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  • The Run-Up To Local Elections
    Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, Hanns Seidel Foundation

    The Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office and the Hanns Seidel Foundation is hosting a roundtable discussion under theme ‘The Run-Up to Local Elections’ on 8 July 2016 in Cape Town.
     
    On 3 August 2016 South Africans will be heading to the polls for the fifth democratic local government elections. Various questions arise: Will the successful parties respond to the needs of local communities? What are the parties offering to the electorate? Will we have better service delivery? Will there be significant shifts in power in the big cities?
     
    Speakers: 

    • Kevin Mileham, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister, Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs
    • Bernard Joseph, Economic Freedom Fighters, Western Cape Chairperson
    • African National Congress Representative (To be announced); and
    • Prof Cherrel Africa, Deputy Dean of the Economic and Management Sciences Faculty, University of the Western Cape. 

    Time: 9h00 for 9h30 - 13h00
     
    To indicate (with ‘yes’ or ‘no’) if you will staying for lunch.
     
    RSVP: Tel: 021 461 1417, Email: kenny@cplo.org.za by 6 July 2016
     
    Parking is available in the Interpark Parkade from level M, situated next to the hotel. Hotel parking is limited and is therefore subject to availability on the day of the event. Please specify to the parking attendant that you are attending a CPLO conference.
     
    For more information, refer to www.cplo.org.za/the-run-up-to-local-elections-8-july-2016.
     
    For more about the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, refer to www.cplo.org.za.
     
    For more about Hanns Seidel Foundation, refer to http://www.hss.de/suedafrika/en/home.html

    Event Start Date: 
    Friday, 8 July, 2016
    Event End Date: 
    Friday, 8 July, 2016
    Event Venue: 
    The Townhouse Hotel, 60 Corporation Street, Cape Town
    Location: 
    Cape Town


  • South Africans will from today, 30 June 2016, consume processed food with reduced salt as new legislation kicks in

    South Africans Eating Less Salt from Today as New Law Kicks In

    BY Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa
     
    From today, 30 June 2016, South Africans will be eating less salt, and most people will be blissfully unaware. New legislation to reduce salt in processed foods comes into effect on 30 June 2016.
     
    South Africans eat on average double the recommended daily salt limit of 5 grams a day. Most of this salt does not come from what consumers add themselves, but rather from what is added during manufacturing. Excess salt intake can raise blood pressure, thereby contributing to heart disease, strokes and kidney disease. From today, South Africans will eat a little less salt as legislation comes into effect to reduce the salt content of commonly consumed foods.
     
    Most salt is hidden in everyday foods
     
    On average, 4 slices of bread provides 1.6 grams or a quarter teaspoon of salt per day - a third of the recommended maximum. A portion of sausage or boerewors can provide 2.5 grams of salt. Even sweet breakfast cereals can bump up salt intake by another gram. Surprised? Consumers can use www.saltcalculator.co.za to find out where the salt in their diet comes from.

    The three-year wait is finally over

    The amendment to the foodstuff regulations was published in the Government Gazette in March 2013. A three-year implementation period was granted to allow time for manufacturers to experiment with reformulation and produce lower salt products that are still acceptable to consumers. From today, all manufacturers need to abide to new salt levels.

    Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s ground-breaking bill imposes maximum salt level targets for a basket of commonly consumed foods. Foods affected includes bread, breakfast cereal, margarines and butter, savoury snacks, potato crisps, processed meats, sausages, soup and gravy powders, instant noodles and stocks. Each of these food categories has an individual target to be achieved by today, and another stricter limit that needs to be met by 2019.

    The impact of reduced salt on heart diseases and strokes
     
    In a simulation study, researchers estimated that a reduction of salt from breads, margarine, soup and seasonings will amount to a 0.85 gram daily reduction per person.  Using expected improvements in blood pressure and national statistics, they calculated the expected impact on our nation’s health. This level of salt reduction is estimated to result in 7 400 fewer cardiovascular deaths and 4 300 fewer non-fatal strokes every year1.
     
    Are food manufacturers worth their salt?

    The big question is whether companies are on target to meet the deadline and if the foods on our shelves are actually lower in salt? Sibonile Dube, corporate affairs director for Unilever SA says, “All our products being manufactured, post June 2016, will be 100 percent compliant to the salt regulations. There will still be some older stock in circulation, but we can assure consumers that we have met these targets.” Le-Anne Engelbrecht, brand manager at SASKO breads, echoes this response: “SASKO has been hard at work to align with the required salt regulations and is well on track to meet the sodium targets within the specified deadline.”
     
