communicators needed to “accentuate the positive” while being open to criticism and dealing with that criticism in a receptive, proactive way, Pahad said.Communicators needed to highlight that South Africa’s stadiums would be ready, that its banking and IT services were on par with any in the world, and that the country’s physical infrastructure was receiving a complete make-over.“We need to allay fears [around the country’s] electricity supply, and safety and security, and constraints in accommodation.Pahad said Africa’s media needed to ask themselves whether they had the independence to question foreign doubts about South Africa’s preparations, and the self-confidence to point out when stories lacked substance or were based on unfounded information.Moeketsi Mosola, chief executive of South African Tourism and acting CEO of the International Marketing Council, told the conference that what happened in and around Soccer City in Johannesburg, or the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, in June and July of 2010 would influence global perceptions about Botswana, Uganda, Cameroon and Tunisia.“Hosting such an event means every aspect of South African and African society will come under the microscope of the international media,” Mosola said, and the country and the continent had to “make the most of opportunities which we probably won’t have again for a very long time.“We must use the opportunity to build African solidarity and encourage growth in a global economy. We must do this so that we can speak for ourselves, and not be spoken for,” Mosola said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

SA bestows National Orders

first_imgOrder of Companions of OR Tambo. Order of Mapungubwe. Order of the Baobab.   (Images: SA Army) Khanyi MagubaneCuban revolutionary Fidel Castro and astute businessman and former politician Cyril Ramaphosa are amongst the 28 recipients of the prestigious National Orders from the South African government on 27 March.The 28 men and women will be acknowledged by President Kgalema Motlanthe, custodian of the National Orders, as having playing a significant role in South Africa’s advancement in different key areas.Castro, instrumental in leading the Cuban revolution, which overthrew the government of General Fulgencio Batista in the late 1950s, has always had close ties to South Africa.He will be honoured for his contribution to ending racism, colonialism, apartheid and inequality in human society by receiving the Supreme Order of Companions of OR Tambo in Gold.Ramaphosa will be bestowed with the Order of Baobab in Silver, while Professor Kader Asmal, former education minister and human rights activist, will be awarded the Order of Luthuli in Silver.Other recipients include Rebecca Masilela, who played a vital role in helping exiled politicians in Swaziland when they fled to her for refuge.Another role player of the liberation movement, James “Jimmy” la Guma, will also receive the Order of Luthuli in Silver.Speaking at the announcement of the National Orders on 25 March, Director-General in the office of the president Reverend Frank Chikane said those chosen to receive the special awards were “extraordinary people”.“The national orders are prescribed in the National Constitution of the Republic of South Africa that part of the responsibility of the president is to honour extraordinary people in South Africa who serve in one form or another … in making a contribution to the country,” Chikane said.Chikane added this year’s award will be bestowed under the theme “Hope and Resilience,” and form part of nation building to, “seek to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and human rights.”Head of the advisory council for the awards, Yvonne Muthien described those receiving the National Orders as outstanding, “[I believe] they are outstanding because they have in some way contributed to making a better life for all for those who live in South Africa.”Muthien shared the announcement of this year’s recipients with Chikane at the event held in Pretoria. Amongst those who will receive their awards at the Union Buildings include the Namibian born Andimba Toivo ya Toivom who will be acknowledged for his contribution to independence and freedom in South Africa and Namibia. A founding member of the Ovamboland People’s Congress, Toiya’s political activities lead to his arrest in 1966 by the South African authorities.He was imprisoned on the infamous Robben Island for 20 years.Toivo will receive the Order of Companions of O.R. in Silver.How the National Orders workFor the 2009 chapter of the National Orders, the Order of Baobab, the Order of Luthuli and the Order of O.R. Tambo will be handed to the beneficiaries.The hierarchy of National Orders is decided upon based on the contribution of the individuals.The Order of Baobab finds its inspiration from the baobab, a tropical African tree.The origin of the name baobab forms part of many African ancient legends and mysteries. Known as having magical properties for Africans, the qualities of the baobab tree is its ability to endure ferocious weather and its longevity.The Order of Baobab is awarded to South Africans for distinguished service, well above and beyond the ordinary call of duty – showing tenacity and resilience.The recipients are individuals who have made a contribution in the struggle for democracy; building democracy and human rights; nation building; peace and security; journalism, literature, arts, culture and music; business and the economy; science, medicine and technological innovation.Divided into three categories, the Order is awarded in the Supreme Counsellor of the Order of Baobab in gold, the Grand Counsellor of Baobab in silver and the Counsellor of Baobab in bronze.The Order of O.R. Tambo is awarded to foreign nationals (heads of state and government) and other foreign dignitaries.It is awarded for friendship shown to South Africa and is regarded as an order of peace, co-operation and active expression of solidarity and support.The Order of Luthuli is awarded to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.It is also conferred in three categories; the Supreme Companion of O.R. Tambo (gold), Grand Companion of O.R. Tambo (silver) and Companion of O.R. Tambo (bronze).The Order of Luthuli is given to South Africans who’ve made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.It’s named after the late Chief Albert Luthuli, who is widely regarded for his vision to see African people participate fully in the socio-economic and political development of South Africa.The legendary liberation struggle leader became the first African recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961.Other National Orders, which will not be awarded this year, include the Order of Mapungubwe, Order of Ikhamanga and the Mendi Decoration for bravery.The first orders were bestowed in 2003. Some notable recipients of the National Orders include musicians Abigail Kubeka and Dorothy Masuka, American musician Harry Belafonte, pioneering ANC leader John Dube and recent winner of the Commonwealth prize for best African novel, Mandla Langa. The symbols for the different National Orders were decided by a panel of academics and specialists versed in indigenous symbols and symbolism.They were asked to identify key factors and elements that denote the collective and inclusive history and experience of Africa with South Africa as the main point of reference.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: [email protected] Related ArticlesUN lifetime award for Tutu UK honours top SA nurse World honour for SA Botanist Judge Sachs in honoured in NY Useful LinksSouth African National OrdersDepartment of Arts and CultureAlbert Luthuli biographyO R Tambo biographylast_img read more

