South Africa

SWEAT: African Sex Worker Conference

Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) is a NGO that works with sex workers around health and human rights. SWEAT is hosting the African Sexworker Conference from 3-5 February 2009 in Johannesburg.

The conference will bring together sex workers, sex worker organisations, advocates, and supporters from across Eastern, Western and Southern Africa to share their knowledge and expertise on specific sex worker issues that cut across Africa’s countries and regions.

These include but are not limited to

CDRA: Supporting Sovereign Local Organisations

The Community Development Resource Centre (CDRA) is conducting a five-day course on Supporting Sovereign Local Organisations from 20–24 July 2009 in Cape Town.

This is a five-day course working with the core concepts, frameworks and elements of an organisation development practice. The course is aimed at helping experienced practitioners or leaders, in any field, to help them to build a more effective practice for supporting the development of sovereign local organisations.

Research and Training Institute on Women’s Rights and Citizenship 2009

Invitation for Applications

Political Studies at Wits University and the Women’s Rights and Citizenship Programme at IDRC are pleased to announce a Research and Training Institute on Women’s Rights and Citizenship, to be held from 22 June to 3 July 2009 and 22-29 November 2009 at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

SA, Denmark Sign Energy Deal

South Africa and Denmark have signed an energy cooperation agreement on wind energy.

The Department of Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica, points out that the country needs to grow its wind power capacity as this is the world’s fastest-growing energy source and provides more jobs than electric power stations.

SANAC Warns MPs of AIDS Funding Crisis

The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) has warned that the government’s AIDS programme is heading for a funding crisis.

SANAC deputy chairperson, Mark Heywood says that the government had failed to budget in line with the cost estimates laid out in its National Strategic AIDS Plan (NSP). 

Heywood states that the five-year plan was launched 18 months ago, and put a R45bn price tag on meeting its targets, which include treating four-fifths of those in need by 2011.

South Africa May Manufacture AIDS Drugs

South Africa may soon start manufacturing its own antiretroviral drugs to give more people living with HIV a chance to access the life-saving medication. This was announced by Parliament’s deputy speaker, Nozizwe Madlala- Routledge.

Speaking at the opening of a training session for parliamentarians from east and southern Africa on improving access to antiretrovirals, Madlala-Routledge, expressed concern that, “The high cost of drugs is making it impossible for people to access the drugs.”

SAHRC Wary of Political Pardons

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has added its voice to a coalition of civil society organisations calling for a revision of the presidential pardon process to address politically motivated crimes.

SAHRC chairperson, Jody Kollapen, says that if a special mechanism is set up to complete the unfinished business of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), that mechanism should follow the philosophy and architecture of the TRC.

IEC Expresses its Readiness for the Elections

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has assured South Africans that it is prepared for any date for the elections.

IEC chairperson, Brigalia Bam, told NGOs and FBOs that the commission has put all the necessary steps in place to ensure that the elections will be free and fair.

Bam says that unlike in other elections, 1 648 189 people have registered for the first time, with 77,9 percent of the new registrations falling in the youth category, which is in the 18 to 29 age bracket.

Eskom’s Power Project Costs Rise

Eskom says that while costs for its two new power plants had risen on the back of volatile commodity markets, they will be completed on time.

Company spokesperson, Fani Zulu, points out that the costs for the Medupi power station had risen to R100 billion from previous estimates of R84-billion. Costs for Kusile are now estimated at R111 billion, up from previous forecasts of R80 billion.

TAC Slams China for Deporting HIV Positive Musician

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has condemned the deportation of a Cape Town musician who was kicked out of China due to her HIV-positive status.

The woman, who refused to be named, has since returned to Cape Town after she was allegedly ordered by the Chinese authorities to leave that country when her blood tests showed she was HIV-positive.

TAC has described the singer's deportation a "gross human rights violation" and a "setback" to the prevention and anti-stigmatisation campaigning doneby AIDS activists.

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