South Africa

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.

Rights Groups Slam Attack on Woman

Gender rights organisations have expressed dismay that another woman has been assaulted at Umlazi’s notorious Unit 17 hostel for wearing trousers.

Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre’s (TLAC) Lisa Vetten, points out that the latest incident suggested women are dealing with a problem of culture at the hostel.

Vetten is of the view that the izinduna (headmen) running Unit 17 need to attend training on gender equality and take a much stronger stand against these incidents.

Call to Reform Political Party Funding

The African National Congress (ANC) says it needs legislation to regulate the funding of political parties to combat what it calls ‘the corrupting influence of money in politics’.

ANC secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, stated that while the ANC is committed to introducing a legislation, it will not give up on its investment vehicle – the 100 percent ANC-owned company, Chancellor House, despite conflict of interest, as the company continues to benefit from government contracts and licenses.

NGOs Plotting My Downfall – Mugabe

Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has accused NGOs of financing a sustained campaign to get rid of him through unconstitutional means.

The President states that NGOs are burning the midnight oil to ensure he is not elected as the country’s next president in polls he wants held this year.

He is quoted as saying that over a thousand NGOs are working in the country and they come with ‘stupid ideas’ and ‘quite often’ support one party.

NGOs Urged to Re-Apply for Funding

NGOs that have recently applied for funding from the City of Joburg need to re-apply at the end of June 2012 as part of proposed changes to its Social Funding Policy.

The City’s health and social development department says that NGOs that apply for funding under the CBO stream will not be considered in the current financial year.

The Social Funding Policy provides a basket of subsidies for NGOs and funds are disbursed through one of three funding categories – CBOs, partnerships and rates.

Concern Over Grants Registration Plan

NGOs and advocacy groups are concerned about the Department of Social Development’s announcement that more than 15 million people will have to re-register for social grants in the next year.

But Leonie Caroline, the Western Cape provincial director of the Black Sash, says that, “What the department is proposing is a massive bureaucratic undertaking,” she said. “We feel some people could fall through the cracks.”

DHB Reveals SA’s Primary Healthcare Status

The Department of Health will use the 2010/2011 District Health Barometer (DHB) to reflect and reassess its interventions for the coming years.

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says that the report, which presents snapshots of how the country's health districts provide primary care to the population, confirms progress in a number of government policies and interventions.

Union Defends the Constitutional Court

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) general-secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, has defended the Constitutional Court, which is facing a judicial review by the government.

Vavi points out that, "We remain convinced that there is no basis to reduce the powers of the Constitutional Court to review the decisions of the legislature or executive."

He has been quoted as saying that the Constitutional Court handed down valuable judgments that ‘cemented key socio-economic rights for the working class majority’.

Lack of Commitment Dooms Africa's Human Rights Court

According an article by Webster Zambara of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights received a total of 10 cases, despite countless human rights violations across the continent.

Zambara says that even the deadline for an essay competition for law students in African universities to promote the court and its activities, has been extended from 31 January to 30 June because of too few takers.

Call to Allocate Percentage of Budget to Women

The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, has called for concrete measures to see that part of the national budget is allocated to women, children and people with disabilities.

Xingwana says that gender budgets, which have been introduced over the years in 40 countries around the world, are part of the United Nations-Beijing Platform for Action commitments, which call for an integration of a gender perspective into budgetary decision-making.

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