South Africa

Master Plan on Digital Migration

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications has called on Sentech, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to develop a master plan to ensure the country gets ready to migrate to digital broadcasting.

In the same vein, ICASA councillor, Mickey Ndlovu, speaking at a recent workshop in Durban, said the digital migration will improve not only the public broadcaster, but also community and commercial broadcasters, leading to stronger competition.

SA Warned on Land Reform

Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, says that the sensitivity of land reform compelled the government to address the issue.

Delivering the keynote address during Agri South Africa’s annual conference in Stellenbosch, Manuel urged farmers needed to significantly increase agricultural output to meet the growing demand for food as the country’s population continued to rise.

Manuel, who also chairs the National Planning Commission, further said that land reform and inclusive agriculture are constitutional imperatives.

Gauteng to Accelerate Service Delivery

Gauteng Premier, Nomvula Mokonyane, delivered the state of the nation address in which she focused on the need to accelerate delivery with strong emphasis on concrete deliverable, in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

Mokonyane addressed some of the controversial issues, including the state of the health department, the renaming of Pretoria and the contentious Gauteng toll roads.

Mokonyane promised to implement a ‘comprehensive turnaround strategy’ for the provincial health department to make the delivery of public health services more efficient.

Women March Against Harassment

Bree street taxi rank in Johannesburg’s central business district was bustling with people gathering for a march organised by the African National Congress Women’s League today.

Wearing miniskirts in bright colours and singing ‘the leadership is greeting’ and ‘mini skirt we love you’, women and several men marched to protest against the harassment experienced by two young women when they went shopping in the Noord Street taxi rank last December.

Acid Water Threatens Mining in Six Provinces

The Chamber of Mines has warned that if acid mine drainage is not treated to remove the salts from the water, mining activities in six provinces could be affected.

In its document, Chamber of Mines, states that at the moment, desalination is not part of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority’s short-term plan to rectify the Witwatersrand’s acid mine drainage problem.

UNICEF Urges Mothers to Breastfeed

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that child malnutrition would decrease by 25 percent if babies were fed only breast milk in the first six months.

Speaking at the launch of Save the Children’s report, ‘A life free of hunger: Tackling Child Nutrition’, UNICEF nutrition specialist, Chantell Witten, said that about 70 percent of babies are being fed solids at two months old.

NGO Urges the World to Tackle Malnutrition

Save the Children has warned that half-a-billion children will be stunted over the next 15 years, if child malnutrition is tackled head-on.

Save the Children’s regional health and HIV advisor, David Sanders, points out that, “The rising of food prices is the main cause of malnutrition.”

Sanders maintains that the government must prioritise nutrition and outline the clear lines of responsibility.

NGO Slams ‘Secrecy Bill’ Hearings

The Right2Know Campaign has slammed this week’s public hearings on the controversial Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill).

The Campaign’s national coordinator, Murray Hunter, argues that the hearings in Gauteng were ‘deeply flawed and a highly partisan ‘public consultation’ process’.

Hunter rebuked African National Congress (ANC) chief whip in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Nosipho Ntwanambi, who chaired the Sharpeville hearings, saying she had been ‘biased and bullying’.

Company Repay Govt Over Sub-Standard RDPs

Prominent Limpopo businessman, Tom Boya, says that ‘all is in order’ to repay R125 000 a month to the provincial government after his company built sub-standard RDP houses.

His company, which is no longer appearing on the list of restricted companies issued by the National Treasury, agreed to pay R1.5 million to the provincial department of local government and housing to clear its name.

The department's spokesperson, Dieketseng Diale, points out that, “The department has thus far recovered R750 000 from Legae Consortium.

March Against Harassment at Taxi Ranks

The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, is expected to join the African National Congress Women’s League-led community education and awareness march against attacks on females wearing miniskirts today in Johannesburg.

The march, which starts from Bree Street taxi rank and end at the Noord Street taxi rank, will culminate in the handing over of a memorandum of grievances to the equality court in the Johannesburg High Court, Pritchard Street.

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