Parliament conducts oversight visit to North West to discuss human settlements matters, 14 to 18 Aug


Human Settlements Portfolio Committee to visit the North West Province

Members of the National Parliament’s Human Settlements Portfolio Committee will from Monday, 14 � 18 Augsut 2017 visit North West Province.

The purpose of this Parliament oversight visit is to interact with government officials and the public on matters of human settlements and also to assess progress and challenges in the delivery of decent accommodation in order to best provide this critical basic need.

The visit will start on Monday, 14 August 2017 in Mahikeng, at various projects that span different programmes; the Rural Housing projects in Mahikeng villages, Military housing project, Rooigrond Informal Settlements upgrading project and Mahikeng Community Residntial Units.

The Portfolio Committee will them move to Matlosana local Municipality on day two of their weeklong visit. There they will get a brief from the municipality on the status of human settlements and visit the Khuma Community Residential Units, Kanana ext 11 project and Rural Housing project in Nkagisang village.

The Portfolio Committe will also visit Human Settlements projects in Moses Kotane Local Municipality, Rusternburg Local Municipality and Madibeng Municiplaity.

Source: Government of South Africa

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Search Underway for Smugglers After Migrants Drown Off Yemen


GENEVA � The International Organization for Migration says it is searching for smugglers who it says forced 120 Somalis and Ethiopians into the sea as their vessel approached the Yemeni coast, causing more than 50 teenage migrants to drown.

Survivors tell migration officials the smugglers panicked and forced the migrants into the choppy sea when they saw Yemeni authorities as they approached land.

International Organization for Migration spokeswoman Olivia Headon tells VOA the migrants knew they could die, but were helpless to resist.

There was one lead smuggler who was directly instructing the migrants, but he did have other smugglers working on the boat with him who were armed with guns and other weapons. So, the migrants had a choice,” she said. “They would either be harmed more than they probably had been on the journey, shot or go jump into the sea. Some were actually physically pushed as well.

The IOM says 29 people died, 22 are still missing and presumed drowned. Headon says 42 people left the beach before IOM staff could reach them. She says 27 surviving migrants, both females and males around 16 years old, are receiving urgent medical and psychological care.

After the smugglers dumped their human cargo, she says they turned back to Somalia to pick up more people and bring them back on the extremely dangerous, deadly voyage.

Boats are making this journey all the time where people are being abused and raped on route so that their families will pay more Some people are paying as little as $100 U.S., but then on route they are tortured, they are abused, their families are made aware of this and are forced to pay $1,000 or to $2,000 more.

Headon says it is unlikely the smugglers will be caught, nevertheless, the IOM is trying to gather more information on the smugglers to pass on to the authorities. She says greater international cooperation is needed to halt or reduce the trade in human beings.

Source: Voice of America

Investing in women key to sustainable peace in DR Congo and Nigeria – UN deputy chief


Investing in women and girls must be central to global efforts towards sustainable peace and development in both Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations deputy chief said today.Both have dismayingly low levels of wome…