Daily Archives: August 24, 2017

Men, women must join forces against patriarchy

Deputy President Ramaphosa says South African men and women must work together to help the country realise a non-sexist society, in which all can enjoy equal rights and opportunities.

He said government’s efforts to build a non-racial and non-sexist society are undermined by the persistence of patriarchal cultures and practices in the country.

He was replying to Parliamentary Questions in Cape Town on Wednesday. The Deputy President said it is essential that South Africa works to eradicate patriarchy in all its forms in the country.

To a significant extend, patriarchy continues to define relations within the home, where women are often confined to play inferior roles such as perform unpaid domestic labour.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said constraints that are imposed on women, limits their opportunities to find work and access a number of opportunities including education.

The unequal economic relations in the home are extended to the exclusion and segregation of women in the labour market as well. Women in South Africa continue to face challenges in increasing and in key and meaningful senior management positions as well as decision making positions. In many cases, women earn less than men for similar work.

He quoted the report on status of women, which shows that where women are employed it is often in precarious and insecure positions.

As a result, he said, women are more likely to live below the poverty line than males with rural women being much more vulnerable than their urban counterparts.

Patriarchal relations are also prevalent in institutions like the State, where men tend to dominate despite formal equality that is often a bias against women.

Gender based violence

On the issue of gender based violence, the Deputy President said it was alarming manifestations of patriarchy, that were exacerbated by institutional norms and social conditioning which pressure men to have political/financial/social as dominion over women.

Because the various forms of patriarchy are interrelated, the Deputy President said government has been working with civil society to deal with the challenges in a holistic manner.

While the family unit is an important starting point, we cannot focus only on the family in attempts to reverse patriarchal attitudes. The democratic government has promulgated a number of legislative instruments and has embarked on a number of programmes to address the structural manifestation of patriarchy.

Some of the efforts that have been embarked upon include the provision of more affordable responsive finance, ensuring women are the primary beneficiary of government social grants, mobilising women farmers into agricultural coops, he said.

He said through partnerships with men’s organisations, men are challenging themselves and other men on patriarchal attitudes, and the ability of these interventions to effectively reverse patriarchal relations however depends on the collective commitment of all in society.

Source: South African Government News Agency

24 MSF Facilities Damaged, Looted in South Sudan

JUBA � The head of Doctors Without Borders said armed groups have looted two dozen of the aid group’s medical facilities in South Sudan during the past 18 months, and is demanding the government provide better protection.

Joanne Liu is international president of the group, known by its French acronym MSF. She spoke to South Sudan in Focus after a trip to the country where she toured MSF facilities and met with President Salva Kiir.

Liu said the sad truth is that rather than protect medical facilities, warring parties in South Sudan will often target them.

After visiting the town of Waul Shiluk, where she saw a destroyed MSF facility up close, she said she told Kiir and other top officials that the looting and destruction of medical facilities in South Sudan is costing lives.

It’s just a reflection of the violence that is happening and what it does, as the biggest consequence, it’s depriving people of health care when it’s most needed, Liu said.

MSF medical facilities have also destroyed been in places like Pibor, Leer, and Kodok, but Liu said the level of destruction she saw in Wau Shiluk was chilling.

We had to take a boat for half an hour, then we had to walk for half an hour. It was clear to me when I went there and walked through Wau Shiluk that it has been completely burned down and looted. Our facility, which was a PHCC [primary health care center] of 30 beds, is completely gone, Liu said.

Not pulling out

Despite rampant insecurity across South Sudan, mired in the fourth year of a war between pro-Kiir and anti-Kiir forces, Liu said her organization has no plans of pulling out.

MSF is deeply committed to stay and work here in South Sudan, stand by the civilian population and offer as much as we can, she said. “For us, it’s absolutely imperative that all parties to the conflict respect and protect civilians and people must be allowed to have access to life-saving services.”

Government responds

Kir spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told VOA on Thursday that the government is committed to protecting services like MSF.

[W]e always observe the fact that we have to make sure we protect the medical facilities of the organizations that are helping our people, he said.

He said any damage to medical facilities caused by government forces was inadvertent and happened as soldiers defended themselves.

Speaking on August 18 in Juba, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Hussein Mar Nyuot said it is government policy to provide safety and conducive working environment to all the humanitarian workers in the country.

He added the government supports aid delivery to South Sudanese citizens in both government- or rebel-controlled areas.

Upper Nile State

But the destruction and looting of medical facilities continues across the country.

Liu said the war has taken a particularly devastating toll on civilians in the former Upper Nile State.

When I was in the clinic in Aburoch and the clinic in Malakal, what was very striking is that people have lost hope because they have moved four times over the last few months and started from scratch all over again, she said. They have no prospects of anything positive to come.”

