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ANC to choose leadership able to restore investors confidence: Godongwana
17 December 2017, 6:12 PM

Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee  sub-committee on Economic Transformation, Enoch Godwangana says the elective conference underway at Nasrec in Johannesburg, will choose leaders that will help restore investors confidence in South Africa.

Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Godongwana says the new leadership will undo the damage that led to the country’s economy being downgraded.

“All South Africans are watching quite carefully what economic policies are going to emerge out of this conference because those policies will have a bearing on how SA performs over the next few years. There’s traction for radical socio economic transformation.

“The devil is going to be in the detail, what kind of tools and instrument are we going to emerge with which will achieve that radical economic transformation. Over two decades the ANC has managed this country successfully and until the global crisis, managed to grow this economy successfully. So we have the talent, the skills and the political will,” Godongwana explained.

Click below to watch the conference as it happens: 

Discrimination, violence against LGTBIQ community remain rampant- Study
17 December 2017, 3:31 PM

A recent study by the South African Institute for Race Relations has revealed that discrimination and violence against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTIQ) community remains rampant in the country, despite a constitution that promotes freedom of choice.

In response to this, LGBTIQ people celebrated their third annual picnic in Kimberley, which seeks to raise awareness and fight stigmatisation. However, the group believes while strides have been made, churches are still not open-minded.

Taking a stand and celebrating their sexuality, the LGBTIQ community, displayed that they too matter. The group celebrated with their partners at a Kimberley Park which was decorated with their red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple flag.

Organiser Helen Dondolo says the picnic aims to create a safer space for the LGTBIQ community.

“What we are doing here is to also assist the gays and lesbians to be themselves. This event gives you a platform to be who you are and to be free. In Kimberley we don’t really have a lot of violence against gays and lesbians. They are starting to understand us because most of us in Kimberley we are out,” says Chairperson of passionate voices for women, Helen Dondolo.

Paul Kars, who is now named Paulina, says the journey of living as a transgender has not been an easy one. The 20-year-old Peer Outreach Worker at Lifeline says he is saved by his thick skin and accepting himself. Kars urges other transgender people not to be fazed by hate and slander.

“Personally the struggle that I am going through is the names that they are calling us. I am making myself brave, you will say whatever you want to say but that will never break me down. So I am trying to make other transgender people to feel like that, to feel confident about themselves. We are humans at the end of the day.”

Families, friends and activists supported the picnic and reminded people that the LGTBIQ community also deserves respect.

“Growing up in that family, I have learnt to support people across all spheres, to accept different people across all barriers. My part is to support my mother because her worth is much more than being a lesbian, before she is a lesbian, she is my mom,” says Zanele Rume.

With a report by the South African Institute of Race Relations calling out the Eastern Cape as the most homophobic province in the country, the group says the fight and awareness cannot stop.

Mapaila criticises Zuma’s speech
16 December 2017, 9:53 PM

South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Solly Mapaila has criticised President Jacob Zuma’s speech at the official opening of the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference in Nasrec in Johannesburg.

Zuma said the tensions that have built up between the parties over the years have come to a head. He also said it was unprecedented that the SACP, as an alliance partner, has marched side by side with historical opponents of the alliance.

Mapaila said the ANC and SACP still need each other to realise their vision of a better South Africa, but that it must happen in a reconfigured alliance.

“That part was extremely pathetic because he only gave one aspect of the view. He didn’t indicate what forced the alliance to speak outside the alliance framework, when we could not meet for more than a year because he didn’t want us to meet. So, he wanted to throttle us, to finish us as independent formations; and when we began to speak, so he cried out that we are speaking outside the platforms that we have. Which platforms were not provided for? That is why the reconfiguration of the alliance is extremely important and we are committed to that process.”

Click below for more on the story: 

Claims from Marikana shooting amount to more than R1 billion
16 December 2017, 8:53 PM

ANC President Jacob Zuma says government has received claims totalling more than R1 billion following the 2012 Marikana shooting.

Zuma says the claims relate to loss of support and injuries‚ while others related to wrongful arrest.

Thirty-four mineworkers were shot dead by police during the strike.

Zuma delivered his last political address as party leader after his 10-year stint at the helm of the governing party, on Saturday, at the 54th ANC National Elective Conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg.

“Government has received claims amounting to more than R1 billion relating to loss of support and injuries, while other relate to wrongful arrests arising from the killing of 34 miners by members of SAPS. Negotiations are ongoing between government lawyers and those of the affected families and workers. The training of the police service to manage protests continues in line with the post Marikana Farlam recommendations.”

Click below for more on the story: 

 

Church leaders, NGOs march for peace to mark Reconciliation Day
16 December 2017, 8:43 PM

While the country’s focus is at the ruling party’s 54th National Conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg, church leaders and various Non-Governmental Organisations have marched through the streets of Cape Town.

The march was part of the celebrations to mark Reconciliation Day. Protesters are calling for peace and justice.

Organisers say their objective is to highlight what they say is the unfinished business of reconciling the people of South Africa.

The march went through District Six, where the first forced removals of African people took place.

“We’re marching for peace and justice and we, as South Africans, who are gathered here today, believe that we cannot have peace without justice,” says March for Peace’s Deon Snyman.

The marchers believe there are a number of issues which our democracy has failed to address. These issues, they say, have stained the county’s peaceful transition to democracy.

“I think one of the challenges with reconciliation in South Africa is that there was no strong enough emphasis on justice and District Six is crying out for justice after so many years of democracy. Many residents in District Six feel that they did not receive justice,” says Snyman.

The organisers say they will continue to use Reconciliation Day to remind the government of what they call the country’s unfinished business.

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