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27 Oct 2023

Modjadjiskloof water problems continue Anwen Mojela Despite numerous attempts by residents to improve the water situation in Modjadjiskloof, the town still experiences major interruptions. Chantel Du Toit, a resident from Panorama in Modjadjiksloof says the lack of water is ongoing and there has been no improvement since the Herald reported on the issue last year. "This month alone we have been without water for seven days. It is a huge problem, especially if you do not have a water tank," she says.
27 Oct 2023

'Almost a third of Limpopo residents have no access to piped water By Steve Kretzmann and Bernard Chiguvare About 1.4million people in Limpopo have no piped water. Thousands of people scoop their drinking and cooking water from rivers and streams. All six of the local and the four district municipalities in the province responsible for treating and supplying water to residents are failing to provide water to communities within their areas. Seven of the 10 municipalities do not comply with the provisions of the Water Services Act. Some of these municipalities are also failing to spend grant funding for water infrastructure, with "millions of rands being returned to the National Treasury" at the end of the financial year.

26 Oct 2023

FESTIVAL Music, art, storytelling on the menu STAFF WRITER THE Cape Town Arts Festival, formerly the Cape Town Festival, returns in December. Held against the backdrop of the Castle of Good Hope, the festival will include live music performances, poetry readings, storytelling, Zumba, yoga, tai chi, live painting, art exhibitions, visual art installations, workshops, sculpting, food markets, and a Cape craft exhibition. Festival chief executive Yusuf Ganief said:
25 Oct 2023

Failing to improve literacy levels robs children of a future Call for urgent action to address instruction in schools SUE MACLENNAN Failing to ensure SA's children can read and understand what they're reading is condemning them to a life without a future. In a damning comparison, Rhodes University vicechancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela suggested there was little difference between apartheid education's goal of restricting opportunities for black people and the current shocking statistic that only 19% of SA's Grade 4 pupils can read for meaning. Mabizela was the keynote speaker at the Eastern Cape launch of Right to Read at Fikizolo Primary School in Makhanda recently. The campaign is spearheaded by the South African Human Rights Commission SAHRC , which holds that failing to ensure children have the skills needed to understand basic concepts is not just an educational handicap, but a fundamental violation of their constitutional and human rights. Guests were welcomed to the launch by SAHRC commissioner, advocate Andre Guam. In May 2023, minister of basic education Angie Motshekga revealed the statistic from a Progress in International Reading Literacy Study Pirls 2021 that only 19% of SA's Grade 4 pupils could read for meaning. Mabizela pulled no punches. Apartheid was a system to limit the opportunities available to black people, and control their social and political ambition, he noted. "Apartheid education was designed with the express purpose of entrenching and supporting apartheid ideology" he told the audience of teachers, academics, education officials and activists. He said the results of the Pirls study were shocking: "It amounts to condemning the young people of our country to a life without a future, a life with no hope." Reminding his audience that the right to a basic education is set out in Section 29 1 a of the constitution, Mabizela said: "It is therefore not just a social justice matter: it is a constitutional imperative. "The preamble of our constitution speaks of our intention to use it to 'heal the divisions of the past' and 'free the potential of each person'. "Fulfilling the right to a basic education is what unlocks all the other rights enshrined in the constitution." The Legal Resources Centre's Cameron McConnachie said: "It's not like this is a new problem." Referring to the projection that it would take 86 years to correct the deficit, he said: "That's 2108: surely something has to be done!" He said SA was not short on policies, frameworks and strategies that had been developed in the past 20 years to address the reading crisis in the foundation phase. McConnachie referred to the February 2023 document he and Sipumelele Lucwaba of Funda Wande authored, "Moving from inputs to outcomes". Past campaigns and strategies included Drop Everything and Read, Read to Lead, the Early Grade Reading Studies, the 2008 National Reading Strategy the Eastern Cape's Reading Plan 20192023 and the Western Cape Reading Strategy 20202025. Unlike regulations, these were not laws. "They represent what national and provincial governments hope to achieve their good intentions and aspirations with some principles and methods that the state hopes will be used to achieve them. "As excellent as many of these policies may be, they are not binding. "They do not set standards or procedures that must be followed. "There is also a real threat of policy overlap and contradic tion, with multiple role players pushing different policies and interventions." The campaign proposes binding regulations to improve literacy levels as quicldy as possible. "It's our collective responsibility" Mabizela said. He noted the significant social progress in various areas that had been made by civil society entities, such as the Treatment Action Campaign and universally available ARVs, Equal Education and school infrastructure, and the media's role in exposing corruption. McConnachie emphasised that while the campaign sought legal reform as a way to secure children's rights, it recognised this needed the support of the whole community including parents and teachers. The campaign was also intended to be realistic in what it could push for. "We might not be able to make it a rule that every parent spends 30 minutes a day reading to their child, but there are things that can be regulated," McConnachie said. The campaign proposes the regulations include the socalled four T's: time, text, teaching and testing. "Much of this is already there in the department's policies but is not carried out," McConnachie noted. He said the proposed regulations were not intended as a guide to best teaching practice, or another level of bureaucracy, or as a cure for the problem. "This is just one thing that we could adjust in helping to move the dial. "We are also not replacing the good work already done on literacy: this is adding another layer." The Right to Read campaign aims to make earlygrade literacy a national priority through legislative reform and the development of binding regulations for the first three grades. SIZWE NIABIZELA Apartheid education was designed with the express purpose of entrenching and supporting apartheid ideology

