South Africa

Constitution Not Under Threat – Ramaphosa

The African National Congress (ANC) veteran and former chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly, Cyril Ramaphosa, says South Africa's constitution is not under threat from any political party or individuals.

Speaking at celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of the signing of the constitution at Constitution Hill, in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa, pointed out that, “There is no threat that I perceive. The constitution is a solid and wonderful document. It is an enduring document."

Students to Push for Free Education

The newly-elected South African Students Congress (SASCO) leadership is to push Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, to implement the African National Congress’ (ANC) free education policy at tertiary institutions.

SASCO general secretary, Themba Masondo, points out that students are eager to tackle Nzimande head-on about their goal of free education.

Masondo adds that, "We are disappointed that since 1994 free education does not seem to be the government's priority.”

Call for Foreign-Owned Business to Close

Illegal foreigners owning shops in Ekurhuleni have until have until 12 December 2012 to close shop or face the wrath of local business people.

At a meeting held in Katlehong this week, members of the Ekurhuleni Business and Enterprise Forum warned that they would force out anyone found to be an illegal shop owner in the area.

The Forum, which says that its previous efforts to get the government to intervene have been have been unsuccessful, argues that its concern is about the ‘uncontrolled mushrooming of illegally run, foreign-owned businesses’.

Plan to Change Ekurhuleni Informal Settlements

Ekurhuleni member of the Mayoral Committee for Human Settlements, Queen Duba, says she will present a multimillion-rand plan to the council aimed at changing the face of 101 informal settlements in the Metro.

Duba says she will push for a resolution at the first council meeting of 2012 that R150 million be made available to her department to ensure that all informal settlement dwellers receive basic municipal services such as clean water, electricity and accessible roads for ambulance and police services.

ANC Denies Spying on Media

The African National Congress (ANC) denies that its analysis of news media and reporters is a mechanism to keep tabs on journalists.

ANC spokesperson, Keith Khosa, points out that, “The analysis is not a measure that will be used to stifle journalism in South Africa but to assist with effective communication.”

Tau to Chair NCOP Info Bill Committee

The African National Congress MP Raseriti Tau, has been elected to chair the National Council of Provinces' ad hoc committee on the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill).

Tau, also house chair of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), was elected unopposed by the 15-member committee that will steer the contentious state secrecy bill through Parliament's second house.

High-Level Talks Begin at COP17

World leaders and government ministers start their top level climate talks at COP17, amid warnings that a breakthrough agreement is unlikely.

Twelve heads of state and 130 ministers are set to attend the high-level segment of the conference, which begins later today, and deals with extending the carbon-emission limits established by the Kyoto Protocol in 1998.

The world's biggest polluters - the United States, China and India - are not part of Kyoto and the conservatives argue that any agreement that does not include the major emitters is meaningless.

Greenpeace Activists Arrested at COP17

Seven Greenpeace campaigners have been arrested on the sidelines of the United Nations climate conference as they protest against corporate responsibility for carbon emissions.

The six were detained as they tried to hang a banner reading ‘Listen to the People, not the Polluters’ at a Durban hotel where a ‘Global Business Day’, hosted by business organisations, was taking place.

The protest was aimed at a so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ corporations which Greenpeace says are pulling political strings to stifle progress toward a global climate deal.

SA Criticised Over Coal Investments

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says that with South Africa’s investment into Eskom’s new Kusile and Medupi coal-fired powered stations, it is clear that coal will continue to be a large part of our energy supply. The WWF delegation had this to say at the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17), which started from 28 November and will end on 9 December 2011 in Durban.

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