• EFF, vote yes for the Health Promotion Levy (sugary drinks tax)
    We know the beverage industry is desperately trying to delay and further water down the sugary drinks tax (Health Promotion Levy). BevSA and Coca-Cola’s job losses scaremongering has been exposed as exaggerated [1] and self serving [2]. A recent study showed that 3/4s of adult South Africans believe that government is doing the right thing when it makes and enforces policy to discourage the consumption of sugary beverages and junk foods [3]. We can’t underestimate how far the likes of Coca-Cola will go to protect their profits at the expense of our health. Leaked Coca-Cola executive emails show that the company has managed to get a “seat at the table in on-going regulatory discussions with the Ministry of Health” and has been fighting the tax [4]. BevSA and Coca-Cola also managed to keep health experts and advocates out of the NEDLAC process. Treasury seems to be standing up against companies like Coca-Cola and announced that the sugary drinks tax is likely to be introduced in April 2018. Treasury Deputy Director General Ismail Momoniat went one step further, acknowledging the criticism from the health sector regarding the watering down of the sugary drinks tax, stating that they would “... increase the tax until we get the result we need” [5]. South Africa can’t afford any further delays or the watering down of the sugary drinks tax. [1] Sugar tax: Job losses lower than industry’s projections. Amy Green for Health-e news June 2017 [2] SA’s proposed sugar tax: claims about calories & job losses checked. Kate Wilkinson & Vinayak Bhardwaj for Africa Check August 2016 [3] 70% of South Africans support sugar tax - Genesis study August 31, 2017 http://www.genesis-analytics.com/news/2017/70-of-sa-suppports-sugar-tax-genesis-study [4] New #CokeLeak: Soda Tax Opposition in 8 More Countries. https://medium.com/cokeleak/new-cokeleak-soda-tax-opposition-in-8-more-countries-a53e2df3d8e4 [5] Sugary drinks tax set for April next year. Kerry Cullinan for Health-E News September 2017
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  • DA, vote yes for the Health Promotion Levy (sugary drinks tax)
    We know the beverage industry is desperately trying to delay and further water down the sugary drinks tax (Health Promotion Levy). BevSA and Coca-Cola’s job losses scaremongering has been exposed as exaggerated [1] and self serving [2]. A recent study showed that 3/4s of adult South Africans believe that government is doing the right thing when it makes and enforces policy to discourage the consumption of sugary beverages and junk foods [3]. We can’t underestimate how far the likes of Coca-Cola will go to protect their profits at the expense of our health. Leaked Coca-Cola executive emails show that the company has managed to get a “seat at the table in on-going regulatory discussions with the Ministry of Health” and has been fighting the tax [4]. BevSA and Coca-Cola also managed to keep health experts and advocates out of the NEDLAC process. Treasury seems to be standing up against companies like Coca-Cola and announced that the sugary drinks tax is likely to be introduced in April 2018. Treasury Deputy Director General Ismail Momoniat went one step further, acknowledging the criticism from the health sector regarding the watering down of the sugary drinks tax, stating that they would “... increase the tax until we get the result we need” [5]. South Africa can’t afford any further delays or the watering down of the sugary drinks tax. [1] Sugar tax: Job losses lower than industry’s projections. Amy Green for Health-e news June 2017 [2] SA’s proposed sugar tax: claims about calories & job losses checked. Kate Wilkinson & Vinayak Bhardwaj for Africa Check August 2016 [3] 70% of South Africans support sugar tax - Genesis study August 31, 2017 http://www.genesis-analytics.com/news/2017/70-of-sa-suppports-sugar-tax-genesis-study [4] New #CokeLeak: Soda Tax Opposition in 8 More Countries. https://medium.com/cokeleak/new-cokeleak-soda-tax-opposition-in-8-more-countries-a53e2df3d8e4 [5] Sugary drinks tax set for April next year. Kerry Cullinan for Health-E News September 2017
