Governance and democracy

Jordan Criticises ANC Over Secrecy Bill

African National Congress (ANC) veteran, Pallo Jordan, has sharply criticised the party’s plans for a media tribunal and the Protection of Information Bill, saying attempts to muzzle the modern media are a ‘fool’s errand’.

Jordan warns that the party is backing itself into a ‘lose-lose situation’, and it risks losing its credibility as a campaigner for media freedom, and the Bill possibly failing a mooted constitutional challenge.

Zimbabwe Not Ready for Elections – NGOs

NGOs have warned that efforts by President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party to push for elections in 2011 are likely to cause a slide back to the 2008 era of Zimbabwe's socio-economic and political crisis.

The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) Western Region chairperson, Godwin Phiri, says a recent annual general meeting of the organisation has resolved to advocate for a delay in the holding of the polls.

NGO Highlights SA’s Social Challenges

The Council for the Advancement of South African Constitution (CASAC) says that poverty, unemployment and inequality continue to hamper the South Africa’s development as a caring, just and interdependent society.

CASAC chairperson, Sipho Pityana, argues that while the country has managed to built schools, hospitals and clinics, it has not been able to direct the resources to these institutions to enable them to function properly and deliver a quality service to the people.

Machel Hails Zimbabwe’s Progress

Women and child rights activist and member of the Elders, Graça Machel, has praised progress in Zimbabwe since the formation of a compromise government to ease a political and economic crisis.

Speaking at a conference after a two-day mission as part of a United Nations children's fund (UNICEF) project, Machel pointed out that, "I have been impressed by the progress made in Zimbabwe."

Rights Groups Warn Against New Zim Elections

Church and human rights groups in Zimbabwe have warned against new elections saying the situation in the country is ‘highly volatile, uncertain and tense’ after a bloody presidential run-off election two years ago.

In a press statement, the group, which include the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the Christian Alliance and the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe, state that, "The polarised environment does not favour the holding of elections as violence would most likely erupt."

Call to Involve NGOs in Allocation of Land

The Tanzania Forest Conservation Group has warned CSOs implementing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) pilot projects have asked the government to engage the villagers before allocating land to investors.

The group’s executive director, Charles Meshack, points out that this will help the villagers to have ownership over the carbon benefits derived from reduced deforestation on their land.

South Africa Today: From Freedom to Transformation, Deepening the Voice of the People

Where do we stand?

Fifteen years ago, in 1995, when South Africa was just starting out on the long road of transition, Harold Wolpe wrote about the expectations of that extraordinary journey from apartheid to democracy, from freedom to transformation.

Naidoo Calls for Return to Struggle Basics

Former communications minister, Jay Naidoo, says major weaknesses exist in South Africa's civil society movements and its citizenry as a result of decisions taken by government in 1994 when it demobilised NGOs and civil society, making people ‘passive bystanders in their own lives’.

Naidoo, who currently chairs the Development Bank of South Africa, states that now a new challenge exists: to deepen organisation to give communities the power to negotiate improvements in their lives.

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