The Protection of Information bill would allow government officials to classify information as secretive, in order to ensure national security and to prevent espionage. Journalists or citizens caught disseminating classified information could face up to 25 years in prison.
South Africa’s state-owned and fickle electrical grid is likely to come under intense pressure during the June 11-July 11 World Cup soccer tournament, as hundreds of thousands of fans pour into the country during the dead of the Southern Hemisphere winter.
One billion condoms may not be enough for South Africa’s World Cup matches in June. With 40,000 prostitutes from Africa and Eastern Europe said to be headed to the world’s biggest HIV/AIDS battleground, there are warnings of “a potential HIV time bomb.”
Two Italian companies are suing South Africa over a law that requires firms to sell to black investors to redress abuses of black laborers under the apartheid system. The companies say that their purchase of granite operations there occurred in 1994, after the fall of apartheid. The legacy of institutionalized racism has also taken a particularly bitter turn in the struggle over South Africa’s diamond mines, where the ethnically mixed residents of the diamond-rich Richtersvelders province are enraged by a government deal to sell mine holdings there to de Beers. The land, which was appropriated by the state in the 1920s, is claimed by residents in lieu of a $26 million settlement. But South Africa’s public enterprises minister says his primary concern is the well-being of the government-owned Alexkor mining company.