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CASAC Slams Parliament's 'Inefficiency'

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) has criticised Parliament for not playing its constitutional oversight role effectively.

CASAC chairperson, Sipho Pityana, has called on members of Parliament to exercise their oversight role without fear, instead of pursuing a party political line.

Pityana, who says CASAC’s role is to defend, strengthen and improve the constitution, encourages citizens to claim their rights and to take action against institutions that are not fulfilling their constitutional mandate.

SANEF Criticises ANC’s Media Restrictions

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) has voiced concerns over restrictions placed on the media at the African National Congress' national general council in Durban last week.

In a press statement, SANEF notes that many of the sessions were conducted behind closed doors, preventing journalists from covering the meetings and mingling freely with delegates.

Call and Extend Zim Amnesty Period

People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) has called for the extension of the December 31 amnesty deadline for Zimbabweans living in South Africa illegally.

In a press statement, PASSOP says extending the amnesty deadline will prevent abuse of Zimbabweans and unfair pressure on the Department of Home Affairs.

Activists Call for More Money for Global Fund

The Treatment Action Campaign and other activists have called on rich nations to double their pledges to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria. They say the Fund ‘desperately needs more money if the world is to meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The activists have also voiced fears that a new campaign to tackle needless deaths among women and children launched at the recent MDG summit in New York might divert money and attention from the Global Fund.

BSDP Slam Councillors Over RDP Houses

The Bolobedu Society for Disabled People (BSDP) is angry with the Greater Tzaneen Municipality councillors who allegedly overlooked them in the allocation of RDP houses and pit toilets.

BSDP chairperson, David Malatji, says they recommend that the four councillors be relieved of their duties before the local government elections next year.

Malatji says the BSDP has a record of people who have been allocated houses ‘just because they are close toward councillors’.

AI Says MDGs Exclude the Poor

Amnesty International (AI) has accused governments failing to make a concerted effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of abusing the human rights of the poorest in society.

The group's criticism came ahead of a United Nations Summit later this month that will see heads of states meeting to review the progress on MDGs.

Oxfam Unifies With Counterpart NGOs

Oxfam-GB is engaged in a global programme of unification of various counterpart NGOs that operate in different countries.

According to the regional director of Oxfam-GB in Angola, Fikre Zewdie, Oxfam-GB intends to unify Oxfam-Holland, Oxfam-GB and Oxfam-Australia so as to have greater impact in their operations.

March Against Corruption in Housing Delivery

The Philippi People's Forum brought the streets of Gugulethu, Cape Town, to a standstill with a march against corruption in housing delivery.

The march has seen more than 1 000 residents of Philippi's informal settlements chanting ‘enough is enough’, ‘phantsi ngetyotyombe’, ‘phezulu ngezindlu’, ‘houses first, corruption last’ as they marched on the Fezeka municipal offices in Gugulethu.

Cultural Heritage is Not a Commodity

Our Heritage is not a product to be traded - it’s a value to be shared.

Much has been said in the past ten years about the potential for the handcraft industry to ‘make a difference’ in rural communities and for impoverished people. Craft has been flagged as a sector with the potential to uplift those most affected by the ravages of apartheid, especially people who are under-educated and as a result ill-equipped to take advantage of the new dispensation.

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