Congress taking action on 199A

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Members of Congress are working feverishly to undo a newly instated tax break that is meant to level the playing field between agricultural cooperatives and corporations who received a dramatic tax break under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.“One unintended consequence to the tax bill had to do with cooperatives and the way farmers who sell to cooperatives are treated. The bill created a larger than normal deduction for farmers selling their commodities to a cooperative. That immediately set off alarm bells and started to create distortions in the market,” said Pat Wolff, senior director of congressional relations  for American Farm Bureau. “Farmers were told that if they sold commodities to a co-op they’d get a bigger tax deduction than if they sold it to a private company. Immediately, Congress said that this wasn’t intended and that they intended to change it. We have been waiting since January for the fix to come out. Congress wants to put the fix in the omnibus spending bill that has to be passed by March 23 or the government will shut down. It is considered a must-pass legislation and we’re expecting the co-op 199A fix to be a part of that bill.”The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) and National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) issued a joint statement regarding a stakeholder-driven proposal to resolve the unintended consequences of Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The two organizations said they support inclusion of the legislation to amend Section 199A as part of the fiscal year 2018 Omnibus appropriations bill this month, and believe it warrants bipartisan support. The legislation, if approved by Congress, would be retroactive to the start of the 2018 tax year on Jan. 1.The legislative language that has been developed is designed to achieve the two fundamental objectives of stakeholders:First, to replicate to the greatest extent possible the tax benefits accorded to farmer-owned cooperatives and their farmer-patrons under the previous Section 199, also known as the Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD), of the tax code, as it existed prior to its repeal in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted on Dec. 23, 2017; andSecond, to restore the competitive landscape of the marketplace as it existed in December 2017 so that the tax code does not provide an incentive for farmers to do business with a company purely because it is organized as a cooperative or private/independent firm.“Throughout the tax reform process that began last year, NCFC has consistently called on Congress to retain DPAD for farmer co-ops and their member-owners and this legislation largely meets that goal. The old Section 199 had a proven track record of letting farmers keep more of their hard-earned money. We expect these provisions to do the same,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “By combining the individual-level business deductions that farmers can claim and the pass-through from their co-ops, farmers selling to cooperatives have the opportunity to see benefits in excess of the 20% 199A pass-through deduction.”NGFA President and CEO Randy Gordon said great care was taken by stakeholders to develop a concept that provides tax relief to farmers, as envisioned in the tax-reform law, while restoring to the maximum extent possible the competitive balance in the marketplace. NGFA noted its members consist of an almost equal number of grain, feed and grain-processing businesses organized as cooperatives and private/independents.“Given the complexities of the issue and the different types and sizes of businesses, no legislation will ever be perfect for every income or business situation,” Gordon said. “But the stakeholder concepts on which this legislative language is based have been analyzed and reanalyzed in excruciating detail by tax experts representing both cooperative and private/independent businesses, as well as Congressional tax staff experts. We believe the solution merits enactment so that competitive choices remain available to agricultural producers and the marketplace — not the tax code — determines with whom they do business. We appreciate the commitment of members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to get it fixed.”While the measures may address the inequity for buyers of agricultural products, there are concerns that the farmers and cooperatives that would have significantly benefitted from the tax breaks will lose out.“Corporations just received one of the largest tax breaks in their history, the addition of 199A was an attempt to level the playing field for cooperative businesses. To repeal parts of this important tax break would be to strike at the single most important benefit family farmers received from tax reform,” said Roger Johnson National Farmers Union president. “Not only would corporations be better off, but farmers would be disadvantaged by working with their cooperatives. Wage limits contained in this proposal will discriminate against family farms that don’t hire outside workers, especially if they work with small cooperatives who also have a limited wage base. Farmers could alternatively see the 20% deduction on taxable income reduced to 11%, if they do business with a co-op. Under this new proposed language, farmers could sell to a private company and lock in the 20% deduction, or they can sell to a co-op and receive an 11% deduction.”last_img read more