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Policy Failure Will Keep SA Poor

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says South Africa will remain a largely poor and unequal society because the government is unlikely to amend poor policy, which will result in an economic growth rate of only three percent a year until 2030.

SAIRR deputy CEO, Frans Cronje, says a number of risk factors will become prominent in the next two decades, including the government’s retreat from growth-led development to an interventionist and redistributive policy.

Eradicating Shacks Not Possible by 2014

The Gauteng housing department has admitted that its goal of eradicating shacks by 2014 is becoming impossible to reach.

The department’s Manching Monana says that for this goal to be achieved they will have to build 200 000 houses a year.

The department provided about 64 000 houses in 2008, exceeding its target of 58 000 and plans to deliver 28 000 units this year. However, Monana warned that this may be cut to 12 000 due to budget constraints.

Food Banking to Expand Countrywide

Durban is gearing up to join Cape Town and Johannesburg as a host city to a FoodBank which aims to address urban hunger by collecting donated food at a central warehouse from where it can be distributed.

The banks, which are affiliated to the Global FoodBanking Network, which has affiliates in 14 countries, sorts donated food into nutritionally balanced parcels which are then distributed to NGOs who feed the hungry.

Department's Success Depends on Partnerships

The success of the newly established Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities is dependent on the participation of civil society. This is according to Minister Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya.

As the national office is within the Presidency and there are no departmental MEC's in the provinces, the minister said there would be branch offices within the premiers' offices and at the local government level.

Equality Courts Will Stay – Nqayi

Equality Courts are here to stay. This is an assurance from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Department spokesperson, Zolile Nqayi, says the department has no intention to shut down the Equality Courts.

“The public is urged to approach these courts whenever they experience cases of unfair discrimination, hate speech and harassment”, Nqayi said.

Malema Distorted Facts of Rape Case

African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema has distorted the facts of the Zuma rape case. This is according to Lisa Vetten, a researcher at the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre.

Testifying in Malema’s Equality Court hate speech case in Johannesburg, Vetten quoted the judgment as stating: "According to the complainant the accused asked her whether she had money for transport the following morning and she abruptly confirmed that she had money."

Search New SABC Board Begins

Parliament's portfolio committee on communications has invited the public to make nominations for the new South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members.

In a press statement, the committee chairperson Ismail Vadi says the call is the beginning of a search for a new board to steer the public broadcaster out of its current problems. Nominations can be made on or before 31 July 2009.

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.

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