governance

How to Help Courts Play their Part in Balancing Government Spending

South Africa’s Bill of Rights enshrines a number of socioeconomic rights. These are crucial for creating a more equal society and include the rights of access to healthcare services, sufficient food and water, social assistance and adequate housing. Their aim is to help everyone lead a dignified life.

The Right to Basic Education and Vuwani

According to media, police and government reports, as of Sunday, 8 May 2016, 24 schools had been burnt and/or vandalised in Vuwani, Limpopo. This was allegedly done in protest of a High Court decision that threw out the community’s bid not to be moved into the new Malamulele municipality. These actions have been strongly condemned by most commentators, including political parties, trade unions, civil society, the State and on social media.

​‘Low Uptake’: Extension of e-Toll Debt Discount

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) says the 10-day extension of a 60 percent discount offer on outstanding e-toll debt is to be expected.
 
OUTA says the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (SANRAL) “recent legal summonsing of a few handpicked e-toll defaulters” – which it describes as an attempt to spook the public - appeared to have failed.
 

MISA Criticises SA Over Press Freedom

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) says South Africa is one of four countries listed as having concerning ‘media policy developments’.
 
In a statement released by the to commemorate World Press Freedom Day 2016, MISA points out that, “While there has been a dramatic increase in the number of access to information laws on the continent – 19 to date – the right to access information on issues that affect people’s livelihoods remains beyond the grasp of the majority of African people.”
 

Increase in Restrictive Laws on Foreign Funding to NGOs

From 1993 to 2012, 39 of the world’s 153 low and middle-income countries enacted restrictive laws on foreign funding to civil society organisations, both domestic and international.

In some cases, these governments banned overseas funding for local actors outright, while in other instances, they imposed new rules restricting which locally-operating non-governmental organisations could receive aid, and for what purpose.

​CW Criticises Arms Deal Commission

Corruption Watch, a non-governmental organisation, says President Jacob Zuma’s release of the Arms Deal report prevents closure of this sordid chapter in the governance of large scale public procurement.

The organisation states that this is ‘hardly surprising’‚ the watchdog says‚ “given the thoroughly flawed and irregular proceedings of the commission over the last four years‚ this outcome is hardly surprising.”

​Illicit Outflows: Calls for Banks to Play their Part

Former president Thabo Mbeki is calling on central banks, civil society and heads of state to play their part in curbing illicit outflows, which are estimated at US$90 billion a year on the African continent.

Speaking to the media during a briefing at the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, Mbeki said the commercial sector is responsible for two thirds of capital illicit outflows - money leaving the continent illegally.

Mbeki said that money was leaving the continent through a number of ways including: base erosion/profit shifting, misinvoicing and tax havens.

​Mbeki Celebrates His Social Media Reach

Former president Thabo Mbeki’s letters aiming to tackle ‘historical distortions and falsehoods’ during his time in office generated 8.5 million hits across the Thabo Mbeki Foundation’s social media platforms‚ says its chief executive officer, Max Boqwana.
 
Boqwana points out that, “These reflect people who viewed the articles‚ shared and commented on them‚” adding that, “We have also received hundreds direct feedback through emails‚ letters‚ calls and direct conversations.”
 

OUTA Has Cash for SANRAL’s Court War

Organisation Uniting Against Tax Abuse (OUTA) says it has enough money to assist its members sued for outstanding e-tolls.
 
OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenhage, says the organisation gets contributions from ‘thousands of people’ and ‘hundreds of businesses’ every month and has set money aside for e-toll litigation.
 
Duvenhage would however not disclose the amount, because he fears the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL), fighting with taxpayers’ money, would stretch out the legal process in an effort to deplete OUTA’s funds.
 

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