Tuesday, November 29, 2011
This web page(s) regularly focuses on the leading Free State (South Africa) newspaper – Free State News – the first regular newspaper to be orchestrated fully by black people in the Free State province. The paper has been published on a weekly basis since 1999. Regular items like “Feature of the week” have appeared here over the years.
Free State News crew
Maki Mohapi aka “Madam Maki” “H.C”
Tumisang Takang - 'Raba' (Above)
051 447 1655
NOVEMBER 25 – DECEMBER 2 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Soetdoring Bushcamp’s potpourri of delights” By Nthabiseng Lisele Page 2
SOETDORING BUSHCAMP’S POTPOURRI OF DELIGHTS
BY NTHABISENG LISELE
The Soetdoring Bushcamp has been officially opened by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.
This bush camp is situated 45km from Bloemfontein and is a 7 500 hectare reserve owned by the Free State provincial government.
It’s in the middle of the Free State, and it allows its visitors the experience to sample the beautiful sunsets which are typical of the province. The bush camp is ideal for family weekends and small management.
The reserve has 9 chalets which accommodate 22 people, and 2 of the chalets can host 4 people each, while 7 others can accommodate only 2 people.
Soetdoring has exciting features like a haven for fishing along the Modder River. It consists of 13 picnic sports and has a predator park with lion and cheetah camp and game viewing for sundowners with 17 species.
That includes animals like gemsbok, white rhino, eland, springbok, blesbok, black wildebeest, zebra, red hartebeest, kudu and duiker.
The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mxolisi Dukwana said: “This is the beginning of more adventurous and entertaining places to be renewed and advanced in the Free State”.
There are 40 employees working at this Reserve and 20 of these people are employed to maintain the camp, while the other group of 20 deals with constructing the place to keep it in good conditions.
“By empowering and renewing resorts and reserves we have created jobs as the provincial government. We are also discovering and promoting small entrepreneurs. And we have made an exception by making chalets that can accommodate people with disabilities,” said MEC Dukwana.
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Number of pages: 60
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NOVEMBER 18 – NOVEMBER 24 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Road to Centenary clear” By Dineo Mokgosi. Page 5
Road to Centenary clear
By Dineo Mokgosi
Illuminating details of the ANC Centenary year set to take place at the beginning of January 2012 emerged at a press briefing at the ANC media house in Bloemfontein on Friday, November 11.
Amidst throbbing anticipation, Provincial Secretary of the ANC in the Free State,
Sibongile Besani, kick-started the preparations with a media briefing outside the Kaizer Sebothelo building.
Besani gave a brief history of the ANC and its former leaders. “We are not here to celebrate individuals but we are here to celebrate as a collective.”
He outlined preparations for the centenary celebrations. The year-long celebrations will be kick-started at Waaihoek in Bloemfontein. The weekend long activities will be spread from Friday, January 06 to Sunday, January 08.
In attendance at the media briefing were chairperson of SANCO in the Free State, Lucky Phoko, Veterans’ League Pule Mantsoa and KelebileKau, and various other stakeholders.
Waaihoek stands as an important symbol in ANC history. It is the birthplace of the ANC in 1912 at a Methodist Church which is now a panel beaters’ workshop.
“Waaihoek was an important town for black politics. Had it not been for the formation of the South African Native Congress (SANC), there would be no 100 years of ANC today,” said Oupa Khoabane.
The church is set to be revamped to the tune of R35 million of taxpayer’s money.
“Areas where heritage has been declared are government properties. It is therefore proper for government to restore any heritage site,” said Besani in response to a question on whether the church constitutes a heritage site.
Of the R100m million already budgeted for the centenary, the costs have now risen to a whopping R400 million.
“All ANC centenary events will be paid for by the ANC. The event will be paid for with our money,” said Besani in response to a question whether the taxpayers’ will be used to fund the celebrations.
The Free State province is expecting over 100 000 guests to attend the main centenary celebration event on Sunday, January 08. “About 70 percent of these guests are expected to come from the Free State province,” said Besani.
During this month of November 2011, the province will be focusing on rolling out provincial memorial lectures on Political Education and Empowerment across all the regions within the province led by ANC leaders.
President Jacob Zuma is expected to conduct a kick-off centenary lecture in the Free State in 2012 with emphasis on celebrating the pertinent history and how the future could be shaped based upon ‘Unity in Diversity’.
Zuma will also be honoured by the ANC for having served the movement since 2007. He will be saluted under the theme of ‘Peace, freedom and security’.
Celebrations are set to take place in all provinces with a particular focus on the Free State province.
NOVEMBER 11 – NOVEMBER 17 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Philip Sanders Officially opened!” By Nthabiseng Lisele Front page
PHILIP SANDERS OFFICIALLY OPENED
…now a refurbished, glittering resort
BY NTHABISENG LISELE
The Philip Sanders resort officially opened after its mammoth makeover to the tune of R150 million. After some four years of brimming anticipation, on Friday, 04 November, its doors were opened officially to the public!
The makeover of the Philip Sanders includes the new entrance gate, new administrative block, and construction of new roads making provision for 230 guests. There is also an upgraded hall equipped with modern sounds, lighting and stage facilities and a well built kitchen, restaurant, gym, and swimming pool of an Olympic size.
A litany of guests attended this event including travel agents, tour operators, events managers, hospitality and leisure establishments’ marketers and politicians. They all basked at the occasion.
