Anna CorreiaBasil Williams never figured among the brightest of the PNC scholars, but instead, is just another indoctrinated descendant of the late dictator Burnham, intent on applying Burnhamite methods to govern Guyana. And by Burnhamite methods, one understands racist and divisive tactics destined to favour party supporters and exclude anyone else. The mere fact that someone like Williams is allowed such high offices in the coalition, speaks to the PNC’s inability to reform itself into an inclusive government built on the principles of participatory democracy.As I’ve always maintained, if someone like Williams can be allowed to attack democracy in such an unrestrained manner as we’ve seen this past week, it is only because the President himself refuses to govern impartially over Guyana’s human diversities. The subsequent deterioration of the ethnic fissures since the APNU/AFC took over in 2015, is a reminder of the party’s heinous myopic agenda that blots out any potential of minority coalition parties, which technically serve no other purpose but to maintain the PNC in power. History repeated itself in the form of a coalition victory in 2015, teaching us that the PNC is nothing more than a self-serving parasite which can achieve nothing on its own, and is a herald of destruction and gloom. Whatever its nemesis the PPP builds, the PNC will try to destroy.We witnessed this with the PNC’s objection to the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project (AFHEP) drafted under Jagdeo’s LCDS Agreement, at a cost of some US$80 million of which not a cent would have been borne by taxpayers. The project aimed to provide up to 90 per cent of domestic energy and would have launched the industrialisation of our economy while stimulating growth. But in its usual backward Burnhamite mentality, the coalition came up with the idea of taxing citizens with a 14 per cent increase on GPL’s miserable services. Interestingly, all eyes are now riveted on the coalition to see its response to the Norad Final Report on the AFHEP, which recommends the implementation of the project through consultation with its architect, the PPP. A sure stab in the pride of the PNC.Almost as if unable to contain its thirst for vengeance, the AG last Thursday, December 29, by some obscure manipulation of the Law, decided that the lease on which is premised the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre (Red House) was invalid. In his spiteful haste, the unlearned AG didn’t take the time to realise that never is a lease signed by the President of Guyana.In my tenure as Project Manager for the Amerindian Land Titling Project, I have seen enough leases to attest to this. The President of Guyana on the contrary, signs on permanent ownership documents such as Titles.President Granger on Friday then ordered the eviction of the CJRC by Saturday, December 31, 2016. Several questions come to mind, especially since the extremely short lapse of time between the AG’s announcement and the President’s eviction notice, suggest that the entire process was a planned coup. The Government claims it attempted to negotiate with the Opposition, but in reality, what it wanted was to change the purpose of the establishment so that it would honour all former Presidents, particularly Burnham.If it really wanted to resolve this conflict, it would have negotiated to regularise whatever inconsistencies are associated with the lease. Instead, like the self-serving parasite that it is, it prefers to bulldoze its way to insult Jagan’s legacy and the will of Guyana’s largest electorate.The PNC’s disregard for democracy attained its climax when the Social Protection Minister herself, Volda Lawrence, led a group of brawling trouble-makers to disrupt the peaceful candle-light vigil held by the Opposition and its supporters in front of the CJRC on Friday night. In the typical aggressive, ratchet behaviour so characteristic of PNC mobs, verbal and physical assaults described the scene which ensued.Minister Lawrence by abusing the civil rights of the people, has permanently tarnished her own reputation which already finds little favour among the Guyanese civil society.With the videos of this tragic event going viral on social media, one can only expect to see more ethnic and political divisiveness among Guyanese. Among the slogans and invectives which sprung from the mouths of Lawrence’s counter-protesters, the name “Burnham” dominated.Burnham is indeed back. And his “visionary” ruthless ambitions have set the tone for 2017.