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  • ANC, vote yes for the Health Promotion Levy (sugary drinks tax)
    We know the beverage industry is desperately trying to delay and further water down the sugary drinks tax (Health Promotion Levy). BevSA and Coca-Cola’s job losses scaremongering has been exposed as exaggerated [1] and self serving [2]. A recent study showed that 3/4s of adult South Africans believe that government is doing the right thing when it makes and enforces policy to discourage the consumption of sugary beverages and junk foods [3]. We can’t underestimate how far the likes of Coca-Cola will go to protect their profits at the expense of our health. Leaked Coca-Cola executive emails show that the company has managed to get a “seat at the table in on-going regulatory discussions with the Ministry of Health” and has been fighting the tax [4]. BevSA and Coca-Cola also managed to keep health experts and advocates out of the NEDLAC process. Treasury seems to be standing up against companies like Coca-Cola and announced that the sugary drinks tax is likely to be introduced in April 2018. Treasury Deputy Director General Ismail Momoniat went one step further, acknowledging the criticism from the health sector regarding the watering down of the sugary drinks tax, stating that they would “... increase the tax until we get the result we need” [5]. South Africa can’t afford any further delays or the watering down of the sugary drinks tax. [1] Sugar tax: Job losses lower than industry’s projections. Amy Green for Health-e news June 2017 [2] SA’s proposed sugar tax: claims about calories & job losses checked. Kate Wilkinson & Vinayak Bhardwaj for Africa Check August 2016 [3] 70% of South Africans support sugar tax - Genesis study August 31, 2017 http://www.genesis-analytics.com/news/2017/70-of-sa-suppports-sugar-tax-genesis-study [4] New #CokeLeak: Soda Tax Opposition in 8 More Countries. https://medium.com/cokeleak/new-cokeleak-soda-tax-opposition-in-8-more-countries-a53e2df3d8e4 [5] Sugary drinks tax set for April next year. Kerry Cullinan for Health-E News September 2017
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  • Release the Fees Commission report
    The Minister of Finance is schedule to table the medium-term budget on Wednesday, 25 October 2017. This is an opportune moment for government to announce a favorable stance in response to demands made by Fees Must Fall. The "no-fee varsity" report, which the amandla.mobi community successfully mobilised for it to be made public, set out 12 recommendations showing how free university education for students from low income households can be provided. These recommendations have not yet been implemented. Just last week, President Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet and removed Dr Blade Nzimande as Minister of Higher Education. This is a critical time for the report to be released and to allow all stakeholders to engage with its contents. Join the campaign to demand President Jacob G. Zuma, immediately releases the Fees Commission report to the public.
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  • Support the #UFSShutdown
    These issues we raise relate to the academic, physical and socio-economic well being of students. The university is mandated to work on achieving these goals. Your support is required to pressure the university to take decisive actions in ensuring it does so. The university must declare no increment, a revised timetable, its support for our cause, the provision of free WiFi and the accreditation of student accommodation. We can no longer allow UFS students to be exposed to these issues.
