South Africa

Manyi Appointed to MDDA Board

President Jacob Zuma has appointed government spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi, and five other people to the Media Development and Diversity Agency board.

Zuma, points out that, "We wish the new members well in the execution of their new duties. They have a lot of challenges ahead as they seek to build a diverse media environment that is a true reflection of all South Africans."

Manyi would serve on the board as a representative of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). However, he will remain government spokesperson.

ICASA to Rule on TopTV Porn Channels

The South Gauteng High Court has ruled that TopTV may not broadcast pornography channels without the permission of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

ICASA brought an interdict application before Judge Ndawuyake Tshabalala last week, hoping to delay the independent broadcaster's launch.

The dispute relates to ICASA’s subscription broadcasting services regulations, specifically paragraphs 3.5 and 3.6, which stipulate that ICASA must authorise or refuse applications for additional channels to be added to an existing bouquet within 60 days.

SA Criticised Over Education Standards

Founder and benefactor of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, Oprah Winfrey, says the standard of school education in South Africa is too low.

Winfrey emphasises that South Africa had to invest in leadership so that rewards could be reaped later, especially in poor communities.

She points out that her school’s success is due to good, knowledgeable teachers and to girls who were not pampered because they came from difficult backgrounds.

Troubled NGO Faces Legal Battle

The South African National Tuberculosis Association (SANTA) employees country-wide have not been paid for four months.

The SANTA board, under the leadership of national chairperson, Sipho Tanana, has charged the steering committee with maladministration, corruption, fraud and assaulting staff members.

Also caught in the crossfire are SANTA's TB patients, who are not receiving medical care. CEO Sateesh Isseri says most staff no longer report to work and the TB clinics have ceased operating.

Govt to Transform FET Colleges

The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, says that South Africa’s beleaguered Further Education and Training (FET) colleges should prepare for a dramatic shake-up to address the country’s dire skills shortages.

Nzimande says that his department envision a complete transformation of South Africa’s higher education system, currently characterised by enrolment rates at universities that are almost three times as high as those at colleges.

Gauteng Schools Ready – Creecy

Gauteng Basic Education MEC, Barbara Creecy, says its all systems go for the first day of the province’s new academic year.

Creecy, who took part in school cleaning campaigns over the weekend, stated that school principals and officials have already placed orders for learner teacher support material in May 2011.

She also added that, “Curriculum Assessment and Policy Statement (CAPS) orders were already placed in October last year, and the delivery at all Section 20 schools has been concluded.”

Central Applications System Plan Welcomed

The Council on Higher Education (CHE) has welcomed government plans to establish a central applications system to facilitate the admissions process in higher education institutions.

CHE board CEO, Ahmed Essop, points out that the council recognise higher education institutions' concerns about the potential erosion of institutional autonomy if the programme is not properly managed, and the practical complexities of establishing a central applications system.

Education Plan to Help SA Reach Job Targets

The green paper for post-school education launched this week offers a refreshingly frank analysis of how South Africa’s post-school education system should be aligned to the needs of society and the economy.

Should the objectives of the green paper be met, by 2030 university enrolment will double to 1.5 million, and that of further education and training (FET) colleges will register a six-fold increase to four million.

Centralised Application System Works – Khan

Durban University of Technology says the centralised application system introduced in 1999 has ‘been phenomenal’ in helping KwaZulu-Natal universities manage late applications.

Durban University of Technology’s senior director of corporate affairs, Alan Khan, points out that in that province, prospective students apply to the Central Applications Office.

He states that the university then accept a certain number of students, who are invited to register in January.

Call for ANC to Fight Discrimination

The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has commemorated the African National Congress (ANC) centenary, hailing the ruling party’s successes as a key liberation movement in the country.

Ban, who also called for the ANC’s continued determination to defend the principles of freedom, justice and non-discrimination, described the ANC as “...more than a political party. It is a movement - a tangible expression of a vision."


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