Blogs

For over eight years, I have volunteered, worked for and worked with a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). As such, I truly understand the value of a strong civil society, as it does have a very important role to play in the creation of positive change. I have also however had to disengage from some organisations because I have strongly felt that they play a part in further 'disempowering' the marginalised.
For many South African’s the Bill of Rights is only vaguely known or understood, but in Rustenburg the team developing the new integrated public transport system – Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) – are intimately aware of how something as basic as good public transport can support the true expression of South Africa’s  Bill of Rights.
Over the last few months, South Africa has seen an array of strikes at various magnitudes. Although most South Africans think that they are ‘unaffected’ by the violence and riotous behaviour that strikes incite. We must also not forget the ripple effect and the miss-directed anger that comes as part of the wave of violent strikes.
The HIV Resource Tracking and the Health Economist directories, both compiled by Health Economic and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD), aims to assist in developing collaborations in the critical field of health economics in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.    
Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) has been involved with Forest Town School for Children with Special Needs since 2007. Initially they refurbished four dismal playgrounds. In 2006, the school established the Work Experience Training Centre due to the almost 100 percent rate of unemployment of youth categorised as having a combination of disabilities, which includes lower cognitive function, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, epilepsy and other complications.   
Our guest blogger today is musician and ONE member Slap Dee, who helped to launch the You Choose campaign in Zambia. In 2000, leaders from 189 nations signed on to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight targets designed to significantly reduce global poverty and disease by 2015. In Zambia, we have made some progress since then, child mortality has reduced and more children are in school. Guys, we still need to do more. We are one of the few countries where poverty levels have increased!
The Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) has once again produced an annual Development Calendar in the form of a year planner. Sponsored by Turning Point Consultants, the 2013 Development Calendar covers a comprehensive list of international, African and South African dates (e.g. World AIDS Day, 1 December) and events of significance to people and organisations involved in development and civil society issues in Southern Africa. Copies of the calendar are available for collection from the SANGONeT office in Braamfontein, free of charge.
The social change agent‘s mission is to deal with specific social issues.  How this is done becomes a subjective matter. Is it to solve development issues, community social needs or to respond to market failures? Heckett (2010, p 220) further explores this question “Can development be achieved solely through poverty alleviation measures that address market failures with social enterprises?
Socrates told us that all thinking begins with wonder.  Nobody would dispute the need for developing thoughtful citizens, but just how do we develop a sense of wonder in children? Through stories, of course. 6 March is World Read Aloud Day - this is a day to celebrate the wonder and delight of reading aloud to children (or the child that lurks within us).
Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, delivered the 2013/4 National Budget to Parliament on 27 February 2013 in Cape Town. This year’s budget was overshadowed by a number of development challenges including the recent de-registration of an estimated 36 000 NGOs and the closure of many others due to lack of donor funding, the shortage of textbooks in disadvantaged schools, increasing incidents of gender-based violence, and the pending introduction of e-tolls, among others.  

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