Learners from the Houghton Muslim Academy helped Operation Hydrate at a recent water drive at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The initiative collected more than R55-million on the day. (Image: Sandile Khumalo)Operation Hydrate, the NGO that has been donating water in drought stricken areas of South Africa, has distributed more than 6 million litres of water so far. The group aims to collect R95-million worth of water by Nelson Mandela Day this year.Though the initiative only started on 4 January this year, it has already garnered massive support from ordinary people, as well as the likes of Mango Airlines, the national cricket team, and the National Lottery.Contact Yaseen Theba on 082 494 2824 to find out how you can contribute to Operation Hydrate’s water drive. For information about helping or where to drop off water or send donations, visit the Operation Hydrate Facebook page, or follow @HydrateSA on Twitter, #OperationHydrate.Below are some of the highlights from the initiative’s work so far. Pictures are from Operation Hydrate’s Facebook page unless stated otherwise. Operation Hydrate has distributed more than 6 million litres of water in drought stricken areas, to date. Water has been delivered by 41 trucks and tankers to Swartruggens, Senekal, Steynsrus, Qwa Qwa, Zululand, Nongoma, Ulundi, Paulpietersburg, Vryheid, and Aliwal North so far. According to the NGO, some people in the drought stricken areas have resorted to drinking sewage water. Leslie Sedibe, the chief executive of Proudly South African, said: “Just to give somebody a glass of water… could be the greatest testimony you’ll ever give them.” Operation Hydrate aims to collect R95-million worth of water by 18 July this year. Pictured here are learners from Benoni Muslim School who donated water to the cause. Water Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane announced that the National Lottery would donate R50-million to the cause. On hearing this news, Operation Hydrate raised its target from R67-million to R95-million. (Image: Sandile Khumalo) The Proteas, the South African cricket team, donated five to 10 litres of water each. These were handed over in large bottles to Operation Hydrate. Cricket South Africa also called on supporters before the game against England in Centurion to donate bottled water at the stadium, collecting more than 5 000 litres of water.Chairperson of Operation Hydrate Fayaaz Moosa, pictured, said that although there had been some rain in certain parts of the country, the water was not necessarily potable, or of drinking quality. (Images: Sandile Khumalo) The donations were “ubuntu in action”, the initiative’s co-ordinator, Yusuf Abramjee, said at a water drive at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “Real people are the ones donating,” he said. “We as civil society will continue to provide this basic human right.” (Image: Sandile Khumalo)
There are thousands of African women creating successful businesses, leaving inspiration and change in their wake, and in a small way helping to uplift Africa’s narrative. The five women below are making massive strides in their respective business sectors, changing their industries and improving business for other women in Africa. Women all over Africa are changing the content’s narrative, writes Graça Machel on the World Economic Forum website. (Image: Benedikt von Loebell, WEF, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via Flickr)• Girls in space! Africa’s first private satellite – designed by schoolgirls • How can digital technology boost growth in Africa?• Connecting women to technology• Robotic gliders boost for ocean research• Meet the global leaders heading WEF Africa 2016 Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel TrustAll these women are members of the Graça Machel Trust, a pan-African advocacy organisation that focuses on women’s rights, children’s rights and governance and leadership in Africa. Their Multiplying Faces, Amplifying Voices campaign aims to build a network of highly qualified, active and effective women across the continent to become a voice in areas where they are currently underrepresented. This includes the Network of African Businesswomen (NABW), Network of African Women in Agribusiness (AWAB) and New Faces New Voices (NFNV), a programme that focuses on expanding the role and influence of women in the financial sector.Joy Ndungutse: Founder and CEO of Gahaya Links (Rwanda) Changing economies by commercialising cultureJoy Ndungutse spent her childhood and early adult years in exile due to political instability in Rwanda.Driven by ambition, Joy’s strong desire to work towards the empowerment of women translated into a weaving initiative when she moved back to Rwanda after the genocide. While running a hotel and the country’s first furniture store, she trained local women in rural areas and designed baskets, modern in style and shape, that these women could make using traditional weaving skills and techniques. This journey gave birth to Gahaya Links, a successful social enterprise in Rwanda that works with over 4 000 weavers to make traditional baskets that are exported to the US and Japan and sold through leading department stores.Joy notes that, “It is a delight to see the fruits of this project and to see an increase in the number of women in Rwanda achieving financial independence.”She continues: “It is also encouraging to see that the local culture is alive and vibrant, and that using what we have, we have managed to make such an impact on the lives of others, and on creating awareness of what Rwanda has to offer to the world.”However, she highlights that although some progress has been made in Rwanda, a lot still needs to be done to increase financial inclusion of women, educate women on taxation and business practices, as these still remain big challenges for women in business. She identifies certain key issues such as geographical access to financial institutions, information on financial information and products, and access to capital as barriers for women to enter into business.According to Joy, “most rural women in Rwanda lack the knowledge to organize businesses in a formal way. It’s critical to educate them on key issues such as new business taxation policies and the simplified tax regime that exempts them from to allow