South Africa

Plan to Establish Asylum Reception Centres

The Department of Home Affairs says plans are underway to establish asylum reception centres on the country's borders amid complaints that those close to business areas are a nuisance and irritating.

The department’s director-general, Mkuseli Apleni, states that this would also ensure that fewer foreigners entered the country.

The department was recently ordered to relocate a reception centre in Crown Mines, Johannesburg, after the business community went to court claiming the large presence of refugees rendered conditions intolerable for business.

Municipality’s Plan to Demolish Houses Criticised

Residents of Manini near Thohoyandou have condemned plans by the Thulamela Local Municipality to demolish 28 houses to pave the way for a road that passes through the village.

The residents argue that the municipality refuses to compensate the affected families.

Mulalo Mukondeleli, of one of the 28 affected families, says that she is disappointed by the demolition, adding that, "We are not against the development of a tarred road but we need the municipality to get a site and build our houses as happened during the construction of the Nandoni Dam."

NGO Warns Over Hostility Towards the Media

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has demanded drastic disciplinary action against an African National Congress (ANC) Eastern Cape regional chairperson who called for burning down a local newspaper office.

In a press statement, SANEF points out that it is deeply shocked and concerned at the reported attempt by ANC’s Nceba Faku to incite the party supporters to attack and burn down the offices of the Herald newspaper in the city.

SABC, DoC, ICASA Present Strategy Plans to Parliament

The Department of Communications, the South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) have presented strategy plans to Parliament's portfolio committee on communications to resolve outstanding issues ahead of a budget vote.
 
The DOC has a budget vote coming up and the portfolio committee wants to finalise their financial plans and organisational structures. But today's presentations did not go the way it had hoped.  The DOC added two more branches to its structure but did not present its financial plan.

SANEF Meets Govt Over Hammerl’s Death

The death of South African photo-journalist Anton Hammerl was the subject of a meeting between the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF).
 
In a press statement, SANEF chairperson, Mondli Makhanya, points out that, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Austrian Ambassador, Otto Ditz, briefed the SANEF delegation on efforts made to establish the whereabouts of Hammerl and to secure his release.
 

Call for Libya to Release Hammerl’s Body

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Committee to Protect Journalists have called on Libya to release the body of slain South African photographer, Anton Hammerl, and investigate the role the armed forces played in his death.
 
HRW emergencies director, Peter Bouckaert, points out that, “Libyan government forces killed Anton Hammerl six weeks ago and then lied about what happened."
 
Bouckaert further says that they had his passport and they knew he was dead, adding that now they should at least release his body and provide some truthful answers about his fate.

IEC Declares 2011 Local Elections ‘Free and Fair’

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has declared the 2011 local government elections to be free and fair.
 
Making the declaration at the IEC's election centre in Pretoria, IEC chairperson, Brigalia Bam, praised political parties for accepting the adjudication of disputes by the commission.
 
Bam points out that, "It has been a pleasure to serve this nation. South Africa's multi-party democracy is increasingly being recognised by the international community;"
 

57.6% Voter Turnout in Local Government Elections

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says that voter turnout for the local government elections is the highest to date.
 
IEC chief electoral officer, Pansy Tlakula, points out that as results of the local streamed in it became increasingly obvious that this election was becoming a war between the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance.
 
Speaking at a ceremony announcing the results of the poll at the IEC’s election centre in Pretoria, Tlakula pointed out that, "I am pleased to announce that the voter turnout is 57.6%."
 

SABC Asks Parliament for More Funds

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has asked Parliament for more money, warning that its cash flow problems and the cost of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting will result in the corporation not being ‘financially sustainable’.

SOS Support Public Broadcasting, a coalition of CSOs, says what is needed is an economic modelling exercise that looks at the concrete costs of SABC fulfilling its public mandate and the costs of digital migration and the new multichannel environment.

SA to Start Nuclear Process in 2012

The Department of Energy says South Africa must start the procurement of new nuclear power next year if it is to meet the government’s target of commissioning the next nuclear reactor by 2030.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters says that a delay in the procurement of new nuclear power will put the security of electricity supply at risk because nuclear technology is the country’s next hope for so-called baseload capacity, after coal.

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