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Larger Cabinet Essential – Zuma

President Jacob Zuma has dismissed suggestions his new executive is too big.

Replying in the National Assembly to points raised during debate on his budget vote, Zuma pointed out that, “Let me assure the House once again that the changes we have made to the configuration of departments are guided by the need to improve service delivery, and to correct the weaknesses that the people had identified.”

Xenophobia Blamed on Apartheid Legacy

South Africa’s high levels of xenophobia are partially a result of the violent past of apartheid. This is according to Maxine Reitzes, an associate at the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS).

Reitzes points out that, “Violence has been evidently accepted as a way to sort out problems.”

Reitzes, who was addressing a seminar on xenophobia in Johannesburg, argued that people were defined during apartheid by who they were not and this carried over beyond 1994.

MEC Denies Reports of ARV Shortages

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has given his department a clean bill of health and has rejected reports that the province’s antiretroviral (ARV) campaign is not on track.

Dhlomo was responding to media reports that patients living with HIV and AIDS were being turned away from state hospitals and clinics.
 
“All our facilities have adequate stocks of medication, nutritional support packs and we have not had an instance of running out of stock,” he said.

Refugee Kids Must be Schooled

The Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disability, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, says refugee children should have access to education in South Africa.
 
"I urge you as children to also take responsibility to attend school because without education, it will be extremely difficult to make it in life anywhere in the world,"
Mayende-Sibiya said.

She was addressing about 150 South African children and child refugees in Bela Bela, Limpopo, who had gathered to celebrate the Day of the African Child and World Refugee Day.

SABC on Brink of Collapse

Massive debts and a spate of top-level resignations have pushed the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to near-collapse, threatening a network once styled as the voice of the country's democracy.

This is according to SABC Board member, Alison Gillwald.

"If the board does not function, the SABC does not function. The legal constraints and protection of its own statutes (mean) that if the board does not meet, the SABC literally grinds to a halt," Gillwald says.

Activist Watching their Leaders at WEF

Aids activists took to the streets sporting a giant inflatable eyeball outside where world leaders have met to highlight how the global economic crisis spells out dire consequences for already weak healthcare throughout Africa.

Protestors from Congress of the South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU), Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and other groups are using the eyeball motif used by activists at the G8 meeting in Scotland to signify the public is watching that leaders make good on their promises.

AIDS Stabilising in South Africa

A national study released this week has found that South Africa's AIDS epidemic appears to be stabilising, with infections among children and teenagers declining.

"There are promising findings of a changing pattern of HIV infection among children and youth," says HSRC chief executive officer, Olive Shisana.

"The good news is that the change in HIV prevalence in children is most likely attributable to the successful implementation of several HIV-prevention interventions," she said.

SABC Board Chairperson Urged to Resign

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board has passed a vote of no confidence against its chairperson, Kanyisiwe Mkhonza.

Some board members have asked Mkhonza to resign after she was accused of being at the centre of the controversies that have pushed the SABC to the brink of collapse.

"Board members met two weeks ago to tell her that they think she should go, in the interests of ensuring (that) the organisation is able to rise from the crisis," says one board member.

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