South Africa

As civil society organisations prepare to converge on Durban for the World Conference Against Racism's NGO Forum in August, South African civil society will be uniting to face the challenges of transforming racism in the country.

South Africa's Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang "dropped a bombshell" yesterday when she announced that the government had "no immediate plans to use the landmark legal victory" to obtain antiretroviral drugs.

Asylum seekers not in possession of permits issued under a new refugee act will be treated as illegal immigrants from next month, the South African government has announced. In a joint communiqué with UNHCR, South Africa's department of home affairs said decisions would be made by the end of April on the thousands of asylum seekers in the country. Those successful would receive a new refugee identity card, unsuccessful applicants would be treated as illegal aliens, the communiqué added.

Welcoming the withdrawal of a case by pharmaceutical companies against the Government of South Africa, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today expressed hope that this development would help increase access to AIDS medicines for those in need.

News and comment on South Africa's Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel Report.

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