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The September 2015 report of the International Centre for Prison Studies on women incarceration trends in the world says, over the past 15 years, female inmate populations increased “sharply” and “faster” by about 50%, with the world median women incarceration rates standing at 4.4 per 100 thousand population.

We all enjoy a success story. Every time a child from an underprivileged family becomes the first in the family to attend university and end up becoming globally renowned in his or her field of study, we all celebrate.

It was renowned philosopher Franz Fanon who famously said that “each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it”.

Transport is an important catalyst for social and economic development and plays a crucial role in the economy and job creation.

The Industrial Development Corporation this week hosted a Conference themed: “Driving South Africa’s Competitiveness through Industrial Development.”

The World Economic Forum (WEF) last week announced the most globally competitive African nations in its 2015 Global Competitiveness Index. The Index, which looked at 140 countries, rates the top performing African countries as follows: Mauritius (46), South Africa (49), Rwanda (58), Botswana (71), Namibia (85), Côte d’Ivoire (91), Zambia (96), Seychelles (97), Kenya (99), and Gabon (103).

South Africans awoke to some very good news earlier this week, the results of the 2015 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index (WEF GCI) which placed the country at 49 of 140 in the survey.

In August we celebrate the numerous actions by courageous women on our road to democracy. Women’s Month is also an opportunity to reflect on the strides we have made since democracy.

The sovereign debt crisis playing out in Europe is a stark reminder of the importance of a country’s fiscal stability and sustainability.

It was our icon, the late former President Nelson Mandela, who made the profound statement: “The time has come to accept in our hearts and minds that with freedom comes responsibility.”

Water is critical for the country’s socio-economic development. So when a drought occurs, it impacts on all levels of society, from food production to the provision of water to households. This is currently the reality in number of provinces, especially KwaZulu-Natal.

Sixty-one years ago, the Freedom Charter was adopted and signed by delegates to the Congress of the People in Kliptown.

Nelson Mandela holds a special place in the heart of every South African and this month we have an opportunity to express our adoration for our late icon through our actions towards others.

President Jacob Zuma was encouraged by the response of students he met at TUT (Tshwane University of Technology). He said it was indicative of the message that education as the apex priority for the country has been received far and wide.

At the beginning of this year, President Jacob Zuma boldly declared 2015 as the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action. He called on all sectors of society to embrace the Freedom Charter; this year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic document, which was penned in Kliptown, Soweto, in 1955.

There is an old Chinese saying: “When you want to make the lives of the community better, then build a road”. Building of roads and public transport infrastructure therefore goes beyond asphalt and bitumen.

June in South Africa generally signifies the start of winter; with the last vestiges of summer all but gone we settle in for months of bracing cold and darkness.

Being a young person in 2015 in South Africa is very different than in 1976. Our youth enjoy human rights, have access to quality free schooling, are free to move around without restriction and can study at any higher institution of their choice.

Over the past few weeks communities all over South Africa have been made safer because of the work of various law enforcement agencies, including the army and the police, during Operation Fiela.

A critical goal of the National Development Plan is to improve the country’s infrastructure, such as roads and public transport, to boost economic growth and to drive employment.