    Legislation is not a standalone solution

    While legislation is an important step, it will not completely resolve our excess salt intake. South African consumers add on average 4 grams of salt to food at home. This alone nearly meets the World Health Organisation’s maximum limit of 5 grams or 1 teaspoon per day. There are also many foods that are not included in the legislation either. Salted peanut butter contains 800 times more salt than the unsalted variety.
     
    Foods affected by legislation like potato chips and processed meats will still be very salty even after target levels have been met. Not forgetting takeouts - a fried chicken or burger meal provides double to triple our daily intake, sometimes even more. Consumers should read food labels to compare products and demand less salty products. All foods with the Heart Mark logo have been evaluated and are lower salt options. Of course our responsibility doesn’t end whilst shopping - adding less salt whilst cooking and at the table is just as important.

    1 Bertram et al. reducing the sodium content of high-salt foods: Effect on cardiovascular disease in South Africa. S Afr Med J 2012;102(9):743-745. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.5832

    About the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa

    The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) plays a leading role in the fight against preventable heart disease and stroke, with the aim of seeing fewer people in South Africa suffer premature deaths and disabilities. The HSFSA, established in 1980 is a non-governmental, nonprofit organisation which relies on external funding to sustain the work it carries out.
     
    The HSFSA aims to reduce the cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden in South Africa and ultimately on the health care system of South Africa. Our mission is to empower people in South Africa to adopt healthy lifestyles, make healthy choices easier, seek appropriate care and encourage prevention.

    For more information contact the Heart and Stroke Health Line on 0860 1 HEART (43278). Alternatively, contact Nuraan Cader, Public Relations & Communications Officer, email: nuraan@heartfoundation.co.za or faith@heartfoundation.co.za  (Public Relations Intern), Tel: 021 422 1586.
     
    For more about the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, refer to or refer to www.heartfoundation.co.za.
     
    You can also find us on www.facebook.com/HeartStrokeSA and www.twitter.com/SAHeartStroke.

    Photo Courtesy: wordpress



  • SA Should Keep Standing Up Against Violence Against LGBT Persons – At Home and Abroad

    As the spotlight falls on the adoption of South Africa’s landmark Constitution, 20 years ago this year, one of its striking features -- the inclusion of the first-ever constitutional guarantee of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation -- is also under global scrutiny.

    The scene is set at the current session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, until Friday, 1 July 2016. The Human Rights Council is the UN’s primary human rights body, tasked with advancing and overseeing the protection and promotion of human rights in UN Member States. South Africa is currently represented in the 47-member Council.

    Seven Latin American States (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay) have tabled a resolution calling for the establishment of an Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. One of the means through which the Council aims to ensure the realisation of human rights is the appointment of Independent Experts dealing with specific human rights themes (such as torture and violence against women).
     
    Why South Africa Should Give its Support
     
    When the vote for this proposal comes up, which is expected on Friday, 1 July 2016, South Africa should support such a new mechanism, for five reasons.
     
    First, it aligns with our domestic constitutional obligation to address discrimination on any ground, given our own historical experience of racism and discrimination. It also acknowledges that legal provisions need to be given practical effect by putting in place effective institutional arrangements.
     
    Second, it builds on the leading role South Africa has taken within the United Nations and on the African continent in advancing the protection and promotion of the rights of everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2011, we took the lead by introducing the first-ever resolution on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity for adoption by the Human Rights Council. The adoption of this resolution, bringing particular attention to the issue of violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, was followed up in 2014 by another resolution, which South Africa again strongly supported.
     
    Third, it aligns with South Africa’s own strategy of a gradual and constructive approach that focuses on concrete solutions. In March of this year, South Africa organised and hosted the first regional African seminar on Finding Practical Solutions for Addressing Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, which made a series of recommendations that are exactly the measures that an Independent Expert could support.
     
    Fourth, it is in line with our commitments under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The African Commission in 2014 adopted a resolution affirming that all state parties to the African Charter are expected to curb violence and other human rights violations based on a person’s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity; and must investigate such crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. The African Commission is the primary human rights body of the African Union (AU), tasked with advancing and overseeing the protection and promotion of human rights in AU Member States. In 2016, the African Union celebrates 30 Years of Human Rights, marking the period since the entry into force of the African Charter (in 1986).
     
