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Quote of the week
"The onus is on all of us to realise that the time for talking is long over. It is time to act in solidarity and remembrance of all women, children and men that have been victims of rape, sodomy and murder. It is time to enact our promises, pledges and programmes."
- Javu Baloyi, Spokesperson, Commission for Gender Equality.
Comment of the week
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Social Justice, Violence, SONA, Budget…
Today is World Day of Social Justice. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed 20 February as World Day of Social Justice in 2007 to support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all. In 2013, the UN urges nations to intensify their efforts to achieve a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable development path built on dialogue, transparency and social justice. In South Africa, the day reminds us of the socio-economic hardships experienced by both the rural and urban poor.
The brutal rape and murder of Anene Booysen continue to receive significant attention in news coverage and social commentary in South Africa.
Javu Baloyi, spokesperson for the Commission for Gender Equality, writes that it is time to act in solidarity and remembrance of all women, children and men that have been victims of rape, sodomy and murder in the country. Writing in his personal capacity, Baloyi challenges mothers and fathers to be pioneers of gender equality and to encourage a culture of mutual respect starting in the home. “Let us ensure that Booysen's memory lives on and serves as a reminder that the violence in our society must be holistically addressed,” he maintains.
Click here to read the full article.
Jacques du Preez, operational officer within the Centre for Constitutional Rights at the FW De Klerk Foundation, investigates whether it should be up to the departments of education or school governing bodies (SGBs) to decide on the admission policy at public single-medium schools. Du Preez argues that the South African Schools Act (SASA) empowers the SGBs to have the final say in regulating language and admission policy at their respective schools provided that in doing so, they are not practicing any form of racial discrimination. He is of the view that while Afrikaans-medium schools are being targeted, English-medium schools are not required to accommodate small numbers of Afrikaans learners.
Click here to read the full article.
On 14 February 2013, President Jacob Zuma presented the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament.
Catherine Grant Makokera, head of the South African Institute for International Affair’s Economic Diplomacy Programme, reflects on the President’s address and its potential implications for business and the economy. Makokera believes that while the detail provided on the infrastructure development programme will be of interest to investors, the confirmation of a study on the tax regime that will include an evaluation of the policy on mining royalties and prioritisation of land reform - which includes a move away from the ‘willing buyer willing seller’ process and possible limitations on foreign land ownership - could create nervousness among some of them. She notes that the President urged the private sector to support or contribute to government-led initiatives such as absorbing Further Education and Training graduates into the job market, establishing science or maths academies, as well as uprooting corruption.
In a related development, South African NGOs, trade unions and other stakeholders expressed their expectations ahead of Zuma’s address, while others responded afterwards.
Click here to read their comments.
Lastly, Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, delivers the 2013/14 National Budget speech on 27 February 2013 in Parliament. As in recent years, SANGONeT invites NGOs to contribute a short article or press release focusing on a specific issue in the National Budget relevant to their core work and areas of interest, or their organisations' observations about the budget in general. We would like to receive all inputs by no later than 14h00 on Thursday, 28 February 2013.
Click here for more information.
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