Govt Unveils Plan to Form State-Owned Oil and Gas Company
Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has introduced a bill to create the South African National Petroleum Company, merging government-owned oil and gas entities, reports News24. This new entity will include existing companies like the Strategic Fuel Fund, PetroSA, and iGas, under the control of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE). The goal is to consolidate energy operations and assets, ensuring government control and potentially acquire stakes in private oil and gas exploration firms. The company aims to manage the entire fuel energy chain and develop South Africa’s energy infrastructure. Stakeholders have a 30-day window to comment on the proposal after its publication in the Government Gazette.
Education Department’s Handling of Pregnant Students Draws Criticism
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has slammed the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) presentation on preventing school dropouts among pregnant girls and young mothers, calling it a “misleading depiction” that fails to capture the true extent of the issue, reports TimesLIVE. CGE Chairperson Advocate Nthabiseng Sepanya-Mogale cited disturbing instances of teacher misconduct, including rape, and underscored the mishandling of these cases by education authorities. The commission’s own report identified factors like parental absence due to migrant work, leaving adolescents unsupervised and vulnerable to risky behaviours. It also highlighted personal struggles faced by young mothers attempting to return to school, such as seeking emotional support after family loss and societal pressures. The investigation revealed inadequate training and a lack of standardised practices among stakeholders for handling pregnant pupils. Despite efforts mentioned by the DBE to support the return of pregnant learners, Deputy Minister of Basic Education Reginah Mhaule acknowledged existing gaps in policies and urged society to report issues while recognising the limitations in fully addressing these complex challenges.
Youth Unemployment Rate Decreases Slightly, But Challenges Remain
South Africa’s youth unemployment rate edged down slightly in the third quarter, falling from 45.3% to 43.4%, mirroring a similar decline in the national unemployment rate, reports News24. Writing for the publication, Renée Bonorchis says the latest statistics represent a modest improvement, but the stark reality remains: nearly half of the country’s economically active youth population is still jobless. Ernst & Young Africa’s chief economist, Angelika Goliger is quotes as saying that this hinders individual prospects and impedes South Africa’s ability to harness the skills and creativity of its younger generation. The statistics reveal that youth between the ages of 15 to 24 and 25 to 34 face the most severe unemployment challenges. Within the younger age group, 32.7% are not in employment, education, or training. This prolonged unemployment among the youth raises economic and social concerns, with factors like Eskom’s power shortages contributing to job losses in crucial industries like manufacturing.
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