Sexual Violence in SA Alarming - MSF

Only countries at war suffer as much sexual violence as South Africa. This is according to a Doctors Without Borders’s (MSF) global report that highlights the problem of rape.

The organisation’s operational director, Meinie Nicolai, says, “The figures we have are alarming, but they are just a tip of the iceberg as most cases go unreported."

Although sexual violence is exacerbated in war, MSF says it also affects millions of people living in post-conflict countries or even in stable environments.

SWEAT Criticises Police Over Sexual Favours

The Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) has criticised Cape Town police sometimes ask sex workers for sexual favours in exchange for not arresting them.

In an affidavit filed in the Cape High Court, SWEAT is asking the court to order the South African Police Services and the municipal police to stop what it says are ongoing arbitrary arrests and harassment.

Minister Warns Land Reform Beneficiaries

The Department of Agriculture has warned that its top officials will enforce a “use it or lose it” policy to ensure land-reform beneficiaries run productive farms.

Agriculture minister, Lulu Xingwana, has also warned that the government will take back farms allocated to blacks under its redistribution programme if they do not farm productively.

She states that the government does not have enough money for land reform in its current budget. Xingwana also blamed white farmers for charging the state inflated prices for land-reform farms.

Electricity Blackouts Set To Return

Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica, says South Africa must brace themselves for a dark winter, as electricity blackouts are expected.

“The country cannot afford any delays to this important transformation process. The delay on electricity distribution restructuring has been too costly to the country and the economy,” Sonjica said in Johannesburg yesterday. A target to centralise the distribution of electricity through the state-owned EDI Holdings last year has already lapsed. The deadline has since been extended by another three years.

Gauteng Housing to Eradicate Informal Settlements

Gauteng Housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane, says her department will eradicate all informal settlements in the province by 2014.

"So far, 12 informal settlements have been eradicated. A further 24 informal settlements are in the process of being eradicated... This will bring the provincial total of eradicated informal settlements to 36 in 2009", says Mokonyane.

"We are, therefore, confident that our plan to eradicate informal settlements by 2014 is moving forward and more will be done to speed up delivery in remaining areas."

Court Cases Unlikely to Affect Election Date – IEC

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says the upcoming national and provincial elections are unlikely to be delayed by the outcome of a Constitutional Court hearing on the right of South Africans living overseas to vote.

IEC commissioner Fanie van der Merwe, told Parliament’s home affairs portfolio that the five court cases brought by South Africans living overseas, who are seeking the right to vote in the coming elections, cannot result in the postponement of the elections.


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