Digital central registry needed for all Government policies and amendmentsDigital central registry needed for all Government policies and amendments
Dear Editor,The move by the Ministry of Business and Tourism to create a strategic plan is quite heartening and is an initiative that should be applauded and copied by other sectors/ministries of government. I am an expat who hold the homeland close to heart and thank goodness for social media and the New Media age, friends and past colleagues help to make staying informed easy. I became aware of this strategic plan from a friend’s Facebook post of a GINA article on the minister’s consultation forum on August 3.Having read the article, I expected at least to find a link to the document; well I was not so lucky, but fortunate enough the article did culminate by informing that the document can be found on the ministry’s website. So sure enough I waded through and then came my real disappointment. The document was in ISSUU reader. ISSUU reader is an excellent platform that provides exceptional digital reading experience. So why am I being so petty?Leading up to, and transitioning into government this new regime purports a number of themes that resonates well. Themes such as consultative management, transparency, fairness, and the list goes on, I would like to dwell on consultation.The Guyanese public, in residence and abroad can make valued contributions in setting the direction on important aspects of the economy such as trade and doing business. But, they must be given the opportunity to do so in a manner that is simple, straightforward, and accessible and allows for input with ease. ISSUU reader will not allow download, print and have paper in hand; not all of us are keen on being glued to our digital devices all the time.To my bigger point, I am peeved that there is still not a central registry where all government policies, change in laws and regulations, strategic and development strategies are posted digitally that allows the public to peruse and respond.The ability to have a say in national policies and contribute in setting the direction of any aspect or factor that will influence nation building is not a privilege, it is a right. It does not take much to get this done properly, why the lagging?Regards,Andre Dukhia
Preparing for the impending ban on single-use plastics ‒ Part 1Preparing for the impending ban on single-use plastics ‒ Part 1
It seems as though a new gruesome image or video of a marine animal suffocated by plastics gets uploaded to social media every day. By now you probably have heard the stories of marine animals being washed up on shore with their stomachs full of plastics. These stories and images are graphic, but often we may catch ourselves thinking that if plastics are so bad, why do we continue to use and produce them?Plastics are easy to use and transport materials; it is impossible to imagine life without them — just take a look around you. However, plastics actually have far-reaching negative effects on the environment, prompting the international community to rethink how we use and dispose of these materials, especially single-use plastics.As Guyana continues to transform itself into a Green State, the country has announced that, by 2021, there will be a ban on single-use plastics. Within the next few weeks, the Environmental Protection Agency will write a series of articles on single-use plastics with the intention of keeping the public up to date as we move towards phasing out these materials.What are single-use plastics?Single-use plastics are designed to be used once before they are thrown away. These items can include plastic bags, straws, cups, spoons, forks, soda and water bottles, and most packaging.Participants at a single-use plastics conversationGlobally, approximately 300 million tons of plastics are produced each year, and more than half are single-use plastics. Plastics that are less than 35 microns thick cannot be reused, and typically end up in landfills and water bodies.Most plastic bags, for example, are less than 35 microns. Plastic bags are made from a polymer substance known as polyethylene. Polyethylene is manufactured from ethylene, which is commonly extracted from natural gas (petroleum). Ethylene is treated to become a polymer (large molecules), forming long chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These chains can vary, depending on the type of polyethylene being used, but they all help to create various types of plastic bags. When exposed to heat, light and oxygen, these polymers disintegrate into small fragments, and can remain in the environment for prolonged periods of time.What is the EPA doing about this?Last year, the Agency, as part of its World Environment Day celebrations, hosted through Regions 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10 a number of public conversations around single-use plastics. To this end, the Department of Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency collaborated in not only informing stakeholders of the move, but also to garner support, particularly from the private sector.A total of one hundred eighteen  persons attended the “Single-Use Plastics Conversations” throughout the regions. The conversations were intended to get initial feedback