Ditshwanelo Urges Batswana to Vote

Human rights group, Ditshwanelo, has called on Batswana to exercise their democratic right to vote on 16 October 2009.

Ditshwanelo wants Batswana to recognise that by casting their ballot they are exercising a human right enshrined in the country’s law and exercising the right to choose representatives of their choice.

The organisation further urges Batswana to vote consciously. It says voting based on emotional factors is not responsible voting.

Law Bars NGOs from Politics

The Rwandan Lower Chambers of Parliament has approved an amendment to the law that regulates the operations of local NGOs.

The law prohibits NGOs from fundraising for any political party. However, individual members of the NGOs have a right to have political affiliations.

Free SMS's for NGOs Working in HIV/AIDS

Cell-Life has pledged to donate 5 000 free short messaging service (SMS-es) to CBOs and up to 100 000 to national NGOs working in the HIV/AIDS field.

Cell-Life’s Peter Benjamin, whose organisation was part of the Western Cape Emergency Task Team that launched ‘No To Xenophobia’ SMS line across the country after last year’s xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, says mobile phones are effective tool for conveying messages.

Gates Calls for Focus on Food Security

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has urged for a greater focus on food security.

Speaking at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa, the philanthropist has argued that steps need to be taken to help the world’s poorest farmers boost their yields to not only help themselves out of poverty but also out of hunger.

Gates announced nine new grants totaling US$120 million to support small farmers.

Black Sash Hails Ruling on Slums Act

A Constitutional Court ruling against a section of the Slums Act will prevent mass evictions in a clean-up before the 2010 Soccer World, according to rights group, Black Sash.

Regional director for the Black Sash in KwaZulu-Natal, Evashnee Naidu, states that, “I hope this judgment sends a very clear message to all the other provinces that might try to copy this law particularly in their haste to clean up before the World Cup.”

IT Weighs in for Human Rights

More than half of non governmental organisations (NGOs) in South Africa say that information and communications technology has had a major impact on their ability to advance human rights in this country. This is one of the key findings of a report entitled, State of ICT in South African NGOs 2009.

The report, which was sponsored by Microsoft and the National Development Agency (NDA), states that while this figure has barely shifted in the past two years, NGOs are now poised to explore the cutting edge of mobile technology and social networking in pursuit of their causes.

Review for Free State Nonprofit Funding Model

Most of Free State government’s contracts with NGOs are coming to an end due to a change in administration.

The Provincial Department of Social Welfare is using this opportunity to re-evaluate its funding model and to crack down on the prevalence of bogus organisations who are misappropriating tax-payers money.

The department met with NGOs and told them it wants to increase the number of beneficiaries of its NGO and NPO grants from its current estimate of 1 300. However, the make-up of who gets funding has to change.

Mangani Accuses NGOs, Donors for Plotting Against Govt

The Zambian government has accused the 17 CSOs of conspiring with some donors and some high profiled Zambians to bring down the government.

Home Affairs Minister, Lameck Mangani, says that some cooperating partners were behind the planned protests over the acquittal of former president, Fredrick Chiluba.
Mangani says that there is a conspiracy between some disgruntled Zambians and the cooperating partners to portray the government as not being serious in its fight against corruption.


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