The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and environmental affairs, Mxolisi Dukwana said at the occasion: “It might have taken longer than anticipated to renew Philip Sanders Resort, but finally the goal has been achieved!”
Philip Sanders is one of the outstanding state resorts in the Free State. The other five are Willem Pretorious, Soetdoring, Sandveld, Maria Moroka and Sterkfontein Dam.
Within these four years this holiday resort has hosted several high profile events with the aim of the department to overhear views and comments of some of influential stakeholders about the state of this resort.
MEC Dukwana disclosed that his department was given valuable responses, especially to the effect that the guests will be nearer to the airport; and stakeholders were also happy about the well organised IT facilities.
“The absence of a 5 Star Hotel at Bloemfontein was a challenge, but we believe that Philip Sanders Resort will boost business tourism, and this proves we are still on the right track of improving holiday destinations in the Free State”, said the MEC.
Recent research shows that the Free State has about 5000 accommodation establishments, and only few of them are upgraded.
The MEC confirmed this incident, saying: “This creates serious problems for tourism and travel industry in the Free State, but it’s just one of the challenges we will deal with as the department”.
Youth in Agriculture-Re jala peo project launched
By Dineo Mokgosi
The Department of Agriculture and Rural development launched the Youth in Agriculture-Re jala peo project on Friday, November 04 at the Glen Agricultural Institute a few kilometres outside Bloemfontein.
RE JALA PEO is an initiative funded and supported by the Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development under its Youth in Agriculture and Development (YARD) project.
The project is aimed at expanding opportunities in the media industry to young people in farms and rural towns and to create employment for rural youth of the Free State province.
The objective of the project is to train the beneficiaries, expose them to real life filming situations and to make them critical thinkers. “The idea was hatched after the MEC for Agriculture in the Free State, Msebenzi Zwane said that he had a revolutionary idea,” said Cuba Ikaneng Vudubox spokesperson.
He continued: “On many occasions, people in the rural areas are spoken for in the media. They do not have their own voice. So we decided to give our participants an opportunity to tell their own stories.
“We are here to improve the people that they are, we are not here to change anybody. We want them to be as authentic as they can be,” said Ikaneng.
The current intake of the project is 24 unemployed young people from all districts of the province who are currently being trained to produce television documentaries and are taught the business of television.
Participants were chosen through consultation with local government and other stakeholders. They are housed and trained at Glen College 30 kilometres from Bloemfontein.
One participant, Thabo Modukanele, 31, from Excelsior said: “I am happy that I was selected for the project. It was an eye-opening experience. We are being trained by professional people such as Cuba,” said Modukanele.
He added: “We hope that upon completion of the project that we would be incorporated by various departments, broadcasting their events and helping them out. If the opportunity presents itself, I intend on going to independent media or start my own company.”
Another participant, Petri Pieterse, 29, from Hertzogville said that he was looking forward to opening his business with other participants from the project and develop community projects.
MEC for Agriculture in the Free State, Msebenzi Zwane said that the chosen 24 are sufficient for the time being. “We are not ready to increase the number. We’ll wait until they are established then we’ll consider adding more. As a department, we have to ensure that we improve the lives of these young people and support them until they are financially stable,” said the MEC.
The MEC encouraged the participants in the project to network and realise their dreams. “As you go out today, you are my image. Wherever you get to, do beautiful things so that I would be happy. From today you are our ambassadors. Do not come back here and demand jobs from government for you have been afforded the opportunity to improve your lives,” said the MEC.
Various media practitioners including renowned content producer for SABC 1’s flagship youth programmes such as Big Up and Chatroom-Brian Motlafi, SABC Education’s Dennis Tsotetsi and presidential correspondent for the SABC Tshepo Ikaneng, have commended the project’s unique vision of targeting young people in rural areas and giving them the tools they will need not only to tell their stories but to be entrepreneurs who can create jobs in their communities.
NOVEMBER 04 – NOVEMBER 10 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Burgeoning Women in Technology” By Nthabiseng Lisele. Front page
BURGEONING WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY
…Minister Thabethe a refulgent part of the seminar
BY NTHABISENG LISELE
The Department of Trade and Industry has orchestrated a Technology of Women in Business (TWIB) meet in Bloemfontein.
At Phillip Sanders resort in Bloemfontein, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe said: “Women in technology and other small businesses should take risks in their decision-making in order to make their businesses successful”.
Bloemfontein benefited fulsomely regarding hosting this year’s annual event. And the TWIB seminar contained women from all nine provinces. The Deputy Minister, Thabethe was a refulgent part of this seminar. Also the South African Women Entrepreneurs Network (SAWEN) organisation was present.
“As dti, we are able to fund small businesses that have a good business plan and strategies in running a successful business”, said the Deputy Minister as she addressed enthusiastic women in business.
SAWEN is one of the organisations that made TWIB very possible, as the organisation encourages women to take fruitful interest in business, especially in technology.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) organised this seminar of two days’ workshop and a media networking session which was also hosted at the beginning of the workshop.
Bingi Motlhoua is one of the business women who was funded by dti with machines worth R350 000 for her embroidery design company. She stays at Sports in Bloemfontein and was a SAWEN member when she first heard of dti funds that help up coming business women.
Free State News gathered that Bingi’s business has not been doing well so far, and the Deputy Minister visited her place of business to encourage her not to give up, “as there will always be challenges in the business…you must keep on approaching more business opportunities regarding embroidery designs.”
Thabete amplified further: “We gave you our expensive machines to start a business and we will not let you fail because that means we will also be failing dti”
It was a revelatory session