from citizens on their thoughts on the impending ban. Data from those conversations showed that citizens are open to the ban, since it would reduce pollution in the environment.However, they asked for a matrix to test biodegradable alternatives. In some regions, citizens recommended adding a tax to plastic bags as a way to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable shopping bags.Citizens also suggested that the EPA work closely with the Police department to enforce the ban.As we approach World Environmental Day 2019, the Agency will continue the “Single-Use Plastics Conversations” with citizens of Guyana through a number of public events engaging supermarkets, vendors and other businesses.How can a citizen be prepared for the ban?As we continue with this series focused on single-use plastics, we encourage you to read and follow the conversation. However, awareness goes only so far; a move away from single-use plastics involves an attitude change towards the reliance on single-use plastics.Citizens do not have to wait for the ban to make small changes to reduce their plastic footprint. For starters, you can take up the single-use plastics challenge this week. The Agency challenges you to do two simple things to reduce your plastic footprint. First, encourage your family members to take a reusable bag when shopping. Secondly, remember to pack your reusable cutlery and water bottle in your lunch bag this week.Feel free to tag us on social media. Remember, we are agents of change, and can always change our habits with practice. No matter how small, we need you to do your part as we move towards a sustainable Guyana.You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O ECEA Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN; or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Dear Editor,I would be grateful if you can permit me a small space in your newspaper to highlight an issue that I find extremely worrying.Over the years, it seems our banking sector is doing everything possible to lose customers and stress out the general public. From requesting mountains of documents and implementing unfriendly procedures, this has resulted in long lines at most banks.A close colleague of mine just returned from the bank and confided in me a tale that sounds like our banks have gone crazy. At the New Building Society Limited, he was attempting to deposit a dividend cheque value $3000 that was received from Republic Bank Guyana Limited. The proceeds being dividends from shares held at RBL. He was unsuccessful in completing this seemingly uncomplicated transaction.I now provide you the details as to why he was unable to complete the deposit. The cheque is written in the names of A and B (A being my friend and B being his father). He was attempting to deposit the cheque at NBS to and account in the names B & C (B being his father whose is one of the payee of the cheque and C being his mother). The cheque was endorsed by both A and B (the payees) and both identifications were presented along with the cheque and the book for the account to facilitate the deposit.Now bear in mind similar transactions have been completed in the past at the same NBS with little to no hassle, since dividend cheques have been similarly received from RBL over several years.The teller after referring the transaction to his superior indicated that the procedures have changed and the transaction could not be processed unless both persons whose names were on the cheque along with the other party on the account were present at the bank with there identifications. Then the payees on the cheque will have to endorse the cheque and also indicate pay to the order of the parties on the bank account and then the parties on the account will also have to endorse the cheque accepting the deposit to their account.Am I the only one who thinks this is absolutely madness? Where else in the world exist such a procedure for conducting a simple deposit of a cheque for $3000 drawn on, dear I say, a reputable bank in Guyana.Editor, I thank your for your time in reviewing the above letter and considering publishing it in your newspaper as I believe that these issues must be publicly highlighted so that common sense changes could be made.With best regards,Marcus Perry
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA MIRADA – City facilities could be among the safest places to have a heart attack, now that nearly all of them have received automatic external defibrillators. La Mirada recently spent $58,999 to acquire 30 defribrillators, which have been installed in 10 city buildings and in all public-safety and Sheriff’s Department vehicles. In addition, all nine of the city’s public safety officers and 50 other employees have been trained in the use of the devices. Defibrillators are now at City Hall, the Resource and Activity centers, the Community Sheriff’s Station, the gymnasium, the public works building, the theater, and at Gardenhill, Frontier and Windemere parks. “This expands our safety program,” Ric Welch, public safety manager, said Monday. “We have a number of senior citizens and athletic programs, both of which include the possibility of a heart attack.” Heart attack is one of the leading causes of death and can happen anywhere, City Manager