South Africa

Call to Link Youth Wage Subsidy to Training and Skills

Trade Union, Federated Union of South Africa (FEDUSA) says that the government should link its proposed youth wage subsidy to training and skills programmes to prevent exploitation and increase young people's chances of finding work.

FEDUSA secretary-general, Krister Janse van Rensburg, points out that South African schools operate in a two-tier system - some performed at international standards, and others just scraped pupils through, with around 2.4 million youths not working, training or studying.

Tutu Urges Children to be Agents of Change

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has urged young people to be the agents of change in South Africa.

Addressing children between the ages of 15 and 17 at the annual Tutu Youth Peace Summit in Cape Town, Tutu reminded them how lucky they are to be South Africans, adding that, “if you were born in the Democratic Republic of Congo you girls would almost all of you have been raped, maybe killed or maybe a refugee.”

He also urged the children to have the courage of the 1976 youth.

NGO Criticises Zuma’s Decision Over Ngcobo

Freedom Under Law will apply to be a friend of the court in the imminent court challenge to the extension of Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo’s term of office by President Jacob Zuma.

The organisation, headed by retired Constitutional Court justice Johann Kriegler, says that it is ‘deeply concerned’ about the extension, but this had nothing to do with Justice Ngcobo’s fitness for office.

CASAC, CALS, to Take Zuma to Court

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at University of the Witwatersrand are challenging President Jacob Zuma's decision to request that the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court stays on beyond his tenure.

CASAC chairperson, Sipho Pityana points out that, “This infringes upon the principle of the separation of powers, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary that are the very cornerstones of our constitutional architecture.”

SANEF, DA: Manyi’s Plan Threat to Free Press

A plan by government spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi, to tightly control over R1 billion of government money for advertising, has been described as an abuse of power.
 
The Democratic Alliance (DA) voiced its objection to Manyi’s plan, arguing that Manyi is aiming to turn the free media into a propaganda outlet for the government.
 
The party’s shadow minister of communications, Natasha Michael, says that Manyi is aiming to turn the free media into a propaganda outlet for the government.
 

Sex While HIV+ Is Murder – Praekelt Foundation

The Praekelt Foundation says that 81 percent of South African youth equate not telling their sexual partners that they are HIV positive with murder.
 
In its latest survey, the Foundation found that of the 138 954 young people who took part in the study, 44 percent said they were sexually active, and 66 percent would not consider having sex after drinking.
 
The Foundation’s founder, Gustav Praekelt, further says that the survey was based on polls run on the YoungAfricaLive, a mobile platform since December 2010,
 

SA’s Infant AIDS Infections Achieves 96.5 %

South Africa's programme to prevent HIV in babies has achieved a 96.5 percent success rate in wiping out transmission from infected pregnant mothers, according to the Medical Research Council.
 
The government research body says that an inaugural national evaluation survey among the world's biggest AIDS population tested 9 915 infants at public clinics, of whom 31.4 percent were exposed to the virus but only 3.5 percent tested positive.
 

Half of SA Top Jobs Must go to Women – Xingwana

The Gender Equality Bill proposes giving the government the power to force companies to appoint women to half of all top positions.
 
In her budget speech in Parliament, Women's Minister, Lulu Xingwana, said that the bill would be submitted to the cabinet in March 2012.
 
Xingwana singled out grocery chain Shoprite, saying it is one of 27 Johannesburg Security Exchange-listed companies without a single woman as a director or executive.

"We have to find measures to address this abnormality, which is a major indictment on transformation," she added.

Implementing UN Resolutions Key to Fight HIV/AIDS

Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, says the country needs to implement all of the resolution taken by the United Nations in relation to HIV/AIDS if it is to win the fight against the pandemic.
 
Motsoaledi, who was in the rural village of Mafefe, Limpopo, during the launch of a rural counselling and testing campaign, announced that his department has partnered with traditional leaders to try and get rural communities to test for HIV/AIDS.
 

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