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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.”

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.

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