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  • Release the 13 persons arrested by the Tanzanian Police
    The arrest in Tanzania last week of 13 people accused of the “promotion of homosexuality” has been called “a terrible human rights violation” [1]. Two of those arrested are from South Africa and include well-known human rights lawyer, Sibongile Ndashe, executive director of the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (Isla). The arrests took place in Dar es Salaam last Tuesday when the Tanzanian police raided a legal consultation meeting, convened by Isla and Community Health Services and Advocacy (Chesa). "The group was arrested while preparing for a case challenging the Tanzanian government’s decision to ban drop-in centres that served people particularly at risk of contracting HIV. This was according to the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel), which released a statement at the weekend." [2]. Nadel’s publicity secretary, Memory Sosibo, said the actions by the Tanzanian law- enforcement agencies were a clear attempt to instil fear among those who wished to legally challenge the actions of Tanzania’s government. [1] https://mg.co.za/article/2017-10-22-sa-human-rights-lawyers-arrested-in-tanzania-for-promoting-homosexuality [2] https://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/news/south-africans-detained-in-tanzania-for-promoting-homosexuality-11663994
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  • Remove Vetus Schola from CPUT
    Although there may be wide and reasonable disagreements with respect to both the goals and tactics of the student movement for free, quality and decolonised education, as well as the goals and tactics of university managements, the securitisation of campuses can never be an effective way of resolving differences. Such securitisation can and has already has caused bodily harm and trauma to protestors, by-standers, academics, support staff and security personnel themselves, while further exacerbating fear and mistrust, thereby polarising positions and undermining academic freedom. It is unreasonable and unsafe to expect students, academic staff and support staff to continue the academic project under these conditions. Moreover, it is antithetical to the pursuit of a negotiated solution that will enable the completion of the academic year successfully. Academics and concerned persons, please sign the petition with your name and affiliation.
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  • Treasury don’t back down! We need a strong sugary drinks tax now
    We know the beverage industry is desperately trying to delay and further water down the sugary drinks tax (health promotion levy). BevSA and Coca-Cola’s job losses scaremongering has been exposed as exaggerated [1] and self serving [2]. A recent study showed that 3/4s of adult South Africans believe that government is doing the right thing when it makes and enforces policy to discourage the consumption of sugary beverages and junk foods [3]. We can’t underestimate how far the likes of Coca-Cola will go to protect their profits at the expense of our health. Leaked Coca-Cola executive emails show that the company has managed to get a “seat at the table in on-going regulatory discussions with the Ministry of Health” and has been fighting the tax [4]. BevSA and Coca-Cola managed to keep health experts and advocates out of the NEDLAC process. Treasury seems to be standing up against companies like Coca-Cola and announced that the sugary drinks tax is likely to be introduced in April 2018. Treasury Deputy Director General Ismail Momoniat went one step further, acknowledging the criticism from the health sector regarding the watering down of the sugary drinks tax, stating that they would “... increase the tax until we get the result we need” [5]. South Africa can’t afford any further delays or the watering down of the sugary drinks tax. With 10,000 new diabetes cases reported to clinics each month [6], we need to act now. [1] Sugar tax: Job losses lower than industry’s projections. Amy Green for Health-e news June 2017 [2] SA’s proposed sugar tax: claims about calories & job losses checked. Kate Wilkinson & Vinayak Bhardwaj for Africa Check August 2016 [3] 70% of South Africans support sugar tax - Genesis study August 31, 2017 http://www.genesis-analytics.com/news/2017/70-of-sa-suppports-sugar-tax-genesis-study [4] New #CokeLeak: Soda Tax Opposition in 8 More Countries. https://medium.com/cokeleak/new-cokeleak-soda-tax-opposition-in-8-more-countries-a53e2df3d8e4 [5] Sugary drinks tax set for April next year. Kerry Cullinan for Health-E News September 2017 [6] Diabetes – the silent killer. Amy Green for Health-E News. August 2017
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  • Stand up for inclusivity, support Tumi Morake.
    The comments made by Tumi are her reflection and interpretation of the structural effects of colonialism and apartheid that continue to plague majority of South Africans to this day. As post-apartheid South Africans that are interested in inclusivity and unity, we believe healing will truly happen when we acknowledge past wrongs, own up to the wrongs through restitutive justice, and actively support initiatives that seek to heal and unite us. The current social media onslaught, and the initiatives led by Afriforum and Solidarity to alienate and have Tumi Morake removed from the breakfast show, amongst other things, are not in the spirit of nation building and do not comprehend the spirit under which her comments were made. We petition Jacaranda FM and its shareholders to stand up for the ideals on which the new South Africa is built on which are progressive and inclusive thinking.