Source: Daily Dispatch
25 October 2023

'Funelani Nganeno' under the spotlight in Mangweni Sesane Mabuza MANGWENI The Kwalugedlane Tribal Authority was put under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons on Thursday October 12 during the stakeholders' engagement held in the trust. The meeting, which was facilitated by the Human Rights Commission of South Africa HRCSA , was attended by the SAPS provincial commissioner's office, the Department of Social Development, the Department of Basic Education, Octopus Network, the Nkomazi Paralegal Services Hub, the Hawks, the Gender Commission and the Kwalugedlane Tribal Authority.

20 October 2023

The Human Rights Commission in the Eastern Cape has found that school uniform and appearance policies infringe on pupils' dignity, including the regulation of hair length, enforcing gender-stereotypical uniforms, and treating appearance violations as disciplinary issues.

Binary school uniforms, according to the commission’s report, oppressed individuality and limited self-expression, with the cost of school uniforms being prohibitive and possibly leading to discrimination.
7 Oct 2023

Traumatised children now able to 'feel safe' in court after massive changes to testifying room Candice Bezuidenhout The waiting room at the Gqeberha High Court has undergone a renovation to make it a safer space for children who have to testify. Leon Hugo The children's witness and testifying rooms in the Eastern Cape High Court in Gqeberha was recently renovated.The facelift aims to create a conducive environment for children who are already traumatised.Children's rights groups have welcomed this initiative. Being the victim of a crime - especially a sexual crime - is already traumatising enough, but attending court and having to testify while looking the perpetrator in the eye, is another enormous challenge. This task becomes even more daunting for children.
04 Oct 2023

The SAHRC delegation and ActionSA members inspect the filing system at Shongwe Hospital. SAHRC happy with hospital * 4, 4 , t t 't `'‘, .6 4, 4 t The SAHRC and ActionSA members inspect the dispensary room. Photos: Sesane Mabuza 1 Sesane Mabuza SCHOEMANSDAL The South African Human Rights Commission SAHRC says it is happy with the progress that was made at Shongwe Hospital and mostly impressed with its cleanliness, filing department and pharmacy. This was after the commission's recent visit to inspect the hospital after ActionSA had laid a formal complaint regarding a number of issues about it in October 2022.
29 September 2023

HE SA Human Rights Commission says the relevant state organs have a moral, if not strictly legal, responsibility to ensure that vulnerable groups who depend on their grants get access to their money in a reliable manner every month. I COURTNEY AFRICA African News Agency ANA GRANT PAYOUTS SAT IRC in talks over beneficiary payment delays DAILY NEWS REPORTER THE SA Human Rights Commission SAHRC says it has met with the Social Development Department and the SA Social Security Agency Sassa on delays of payment to grant recipients after a number of recipients got some or none of their grants this month. Earlier in the month, Postbank reported that it had experienced a technical glitch that resulted in some payments not being cleared.
27 September 2023

In a recent turn of events, former Gauteng head of the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), Buang Jones has pulled out from the race to be considered by the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services for one of the positions of four full-time and two part-time commissioners.
25 September 2023

UFS lecturer reacts to racism complaints against him University of the Free State UFS lecturer Dr Pedro Mzileni says he is not being investigated by the South African Human Rights Commission regarding allegations of racism. His comments, which were posted on X on Saturday, follow a TimesLIVE report on the matter on Thursday. "In the past two days I have witnessed journalists and reputable media houses publishing a story about me that is false, a story that did not ask for my comments and a story that says I'm being investigated by the Human Rights Commission, whereas I am not." However, commission spokesperson Wisani Baloyi said on Saturday that its Free State office was investigating the matter, which relates to a recent guest lecture by Mzileni.
25 September 2023

