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Domestic Workers Sexually Harassed – NGO

Sexual harassment of South Africa’s 1.2 million domestic workers is rife. This is according to the Sexual Harassment Education Project.

The organisation says that data from 2003 indicates that domestic workers may account for as many as 86 percent of sexual harassment victims in the country.

It further states that the number of sexual harassment cases reported by domestic workers had increased since March 2009 as a result of workshops which acquainted them of their rights.

Mobiles and Broadband for Service Delivery

KwaZulu-Natal Finance MEC, Ina Cronje, says mobile technology and broadband need to be considered to latch onto “first class, real time” service delivery.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting in Durban, Cronje stressed that the utilisation of technologies is paramount to maximise benefits from services for government planning.

“In order to utilise the mobile platform, we as KwaZulu-Natal need to ensure that there is a pipeline of appropriate skills to develop the required mobile applications,” explained Cronje.

Migration Not a Threat to SA Economy

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) has warned that restricting migration is not the solution to South Africa's problems, and could even hamper the country's development.

It its newly-released report, CoRMSA says that as the economy slow down, with South Africans beginning to lose jobs, there will be growing pressure for even more restrictive migration policies.

Cellphone Users to be Identified

The contested Regulation of Interception of Communications Amendment Act, which requires service providers to take the personal details of all people buying SIM cards for cellphones, came into operation this week.

From 1 July 2009 the agents will be required to take the details of all new customers and will be given 18 months to record the personal details of users of their networks.

Finance Minister Jeff Radebe warned of heavy penalties for cellphone companies that fail to comply, adding that failure to comply is an offence.

Betavine Social Exchange NGO Workshop - Cape Town

Vodacom in hosting a workshop with NGOs on 16 July 2009 in Cape Town to discuss a new concept in mobile application development for social impact - the Betavine Social Exchange.

All NGOs - or those working in the development sector - are invited to join Vodacom to find out more about the Betavine Social Exchange, and to contribute to its development and deployment in South Africa.

SABC Crisis a Concern for Zuma

The current state of the South African Broadcasting Corporation is cause for concern. This is according to President Jacob Zuma.

Speaking at a media awards ceremony in Durban over the weekend, Zuma stated that, "We will play our role and will act quickly when called upon to do so, to take the process forward, once Parliament concludes its processes."

Zuma’s comments came in the wake of the national broadcaster posting a financial loss of R839 million for the 2008/09 financial year and reports of financial mismanagement.

Non-Distribution of Funds Not Our Fault

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) says lotto funds were not distributed to charities due to legislative and procedural issues.

In a press statement, NLB CEO Vevek Ram, points out that, NLB does not have the authority to make grants.

“Distributing agencies, which are committees appointed by the minister of trade and industry in consultation with the other relevant ministers, are the entities entrusted with the making of grants,” explains Ram.

Nyanda Criticises Telecoms Costs

Communications Minister, Siphiwe Nyanda, says information communication technologies (ICTs) costs are still too high and possible collusion will have to be dealt with.

Nyanda warned that if engagement with private telecommunications operators is not effective in bringing down costs, the government will have to resort to regulation and legislation.

Alliance Unity a Charade – Cronje

The African National Congress (ANC) is in a strong position to dump its alliance partners, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP). This is according to the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR).

SAIRR deputy CEO, Frans Cronje, argues that trade union membership amount to only a small portion of the ANC’s voter support base and that the party stood to lose very little support in dropping its alliance partners.

Burger Comments on SABC Crisis, Broadband & Digital Migration

Right now the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is hogging bandwidth about priorities for the new Minister of Communications, Siphiwe Nyanda. This is according to Professor Guy Burger.

Burger is of the view that Nyanda should tell the Treasury whether he backs the broadcaster’s R2 billion bailout.

He further states that, “But he'll also need to look at two other causes putting pressure on the public purse. These are: promoting broadband Internet, and dealing with digital migration.”

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