Andrea Travis said in a written staff report to the City Council. “For the greatest chance of survival, a shock from a defibrillator must be delivered within the first five minutes of collapse,” she wrote. The city paid for the defibrillators with a $37,365 state grant and $21,634 from the Community Services Foundation. The devices automatically instruct a person on how to use them and can be used without formal training, Welch said. “That’s the beauty of it,” he said. “This thing sends you through with instructions.” Once the pads are attached to a heart attack victim, the machine determines whether a shock it warranted. If a shock is warranted, the defibrillator will deliver the shock itself because some people are reluctant to push the button, Welch said. “If it finds even a faint heart beat, it tells you to proceed with CPR,” said Public Safety Officer Jose Amaya. email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022
How Liverpool took a Chelsea kid and more than doubled his goal threatHow Liverpool took a Chelsea kid and more than doubled his goal threat
Mohamed Salah has blossomed at Liverpool and faces his old club this weekend 2 2 Liverpool take on Chelsea this Saturday, in a Premier League game you can hear live on talkSPORT (exclusive UK radio commentary at 5:30pm, and available around the world on talkSPORT.com).It gives the Reds’ – and the Premier League’s – leading goal scorer so far this season, Mohamed Salah, the chance to come up against his old team.Salah’s first stint in English football came when he signed for Chelsea in January 2014, at the age of 21, but it didn’t work out for him at Stamford Bridge and he was sold after a loan spell in Italy.The Egyptian international impressed enough during his time in Serie A to earn a club record move to Liverpool last summer, and he has so far more than justified the initial £36.9m fee.Salah’s impressive attacking play has put him right up there with the best creative talents in the division, as far as stats are concerned, including some of his old Chelsea team-mates.And Chelsea’s leading attacking light, Eden Hazard, has praised his former club mate, suggesting he wasn’t given the opportunity to prove his worth with the Blues.“He’s a top, top, top player,” Hazard commented in the build up to this weekend’s game. “He did not get his chance at Chelsea – maybe because of the manager, because of the other players? I don’t know.“He has quality but in that period I remember we had me, Willian, Oscar, so for him it was not easy.“But he’s a top player, for sure, and we know as a team the quality he has. He is a fantastic striker and this season he has scored a lot of goals.”So how does Salah’s time with Chelsea compare with his start to life at Liverpool?Take a look at these stats to see a comparison between the two periods. On Saturday, Salah will play his 13th Premier League game for Liverpool – the same number of matches he played for Chelsea in the competition.But Salah was officially a Chelsea player for two-and-a-half years, spending one-and-a-half seasons on loan in Italy, with Fiorentina and Roma.In that time, he started just six Premier League games for the Blues, though his statistics from that Stamford Bridge spell aren’t particularly bad.Rather, they back up what Hazard said – Salah didn’t really get the opportunity to prove his worth.Considering Chelsea won the Premier League title in 2014-15, it is perhaps no surprise a promising young player would struggle to become a regular, though the club’s terrible 2015-16 campaign suggests he might feel hard done by.But as Jurgen Klopp pointed out earlier this week, Salah “was a kid at Chelsea, how he’s a man”.We will find out on Saturday if he has matured into a player good enough to put the reigning champions to the sword.Do you think Chelsea were right at the time to let Salah go? Comment below…
Predicted Chelsea XI for Carabao Cup clash v Arsenal – Will Conte rotate?Predicted Chelsea XI for Carabao Cup clash v Arsenal – Will Conte rotate?
6. Danny Drinkwater (central midfield) 11 21. Davide Zappacosta (right wing-back) 11 11 10. Eden Hazard (attacking midfield) 11 11 7. N’Golo Kante (centre midfield) 11 28. Cesar Azpilicueta (centre-back) 11 2. Antonio Rudiger (centre-back) 9. Alvaro Morata (striker) 11 1. Willy Caballero (goalkeeper) – Click the right arrow to see talkSPORT’s predicted Chelsea XI, in squad number order… 4. Cesc Fabregas (central midfield) 27. Andreas Christensen (centre-back) You can listen to live commentary of the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Chelsea v Arsenal – live on talkSPORT from 8pm.Having just met in the Premier League and playing out a thrilling 2-2 draw, the London rivals do battle again, this time in the EFL Cup.Both managers are likely to field fairly strong squads, knowing a defeat could potentially be psychologically damaging for the rest of the campaign.Blues boss Antonio Conte will be pleased he should be able to call upon the services of Eden Hazard, who appears to have shaken off a calf problem, but new signing Ross Barkley remains out as he returns from a hamstring injury.So, who will the Italian pick? Click the right arrow to see talkSPORT’s predicted Chelsea XI, in squad number order… 11 11 11 3. Marcos Alonso (left wing-back)
