Is short-term employment a possible solution to SA’s youth unemployment crisis?

Currently, the youth unemployment rate in South Africa is 50.09% – the highest in the world.  Even though it has decreased from 54.20 in the third quarter of 2016, it is still quite high considering the fact that about 48% of young South Africans are unemployed. Even after years of interventions from both the public and the private sector, coupled with a great deal of policy attention, the situation has escalated and is now considered chronic.

Needless to say, thousands of young South Africans whose ambition and hope has been crippled by the unemployment crisis are in desperate need of rescuing. However, it seems like resolving the situation requires large policy investment, political will and most importantly, time – a luxury we can’t afford at the moment. The question is, what can we do deal with this problem in the meantime?

The creation of short-term employment opportunities as one of the possible solutions comes to mind. Short-term employment opportunities such as internships, contract work and learnership programmes do not only ensure that one receives the much needed work experience, they also provide temporary relief to one’s financial strains. Furthermore, short-term employment means more unemployed youth are introduced to the job market even if they take turns doing do. However, as with anything else, short-term employment has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Short-term employment can offer flexibility you won’t find at a permanent, full-time job. This means you can use the breaks in between jobs to pursue personal projects or develop a new skills set. As a contract worker, you get a chance to impress the employer and this can lead to full-time employment. This form of employment is also an opportunity to sample a number of employers by taking on a series of different contracts in a variety of industries. Above all, all temporary jobs bring you a world of new lessons that you could not have possibly learnt by being in single permanent job and helps you build your resume.

On the down side, you might end up doing work you really do not enjoy, which can lead to boredom and a lack of motivation. In spite of whatever amount of experience you might have, as a temporary employee, you might feel you are a second-class employee, sometimes even feel inferior to the permanent employees in the organisation. Short-term jobs might be easier to find than full-time employment, however, there is no security and no employment benefits such as medical aid, pension fund etc.  Since you are paid as a contractor, meaning the employer will not deduct for taxes, you must therefore make sure to pay your taxes to the government on your own.

I spoke to a few Activators to get their views on temporary employment as a possible solution to South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis. Activator, Phetogo Kgosierileng thinks the high rate of unemployment is South Africa is one of the major contributors to the country’s high rate of crime and drug abuse. Therefore, providing employment opportunities for the youth, whether permanently or temporary, is killing two birds with one stone. “It is better for  young people to have temporary jobs that empower them and further develop their skills than being completely unemployed and frustrated, which can lead to poor life decisions like committing crime,” he adds.

Activator, Lisa Silwana says a lot of young graduates struggle to find employment because they lack the necessary work experience required to enter their respective industries. “Short-term employment is a great platform for graduates to gain experience and make contacts in order to advance in their careers. In a way, it can be seen as a solution to their issue of unemployment because it shapes young people to stand a better chance of getting employed in the future,” she says.

On the other hand, Activator, Dineo Segophiso doesn’t agree that short-term employment is a solution to the situation. Like thousands of other young people in South Africa, Dineo has faced the hardships that come with being unemployed. Unfortunately, in her experience, she didn’t enjoy any advantages of short-term employment because it was never in line with her vision and life goals.

Activator, Prince Charles thinks that young people accept temporary jobs because they are forced by circumstances to do so, not necessarily because of the advantaged mentioned above. “People are living under poverty and accept any kind of jobs just to put food on the table for their families. That is a good thing because people need financial relief,” he explains.

While the government and some private entities continue searching for efficient intervention for the youth unemployment crisis in South Africa, creating more short-term employment opportunities for the youth seems like a good idea. However, even though that comes with a lot of advantages like skills development and flexibility, it presents a lot of disadvantages such as instability and unsound social security for the youth.

Photo credit: 

Activators across South Africa are #CommittedToChange

For immediate release

01 June 2017

As a network of over 2000 young people, Activators have an inherent commitment to change. Activators understand that change does not happen overnight, it is a constant conscious investment on a daily basis. Activators, as change initiators have a fundamental goal to help orchestrate critical shifts in collective and individual mindsets, behaviours and communities.Active citizenship forms a significant part of engendering this shift.

A commitment to change matters if we are to create a South Africa of our longing where young people have opportunities for employment; where women and children feel safe and where the vulnerable in society are included in and benefit from democracy. The youth of the ACTIVATE! Network are active citizens as a direct result of proactive steps to effect change, a concern for their communities and intentional actions that yield results.

Activator Motsatsi Mmola, a young leader from Hoedspruit in Limpopo took up the responsibility in her rural and impoverished community and held a dialogue with the locals after numerous attempts of knocking on doors that were slammed in her face by community leaders. “The locals cannot even afford to travel to the clinic to get their prescribed medication, I end up doing all this for them,” says Motsatsi. The community still lacks running water, electricity and as a consequence- crime is rife. Motsatsi is one example of young people across the country rallying together for effective and tangible change that benefits all!

Another Activator, Tshepo Mabuya a social entrepreneur from Mangaung Municipality in the Free State held a workshop on the 25th May with the hopes of imparting knowledge to the youth on how to upskill themselves in the field of entrepreneurship. “Young people must mobilise each other to write a new youth narrative,” says Mabuya.

The above are but two examples of young South Africans in the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network who are contributing towards the call to be #CommittedToChange.


ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.


 Facebook : Activate Change Drivers

Twitter : @ActivateZA

Instagram: activate_za


For media related queries, please contact:

Nelisa Ngqulana

Communications Manager

Cell: 073 817 8017

Welcome Summer Bootcamp


Tripple B Fitness Family instructor Mlekeleli Khuzwayo brings you the winter boot camp to prepare for summer because summer bodies are made in winter! Tripple B has had two consecutive in-house fitness weekend camps and by popular demand it opened for non-members too. The belief at Tripple B is that a family can always grow and extend to the outskirts of the country and even the world. The first SA Boot Camp involved people from all over the country and in 2017 the goal is to extend the same courtesy to the second SA Boot Camp expanding the number of participants from 100 to 300.

This year’s SA Bootcamp will take on a military theme where all participants will be sleeping in tents setup on an open field. “We will have tents set up for couples, families and groups.” Adds organiser Mlekeleli.  

Everyone who is anyone is now invited to join in the quest for health & fitness! The boot camp will happen over a week, starting on Friday (on arrival) until the following Friday (departure) 

Because of the venue, participants will have a chance to connect with nature away from everything but at the same time taking you out of comfort zone. Participants will have an opportunity to push their bodies to its limits with the various activities provided throughout the week.


  • Functional Training classes  
  • Aerobics (Hi-lo, cut box, cardio) classes
  • Dancercise classes  
  • Group challenges  
  • Obstacle Course (Team Work Challenge) 
  • Yoga classes
  • Hiking 
  • Running/Jogging 



A professional dietician will be made available for a session to teach us more about the food we eat and what we should eat, how, when and why. The aim is for everyone to leave camp being more aware of everything pertaining their bodies.



During this 7 day bootcamp there is no time for idling or sleeping (we doubt anyone would want to because of the fun that will be had). We challenge our bodies and teach them not to give into fatigue or muscle soreness. We will sleep after having exercised and wake up very early before sunrise for our morning exercises (true military style). 



The 7 day programme promises to challenge your mind and your will. As your mind and will are challenged your spirit will reach new heights. New friendships will be forged and old friendships shall be reinforced due to common will and interest. Amajimaz will get an opportunity to network and experience a different culture together. Everyone will get to meet the warrior that lives within them, the one that pushes boundaries, the one that does not give up and the one that helps others to get through challenges and achieve together. 

You WILL go home a different person….That is a promise

You shall experience Total Transition!!


