South Africa

Mothapo: Secrecy Bill Will Not Deter Journalists

The spokesperson for the African National Congress chief whip in Parliament, Moloto Mothapo, says the proposed Protection of State Information Bill will not deter journalists and other officials from blowing the whistle on corruption.

Speaking ahead of the ANC meeting with SwissCham South Africa (SCSA) in Johannesburg, Mothapo expressed concerns regarding the Bill, prompting them to send a letter to the ANC chief whip on the matter.

He argues that if anything the Bill will provide transparency in government.

SA Needs 10% Growth to Create Jobs - DBSA

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) says that South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) needs to grow by at least 10 percent a year if it is to create half a million jobs each year for the next decade.

Speaking at the launch of the bank's development report for 2011, 'Prospects for South Africa's Future', DBSA divisional executive for planning, Sinazo Sibisi, said that the GDP growth to date has been volatile and potentially unsustainable.

Global Recession Hitting NGOs Hard

Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA) says that many of its non-governmental organisations are suffering as their funding was slowly drying up.

Cape Town-based NGO, Rape Crisis, which offers assistance to rape survivors, has lost critical funding from the European Union (EU) which means it may have to scale down some of its services.

CWS's Ashley Theron argues that Rape Crisis's financial woes are a symptom of a much bigger problem affecting civil society.

SA Has Clear Climate Roadmap: Molewa

The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs says that South Africa has a clear roadmap on how to respond to the problem of climate change.

Minister Edna Molewa points out that a climate change response policy approved by the Cabinet will effectively manage inevitable climate change impacts.

"The policy notes that among a range of environmental constraints that are of necessity playing an increasing role in social and economic development planning, climate change represents the most urgent and far reaching challenge of our time," she explains.

Kagiso Trust Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, says that more needs to be done to improve the quality of education in South Africa.
Speaking at the 25th anniversary celebrations of educational NGO, Kagiso Trust, in Johannesburg, Gordhan pointed out that, “Organisations involved in education, like Kagiso Trust is, need to find a way to improve the output of the sector as poor growth in education is a serious limitation to the growth of the economy.”
The minister also stated the need for a revised approach to education as the current attempts are not yielding a return on investment.

Census 2011 Ends Officially Ends

The population and household Census 2011 officially came to an end on 30 October 2011.

However, Statistics South Africa spokesperson, Trevor Oosterwyk, confirms that volunteers will continue counting those who have not been counted during a ‘mop-up’ phase that will be initiated on 31 October 2011.

Oosterwyk points out that, “We have until the 14th to count the rest of the public, this includes those who weren’t home during visits and those who had previously refused to participate.

15.2m South Africans Receive Social Grants

The National Treasury says that social welfare grants now support about 15.2 million South Africans.

Tabling its 2011 medium-term budget policy statement in the National Assembly, the department said that, "Social assistance and welfare services are effective redistributive and poverty-reduction measures that have expanded considerably over the past decade."

The document says the social security system needs to become more efficient, ensuring the effective use of funds and providing better services.

NGOs Call for Municipalities to Fight Corruption

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty say corruption and a lack of legislated decision-making powers are the biggest obstacles to improving local government.

The two organisations say corruption, along with municipalities’ lack of legislated decision-making powers, are the largest obstacles to the improvement of local government in the country.

Farmers Urged to Invest in Equipment

Marthinus Loock, senior manager of Agri Business at Standard Bank, has urged farmers to increase focus on buying new equipment to survive the volatility of the agricultural market.

Loock says that the increase in tractor sales this year indicated that farmers are capitalising on what has been an extremely favourable situation triggered by a combination of the strong rand, a low interest environment, and improved commodity prices.


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