But Sarowitz said he’s not looking to be Big Brother.“We were very concerned when we implemented this that it be a positive experience for our employees as well,” he said.So the company has also held smoking cessation and weight management classes onsite, and helps employees get discounted gym memberships. It also pays for them to enter a corporate challenge race and holds a party for those who take part.“We want to give them support in their efforts,” Sarowitz said.Rob Wilson, president of Employco, a Chicago-based human resources firm, says wellness benefits are becoming more popular, although he’s not seeing any of his small business clients saving money on health care. But Wilson says there nonetheless is great value in offering such benefits to workers.Wilson said helping employees improve their health can raise a company’s productivity, and help the business avoid hiring temporary workers because of staffers’ sick leave. And it does improve morale, he said.Wilson noted also, “we see clients trying to encourage employees to eat healthier.” So some companies with cafeterias are making an effort to provide more healthy menu choices. At Paylocity, the vending machines are also offering more healthy snacks, Sarowitz said.Many businesses believe that investing in their employees’ well-being is also an investment in the company itself.“If our employees are happy, our customers are happy,” said Melanie Margolies, whose title at Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union is recognition and awards specialist.So the company based in Miramar, Fla., has Weight Watchers meetings and fitness classes onsite. The employees do pay for the sessions, but because the company is able to get a large group together, each one pays a discounted rate.The company does rebate employees $100 each for their annual gym memberships, provides them with flu shots and holds a health fair, bringing in health professionals who do vision, cholesterol and other tests and who answer staffers’ questions.This year, the credit union is also planning a hurricane planning day, Margolies said. Since Florida is a prime target during the Atlantic hurricane season, “we want to help prepare them for their health and safety, during and after a hurricane.”Margolies said the company gets another side benefit of its own from the perks — it makes the credit union a better employer.“It helps us recruit and retain” employees, she said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPhotos: At LA County Jail, Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrates Christmas Mass with inmatesMacnair said the idea for PetSafe’s wellness benefits actually originated with staffers. But the company has agreed to sponsor the various parts of the program, which also includes weight loss contests and paying for smoking cessation aids such as nicotine patches. It has also built a gym that’s free for all employees.PetSafe management believes the company will benefit from a healthier work force. “In order for the organization to be built to last, its employees have to be built to last,” Macnair said.The company is also looking to improve morale. It encourages employees to take breaks with or without their pets, which staffers are allowed to bring to work each day.At Paylocity, an Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based payroll processing company, employees can get a better rate on their health insurance if they take steps to keep themselves healthy, such as undergoing routine testing and meeting goals for conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.President Steve Sarowitz, who’s a believer in taking care of your health, said his company hopes to lower its health care costs. So Paylocity is contracting with a company that creates and administers employee wellness programs. NEW YORK – At PetSafe Inc., employees can earn points toward gift certificates by going to the gym and the doctor. And at Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union, staffers get $100 toward their annual health club fees.These and many other small businesses are offering perks known as wellness benefits in hopes of lowering their health care costs and promoting a happier and more productive work environment. And, in turn, making themselves more attractive to prospective employees.PetSafe, a pet products company based in Knoxville, Tenn., has a program that awards points to workers who go to the doctor, donate blood, work out in a gym or take wellness classes. Laurie Macnair, whose title at PetSafe is director of talent development, said that at the end of each quarter, staffers can redeem their points for movie passes, lunches, even gift certificates of up to $100.
Medora is looking for a new school board member after one member was hired as the district’s treasurer and administrative assistant.Medora Community Schools Board of Trustees accepted the resignation Monday night of Teresa Brewer. The board hired her in March to replace longtime school treasurer and administrative assistant Vicki Dean effective Aug. 1.Dean is retiring July 31 after working the past 30 years with the school district, one of the state’s smallest. She earlier worked three years with the district before leaving to start her family, giving her 33 years on the job total.
