South Africa

TAC Hard Hit by Lack of Funding

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has confirmed that its education programme in the Lusikisiki district has been stopped.

The organisation states that about 20 of its young volunteers, who conducted the AIDS education programme in several clinics, have also had their jobs terminated.

TAC provincial chairperson, Noloyiso Ntamehlo, says the volunteers were paid a stipend from money received from the Global Fund, which has cut back on its donations.

Ntamehlo warns that as the funding crisis deepens, more TAC staff will be retrenched.

SA Making Progress on Equality – Xingwana

The Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, has welcomed the recognition by the United Nations (UN) secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon of South Africa’s progress in actively engaging men and boys.

Speaking at the UN 56th Session on Women, Xingwana, assured the UN that, “...we are doubling our efforts to ensure an increased number of men’s organisation’s involved in the advancement of gender equality.”

SA Donates R120 Million to Somalia

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has announced that South Africa has put aside R120 million to assist Somalia.

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says the humanitarian assistance will focus on liberated areas.

She says that the African Union has now declared that famine has ended in the area, but there is still a need for two million people to be supported through humanitarian aid.

Govt Ready to Rollout Nuclear Stations

Government is going ahead with plans to build nuclear power stations - signalling a scrap by local and international companies to get a slice of the staggering R300 billion tender.

The rollout, which has been revealed by the National Treasury, will see the construction of the plants along the country's coastline to ensure a supply of an extra 9 600 megawatts of electricity.

Energy Minister, Dipuo Peters, is already on record as having said that costs could escalate to around R1 trillion, the figure she later backtracked.

Call to Close Land Department

Opposition parties in Parliament are calling for the closure of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

The call comes after it emerged that the department failed to pay more than R500 million in land claims recipients.

They suggest that the department should close its doors and merge with Public Works, since the latter also owns property and buildings, and that it is suitably placed to manage the assets of the Land Reform department.

General Motors to Settle Apartheid Claim

Twenty-five South Africans who suffered at the hands of the apartheid security police have claimed a small victory after a United States court ratified a settlement between the claimants and General Motors.

Khulumani Support Group attorney, Charles Abrahams, has been quoted as saying that, "The settlement is a small amount. It was a show of good faith on the part of General Motors, considering that they are bankrupt."

The claimants and the Khulumani Support Group, a lobby group for financial reparations for victims of apartheid, will share an amount of $1.5-million.

Call to Clean-Up Health in SA

A preliminary audit report of South Africa's health facilities shows a majority of institutions to be dirty and also questions patient safety in these services.

Conducted by the Health Systems Trust (HST), the study assessed the state of the country's public health institutions under six priority areas of quality, including the availability of medicine supply, cleanliness, waiting times and infection control.

Rights Groups Lament Marginalisation in SA

Despite South Africa being lauded as having one of the most liberal Constitutions in the world, rights organisations say many groups remain marginalised.

While the Constitution is designed to protect the rights of all persons, Prince Nofemela who has been blind since 1996, believes the visually impaired continue to suffer human rights abuses.

Nofemela further states that, "Government has not been able to fulfill its mandate of providing shelter for the blind. We are kicked out of the mainstream education system and shoved into a corner...”

Number of Public Schools Drop - SAIRR

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says the number of public schools in South Africa has dropped despite a rise in the number of independent schools.

SAIRR head of research, Jonathan Snyman, points out that, "The period between 2000 and 2010 saw a decline of nine percent in the number of public schools from 26 789 to 24 451.”

Snyman states that only the Northern Cape experienced a notable increase of 23 percent in the number of public schools over this period.

South Africans Prefer Cellphones Over TV

South Africans spend more time on their mobile devices than they do watching television or listening to the radio, according to a Mobile Media Consumption survey.

In a press statement, mobile advertising network, InMobi, points out that on any given day, mobile web users spend 30 percent of their media time on mobile devices, 29 percent on television and 20 percent listening to the radio.

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