In the days leading up to Christmas when, in the Christian tradition, note is taken of the itinerancy of Mary and Joseph in compliance with a political imperative, there was a flurry of policy discussions on issues of migration. Pope Francis pointed out that the Holy Family shared the ‘anguish of persecution’ and that the little Jesus reminds us that half the refugees in the world are children.
Front Page Publications
This submission is made on behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) by the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO). The CPLO is an office of the SACBC, tasked with liaising between the Church and Parliament/Government, commenting on issues of public policy, and making submissions on legislation.
The CPLO welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill, which has important implications for employees that do not often get the same treatment as those employed in other sectors.
South Africa’s unemployment rate is at 27.2 %, which equates to an unemployed population of 9.6 million. Of these, 6.1 million are aged between 15 and 34, meaning that the unemployment rate for youth is 38.2%.
After 25 years of democracy, political violence remains one of the greatest challenges that continuously undermine South Africa’s constitutional state. The province of KwaZulu-Natal accounts for the majority of political violence that occurs in South Africa and, especially around election time, fear and anxiety loom as political assassinations increase.
On 1st December South Africa observed the 30th Annual World Aids Day. This year the theme was ‘Know your Status.’ This is an important consideration as it is estimated that about 9.4 million people living with HIV/Aids worldwide do not know their status. On the other hand, positively, statistics show that 75% do know it, equating to 19m people, compared to 67% in 2015.
July – September 2018
The Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Draft Regulations on the Registration of Births and Deaths. We confine our comment to the question of ‘confirmation of birth’ documents that the Department proposes to issue to ‘foreign’ children. Nothing in the draft regulations explains or justifies the proposal to provide such children with a different, and inferior, form of birth certification.
South African society is painfully riven by deeply disturbing levels of inter personal violence, from which the domestic sphere is not exempt. According to the recently released crime statistics, violent crimes against women and children continue to escalate, and much of that violence is experienced at home.
The Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office welcomes this opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. The Draft Bill seeks to provide clarity on a number of issues which have concerned our Office. We feel that in general the amendments proposed contribute to a policy framework that improves the care and protection of children and promotes their well-being.
For the entire month of October 2018, leaders of the Roman Catholic Church met to discern a way forward for its ministry to young people.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, as part of a resolution to transform the world that we live in and to achieve sustainable development for all. They came into effect in January 2016, and should continue to guide the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) policy and funding until 2030.
Traditional leadership is one of the oldest institutions in Africa. During the pre-colonial periods, traditional governance and traditional leadership played a vital role in local communities. Traditional authorities were viewed as heads of their people and leaders of their communities.
In July 2018, US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions issued a directive codifying changes in policy with regard to asylum applications. These included instructions that officials adjudicating the claims of asylum seekers should not take into account any claims based on escape from domestic violence or gangsterism.
Despite the significant progress that has been made in addressing gender inequalities, women are still amongst the most marginalized groups of society. According to a report on poverty and inequality compiled by Dr Ingrid Woolard; Africans account for 95% of people classed as ‘poor’ in South Africa, and 77% are women living in rural areas.
In May 2017 the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha, released the South African Law Reform Commission’s Report on Project 107 – Adult Prostitution. Subsequently, during March 2018, Parliament’s Multi-Party Women’s Caucus held public hearings on the report, which advocates the complete criminalization of prostitution.
78 000 people in South Africa died of tuberculosis (TB) in 2017, and while this is fewer than estimated for the previous year, TB treatment coverage remains low at 68 percent, meaning that up to one third of all people living with TB are being missed. The disease is particularly prevalent in the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and in general it remains at crisis point in South Africa.
This week brought news of two very significant and positive developments as far as standards of good governance in South Africa are concerned. One of them attracted headline coverage while the other – in its way just as important – seems to have caused little more than a ripple in the media.
At around 09.30 this morning, the senior management of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) sat down in a conference room at the Townhouse Hotel to brief members of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport on the ongoing spate of burnings of Metrorail trains in Cape Town. PRASA claims to have a plan to tackle the problem.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, and Head of the Delegation of the Holy See to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, participated in the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in New York to mark the centenary of Mr Mandela’s birth on 18th July 1918.
The aim of the stimulus package – which involves reprioritising R50 billion of government expenditure in the current budget from non-performing sectors – is to get South Africa’s economy out of recession and to start reversing the ever-increasing unemployment rate.