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South Africa: Looking Beyond the Grade 9 Certificate Debate – the Three Streams

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The proposed Grade 9 certificate, with the associated three – academic, technical vocational and technical – streams, will not solve problems of young people dropping out and not being able to access the labour market. But it will create additional resource pressures on the system, first to produce an exam and certificate, and second by duplicating what the TVET colleges are already struggling to do.

Many critics assume a Grade 9 Certificate will push the most marginal learners out of the system even earlier than they are exiting at the moment. As Janet Jobson and Kristal Duncan point out, the official government position is that the General Education Certificate will help learners to identify education and training options that would best suit their inclinations. They also argue that a national Grade 9 assessment will provide valuable information about how much young people have actually learnt. National assessment at the end of Grade 9 could offer an earlier opportunity to hold learners, teachers, schools, and the system accountable.

What has been less well covered in the public debate is the critical relationship between the proposed new certificate and the roll-out of what the National Department of Basic Education now refers to…

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The importance of fish diversity and abundance: World Fisheries Day 2019

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by CapeNature

World Fisheries Day is celebrated every year on 21 November throughout the world by fishing communities. The day helps to highlight the critical importance of fish and the lives they sustain, both in and out of water.

Angling and Fishing - CapeNature (4)

Fisheries play an integral role in sustaining not only human lives but also aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. More than 25% of the world’s dietary protein is provided by fish. Many fishermen rely on fish stocks for sustenance, making the protection of our fish stocks critical.

Did you know that over 200 million of Africa’s one billion people regularly consume fish and nearly half of this comes from inland fisheries? As part of finding solutions to the sustainable maintenance of fish stocks, CapeNature embarked on research in the Goukamma Marine Protected Area (MPA). The project is a collaboration with volunteer anglers to monitor fish diversity and abundance in and adjacent to the MPAs.

Goukamma Marine Protected Area was proclaimed in the interest of protecting the inshore reef species, which are currently under great pressure nationwide. In an effort to obtain critical data on fish stocks, data is collected on eight weekend outings per year, using eight local volunteer anglers. Shore-based line-fish species populations are being monitored to measure the size and age of fish populations over time.

Priority fish species, which are big enough, are tagged. The tagging data then contributes towards the national tagging programme run by the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban, where the data is used to better understand fish growth and movement patterns over time. Fish population dynamics inside and outside of the MPA is compared by researchers.

A long-term project, starting in 2013 and continuing into 2019, has seen the catch and release of 1 700 fish and sharks from 41 different species. The tag data has also heralded some fascinating results, with one Galjoen tagged in 2014 and caught 1431 days later, after having travelled at least 944km to Margate, and growing 85mm during this time.

The work being done by these volunteers is of critical importance and CapeNature urges the public to get involved in ensuring that our fish stocks are protected for generations to come. The public can play their part by taking care of rivers, dams and the sea through minimising pollution, reporting illegal fishing and consuming only sustainable fish species.

Angling and Fishing - CapeNature

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South Africa and Ghana square off for final Tokyo 2020 ticket

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South Africa Under-23 midfielder Kobamelo Kodisang has warned Ghana to brace themselves for the fight of their lives in Friday’s Afcon third-place playoff match at the Cairo Stadium in Egypt.

South Africa want ticket to Tokyo

The winners of the clash will secure the only remaining ticket to next year’s Tokyo Summer Olympic Games men’s football competition. Both sides would be disappointed by their failure to progress to the final and secure passage to the games.

Kodisang has already featured in three Fifa junior World Cup tournaments (2015 U-17 World Cup, 2017 & 2019 U-20 World Cup), but said qualifying for next year’s Olympics would be a dream come true for him and his teammates.

The under-23s are eager to reach the games where they hope to be able to recreate a moment like the famous win over Brazil in Australia in 2000.

The Sanjoanense FC midfielder says the team have set out their stall to reach the competition for the third time and the second games in a row.

“Qualifying for the Olympics will certainly be a dream come true,” Kodisang said. 

“Our captain, Tercious Malepe, is the only player in this current Under-23 squad who featured in the Rio Olympic Games. He has been instrumental in inspiring the team to fight for qualification for next year’s edition.

“Everyone in the team is just highly motivated to achieve that goal.”

Crunch time for the boys

The 20-year old added that the match against Ghana is not going to be easy. However, the lads will throw everything at it to come out with a win for all the supporters back home. Kodisang is one of many players in the squad who will be eligible to compete at the Olympics next year. Unlike the Women’s football competition at the Games, the men’s competition is restricted to under-23s although at the tournament proper they can bolster their ranks with up to three overage players.

The youngsters understand well the effort that has gone into the attempt to reach the Tokyo 2020 games and they are eager to give the best account of themselves against the emerging Black Stars.

“The coaching staff has been working hard for this matchup,” Kodisang said. “We all know what is at stake here and we will give it our utmost best.”

South Africa lost 3-0 to hosts Egypt in their semi-final date but need to pick themselves up for one last charge if they are to achieve their Olympic dream.

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VodaLend Business Advance gives SMEs access to short term funding

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Access to funding is still a major concern for local SMEs and Vodacom Business has launched a new product tailored at addressing that concern.

VodaLend Business Advance offers up funding ranging from R10 000 to R1.5 million repayable over six to 12 months. Of course in order to qualify a business will have to be registered and operational for at least 12 months. Revenue will also need to clock in at R500 000 plus and of course your credit standing must be good.

The VodaLend application process is completely digital according to Vodacom Business and applications will take less than 10 minutes to complete.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of South Africa’s economy and contribute significantly to employment in the country as well as the gross domestic product which is why ensuring their growth and success is vitally important,” chief officer of financial services at Vodacom, Mariam Cassim said in a statement.

Vodacom Business says that SMEs will also receive Business Legal Assist at no further cost should they qualify for funding. This service will allow business owners to field legal questions for the duration of the funding term.

“Vodacom Financial Services intends to go beyond just providing funding and is looking to be a partner in growth for SMEs. With the trust we have built as a leading telco, we want to ensure financial inclusion for all within the financial services space and will continue to deliver best-in-class services and products,” says Cassim.

For more information head to the Vodacom Business website.

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