Residents of the Amerindian community of Tapakuma, Essequibo welcomed the completion of their access road.The Hill Top Road was done after the intervention of Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson who visited the area and listened to the complaints of residents.Residents are very thankful for the work done by the Regional Administration. Small business owners in the community told Guyana Times that in the past, they had no other choice but to discharge their goods at the Hill Top and fetch them into the Village. Now, taxis and minibuses are operating in the area which is much more convenient for them.Tapakuma can be promoted as a tourist destination in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), but owing to the condition of the roadway, visitors preferred places with easier access.The village of about 400 residents sits on the bank of the Tapakuma Lake, which is about 10 miles from the Anna Regina Public Road.
Minister Blade Nzimande and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will play a critical role in HRDC. Members of the Council Advocate Rams Ramashia and Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Economic Development. Motlanthe and Bheki Ntshalintshali, HRDC first deputy chair of the council and chair of the technical working group. (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ranjeni Munusamy Spokesperson Ministry of Higher Education and Training +27 828986082 or +27 12 312 5555 email@example.com RELATED ARTICLES • Zuma’s 2010 plan of action • Turning jobless into jewellers • Govt launches massive ID drive • Social development in South Africa • First university for MpumalangaBongani NkosiThe South African government has launched the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) to tackle high levels of unemployment and grow the country’s economy.It was officially launched by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria on 30 March. The inaugural meeting was attended by 36 of the council’s 43 members.Comprising leaders from different sectors of the economy, the council will drive skills development in South Africa. Although part of its aim is to ensure government helps job-seekers become more competent, the HRDC will see that all divisions of employment and training assume a more meaningful role in the country.“Government has for years spoken about skills development and its importance in ensuring economic development and ultimately dealing with unemployment,” said Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande at the launch.“The launch of this council is a milestone towards this goal and ensuring that skills development is conceptualised as a critical component of … human development.”The council is led and chaired by the deputy president and Nzimande leads its secretariat, which is tasked with ensuring that all the HRDC’s objectives are implemented.The secretariat includes a technical working group to “execute the decisions of council on matters relating to human resource development and advise council”.The technical working group will also be responsible for setting up task teams of “additional expertise” to achieve the council’s goals. “The composition of these [task teams] will depend on the nature and scope of work that the TWG [technical working group] needs them to undertake,” said Mary Metcalfe, director-general of the Higher Education and Training Department, during a presentation at the launch.“Education is one of government’s priorities and the work of this council will assist in troubleshooting the problem areas in the education and training system,” said Nzimande.The Department of Higher Education has committed to “urgently overcoming the shortages in the supply of people with the priority skills needed” and “increasing the number of appropriately skilled people to meet the demands of our current and emerging economic and social development priorities”, Nzimande added.The council will also ensure improved access to quality education and schooling up to grade 12 level “that is purposefully focused on achieving an improvement in education outcomes for the poor”. Furthermore, it will seek to adequately equip pupils to pursue post-school education, “including vocational education and training, or employment”.It has resolved to “urgently implement skills development programmes that are aimed at overcoming poverty and unemployment”, Nzimande said.In his address the minister referred to students from the country’s universities of technology who have to do internships before they can graduate, but yet some still struggle to find permanent work – either in the public or private sector. He said the council needs to find a way of getting employers to open up work spaces for such students.“Many of our young people with academic qualifications remain unemployed because our skills supply does not match our labour market demands,” said Motlanthe. “We need to ensure that our human resources policies harmonise with economic development needs and opportunities, and that they are broad-based and opportunity-specific.”Extension of JipsaThe new council builds on the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa), which government formed in March 2006. It is not a replacement, said Motlanthe.Jipsa was set up to address the issue of skills development in the country and helped shape policy for curbing unemployment. “Jipsa came as an intervention at that time,” said former Jipsa chairperson Bheki Ntshalintshali.Government said Jipsa has, over a four-year period, provided critical lessons on how to deal with skills challenges facing the country. As Cabinet approved the HRDC in February, “the Jipsa process started winding down with a view to folding into the revised” strategy, said a government document.Council led by expertsGovernment has said it is pleased about the council’s composition, which includes experts from labour organisations, business, academia, government ministries, the development sector, research bodies, higher education institutions, skills sector and youth movements. “It is encouraging to note that all members are committed to serve on this important structure, not necessarily representing their own sectoral interests, but to collectively lead a decisive attack on education and skills challenges facing South Africa,” Nzimande said.Ntshalintshali, also the deputy general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, has been appointed chairperson of the technical working group and the first deputy chair of the council.Nominations for a second deputy chair and requests to serve on the technical working group are open to council members until 16 April.The final HRD strategy, drafted by the council, will be adopted at a Cabinet planning session later in 2010.
The National Conference working president Omar Abdullah described the bypoll results as “people’s promise of a better future after 2019.” “Congratulations to Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati for the stupendous performance in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. Thank you for giving people the promise of a better future,” said Mr. Abdullah. In a tweet packed with sarcasm for the BJP, Mr. Abdullah wrote: “Dear friends in the BJP, thank you for your hard work and continuing efforts to prove me wrong. I’m truly grateful. Sincerely, your friendly opposition guy.”