South Africa

SA Top Tweeters in Africa – Research

A new study has found that South Africa tweets the most on the African continent with over five million messages sent in the last three months of 2011.

Analysis of over 11.5 million geo-located tweets originating on the continent and a survey of 500 of Africa's most active tweeters, shows that the next most active country is Kenya (2 476 800).

COSATU Launches Anti-Corruption Unit

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has launched its anti-corruption unit, Corruption Watch, in Johannesburg.

COSATU secretary-general, Zwelinzima Vavi, says that corruption has become a matter of life and death in South Africa, which is why the trade-union federation decided to launch the service.

Funded by various groups, the unit, which aims to record instances of all forms of corruption, will have a website and an SMS number where anyone can file reports of corruption.

Selwane Land Claims Drags

The BaPhalaborwa-ba-ga-Selwane community is up in arms because the Limpopo Land Claims Commission has not yet submitted relevant information to the Land Claims Court to motion their legal battle against the Majeje tribal authority.

The Commission was first ordered in 2008 at a pre-trial hearing in the Land Claims Court to submit information, which would help to resolve the land dispute between the Selwane community and the Majeje tribal authority.

NGOs Lose Funding to ANC – DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for the National Lotteries Act to be amended in order to rid the lotteries board of perceived political interference.

DA MP, Jacques Smalle, says that his party has noted a growing trend where needy charities are being overlooked by the lotto's board in favour of African National Congress (ANC) aligned organisations.

He states that his party would also ask parliament to change the way board members of the lottery board's fund distributing agencies are being appointed.

Plan to Take Over Grants Payments

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is gearing itself to take over the payment of social grants when the five-year contract worth R10 billion it awarded to a security company expires in 2017.

SASSA CEO, Virginia Petersen, says the agency has started the research and design of a new model for paying social grants.

Petersen argues that a key feature of the new model would be the range of options from which beneficiaries can choose how they would like to receive their payments.

Maruleng Hit Hard by Floods

The Department of Human Settlements in Limpopo says that a total of 220 families have been affected by this week's floods in Maruleng.

The department spokesperson, Tseng Diale, says that according to a preliminary assessment, 101 families are in need of immediate shelter and tents are being provided for them.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Limpopo Department of Health, Kenny Mathivha, says the Mopani district - encompassing Baphalaborwa, Giyani, Letaba, Maruleng, and Tzaneen municipalities - was hardest hit by the flood.

Call for Risk Benefits for Councillors

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has warned that councillors face a risk of public violence and therefore need risk benefits.

SALGA spokesperson, Milisa Kentane, points out that the escalation of violent protests has not only seen the damaging of personal property, but has caused financial and psychological trauma, injury, and the loss of lives.

NLB CEO Resigns

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) spokesperson Sershan Naidoo has declined to confirm or deny reports that chief executive officer, Vevek Ram, has resigned.

However, Naidoo later promised that the NLB board will ‘shortly’ issue a statement on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance spokesperson, Jacques Smalle, says that Ram's letter of resignation was received and accepted by the NLB.

UNAIDS Predicts Massive AIDS Reduction

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) says that South Africa should see a massive reduction in HIV/IDS cases by the end of the decade after a sea-change in government policy.

The UNAIDS regional director for East and Southern Africa, Sheila Tlou, points out that the country now has more people with HIV infections than any country in the world, with 5.6 million.

Tlou says that East and Southern Africa is known as ‘the centre of the epidemic’ because of the 34 million people living with HIV in the world, almost three quarters live in that region.

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