Issues like children’s access to basic services are tackled on the portal. (Image: Unicef South Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Andries Viviers Senior social policy specialist: Unicef SA +27 12 354 8201 or +27 79 498 4991 RELATED ARTICLES • Let’s learn and honour Children’s Act • South Africa’s child rights hero • Educated Africans teach SA children • Social development in South Africa • Presidency talks to childrenValencia TalaneOnly in its third month of operation, a Policy Action Network (Pan) portal, dedicated solely to the topic of children’s rights and equity, is receiving keen attention from academics and people working in the field.The establishment of Pan: Children was first discussed two years ago, but efforts by the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HRSC) to get it off the ground only started in late 2011. It also enjoys the support of the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development (PSPPPD), a partnership between the South African government and the EU.Although the Pan platform has been in existence since 2009 – with the Research Use and Impact Assessment Unit of the HSRC as hosts, and funding from the Department of Science and Technology – the conceptualisation of Pan: Children only started a year later.A Unicef South Africa national stakeholders’ meeting held in Pretoria in late 2010 featured the topic of equity and child rights in the country, and delegates set out to find common ground on the causes of inequality.Once the factors that contribute to the poverty and inequality situation were established, the next step, agreed delegates, was to put in place policy action to address those issues. Researchers, policy makers and professionals involved in the field of child law around the world require reliable sources of information on issues informing the socio-economic stature of the country.A few months after the meeting, a roundtable discussion took place in May 2011, where representatives from the Presidency and the Department of Social Development presented under the auspices of the PSPPPD. Again the issue of content relating to child poverty and inequality was highlighted, along with the need for further research into collating information on the topic.“The systematic gathering and storage of data and evidence is crucial for driving an evidence-based national agenda for children,” read the discussion report, “and a platform for sharing data and evidence pertinent to child poverty should be created.”At the end of 2011, Unicef and the HSRC started working on the portal, according to Andries Viviers, senior social policy specialist for Unicef South Africa.“The actual work of building the portal started in June 2012, followed by the launch at the end of August.”Behind the scenesA team of five people is responsible for the content that goes onto the platform. This is made up of four part-time employees, two each from the HRSC and Unicef, while one permanent person keeps it updated on a daily basis.The five have a collective range of qualifications or expertise from economics to child law and social work as well as information technology.Asked if the project encourages students in these disciplines to seek internship opportunities with them, Viviers said that although that is not the case at this stage, there is no saying for sure that things will not be different in the future.“As Pan: Children grows over the next planned phases, there might be possibilities for interns.”More than just an info hubPan: Children has another purpose apart from being a mere information resource. The project’s drivers see it as a way to educate researchers, lawmakers and the global civil society movement on South Africa’s efforts to address inequality.Successes in the legal and socio-economic areas of the country’s development in its 18 years of democracy are shared on the portal. One of the highlights of the 2010 Unicef meeting was the progress made in policies geared towards the emancipation of children.Participants cited successes such as the child grants system, which reaches over 10-million poor children on a monthly basis, as examples. The move to introduce the non-fee school system for pupils from poor families – established to address the problem of low enrolment numbers at foundation phase, especially in the more rural areas – also received attention. A third child-friendly policy, adopted by the government’s health sector, provides for free primary healthcare for pregnant women and children up to the age of six years.Also noted, however, were the challenges that remain in South Africa for the protection of children’s rights and equity, such as poverty, which is caused by a multitude of factors. Another is the continuously high unemployment rate among young people between the ages of 18 and 24.It is under these circumstances that Pan: Children aims to give practical insight into how best to design, implement and evaluate policies that address child poverty and inequities. It will also be helpful for advice on how to best tackle bottlenecks in governing systems.Pan: Children and its usersWith ten different themes to choose from, ranging from child poverty and equality to early childhood development, food and nutrition and the social protection for children, the portal caters for users from a diversity of backgrounds.Each theme hosts documents for reference purposes, varying from policy records to reports from conferences and meetings of both local and international importance.In addition to the content on site, registered users are able to obtain an account, which allows them to add content for editing by the Pan: Children team.This user-generated content can be uploaded under any one of six sections, namely news; debate; events; opportunity; resource and web links.The portal sends out a newsletter every second month – titled From Evidence to Action, it compiles all the key content since the last edition for users.Pan: Children does not, at this point, have social media as part of its offering. Viviers said, however, that the door is not completely closed to expanding the portal in that direction.“Pan: Children’s primary focus is on key evidence-based policy questions in the advancement of child rights and equity in South Africa,” he explained. “The possibilities of social networking are being explored.”Asked whether the addition of this type of element is important to draw a younger audience, Viviers stated that younger internet users – who are primary users of social network sites as well – are not being targeted by the portal.“However, we recognise that children have a right to access information and can play an important role in the policy discourse regarding the fulfilment of their rights,” he said.Thus, he added, this will receive attention as the portal evolves, but also in policy dialogues that will take place as a part of Pan: Children.