them kickstart and build sustainable businesses.”She highlights that a lot more work needs to be done to educate and create awareness of the importance of formalizing and growing informal women owned businesses.Hadia Gondji: Managing Director at Hadia Seed Production, Hadia Flowers and Hadia Supermarket (Ethiopia)Challenging the status quo to create opportunities for womenHadia is the country director of the New Faces New Voices Ethiopia Chapter and is a pioneer in the transportation, agriculture and horticulture industries in Ethiopia. In agriculture she is involved in hybrid grain multiplication and through her business she teaches farmers in the country to improve their yields.Hadia says: “We normally work with small-scale farmers to help them improve their production and we teach female farmers free of charge.”As president of the Ethiopian Women Exporters Association, she has seen production by female farmers increase, and exports of different produce such as coffee, fruit, vegetables and flowers improve. Hadia is also one of the founders of Enat Bank, the only financial institution in Ethiopia that specifically targets women.She explains, “In Ethiopia it is still very difficult for women to get into business and politics. Although things are getting better, it remains hard for women to do business, as the environment is not conducive, banks want collateral before giving financial support and women do not own any property. The houses and farms belong to men.”“Enat Bank was launched to assist women by getting money from investors to deposit as collateral for women in business, and we see that the bank is making a great difference to women business owners.”Hadia highlights that creating a strong business network for women in Africa is essential in ensuring that business opportunities improve for women on the continent. As evidenced by the Graça Machel Trust, the role of such networks and advocacy groups is invaluable in connecting likeminded businesswomen across the continent.Elizabeth Swai: Managing Director of AKM Glitters Company Limited (Tanzania) Driving the agenda for women in businessA self-starter, Elizabeth Swai runs a thriving poultry business that has expanded its operations to include small-scale farmers in its supply chain. Her business model makes a conscious effort to include those parties that would normally find themselves excluded from the formalized market.Elizabeth says that although the Tanzanian government has expressed commitment to supporting female entrepreneurship, women still face a great number of obstacles. Challenges such as cultural barriers, the right to property and decision making, stiff competition, corruption and bureaucracy, and a lack of awareness from women themselves, make it extremely hard for women in Africa to build a successful business.She also serves as lead and coordinator of African Women in Agribusiness, holds a seat in the Network of African Women in Business, is a founder member of the African Agriculture Academy, and is an active member of the World Poultry Association.According to Elizabeth, her involvement with the women’s networks and associations is aimed at representing the needs of women in Tanzania.She says: “I am involved with all of these organisations in order to represent other women. Defragmentation is a poison, so women need to partner with other women, networks, associations, men and their gigantic enterprises with muscle to be able to achieve the achievable.”She notes: “I created a business model that is inclusive in order to enable ease of access to finance and technical expertise, but also to work with more women in rural areas and create employment for the youth.”Elizabeth Magaya: Managing Director of Blissford Investments (Zimbabwe) Taking giant steps, one step at a timeElizabeth Magaya became an entrepreneur at the age of 10 to help look after her siblings after her parents’ divorce. She went from vegetable vendor to owning a group of companies that includes a booming construction business, and has recently diversified into horticulture, landscape and interior design. At the age of 52, she went back to school to finish what she wasn’t able to start as a child and graduated at the age of 56.She is the epitome of self-made success and attributes this to hard work, sheer determination and a constant drive for perfection.According to Elizabeth, “the biggest challenges with women in business in Africa are the women themselves.”She explains: “Most women are still marginalised and still depend on men to make decisions for them and give them permission to do things. I believe women should be aggressive, start networking and start to expose themselves. They should see every situation and challenge as a bull and take it by the horns.”“To empower themselves, women must realise that it is possible to start, and you can start small, you don’t need to be great or big to start, begin where you are and the rest will follow. Never mind your background, where you started or where you came from. If you use your hands and mind you will reach your destiny,” she says.Grace Mijiga-Mhango: Director of Agriseed and African Women in Agribusiness (Malawi)Building businesses that transform livesGrace specialises in commodity trading and seed multiplication and has built successful businesses that trade in Malawi and across the continent. Having been with the Graça Machel Trust since 2011, she is one of the pioneers that help shape the Trust’s vision. She conceptualized the African Food Basket Project that promotes the growing of indigenous seeds led by women farmers to raise the yields of staple crops like maize, soya beans and pigeon peas. The overall project aims to benefit 50,000 women across grain production value chains in five countries over the next five years.Grace has incredible vision which she shares passionately with those interested in her work and those that share similar interests and beliefs. She sees herself as an agent of change, and is committed to working to support others to reach their full potential and achieve meaningful change in their lives.The Graça Machel Trust, through its advocacy work, seeks to continue in extending its arm to more women across the continent, to effect and influence a change in thinking about women-owned businesses as a channel for Africa’s economic development. The