NGOs Play Key Role in Upholding Rights

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), backed by academia, social justice advocates and the arts play an important role in upholding the ideals of human rights in South Africa and on the continent.

As the country commemorates Human Rights Day on 21 March, access to justice remains an important theme for human rights NGOs and all efforts are directed towards helping individuals and groups from poor communities.

Zuma’s Apology an Insult to South Africans

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has described President Jacob Zuma’s response to the Constitutional Court judgment on the Nkandla matter, as an insult to all South Africans.

OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, whose joined numerous others in criticising Zuma’s ‘apology’ on the matter, points out that, “A simple apology is all we received from the head of state, along with a feeble excuse of misunderstandings and misguidedness, with a promise of new focus on policy revision related to state expenditure.”

Namibian NGOs in Need of Donor Funding

According to Lahja Nashuuta, ever since the World Bank elevated Namibia to the upper middle income country status, majority of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country have been struggling to remain afloat as donor funds dry up.

Nashuuta states that since the reclassification of Namibia from the lower-income country to upper–middle income country in July 2009, donors have redirected their funding to country that are classified as more poorer than Namibia, leaving local NGOs in financial squeeze.

Decrease in Women in Leadership: LCN

The Lesotho Council of NGOs (LCN) says the number of women in leadership has decreased, even though more women than men are literate and employed.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are holding a forum to assess progress on legislation geared towards equality to commemorate International Women's Day.

A study conducted by NGOs and the European Union found that various laws including the Married Persons Equality Bill and the Land Act have empowered women but a lot still has to be done.

Zim's CSOs on the Edge as Donors Ship Out

The future of Zimbabwe's mainstream civic groups involved in political and human rights advocacy looks uncertain amid indications their traditional sponsors are not keen on renewing their contracts.

It has emerged some of the contracts expire during the first quarter of 2016 with no prospects for further extension.

Most civil society organisations have been left battling to pay salaries let alone finance their operations and this has seen some local non-governmental organisations cut staff or revising contracts in some instances as the struggle to survive gets tougher.

ANC Stalwarts Concerned About the Future of SA

Three organisations representing the African National Congress stalwarts issued a powerful appeal to the ruling party to implement urgent ‘corrective’ actions against state capture and other threats to democracy.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom’s name – on behalf of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation – is listed at the end of the letter that was sent to the National Executive Committee.

e-Toll Equipment Unreliable – OUTA

Anti e-toll group, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) says that it has ‘plenty of evidence’ indicating the Gauteng tolling equipment is unreliable.

This comes after roads agency, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) warns that high value corporate e-toll defaulters that they would be issued summonses this week.

However, OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, argues that there can be no consensus for e-toll defaulters.

NGO Criticises SA Over Minimum Wage

Lobby group, the Free Market Foundation (FMF) says that the introduction of a national minimum wage will likely increase the country’s unemployment rate.

In a press statement, the organisation warns that, “Raising the minimum wage and making it applicable nationally, cannot fail to increase unemployment.”

It argues: “Rather than consider a national minimum wage, intended to raise the wages of people who already have jobs, government should be giving its full attention to creating conditions that will lead to an increase in the demand for labour.”

NGOs Team Up to Support People With Albinism

Vision for Life, a programme jointly implemented by Essilor and a United Kingdom-based non-governmental organisation, Standing Voice, has announced a three-year partnership to dole out protective glasses to over 4 000 children with albinism across six regions in the country.
Launching the programme to improve education opportunities for children with albinism in Tanzania, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office - People with Disability, Abdallah Possi, said that the programme will address the specific visual needs of 4 200 children.


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