SA Human Rights Commission puts hospital under microscope after normally routine operations have nightmarish outcomes HARROWING ORDEAL: Natasha Orien of Gelva nda le with her son Tyler, who emerged partially sighted and battling TB and septicaemia after undergoing an appendectomy at Livingstone Hospital Pictures: WERNER HILLS alconol. mamea commfttea to mons to ness interventions. Brandon Nel brandonn®theherald.co.za When her otherwise healthy 18yearold autistic son was wheeled into an operating room at Livingstone Hospital for an appendix operation, a Gqeberha mother never expected him to return partially sighted, battling septicaemia and tuberculosis.
A report by the South African Human Rights Commission has found that the right of access to clean water for people in KwaZulu-Natal to clean water has been violated for years. Chris Barron asked commissioner Philile Ntuli

24 September 2023

Is there anything in your report that comes as a surprise?

The blatancy of the disregard and contempt permeating the province for the people's right to water.

Does this also sum up the attitude of the authorities to your reports?
20 September 2023

POSTBANK, which was affected by technical glitches that resulted in delays in the payment of social grants, has indicated that it has cleared the payment backlog that caused strain between itself and grant beneficiaries. In a statement yesterday, the bank assured all those who were affected that its system issues had been resolved. "Postbank wishes to provide Sassa beneficiaries and the public with the assurance that, according to our records, all outstanding Sassa grant payments to recipients that were impacted by the systems incident of September 5th and 6th have been made," it said.
20 September 2023

POOR planning and management of resources are among the key factors affecting water supply in municipalities across KwaZuluNatal. This was found in the South African Human Rights Commission SAHRC KZN Water Inquiry report into the province's municipalities and water authorities, which stated that residents' rights had been violated as they had not been provided with clean drinking water. The inquiry was conducted in response to the current water crisis in KZN, where many have protested and called for action. The commission's provincial office said it had received more than 600 complaints regarding access to water since 2020. The commission has given governance entities 12 months to implement its recommendations, failing which further steps will be taken, including litigation, which will be brought before the Constitutional Court in instances where recommendations have been ignored. It found that there were "systemic failures in water provisioning, and the violation of multiple human rights".
20 September 2023

The SA Human Rights Commission SAHRC is mulling over several rights violation complaints levelled against social development minister Lindiwe Zulu and Postbank over the recent grant payments delay debacle. Yesterday morning, DA MP Bridget Masango lodged complaints of violations of rights to human dignity life and health care, arguing the grant payment delays prevented thousands of people from accessing food and medicine, and placed grant recipients' lives at risk. Earlier this month, about 600,000 SA Social Security Agency Sassa grant beneficia ries experienced payment delays, some for more than a week. "Delayed grant payments have plunged the poorest among us into profound suffering, impacting their dignity significantly," Masango said.
20 September 2023

THE South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise SCTIE said water challenges have an impact on local tourism and their member establishments. However, they note that the necessary steps are being taken by Ugu District Municipality to rectify the situation. On Monday the South African Human Rights Commission SAHRC released a report on the water crisis in KwaZuluNatal, which revealed that the municipalities in the province had violated the rights of residents to access water. Moreover, the report said some of Ugu District Municipality's residents had had no water for five months, but were billed in full.
19 September 2023

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is mulling over several rights violation complaints levelled against social development minister Lindiwe Zulu and Postbank over the recent grant payments delay debacle.

On Tuesday morning DA MP Bridget Masango lodged complaints of violations of rights to human dignity, life and healthcare, arguing the grant payment delays prevented thousands people from accessing food and medicine and placed the lives of grant recipients at risk.
19 September 2023

THE ETHEKWINI Municipality is among the municipalities that failed to provide the South African Human Rights Commissions SAHRC with more details referred to in their submissions and panel deliberations during the KwaZuluNatal water inquiry. The inquiry was held last year due to complaints from residents who claimed to have little to no access to water. The SAHRC said the deadline for the additional details was on October 19, 2022. The report said key issues raised by complainants did not indicate the complete lack of provision of water, but rather lengthy periods extending to weeks and months during which water services were disrupted. "Complainants express concern at the quality of water provided when services resume, and what they see as unfair billing practices during periods of no water provision, in the form of estimated charges, and continued billing. Residents who pay for water services are particularly aggrieved at not receiving water despite paying for this," stated the report.
14 September 2023

THE SA Human Rights Commission SAHRC is assessing requests from tertiary students to investigate the impact of service providers' alleged failure to disburse allowances from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme NSFAS . According to SAHRC education commissioner Andre Gaum, the complaints against NSFAS came from different provinces.
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