South Africa

Dlamini: Funds for Flood Victims Drying Up

The Department of Social Development says millions of rand is needed for flood relief as provinces are running ‘dry’.

Social development minister, Bathabile Dlamini, says more than R20 million have been used so far and based on figures contained in a preliminary report, another R20 million was needed.

Dlamini says at least five thousand families affected by floods are still in need of assistance, adding that, “More and more provinces are sending in their requests.”

HIV Infection Bonus for Whoonga Addicts

Project Whoonga, a community organisation aimed at educating youths in KwaDabeka and Clermont near Durban about the dangers of drugs, says the widespread use of Whoonga has led to a ‘dramatic’ increase in crime in the Clermont Township.

Project Whoonga’s Vumani Gwala, points out that, “To the addicts it’s a matter of life and death to get the drug [Whoonga]. It does not matter how they get it.”

400 000 Register to Vote, Says IEC

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says at least 400 000 people have registered to vote on the first voter registration weekend held ahead of the 2011 local government elections.

IEC chairperson, Brigalia Bam, says that that the total figures from the voter registration weekend will be available this week, adding that she expects the figures to increase.

SANEF Condemns Police Attacks on Photographers

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is calling on the police authorities to act on police officers who assault and illegally arrest journalists.

SANEF media freedom committee deputy chairperson, Raymond Louw, condemns an incident in which police attacked photographers while they were carrying out their duties in Bloemfontein and Pretoria respectively.

Immigration Bill Unconstitutional – FIPSA

The Forum of Immigration Practitioners of South Africa (FIPSA) has warned that the proposed changes to the Immigration Amendment Bill are ‘impractical’, will violate the Constitution and destroy thousands of jobs.

FIPSA chairperson, Leon Isaacson, says the proposed amendments did not take into account the Department of Home Affairs’ huge capacity problems and backlogs.

Secrecy Bill Will Apply to Over 1 000 Institutions - Idasa

The Institute for Democracy (Idasa) has taken a crack at the job the state law adviser said was too big for his office, counting 1001 ‘organs of state’ that will be affected by the Protection of Information Bill.

Idasa head of political information and monitoring service, Judith February, says in a letter to the chairman of the ad hoc committee considering the draft bill, Cecil Burgess, that parliament should know the scope of legislation it supports.

m2m Taps into IT to Help Prevent HIV Transmission

A local NGO, mothers2mothers (m2m), has turned to information technology (IT) for assistance to avoid the HIV/AIDS from mother to child transmission.

m2m co-founder and chief executive officer, Gene Falk, points out that the IT support from a computer giant, HP, will enable the organisation to serve women in a much more effective way through improved knowledge and insight.

SAIRR Criticised for Being ‘Hostile Towards ANC’

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) says a survey claiming that the African National Congress (ANC) is losing support in the country is a clear sign that the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) has taken a hostile stance against the political party in favour of the Democratic Alliance.
NUMSA spokesperson, Irvin Jim, argues that, "The survey is detached from electoral and political realities, as evidenced by recent victories in by-elections by the ANC in most parts of the country."

LHR: Illegal Immigration Penalties Not Enough

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) says the proposed harsh penalties for violations of South Africa’s immigration laws will not stem the flood of migrants crossing into the country, but will cause them to do so secretly.
The organisation argues that the harsher penalties in the Immigration Amendment Bill will perversely defeat the purposes of the Immigration Act that foreigners entering the country declare themselves at a border post.


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