Date: 07 – 14 July 2017 

Time: 10h00 

Venue: Durban Central (Pick-up point)




For more information please contact :


Mlekeleli khuzwayo 0721164518

Samke Ngcobo 0715113518


On Social Media:

Facebook page: SA BOOT CAMP. Event

                           :Tripple B Fitness Family

Instagram: tripplebfitnessfamilysa




ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.


On social media:

Twitter: @ActivateZA

Facebook: ACTIVATE! Change Drivers


Instagram: Activate_za

Frans Ntsoereng will be making waves in India!

“The time will come when our nation will honour the memory of all the sons, the daughters, the mothers, the fathers, the youth and the children who, by their thoughts and deeds, gave us the right to assert with pride that we are South Africans, that we are Africans, and that we are citizens of the world.”

‘’Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.”

These are some of the famous Nelson Mandela quotes that 2011 Gauteng Activator Frans Ntsoereng repeated 10 times after being announced as one of the few South Africans who will represent South Africa at the global Social Entrepreneur training platform in July this year.

The sponsor, Startup Safari is a Global immersion programme that connects startups and entrepreneurs in emerging markets to the fastest growing startup eco-systems around the world. Their mission is to foster cross-border mentorship, collaborations and investment.

Activator Frans Ntsoereng won the Startup Safari prize for his Citizen Link social enterprise. The project aims to minimize ongoing fatal violent action during service delivery protest. The optimistic, self-proclaimed leader of citizens of the world believes that his Citizen Link project brings a reliable remedy that will among others, introduce and implement innovative ways of non-violent protests.



“South Africas violent colonialism and apartheid past might be gone but its destruction and inculcalted legacy of anger is very much alive. We as South Africans have normalised violent actions during protests as the only mechanism of getting attention from powers that be. The unfortunate part is that community development programmes (that are primarily intended for the poor) get delayed or in other cases vulnerable innocent lives (more especially women and children) are destroyed or lost. It is these reasons that informed my social enterprise Citizen Link. Through the launch it will be creatively introduced throughout the country,’’ said Ntsoereng.

Watch Frans Ntsoereng 24-hour Hackathon Video here

In July, the Gauteng Activator will join the world’s best social entrepreneurs who will be part of the10 day Startup Safari social entrepreneurship training in India. Among other critical things, the intensive training programme will cover various startup topics like, entrepreneurship fundamentals, customer behaviour, market research, funding, bootstrapping, marketing, financial management, business operations etc.

Good ambassadorship plans 

Besides absorbing all the information and forming lifelong global future strategic partners for his project, the delighted social change driver is also intending to use his participation as a springboard for future opportunities for other Activators.

“I hope my entrepreneurship trip will help me create bigger global contacts with other social entrepreneurs, broaden my entrepreneurial acumen and most importantly create an eternal great reputation of ACTIVATE! Leadership outside of South Africa’s boarders,” he said.

The flamboyant Ntsoereng attributes this latest achievement to his fellow Activators, members of his organisation and according to him, ‘”his lifetime role models that conceptualised and implemented the ACTIVATE! Leadership Network.

“Too many people might be seen as Frans’ little milestone but I would argue differently. To me, this is just one small reflection of the amazing generous work that ACTIVATE! and people like Dr. David Harrison, Chris Meintjes, Carrie Leaver, Mhlanganisi, Erika, LandyPam, Shireen Jugss, M.D Masangane and Paul Masedi have over the years invested in what I am and have achieved. This is just one testament that what they worked hard to achieve is indeed working and worth all the sweat, blood and tears. Therefore much more credited must be given to them,” he said.

Ntsoereng, the life coaching skills trainer and community development practitioner isn’t a stranger to working with major global game changers. He has previously worked with international organisations like One Young World, Educo Africa, International Citizen Service (ICS) and Latitude Global Volunteering just to mention few.

Activator Nominated for Enterprise of the year

 Name: Bongekile Khumalo

Province: Kwa Zulu Natal

Facebook: Bongekile MaSithole Khumalo

Bongekile describes herself as a lady of values, integrity and a visionary. When she dreams she wants her dreams to turn into reality. She fears nothing but Christ values respect, family, spreading love and availing herself when the needy asks for assistance. 

Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE network?

Making a difference is important to me. I saw an opportunity that would enhance the passion I have for making a difference in my community and improve my skills and learn more strategies on how to make my vision a success and knowing that this was a network where a group of young leaders were involved made up even more interesting I could imagine fresh mind with fresh ideas.

What did you enjoy most about training?

One thing that stands out to me is knowing the importance of partnerships where one cannot work alone but needs another; we all are different with different abilities.

How has training helped you or changed your perspective?

I now know the importance of networking… I know whom to contact for what speciality, I know that with great minds comes great things in order for me to move forward.

What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?

Coming together and engaging but firstly getting a good education. Having access to information to increase their knowledge of the country that they want to make a difference in. The youth needs to understand that they are the future of the country and representative of the country so we need to work hard and give it our all in any environment we are working in.

What is your field of interest?

The business sector

How are you driving change in your community?

I am passionate about bringing change…I instil the importance of being your own boss within the network of ladies that I am part of. The ability to create and in the process teach each other the importance of financial management and instilling the same believes in our high school students, so we can create a better economy and employment for our community.  

Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?

I have targeted high schools where we plan to go and introduce the importance of creating employment for communities by starting their own businesses and introducing doors for such opportunities.

What are your plans for this year?

I plan to continue empowering women and engaging them on social and economical issues. Build a world of strong women

Are you involving the network in your plans?

I am involving the network by keeping my business sustainable by implementing what the network has taught me; assist many ladies by hosting empowering events.

Additional information you would like us to know?

Currently I have been nominated as a top 20 finalist for the ENTERPRISE WOMAN SA an empowerment project which aims at empowering and developing young women.

In June at Illovo township we will be hosting a charity benefit event because my team and I enjoy the act of empowering young women, the event set up is that during the day we will. 

We will also have a dialogue session and followed by a gala dinner, we want women to understand the power God creates in them and help them in understanding the roles they play in their homes and communities. They need to understand the importance of their roles in society.

The venue as well as time and date for this event are yet to be determined.

Our next mission is to start an initiative where we will be going to high schools speaking to the young men and women, the future generation of this country about the importance of education, financial responsibility and starting their own businesses. We aim to assist by bridging the gap by introducing them to the right doors to knock at in order to establish their own Businesses and NPO’s, all of this will be achieved with the group of my network.

How are Activators observing Africa Month this May?

Africa day recognises and commemorates the formation of the organisation of African Unity (now known as the African union) on 25 May 1963. The visionaries behind the creation of Africa day had it upon them to ensure that the future of the continent was safe, secure and full of optimism for its people. They embraced diversity as the driving vehicle behind fostering change and intertwining understand. However, Africa Day should not only be a day to celebrate our diversity in the form of diplomatic functions and academic workshops. It should also be a day when we assess our future as a continent.

For starters, we should reflect on ways to create development-oriented initiatives aimed at further empowering the African people. It is no secret, though the continent has come quite far since the conference was convened, there still exists grave challenges that continue to undermine the developmental paradigm across the continent. This is not merely the case on the continent at large, but the conditions that plague the continent also plague the trajectory of the South African socio-economic framework. Evidence of this is highlighted by the continued poverty, inequality, unemployment and other phenomena such as crime and disease.

Activators can in essence use a vast number of initiatives to observe Africa Month. Activators can mainly focus on the challenges Africa still faces as well as taking the notable successes forward. Conscientisation of the masses to their reality through community workshops, which resonate more with the people on the ground are paramount and key. At these community workshops, Activators can aim to establish solutions on how best they can initiate effective community leadership in order to solve various socio-economic problems such as unemployment, poverty, crime etc.

Activators in highlighting critical gender issues, gender-based violence and various other social issues that continue to affect the continent at large as well as South Africa must also bring social issues forward. For instance in 2015, the organisers of the Africa day celebrations at continental level set the Africa Day celebration theme as the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063″. At an event in New York City, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, delivered a message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he said, “Let us… intensify our efforts to provide Africa’s women with better access to education, work and healthcare and, by doing so, accelerate Africa’s transformation”.