    Finally, it builds on a series of positive recent developments elsewhere on the continent where African leaders, governments, parliaments, courts and national human rights institutions are standing up for the rights of sexual minorities. At the UN, 15 African States have made voluntary commitments to combat violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, showing that there is clear momentum not just in the region but also worldwide and a need for guidance and support from the UN to support the fulfilment of these commitments.
     
    No time for prevarication
     
    The position taken by the South African government recently in Geneva that it would not support the appointment of such an expert hovered between actual resistance and unexplained reticence. Positive indications are that the South African government has now changed its initial approach and will support the proposed resolution. While the government is to be commended for finally adopting an approach in line with its constitutional obligations, one would hope that this is also a sign of more consistent coherence between domestic law and external positions on this topic.
     
    In the past, South Africa’s international stance on sexual orientation and gender identity within UN structures has unfortunately not always been in harmony with its domestic constitutional position. Up to 2011, our support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons’ rights was ambiguous at best. More recently, South Africa has been obstructing LGBT non-governmental organisations from being granted the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) consultative status, and failed to expressly condemn draconian legislation to jail and persecute lesbian and gay people in countries such as Nigeria, The Gambia and Uganda.
     
    South Africa’s contradictory stances at home and abroad have been ascribed to its concern for solidarity with Africa. Although one appreciates the quest for regional acceptance, this sentiment cannot be invoked to give credence to the notion that protecting LGBT persons against violence is ‘un-African’. The recent decriminalisation by Mozambique and the Seychelles of same–sex sexual relations between consenting adults, the fact that many countries in the region have never criminalised same-sex relations and that several support the proposed resolution at the Human Rights Council and have shown openness to dialogue on this issue, confirm that the view on this issue among African states is varied and changing. The notion of a united African front on this issue has been further eroded when two African states (Angola and Benin) emerged as co-sponsors of the resolution currently under consideration.
     
    Vote for dignity
     
    There is no room for doubt. If South Africa does not support the establishment of the Independent Expert, it will send a terrible message that South Africa is turning its back on the widely documented killings and brutal violence that people continue to face – in South Africa and in the rest of the world – on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. In effect, it would deny the LGBT community the right to live in dignity.
     
    Our Constitution stands proud in its defence of the fundamental dignity and rights of all persons without exception. Ours is a proud history of combatting unjust violence and discrimination.  By putting its weight behind this resolution and defending it from attacks, the South African government will not only affirm the values of our celebrated 20-year old Constitution, but also ensure that the promise of the AU’s Year of Human Rights is made real for some of those who are most vulnerable to violence on our continent.
     
    - Yasmin Sooka, Executive Director, Foundation for Human Rights; Monica Tabengwa, Acting Director, Pan African ILGA; Frans Viljoen, Director, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. This article first appeared on the Centre for Human Rights website

    Photo Courtesy: earhustle



  • 2015 SA Reconciliation Barometer Survey
    Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)

    The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), the Democracy Development Programme (DDP) and (KAS), are hosing a briefing on the 2015 SA Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) Survey on Thursday, 28 July 2016 in Durban.
     
    The SARB Survey is the only South African public opinion survey of its kind that measures public opinion on national unity reconciliation. The survey was conducted among a national representative sample Konrad Adenauer Stiftung of South Africans during August and September 2015.
     
    In the middle of a local government year where South Africans feel financially pressured and racially polarised, the IJR, with the support of the DDP and KAS, will release more of its key findings related  to how South Africans view each other, their own living conditions, and economic wellbeing.
     
    Join the IJR for a discussion on these findings and their implications.
     
    For more on the survey, refer to www.ijr.org.za.
     
    For more about the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, refer to www.ijr.org.za.
     
    For more about the Democracy Development Programme, refer to www.ddp.org.za.
     
    For more about Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, refer to www.kas.de/wf/en.
     
    For more information, refer to http://ddp.org.za/calendar/2015-sa-reconciliation-barometer-survey.

    Event Start Date: 
    Thursday, 28 July, 2016
    Event End Date: 
    Thursday, 28 July, 2016
    Event Venue: 
    Durban
    Location: 
    Durban


  • Stateless Child Born Every 10 Minutes Globally

    The United Nations Refugee Agency says a stateless child is born every 10 minutes around the world

    The United Nations Refugee Agency says a stateless child is born every 10 minutes around the world.
     
    The agency says there are about 10 million stateless people in the world and that 30 percent of them are children.
     
    It says this is mainly due to discriminatory citizenship laws which are exacerbated by the fact that most countries grant citizenship based on descent.
     
    To read the article titled, “Stateless child is born every 10 minutes globally: UN,” click here

    Source: 
    SABC Online