Lednum

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Archive for the ‘Modern Studies’ Category

African government has been successful in dealing with the following policies,Housing and education

Posted by lednum on March 25, 2007

Education Policies:

  • South African schools act 1996 ensured that no state schools were racially segregated, former white schools now took in children of all races.
  • This also provided compulsory education for learners between the ages of 7 and 15.
  • Less emphasis was taken off the final exam to establish continual assessments throughout the school year.

Education Progress:

  • In 1994-2004, 56,000 new classrooms were built which enabled more children to attend school, children attending school rose from 10.5 million to 12 million.
  • However, there is still room for improvement as only 46% of children own their own reading text books and only 41% of children owned their own math books.

Housing Policies:

  • The government promised to deliver 1 million new houses over a 5 year period.
  • The enormity of this task soon became clear and the figure was retained but extended over a ten year period.
  • This was completed in December 200 but still maintained a housing back lock of 3 million homes – these houses often lacked basic amenities such as running water and electricity.

Housing Progress:

  • The percentage of households in
    South Africa with access to electricity increased from 62.9% in 1995 to 78.5% in 2005.
  • In conjunction, the percentage of households with access to clean water increased from 48.9% in 1995 to 68.3% in 2005
  • Ultimately, showing success in reducing housing problems
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Some pressure groups are more successful than others

Posted by lednum on March 25, 2007

Relationships with governement

-Some insider pressure groups are in close contact with senior civil servasnts and ministers and therefore able to influence legislation.

-Trade unions and british medical association may be asked to share their expertise and policy details.

-Inside groups maybe more successful than outside pressure groups, who will find it hard to influence government legislation. These maybe groups who wish to work out with the government because their violent methods cannot be associated with the government. e.g anti animal testing.

Media

Plays a significant role in manipulating the views of the public, the media will portray a pressure group as important or not important, therefore influencing public opinion.

-e.g Live 8 used media to raise awareness of problems in Africa.

-Without media attention the prssure group would have been successful.

-shows that media helps to improve public image.

-well known charasmatic leader can influence the success of a pressure of a pressure group, e.g Bob geldof and Bono helped live 8.

Financial situation and orgainsiation

-Pressure groups can recieve money from membership fees and donations.

-This results in pressure groups having a higher success rate as they can spend more money on advertising and employing professional lobbyists, scientists wtc.

-these professionals can ultimately, can influence public opinion and the government, making the pressure group more successful, e.g live 8.

-organisation: more publicity campaigns can keep the ause going and gain support from the public.

-recently, the pressure group ASH was successful in promting the dangers of smoking which resulted in the ban of smoking in public places.

Methods used

-Amnesty interantional refuse to use militant tactics to promote their cause.

-extreme methods used by pressure groups can lead to the alienation of the public support.

-the direct action used by fathers 4 justice and anti animal testing groups can often be a violent nature.

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Democratic and Republican parties

Posted by lednum on March 21, 2007

The last few years support has been divided by geography, wealth, gender, race and certain specific issues.

Democratic party voters are usually from coastal ares and the major cities. Has majority of support from poor people.Women tend to vote for democrats and have  relied upon the votes from blacks and liberals.

Republican party voters are are usually from the mid-west, south and rural areas. Had majority from middle and higher earners.Men tend to vote for republican and have usually have the votes from people with conservative views.

GEOGRAPHY

In the 2004 elections, wee see that depending on what region you live in you maybe influenced to vote in a particular way. As in the north-east, 43%of voters chose to vote republican where as 56% voted democrats. In the south , 58% of voters voted for the republican party and 42% voted for the democrats.

The whites in the south switched their loyalty to the republican party while black support shifted from the republicans to the democrats. Blacks had been attracted to the democrats since the 1930s when its new deal helped many overcome the problems of the depression.

In 2004, in urban areas , 45% of voters voted republican, where as 54% voted for the democrats.However in rural areas 57% of voters voted republican and 42% voted democratic. the democratic party has a majority of the support in the large cities of the usa ehere 30% of the electorate live. This support is mainly from the poor who depend on low paid employment or on welfare for their income.Republican support is stronger in the suburban areas of the cities and in rural usa. this is where the majority of those who earn more than $50,000 oer year live and as long as they feel that the republicans are better at running the economy and keeping their taxes down tan the democrats, they will contribute to vote republican.

