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Ramaphosa: Private sector not doing enough to promote transformation

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says the private sector is lagging behind in transformation compared to government.

Ramaphosa was responding to a question during a Twitter Q&A session on Monday evening, where he fielded wide-ranging questions from young people – with some addressing him as Bra Yaka, slang for ‘my brother’, and others using #HolaMatamela, meaning ‘hello Matamela’ (the president’s second name).

One Twitter user asked Ramaphosa what his plans were for speeding up transformation in the workplace.

“We must admit that we’ve made tremendous progress in the public sector as far as transformation is concerned,” Ramaphosa said.

“The same cannot be said for the private sector.”

Advancing the transformation agenda has been a key focus area for government; however, results have been mixed, with the private sector often accused of not doing enough to promote inclusion in the workplace.

“We will be seeking to hasten the pace of transformation in the private sector through the laws we’ve already put in place,” said Ramaphosa.

Small enterprises

The social media engagement comes as Ramaphosa has been travelling across the country, canvassing for votes ahead of the May 8 general election.

One user told Ramaphosa he did not understand the purpose of the National Youth Development Agencu (NYDA) and Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), which are aimed at promoting small enterprise development.

Ramaphosa responded that the initiatives were “working wonders”. 

“The NYDA is a structure that was requested & demanded by young people. It’s been set up and it is working wonders for the young people it has been able to reach,” responded Ramaphosa.

“I would ask you to continue reaching out because in the end if you are sitting in a corner how will get it?”

Young people are the hardest hit by the country’s high unemployment rate, which is placed at 27.5%. The expanded unemployment rate – that is, the figure which includes those who have given up looking for jobs – is even higher. 

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The Report Was About Turkey Bombing Syria. ABC Showed Video From a Kentucky Gun Range.

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ABC News apologized Monday for mistakenly running a video that apparently was taken at a gun range in Kentucky with a report about Turkish attacks in northern Syria.

“We’ve taken down video that aired on ‘World News Tonight Sunday’ and ‘Good Morning America’ this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy,” the network said in a statement on Monday. “ABC News regrets the error.”

A representative for ABC News declined to comment on how the mix-up had happened.

The clip that accompanied the reports on the bombings showed explosions and smoke dominating the dark horizon. Tom Llamas, an anchor with ABC News’s “World News Tonight” spoke over the footage, which someone reposted on YouTube. “This video, right here, appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town,” Mr. Llamas said.

A number of people on social media noted on Monday that the clip strongly resembled a video uploaded to YouTube in April 2017. The title “Knob Creek night shoot 2017” referred to an evening machine gun event held by the Knob Creek Gun Range in Kentucky.

An employee who answered the phone at the gun range on Monday but would not give his name, said that he was not sure who had shot the video. But he said he recognized it as having been taken at the facility.

News organizations have various systems for vetting footage to verify authenticity. Claire Wardle, executive director of First Draft, an organization that fights online disinformation, said that this sort of situation should be “relatively easy” to avoid by using tools like reverse-image search.

“ABC has a really good team that does this work,” she wrote via email. “But I assume that on a Sunday, when they were probably stretched for staff, they failed to do the necessary verification checks, and under the pressure that comes with breaking news, this got through.”

It was hardly the first time that an incorrect image or video clip had made its way into a news report. Such errors risk undermining coverage that has been properly sourced.

A number of right-leaning social media accounts and news outlets, like The Washington Examiner, wrote that the incorrectly sourced clip raised broader questions about the trustworthiness of coverage.

ABC’s mistake came one week after President Trump vowed to clear the way for a Turkish military operation in northern Syria, leaving America’s longtime Kurdish allies feeling betrayed and unleashing chaos.

On Wednesday Turkey launched a ground and air assault along the border, killing more than 20 Kurdish fighters and forcing civilians to flee. In a joint statement on Monday, 28 European ministers condemned Turkey’s military action, stating that it “undermines the stability and the security of the whole region, resulting in more civilians suffering and further displacement and severely hindering access to humanitarian assistance.”

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Climate change or incapable state? What’s really goin…

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