Why Is South Africa Uncooperative?

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......In the global fight against the AIDS epidemic. The following article below is most disturbing. I understand President Mbeki's reluctance to sign on (ramifications about reduced international capital) but to enage in denial about the pandemic will make matters worse, not better. There comes a time when the well-being of your citizens should overrule economic considerations. Mbeki's procrastination raises serious questions about his leadership qualities. QED

South Africa fails to sign Global Fund AIDS deal Associated Press April 11, 2003

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) - The director of the United Nations-administered fund which provides money to fight AIDS said Friday he was disappointed the South African government had not yet signed a deal to accept millions of dollars to combat the pandemic.

Richard Feacham, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, arrived in South Africa earlier this week planning to sign a deal for the release of US$41 million - the first installment of US$165 million to be released over five years - to fund programs combatting AIDS in the country.

The South African government has repeatedly delayed signing the deal, citing ``complex legal procedures,'' the South African Press Association reported.

An estimated 4.7 million South Africans - about one in nine - are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Feacham said that infected South Africans would likely feel let down.

``After all, we are talking life and death here,'' Feacham said at a joint news conference with Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane.

``I have no words to express my dismay. It seems that the health ministry or whoever is responsible for this are fiddling while Rome is burning. People are dying,'' Ndungane said.

South Africa's Health Department said in a statement that the deal ``will, without fail, be signed'' next month. ``Program implementation will begin by the end of May.''

The fund reached the deal with South Africa's government more than a year ago.

The government has been accused of sluggishness in its response to the AIDS pandemic but has recently promised new funding to fight the disease. It said it would explore the possibility of providing AIDS medicine to some South Africans through the public health system.

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2003


Well, the notion of global fund is one issue that one needs to be careful with. Here in namibia we succesfully applied for this assistance. To our dismay we discovered that countries that were succesful in their application did not received the assistance even after two years. These countries now have problems in calming down their people since they raised such high expectations the momemnt they learned that their application was succesful.

Namibia also applied for that assistance. Early this year we were informed that our application was succesful. Up to now, no assistance have been received. I think that is the reason why South Africa is quiet hesistant to sign this deal.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2003

You are spot on, Rev. Biwa!

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2003

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