The United Nations' agency for ICTs, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), marks today, 17 May, as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD). The purpose of the day is to “help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide”.
The Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has urged government to create more jobs, build more houses and change its foreign policy to end xenophobia.
The Centre’s Patrick Bond points out that, “More and more refugees from Zimbabwe, Somalia and other parts of Africa are pouring into South Africa and are creating havoc in the country.”
With the State of the Nation Address by President Zuma and the Budget behind us, and the plethora of state of the province addresses for good measure, South Africa can truly said to be in its Season of Promises.
The level of crime in South Africa has evidently sent government into emotional bewilderment. This is more so as a result of the violent crimes whose perpetrators are apparently merciless and recognise no boundary. Everyone, excluding the perpetrators and those with whom they act in cahoots, is under siege. Obviously any responsible government would want to do something to curb or rid its population of such a scourge. Taking the fight to the criminals! The question is how?
The national debate is so taken with invented ‘policy shifts’ that it ignores those that are real. This is according to Steven Friedman, director for the Centre for the Study of Democracy, an initiative of Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg.
Friedman says that in a recent television interview, Cooperative Governance Minister, Sicelo Shiceka, endorsed two policy changes that could make local government more democratic and might give citizens less reason to engage in the protests that have dogged municipalities for four years.
Residents of Malamulele, near Thohoyandou, have marched to the offices of the Thulamela local municipality to demand that the town gets its own local municipality.
Malamulele South African Civic Organisation (SANCO) chairperson, Foster Mtshabi, has been quoted as saying "We want to break away from Thulamela and have our own municipality. We have the support of the Malamulele Sunrise Committee, which was formed to ensure better service delivery in the area."
Every year, GreaterGood South Africa organises and hosts Do It Day, a call-to-action event that connects people with good causes around the country. Do It Day is all about building a culture of volunteering in South Africa and exemplifies the unifying power volunteering has to change lives.
The National Executive Committee of the ANC will start a three-day meeting on Friday to discuss, among other things, recent service delivery protests, a spokesperson said.
"This meeting takes place in the background of some sporadic service delivery protests that have taken place in some parts of the country," said ANC spokesperson Brian Sokutu.
Disgruntled members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) marched to the Ekurhuleni mayoral offices to hand over a memorandum demanding better health services yesterday.
TAC spokesman, Nokwezi Hoboyi said there were various clinics within Ekurhuleni struggling with shortages of the anti-retrovirals.
“In the past few months, the ARV roll-out has lost momentum, many thousands of people remain on waiting lists and most patients have CD4 counts in the region of 100 by the time they are finally initiated onto ARVs.”
High staff turnover due to a lack of adequate subsidisation by Government, plagues many South African NGOs, that struggle to provide the necessary services to communities in need.
In the Eastern Cape subsidies used to pay social workers have not been increased in two years, while social auxiliary workers are subsidised on the Department of Social Development’s 2002 scales.