GENDER AND RACE

The female vote is important because there are more women voters than men in US elections. in 2004, 54% of voters were women, women have traditionally been more likely to vote for the democrats. In 1996, 54% of women voters supported the democrats. however, the republicans have been making inroads into this vote and in 2004 the democrats enjoyed a narrow majority of 51% compared to 48% for the republicans.

In the 2004 elections, 62% of white men voted for the republican party where as only 37% voted for the democratic party. 55% of white women voted republican , whereas 44% voted democrats.

On the other hand, 30% of non-white men voted for the republican party where as a stagering 67% voted for democrats. like wise, 24% of non-white women voted for republican, where as 75% voted for democrats.

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health care

Posted by lednum on December 17, 2006

The NHS

The National Health Service was set up as part of the post-war Welfare State. Its original aims were to provide a comprehensive, integrated service free at the point of use. Its intention was to provide the best possible care for all citizens and, wherever possible, prevent ill health.

The NHS has not been able to fully meet these aims due to the unexpected cost of healthcare and an ever-increasing demand for limited resources. The NHS has treated more patients every year and introduced many new treatments. But with limited resources it has had to deal with ill health caused by changes in lifestyle such as obesity, alcoholism and new problems such as AIDS. The care needs of the increasingly elderly population are also putting a significant strain on the NHS. As such it is often said to be ‘a victim of its own success’.

Reasons for health inequalities

There are many reasons for inequalities in health in the UK. Although some parts of the country have poorer health records than others, this is linked to poverty rather than geography. Differences between the poorest and richest parts of Glasgow are greater than average differences between Scotland and South-East England.

There are significant differences in life expectancy of up to 10 years between different groups in society. Those living in poverty generally have poorer life chances and poorer health because of lower living standards, including bad housing and bad diet.

Those in lower paid, unskilled jobs have a greater risk of accidents at work and can suffer from stress linked to unemployment. Professionals enjoy healthier lifestyles, not just because they have a better standard of living but also because they are more likely to be aware of health issues than unskilled workers. Similarly, women are more aware of health issues and more likely to consult doctors than men. As a result, women appear to have higher sickness rates than men, but this may reflect the fact that more male ill health is unreported.

Some specific health problems are localized or only affect minority groups, such as sickle cell anaemia, which only affects the Afro-Caribbean community.

Healthcare and the elderly

As well as requiring treatment for specific health problems that are linked with old age, the elderly are the biggest consumers of general healthcare in the UK. They are more likely to have accidents, which take longer to heal, and are also more likely to suffer from such major causes of ill health as heart disease and cancers. As well as specific healthcare, they need to be looked after in other ways as they become infirm and incapacitated. Thousands of old people take up beds in wards specially for the elderly, called ‘geriatric wards’, because there is no other suitable accommodation available. This is known as ‘bed-blocking’.

Under the Care in the Community policy, local authorities are now responsible for the care of old people for whom medical treatment in hospital is not required. Social workers and medical staff assess the needs of old people to determine what level of support is needed for their proper care. Most old people stay in their own homes, which may be adapted to meet any mobility or other problems they have. Sheltered housing is also specially designed accommodation to meet the needs of the elderly. Residents can remain independent of full time care but professional carers will visit to provide specific needs such as meals or physiotherapy. Full residential care is provided for old people who cannot cope on their own and those who need more intensive support are placed in nursing homes.

Although healthcare is free at the point of use, social care is subject to means testing. Until recently the elderly were expected to pay towards their care throughout the UK. In practice, under 50 per cent had to pay a contribution. The Sutherland Report was commissioned by the Labour Government to recommend the best means of delivering the most appropriate care to elderly people. The report made recommendations that supported free personal care and argued that there was no real difference between an old person in hospital with cancer and another old person living at home with dementia. Although the UK Parliament has not yet taken on these recommendations, the Scottish Parliament has done so. Free personal care (such as help with washing, dressing or meals) is now provided in Scotland.

Funding healthcare

Private healthcare

Private healthcare has always existed alongside the NHS, through insurance schemes such as BUPA or through health benefits provided by some employers. It is only used by a minority of the population and has both advantages and disadvantages.

Private healthcare can be seen as a basic right for those who choose to use it. It reduces pressure on the NHS and allows medical staff an opportunity to improve their incomes. It is also convenient for big companies and their employees as it enables them to arrange treatments at times that do not interfere with their work schedule.

