South Africa

Parliament Recommends Names to SABC Board

Parliament’s communications portfolio committee has recommended four new appointees to the board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Those whose names will now go to the National Assembly for approval are: SAFCOL senior executive, Sethe Makhesha; businessman, John Danana; Advocate and business consultant, Cawekazi Mahlati; and Media Development and Diversity Agency CEO, Lumko Mtimde.

Protests Not a Sign of Failing State – Expert

The Community Law Centre at the University of the Western Cape says the violent service delivery protests which have been seen in some parts of the country recently cannot be considered a sign that South Africa is a failed state.
 
The Centre’s Derek Powell warns people of the tendency to label the country a 'failed' state because of poor performance of certain local councils.
 

Call for Govt to Withdraw the Information Bill

Freedom of expression activists, Right2Know Campaign, has called on Parliament to withdraw the Protection of Information Bill and submit it to a second round of public consultation.
 
Right2Know Campaign says that the Secrecy Bill must be withdrawn and resubmitted to a process of public consultation.
 
It further argues that deputy speaker of Parliament, Nomaindia Mfeketo, contravened the rules of the legislature when she extended the lifespan of the ad hoc committee drafting the bill at the end of January.
 

Experts: SA’s Programmes Fail Poor Children

Child experts say South Africa's world-class government-led programmes are failing to reach poor children on the margins.

Speaking during the launch of the report entitled ‘Government-funded Programmes and Services for Vulnerable Children in South Africa", the South African Human Rights Commissioner, Lindiwe Mokate, said that it is doubtful as to whether government had a human rights approach when it came to the country's vulnerable children.

Govt to Increase AIDS Grant to Provinces

Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, says the dedicated HIV/AIDS allocation to provinces will increase over the next three years.

Gordhan announced that spending on their HIV/AIDS conditional grant will rise from R6 billion this year, to R10.6 billion in 2013/14.

He said total annual spending on HIV/AIDS, including hospital treatment, is about R20 billion, adding that the conditional grant includes R60 million for the circumcision programme.

Funding for Housing and Municipal Services

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced that an additional R4.9 billion will be allocated for housing and municipal services over the next three years.

Gordhan stated that, “Realising this outcome will require speeding up service delivery, eliminating regular patterns of underspending in certain provinces, and improving the efficiency of local government housing processes.”

He is of the view that building adequate and safe human settlements raise living standards and create job opportunities.

Government Urged to Invest in NGOs

The Suid-Afrikaanse Vrouefederasie (SAVF) has called on the government to create an ‘expenditure balance’ between social grants and NGOs.

The organisation’s director, Marieta Kemp, points out that, “South Africa cannot afford to maim the development arm of social development at the expense of government grants.”

Kemp criticises government for allocating 93 percent (R89.4 billion) of the social development budget to the South African Social Security Agency during the 2010/11 financial year, while NGOs received seven percent.

State Accused of Delaying Demarcation Case

Residents of Moutse in Limpopo are angry that government has delayed the finalisation of their demarcation case.

An affidavit filed by Moutse residents in the Constitutional Court sets out how the state has delayed the finalisation of its demarcation case since 2008.

The residents in the once cross-boundary municipality between Mpumalanga and Limpopo will once again, as in the 2009 elections, face the choice of voting or not voting in a municipality of which they do not consider themselves a part.

The Alternative Information and Development Centre Statement on the 2011/12 Budget

The 2011/12 budget tabled this afternoon by Minister Pravin Gordhan represents continuity in Government’s approach to economic policy to economic development. Great emphasis is placed on “macro-economic stability”, fiscal prudence and monetary policy directed to keeping inflation within the three to six percent band. Yet, these orthodoxies of economic policy is precisely what has hampered an effective response to the tremendous socio-economic challenges confronting our society and contradict the idea that South Africa has entered a New Growth Path.

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