South Africa

Media Must Continue Regulating Itself

The Press Council of South Africa says the print media should continue to regulate itself while beefing up its oversight bodies and codes.

The Council points out that it has endorsed the system of media self-regulation and has proposed sweeping changes to the South African Press Code and the functioning of the office of the press ombudsman.

It was releasing a task team's report on its functioning and that of the office of the press ombudsman's after a year-long probe.

Call for Economic Freedom in South Africa

Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, says South Africans cannot claim to be free when they are only enjoying freedom to vote, but not freedom from poverty or the freedom to educate their children and extend effective health services to their families.

Speaking during the 10th Annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture, Montlanthe also stressed the need to grow the economy to address the basic needs of the people.

The deputy president’s comments are a stark reminder of the gallant fighter who would have been a strong opponent of abuse of power and neglect basic human needs.

Only Courts May Review Decisions — Madonsela

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela complains that attorneys advising organs of state against implementing her remedial action have become ‘superimposed as review panels’ of her decisions.

Speaking at a meeting with stakeholders, which included provincial government leaders, local government authorities and civil society in Polokwane, Madonsela, stated that her office is only subject to the constitution and the law.

She emphasised that state legal advisers have no authority to tell the government not to implement remedial action.

CHR Surprised at Mogoeng’s Nomination

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) at the University of Pretoria is ‘seriously’ questioning President Jacob Zuma's nomination of Constitutional Court Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng to be the new chief justice.

In a press statement, CHR argues that compared to his predecessors in the post-1994 era - chief justices Arthur Chaskalson, Pius Langa, and Sandile Ngcobo, whose appointments reflected their considerable academic and intellectual stature established by illustrious careers prior to or as members of the court, the basis for Justice Mogoeng's nomination is ‘startlingly unclear’.

Learners to Learn Maths via Mxit

Cellphone manufacturer, Nokia, and the Department of Science and Technology have announced that more school children will be able to learn maths on social network, Mxit.

Nokia's Jussi Hinkkanen says the Nokia Momaths programme, which allows pupils to get help online, perform more exercises and track their own progress, offer pupils lessons in mathematical theory.

Child Poverty High in South Africa

A United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) study has revealed that child poverty is high in South Africa.

Launching the report in Kliptown, Soweto, Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, said over 900 000 jobs were lost during the recession and had affected children in poor households the most.

The study on the impact of the global economic recession had on children indicated that child poverty remains high at 65.5 percent compared to 52 percent of the country.

Motlanthe Urges Men to Test for HIV

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has urged more South African men to get tested for HIV and AIDS.

Speaking during the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) plenary session held in Bloemfontein, Motlanthe pointed out that government’s massive HIV-AIDS counselling campaign indicate that fewer men have tested compared with the number of women.

He said there are still important sectors such as religious and private that need to demonstrate visible leadership in testing for HIV.

UWC Criticised for Dismissing Students

People Against Suppression, Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) has raised its concerns after the University of the Western Cape dismissed nearly 50 foreign students who allegedly do not have valid study permits.

PASSOP says that nine of the students were Zimbabweans who were still waiting for their papers to be processed by the Department of Home Affairs under the Zimbabwe Dispensation Project.

Compulsory HIV Testing Claims Investigated

The Department of Health is investigating the compulsory HIV tests at state clinics.

The investigations follow the Times newspaper report two weeks ago that staff at Ikhutseng Community Clinic, in Klipgat village, North West, refused to treat patients unless they submitted to an HIV test.

Department spokesperson, Fidel Hadebe, admitted that the practice was widespread. Hadebe based his opinion on contact with colleagues who confirmed the prevalence of the practice in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West.

Initiative to Help Slash Illiteracy

The Stellenbosch University has announced a new initiative to help slash illiteracy rates in South Africa.

The organisation ‘Words Open Worlds’ or ‘WOW’, which has been distributing books in rural and disadvantaged communities, has reached around 30 000 people since the beginning of 2011.

WOW’s Fiona Van Kerwel says too many South Africans are simply not able to lay their hands on books.

“The main problem is South Africa I would say is the accessibility of people to resources,” Van Kerwel.


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