Private care is criticised because it allows those on higher incomes to gain access to treatment ahead of those who are unable to afford it. It is also seen as taking resources away from the NHS, as staff who are initially trained at a cost to the NHS may go on to treat patients under conditions that yield a profit for the private sector.

Public-private co-operation

In some areas the NHS has always relied on private companies, such as in the provision of drugs, equipment and other services. Recently, co-operation has increased between the NHS and private sector in new areas of operation, including such things as:

  • Putting to competitive tender ancillary services such as cooking, cleaning and other non-medical provision. This is where private companies compete for the contracts from the NHS in order to try and get best value for money.
  • Recruiting hospital managers from the private sector into the NHS. The NHS recognises it can learn something from the success and efficiency of private healthcare organisations.
  • Contracting private hospitals to carry out operations to reduce NHS waiting lists.
  • Using the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to build new hospitals such as Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. This means that the health authority does not have to find the money to pay for the building. There is controversy over the quality of PFI schemes and the long-term costs to the taxpayer. These schemes usually involve the NHS paying the private developers for a 30-year lease, after which the building becomes public property

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The extent to which South Africa is a deeply divided society

Posted by lednum on October 4, 2006

Divisions within South Africa have been shown in employment.

-unemployment rates by all ages have increased.In 1998, 52% of 16-24 year olds were in full time unemployment.

-unemployment rates in hire provinceshave increased, in Limpopo,in 1995,42% were regarded as unemployed where as in 2005,57% suffered these discrepancies.

Progress made in employment:

-the social and economic developments found in the 2001 census showed that the position of blacks over the previous five years has improved.

-meaning many black middle class children have enrolled in primary or secondary schools.

furthermore, another factor which has lead to divisions within the society is crime.

– in 1995, murder rates had increased from 84.3% to 84.8% in 2003.

-South Africa also maintains the second highest murder rates contribites to divisions in society.

 However, there has been some progress made in crime:

-rape and attempted murder rates have all substantially decreased,in 1995, the attepmted murder rate was at 68.1% dropping to a little  more comfortable 42.7%

-in 1996 South Africa held a high 85 per 100,000 decreasing to 48 per 100,000 in 2001.

the establishment of organsied crime fighting coperation “scorpion”

The Directorate of Special Operations (also,DSO or Scorpions) is a multidisciplinary agency that investigates and prosecutes organized crime and corruption. It is a unit of The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa. The staff of 2000 Scorpions consist of the best police, financial, forensic and intelligence experts of South Africa.

It is also debated that divisions in healthcare played a major part in answering the question.

– the refusal of Thabo Mbeki to allow the presicription of medical help for HIV victims, resulting in Nationwide problems.

-this was because Mbeki could not personally link HIV to AIDS.

Despite this, progress has been made to distinguish divisions.

-primary healthcare programmes have been set up in both urban and rural areas as an act to provide free care.

-the world health organisation was set up to try and eradicate polio and measels by encouraging shots for all children under five years old.

South Africa’s population in general enjoys good health, compared with other African countries in the 1990s. Rural health care compares favorably with delivery systems in Kenya and in Nigeria, for example. The system reflects the biases of apartheid, in that superior care is available to wealthy urban residents, most of whom were white as of 1995, and inferior services are available to the poor, who are black. These differences began to narrow in the early 1990s, as apartheid was being dismantled. Under the government’s 1994 blueprint for social and economic development, the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), R14 billion (for value of the rand–see Glossary) was set aside for improvements in health care.

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The importance of South Africas land reform policy to social and economic progress

Posted by lednum on October 4, 2006

the government introduced a number of policies to deal with problems faced by land:

-Land reform policy gave compensation for those who lost their land because of apartheid laws.

-redistribution of productive land to those who were disadvantaged.

 -new land-holding rights were to be established

Progress which the government has made includes:

-progress has been slow and targets have been unrealistic.

-the redistribution of agricultural land within 5 years was totally unrealistic, and the revised target date seems unlikely to be reached with the recent lack of progress.

Furthermore, the government have also introduced health policies:

-free immunisation for undr 6s.

-polio and measels immunisation campaign.

these policies have been quite successful:

-700 new primary health care centres built.

