South African citizens are gearing up to head out to the voting polls today 8 May 2019, to cast their vote in the 6th democratic national and provincial elections. This year’s election period is a remarkable one in that the country celebrates 25 years of democracy.To raise citizens’ awareness on the importance of exercising their constitutional right to vote, Brand South Africa is running a ‘’Solve Your Why’s with an X” campaign.. Read more about the unconventional video-led digital campaign here.The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has been running a tight ship to ensure a seamless process all over the country. According to the IEC, more than 200,000 electoral staff have undergone training in preparation- for the masses that will be heading to the +28 700 voting stations placed around the country.The IEC has cautioned citizens to remain vigilant and ensure that their ballot paper is valid, by checking for the official stamp.To cast your national and provincial vote, visit any of the voting stations in the province you are registered in and ensure that you have a valid I.D document.To check your registration status visit : https://www.elections.org.za/regweekend/.Happy voting, South Africa!
Civil society, the private sector and the government sought ways to build social cohesion and discussed a means for the nation to pull in one direction in telling the country’s story, at the inaugural Brand South Africa Nation Brand Forum.Brand South Africa CEO Kingsley Makhubela expanded on the theme of cohesion and its importance in building a strong nation brand.By Sulaiman PhilipA nation must strive “to accentuate and promote local distinctiveness as a competitive advantage”, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said at Brand South Africa’s inaugural Nation Brand Forum on 24 August 2016.“The rapid advance of globalisation means that every country, every region and every city must compete with each other for its share of the world’s consumers, tourists, investors, students, entrepreneurs, and international sporting and cultural events.”Brand South Africa board member Janine Hills, Vuma Reputation Management CEO and programme director on the day, echoed the minister’s sentiments. She reminded the audience that the country had just conducted a successful election. Despite all the negativity, South Africa, she explained, was maturing as a democracy. “Yes, we have challenges but we are a changing nation.“We must be proud to be South Africans. I love this country. This is our country. We need to get over ourselves. We need to talk with each other,” she added.Brand South Africa CEO Kingsley Makhubela expanded on the theme of cohesion and its importance in building a strong nation brand. He explained that the forum was called to discuss three issues:• How to manage the reputation of a nation brand• How to best project South Africa as a nation brand• How to best define the narrative that South Africa wants to tell the worldHe reminded the audience that they were from the three most important spheres of society. As the government, civil society and the private sector, it fell to them to create and build a positive nation brand.South Africa was a strong, resilient democracy, a narrative often overlooked because the nation tended to concentrate on the challenges it faced. “Before the election we were saying ‘these elections won’t be free and fair’. This was the message communicated to the outside world. And what happened? We have resilient, robust institutions. We should celebrate our strengths,” Makhubela said.The local government elections were held on 3 August.The Nation Brand Forum has its origins in the 2015/16 Department of Communications budget vote, tabled by the minister in parliament on 20 May 2015. By bringing together civil society, the private sector and the government, the expectation is that the nation will pull in one direction and sing from the same hymn sheet.Before the plenary sessions began the minister reminded the audience that they were there to find ways to build social cohesion. They were encouraged to find, “the ‘how’ of achieving an inspiring South Africa. Brand South Africa understands that it is imperative that everyone plays a part towards making South Africa a better country.”Join the conversation on #NationBrandForum #SANationBrand
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Mines Pralhad Joshi to seek solutions to restart the mining industry in Goa, which stands banned by the Supreme Court since 2018. Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a function in Panaji on Sunday, Mr. Sawant said he would meet them both after Mr. Joshi familiarises himself with his portfolio. He reiterated that resolving the mining deadlock was a priority for his government. Last month, Mr. Sawant had said harvesting of mining dumps near the mining leases was one of the options his government was examining to resume the mining activity in the interest of stakeholders, despite the Supreme Court ban on mining in 88 leases. There are currently over 736 million tonnes of iron ore dumped in mountain-like heaps in Goa’s mining belt. Mr. Sawant is expected to finalise a policy for dump ore harvesting by July this year.