samedi 18 juin 2011

South Africa and Australia: The politicians lead by example.

 The South African Minister sleeping in a slum.

In August 2009, Mosima Gabriel (Tokyo) Sexwale (56), South African Minister of Housing has decided to spend a night in the slums of Diepsloot, outside Johannesburg in austral winter to prove that its people need decent homes .
"I woke up at 6 30 '. It's very, very cold. One can easily understand why some children suffer from hypothermia. It's heartbreaking," he said in the morning public radio SAFM.
Housing Minister, who is one of the richest men in South Africa, said it had met with residents of Diesploot until three in the morning.
In July 2008, violent incidents erupted in the slums to protest their living conditions very difficult. Residents have complained including lack of access to clean water and electricity. Many of them live on less than a dollar a day.
The new president Jacob Zuma, in office since May 2009, has made the fight against poverty a priority.
Since the end of the apartheid regime in 1994, during which the black majority was confined to areas with few resources, the South African government has built 2.8 million houses.
About 1.1 million families, according to official statistics, still live in slums, the economic powerhouse of Africa.
Mr Sexwale has promised to build homes, but warned that they should not expect "miracles", as the country went into recession earlier this year.

Politicians and CEO, SDF one night in Australia.

The foreign minister, Kevin Rudd and CEOs of large Australian companies have slept in the streets of Sydney on the night of Thursday 9 and 10 June 2011 to raise money for the homeless.
In just a sleeping bag, 200 heads of major banks, airlines or mining groups have spent the night under the stars on the streets of Sydney in an operation dubbed "The CEOs in the open."
The operation has raised 4 million Australian dollars (2.9 million) for the association St Vincent de Paul, which deals with homelessness in Australia.
Ralph Norris, president of the Commonwealth Bank has raised the most money: 127,000 Australian dollars.
"I'm surprised but it went well. I'm sure I'll have pains, I'm cold toes and fingers, but otherwise it's going, "said Ralph Norris Public Radio ABC, right in the austral winter.
While the foreign minister, Kevin Rudd has raised 7,438 dollars less than 7699 dollars collected by the leader of the Liberal opposition, Tony Abbott.
Like the politicians and CEOs, heads of 800 Catholic schools have decided to repeat the feat of bosses 16 June 2011.
The executive director of Catholic schools in Sydney, Dan White has decided to carry a card and a hat for protection from the cold.
"About 16,000 people sleep every night where they can, most of them women and children. And this is not acceptable in a rich country like ours, "said Dan White.
The Executive Director of Vinnies, the organization of the Australian Society of St. Vincent de Paul at the origin of the initiative, Dan White also slept under the stars in the vicinity of Luna Park, one of the assembly points the homeless in Sydney.
"If you have a lot of money, it's easy to give, but try to spend a night out when it rains and it's cold," said the initiator of the project.
Launched five years ago, the initiative has a national issue for two years.
The number of homeless in Australia is still estimated at 100,000 people, half asleep in the street.

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