Water Affairs DG Put on 'Special Leave'

Water Affairs director-general Pam Yako has been put on 'special lea' pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged financial irregularities within the department.

"No charges have been levelled against Ms Yako or any official of the department and, until informed otherwise by the outcome of the investigation, the director-general remains innocent," Water Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said on Wednesday.

Govt Committed to Halving Unemployment

The government is still committed to halving unemployment and poverty by 2014, despite the global economic downturn. This is according to National Planning Commission Minister, Trevor Manuel.

Outlining the government's Medium Strategic Framework (MTSF) in Pretoria, Manuel said the MTSF’s main focus is to minimise the impact of the economic crisis on the country's productive capacity, jobs and poverty reduction measures.

SA Losing New Doctors

South Africa is losing an average of 17 percent of its newly qualified doctors to foreign countries every year, a Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary question revealed.

According to the reply, since 2005, only 4 702 of the 5 689 trainee doctors that applied to do internships applied for community service posts. This means that approximately 1 000 doctors did not register to work in South Africa that year.

High-price AIDS Drugs Costing Lives

The high cost of drugs needed to treat AIDS patients is putting the lives of thousands at risk, the medical humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Monday.

“Patients needing new drug regimens will return to AIDS death row”, MSF warned in a statement released at the 2009 International AIDS Society conference in Cape Town.

ANC Website Hacked

The ANC has distanced itself from adverts on its website offering free porn and penis enlargements.

"The African National Congress (ANC) wishes to distance itself from a selection of embarrassing links placed on the organisation's website by someone who has hacked into the ANC site," said spokesman Brian Sokutu.

Adverts on the party's home page on www.anc.org.za were offered free porn, penis enlargement, prefabrik, cortix, tarot, reverse mortgage, security system report, jet charter, APC battery, autism, a dating service and website promotion.

Legislation for Human Trafficking

South Africa will soon pass specific legislation to counter human trafficking.

The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill was published for comment in May and is expected to be concluded by the end of this month.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development says South Africa lacks a proper system to deal with human trafficking.

To read the article titled, “Legislation for human trafficking,” click here.

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.


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