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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.

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.

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