Newsflashes

14 July, 2009
The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says South Africa will remain a largely poor and unequal society because the government is unlikely to amend poor policy, which will result in an economic growth rate of only three percent a year until 2030. SAIRR deputy CEO, Frans Cronje, says a number of risk factors will become prominent in the next two decades, including the government’s retreat from growth-led development to an interventionist and redistributive policy.
14 July, 2009
The Gauteng housing department has admitted that its goal of eradicating shacks by 2014 is becoming impossible to reach. The department’s Manching Monana says that for this goal to be achieved they will have to build 200 000 houses a year. The department provided about 64 000 houses in 2008, exceeding its target of 58 000 and plans to deliver 28 000 units this year. However, Monana warned that this may be cut to 12 000 due to budget constraints.
13 July, 2009
Acting President Kgalema Motlanthe has appointed the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) interim board for a period of six months. In a press statement, the Presidency expressed its confidence in the capabilities of the new interim board members and in the interim board as a collective. Members of the new board are Irene Charnley (chairperson), Philip Frederick Mtimkulu (deputy chairperson), Libby Lloyd, Leslie Kgopotso Sedibe, Suzanne Vos, Gab Mampone, Robin Nicholson, and Charlotte Mampane.
13 July, 2009
Durban is gearing up to join Cape Town and Johannesburg as a host city to a FoodBank which aims to address urban hunger by collecting donated food at a central warehouse from where it can be distributed. The banks, which are affiliated to the Global FoodBanking Network, which has affiliates in 14 countries, sorts donated food into nutritionally balanced parcels which are then distributed to NGOs who feed the hungry.
13 July, 2009
The success of the newly established Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities is dependent on the participation of civil society. This is according to Minister Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya. As the national office is within the Presidency and there are no departmental MEC's in the provinces, the minister said there would be branch offices within the premiers' offices and at the local government level.
13 July, 2009
Equality Courts are here to stay. This is an assurance from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Department spokesperson, Zolile Nqayi, says the department has no intention to shut down the Equality Courts. “The public is urged to approach these courts whenever they experience cases of unfair discrimination, hate speech and harassment”, Nqayi said.
13 July, 2009
African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema has distorted the facts of the Zuma rape case. This is according to Lisa Vetten, a researcher at the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre. Testifying in Malema’s Equality Court hate speech case in Johannesburg, Vetten quoted the judgment as stating: "According to the complainant the accused asked her whether she had money for transport the following morning and she abruptly confirmed that she had money."
9 July, 2009
Parliament's portfolio committee on communications has invited the public to make nominations for the new South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members. In a press statement, the committee chairperson Ismail Vadi says the call is the beginning of a search for a new board to steer the public broadcaster out of its current problems. Nominations can be made on or before 31 July 2009.
9 July, 2009
Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, has called for the internationalisation of higher education to be managed to help African countries avert a brain drain. Speaking during the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education in Paris, Nzimande told delegates that this is part of the result of poor access to education in some African countries. According to a conference paper, in 2007 over 2.8 million students were enrolled in higher educational institutions outside their country of origin - a 53 percent increase since 1999.
9 July, 2009
Google is declaring war on Microsoft by seeking to unseat the software giant's globally dominant Windows operating system for personal computers. Google, which is already offering a suite of email, web and other software products that compete with Microsoft, will launch the Google Chrome Operating System, a new operating system for computers ranging from ultra-compact netbooks to full-size desktop PCs. The company says the Google Chrome Operating System will be in netbooks for consumers in the second half of 2010.
9 July, 2009
Two aid workers kidnapped in Darfur have been located and are in good health. This is according to Sudanese officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Sudanese minister for humanitarian affairs, Abdel Baqi Gilani, says the location of Irish national, Sharon Commins and Ugandan Hilda Kawuki, who were kidnapped from the office of the Irish aid group, GOAL, is now known. The minister added that the kidnapping is not politically motivated.
9 July, 2009
Representatives of leading aid organisations have demanded that G8 countries, and in particular G8 summit host Italy, take urgent action to make up a R188 billion shortfall in aid promised to Africa. Head of the international aid agency Oxfam's Italian office, Farida Bena has called on G8 leaders to come up with what she calls “an emergency programme”. Bena says that US$23 billion is not a lot of money compared to what has been spent bailing out the banks.
9 July, 2009
If you are a charity or NGO who feels that you have been treated unreasonably or unfairly by the Lotto, and you are willing to take them on, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc., a firm of attorneys, is willing to assist you. Lourens Ackermann, Pro Bono Coordinator at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc., is currently investigating the possibility of pursuing individual applications against the Lotto on behalf of deserving charities and NGOs.
8 July, 2009
Government has over the years intensified its poverty reduction efforts with the number of people living below the poverty line declining from 53 percent in 1996 to 41 percent in 2007. This is according to an annual report by the Public Service Commission on the performance of the public service. The report notes that the introduction of the Public Works Programme, which has provided jobs to thousands of people, free basic services and no fee schools have all played a crucial role in the eradication of the scourge of poverty.
7 July, 2009
Microsoft has warned of flawed software in Internet Explorer that hackers can exploit to take over some computers. The company says that vulnerability was found in a programme used in the popular web browser to play video on computers running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 operating systems. Microsoft says that hackers can take advantage of the vulnerability when internet users visit websites that have been booby trapped with malicious code. Unsuspecting computer users may get emails enticing them to visit hazardous websites.

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