Development

UN Lights Up to Promote SDGs

As part of a comprehensive communications strategy, the United Nations (UN) has featured massive scale audio-visual projections on the façade of its Headquarters building in New York to raise awareness about the new Sustainable Development Goals.
 
Ahead of the adoption of those 17 goals, the UN has sought to promote its 70th anniversary with a visual display it hopes will create buzz and momentum for the post-2015 agenda.
 

Black Rural Women: Carrying the Burden of the Gold Mining Industry’s Neglect

The mining industry contributes significantly to the hardship experienced by black women in rural areas of South Africa. For decades, mining houses have drawn in young black men for labour, only for many to return home sick, with little to show for years spent toiling underground. Those who have contracted the preventable but incurable lung disease, silicosis, come home to die a slow and painful death. It is then the women in rural communities who are left to provide support and care under the most adverse conditions.

Lack of Opportunities Blamed for Unemployment

Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, says while unemployment in South Africa is exacerbated by a lack of appropriate skills‚ it is also compounded by the shortage of suitable post-school education opportunities.
 
Speaking on the occasion of the release of the government’s Development Indicators 2014 report, Radebe pointed out that the indicators reflect that one in four working age adults actively seeking employment remained unemployed during the period under review.
 

Carbon Pricing Schemes Doubles

The World Bank has previously said there is strong support from countries and businesses worldwide for carbon pricing schemes to cut greenhouse emissions.
 
The bank says that the number of carbon pricing schemes worldwide has almost doubled since 2012 but most taxes or markets have prices too low to prevent damaging global warming.
 

UN Commemorates the International Peace Day

According to Christopher Harress, as conflicts continue to rage in Ukraine, Syria and locations around Asia, Africa and South America, International Peace Day is perhaps a timely reminder of the alternatives that exist to violence.
 
The 2015 theme is ‘Partnerships for Peace -- Dignity for All’, according to the United Nations [UN] website, which notes the theme highlights the importance of all segments of society to work together and strive for peace.
 

Grid Planning as Important as Power Generation

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has said that, “Energy planning in South Africa has neglected the key element of how electricity moves from generation to consumption.”
 
In Gridlocked‚ a research paper‚ the ISS’s Steve Hedden criticises “government’s response to power shortages and load-shedding” for having been “a thrust towards more power generation” but has neglected the element of “transmission and distribution”.
 

Zambian Citizens Pay the Price for Mining Expansion

Northwest Zambian senior chief, Musele, has sold a tract of land to a foreign firm for a new copper mine, and leaves hundreds of families displaced.
 
Seke Mwansakombe, one of the displaced women, explains to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, that, they had vast land and could do anything, but are now are confined to 40 by 40 metre plots restricting their movements as certain areas are now no-go areas.
 

SDGs to Succeed if they Can Succeed in Africa

The new international targets to improve people's lives and protect life on the planet, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), do much more than just extend for another 15 years the remit of the Millennium Development Goals.

The SDGs, an unprecedented collective global push to tackle the root causes of poverty, focus sharply on issues of justice, inequality and equity.

The SDGs will only succeed, however, if they can succeed in Africa – a continent whose rapidly growing population most needs the change that the agenda describes.

Vavi Leads Anti-Corruption March

Former Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, plans to stage a nationwide strike to protest against corruption in the government and the private sector.

In making the announcement, Vavi was accompanied by leaders of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and other independent unions that have been expelled from COSATU.

The Need for Stronger Alliances Between Workers’ Movements and Development NGOs

Development non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are deepening their understanding of the causes inequality and poverty, and so building up a political agenda and movement to tackle it. There has been vital new thinking about the need to ensure fair and progressive taxation as one of the means to ensure the capacity of states to provide better services to citizens, and thus contribute to reducing inequality. Other measures such as redistribution of assets through land reform have also been highlighted as critical.

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