​Electricity to Increase in July

South African municipalities will increase electricity prices by an average of 7.64 percent from 1 July 2016.
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) said it had approved the price hike for the guideline municipal tariffs.
However, if the municipalities want to charge a higher increase than that, they must apply for special permission.

Cabinet Approves Film and Publications Bill

Cabinet has approved the submission of the Films and Publications Amendment Bill which is guided by policy that has been criticised for seeking to curb internet freedoms.

A cabinet statement says the bill seeks to amend the Films and Publications Act of 1996 by adapting it to technological advances.

These changes include catering for online and social media platforms “in order to protect children from being exposed to disturbing and harmful media content in all platforms (physical and online).”

Zambia Registers 400 NGOs

Zambia’s Community Development, Mother and Child Health Minister, Emerine Kabanshi, says more than 400 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have registered under the 2009 NGO Act.

Kabanshi also says the government had engaged a consultant to look into concerns raised by some NGOs resisting to register.

“The NGOs are registering under the NGO Act and the numbers are increasing every time. They are many, they are over 400,” she explains.

To read the article titled, “400 NGOs register,” click here.

Draft Online Regulation Policy Criticised

The Right2Know Campaign has vowed to step up its campaign against the Film and Publication Board’s draft Online Regulation Policy, while the Democratic Alliance demanded that both Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi, and the board appear before Parliament to respond to the outcry over the document.

R2Kb spokesperson, Busi Mtabane, points out that, “Nobody should be subject to the draconian censorship regime that the FPB envisions.”

Mtabane says the R2K can take encouragement from the huge public outcry against the regulations over the past few months.

Initiation School Deaths: Who is Losing the Battle?

NGO Pulse readers would recall that last month (June 2015) I wrote an article in which I emphasised the need for South Africans to encourage their children to study the same way they would encourage them to take part in cultural practices such as initiation schools. After all initiation is part of many communities’ culture and should be treated as such.

WHO Urges Govt to Raise Tobacco Taxes

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says governments around the world should increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products to save lives and generate funds for stronger health services.

In a report entitled ‘The Global Tobacco Epidemic 2015’, the United Nations health agency states that too few governments make full use of tobacco taxes to dissuade people from smoking or help them to cut down and quit.
It recommends that at least 75 percent of the price of a pack of cigarettes should be tax.

Eskom Price Hike Rejected

The National Energy Regulator (NERSA) has refused to grant Eskom another tariff increase.

NERSA held public hearings on Eskom’s ‘selective reopener application for the third Multi-Year Price Determination’ last month.

NERSA chairperson, Jacob Modise, argued that Eskom’s application does not comply with certain municipal acts, adding that high prices of electricity would result in job losses and that this was Eskom's third Multi-Year Price Determination application to NERSA.


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