South Africa

NLB to Act on Alleged Irregularities

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has promised to investigate allegations of irregularities against it.

NLB Board chairperson, Alfred Nevhuthanda, promised corrective action after receiving a memorandum from hundreds of protesters against the NLB in Pretoria.

"We take allegations made in the media seriously -- claims of request(s) for bribes, losing information (about applicants), and irregular grants. Remedial action will be taken where needed," he explained.

NLB Blamed for NGO Closure

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has inflicted a grave injustice on deserving organisations that are at the coalface of alleviating poverty and providing succour to the destitute, according to an article by Redi Thalbi.

Tlhabi states that various branches of Child Welfare, which provides assistance to 65 000 orphans and vulnerable children, have had applications denied owing to an ‘administrative error’.

World Economic Forum Gets Underway

President Jacob Zuma will use his first day at the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s annual meeting to push Africa's agenda, in Davos, Switzerland.

Zuma leads a powerful business and government delegation in need of new investment that can bolster growth, even as the International Monetary Fund downgraded South Africa's outlook to 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, WEF founder, Klaus Schwab, has called for a new vision for the world economy.

Govt Pushes for Environmental Compliance

The Department of Environmental Affairs is amending the National Environmental Management Act so that it could take the same enforcement action against state-owned enterprises as it did against private companies.

The department states that the amendment will enable criminal prosecutions to be brought against organs of state, in line with the constitutional principle that all people and entities are equal before the law.

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.

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