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Science, technology and innovation indicators enables a country to measure, monitor and evaluate its scientific and innovative capabilities. These capabilities will become increasingly important as the global community of nations confronts the reality of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the digitisation of the economy.

Following President Jacob Zuma’s visit to the community of Umhlabuyalingana in March, life for many of its residents is changing for the better. There are signs of hope in an area once ravaged by the pain of drug and alcohol abuse.

On 27 April 1994 our country held the first ever non-racial elections. This elections served as a stepping stone towards creation of a truly non-racial, non-sexiest, democratic and prosperous country where there will be equal opportunities for all.

An estimated 6.6 million South Africans diligently rise each day to go to work. Yet however hard they work, they only have enough to live from one day to the next. Their efforts are never enough to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty they are in.

When President Jacob Zuma takes to the podium tomorrow to deliver his annual State of the Nation Address, the nation will be waiting in anticipation.

Through government work creation initiatives such as the Expanded Public Works Programme, more than one million job opportunities have been created with mostly jobless young people being gainfully employed.

By Khathu Ramukumba, CEO of the National Youth Development Agency

The new year was eagerly awaited by many South Africans. 2016 had been a challenging year during which our people and institutions were severely tested. We can be proud of the fact that both our institutions and people have emerged stronger and more resilient than before. Once again, South African citizens have demonstrated that we are able to stand against challenges and equally, to stand together to create the conditions for change.

The opposition and all the doomsayers who still do not understand the value of transparency leadership should now hold their peace with the latest findings. The President of the Republic, President Jacob Zuma, announced the full details of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package, commonly referred to as the ARMS DEAL.

The eyes of the conservation world and wildlife sectors will be on Johannesburg this month when delegates from 182 countries meet for the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP17).

Sixteen years ago an 11-year-old South African boy, tiny for his age, stood alone on a huge stage. He had a microphone in his hand and a smile on his face. And he spoke truth to power.

For many South Africans living with HIV and AIDS, the country’s free antiretroviral programme is a second chance. These proud South Africans live healthy lives and are productive members of our communities.

The transformation of the country’s R124 billion revenue marketing, advertising and media sector is imperative, given the strong influence it has on the aspirations and values of many South Africans.

In the past few months, South Africans in their numbers have begun to follow the discussions about our economy. The visits of international rating agencies and their decisions have become staple discussions for many.

Every May, Africans celebrate and declare the month as that of the continent. We wear a doek, take pride in our food and treat each other with respect.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan once spoke about the importance of creating safe environments for children, saying: "There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace."

Hardly a day goes by without South Africans being bombarded by stories dealing with the difficult economic situation. Recently with the petrol price increases, which economists emphasise has implications on consumers, and the pending investment rating agencies announcements.

South Africa has proven itself to be a investment destination which consistently attracts some of the world’s top businesses to its shores. Recently a number of high-profile international brands have announced their expansion into the country.

As we commemorate through a month-long programme that historic day in Addis Ababa when Africa leaders gathered to establish the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) let us not lose sight of the significance of those times.

The announcement by the South African Broadcasting Corporation to play 90% local music has sparked a very interesting debate. Like many other issues in the country, the announcement provoked a diversity of views. The debates varied from whether SA has enough local music, to whether we are capable of competing on the international stage.

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