South Africa

DLF Warns Against Secrecy Bill

The Democratic Left Front (DLF) has warned that the recent concessions made by the African National Congress (ANC) on the Protection of Information Bill are not good enough.
 
In a press statement, media freedom activist, Jane Duncan, points out that, "While these concessions have improved the bill, it will still be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to ensure transparency of the most shadowy of all state structures, the security cluster."
 

Home Affairs Issues More Than 130 000 Permits

The Department of Home Affairs says it has issued a total of 133 331 permits to Zimbabweans enabling them to legally remain in the country.
 
Speaking at a briefing on the status of the amnesty project in Pretoria, head of the Zimbabwe Document Project, Jacob Mamabolo, said however, that not all the applicants had collected their permits.
 
Mamabolo, who stated that the figure includes those who applied for amnesty, argues that despite SMSs being sent to those people who had not yet collected their documents, some still remained at the department.

Does NGO Stand for New Golden Opportunity?

Having been invited to speak at the recent 2nd Annual Thinking Mobile™ Conference, listening to Mark Slade, Managing Director of 4th Screen Mobile advertising in the UK, I hear a story that seems only too familiar. His frustration with the speed in which some of the planets biggest agencies adopt new media and technology. I was just pleased to hear that it wasn’t just South Africa that has this inherent problem.

Greenpeace Dumps Coal Outside Eskom Office

Environmental lobby group, Greenpeace Africa, has dumped five tons of coal at an entrance to Eskom’s head office in Johannesburg, to draw attention to its demands that SA switch to cleaner energy sources.
 
Greenpeace climate campaigner, Melita Steele, says Eskom played a crucial role in SA’s energy future and should lead the way in the move away from coal towards a clean, green future.
 
Steele points out that, "Instead of locking SA into a dirty energy future by investing in Kusile, Eskom should be investing in people and green jobs."
 

South Africa Defends Climate Team

A delegation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, represented the ‘very best capacity’ in the country, according the South African government.

Government was reacting to criticism levelled by the NGO groundWork about the inclusion of representatives from petrochemicals giant Sasol and electricity utility Eskom in the delegation.

Motlanthe: Education the Way Out of Poverty

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says the most effective way of eradicating poverty is by encouraging young people to go to school and learn skills.

Motlanthe, who was visiting Phillipstown near De Aar in the Northern Cape as part of his assessment of the War on Poverty programme, says a number of young people in the area who dropped out of school, had been identified and said when it came to education, immediate intervention is needed.

SA to Deport Undocumented Zimbabweans

People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) says that South Africa will begin deporting undocumented Zimbabwean immigrants on 31 July 2011 for the first time in over a year.

PASSOP says that the move will leave nearly 500 000 people in danger of being sent home to a country that is still politically and economically unstable.

PASSOP head, Braam Hanekom, has been quoted by the media as saying that while the move, called the Zimbabwean Dispensation Process, is progressive, the impending changes leave himself and other human rights activists alarmed.'

National Epilepsy Week Commemorated

Epilepsy South Africa says although epilepsy affects one in every 100 people in South Africa, it remains one of the most misunderstood and stigmatised neurological conditions.

Epilepsy SA social work manager, Anthea Emmanuel, says that although epilepsy is common in the country, there are still myths and stigma surrounding it.
Emmanuel argues that some of the myths and stigma include labelling epilepsy sufferers ‘crazy, possessed or mentally ill’.

Sonke Accepts Malema’s Apology

The Sonke Gender Justice Network has accepted African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema’s apology for his demeaning comments about President Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser.

Sonke executive director, Dean Peacock, says his organisation welcome the apology, but also notes that, “It has been 16 months since the Equality Court made the ruling.”

Call for MPs to Shelve the Secrecy Bill

The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has written to MPs asking them to shelve the controversial Protection of Information Bill until it has been redrafted.

SANEF is also urging MPs to shelve the processing of the Bill until the overwhelming opposition voiced during public hearings is given proper weight in its redrafting.

The organisation says this will ensure that the Bill is not passed into law without amendments to address these crucial threats to the constitutional guarantee of openness and the proper functioning of our democracy.

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