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South Africa to Scrap Tax on Sanitary Pads

The 15% tax on sanitary products will be done away with starting in April, says the country's Finance Minister.

South Africa's newly appointed Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, announced in a speech on Wednesday that the country will no longer tax sanitary products.

Starting in April, the 15 percent value-added tax on sanitary pads will be scrapped. Levies on bread flour and cake flour will also be done away with.

The Finance Minister, who was appointed just two weeks ago, revealed the plan before Parliament as part of a medium term budget policy, intended to outline government spending for the next three years, reports South Africa's Sunday Times. He said he reached out to people on social media ahead of the decision, where he garnered several responses.

"I received 3,299 tweets in total," BBC Africa quoted Mboweni as saying."One of them is from Tintsi Ngwenya in Johannesburg, who said: 'Sanitary pads should be tax free - after considerable debate and consultation, as of the 1 April 2019, government will zero-rate the following items: One, sanitary pads. Two, bread flour Three, cake flour."


The policy comes after public outcry that the high cost of sanitary products prevented young women, particularly those in rural parts of the country, from attending school. South African women spend an average of R600 ($42) yearly on sanitary products, according to a report from News 24.

In some areas, the provision of sanitary pads is completely free for female students, adds BBC Africa. We will ensure that female learners in schools have access to sanitary pads," said the Finance Minister later in his speech.

"Several provinces have already taken the lead in rolling out the provision of free sanitary pads in schools. Funds will be added to the provincial equitable share to enable provinces to progressively further this objective," he added.

Last August, Botswana announced that it would provide free sanitary pads for school-aged women across the country, and Kenya implemented a similar plan in June of last year.

Many are celebrating the scrapping of the tax, and are remaining optimistic that the next step will be the provision of free sanitary pads across the country.



Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

Image supplied by Brownswood Recordings.

Listen to Sibusile Xaba‘s New Jazz Single 'Umdali'

Sibusile Xaba's single 'Umdali' featuring Naftali and Fakazile Nkosi comes ahead of Brownswood Recording's highly-anticipated contemporary jazz compilation album 'Indaba Is'.

Sibusile Xaba has recently released his latest single featuring Naftali and Fakazile Nkosi. "Umdali" comes ahead of the highly anticipated jazz album Indaba Is, a self-described improvisational soul and jazz compilation. "Umdali" is the fifth track on the upcoming album by Brownswood Studios and aptly speaks to reconnecting with a creator and having faith during uncertain times.

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(Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images

Bobi Wine Set to Legally Contest Uganda's 2021 Election Results

Opposition party leader, Bobi Wine, has announced that he will legally contest Uganda's 2021 election results after Yoweri Museveni won his sixth consecutive presidential term.

National Unity Platform (NUP) leader, Bobi Wine, has reportedly stated that he will contest Uganda's recent election results. Bobi Wine made the announcement this past Sunday after the national election results declared incumbent Yoweri Museveni Uganda's next president. Museveni reportedly won the elections with 58.64 percent while Bobi Wine received 34.83 percent according to Uganda's electoral commission. The voter results were announced on Saturday after national elections were held last week on Thursday, thus extending Museveni's rule with a sixth consecutive presidential term. Bobi Wine has reportedly alleged voter fraud by Museveni following the effect of Uganda's social media shut down a day before the elections.

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