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  • Wits University, fire KPMG now
    Auditing firm KPMG is in the news, after withdrawing their report into the so-called ‘rogue unit’ of SARS [1]. The allegations made in the report led to the removal of senior SARS investigators who were investigating money laundering and tax evasion. KPMG also reportedly helped divert R30 million tax payers’ money meant for a Free State government empowerment project to fund a wedding [2]. Wits University describes itself as an institution with a “commitment to social justice”, yet continues to do business with firm that enabled theft from the public- crimes which divert money from much needed services. As a publicly funded institution itself, Wits University knows the damage caused by this. The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) a body tasked with protecting the public, has launched an investigation into KPMG. But the harshest sanction the IRBA can impose is a R200 000 fine [3], an amount that is a slap on the wrist considering the cost of the damage caused by the auditing firm. While 6 senior executives, its CEO and chair have resigned, this is not enough. Already companies like Sygnia have dumped the auditing firm [4], let us demand that Wits University joins them. KPMG shouldn’t be profiting from any public institution. [1] SARS vows to take legal action against KPMG over withdrawal of 'rogue unit' report, Kyle Cowan for TimesLive. 18 September 2017. [2] #GuptaLeaks: The Dubai Laundromat - How millions from dairy paid for Sun City wedding, amaBhungane and Scorpio. 30 June 2017. [3] Audit watchdog sharpens its fangs, Lisa Steyn for Mail&Guardian. 11 Aug 2017. [4] Sygnia axes KPMG over Gupta links, Business Day. 28 July 2017.
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  • Implement a 'time of use' tariff for electricity
    Cellphone operators have peak and off peak tariffs. Eskom does the same, but for big businesses if they spend R500 000 or more on electricity per month. As ordinary citizens, we demand that Eskom extends the same courtesy to us in allowing us the freedom to choose when and how we use electricity. Our government says that electricity is a commodity and its price is constant. But the price is not constant. It changes almost every second of the day. Yet our government suggests that we are stupid and that we won’t be able to work with varying electricity charges, for example a normal rate of R1.50 per kWh, a peak rate of R3 per kWh and an off peak rate of 75 cents per kWh. Off peak time is 10pm to 6am. It is entirely possible for consumers to only use electricity at off peak time and to actually sell electricity at peak time to people who want to buy it at those times, and who can make their own decisions about what they are prepared to pay to have the convenience of electricity at peak time, and during the day. But we are constrained by the government, even though there are many businesses who want to buy more electricity and wealthy people who want to buy more electricity and mines, smelters, and so forth, who want to buy more electricity. The government also blames the fact that a 21st Century grid needs smarter metering, yet it says that we consumers cannot buy our own meters and that the meters must be paid for by government. But government gets its money from the consumer, so the consumer is paying this price regardless of whether government pays for it or the consumer pays for it. This is yet another paradox in electricity pricing.
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  • Oppose bail for Bronkhorstspruit accused
    Racism continues unabated in South Africa. Just recently, we heard of the coffin assault case, farmers 'mistaking' humans for monkeys and firing at them. If we are to put an end to racism, then we need to ensure that all race-related cases brought before the courts are dealt with the the contempt they deserve and that perpetrators are brought to book. With a history of oppression and racism, South Africa needs to send a strong message that such behaviour is frowned upon and will meet the full might of the law. The dou assaulted and threatened to kill a nine-year old girl. The girl is reported to have given a statement where she outlines what transpired. “While we were looking for our dogs, we saw white males. We then decided to hide in the trees, but the white males approached us. I ran; that’s when I fell and I saw one of the man carrying a big gun. He reached out and grabbed my arm,” the girl said in her statement. “And then the man slapped me with an open hand I fell to the ground. He then ordered me to jump the fence to go to the tree near the house. He then slapped me again with an open hand,” she added. Source: They shot at me as I ran away, says girl aged 9, Mathlatsi Dibakwane for Independent News. 13 September 2017.
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