CSOs

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.

TIZ Clarifies Position on Zambia’s NGO Bill

Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) says it is not opposed to the registration of NGO but to provision in the bill that seeks to coordinate and regulate CSOs.

TIZ president, Reuben Lifuka, says that NGOs countrywide recognised the need for formal registration and had as such been registered under the Company Act as well as the Societies Act.

Lifuka says most NGOs adhered to strict rules of accountability and transparency and this could be evidenced through the submission of information on their activities and how funds were applied.

AAC Backs SAB Over Alcohol Abuse

South Africa’s Addiction Action Campaign (AAC) has congratulated SAB Miller on its stance against under-age drinking, driving while drunk and foetal alcohol syndrome.

AAC’s chairperson, Warren Whitfield, who warns that this is the only first step, says companies profiting from the sale of alcohol need to plough much greater sums into harm reduction investment as part of meaningful social responsibility and righting massive imbalances in society.

The Equality Courts as a Tool for Gender Transformation

In March 2009, Sonke Gender Justice Network filed a complaint at the Equality court in Johannesburg against the ANC Youth League Leader, Julius Malema. The complaint was lodged in response to remarks he made to university students concerning Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser claiming that she likely enjoyed herself during the incident. Sonke’s Equality Court case alleges hate speech, unfair discrimination and harassment of women, and is only the second high profile gender equality case to be taken to the Equality Courts since their inception in 2003 (1).

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