Newsflashes

19 January, 2009
The Save our SABC Coalition has come out in support of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), urging President Kgalema Motlanthe to sign the Broadcasting Amendment Bill as soon as possible. “The president needs to sign the Broadcasting Amendment Bill as soon as possible so that an investigation of the SABC board could start right away”, says Coalition spokesperson, Kate Skinner.
19 January, 2009
The National Peoples Movement, a political party against gays and lesbians, is to contest this year’s general elections. The party president, Aubrey Mbatha, says, “Gays and lesbians are ungodly and sinful, but so are laws allowing children to abort without their parents’ consent, and we oppose the banning of corporal punishment at schools and homes.” The National Peoples Movement, which claims to be lobbying for a theocratic democracy, was launched in KwaZulu-Natal four years ago.
19 January, 2009
Afriforum youth says the rights of matriculants who have yet to receive their matric results were being violated. Speaking in Pretoria after a handful of the class of 2008 students protested outside the Department of Education offices, Afriforum youth chairperson, Ernst Roets, described the delay of the matric results as an infringement of students’ rights. The matriculants handed over a memorandum requesting the department to identify persons responsible for the delay in releasing the results and to take disciplinary steps against them.
14 January, 2009
Poverty action group, the Anti Eviction Campaign (AEC), is planning a nationwide boycott of the upcoming general elections and is campaigning for others to follow its lead. Western Cape Provincial AEC Coordinator, Mncedisi Twala, points out that: "Our people have been voting from April 1994. [But] We have never had a fruitful result out of those elections, because all that we see is corruption, nepotism and the promotion of the private sector."
13 January, 2009
Mpumalanga Health and Social Development will donate school uniforms to 10,000 poor children before the end of this month to help parents who can't afford to buy them. The department spokesperson, Abie Ndlela, points out that: "The department acknowledges that going back to school can be very costly, especially with school uniform prices soaring." Ndlela thanked social workers and community development workers for helping the department identify poor children who need school uniforms and food parcels.
13 January, 2009
The Eastern Cape housing department has announced that unemployed graduates will soon be trained to assist the province’s rural communities on how to access government funds for housing. Ddepartment spokesperson, Lwandile Sicwetsha says the move follows the department’s launch of a R3.6 million “housing education consumer” project aimed at helping communities gain access to subsidy programmes.
13 January, 2009
South African state power company Eskom plans to start operating wind turbines this year to boost the country’s supply of electricity. Eskom spokesperson, Fani Zulu, points out that, "We are looking at building 50 wind turbines with two megawatts each before the end of this year across the country... . It is a little more expensive than generating electricity by coal, but by all means it is a worthwhile cost." 
13 January, 2009
South African President Kgalema Motlanthe says that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has underscored the urgent need to reform the United Nations (UN).   “I agree that the UN, and the UN Security Council in particular, is in need of urgent reform in order to become more representative of the world’s population", says Motlanthe.
13 January, 2009
Nigerian CSOs have been offered an opportunity for better involvement in policy formulation and implementation. The offer was made by the special adviser to the president on relations with the civil society, Chineme Ume-Ezeoke, who set a new agenda for CSOs to help foster a robust relationship between the groups and government.
13 January, 2009
Education minister Naledi Pandor says South Africa should have the final 2008 matric examination pass rate by the end of this month, when her department expects to have finished its investigations into about 700 allegations of examination irregularities. Pandor expressed concern about the delay in the release of the results, particularly those for whom continuous assessments were not handed in to the provincial authorities on time.
13 January, 2009
High poverty rates and low education levels are contributing to increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in Yemen, especially among commercial sex workers. This is according to the Integrated Care Association for People Living with HIV. The organisation’s secretary-general, Abdul-Hafed al-Ward, points out that most cases of HIV/AIDS involve people with low incomes. Al-Ward maintains that, “Poverty and HIV/AIDS go together and wherever the former exists so does the latter."
10 December, 2008
Environmentalists have protested outside the main entrance to the United Nations climate conference in Poznan in an attempt to keep the World Bank from controlling climate change finance.
10 December, 2008
The Rwandan government has warned unregistered international NGOs to register by March next year or face closure.
10 December, 2008
The South African Council of Churches and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa have condemned the recent abduction of journalist and activist Jestina Mukoko by a gang of plain-clothed men suspected to be police operatives.
9 December, 2008
Local and international environmental activists have handed over a petition calling on the government to investigate the suspension of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) water expert, Anthony Turton.

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