New plan champions rights of people with HIV, TB

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, says the Human Rights Plan launched at Gugu Dlamini Park in Durban on Tuesday was developed to strengthen the human rights of people with HIV and Aids, TB and STIs.

The Minister called on government, civil society, the private sector and development partners to work together to ensure that the plan is executed in all parts of society, including in homes, communities, schools, institutions of higher learning and workplaces.

Mkhize said the plan is a comprehensive response to human rights and gender-related barriers to HIV and TB services. The plan will also tackle the stigma and discrimination faced by people when trying to access essential civic and health services.

“They experience the worst forms of stigma and discrimination at the hands of their families, community members and regrettably many civil servants,” Mkhize said.

The findings of the Stigma Index Survey conducted in 2014 painted a dire picture of the prevalence of stigma experienced by those affected and infected by HIV and TB.

“This challenge extends to other key and vulnerable populations such as sex workers and the LGBTIQ+ populations, especially transgender individuals.

“They experience the worst forms of stigma and discrimination at the hands of their families, community members and regrettably many civil servants,” Mkhize said.

The launch of the Human Rights Plan was held at Gugu Dlamini Park to honour Gugu Dlamini, a woman from KwaMancinza, eastern KwaZulu-Natal. She was killed after disclosing her HIV status on radio.

Mkhize praised Dlamini’s courageous spirit in disclosing her status.

“Dlamini’s untimely passing is indeed an example of the supreme price paid because we have not been able to fully address stigma and discrimination. Every one of us must redouble our efforts in ensuring that no one is discriminated,” the Minister said.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the provincial government will continue with campaigns and mobilise communities to deal with persistently high levels of new infections.

“We remain concerned about new infections and the fact that adolescent girls and young women are disproportionately affected. This is an area we want to focus on as we move forward.

“We need to deal with all barriers that are experienced by people affected by HIV, Aids and TB. We must deal with social exclusion and discrimination in healthcare facilities, homes, recreational facilities, schools, churches, in the workplace and in other community gatherings,” Zikalala said.

Prior to the launch of the plan, the Premier joined a march organised by Aids activists. The march started in Dinizulu and ended at Gugu Dlamini Park where the launch took place.

Upholding of human rights is everybody’s business

Before the march, SAnews spoke to Zwo Nevhutalu, the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) Executive Manager, who expressed his desire for all South Africans to adopt a culture of upholding human rights.

“We want to end stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with HIV and Aids in our communities. We want to achieve a country that respects human rights.”

Nevhutalu said people living with HIV and Aids must be supported and get treatment so they can live longer and healthier.

Nokuthula Sibanyoni, a participant in the march, said that it is important that government conscientise people about the rights of people living with HIV and Aids.

“As people, we should learn to support and take care of each regardless of the situation. We must support our brothers and sisters who are affected by this disease,” Sibanyoni said.

Echoing the same sentiments was Jabulani Sikhakhane, who said people with HIV and Aids need to be supported and be shown love.

“Government must continue to conduct these campaigns. This will help people to understand that there is nothing wrong with people living with HIV and Aids. They are our brothers and sisters who need our support.”

The 9th SA Aids Conference is currently underway at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC).

The theme for the 2019 Conference is ‘Unprecedented Innovations and Technologies: HIV and change’.

The conference is focusing on the unprecedented scientific, social and digital innovations/technologies which could expand possibilities and opportunities towards controlling the HIV and Aids epidemic.

It will also highlight milestones, initiatives, strategies, models, systems and best practice in accelerating the control of the HIV and Aids epidemic ahead of the 2020 global targets.

SANAC is one of the main sponsors of the conference and has organised an educational exhibition stand. – 

Apply for agricultural funding in NW

Monday, June 10, 2019

Commercial farmers, entrepreneurs and previously disadvantaged individuals, among others, living in the North West have been encouraged to apply for funding for agricultural projects.

The North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development have opened applications for financial aid for agricultural and rural development projects.

The department calls on organised agriculture, including small holder and commercial farmers, entrepreneurs, previously disadvantaged individuals (youth, women and people with disabilities), traditional leaders, schools, churches, and cooperatives in the North West to apply for funding for the 2020/21 financial year. 