Indeed Africa’s transformation is paramount if there is to be an equitable opportunity when it comes to access to healthcare, education and work. It is now the Activators responsibility to use the platform to go out and share such initiatives with the people, to give out ideas and directions as well as get the overall opinion of the masses on the ground as to how their day-to-day trials can be addressed.

Activators could also run with their own theme for Africa Day as a way of commemorating and observing Africa day. For instance, the Activator Tshepo Mabuya based in the Free State has come up with an initiative via his organisation Afrika Mayibuye Entrepreneurship Hub Accelerator (AMEHA).

This initiative is called Pan Afrika Day Entrepreneurship Lecture (PADEL) and it is a flagship of Afrika Mayibuye Entrepreneurship Hub Accelerator Non-Profit Company.

PADEL is a Pan African platform that brings together entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs from all occupations who have dreams of building a better Africa that will claim its rightful place in the global community.

PADEL aims to promote Pan Africanism through entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration amongst the entrepreneurship community of South Africa and the broader African continent, the aim is to create a vibrant Pan-Africanist entrepreneurship ecosystem. The aims and objectives of PADEL are as follows:

To revive the Pan-African vision carried out by the founding fathers of Africa more than 50 years ago. To ensure that entrepreneurship is at the centre in the quest to achieve the aims and objectives of Vision 2063. To promote a culture of growth and excellence amongst entrepreneurship. To enable entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs to forge partnerships and collaborations amongst themselves in order to build a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem and landscape. To revive the spirit of Pan Africanism amongst entrepreneurs so that they build businesses that aim to serve and develop Africa.

 Photo credit:




Switch Programme Assistant

ACTIVATE! Change Drivers NPO – Switch Programme Assistant 2017


The Switch Programme at ACTIVATE! Change Drivers NPO has seen significant success over the past year and is now looking to expand its current team of one.   The role requires three days a week (max. 12 days per month), based in our offices in Muizenberg, Cape Town. This is a 6-month appointment, to be reviewed in December 2017.  Salary: R 8000 – R10 000 per month (depending on experience)  Reporting to: Switch Programme Manager  To start: 18 June 2017.   Organisation’s Vision & Mission: Vision – ACTIVATE! Is a network of young leaders with capacity to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Our Mission – To constantly build Activators capacity to become leaders for public innovation and catalyse connection points giving rise and support to a growing network of change drivers.   Summary:  The Switch Programme is a start-up support programme for social entrepreneurs within the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers network. Is has been designed for those in the concept phase of a (social) business.

The Switch Programme runs over 11 months including workshops, a seminar and various home tasks. It guides the development of social enterprise ideas to be – Relevant – Innovative – Self-sustainable. The Switch Programme is designed to prepare participants for further start-up/growth opportunities such as incubation.  Outline of main duties / Key Responsibilities:  ? Support the coordination of various Switch Programme initiatives ? Support with administration & logistics ? Support with various media management; social media and newsletters ? Support the facilitation of workshops across the country ? Coordinate the collation of seed and start-up support initiatives for ACTIVATE! in South Africa  Other duties: ? Support other ACTIVATE! portfolios regarding Switch Programme content  Attributes: ? Passionate about development and transformation in South Africa. ? Dedicated to social entrepreneurship and capacity building. ? Experience with workshop facilitation is beneficial ? A self-starter.  ? Detail-oriented. ? Methodical. ? Efficient organiser and administrator.  ? Effective communicator. ? Dependable ? Co-operative team member. ? Flexible and adaptable. ? Willingness to travel for work incl. over weekends.   Minimum Requirements:  – B Diploma/Degree in business, social sciences, humanities (any other relevant degree or certificate) – Computer literate: MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint – Excellent written and spoken communication (English) – An additional African language is desirable.

– Thorough understanding of social enterprise development    To apply for this vacancy, please send your CV and a one page cover letter with the subject line Advert: Switch Programme assistant to HR: hawa@localhost   Your cover letter should include your involvement or interest in social entrepreneurship as well as your contributions to driving positive change in South Africa.  Applications close 16h00, 9 June 2017. Short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview. Interviews will take place in Muizenberg 14 – 16 June.  Should no feedback be received within one week of the closing date, kindly accept that your application was not successful.  

The Founding of the Organisation of African Unity

A tribute to the founders of the African Union on 54th Anniversary of the OAU

This year marks the 54th Anniversary of the existence of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which was founded on 25th May 1963 in Africa Hall, that day 32 representatives of independent nations of Africa signed the OAU Charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Currently the membership is 55 countries with Morocco becoming a member in 2017.

The advent of the OAU was the buildup of historical currents, over centuries, of radical uprisings against slavery and anti-colonial resistance by Africans, a deeply rooted struggle against imperial subjection.

The African Union (AU) was founded in 2001, in the reshaping of the OAU, to continue with the same mandate of the OAU Charter now that Africa has entered a postcolonial state system that is still fragmented. The OAU was mainly formed with the intent to liberate countries in Africa that were still under the yoke of political colonialism and white oppression. Following the end of colonialism and white oppression in Southern Africa, the OAU refocused its objectives to promote economic and social development, it is now known as the African Union (AU)

“An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.” -African Union

Without the concept of Pan-Africanism there would be no AU. 

Pan-African, the term is coined by Henry Sylvester Williams who organised the London Pan-African conference in July 1900. Pan-Africanism represents the complexities and dynamics of black intellectual thought, an ideology with multiple currents, it embraces the holistic cultural, historical, spiritual, political, artistic, scientific and other philosophical legacies of Africans since antiquity to the contemporary. In its supreme form and at its essential core, Pan-Africanism, is a supremely logical treaty on radical black decolonisation.

The founding fathers of the AU and the pioneering thinkers of Pan-Africanism had genuine hopes and visions for the continent. As the new generation we must remember them on the 54th Anniversary of the AU.

An excellent reference point to help us better understand the trends on the African political landscape is the Pan-African Congress movement (PAC) of W.E.B Du Bois who hosted 4 congresses between 1919 and 1921 in Europe. In 1945, the fifth PAC was held in England, organised by trade unionists and radical African nationalist students. Present as students were Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, both became the first presidents of their independent countries.

Ghana achieved independence in 1957, it is the first country that achieved independence from colonial rule in Africa, in 1958 the All-African People’s Congress was convened in Accra, this was the first Pan-African meeting on African Soil. The conference in Ghana was attended by Frantz Fanon of Algeria and Patrice Lumumba of Congo.

In the 1961 United Nations General Assembly, the-then Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Ketema Yifru, proposed the creation of regional organisation of African States and he also voiced Ethiopia’s commitment to the total eradication of colonialism from the continent.

These are key diplomatic occurrences that contributed towards the establishment of the AU.

AU is highest intracontinental forum we have, despite the shortcomings, it represents the hopes and visions of the people. 

It is better to have the skeleton of a dream than to be completely without foundations that give directions and building blocks. This is the part where I am supposed to elaborate on the enemies of African Unity: neocolonialism, economic imperialism, the Washington consensus, the bretton woods institutions and structural adjustment programmes and all that African political economy theory stuff but hopefully this essay has inspired you to do some private research on Pan-African political philosophy.

We understand the affects of donor funded, externally instigated, military coups on the decolonisation process, and how political instability that benefits international capitalist class, have delayed the economic and social coordination, integration and unity of the African continent. There is declassified files that prove the involvement of western government agencies in the fueling of dissidence and teleguiding regime change in Africa. Wikileaks has provided such evidence.

As Pan-Africanist thinkers and doers we must be conscious of these realities when working in the international development field, whether we work in private, public or non-profit sector.

