Scopa clamps down on government

“Around R46-billlion has been lost to irregular and fruitless expenditure in the last year alone. Now a concerted effort is being made to put a stop to this trend in government departments.”

Watch full report here.

Source: eNCA

TAC needs millions ASAP

NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on November 7, 2014. 

Picture: Supplied by TAC
Picture: Supplied by TAC

The Treatment Action Campaign have embarked on an emergency fundraising drive to counter the R30 million deficit they are facing.

The HIV/Aids activist organisation is urgently in need of financial support via donations to keep them from closing their doors.

Lotti Rutter from TAC said: “We have a R30 million deficit… We are trying to crowd source the money we need” through a current month long fundraising drive.

“So far there has been a great level of support, We are hopeful that will raise enough money,” she added.

TAC has been at the forefront of the fight against HIV/Aids for close to ten years now.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu made a passionate plea for donations for TAC, saying they have been central to restoring hope to the millions of South Africans afflicted by HIV/Aids.

“Aids is not over, it is not over until the evils that drive HIV such as rape and violence against women and children are defeated,” he said.

Rutter said the public support has been overwhelming in the few days that they have embarked on the drive.

Last night a virtual townhall meeting was held by the campaign on social network Twitter under the #SaveTAC hashtag.

The conversation centred around their funding issue as well as the vital role of social activism:

If TAC is unable to get the funds it needs this month, they will be forced to close their doors on December 1, World Aids Day.

The Newsroom 2.1

The past week was a hectic one, but a very fun one in the Newsroom. I was steering the ship, so that always comes with it’s own personal pressures.

Luckily this week we were “fully” staffed with all six interns on board. This made for a paper filled with much more copy than the week before, copy that was interesting and fun to read.

I did some fun things last week, the videos being somewhat of highlight. Here’s the list of things I managed to do:

  • #Teamvuvu #NekNominated. We got a Nek Nomination from Wapad, another student newspaper. Instead of downing a drink as most people do with this new social media game, we decided to do a philanthropic nomination with a journalisty twist. Watch here.
  • STORIFY: “Real jobs” march turns into real fight. On Tuesday the DA decided to march on Luthuli House and that did not sit well with the ANC. Watched the whole mess unfold on twitter and curated this story.
  • Artists collabo for LGBTI awareness. Went to an exhibition at the Wits Arts Museum and wrote a short review. Exceptional work by visual artists Zanele Muholi and Gabrielle Le Roux are on display.
  • How to back your boytjies. Wrote another one of my sports columns, in an effort to teach myself and others a thing or two about rugby.
  • EDITORIAL: Twisted love affair. Scribbled some thoughts on the upcoming elections and called it an editorial.
  • WITH VIDEO: Cape to Rio Witsies talk sailing. Had a very cool interview with two crew members who just finished the Cape to Rio race 2014. Their achievement is truly amazing.

We also handed over one of the first paper realated duties to the “new kids” by letting deliver the paper on Friday. In a few short weeks we will be leaving everything in their capable hands.

#Teamvuvu #Neknominated

#NekNomination, a social media challenge, has flooded profile pages and time lines of young people around the world. Formerly a drinking game, #NekNominations are now used to encourage people to do good.

A person or organisation challenged does an activity that helps someone else out, then passes along the challenge. It’s sort of like a electronic chain letter for charity.

The Wits Vuvuzela team (#teamvuvu), was challenged in a #NekNomination from Wapad, the student publication of the North West University. We had 24 hours to take on the challenge of making a difference and recording it.

Wits Vuvuzela reporters hit the streets of Braamfontein to hand out cupcakes to the homeless. But we also wanted to  ask the homeless what they needed because sometimes a simple gesture is not enough.

The Newsroom 6.0

Well somehow between exhaustion and a coma induced by sheer laziness I didn’t post a “newsroom update”  from last week – a thousand apologies to the five of you that do read this blog.

Last week was meant to be one of our most hectic weeks in the newsroom as we were publishing a twelve page edition. Yet somehow, it turned out to be one of our calmer weeks– especially on production day. Things went swimmingly, we even – wait for it – sent the paper in to the printers on time (give or take 10 minutes). Something which apparently hasn’t been done in the Vuvu newsroom for about two years.  Yay us!

I have trouble remembering anything that happened over the ppast seven days, so I can’t remember much else from that week besides the fact that we did joPs (no, that is not a typo, just a #balcktwitter reference).

Okay on to events I can remember – this past week we had news conference as usual, a very rushed one was had but we all had something to bring to the proverbial table.  We then had guest speaker Gilbert Marcus in to teach us a thing or two about the courts. He taught us the basic ins and outs of courts in SA.

After which we all had to scurry off to get our stories started. I went in the opposite direction and helped out with a video vox –  just find them so fun. The question we posed was about female condoms, we got amazing responses from Witsies.

Later that evening I had an interview on Life Beats, a show on VoW FM. The topic up for discussion was social media – how I use it in my personal and professional life mainly. Luckily I was joined by my friend and colleague Shandukani Mulaudzi and we had a ball just speaking our minds. The host said we had been the most entertaining guests they had had on air in a while.  I really enjoyed being on radio, it may be something I want to pursue now.

On Tuesday morning we went through to watch proceedings at Constitutional Court. It was great being there while something was actually happening, as opposed to just taking pictures outside as I had done before. We went in preparation for court week – which starts tomorrow. We just wanted something we could compare the High Court and Magistrates Court to. Those attorneys and advocates know their stuff, it was interesting listening to them make their arguments.

The week from there on was pretty much down hill, I felt super busy every day but I wasn’t really doing anything. Both of my stories fell off the diary because of late responses from sources but it’s chilled guess it gives us (me) more time to get a better story together.

The only piece of myself I managed to get in the paper was a deep caption of Mfundi Vundla. Come production day it was back to the same 8 pager chaos that we are accustomed to. I was production manager again and this week was surprisingly more challenging than last week.

But as always we made it somehow and luckily we got the rest of that day off, which gave me a chance to catch up on much needed sleep. As a mentioned earlier Court Week starts next week, 8am to 6pm days – I can’t wait!