The department said the funding of projects aims to realize the National Development Plan’s (NDP) vision 2030 of addressing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, as well as positively contribute to food security, job creation, and economic growth.

The department has prioritized the programmes to be funded. These include crop/ grain production, livestock production, horticulture production and aquaculture.

Funding consideration is based on commodity value chain (farm-to-fork).

“Applicants should demonstrate appetite to farm and/or run a profitable business, provide proof of access to land and legislative obligations,” the department said.

The applicants may choose to be supported with one and/or combination of the following:

  • On and off farm infrastructure and production inputs;
  • Farmer training (skill development and capacity building;
  • Enterprise business development, marketing and trade;
  • Agro – processing business development support;
  • Land care;
  • Special programmes;
  • Primary animal health care;
  • Expanded public works programme (EPWP); and
  • CRDP (Comprehensive Rural Development Programme) special projects.

“Interested parties can contact departmental Local Area Offices (LAOs) across the province to be assisted with application forms. Closing date for applications is Friday, 28 June 2019. No late, faxed or emailed applications will be accepted.

“Applicants will be given a reference number upon receipt of the application. The Department reserves the right to consider any application. Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the department in line with government prescripts,” the department explained.

For more information, contact Gontse Padi on 018 389 5420. –

Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture report submitted

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture Report will soon be tabled to Cabinet before being released publicly, the Presidency said on Tuesday.

“This report is an important step forward in our quest to right the original sin by developing solutions that are not only uniquely South African but most importantly, build a society in which all may share in the wealth of our land,” President  Cyril Ramaphosa said.

Earlier, the President and his Deputy David Mabuza received the report of the Presidential Advisory Panel. 

The panel was appointed in September 2018 to support the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform, chaired by the Deputy President.

It was set up to advise the IMC on a broad range of policy matters associated with land reform, including restitution, redistribution, tenure security and agricultural support. 

To support sound policy making, the panel was mandated to review, research and suggest models for government to implement a fair and equitable land reform process that redresses the injustices of the past, increases agricultural output, promotes economic growth and protects food security. 

The panel, which is chaired by Dr Vuyo Mahlathi, was further expected to provide perspectives on land policy in the context of persisting land inequality, unsatisfactory land and agrarian reform and uneven urban land development.

President Ramaphosa went on to thank the Deputy President, the IMC and all advisory panel members for their hard work over an eight-month process, which included hours of consultation with various sectors of society and also very deliberate and sometimes dissenting and difficult engagement among the panel members. –

Statement by Gauteng Premier David Makhura on the appointment of the Executive Council

29 May 2019 

Since assuming office as Premier of Gauteng exactly a week ago and having clearly understood the new mandate given to the 6th Administration, I have given serious thought about the women and men who would constitute the new Executive Council. *In terms of section 132 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, I have decided to constitute the Executive Council in the 6th Administration as follows:* *Panyaza Lesufi: ​MEC for Finance and e-Government**Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko (Ms): MEC for Education**Faith Mazibuko (Ms): ​MEC for Community Safety**Lebogang Maile: ​MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and COGTA**Thuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe (Ms): ​MEC for Social Development**Jacob Mamabolo: ​MEC for Public Transport and Road Infrastructure**Tasneem Motara (Ms): ​MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management**Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa: ​MEC for Economic Development,​Agriculture and Environment**Mbali Hlophe (Ms): ​MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation**Dr Bandile Masuku: ​MEC for Health* This team collectively represents the ANC’s accumulated governance experience, new energy and fresh ideas required to fulfill the mandate of the 6th Administration, of Growing Gauteng Together.These newly-appointed MECs will put the interest of the people first and meet the highest ethical and service delivery standards in the conduct of their work.     *The Members of the Executive Council will be sworn-in on Thursday 30 May 2019 at Emoyeni Conference Centre.* At the Swearing-In Ceremony, I will address the media and further elaborate on what is expected from the team.  *All media are invited to attend.* Details are as follows:*Date:* 30 May 2019*Time:* 10h00*Venue:* Emoyeni Conference Centre15 Jubilee Road, Parktown Issued by the Gauteng Provincial Government *For media enquiries contact Thabo Masebe on 082 410 8087 or* For media releases, speeches and news visit the GautengProvincial Government's portal at

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