In 2015, under the chairmanship of President R.G Mugabe, the AU adopted Agenda 2063, it is a policy framework that articulates the political and economic vision of the AU.

As agents of the African Renaissance it is our duty to mainstream Agenda 2063 and commit ourselves to achieving the 7 Aspirations as outlined: (1) A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. (2) An integrated continent, politically united and based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance. (3) An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law. (4) A peaceful and secure Africa. (5)An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics. (6) An Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children. (7) Africa as a strong, united and influential global player and partner.

The performance of the AU must be viewed in a larger historical perspective.

As international institution belonging to Africa, the AU since inception has been tasked with reversing the historical trend of colonisation. There is a need for mass ideological orientation towards a Pan-African development paradigm that will accelerate the unification of Africa. Only by attempting to grasp the theoretical nitty-gritties will one see the bigger picture, otherwise we will continue to base our opinions on the shadows on the wall.

“Our objective is African union now. There is no time to waste. We must unite now or perish.”?—?Kwame Nkrumah”

Photo credit: iask Ideas

Activating the employment industry

With a network of 2000+ young leaders one should ask how we can help each other especially in this era of unemployment. In this workers month we take a look at ways in which Activators can employ each other whether in their organisation or by using each other’s services.

Lets meet:

Nathacia Olivier – Activator 2013, Gauteng

I believe in empowering one another as a network and growing together. I have worked with a lot of Activators in small projects and big ones. I am currently running a company called Indoni that sells natural beauty products and I am working with two Activators in my company and hoping to work with more Activators in future. As Activators we should employ each other if we really want our network to be strong and grow. We are Activators let’s ACTIVATE employment as well.

Vanessa Van Wyk – Activator 2016, Northern Cape

Being new to Activate I have realised that we have so much potential but less collaboration. In the Northern Province we have few Activators especially from the Namaqua region and that makes it hard to connect with other Activators and share opportunities. In my mind, employing an Activator would be a great thing and it will show that you trust your fellow leader or colleague. ACTIVATE is about networking and employment can be gained in this network.

Bheki Mabuya – Activator 2015, Free State

I think the quality of relationships is the biggest way to work together and also being willing to share opportunities and not keep them to yourself. As Activators we can employ each other as employer/employee or we can offer each other our services since we are part of the network that has bright and talented young people. I have had the privilege of working with Phephisile Mathizerd Activator 2016 from Gauteng. I was an MC on the event she recently had and we promised to have a partnership where I would offer my services to her future events. We must not look at being employed but also look at partnering with each other in order to help each other earn salaries.

Lekau Johannes Phoshoko – Activator 2016, Limpopo

The purpose of the network is to connect and share our talents and be able to assist each other. I believe that through the network we cannot just employ each other but we can build empires that would employ every young person with skills and qualification to perform the tasks given. As a person who is interested in the outdoors I have partnered with Activators who share the same interest as me. We are working on opening our very own company for team building, outdoor tourism and facilitation for schools, churches and corporates.

Lusanda Phoswa – Activator 2015, Eastern Cape

I believe that as Activators we can employ each other if there is a need for a specific skill that a certain Activator has. With all the great ideas, Activators are capable of being more than employees; a great partnership can develop too. Through ACTIVATE! I have managed to partner with a fellow Activators to open a coffee shop in our area and we are currently waiting for funding and once funding is finalised we will also employ Activators.

Nolwazi Ntshingila – Activator 2013, KZN

It is without doubt that we as the network should employ each other and if we can’t we can always use each other’s services because that’s what the network is about. I own an events company called Icebo Nothando and the company’s programme director is an Activator Mandy Chilli and the art work is done by 2012 Activator Zuko Mata, I also outsource some of the services using Activators such as Lokishi Martin and others. So I can simply say yes we can employ each other and we can do that by asking in the social media group who does what and where.

Sesanel Fakude – 2016 Activator, Mpumalanga

I have not teamed up or worked with any Activator because we are 100 or more kilometres a part since I stay in Carolina. I believe that Activators can employ each other because we have the skills and ability to change each department we are put into. The fact that you will be working with like-minded individuals means that production will be on its highest peak. The ACTIVATE! programme teaches us to be team players and to push ourselves beyond limits and having such a person in your company would be a great Idea.

Boitumelo Seema – 2015 Activator, North West

I haven’t worked with any Activator as yet but I’m planning to partner with a few Activators who have facilitation skills on the project I’m currently busy with. As Activators we can employ each other and even partner with each other because we have the same ability to push ourselves beyond measure.

Helping young people find their potential

Name: Shale

Surname: Pako


Shalien Pako describes herself as a young woman who loves to empower young people by using their potentials and skills to create job opportunities. She loves being in an environment outside of her comfort zone because she gets to release her true gift and abilities.

Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?

I saw ACTIVATE! as a great platform to meet with peers who speak the same language, which can be racism,unemployment,poor educational system and act which will give me correct tools.

What did you enjoy the most about training?

I enjoyed the LEMON task & networking with powerful leaders

How has training helped you or changed your perspective?

It changed me in a massive way because I built my networking approach and also worked on establishing a manufacturing factory of couches with my business partner.

What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?

I am planning on establishing a campaign that will help young people find their potentials and use it to follow a career path or build a business.

What is your field of interest?

I am interested in empowering young entrepreneurs and substance abusers

How would you like to drive change in your community?

I would like to drive change in my community by empowering and teaching skills of entrepreneurship

Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?

After completing this training I will keep being active by building more campaigns and empowering programmes.

What are your plans for this year?

My plan for this year is to see myself serving my community whole heartetly & making more profit in my businesses.

How will you be involving the network in your plans?

I will involve the network via emails or Facebook when I have established my campaign.

Additional information you would like us to know?

I am a hairdresser and I love creative art.

Starting a mini library to inspire


Province: LIMPOPO


Twitter handle: @THATOFORTUNATE2

Instagram: Tladymissworld

Thato describes herself as a funny person, talkative, flexible, and she hates seeing people hurt.

Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?

I decided to be part of ACTIVATE! because I want to make a difference in my community and explore the ideas that I have with other young people out there.

What did you enjoy the most about training?

The time when we painted our dream on a paper where by I realised that as young people we have the same vision

How has training helped you or changed your perspective?

It helped me because I found myself and believed in my self

What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?

To inspire each other towards education

What is your field of interest?

Improving rural communities

How would you like to drive change in your community?

By opening a mini library, to supply foods and clothes for those who are poor and build shelters.

Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?

By networking

What are your plans for this year?

Having a mini library in my community, start a feeding-skim  for those who can’t afford daily food and also job creation by planting greens and selling them.

How will you be involving the network in your plans?

By networking and asking for sponsorship

Additional information you would like us to know?

As we are youth we are lacking information with many things such as career Guadiance and funds


Populist or Leader? An interview with Dr. Gavin Price

South Africa, and indeed Africa is in dire need of good public leadership; authentic, charismatic, sympathetic and most of all, ETHICAL. In this piece, I am taken on a journey by Dr. Price, a PhD and senior lecturer at GIBS. Upon meeting and undergoing normative pleasantries and introduction, he, as though on cue, started the conversation on ethical leadership. Enjoy!!

Dr. Price: So the first thing I’d like to do is ask you what is your understanding of ethical leadership? Many people think they know, and I don’t think they do know, and so they take their followers on journeys they should not be taking them on.

One of the largest problems in leadership is the extent of arrogance and the sense of having to portray this all-knowing all-being, yet, if they demonstrated more humility, people would respond to them better.

Nhlanhla: I am of the opinion ethical leadership is one directed by a moral compass…

Dr. Price: You have a moral compass, I have a moral compass, who is to say which is correct since we have different moral compasses directing us? So just because I think it is right, does it make it right?

Nhlanhla: So it then goes to beg the question, the challenge; how do followers follow if they happen to follow a different compass..?

