Civil society

Civil society

  • SANEF Rejects the Proposed Tribunal

    The South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF) has expressed its ‘strong rejection’ of renewed proposals for a state-appointed tribunal and a growing slate of new legislation that is ‘hostile’ to the free flow of information to South Africans.

    In a statement following its annual general meeting in Johannesburg, SANEF points out that the proposed tribunal will go against the existing system of self-regulation which involves the media and members of the public, and will be unconstitutional.

    In addition, SANEF expressed its support for the Press Council Code of Conduct and encouraged editors to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to violations.

    To read the article titled, “SA editors reject ANC media tribunal proposal,” click here.
    Sunday Times
  • Activists Lobby AU Over Elections

    Several key Zimbabwean activists took part in a roundtable discussion in Kampala, where they intend to lobby the African Union (AU) to take a prominent role in ensuring Zimbabwe's next elections are free and fair.

    Under the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, the activists say they want to urge leaders at the AU summit, to ensure that Zimbabwe is sufficiently prepared to hold credible, free and fair elections and that the AU stands ready to monitor and observe those elections.

    Political analyst John Makumbe, Zimbabwe Election Support Network chairperson Tinoziva Bere, International Commission of Jurists Africa Director Arnold Tsunga, farm workers union leader Gertrude Hambira, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association Director Okay Machisa, plus Tsitsi Mhlanga, Pedzisai Ruhanya and Dewa Mavhinga took part in the conference.

    To read the article titled, “Civil society activists to lobby AU over elections,” click here.
    All Africa
  • Participation Required: Academic Study Into Open-Source Software Usage by South African NGOs am a student and fellow civil-society employee working towards my Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree in Information Systems at the University of Cape Town (UCT). I am working on a research assignment as part of these studies. This blog is intended to inform and request your participation in this research as it will allow me to gain an understanding of the experiences of South African NGOs in terms of software selection and use. As incentive I have a R250 gift voucher that will go to one lucky survey participant.

    I kindly request you to participate in this research by completing the survey questionnaire found here: SURVEY LINK. Your input is very important and will remain anonymous. If you know of a partner NGO that may be willing to participate, please forward them this link. My research purpose is to understand the selection and use of software by South African NGOs (with a focus on open source software adoption). As previously mentioned your participation will remain completely anonymous and the hope is that a national view of software selection by the NGO sector will be possible.

    The collective findings of this study will be captured in a report that will be presented to the University of Cape Town for academic purposes. The findings may also be published in an academic journal or presented at a conference if the information is deemed of academic value.

    Completing the questionnaire should take no longer than 20 minutes.

    Important: You do not have to complete the survey questionnaire. Participation is voluntary. However, by participating you will be eligible for a R250 gift voucher or gift of the equivalent amount. One participant will be contacted and will receive this gift.

    For more information please contact the following:

    Gregory Rowles (Researcher)

    Prof. JP Van Belle (Research Supervisor)


  • Gay Rights Activist Pleads ‘Not Guilty’

    A Zimbabwean gay rights activist has pleaded not guilty to breaching censorship laws when he appeared before a magistrate's court accused of possessing pornography.

    Ignatius Muhambi, an accountant for Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), and office administrator, Ellen Chademana, were arrested in a police raid at the association's offices in May.

    The accused were arrested after police found one pornographic DVD and pornographic booklet from the GALZ offices being used by the accused. Prosecutor Memory Mugabe says both contained graphic images of men having sex.

    To read the article titled, “Zim gay activist denies charges,” click here.
  • NMF Speaks Out Against Xenophobia

    The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) has expressed concern about rumours surfacing that there are negative sentiments arising towards non-nationals in South Africa.

    NMF chief executive, Achmat Dangor, points out that South Africans should not blame other people for their troubles.

    He blames the aggressive and hostile policies of the apartheid regime, which he says have undermined the economic development of the neighbouring countries.

    To read the article titled, “Mandela Foundation speaks out against xenophobia,” click here.
  • The Code is Embraced by South Africa’s Tourism Sector to Combat and Prevent Child Sexual Exploitation

    South Africa. At least 40 000 children in South Africa are exploited as child prostitutes each year.  The number of trafficked and exploited children is not known. Tourists, visiting businessmen and locals, sexually abuse and exploit these trafficked and enslaved children.

    Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) has brought the Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) to South Africa. The Code is an instrument of self-regulation and corporate social responsibility, which provides increased protection to children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. Thirty South African tourism businesses have signed The Code. This commitment requires adherence to six criteria that have been found to effectively prevent and combat commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC):

    1. Establish an ethical policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children
    2. Train personnel in the country of origin and travel destinations
    3. Introduce a clause in contracts with suppliers, stating a common repudiation of commercial sexual exploitation of children
    4. Provide information to travelers by means of catalogues, brochures, in-flight films, ticket-slips, home pages, etc
    5. Provide information to local “key persons” at the destinations
    6. Report annually.

    Although South Africa is not a renowned child trafficking destination, certain realities in South Africa create the perfect backdrop for the exploitation of children:  the inflow of tourists, the ease with which people can cross its borders, high poverty levels and the lack of a specific anti-human trafficking law. South Africa has not yet made all forms of human trafficking illegal.  These deficiencies allow trafficked and exploited children into South Africa where they remain largely undetected and perpetrators escape punishment.

    South Africa’s tourism businesses have shown their commitment to prevent and help exploited children by signing and implementing The Code.  These businesses have been training their staff, repudiating the sexual exploitation of children and educating their customers with posters and flyers. These two events in Johannesburg (8 June) and Cape Town (9 June) showcased thirty signatories, mainly South African companies that are new to The Code: 

    Abang Africa Trust, Avis, Bickley House and Antrim Villa, Budget, Cape Grace, Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), Cape Town Tourism, City Lodge Hotels Ltd., City Sightseeing, Coral International Cape Town, Don Suites, Europcar, Fairfield Tours South Africa, First Car Rental, Greenways Hotel, Hotel le Vendome, Hertz, Peech Hotel, Peermont Hotels and Casinos, Protea Hotels, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Southern Sun, Spier, Taj Cape Town, The Backpack and Africa Travel Centre, Thebe Tourism Group, Tourvest Group, Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays and Winchester Mansions.
  • NGOs Deny Benefiting from Zim Diamonds

    Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) have ‘categorically rejected’ charges that they asked for one percent of the revenues generated by the sale of the Marange diamonds.

    Global Witness campaigner, Annie Dunnebacke, denied such an offer was made by her organisation or any of the other NGOs, adding that the offer to place the one percent proceeds in a protection fund is ‘outrageous’.

    Dunnebacke points out that, “The violence that continues to plague Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields – and the government’s blatant disregard for KP rules – indisputably signify that no exports should take place now.”

    To read the article titled, “NGOs deny asking for one percent of revenues from Marange Diamond Exports,” click here.
    Idex Online
  • Survey: ICT for Social Change Funding Landscape

    The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), as part of its Network of Networks project for a free and open internet, is conducting a survey into the information communication technology (ICT) for social change funding landscape.

    The organisation says the survey is aimed at tracking the shifts in funding and and making recommendations on collective advocacy with donors on funding.

    The APC says the survey will also examine the possibilities for creating an annual civil society summit on ICT public policy.

    To complete the survey, click here.
    Association for Progressive Communications
  • NGOs, COSATU, Criticise AIDS Funding Cuts

    Now is not the time to cut funding for HIV/AIDS. This is the message from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the World Aids Campaign.

    These organisations, together with Section27 and the Children's Rights Centre, among others, will be holding a march in Sandton on 17 June to the United States consulate, where they will hand over a memorandum calling on the US to reverse cuts on funding for HIV treatment.

    TAC secretary general, Vuyiseka Dubula, explained that while they are celebrating the milestones of one million people in South Africa receiving treatment for HIV/AIDS, and five million people receiving treatment around the world, there are still 10-million in need of treatment. Dubula stated that this is why they are targeting the FIFA World Cup, when the world is focused on South Africa.

    To read the article titled, “Warning against cuts in AIDS funding,” click here.
  • Governance Practices of National Non-Profit Bodies and National Networking Organisations in South Africa

    The Department of Social Development treats this report as a starting point in addressing the capacity needs of NPOs in South Africa. The report may be used as a tool to encourage and entrench good governance practices in the sector, not only to enhance functional ability, but also to meet the diverse service delivery needs of broader South African communities. The report recommends that government should work in partnership with the non-profit sector on a joint campaign to mobilise individuals in civil society and the private sector to offer their skills, experience and resources through service on NPO boards.

    For more information, click here (PDF).
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