South Africa

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.

DENOSA Welcomes Health Funding

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) has welcomed Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan’s decision to allocate additional funding to health.

In a press statement, the union points out that, "We are delighted that health will receive an additional R12.3 billion over the next three years with R45 million allocated to nursing colleges."

It further describes the move as a good step in dealing with the ‘chronic’ staff shortages in nursing and in ensuring that there was sufficient personnel to deliver healthcare.

Lungisa Criticised for Budget Comments

The Democratic Alliance Youth has criticised the chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Andile Lungisa, for rejecting Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s R376 million budget allocation to the agency.

The Democratic Alliance Youth director, Aimee Franklin, points out that the NYDA has been unable to spend the budget that they have responsibly.

Aimee cites the World Festival of Youth and Students as a prime example of misspending by the NYDA.

Manyi Defends Govt Over Judiciary

The government insists that a proposed assessment of the Constitutional Court's judgments is not an attempt to undermine judicial independence.

Spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi, has been quoted as saying that, “We don't want to review the Constitutional Court, we want to review its powers."

Manyi also states that the assessment is an evaluation of the impact of the country’s jurisprudence on the democratisation process.

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