Dr. Price: That is correct and this would be akin to authentic or spiritual leadership. What distinguishes ethical leadership from other forms of leadership is the actual promotion of ethical behavior on the part of the follower. So the leader is concerned about the ethical performance of their followers, not just their own. And the best way of ensuring this, is to conduct oneself ethically in the first place. R W Emerson said “your actions speak so loudly, I do not hear what you are saying”. Your followers follow what you do more than what you say.

I am going to read you the formal definition of ethical leadership; ‘it is the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct through two way communication’. Let us unpack this;

This normatively appropriate conduct, the norm. The African context is different from everywhere else. There are certain sincere norms to be adhered to. But there’s norms which are really ‘get away’ with, and in Africa, we have a lot of get away with which are seen as norms.

The other key thing is the two way communication; the nature of human beings is that of social reality. Therefore it is natural for us to have communication. It is not ethical leadership to simply give instruction, orders and commands, rather, explain and sell a vision through showing why something must be done.

In Africa, the biggest problems is failure to hold leaders accountable properly. This is due to lacking understanding between loyalty and cronyism. To be loyal is to put oneself and life behind a movement/person despite having a quid-pro-quo. The problem is when you are ‘loyal’ due to reciprocation. This is no longer loyalty, rather cronyism, as a result this creates an environment of excusing wrong behavior, and at what price..?

Nhlanhla: Based on what you said on the relationship/two-way communication between a leader and follower, loyalty vs. accountability; how do young leaders develop themselves to be ethical leaders when such leadership is not modeled publicly?

Dr. Price: Within one’s individual sphere of influence, develop courage first. A courage to speak out in small spaces, e.g. speaking out when someone parks a car in a disabled area when they clearly are not disabled. In most instances, it helps to have a role model, and Africa is not short of such models, unfortunately they are not in the lime light. So search them out and model them.

Nhlanhla: Leadership is perceived as a role of power vs. servitude. How do young people create a paradigm shift from self-interest to service?

Dr. Price: Most leaders love power trips and ego. Ironically, if they were perceived as having a greater interest of the populous, the followers would follow them. And many of them are really managers, not leaders, hence power trips. If you drill leadership down, there are two things in your influence, ‘knowing where to take people, and knowing how to take them there’. But leadership is also letting people know that you do not know it all, this is more effective than the BS of pretending you know it all. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and confidence as an ethical leader to be humble and vulnerable.

Nhlanhla: It is interesting because amongst young people, vulnerability is perceived as giving away power and taking away the ‘boss and subordinate’ relationship.     

Dr. Price: It is better to know that you don’t know than to think you know when you don’t know. Leadership is about influence in this day and age and not a command and control mindset which is still so prevalent in Africa to this day instead of a collaborative relationship, which is more effective.

Nhlanhla: Lastly, for young leaders, it seems militancy is the order of the day? Can one be militant as an ethical leader?

Dr. Price: So say as the de-facto leader, I created structures, an environment and culture of mutual respect and communication, would there be a need for militancy? Militancy is a claiming of empowerment, it is an action resulting from frustration from a lack of a legitimate voice against/to the power structures.

When all is said and done, after such an interview, I do not take a position to direct any reader to a kind of thinking about what ethical leadership is or ought to be. After reading the thoughts of Dr. Gavin Price, each individual leader should make up his own mind as to what ethical leadership means to them against what it really is. So I close this piece thus; Africa is not just in dire need of good public leadership, rather, it is in dire need for ethical leadership to be modeled for future generations.


What are we eating?

Let us talk about statistics later. Let’s deal with the real questions that all of us have to face every day: WHAT DO WE EAT? HOW DO WE EAT? WHEN DO WE EAT? WHERE DO WE EAT? And WITH WHOM DO WE EAT? Because let’s face it, WE NEED TO EAT, otherwise we STARVE TO DEATH. Finito!

Now, these are a few questions, to which many different people have got many different answers. Majority of us, however, cleverly summarize our answers to all these questions into the following words: “You need to have a job to eat, bro.” 

With not enough jobs being created, and not enough young people qualifying for the existing jobs, it follows that not enough young people in South Africa are eating. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM.

A Statistics Snack:

  • According to Stats SA, employment increased by 90 000 or 0,9% year-on-year between December 2015 and December 2016.

Money is the motivator

No matter who you are, as long as you live in the economy-driven world, you need money to eat and do just about everything.

Millions of South African youth like me are flat broke most of the time. Millions more face dire situations in which a salary from a job could help “Eno” things down. Around this time is when our stomach rumblings get louder and we start dispensing the 40th batch of CVs, with hopes that “maybe Shoprite will call this time.

Care to volunteer?

As Chairman of a youth development NGO, I often help conduct interviews for new posts within our organisation. Seven in ten interviewees, I have found, will show a sense of disappointment and disinterest in the post, once it is made clear to them that it is in fact a volunteer post.

On the contrary, I had a chat with 2015 Activator, Pagel Nyilongo, who shared that he gets deep fulfilment from volunteering as the sound engineer at his church. He says that it’s something money can’t buy.   

The curse of the poverty mindset

There are inspirational stories of exceptional individuals who go from rags to riches and manage to break the cycle of poverty – but those are rare. For many, poverty has been in the family for so many generations, that its ugly face has become part of the furniture.

It is not because they are damned to live in poverty, it’s because they are programmed to live in poverty. The late author Bessie Head said, “Heredity Nothing, Environment Everything.” I say: if you keep a baby eagle locked up in a cage all its life, it will never learn how to fly. If you lose a baby in the jungle, he will become Tarzan and talk gorilla language.

The same is with poverty. It is experienced, taught and learnt over and over until it becomes the individual’s default outlook and identity. Nobody wants to live in poverty – that’s why people work. People go through school so that they can be employable, and avoid poverty. However, the stories of all the broke graduates sitting hungry at home with degrees in their hands, render questionable the popular belief that “Education Is The Key To Success.”

Unemployment does not equal economic inactivity

Who said you need a job to eat? We have been fighting to skin the cat the same old 9 to 5 way – have you tried other ways?

  • Talent: Gone are the days when every kid wanted either to become a policeman or a nurse. Now your talent can actually pay your bills, if nurtured and pursued hard enough.
  • Entrepreneurship:  The more problems around you, the more potential business opportunities.
  • Formation of joint-institutions: Ebrahim Patel did allude to the opportunities provided by the social economy towards supporting such initiatives by young people.

ACTIVATE! Is a big and strong network, overflowing with innovative young’ins, making big moves in different fields, in different parts of S.A. If ACTIVATORS could form strong bonds and partnerships within their common areas of interest, through constant interaction, unemployment could become just another word in the dictionary. 

Future Activator and Social Entrepreneurship Program undergraduate at GIBS, Mosimanegape Mampe, says that Social Entrepreneurship looks at social and economic gaps, and forges a bridge between the two. He highlights the importance of people to the economy and vice versa. He encourages other young people to consider social entrepreneurship as an alternative to formal employment.

True, plenty South African youth are keen to work. They are less keen, however, to work for themselves, to work on themselves and to work together. We all want to eat, and it helps to not always seek to be fed, but to look for innovative, independent ways to feed ourselves. To feed ourselves, we need to free ourselves from the poverty mind-set or “small-time-thinking”.

Use what you have to eat. And most importantly, do what you love, that way you won’t have to work ever in your life.   

Photo credit: 

Talking the future to life

Two years in the making was the National Dialogue held at Hill on Empire on the 05th May 2017. An amalgamation of Foundations got together to discuss ways to resolve the many issues our country is facing.