-2002-270 million condoms distributed ,2003- 302 million condoms distributed.

-infant mortality rate – 2001- 53.8 per 100.000

                                         2005-53.6 per 100.000

in addition, the government has also introduced policies for affirmative action.

Employment equity act, 1998 set up a directorate called “equal opportunites to ensure organisations “demographically represent” the correct balance of work force is 75% black,52% female and 5% disabled.

It has also been shown that affirmative action was significant to social and economic progress.

– The employment equity act 1998…………………

 despite the factors discussed,progress made by affirmative action :

-has resulted in the creation of the black middle class.

-in 1994 only 29% of blacks belonged to the middle class where as in 2000 49% of blacks were regardedas middle class,this has resulted in a loss of talent, wealth and role models from townships.

the points above display the success of land,health and affirmative action policies and how they are were put into action.The new black middle class has affectively been created by affirmative action.

Affirmative action

South Africa’s version of affirmative action, a plan as controversial here as it is in the United States, could soon become law in this black majority country.

The “employment equity” measure moving its way through parliament would give “preferences to people on the basis of race and ultimately require racial quotas,” says Anthea Jeffery of the South African Institute of Race Relations.

South Africa’s economy is still carved up between a few giant conglomerates, mainly controlled by whites, but four years after historic all-race elections black-owned firms are making gains.

To push that transition into the white-owned ranks and make up for the wrongs of the apartheid era, President Nelson Mandela’s government backs a plan in which black South Africans “would need to constitute 69 percent of the workforce at all levels from the top down,” says Jeffery.

Even without a new law, more and more South African blacks are filling white- collar jobs. But many feel not enough is being done. As one member of Mandela’s African National Congress party said in parliament recently: “The shop floor is black and the boardrooms are white. This is the reality of South Africa.”

It’s a reality the government is determined to change. The job equity measure is designed to prevent discrimination, provide for affirmative action and bridge the wage gap between management and workers

                                                                                  

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The extent to which the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) has reduced racial inequalities

Posted by lednum on October 2, 2006

the policies which have been put forward from the BEE have proven to be a major factor in reducing racial inequalites. As in 1999 the Employment Equity Act took place.

Key objectives behind this act are :

-at least 40% of the companies listed on johanessburg stock exchange (JSE) should beblack.

-At least 30% of private sector companies should be black-owned.

-Black people should hold at least 25% of the shares held on the JSE.

Furthermore, the success and lack of succes of BEE can critically outline whether their policies have reduced racial inequalities or not.

The successes and failures of BEE are:

-almost 300,000 blacks becamee middle income earners (between 8,000 pound and 15,000 pound) between 2002 and 2005.

-In 2005 Banking and insurance group Rand finalised a 700 million pound empowerment deal that put 10% of the companies shares in trusts established for black staff members and for poor rural woman and mine workers.

-several high profile black empowerment busineses such as NAIL, african banks and community banks have collapsed.

-Many BEE activities simply enrich  a small number of individuals and do not offer any economic benefits to the black majority, white businessmen give them directorships and shares to confirm to BEE regulations, Eric Molobi, chairman of kaviso trust, and former ANC activist, has been appointed deputy chairman of the imperial group, which has revenues of 3 billion dollars a year.

Moreover, affirmative action policies also outline the factor in hand.

-the employment equity act,1998, set up a drectorate called “equal opportunities” to ensure that organisations “demographically represent” the people of South Africa. The correct balance of a workforce is 75% black,52% disabled.

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Parliament

Posted by lednum on September 30, 2006

THE MONARCHY

The Monarchy is the oldest institution of government. The Queen’s title in the United Kingdom is ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith’. In the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, Her Majesty is represented by a Lieutenant-Governor. In addition to being the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, The Queen is Head of State of 15 other realms and Head of the Commonwealth. In each country where she is Head of State, Her Majesty is represented by a Governor-General, appointed by her on the advice of the ministers of the country concerned and independent of the UK Government. In the Overseas Territories The Queen is usually represented by a Governor who is a member of the Diplomatic Service responsible to the UK Government for the administration of the country in which they serve.

