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  • Commitment to reducing inequality: Southern African Rankings

    By Tony | July 27, 2017

    South Africa has been ranked 21 and Swaziland 140 out of 152 countries on the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index.

    Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) have developed the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index which seeks to measure the commitment of governments to reducing inequality. They state the index is work in progress and they welcome feedback. Initially they have focussed on three areas which they believe are critical to reducing inequality, social spending, tax and labour rights.

    193 countries promised to reduce inequality as part of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015.  They accepted to eliminate poverty inequality had to be reduced.

    South Africa is ranked 21 out of 152 on its commitment to reducing inequality. The best ranking of any African country. The first ten are European countries. Great Britain is ranked 17 and USA 23. Swaziland is ranked 140 the second worst of any African country with Nigeria the only African country ranked worse.

    Namibia is ranked 40, Lesotho 49, Mauritius 48, Mozambique 52, Zimbabwe 53, Malawi 56, Seychelles 63, Tanzania 78, Zambia 84, Botswana 105, DRC 108.

    Click here for more details on the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 

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    Compensation not Procrastination: Justice for Silicosis Sufferers

    By ACTSA | March 3, 2017

    On 4 March 2017, it will be one year since a Read the rest of this entry »

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    Are Human Rights less of a priority for UK and Southern Africa?

    By ACTSA | December 10, 2015

    In November a committee of the UN approved a motion recognising the role of human rights defenders and the need for their protection. This will go to the UN General Assembly in December. It was agreed by 117 votes for, 14 against and 40 abstentions.

    Those against, led by China and Russia argued the terminology is loose, who is, who defines a human rights defender? They argued no individual or group can be above the law and why should human rights defenders be singled out for protection.

    Some members of the UN see human rights as largely a western Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: News, News from ACTSA | No Comments »

    Civil society groups call for rural women not to be neglected in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

    By ACTSA | October 15, 2015

    25 civil society organisations, including ACTSA, issued a statement on the International Day for rural women( 15 October) calling on African governments to ensure rural women are the central focus for sustainable development.

    The statement said the social and culture factors which prevent rural women’s access to, control and use of land should be addressed. Discrimination has to be overcome,”” rural women in sub-Saharan Africa produce most of the food in the region and yet, due to discrimination Read the rest of this entry »

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    August E-Update

    By ACTSA | August 25, 2015

    Hello,

    Welcome to August’s issue of ACTSA’s E-update with a brief rundown on key issues from across southern Africa, in addition to a summary of what we’re getting up to at the moment.

    Hope you find it interesting and informative. Gives us feedback by emailing info@actsa.org

    News in brief

    Swaziland:  Unfair Trial, Arbitrary Detention and Judicial Impropriety in Swaziland Read the rest of this entry »

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    SADC People’s Summit Communique

    By ACTSA | August 20, 2015

    More than 500 representatives from a range of Southern Africa civil society organisations met in Botswana on 15 and 16 August and developed and presented a communique to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government. The communique was received by the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary. It covers seven thematic areas:

    1.Tax Justice and the Fight against Illicit Financial Flows

    2. African Solidarity, Migration and People’s  movement

    3.Governance, Democracy and Human Rights

    4.Cross-border traders, small-scale farmers

    5.Trade Negotiations and Agreements

    6.Climate Change

    7.Agricultural Finance,  Seed Sovereignty and Climate  Justice

    The whole document is available here: Gaborone SADC People’s Summit 2015 Communique Document

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    International Nelson Mandela Day

    By ACTSA | July 22, 2015

    In 2009, the United Nations declared that 18th July, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, would be named Nelson Mandela International Day, in recognition of his contribution to peace, reconciliation and justice.   The UN called upon people to donate 67 minutes, one for every year that Nelson Mandela gave to public service, to support voluntary and community activity.

    Unsurprisingly, South Africans took to this with huge enthusiasm, and there are now so many events that the celebration has been extended over the whole of July.   There will be celebrations across the whole country.  People have been sewing blankets to keep people warm on the cold winter nights, and nights in the mountains of South Africa are cold.   People have been collecting books for libraries in remote rural areas, and in the impoverished townships.   People have been raising money for community projects.   And all this is done in a spirit of celebration of the life and legacy of an incredible man.

    And people the whole world over have thrown themselves into the celebration.    This year, for instance, there will be a poetry slam and live art demonstration in Denver, USA.   In Napier, New Zealand, they will be raising funds for a community project.   In Hanoi, Vietnam, they will be donating blood.   In New York, there will be a commemorative event at the United Nations.    In Owerri, Nigeria, they will be celebrating through fundraising.

    In London there will also be a celebration.   On Friday 17th July, there will be a concert at South Africa House, to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation, where young South African artists such as Mi Casa and Toya Delazy will be performing.   On Saturday 18th July, Mandela’s birthday, there will be a festival of music and arts at the South Bank Centre.   So, just wander along the river by the Royal Festival Hall, and look for the sculpture of Mandela’s head.

    In Glasgow, we will be sending a large container of children’s books (I am guessing at 40,000 but we will not know until the day) to schools and public libraries in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.   Mandela himself was born at Mvezo, near Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, and retired to where he was born.  He is now buried there.

     Our volunteers have been sorting and packing these books for several weeks now, and there are still thousands to be packed with only four days to go.

    The container will leave City Chambers, George Square, Glasgow at 2.30pm on Saturday 18th July.   It will be sent on its way to the Eastern Cape by Sadie Docherty, the Lord Provost.   This will be followed by a Civic Reception in which the guests will be entertained by Charlie and the Bachelors, a local jazz band, and Magnus Walker, a young baritone, will sing “Nkosi Sikelel’I Afrika”.

    This year, the world is celebrating Nelson Mandela’s legacy in style.   And in 2018, it will be the centenary of his birth, so start making your plans now.   Mayibuye I Afrika!

    Topics: News | 1 Comment »

    Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini released on bail

    By ACTSA | July 15, 2015

    The Supreme Court ordered the release on bail of Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini after they served nearly 15 months in jail. They were not brought to trial. The charges against them have not been dropped and they are banned from attending and addressing political rallies.

    Read the full article here:

    http://news.yahoo.com/swaziland-frees-opposition-politicians-175027397.html

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    Judge Masipa expresses concerns about state ignoring court rulings

    By ACTSA | July 6, 2015

    Judge Thokozile Masipa, South Africa’s second black woman High Court judge who became internationally known when she presided over the trial of Oscar Pistorius expressed concern about the South Africa government ignoring court rulings at a lecture in London on 2 July  jointly sponsored by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), the Human Rights Law Association of Britain, the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association  and hosted by Hogan Lovells business and human rights practice.

    John Battersby, a well-known journalist and editor, attended the talk and wrote this article for South Africa’s ‘Business Day’ news website: http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/law/2015/07/03/masipa-voices-concern-about-state-ignoring-court-rulings

    You can also read the full text of the talk here: http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/stnews/2015/07/05/Read-Judge-Masipas-full-speech-here

    Topics: News from ACTSA | No Comments »

    Statements on the Marikana Inquiry

    By ACTSA | July 1, 2015

    National Union of Mineworkers Statement: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=10588

    Lonmin mining company statement:  http://www.lonmin-farlam.com/

    Bench Marks Foundation statement:  http://www.bench-marks.org.za

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