Civic-minded people are needed to help build the country of their dreams. This is an important aspect to nation branding, which is not the work of the government alone, a group of students from South Africa and the US hears.Students from Rutgers University in the US and South Africa’s Unisa explore the display at the Nelson Mandela Foundation before the Brand South Africa master class on nation branding.Students were encouraged to become more civic-minded and involved by Sello Hatang, the chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, at an engagement hosted by Brand South Africa with communications and marketing students from Unisa and Rutgers University, in the US, on 17 March 2016.The gathering took place at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Speakers from the foundation and Brand South Africa encouraged the students to play their part in creating the world they wanted. They also gave a tutorial on the philosophy behind nation building.Hatang set the tone for speakers who followed him. “What am I doing to build the country of my dreams?” he challenged the students to ask of themselves.Brand South Africa chief executive Kingsley Makhubela explained the difference between nation and product branding, saying the fundamental difference between the two was intent. A product created a designed identity where nation branding was about highlighting the best of who we were.He talked about international tensions and how conflict continued to shape perceptions about the world we in which we lived. It was the trial nations faced every day: how to shape a positive view of the country despite challenges. “What do you communicate? The challenges? Or the potential and values of the nation?”It was not a government’s concern alone. Citizens, including a country’s young people, had a responsibility to live the best values of their country. Makhubela reminded the students that it was their world as well and that they needed to become civically involved. Tension reshaped the world, but it was the passion of young people that remade the world.Brand South Africa speakers did not shy away from topical issues of the day. Dr Petrus de Kock, the general manager of research, explained that in an environment where bad news often shaped perceptions, it was the responsibility of Brand South Africa to counter this through research, and then share that research as widely as possible.The Rutgers students, especially, were visiting South Africa at a time in its history when the stream of negative news could, but should not, hide the facts about the strength of South Africa’s economy and democracy.He listed statistics about budget clarity, strength of the banking and financial systems, press freedom and independence of the judiciary to highlight strengths that were often overlooked.In his master class presentation on nation branding, Tshepiso Malele explained the rationale behind the idea. Every nation was unique and the purpose of nation branding was to distil that uniqueness and communicate it to as wide an audience as possible. The benefit was an enhanced country reputation and greater business and tourism engagement. He affirmed De Kock’s assertion that nation branding was not meant to be propaganda but information based on research and statistics. Ultimately, he said, a positive nation brand should benefit the people and institutions of the country.
Johannesburg, Friday 28 October 2016 – Brand South Africa in partnership with Rally to Read and Barefoot No More, will contribute to national efforts to improve literacy and education in the Western Cape on Saturday 29 October 2016.Brand South Africa will, through its flagship domestic mobilisation programme, Play Your Part – work with Barefoot No More and Rally to Read to contribute to national efforts to address challenges in literacy levels in South Africa. This partnership will also contribute to the goals set out in the National Development Plan (NDP) for quality education and skills development.Rally to Read is an initiative launched by the McCarthy Motor Group and is successfully organised by Bidvest to help improve education in rural South Africa. Every year, Rally to Read travels across ten school districts, in nine provinces with the aid of McCarthy Motor Group to distribute reading and educational resources to disadvantaged schools.These resources include literacy materials, toys, books, games, a ‘box library’ as well as shock absorbent school shoes made of innovative material developed by Barefoot No More. Teachers in these schools also benefit from this initiative as they are upskilled and empowered through the READ training programme.Brand South Africa’s Play your Part team will join Rally to Read and Barefoot No More to distribute these resources while applauding teachers for taking up the baton to educate. Citizens will also be encouraged to contribute actively and positively to the development of their communities.Weekend Programme for Rally to Read TimeSaturday 29th October 2016 06h30All participants to meet at McCarthy Toyota Table View (Cnr Koeberg Rd & Blaauwberg Road, Table View)Park according to your team colours in the designated parking areas.We will provide a short briefing on the project and the schools whilst enjoying rusks, muffins, coffee and/or tea.Your team leader will contact you a week before the Rally to confirm all details.07h30Depart Cape Town in your teams, for visits to 2 schools in the Langebaan, Velddrif area.This is our second visit to these schools. A short presentation at each school; symbolic signing of the contract between the school and the project and a “tour” of the school.A picnic lunch will be enjoyed during the day.Note: The rally and READ Educational Trust will work in support of these 8 schools for 3 consecutive years: 2015, 2016, 2017.Rally to Read has positively impacted the lives of many communities and schools:By contributing over R86 million raised for rural education1013 – schools have been on the programme (1998-2015)170 – rallies to date, covering all parts of rural South Africa (1998 – 2015)53 – Different areas/school clusters supported (1998 – 2015)17 – Series of Rallies completed (1998 – 2015)Play your Part will return to the Western Cape in November 2016 when it will introduce its interactive and innovate PYP cube to communities to inspire active citizenship for meaningful change in South Africa.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Ntombi NtanziTel: +27 11 712 5061Mobile: +27 (0) 81 704 1488Email: email@example.comVisit www.brandsouthafrica.com
Taking forward his ‘question-a-day’ campaign, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on December 7 targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the problems afflicting the farm sector and farmers.Asking his 9th question in the series, he asked, “Neither loan waiver, nor remunerative price for produce, neither received crop insurance benefit, nor were tubewells installed.”The Congress leader also used the ‘Gabbar’ jibe to target the Prime Minister. “Agriculture hit by Gabbar Singh, land snatched and the (Annadatta) farmer was rendered useless. PM sahib, explain why such step-motherly treatment with the farm labour?” he said on Twitter.Mr. Gandhi had earlier termed the Goods and Services Tax as Gabbar Singh Tax to attack the government.Under the ongoing offensive, the Congress leader is using the tagline 22 saal ka hisab, Gujarat maange jawab (22 years of account, Gujarat demands answers), in the run-up to Gujarat elections starting December 9.The Congress vice-president has been tweeting to pose daily questions to the Prime Minister over the performance of the BJP in Gujarat and its “unkept” promises over the past 22 years of its rule in the State.