Development

African Children Face Poverty, Slavery

“Poverty has become part of me,” Jeffrey Moyo quotes Aminata Kabangele, a 13-year old from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kabangele, who fled her war-torn country after the rest of her family was killed by armed rebels and now lives as a as a refugee in Zimbabwe’s Tongogara refugee camp in Chipinge on the country’s eastern border, points out that, “I have learned to live with the reality that nobody cares for me.”

Activists Push for Human Rights Improvements

Southern Africa often draws praise for its nations’ progressive constitutions, relatively mature democracies and advanced state of development compared to the rest of the continent.

Hidden in the background of that rosy picture, activists say, is a new and worrying trend: a ‘downward spiral’ of human rights in the region.

Human Rights Watch is calling for Southern African Development Community leaders meeting in Botswana to do more to arrest this new trend, which has even affected South Africa, long thought of as a haven for rights on the continent.

Women Missing in the Corridors of Power

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State ended their 35th summit on 18 August 2015 with a bland communique congratulating countries that have made progress in increasing women's political representation and urging others to follow suit.

According to Colleen Lowe Morna, “It's typical of this all-boys club to equate women in politics to gender equality, even in the crucial year that the 28 targets of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development expire…”

Silicosis: Court Lets NGOs Join Class Action

Sonke Gender Justice and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) were in court applying to join a class action that could affect as many as 200 000 current and former mineworkers.

The organisations, which have been accepted as friends of the court, will highlight the impact silicosis has had on communities, particularly women and girls, in labour-sending areas and question the denial of the mineworkers' constitutional rights.

Activists Slam SANRAL’s ‘Celebrity’ e-Toll Ad

Activist groups have lambasted the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (SANRAL) new advertising campaign in which the agency uses celebrities to endorse the controversial e-tolls system.

OUTA is calling the advertisements is calling the advertisements a desperate tactic to boost, what it calls, the ‘failed e-toll system’.

Meanwhile, the Justice Project South Africa has accused the Gauteng provincial government of wasting money on the campaign.

Water Infrastructure Funding a Challenge in Africa

The issue of funding dominated discussions at the World Water Week in in Stockholm, Swedish, as delegates mainly from Africa, discussed water and sanitation challenges on the continent.

The African Ministers' Council on Water says it is shameful that there are still people on the continent who do not have access to drinking water.

To read the article titled, “Water infrastructure funding a challenge in Africa,” click here.

The Road Less Travelled - Swift Action Needed to Prevent SA’s Slide Towards ‘Rocky Road’ Economy

Government and business have their work cut out to prevent South Africa from sliding towards a ‘rocky road’ scenario. This is the worst of four ‘future’ economic outcomes for the country, as described by Dr. Frans Cronjé, chief executive officer of the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), at the second annual i3 Summit hosted by Sanlam Investments and Glacier by Sanlam in Johannesburg.
 

A Slap in the Face of the Constitution

The framers of the South African Constitution had the foresight to include an innovative set of institutions that effectively add a fourth arm to the usual three-way division of government into Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. The modern state reaches into almost all areas of life; and modern citizens expect it to be responsive to a wide variety of their rights and needs.

Khama Urged to Ensure SADC States Respect Rights

As heads of state gather for the 35th Summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Botswana, leading human rights organisations say the incoming chairperson, President Ian Khama, should use his role to ratchet up pressure on member states to respect the fundamental rights of their citizens.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused SADC of taking “little action to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law in all the member states despite identifying peace, security, and the promotion of human rights as key concerns within the region.”

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