transparency

OUTA Urges Govt to Make e-Toll Details Public

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) says the details of the electronic toll collection contract (ETC) should not be kept confidential.

OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, points out that, "It shouldn't be confidential. It is taxpayers' money that is being used to pay the tolls so the taxpayer should know what the money is being used for.”

Making details of the ETC confidential will mean that taxpayers may never know the full agreements, pricing and subcontracts surrounding e-tolling.

Public Denied Access to e-Tolling Details

The government has managed to ensure the details of e-tolling will never be made public - despite a court review of the system coming up next month.

In order to see the documents surrounding the e-toll tender and contract, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) found it had no choice but to sign confidentiality agreements.

This means the public may now never know the full agreements, pricing and subcontracts surrounding e-tolling of Gauteng’s highways.

Govt Urged to Respond to ‘Nkandla Questions’

Pressure is mounting on the government to lift the veil of secrecy it has thrown over the hundreds of millions of rand being spent on President Jacob Zuma’s rural homestead, with Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, set to investigate and Parliament to be asked to hold a special debate on the issue.

Civil society watchdog, Corruption Watch, has asked Public Works Minister, Thulas Nxesi, to respond by 12 October 2012 to its questions about the millions being spent on upgrading Nkandla.

NGOs Vow to Resist ‘Secrecy Bill’

Organisations opposed to the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) have vowed to continue resisting the contentious draft legislation.

Speaking during a protest march in Pretoria, Right2Know (R2K) campaign Gauteng spokesperson, Dale McKinley, said that the ‘flawed’ bill has to be withdrawn.

McKinley, points out that, "The bill before Parliament is still flawed and has many problems, adding that there are several reasons for opposing the bill, but the main one is the lack of a public interest defence clause and lack of protection for whistle-blowers.

Malawi President Cuts Her Salary

Malawi President, Joyce Banda, whose country is battling starvation due to many years of bad financial management, is showing her determination to 'lead from the front' by voluntarily cutting her own salary by 30 percent.

By slashing her salary, Banda, who believes in sharing their pain, inherited a mess in April when she was propelled into office after the sudden death of her predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika.

Her salary is R480 000 a year and when it declines to R340 000, it will be equivalent to what a mid-level South African civil servant earns.

Call for Climate Fund to Work for the Poor

As the board of a new United Nations climate fund for developing countries meets for the first time, civil society groups are pushing for it to be managed in a way that is transparent and accountable to poor communities likely to be hit hardest by climate change.

Head of climate governance integrity programme at anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), Ann Elges, points out that, “We need a balance between the urgency to achieve results and the due diligence required to protect climate money and ensure its effectiveness.”

NGOs Urges Malawi to Abandon ‘Spy Machine’

The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Centre for Development of the People (CEDEP) have called on Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) to abandon the implementation of what has become known as the ‘spy machine’.

CHRR and CEDEP point out that, “We add to the voice that from the onset, the machine has been a source of discomfort among telecom operators as well as Malawians who have been left in a guess-work exercise on the government’s real intentions for purchasing the ‘spy machine’.”

Robinson Delivers Nelson Mandela Lecture

Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, says South Africa has work to overcome several problems, including the Protection of State Information Bill, poverty and inequality, and gender-based violence.

Delivering the 10th annual Nelson Mandela lecture in Cape Town, the former Irish president, Robinson stated that, "You have both the positive resource and the acute problem of a young population with high unemployment and a deficit of skills.

NGOs Act Against Mdluli

Civil society organisations, Corruption Watch and the Social Justice Coalition, have filed a joint application to join Freedom Under Law's court application for former crime intelligence head, Richard Mdluli, to be suspended.

In a press statement, Corruption Watch director, David Lewis, points out that, "In order to combat corruption it is essential that the law enforcement agencies are seen to be led by people of integrity, free of any taint of corruption."

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