Phillip Saidi – Success and Failures of Low-Cost Post-Apartheid South Africa

Studymode.com.  According to Tonkin (2008), low –cost housing is dwelling units whose total housing costs are deemed affordable to a group of people within a specified income range, low cost housing includes social housing and low income housing. In South Africa these houses have been provided through the Reconstruction Development Program (RDP). Since 1994, the government has been implementing this program to address the housing backlog which is continuously increasing. The post-Apartheid has era has been enlightened by different successes and failures of low cost housing. Some of the successes include provision of housing to the poor at affordable rates and failures include that it promotes continuous segregation of people in accordance with economic class and race (Tonkin, 2008). The main purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss the successes and failures of low cost housing (RDP).

The Successes of Low-Cost housing in Post-Apartheid

Low cost housing has brought attention of excellence to South Africa by different countries in the world. South Africa has been classified as the world‘s leading country in relation to the provision of houses and its inspiration to eliminate informal settlements. Researchers have suggested that South Africa by 2011 had build-up 2 million houses for the poor. South Africa has been identified on the international arena as a country leading by example in relation to the initiatives it takes to provide low cost housing (Tonkin, 2008).

Read more (you need to sign up):  http://www.studymode.com/essays/Success-And-Failures-Of-Low-Cost-Rdp-1541743.html

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From The Web – 2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed Hopes After Spring

RwBlogoAfter the “Arab springs” and other protest movements that prompted many rises and falls in last year’s index, the 2013 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index marks a return to a more usual configuration.

The ranking of most countries is no longer attributable to dramatic political developments. This year’s index is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term. The same three European countries that headed the index last year hold the top three positions again this year. For the third year running, Finland has distinguished itself as the country that most respects media freedom. It is followed by the Netherlands and Norway.
Although many criteria are considered, ranging from legislation to violence against journalists, democratic countries occupy the top of the index while dictatorial countries occupy the last three positions. Again it is the same three as last year – TurkmenistanNorth Korea and Eritrea.

“The Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
“In dictatorships, news providers and their families are exposed to ruthless reprisals, while in democracies news providers have to cope with the media’s economic crises and conflicts of interest. While their situation is not always comparable, we should pay tribute to all those who resist pressure whether it is aggressively focused or diffuse.”

Read more: reporters without borders

See also: http://www.freedomhouse.org

 

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Annie Lowrey – Is It Crazy To Think We Can Eradicate Poverty?

The New York Times.  April 30, 2013  
.. Since 1980, the proportion of the developing world living in urban areas has grown to about 50 percent, from 30 percent, and according to the World Bank, that migration of hundreds of millions has been instrumental in pulling down poverty rates — and will be for a broader set of countries going forward. Cities bolster access to health services and public resources; infant-mortality rates, for instance, are 40 percent lower in urban Cambodia than in rural Cambodia. And workers themselves become more productive, often by making the switch from labor-intensive work like farming to capital-intensive work like manufacturing. Urban poverty is hardly attractive — slums are cramped, unplanned, unhygienic places — but it is, in many cases, less deadly. (Except when it’s not. A recent factory collapse in Bangladesh killed dozens of workers — a reminder of the sometimes-catastrophic human costs associated with rapid, unchecked urbanization and industrialization.)

Annie Lowrey is an economics reporter for The Times.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/magazine/is-it-crazy-to-think

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