Newsflashes

28 July, 2009
As the government steams ahead, confident that South Africans will start buying decoders in April 2010 in preparation for the country's switch to digital television, there are still concerns about who will foot the bill. Migrating from analogue to digital means South Africans who do not have digitally complaint television sets will be required to purchase set-top boxes at a cost of R700 in order to view public broadcasting and free-to-air channels.
28 July, 2009
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) says there is a correlation between lack of access to basic services and households requiring grants. In its report into state delivery of grants for the past five years, Stats SA argues that children who live in households that receive social grants are more likely to attend school than children in low-income households that do not. Stats SA identified lack of education or illiteracy as contributing to dependence on social grants.
28 July, 2009
Cellphone companies will now be fined if the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) finds that their network quality has dropped. In a press statement, ICASA says that the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations 2009 will come into operation within 30 days from the date of publication in the Government Gazette.
23 July, 2009
Politicians named in the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) list of post-poll chaos suspects will collectively sue to have their names expunged. Tourism Minister Najib Balala, Assistant Minister Elizabeth Ongoro and MP Omondi Anyanga said they would fight to get justice done.
23 July, 2009
The chief executive officer of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), Fezile Makiwane, has been placed on special leave pending investigation into alleged misuse of funds. In a press statement, the Department of Social Development points out that the decision follow a probe by the Special Investigations Unit into alleged mismanagement of funds managed by SASSA service providers. The departmental spokesperson, Zanele Mngadi, said Makiwane’s suspension was mutually agreed upon with Social Development Minister Edna Molewa.
23 July, 2009
United Nations (UN) secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, marked the 91st birthday of Nelson Mandela by hailing the South African statesman as "a living embodiment of the highest values of the United Nations." In a message delivered on Mandela Day, Ban said: "His [Mandela] commitment to a democratic, multiracial South Africa, his steadfast pursuit of justice, his willingness to reconcile with those who persecuted him most - these are just some of the hallmarks of a remarkable man."
23 July, 2009
Tanzanian NGOs have announced that they will sue the country’s government should it go ahead in introducing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Representatives of several NGOs are asking the government to also shelve the plan to channel the funds through local authorities if MPs will still be allowed to control them. The Policy Forum members said the CDF has been wrongly mooted and planned, and will therefore be difficult to implement.
23 July, 2009
Ethiopian authorities have suspended the operations of 42 NGOs allegedly involved in activities that are out of their mandate in the Southern region of the country. Ethiopia's Southern regional state justice office chief, Yilma Meresa, points out that those NGOs were out to interrupt the peace and development of the region.
22 July, 2009
If developing countries want to succeed in improving their health systems, they urgently need to decentralise them and shift tasks from doctors to nurses and community health workers, said experts at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
22 July, 2009
Gender activist Mbuyiselo Botha - whom Julius Malema branded as a puppet of white racists - has slammed the ANC Youth League president's accusations as "pathetic". Botha, Sonke's advocacy head, was responding to Malema's claims that the hate speech complaint against him - which centres on his comments that President Jacob Zuma's rape accuser enjoyed herself with him - was driven by "whites opposed to black rule".
22 July, 2009
The Central Statistical Office reported yesterday that Zimbabwe's inflation quickened to 0.6% month on month in June from -1.0% in May. Zimbabwe’s new unity government, formed by rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in February, has adopted the use of multiple currencies to stop hyperinflation, which rendered the country’s currency worthless. The CSO, which resumed calculating inflation figures in December, having last released data for July 2008, did not give year-on-year statistics.
21 July, 2009
The newly appointed South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) interim board is examining the costs of each of the beleaguered broadcaster's departments "line by line", chairperson Irene Charnley said on Tuesday. "We need to stabilise the SABC at all levels. The situation is not normal. Financially the organisation is in dire straits." The SABC reported a financial loss of R839-million for the 2008/09 financial year. The broadcaster had asked the government for a R2-billion bailout.
21 July, 2009
Water Affairs director-general Pam Yako has been put on 'special lea' pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged financial irregularities within the department. "No charges have been levelled against Ms Yako or any official of the department and, until informed otherwise by the outcome of the investigation, the director-general remains innocent," Water Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said on Wednesday.
21 July, 2009
The World Bank has delivered both a stern warning on the impact of the recession for Africa and a sunny outlook for income and economic growth if actionable steps are taken now. Chief economist and senior vice-president of the World Bank, Justin Lin who introduced the World Development Report entitled 'Reshaping Economic Geography', said research shows that if infrastructure in Africa can reach just the level achieved by Mauritius, then two percentage points can be added to per capita income.
21 July, 2009
Networking giant Cisco has warned that cybercriminals are aping executives when it comes to sales, marketing and risk management in the world of online treachery. Cisco chief security researcher, Patrick Peterson says: "A lot of techniques they are using today are not new; it is really about how they may be doing some of the same old things." The company has also warned that online social networks are becoming popular ‘customer acquisition’ territory for cyber criminals.

NGO Services

NGO Services