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Cape Town Museum turns to crowdfunding to stay afloat
9 July 2021, 3:09 PM

The District Six Museum in Cape Town has made an impassioned plea for donations from the general public, in order to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

District Six Museum battles to survive lockdown:

Executive Director at the Museum, Siddeeq Railoun, says the museum has conceptualised a crowdfunding initiative called Seven for Seven.

The progroamme is set to run for 77 days.

It was launched on the 7th of this month, with the aim of raising R7 million.

Railoun says the programme, which has already amassed close to half a million rand from the international community, is conceptually based on iconic seven steps of District Six.

Donations can be made to the museum’s website on www.districtsix.co.za.

“We decided to ask the world and not just South Africa to contribute their currency to these seven steps because as an institution the community has kept us alive. We now want to take our next seven steps and we are going to need financial resources for that”, says Railon.

US promises to add gender-neutral option on passports
30 June 2021, 8:34 PM

The United States said on Wednesday it would add a third gender option on US passports for people who do not define as male or female, in a victory for non-binary and intersex Americans.

Wednesday’s announcement adds the United States to a growing number of countries offering a third – or “X” – option on passports, including Canada, Germany, Australia and India.

The State Department also said that Americans would no longer need to provide medical certification if they wanted to change the gender on their passport.

It did not say when the new “X” gender marker would be available, only that it was in the process of “evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal”.

“With this action, I express our enduring commitment to the LGBTQI+ community today and moving forward,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.

LGBT+ advocates have long argued that strict male and female categories discriminate against non-binary and intersex people, who are born with atypical chromosomes or sex characteristics.

Several US states and cities, including New York, already allow Americans to opt for a third gender on identification cards and some major airlines announced plans to follow suit.

Section 100 intervention in N West should be reviewed: NCOP
30 June 2021, 7:00 PM

The National Council of Provinces Ad Hoc Committee on the Section 100 intervention in the North West, has recommended that the intervention in the province should be reviewed.

The committee, led by its chairperson China Dodovu, has presented its report which was subsequently approved by the National Council of Provinces.

The National Executive in 2018, placed a number of North West provincial government departments under administration.

This was sparked by allegations of rampant corruption and lack of service delivery, which led to violent protests.

The recommendations by the Ad Hoc Committee was tabled after a visit to the province recently.

The purpose of the visit was to assess progress made since the intervention was put in place.

Various stakeholders such as communities, the executive council led by Premier Job Mokgoro, legislature members and labour unions were consulted.

After consolidating its report, the AD Hoc Committee recommended that national government review the intervention.

Dodovu says much has been achieved.

” We believe that the intervention has worked to a larger degree. It has stabilise the province, the protests that you saw in the past are no longer there and we are also of the view that yes the North West province has been sufficiently babysitted and it is now time, that the national government must review that particular intervention.”

The ANC Interim Provincial Committee ( IPC) supports the recommendations by the Ad Hoc Committee.

” Undoubtedly the intervention has brought much needed stability in the North West province. We expect the next sitting of cabinet to pave a way forward on this matter. We also expect cabinet to provide an exit strategy that should go a long way in sustaining a stable provincial government. The appointments of heads of departments represents an important milestone brought by this intervention”, says IPC Spokesperson, Kenny Morolon.

Opposition parties in the province say although they do not support the notion that the intervention has worked, they however, call for it to be discontinued.

“An ideal situation would be for the administration to leave and allow MECs led by the premier to do their work because when they fail it will be easy for us to say it is your failure Ntate Mokgoro and your team. Currently we cannot say that because when you call him and start questioning that there are allegations of HODs who are employed or hired who are not qualified, he says mine was just to concur and the final decision rest with the minister,” says DA’s Chief Whip, Freddy Sonakile.

EFF Provincial Secretary, Papiki Babuile, agrees with Sonakile.

“We agree that cabinet must review the intervention, actually they must not review, they must go. They must stop the intervention and allow government to run its affairs so that we hold those who are in government accountable directly without them having any excuse that they are not in charge themselves.”

It is expected that the cabinet will discuss the committee’s recommendations in its next meeting to be held soon.

Renault
Renault revives models of the past for an electric future
30 June 2021, 6:10 PM

Renault unveiled a more ambitious strategy for electric vehicles (EVs) on Wednesday, betting on new, affordable versions of its iconic small cars of the past to catch up with Volkswagen in the fast-growing sector.

The French carmaker’s Chief Executive Luca de Meo said it would launch 10 new EVs by 2025 and that all-electric vehicles would account for up to 90% of its models by 2030, dropping its reliance on hybrids to hit the target under a previous plan.

