South African High Commissioner’s visit highlights links, shared values

South Africa's flag looks somewhat familiar…

Seeing double: South Africa’s flag looks somewhat familiar…

A visit from the South African High Commissioner has enabled the distinguished visitor to recall some of the events of the two countries which were to a degree in parallel just before our Independence. These, of course were the Vanuatu struggle to end colonialism and the South African fight against apartheid. Ms Zodwa Lallie was on a brief visit from her high commission in Wellington and presented her credentials to the Head of State, Fr Baldwin Lonsdale. The President hoped that Vanuatu could learn much from South Africa with strengthening relations and the larger country’s high level of development and its experienced investment practices.

The Right to Information (RTI) law will become effective in August. So said Acting PM Natuman when addressing World Press Freedom Day participants last week. He said that although the law has been passed in Parliament it cannot be enforced until 6 August when the Prime Minister will make an order to specify which Government departments (and agencies?) will have the law apply to them. Deputy PM Natuman pointed out that an RTI Unit had been established under the Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Cooperation (DESPPAC) and equipped with two staff. And Government has allocated a budget for the ongoing RTI work. An RTI Steering Committee will soon be appointed. An RTI Commissioner will look into complaints from the citizenry.

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