Liu said the lack of access to people in need is a huge problem. She added that MSF’s clinic in Aburouch is totally inaccessible by road due to insecurity.

“Access in all its forms, people [trying] to access our facilities is an issue, it’s difficult for them,” she said. “And us accessing places that have concentrations of communities like in Aburoch, [where] there are about 16- to 18,000 people, is very difficult.”

She said MSF appealed to authorities to ensure people can reach medical clinics when needed.

We ask for access, we ask for respect where we work for our mobile units, for the facilities where we have people, not for us but for the patients, she said.

Source: Voice of America

SOUTH AFRICA: DAM LEVELS CONTINUE TO TAKE A BLOW

PRETORIA, Aug 24 (NNN-SANEWS) — As dam levels continue to decrease, South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation has urged people to use water sparingly and always monitor water usage.

According to the department’s weekly dam levels report, issued on Tuesday, a continued decrease in most of the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) dams was recorded.

The IVRS is made up of 14 dams and remains the lifeblood of Gauteng province and major industries such as Sasol and Eskom.

The Vaal Dam is down by 1% to 90.5% this week from 91.5% last week. During a similar period last year, it was dangerously sitting at 34.1%, the department reported.

Grootdraai also took a blow from last week’s 82.7% to 81.7% this week. Compared to a similar period last year, it was sitting at 77.0%.

Sterkfontein boasts a slight increase this week, as the dam level sits at 82.1% compared to 82.0% last week. Last year this time, the figures were at 89.5%.

This remains the reserve dam for the IVRS, the department said.

The figures at Bloemhof show a slight decrease from last week’s 99.1% to 97.5% this week � still a satisfactory result compared to last year’s 24.9% recorded during a similar period.

Katse and Mohale dams also saw a drop from 30.2% and 63.2% to 27.9%, and 63.1 this week respectively. During this period last year, the dams were 47.1% and 31.7% full.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Gauteng Legislature conducts oversight on Departments, 26 Aug

GPL adopting a targeted policing precincts’ focused oversight approach

Portfolio Committees of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) conduct daily oversight on different Departments of the Gauteng Provincial Government to ensure that service delivery is realised in the province.

In line with this, GPL’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety will, on Saturday 26 August 2017, launch its recently adopted method of oversight known as the ‘Targeted Policing Precincts’ Focused Oversight Approach’. The method was adopted after wide consultation with the residents of Gauteng and all other affected stakeholders. It aims to assist the Gauteng Department of Community Safety and other Law Enforcement Agencies in the province to succeed in their mandate of creating a safe and crime free province.

Through this method, the Committee will provide more focused oversight to ensure collaboration and partnerships between law enforcement agencies and residents. This is also envisaged to ensure that local Police Stations improve their services to communities.

The Programme is in line with the Committee’s oversight role over the Department of Community Safety and Law Enforcement Agencies in the province.

The launch will be hosted in partnership with the Community Safety Committee of the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

During the launch Law Enforcement Agencies in the Sedibeng area will present to the Committee the state of safety in the area as well as their safety plans to ensure that ensure that communities are safe and secure.

Prior to the launch of the programme the Committee together will the representatives of the Emfuleni Local Municipality and Law enforcement agencies in the area will embark on a crime awareness campaign by walking from the Rorisang Old Age Centre (Sebokeng) to the Saul Tsotetsi Sports Complex and share crime prevention advice and handouts to residents.

Source: Government of South Africa

Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams attends Eastern Cape Young Women Summit, 26 Aug

Women United in Moving South Africa Forward � Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams joins the Eastern Cape Young Women Summit

The Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams will, on Saturday, 26 August 2017, lead a dialogue under the theme, ICTs for women empowerment. The dialogue will take place during the provincial Young Women Summit hosted by Eastern Cape Transport, Safety & Liaison MEC, Ms. Weziwe Tikana.

Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams will be joined by the Minister of Tourism, Deputy Minister of Labour and the Department of Trade & Industry, who will also host sessions and engage with the 400 female learners, students and entrepreneurs on the various opportunities in their respective sectors.

Held during Women’s Month, the Young Women Summit aims to:

Facilitate enterprise development.

Ensure that district and local municipalities adopt Young Women Empowerment Programmes.

Facilitate networking and support of young women in transport, ICT, tourism and other key sectors.

Develop an action plan for the provincial Young Women Empowerment Programme.

Encourage young women to penetrate and succeed in the various industries through training, skills transfer, coaching and mentoring.

The summit will bring together government departments, State Owned Entities and Private Companies under the theme, The year of OR Tambo: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward.

Source: Government of South Africa