 HOUSE OF COMMONS

The House of Commons consists of 659 elected MPs. In September 2003 there were 119 women MPs, and 12 MPs who had declared that they were of minority ethnic origin. Of the 659 seats, 529 represent constituencies in England, 40 in Wales, 72 in Scotland, and 18 in Northern Ireland. After a Parliament has been dissolved, and a General Election has been held, the Sovereign summons a new Parliament.When an MP dies, resigns or is made a member of the House of Lords, a by-election takes place. Members are paid an annual salary of £56,358 (from April 2003) and provided with up to £74,985 for staff salaries and £18,799 for incidental expenses involved in running an office (excluding certain IT equipment which is provided centrally). All MPs are entitled to travel allowances and to free stationery, inland telephone calls and postage from Parliament, and there are various other allowances, such as a supplementary allowance payable to MPs for Inner London and certain other seats to reflect the higher cost of living in the capital.

HOUSE OF LORDS 

The House of Lords consists of:

-hereditary peers;

-life peers created to help carry out the judicial duties of the House (up to 12 Lords of Appeal in Ordinary or ‘Law Lords’ and a number of other Lords of Appeal);

-all other life peers; and

-the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester, and the 21 next most senior bishops of the Church of England.

The Government wants the House of Lords to be more representative of UK society. Under the House of Lords Act 1999, the number of hereditary peers was reduced from over 750 to 92. Another innovation was the appointment of non-political peers chosen from public nominees. In April 2001, 15 non-political life peers were selected from 3,166 applications. Members of the House of Lords receive no salary for their parliamentary work, but they can claim for expenses incurred in attending the House (for which there are maximum daily rates) and for certain travelling expenses. Attendance in the House averages about 350 to 450 members a day.

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Problems facing South Africa

Posted by lednum on September 28, 2006

the government has attempted to deal with crime in many ways :

-The firearm control act 2005,made it harder for citzens to carry weapons.

-This act took place due to all weapons now having to be registered every two years.

-Police budget has grown in attempt to attract more police candidates. This was effective resulting in the growth of officers from 119,560 in 2002 to 156,760 in 2006.

– A new elite force has been introduced known as “scorpion”   in an attempt to tackle organised crime.

Evidence to show that the government have been effective in dealing with crime is:

-murder rates have decreased, as in 1996 rates were at a high 85 per 100,000, in 2001 this figure dramitically decreasd to 48 per 100,000.

-The rape and attempted murder rate ecreased, in 1995 the attempted murder rate was at a threatening 68.1%, however, in 2004 this dropped to more comfortable 42.7%

Despite the factors discussed it could also be argued that South Africa has made no progress.

-South Africa still maintains its reputation as the country with the 2nd highest murder rate in the world.

-percentage of muder rates has increased in Western Cape from 84.3% in 1995 to 84.8% in 2003.

Moreover, the government has also tried to deal with problems of ill health in South Africa.

-The government has introduced the primary health care programme to improve inequalities in health issues.The care is free and is provided at public primary health care facilities , these practices take place in both urban and rural areas.

-in addition, in 2005, the world health organisation was established in an attempt to eradicate polio and measels.

-the government has also hace a large majority of male and female condoms.

To show the government has been effective in dealing with health problems they have:

-progress has been made as their is now asleast one service point in every health district in South Africa.

-700 primary health centres were built between 1994-2004, which has been significant in improving ill health problems.

However there is still room for improvement as the total life expectancy for both males and females has decreased from 51 years in 2001 to 47.1 in 2005.

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Social and Economic Reforms

Posted by lednum on September 25, 2006

Education

The South African schools act (1996) ensures that no state schools are eacially segregated. While former white schools now take in pupils of all races, many for black South African and disadvantaged schools have no white pupils and have the highest number of matriculation failures.the act also provided compulsary education for learners between the 7 and 15.

Health

Two major programmes that the government introduced to improve inequalities in health care are:

-primary health care programme-offers a comprehensive range of services,school, nutritional,water and sanitation services.

-National primary school nutrition for needing primary school kids have improved educational achievement as well as health standards-increased attendance.

-in 2004 a massive measles and polio immunisation campaign took place which ensured that all children under the age of 5 recieved either first or second measles or polio vaccine. This was part of the world health organisation (who) strategy to eradicate polio and measles by 2005.

Land

The main points of the land reform policy are:

-compensation for those who lost their land because of apartheid laws.

-redistribution of productive land to those who were disadvantaged.

-new land-holding rights to be established

-compensation to be paid to those whose land are redistributed through settlement/land  acquisition

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