trust seeks to grow women-owned businesses across Africa, and to empower female entrepreneurs to realize their full potential.This article was originally published on the WEF website as part of its Africa series.Former South African and Mozambican first lady Machel is a renowned global advocate for the rights of women and children. A social and political activist for many decades, she serves in various capacities in several organisations. One of these is the Elders, a group of independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights, brought together in 2007 by her husband, Nelson Mandela.Machel also contributes to the Africa Progress Panel and, like Adesina, the MDG Advocates Panel. She has been named an eminent person in the GAVI Alliance, and works on the UN Foundation’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Machel chairs the board of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, and is chancellor of the University of Cape Town.Watch this to see some of the top female innovators who participated in WEF on Africa:
The next episode of the Play Your Part Television Series will air on Saturday, 17 February 2018 on SABC 2 at 18h00.Episode 22 is aligned to health, innovation, and active citizenship in respect of volunteerism.It features the Kanyamazane Government Senior Citizens Social Club, Human Writes social innovation start-up and Ikamva Labantu charity organisaton, the Hands of Compassion Christian Community and University of Free State student, Andile Putu’s involvement in the Enactus Entrepreneurial Community.The Kanyamazane Government Senior Citizens Social Club, is a gathering of retired public servants who use their knowledge on health and wellness to assist in the health care of citizens in the community.The Human writ.es social innovation start-up improves child and adult literacy through the Ikamva Labantu charity organisation based in Cape Town.Under the guidance of Pastors Alan and Xana MacCauley, the Johannesburg based Hands of Compassion Christian Community affords second chances to young people.Andile Putu oversaw the Enactus Entrepreneurial Community while he was a student at the University of the Free State in an attempt to assist HIV positive orphans and reviving the manufacturing industry in the Free State province.Play Your Part is broadcast at 18:00 on every Saturday on SABC2.To get involved in playing your part in South Africa:Check out the conversation on Twitter: #GetInvolvedTell us how you Play Your Part through our social media channels:Follow us on Twitter: @PlayYourPartSA;Follow Brand South Africa on Twitter: @Brand_SA; orLike us on Facebook: Official Brand South Africa
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The D.C. Court of Appeals last week ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when it issued an enforcement memorandum on July 22, 2015, redefining the “retail facility” exemption to the Process Safety Management Standard.The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute, which brought the suit to court, are pleased with the decision.“OSHA made a bad decision in regulating ammonia in response to an ammonium nitrate incident, and the agency made that decision incorrectly,” said Daren Coppock ARA President & CEO. “Although ARA could only challenge on the procedural point and not the decision itself, we’re still very pleased to see the Court rule in our favor and to provide this relief to our members.”Ag retailers are exempt from PSM until OSHA completes a notice-and-comment rulemaking process regarding PSM, which could take several years to finalize. ARA is currently reviewing the court’s decision and will provide additional analysis once our assessment is complete. For now, retailers can celebrate a victory on the legal front.“It’s a big win. Given the significant economic costs and absence of any safety benefit, the court made the correct decision,” said Harold Cooper, ARA Chairman. “The retail exemption has been in place for more than 20 years and OSHA should not have redefined it without an opportunity for stakeholders to comment.”Cooper said this could have easily gone another way.“As an industry, ag retailers tend to be complacent about regulations that come our way. We keep our heads down and do what’s required,” he said. “But this rule would have limited farmers and retailers options through an agency’s improper regulatory overreach. Thankfully, ARA was uniquely prepared and positioned to defend our industry. They gave us a vehicle to fight and win this battle.”
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A group of Christians were arrested by the police after they were found to be praying inside their house in Mathura. They were accused of “forcible conversion” of people in Irauli Gurjar village of Mathura. According to a local resident, Mamta, a Christian resident of the village, had invited fellow Christians in her house and was holding a prayer when they were attacked by her Hindu relatives. Mamta’s extended relatives filed a complaint alleging “forcible conversion” by Mamta and her friends. She denied any kind of conversion bid and had told the police that she and her friends were “holding prayer in her house as December was the month in which Jesus Christ was born.”According to Aditya Shukla, Superintendent of Police (Mathura rural) police received a complaint that a few Christians were trying to “convert people” in the village. “Seven people have been booked and arrested under IPC Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings). They have been sent to 14 days judicial custody by the local Mathura court,” Mr. Shukla said. Their bail petition is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday in the local court.Pramod Singh from Christian Legal Association told The Hindu that this “was an attempt to spread fear among the minorities and make them feel like second class citizens.”“All that these people were doing in Mamta’s house was holding prayer when they were attacked by Hindutva goons and arrested by the police. Since when holding prayer and practising one’s own religion became illegal in this country,” he said. “The Christian community in Mathura is scared. There is atmosphere of fear and apprehension about practising one’s faith. Christmas is approaching and Christians are scared of holding prayer,” he alleged.