What came from these discussions was the birth of the National Dialogue Foundations Initiative (NDFI). I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural national dialogue which was supported by influential figures and founders of these different foundations. In attendance was former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe, F W de Klerk, members of parliament such as Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, other figures such as former minister of finance Mr Jonas. The dialogue was pegged to be the first of many where individuals from different communities and different societal echelons can come together under the same roof to discuss issues that affect South Africans.

The three former presidents had a chance to render their speeches with F W de Klerk kicking off the conversation speaking on the effects of corruption and how this needs to be dealt with quickly in defence of our democracy. Mr. Motlanthe spoke of the great gap between the rich and the poor in the country and how it is seemingly increasing. Mr. Mbeki made a call to South Africans to begin to reimagine a new South Africa. He went on to say “the rose is sick” which was to say that the country is not well at all and our democracy is at risk of losing its value and in the process of losing the very people this democracy was fought for.

I was particularly taken by the entry of the EFF to the venue. They came with plaque cards citing F W de Klerk is a criminal and should not have such a platform to talk about defending democracy. One of them had written, “Charge de Klerk for murder!” This was a very interesting discussion point for South Africans because it then questioned how we as Africans can allow the ICC to want to arrest Presidents such as Al Bashir and yet allow de Klerk to roam freely on the streets of South Africa.

While many issues were brought to the table, two things stood out for me personally. One was the fact that many called for an economic CODESSA.While we had one during the transition from one governmental system to the current one, only politics were discussed. So the call was to the former presidents to organise an economic CODESSA. The second was the call for the involvement of youth. The dialogue was filled with many elders who seemed to be dealing with these issues in a way which was normal to their era. So a debate began on the involvement of youth since many issues involves the youth which make up more than 50% of the country’s population and who make up much of the percentage of citizens affected by unemployment. The organising committee had no youth and there was a call made for this to change.

From here, more dialogues across the country will be held. The NDFI has a goal of taking this dialogue to other major cities in the country, to schools and many rural spaces where a voice can be given to those who do not have one.

In my mind, this is a wonderful initiative. But I will be watching very closely how this will affect the country going forward and how having these dialogues help us reimagine a new South Africa and how we can realise a new South Africa.

The youth shall be vocal

Name: Unati Snam 

Province: Eastern Cape 

Facebook: /unati.snam

Twitter handle: unati568

Unathi Snam describes himself as a very humble fun loving soul who is passionate about others. 

Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?

I needed training so that I can be effective in my community and be part of a network of change drivers across the country

What did you enjoy the most about training? 

The content of the training is well packaged and very effective but I enjoyed “using social media for social change” the most.

How has training helped you or changed your perspective?

I have obtained innovative and helpful tools to influence change and challenge the status quo. I feel empowered in using social media more effectively

What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?

I believe the youth should be vocal in their communities, be active participants in their wards, join hands and start businesses specifically located in townships to grow “township economy.” 

What is your field of interest?


How are you driving change in your community?

I currently establish and maintain reading clubs around Grahamstown. I believe children who read will be better leaders

Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?

 I plan to do research and share my thoughts with the network on how best to improve the quality of public education system

What are your plans for this year?

I plan on going to school to do project management. I also plan to grow the number of reading clubs I currently service, recruit and train volunteers who will be literacy mentors

How will you be involving the network in your plans?

I will share knowledge and ideas with others who share the same field of interest as me.

The effects and causes of poverty in modern society

The world as we know it is a vast surface inhabited by humans and the animal kingdom, along with other life forms. Inhabitation of this planet is characterized by some pre-conceived beliefs, cultures and morals, at its fundamental core is the human being who is or has been believed to have dominion over all that is and all that is to be.

You might wonder what all this has to do with the effects and cause of poverty, let’s start by a fundamental understanding of the word poverty, “It is a state in which resources, usually material but sometimes cultural are lacking ,it is generally determined by standards that exist within a society and its measure differs from place to place, from time to time,” according to the Oxford dictionary of sociology.

Meanwhile the United Nations defines Poverty as the inability to have a choice and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means a lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in a society and continues to elaborate. With the understanding of the aforementioned definitions, humans are the root cause to poverty because of their, “devine dominion over all that is and all that is to be.”

What is poverty? Is it a measure of one’s economic standing? Is it a yard stick from which we can determine examples of the rich and wealthy from the poor? Is it part of our Constitution? Can nature experience poverty?

We might have answers to these questions, many organisations might define poverty in many ways than one and “resources”can be spent trying to understand poverty and how we can “alleviate” it.

The effects of poverty

  • Poverty has the ability to dismantle a society and reduce its moral standing almost to non existent.
  • Poverty deters the ultimate purpose to life which is to acquire knowledge and pass it down to the next generation to ensure sustenance of human progression and growing communities.
  • Poverty brings forth its own psychology and cultivates new societies founded on barbaric rules and desperation.

While the effects of poverty are not limited to this, it seems as though modern society and the world as we know it thrives on this economic dysfunction called poverty. Great business models have surfaced and are sustained because of the existence of poverty, can we then prioritise poverty alleviation? Or is it another cog in the systematic circle of life?

The understanding of poverty requires a very profound and introspective look as poverty is available in different levels of life, the poverty stricken as a collective serve as economic value to the world and it’s monetary systems. At a certain level, poverty is needed to sustain the rich and wealthy and their businesses.

The guy who works the production line at a factory and earns enough just to live until the next day, losing his employment would mean dire consequences for him and his family. He has no option but to go and put money back in the pockets of his employer by purchasing food from him to sustain his life. With no one in his family to break this cycle it means poverty is generational. Such views oust the one born rich or wealthy even those with a good heart for they can do nothing but continue the cycle.

This raises the question, is the world sufficient enough for us all? With overpopulation commonly cited as one of the contributors of poverty in the world, my opinion is this view is skewed because had the mother giving birth been in a better economical position initially then they would be able to provide for their offspring.

A lack knowledge is one of the major causes of poverty, the inability to formulate new concepts further stricken societies with poverty and dependency syndromes thrive when we can no longer trust in our own abilities. Today’s world contributes vastly to this phenomenon and have formed new models to cater to it I.e. Foreign aid, NGO’s and other bodies that are positioned to help but also create dependency and entitlement (whatever happened to teaching a man to fish?).

Poverty is a continuous problem that generations will try to solve while others make more money from it. Poverty is rich and wealthy- that is how the few can maintain their wealth.

Considering all the above, this might be too much to ask of the poor, but we must look within if we’re to find solutions to poverty. Africa as an example is filled with western facilities and systems and some help to manufacture poverty while others equip on how to alleviate it.

When we start to use these institutions, facilities and systems to find our identity first then we can grow not to maintain a worldly view but to gradually instill our own signature in every African child. When we acquire the wealth of knowledge the world and the universe has to offer and pass it down to the next generation leaving them with tools for continued life progression and growth in prosperity not poverty, that is the only way we can break the cycle.

Finding our identity and serving our purpose is the ultimate key, the fight against poverty is simply that, “a fight” this means poverty fights back, we can choose not to fight. If poverty is fundamentally about a lack of, well let us not focus on the latter but focus on what we have, the Mind and its consciousness.

On the other side of poverty is our schools that promote our culture, our identity, a detailed recording of who we are and what we represent written in our own language and terms, our own architecture and stories of our own superheroes and all this lies beyond our mental state of poverty.

Photo credit: Lady Geek Girl

24 Hour Hackathon for Switchers

05 May 2017

For immediate release

Follow 31 social entrepreneurs, 9 provinces embark on a 24-hour solutions hackathon


On 8 May, for 24 hours, all eyes will be on 31 social entrepreneurs from the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers network across South Africa, as they hack for sustainable solutions to a common challenge. The most innovative solution will win a trip to India with Startup Safari in July!


The ACTIVATE! Change Drivers SWITCH Programme has partnered with the Startup Safari ( which was founded by Apoorv Bamba. Startup Safari selects entrepreneurs through various entrepreneurial development spaces and takes them on a week-long entrepreneurial ‘safari’ through India; one of the leading nations in innovation and entrepreneurship.