Renault is betting that an electric version of its classic Renault 5 compact car, which was discontinued in the 1990s, will capture the imagination of today’s drivers when it goes on sale in the first half of 2024.

At a live-streamed presentation on Wednesday, the company also offered a fleeting glimpse of its new electric “4ever”. Two sources close to the company said it was a revival of the Renault 4 hatchback which went out of production last century.

De Meo said that new, purpose-built electric car platforms and a cluster of production sites in northern France would allow Renault to deliver EVs at a lower cost.

By 2030, Renault and its alliance partners, Nissan and Mitsubishi, will be producing one million EVs globally a year, up from the 200,000 they made in 2020, the French carmaker said.

IEC
It is possible to hold elections under safe conditions for voters: Maimane
30 June 2021, 5:37 PM

The Justice Moseneke Inquiry has heard that postponing the October 27th local government elections will seriously impact the running of municipalities.

Political parties have slammed the Electoral Commission accusing it of failing to reveal measures it has taken to ensure a free, fair, and safe local government election.

The inquiry led by retired Justice Dikgang Moseneke is looking into whether free and fair local government elections can be held under COVID-19.

Leader of One SA Movement, Mmusi Maimane, says it is possible to hold elections under safe conditions for voters.

He says the pandemic will be with us for a number of years and postponing the elections will not make a difference.

Maimane says at the slow rate at which vaccinations are being rolled out in South Africa is unlikely to achieve the so-called herd immunity in the foreseeable future, which has been touted as a pre-condition to hold safe elections.

Maimane says postponing the elections will impact the running of municipalities including the budget processes and the adoption of Integrated Development Plans.

“You will then be asking citizens to sponsor their subsidiary votes political parties who effectively do not have a mandate. And that would put a risk to the socio-economic conditions that citizens find themselves in. And I would urge if consideration is made that the IEC’s holding of elections on the 27th of October is a super spreader event, that could be the prevailing condition for other super spreader events sponsored by political parties on the streets where they feel a mandate ought to be sought in one way or the other and if it cannot be expressed in the ballot. It can be expressed elsewhere,” says Maimane.

 Justice Moseneke Inquiry proceedings:

ActionSA says the IEC has failed to reveal measures it has taken to ensure a free, fair, and safe local government election.

Its national chairperson, Michael Beaumont, says last year alone, about 75 general elections were held around the world and it was the IEC’s responsibility to analyse those elections and produce the best practice of how it would run a free, fair and safe election during a pandemic in South Africa and bring that to the table for discussion.  Beaumont says the IEC is not exercising its leadership role. He was quick to point out that his party was in no way trying to undermine the role and work of the inquiry.

“If this process begins prior to the IEC having conducted a public awareness campaign as to what measures it is taking to ensure people can vote safely, there is an extent that this process must accept that the level of confidence that must exist among a South African voter to exercise his vote will be low. And it has to then become a discussion of what measures must be taken between now and 27 of October to ensure that South Africans who want to vote have every opportunity to do so without fear for their safety and their lives”.

Youth organisation, Abatsha Force of Change,  argued against the postponement of elections citing previous by-elections that the IEC successfully held under strict COVID-19 protocols.

Abatsha’s Duduzile Dlamini questioned how far the IEC was in rolling out digital voting when the world is embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“Is it true that the IEC is ready for electronic voting and if yes, what could be the stumbling block to implement this? So, there are conversations about electronic voting systems that would take place in our country, these conversations have not materialised.”

Media Monitoring Africa says using the latest technology, elections observers could also monitor polls virtually without having to be physically on the ground and exposing themselves to COVID-19.

Media Monitoring Africa’s William Bird insists that the local government elections should go ahead as planned, however, with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.

In his presentation on the safety of journalists, Bird said that journalists routinely risk their lives gathering news, and if they take all the safety precautions, and are vaccinated during the drive targeted at essential services workers, they will be able to do their jobs.

“We expect our workers to go and stand in queues at taxi ranks on a daily basis just to get to work. We not saying they can’t go to work until we got rid of this virus, not at all because they have to, they have to feed their families. If you take the right precautions and if you have space and put all the protective measures, I can’t see that is anything that is worse or puts people at greater risk than standing in a queue to come to work at a taxi rank.”

However, the President of Action Content Movement, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, maintains that elections should be postponed until the country reaches herd immunity in terms of the vaccination process.

He says the focus should be on saving lives.

“We need scientific… we need medical professionals to lead us in this situation. And my appeal to you Justice Moseneke is you should not give weight to political parties because we are not specialists. What is important is to save the lives of people. We cant postpone life. Hospitals are full and we do not have vaccines. So our view is that  we need to postpone the elections.”

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