- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
Democratic Alliance candidate for Gauteng premier Mmusi Maimane led around 1,000 supporters through Johannesburg on Wednesday on a march to promote the DA’s proposals on jobs. Among other plans, the DA wants to give people title deeds to their homes and rent properties to businesses for R1 to promote growth. GREG NICOLSON was there for the pictures.
For anyone who is concerned about gender equality, it is significant that patriarchy is not raised by any political party in their election campaign. One understands the silence of the patriarchs who lead or hold prominent places in the ANC and its allies, but what of the organisations that purport to oppose the Zuma project? By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
In many countries religion crossed with politics leads to a toxic mess. Look at the wars over abortion in the US or Ireland, or culture wars everywhere. To make matters even more interesting, one man’s religion is often intertwined with that man’s culture. But in South Africa, religion has generally been a force for good in our politics. It’s impossible to forget the role the Catholic Church, and how the Anglican Church gave Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu the platform he needed to help fight Apartheid from within. It’s impossible to forget the role people like Bishop Huddleston played. There are signs, now, that religion, and particularly organised religion, is about to step back into the political arena. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
When Gertrude Stein returned to her hometown of Oakland and couldn’t find her childhood home, she famously, gnomically said that there was ‘no there there’. Stein was lamenting the growth and urbanisation of Oakland and the ‘painful nostalgia’ she felt. The Northern Cape is not Oakland; there’s quite a lot of there there and most of it isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. The province is, however, poised for a fair bit of change and a clump of new investments in mining and energy. Is its political landscape facing a similar reconfiguration? By PAUL BERKOWITZ.
In February 2014, the South African job market lost 118,397 jobs. According to the Adcorp Employment Index, it was the largest monthly loss in almost three years. While unemployment is rife, citizens battle to understand why there are no jobs. RA’EESA PATHER reports for SOUTH AFRICA VOTES 2014 from Cape Town.
As we approach World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, it’s worth reflecting on how we are doing as a country in the press freedom stakes, relative to other countries but also with regard to whether we’ve improved or digressed within the past few years. All things considered, it does not look good. By JULIE REID.
While the Marikana hearings drift through the doldrums in Rustenberg, at Khayelitsha’s Lookout Hill another commission into police failings is cautiously gathering momentum. The O’Regan-Pikoli Commission of Inquiry is a timely and consolatory reminder of the judicial efficiency South Africa is capable of. By Richard Conyngham for GROUNDUP.
Check the question again. It’s not asking whether the party should lose the province, or how likely it is that it will fail to reach the 50%-of-the-vote threshold. It just wants to know what series of events would be needed for this to happen. Whether you think this is an imminent or fantastical outcome, whether the prospect fills you with hope or dread or dismissive contempt, none of these things are important for the analysis. By PAUL BERKOWITZ.
As the election day approaches, it is not the last-minute rush of activity by political parties which will take centre stage, but rather what the 12-person Parliamentary ad hoc committee does when they consider President Jacob Zuma’s response to the Public Protector’s report on the upgrade to his Nkandla residence. The problem, of course, is: what exactly is the president’s response to the report? The opposition wants Zuma to be subpoenaed before the committee; the ANC probably knows this will be political suicide days before the polls. While there will be fierce resistance to any further damage to the ANC, Nkandla will continue to haunt the party as Zuma’s first term peters out. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) strike in the platinum belt has now been going for three months. The union was locked in discussions with Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin late on Tuesday night. These discussions will determine whether employees go back to work or the longest strike in the democratic era rolls on. Either way, it’s going to be costly. By GREG NICOLSON.
South Africans can attest to the grim consequences of regressive stances on issues of public health: The disastrous HIV/AIDS policies of Thabo Mbeki are said to have cost the lives of at least 400,000 South Africans. The real effect, however, may never be known. And while the policies of the Zuma administration have been more progressive, with the overhaul of the health department being one of Zuma’s most apparent achievements during his term in office, the everyday experience of public health care in South Africa remains a struggle. By KHADIJA PATEL for SOUTH AFRICA VOTES 2014.
As a nation, it would seem hard to deny that we have become quite obsessed with President Jacob Zuma. He dominates all the non-Oscar headlines we have. Nkandla is now a word with special power in our politics; sometimes it seems he’s portrayed as the devil-incarnate, the person single-handedly responsible for the decline of our country, and of the ANC. But the other night, I was asked: “How different would these elections be if Zuma weren’t head of the ANC?” It’s a question that makes you think about the image of the ANC, President Jacob Zuma, and the difference between temporary electioneering antics and the longer term issues. It also makes you wonder if perhaps we are too obsessed with Number One. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
It’s merely two weeks to election day and the air is soupy with polls and predictions and prognosticators. There are numbers everywhere, more than enough to cater for everyone’s bias and wish-list. How should you remain objective when analysts keep springing up like mushrooms after the summer rain? By PAUL BERKOWITZ.
Trevor Manuel, best known as the world’s longest ever serving Minister of Finance, and as the luminary who shaped South African economic policy post-1994, recently announced his retirement from politics. Slowly, subtly, he has started to knock the ANC, his political home for more than two decades. But is this the country that Trevor Manuel made, or the country he helped break? RICHARD POPLAK wants to know how the ANC’s very own unicorn—a clean politician—is shaping the election conversation.
Two of the University of Stellenbosch’s most notorious alumni were, of course, Hendrik Verwoerd and Daniel Francois Malan, the man who dreamt up the word “Apartheid”. But the institution has also delivered to this country several visionary democrats and this week, “free agent”, Jay Naidoo, paid tribute to one of them, delivering the annual Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert honorary lecture at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. He also provided some handy geographical tips to the government of the day. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi will be campaigning for the ANC in the upcoming elections, despite his criticism of the government and his allegiances to the National Union of Metalworkers SA (Numsa), Cosatu leaders said on Wednesday after a meeting with the South African Communist Party (SACP). Blade Nzimande took the opportunity to attack former Comrade Ronnie Kasrils and his Vote No campaign. By GREG NICOLSON.
South Africa’s citizens have won rare victory over the SABC, the country’s public broadcaster, to carry campaign ads highly critical of the country’s president. Is this the start of a new era in media freedom? J. BROOKS SPECTOR contemplates the question, bringing American experience in as comparison.
The 2014 elections are held on the 20th anniversary of the advent of democracy. Instead of celebration, the atmosphere is suffused with anger and mistrust. Many believe freedom is endangered or that some gains have been reversed or undermined. There is disquiet in relation to violent state actions against unarmed protesters, unbridled corruption and undermining of the Constitution. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
The defiance vote was always going to be the wild card in the 2014 elections. The question was how would it manifest itself. The post-Mangaung ANC and the performance of the Zuma administration have caused unprecedented turbulence and disenchantment within the ruling party. The Economic Freedom Fighters has become a channel for some of the anger against the ANC, but many respected, staunch members are at a loss about what to do with their vote. Now a handful of veterans, academics and activists have come up with a “Vote No” campaign as a stopgap measure until a better alternative comes along. Desperate times, desperate measures. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
These elections are about the ANC and whether the “broad church” can keep it together amid political scandals and dissatisfaction with the tangible outcomes of democracy. Anti-Apartheid stalwart Ronnie Kasrils clarified his position on Tuesday, launching a “Vote No” campaign. Like many others, he's hoping the ANC will see the light or a new left will emerge. By GREG NICOLSON.