South Africa

NGOs Welcome US Chairmanship of Kimberley Process

The United States will assume the Kimberley chair in January, serving for one year, and South Africa will step into the chair at the beginning of 2013, ensuring certain continuity to leadership of the group.

NGOs involved in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme have hailed the watchdog group's decision late last week to vote the United States into the vacant position of vice chair, a stepping stone to the chair itself in 2012.

Greenpeace Activists Arrested in Kusile Station

Three Greenpeace activists been arrested at the construction site of the Kusile Power Station in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, after scaling a crane.

Greenpeace spokesperson, Fiona Musana, says that the three have been charged with forced entry.

Six activists gained entry to the site on 7 November 2011 at about 10am and climbed a crane. They were protesting against South Africa’s reliance on the burning of coal to generate electricity, which emits greenhouse gases.

South Africans Urged to Vote for Table Mountain

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory has urged people to vote for Table Mountain to be one of the world's new seven natural wonders.

The centre’s chief executive, Achmat Dangor, points out that, "The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, supports the call to vote for Table Mountain to become one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature."

Dangor appeals to all South Africans to support this call, which will benefit the country as a whole.

South Africa Urged to Grow Entrepreneurs

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) says that focus on employment equity and wealth distribution has to shift to entrepreneurship and value creation if the economy is to grow.

The focus on employment equity and wealth distribution had to shift to entrepreneurship and value creation if the economy was to grow and create 500 000 jobs to satisfy the objectives of the New Growth Path.

The bank's comments are an admission that many government initiatives to broaden the economy, improve education and foster entrepreneurship, have failed.

City of Cape Town Honours Anti-Apartheid MP

A Cape Town boulevard has been officially renamed after the late anti-apartheid MP Helen Suzman at a ceremony in the city.

City mayor, Patricia de Lille, who remembered Suzman's contribution to the fight against apartheid, pointed out that, "Today we rename Western Boulevard after one of the greatest stalwarts of the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, Helen Suzman."

De Lille says Suzman, who was born 94 years ago, stood firm in her fight to end racially oppressive tyranny despite 'intimidation, slights, threats and many other challenges'.

Lungisa Rejects Criticism Against NYDA

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has reacted angrily to calls for the organisation to be disbanded.

NYDA chairperson, Andile Lungisa, points out that, "It smacks of mischief to claim that an institution that has existed for just over two years has failed."

The reaction comes after the call by the Inkatha Freedom Party Youth Brigade and the Congress of the People Youth Movement leaders for the NYDA to be replaced by a youth ministry.

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.


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