The SWITCH Programme is a startup support initiative for social entrepreneurs within the ACTIVATE! network of young change drivers. The SWITCH is a 12-month programme that nurtures and mentors social entrepreneurial ideas into strong concepts that are 1.) relevant 2.) innovative and 3.) self-sustainable. The SWITCH Programme works with aspiring social entrepreneurs who are already working at grassroots level in their communities and who are striving to create sustainable change.


At 8am, the SWITCH participants will receive their challenge in their mailbox. The challenge will be a brief narrative presenting overlapping social issues. The participants will be prepared with a team of 3 – 5 people to attack the problem and create a solution. They are free to recruit any help or resources they can mobilise. They can reach out to the public, they can call a friend and delegate as much as they’d like. The only rule is that by 7.59am on 9 May 2017, they have to submit a social business canvas presenting their initiative as well as 4-minute YouTube pitch.


An external panel of judges will score the canvas and the pitch with a score card. Results will be tallied and on 12 May 2017, ACTIVATE! will announce the winners via a press statement and social media.


Judges will include:

Laura Bergh (Poverty Stoplight, Cape Town)

Jason Basel (AKRO, Cape Town)

Apoorv Bamba (Startup Safari, Delhi)

And two others that are still to be confirmed.

We invite you to follow the 24 Hackathon and support these social entrepreneurs as they work tirelessly to solve a social problem in South Africa.

WHAT: 24HourHackathon

WHEN: 08h00, 8 May 2017 – 07h59, 9 May 2017

WHERE: South Africa

WHY: To win a trip to India with Startup Safari & solve a common South African social issue

WHO: Aspiring social entrepreneurs of the SWITCH Programme (ACTIVATE! Change Drivers NPO)


You can follow the event on:

Facebook page: Activate! Change Drivers Switch Programme

Twitter: @ActivateZA




For more information, please contact the SWITCH Programme Coordinator, Carrie Leaver on carrie@localhost and 081 838 3403

Reflections on my presentation at the Africa-China Youth Festival


I was greatly honoured when I was invited to speak on Youth in Business at the 2nd Africa-China Youth Forum on the 25 April. Mindful that I was the only African speaker among the gigantic internationally renowned Sukey Li (Snr Commissioner of International Communication Department for China-Africa Business Council) and Hu Lijian (Chairperson- Zhongding International) among other internationally established brands from Asia. 
At first, the assignment was very complex and daunting, especially because at that stage I was rather mindless of what exactly to pin-point as a yardstick for success or failure regarding youth in business in the world from an African perspective. To add to the pressure I was feeling, I was sent pictures of my face on websites in Asia pacific when I was hot. (Old age is kicking in). 
As time passed, I thought of successful youth entrepreneurs in my country (South Africa) and others in the continent, though I wanted to be diplomatic and not drop names so I did a quick search online on how to approach the subject. Successful Youth in Business from Africa presented me lots of angles. Youth in business presented me with various descriptions that were primarily developed in, exported to and migrated to developed economies. 
At this point in time, I was also confused when I first read that! Could this simply be just a catchy phrase that ‘it doesn’t hold much substance to it’? Or could it be a sign that there aren’t enough successful young entrepreneurs from Africa competing at global level?
I thus followed my instinct that said, apply soft-diplomacy. Play around with names but don’t disclose everything. So to begin my presentation, instead of defending the indefensible, I decided to focus my talk on how we should define successful businesses in Africa impacting the world and what I think that should mean in an African socio-economic development context.
Success by my own definition is reaching a temporal satisfaction that threatens your inner peace and disturbs your forecast (making peace with the present as an energiser to resume the journey by a scientific method of reflective trial and error) in order to understand what the world needs through the lens of  sojourner.
Henceforth the goal isn’t necessarily on the realisation of the achievement for global acclaim, more so, the realisation of reaching new heights using effective and efficient tools under extra-ordinary circumstances. It’s thus the combination of human capacity and the grounding of self under circumstance led by imaginative reality leveraging human capacity manipulating the present for constructive innovative future. 
The challenges for youth in business in Africa would thus need to overcome, are emphathically living in the moment and reflecting logically on the forecast before it’s lived in and commit oneself to do what he/she is best in.
As a South African, I’ve noted with great depression how my country’s ability to develop excellent science and math skills among its citizens has been dismal. Furthermore, the nation has become emotionally dysfunctional because citizens continue seek the essence of co-existence, psychologically, emotionally, virtually and physically. 
Prior my attempts to project this trajectory, the overall socio-economic progress among our continent’s people first need sustainable jobs. In order to create these job opportunities and craft a significantly inclusive African society, we need to pursue socio-economic growth based on the strength of all sectors: public, private and civil society groupings.
Amidst the reality that I’m incapacitated to speak for my fellow Africans in the diaspora, I however do think we all need focus on cleaning our backyards first, learning from each other’s successes and failures to avoid costly repetition. 
In my country, South Africa, we spend less than 2% on Research and Development. The global average is 6%. 
My presentation thus argued that the problem is not a lack of money, but rather a lack of talent management and willingness from all the stakeholders. With mechanisms such as BBBEE Enterprise Development funding (think EMEs, Exempt Micro Enterprises), companies could be using a critical portion of their budget to invest in industrial or new-market-creating innovations in a manner that increases South Africa’s (and other African countries’) manufacturing self-sufficiency and remain sustainable.
BBBEE EME is an ignored mechanism that can be used to effectively enable companies with the potential to list in the next 10–20years. Most South African companies are seeking to leverage on this mechanism through various industrial innovations through processes of validating a sustainable impact-and-profit model as is the focus of all businesses.
I can thus say that I gained many insights from the forum. Among others, they were that the bureaucratic organisations (with their much needed resources) are finally seeing the importance of investing in youth empowerment, but they will only provide supportive resources to trusted talent that can produce measurable results (profit and impact). I also realised that resources should be dedicated to creating a generation of skilled problem-solvers, not more entrepreneurs – the solution that everyone seems to be speculating. It is a fact that not all problems are best solved through businesses and I think poorly-skilled problem-solvers will only serve as ineffective entrepreneurs for the sake of public domain profiling.
Special thanks to the following:
The Department of State of South Africa- The Presidency; 
The National Youth Development Agency of South Africa;
The Limpopo Information & Communications Technology Forum;
The Marishane Local Government;
And last but not least, individuals (counselors) who continue to open their doors of communications.
Thank you.


Photo credit: Enactus

Do journalists have journalistic privilege not to disclose their sources under South African law?

In terms of the dictionary and media law, the term journalistic privilege is generally defined as the right of a journalist to refuse to disclose confidential sources of information or in some instances the journalist itself. The word privilege used as a legal term refers to a situation where such a witness is not obliged to answer a question which is relevant to the facts of the issue. For example an attorney and client privilege, where all confidential communications between a legal advisor and a client are protected from disclosure. Now the question is, is this right not to disclose confidential sources of information which journalists claim to have, a legally protected right in South Africa? If not, should it be protected and to what extent? This essay seeks to answer whether journalists in South African law have journalistic privilege and whether such journalists are liable for imprisonment for failing to disclose confidential sources.

The function of the media law is twofold; it is to gather information and to act as a public “watchdog”. In the course of gathering news, journalists do from time to time rely on confidential sources. The sources claim that they will be subject to retribution for exposing matters of public importance to the media unless their identity remains confidential. The problem usually begins when a journalist or editor is served with a subpoena. The subpoena orders a person who has relevant evidence to a legal proceeding, either to testify in person or produce specified material or other physical evidence such as documents, tapes and photographs in their possession. In terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the South African Society of

Apart from limited protection afforded indirectly to the protection of journalist sources in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 19778, there is no specific protection in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996 or any other statute. When evaluating the question of confidential source protection, there are usually two conflicting issues which should be balanced according to the circumstances of each particular case. On the other hand section 16 of the Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression which includes freedom of press and other media the freedom to receive and import information.

