At least 15 civil society organisations are under investigation by the United States government through its major donor fund distribution channel the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) over corruption and misappropriation of millions of dollars.
Sources close to the investigations also say a senior official with USAID Zimbabwe office who was responsible for receiving and processing funding proposals from local non-governmental organisations had been summoned to Washington DC for questioning.
“The official is the man at the core of the corruption that has been happening in a number of civil society organisations for the past five years. He is being accused of providing funding to NGOs which are run by his allies through processing their proposals, inflating the funding figures which they would share thereafter,” explains a source.
To read the article titled, “US govt probes Zim civil society,” click here.Source:New Zimbabwe
Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) says that Zimbabwe should ‘improve’ on creating a favourable environment for independent institutions like Think Tanks for it to realise the ‘great’ development potential it has.
The organisation argues that Think Tanks are critical for national development and in progressive nations they advise governments on policy formulation and implementation.
It says Think Tanks provide possible alternatives in cases of policy failure.
To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe advised to tolerate NGOs,” click here.Source:New Zimbabwe
Small Business Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, says foreign shop owners must share their trade secrets with people in townships where they operate to curb violence and looting.
Zulu points out that, “Black people were never part of the economy of South Africa in terms of owning anything, therefore when they see other people coming from outside being successful they feel like the space is being closed by foreigners.”
She says that it is important for the foreigners to share with the South Africans about what it is that makes it possible for them to be successful.
To read the article titled, “Foreigners told to share their secrets,” click here.Source:IOL News
Police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, has rejected a South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) report ‘Broken Blue Line’ on police involvement in serious and violent crimes as ‘malicious’.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has rejected a report on police criminality, saying it was compiled and funded with ‘malicious intent’.
Phiyega objects to her photograph being used in the report, which links her leadership to high levels of criminality in the police, according to a sample studied.
To read the article titled, “Police commissioner rejects SAIRR report on SAPS criminality,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is seeking to recover an estimated R8 billion from people who are defaulting on their student loans.
This money could assist almost double the number of students benefiting from the scheme. NSFAS expects to fund about 415 000 students during 2015.
The scheme has conceded that it will not be able to fund all students who have applied for funding. NSFAS says it is only aware of 800 students who will not get funding although their applications have been approved.
To read the article titled, “NSFAS gunning for loan defaulters,” click here.Source:SABC News
- South Africa has been plagued by xenophobic experience causing periodic social instability particularly in our metropolitan areas. It has become a course for concern for the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO) and other non-governmental organisations. Our community safety is being threatened, lawlessness is creeping in, criminality is on the rise and law enforcement agencies are struggling to cope. Some among us are even suggesting the involvement of the army.
We think that the problem is bigger than it meets the eye. At the social level, immigrants live and run their businesses in communities. It is not a bad thing in itself but proves detrimental at this point because we are failing to manage social cohesion. It therefore means that our people are not ready for this type of socialisation. Our people are being asked to deal with someone who comes into communities without being profiled for the community to know who he is, where is coming from, what drove him out of his country and what is his status in our country. This is not just a socialisation issue but involves political decisions too. Society must be properly informed about this situation.
Society must manage its socialisation processes and we think that much has to be done to attain stability. Education is key and nothing must be left to chance, which brings me to the next point; what was our experience when we were in exile. How were we socialised in those countries that we found ourselves in? We are not advocating for sameness in this matter but it is critical that we get a grip on control and management of all people who enter our country whether legally or otherwise. You can only show compassion when you fully appreciate circumstances of person you interact with. People need to be informed so as to make better decisions in the socialisation process.
At the political level, it is only proper that you have institutions that helps you help others who find themselves in such a precarious situations. First, rules must be observed, people must be documented and profiled. Identification is important and circumstances of his plight if any must be known (for example, a political refugee) to our people at large so that s/he enjoys equal social protection. Second, our law enforcement agencies must also be empowered to act in a socially conscious manner through effective legal instruments assisted by communities. This can only be achieved when our actions are guided by human rights-based constitution such as ours.
Fear is a dangerous emotion particularly if unfounded and based on unknown. The xenophobic attacks are more fear orientated. The immigrants react using unlicensed weapons and shooting children in fear of their lives and communities react in anger by burning their shops. The criminal element takes advantage of this chaos and loot. A society that lives in fear and suspicion is a recipe for constant social upheavals.
On the economic front we are bound to face slow growth and even be stagnant. Nobody would like to invest in a country that has political and social instability where the rule of law is undermined. It is imperative to address this situation but government should take the lead and create an environment conducive for social cohesion, community safety and peace. We need to revisit our institutions particularly around immigrants coming into our country. Laws must empower us to deal with any situation in managing social interactions, be it protecting immigrants or socialising them within our communities. It cannot be left to chance.
We have traditional authorities in our villages, municipalities in our towns and districts and metros who must take lead in the fight against xenophobia. This requires the partnership between government and civil society. Civil society should assist in educating our people about the channels open to them for addressing their queries but authorities must open their doors. Our justice system must also be robustly engaged for social justice to be effective. We call on our people to exercise restraint, respect human rights and act in a manner befitting a caring nation.
For more about SANGOCO, refer to www.sangoco.org.za.
According to Jay Naidoo, chairperson of GAIN, a global foundation fighting malnutrition in the world, the inequality gap is not decreasing but becoming more pronounced.
Naidoo, who also served as a general secretary of the Congress of the South African Trade Unions and also as a minister in the Nelson Mandela administration, argues that now the super-rich are sitting with an even more dramatic level of control, while the rest of the world languishes in a worsening condition of serfdom.
He criticises governments for using trillions of dollars of public taxpayers’ money to nationalise the debts incurred by the banking bosses and simultaneously imposing an austerity regime that butchered public services in social protection, education, health to ordinary citizens, after the 2008 financial crisis.
To read the article titled, “Apartheid 2.0: The Gospel according to the one percent super rich,” click here.Source:Norwegian Council for Africa
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Non-Governmental Organisations has described Zambia’s Presidential election as credible.
SADC Council of NGOs election observation mission head of delegation, Safonea Shale, notes that polling day was peaceful and people cast their votes without coercion, undue influence or intimidation.
Shale says the mission has observed that the majority of polling stations opened on time which sends a strong message of the preparedness of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
To read the article titled, “SADC council of NGOs gives Zambia’s elections thumbs up,” click here.Source:UK Zambians
Earthlife Africa Johannesburg says Eskom is infringing on the rights of South Africans to access electricity by threatening load-shedding and possible blackouts in the near future.
The organisation’s Makoma Lekalakala, says the current crisis is an opportunity for Eskom and the Department of Energy to accelerate the renewable energy programme in South Africa.
Lekalakala states that, “The crisis with Eskom is an opportunity for them to say to South Africans, we realise that, and we're now moving from coal-generated electricity because it is at the centre of all the problems that we have, and that they are going to invest more in renewable energy technology.”
To read the article titled, “Eskom infringing on rights of South Africans,” click here.Source:SABC News
Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) says the Gauteng e-toll review panel's report fails to include some of the alternative recommendations they raised.
JPSA chairperson, Howard Dembovsky, says the fuel levy could have settled the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s debt it incurred for building roads quicker, than imposing e-tolls.
Meanwhile another organisation, the Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance, says the Gauteng e-toll review panel's report that was released fails to acknowledge that a fuel levy is the best alternative to the much criticised electronic tolling system.
To read the article titled, “JSPA adds voice against e-toll review report,” click here.Source:SABC News