AIDS money agreement to be signed

The South African government's failure to sign a US $94.7 million Global AIDS Fund grant agreement recently provoked outrage among local AIDS specialists, NGOs and activists.

However, local newspaper The Cape Times quoted the head of the country's HIV/AIDS directorate, Nono Simelela, as saying that an announcement would be made "very shortly" about when the agreement would be signed.

This was despite a promise earlier this year by the ministry of health to sign the agreement by May.

Simelela said she was "very confident" that the paperwork had been sorted out.

"We have reached the end of the process satisfactorily. This has been a long and complex experience but it would be unfortunate if people were to perceive the process as foot-dragging," national Department of Health spokeswoman, Jo-Anne Collinge, added.