The privilege from an international perspective

Since journalistic privilege is a worldwide problem, experience with this issue in other jurisdictions could provide useful guidelines and insights for dealing with this matter in our own legal system. In Europe the protection of journalist sources has received considerable attention.10 The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly ruled in favour of the protection of journalist sources. In the judgement of Goodwin v UK11 22 ECHR 123 (1996) the court ruled that freedom of expression protects journalists from mandatory source disclosure except in very narrow circumstances where there is an overriding public interest in the information.

In the United States, a qualified privilege is also recognised. The Supreme Court in Branzburg v Hayes12 408 v 665 (1972) did not give journalists any special privilege to escape disclosing of a source under a subpoena. Justice Stewart, in favour of a qualified privilege, found that journalists should be exempted from subpoenas to disclose the identity of sources unless the body seeking to compel the disclosure can demonstrate that the information sought is relevant to legal proceedings about a specific violation of the law.

To appreciate freedom of expression, it is of utmost importance to state what Lord Denning said in British Steel Corporation v Granada Television Ltd13  [1981] AC 1096 para 1129 said the following; “if they(newspapers) were compelled to disclose their sources they would soon be bereft of information which they ought to have. Their sources would dry up, wrongdoing would not be disclosed. Misdeed in the corridors of power in companies or government departments would never be known.”

The Supreme Court as of 1910 in Spies v Vorster14 [1910] 31 NPD 205, in deciding whether an editor of newspaper should be compelled to disclose the identity of the author of an anonymous letter said the following: “if an editor were bound to disclose the name of his correspondent thy would be an end of an confidential relationship between correspondent and the newspaper which has existed for generations to the advantage of the public.

Most African countries, including South Africa, through the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights, adopted by Declaration of Principles ON Freedom of Expression in Africa, which states media practitioners shall not be requested to reveal confidential sources of information or disclose material held for journalistic purposes furthermore article 9 of the African Charter on Human Peoples Rights gives every person to receive information and express opinions.

 The privilege from a South African perspective

In 2012 the Gauteng High Court handed down a judgement in the case of Bosasa Operation (Pty) Ltd v Adriaan Basson and Another16 (09/29700) [2012] 2013 (2) SA 570 (GSJ) (26 April 2012) which an interesting issue was raised of the extent to which journalist sources can be protected by privilege. The facts are that Mail and Guardian published a report which alleged that Bosasa gained exclusive access to tender documents before they were published. Bosasa alleged that he had been defamed by the publication and sought an order for Mail and Guardian to reveal its sources. In deciding whether Mail and Guardian had to disclose the identity of the confidential sources, the court had to strike a balance between public interest (the right to freedom of press) in protecting the identity of confidential sources, on the other hand the litigants interests (the right to a fair trial). The court decided in favour of the protection of the confidential source.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation v Avusa Ltd and Another17 2010 (1) SA 280 (GSJ) para 30 and 31. The court accepts that one of the most valuable asset is his or her source. Sources enable journalists to provide accurate and reliable information. The protection of journalist sources is therefore fundamental to the protection of press freedom. The code of ethics and conduct of South African print and online media in chapter 1 provides that media should protect confidential sources of information, the protection of sources is a basic principle in a democratic and free society.  The main point, however is that if the journalists “burn” their sources, whether under duress or not, the media will not be in inhibited from playing its full democratic role.

South African National Editors’ Forum on “confidential briefings and sources”

The South Africa’s media have adopted a set of guidelines for handling confidential briefings and sources. The guidelines were developed in response to controversy that occurred over a confidential briefing given by the director of public prosecutions, to a select group of editors. The guidelines state that “on-the-record “sources of information are preferable in the media. Anonymous briefings and sources should be used as last resort, and journalists should first try to persuade the speakers to go on the record furthermore journalists should always clarify what a source understands by the words “off-the-record”.This ambiguous phrase may mean that the information may be cited but without identifying the source, or that neither information nor source may be used.


It is clearly evident that one can infer from the case of Bosasa whether if there is journalistic privilege is South Africa. The answer is no, journalists at times are order by the court in a subpoena to disclose their sources if it is in the interest of the case that is before the court and that by disclosing the source it will assist the court to arrive at a just decision in that particular case. The question as to whether they liable to serve imprisonment is an question that has not been totally ruled out in South Africa, however in the current constitutional dispensation there have been no cases where a journalist have served imprisonment for failing to disclose the confidential source this only happened with the previous government.

Photo credit: UNESCO

After 23 years of democracy, can we say we have achieved a better life for all?

On 9 May 1994 Mr Mandela in his inauguration speech in Cape Town said, “Democracy is based on the majority principle. This is especially true in a country such as ours where the vast majority have been systematically denied their rights at the same time; democracy also requires that the rights of political and other minorities be safeguarded.”

In a country that was oppressed for over 300 years people are still scared of the oppressor and they really don’t know what democracy means. Everyone cheered when we had to vote as black South Africans for the first time in 1994 not knowing what tomorrow will bring. It has been 23 years since we have been a democratic country yet only a few things have changed. We find ourselves still answering to the same master.

The people of South Africa have been oppressed for a long time that they are willing to live in a country that only a minority enjoy democracy than fight for their rights. When our first black president gave his first speech as a president he promised people a “better life for all” and that the ruling government will try to close the gap between the poor and the rich by empowering people with skills and better paying jobs.

It has been 23 years since that speech and we still see a huge gap between the poor and the rich. We see people who have all the qualifications but no employment. The poor are still struggling to fit in the current economy while their children don’t have tertiary education because of financial reasons. In a country that is supposed to be a democratic country we still find ourselves being unequal where the white people still demand respect and the other races are seen as slaves and criminals.

How was the poor affected?

In 1994 the ruling government promised people free houses under the project Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) which was to cater for people who were homeless, unemployed or earning less than a minimum wage. We have seen this RDP process turn into business over night with people who are in power benefiting from the tender processes of building the houses and some selling those houses. There have been reports showing that most of the houses have poor planning structure and most of the house used the apartheid building plans, while there is a waiting list of people who have registered for RDP houses since 1996 and they are still waiting today.

 In January 2001 the government then opened an organisation that was supposed to help young people who were interested in business with start-up capital and create jobs. That organisation turned up to be a money scheme with the senior employees taking money into their own pockets with no accountability and leaving the vulnerable youth in the cold.

The government introduced the new passing percentage (30%) in all the national high schools which is low and does not allow the leaner to get into university. According to the government this percentage was to help leaners complete school at the right age and reduce the number of learners who are struggling academically and has been in the same grade for some time. This percentage affected the leaners that were mostly disadvantaged.

In the process of making things easy the government introduces easy ways to get grants for the SASSA beneficiaries which lead to them introducing the company called CPS on an illegal contract. CPS introduced loans to the SASSA beneficiaries without telling them about the danger of taking credit you can’t afford. CPS allows beneficiaries to take a loan every month which leads to growing interest for the initial loan.

Have we achieved a better life for all?

The truth is we are still on the road to recovery as a country after 300 years of oppression but that does not mean we too can’t be blamed. We had 23 years to try and fix things for our people and to show the world that we are capable of building a better life for everyone who is a citizen in South Africa yet we chose corruption. We have not only sold our souls to the oppressor but also given them permission to control us and convince investors not to invest in our country because of weak leadership.

One might argue that 23 years is a short period of time but looking at the money that has been wasted we can say in this 23 years we would have achieved a better life for all if we killed corruption and stuck to the goals that the first president had mentioned to us in 1994   at Cape Town.

Photo credit: SACR Gauteng Province