- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
At the end of an unprecedented closed meeting between the judiciary and executive on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng shared a stage to outline 10 commitments to address their challenges. Some were straightforward. Others were not. For Zuma it was the best possible outcome, while the judges are playing a different game to the politicians. The future of the relationship is by no means certain. By GREG NICOLSON.
The post-1994 era has been accompanied by a shift in overall national income share on a per capita basis for the better. Statistics show the national income share has grown, so how do you explain the high inequality even though we have relied on both state and market mechanisms for redistribution? By SALIEM FAKIR.
At its height, the Apartheid government was running one of the most expensive international propaganda campaigns the world has ever known. Pivotal to this were a number of black Americans, paid by the South African government to lobby in the US to try to win support for Apartheid. Journalist Ron Nixon’s new book Selling Apartheid: South Africa’s Global Propaganda War tells the fascinating story of a regime desperate to get the international community on side. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Judge Fikile Mokgohloa’s recent decision in the Durban High Court has confirmed shack dwellers’ certainty that the state’s habitual use of legal loopholes to evict land occupiers from their homes is unconstitutional. What’s more, his decision has finally shown up the courts as sharing responsibility for allowing these evictions to go on unchecked. By DANEEL KNOETZE for GROUNDUP.
Many believe it’s a failing of South African politics that a relatively tiny portion of the population gets to elect the leaders of our political parties – and, by extension, the president of the country. Now the Congress of the People (Cope) is taking a stand. The latest iteration of the party’s constitution has announced that in future, the ‘rank and file’ membership of Cope will directly elect the party’s president. By REBECCA DAVIS.
In this strange 'twilight zone' in which the power of one African National Congress (ANC) leader is slowly beginning to wane, while the next leader has not yet been identified, space exists in which to think again about certain policies and practices of the organisation. In just a few short months, the race for the next leader will have well and truly begun, with its strange sort of 'politics by subtext'. That the ANC is a grand old organisation is not in doubt. That it has brought democracy to South Africa is beyond question. But it also needs to change, to bring itself up to date with the times. It's time for the ANC to change the way it manages its leadership elections, and to usher in a new age of transparency. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
A study by University of Cape Town economist Arden Finn to determine the wage level at which a worker and his or her family could be brought up to the poverty line found R4,125 was the carefully qualified answer. Unsurprisingly, 95% of those employed in domestic services and 90% of those in agriculture earn less than this. About half of those employed in manufacturing and transport also earn below the working-poor line. By GILAD ISAACS for GROUNDUP.
While the cost of sending money across borders is plummeting, sending money from South Africa to neighbouring countries appears to incur the highest costs. One of the most popular remittance corridors in the region is from South Africa to Zimbabwe, and new money-sending agents are making this corridor cheaper and easier. GROUNDUP tested three of these services. By BEN STANWIX and TARIRO WASHINYIR.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is not one for brevity. Her latest report into malfeasance at parastatal the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, runs to 391 pages. But who can blame her: if experience with her past reports is anything to go by, Madonsela needs her findings to be expressed in a watertight manner to have any hope of her recommendations being taken seriously. Of concern is the fact that Madonsela’s report records (again) how difficult it was to get the necessary information from the agency in order to complete her investigation. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Mining boss Roger Kebble, who for years insisted his son Brett did not orchestrate his own suicide, killed himself in his car in the upmarket suburb of Bishopscourt in Cape Town yesterday. The 78-year-old, who was found with a gunshot wound to the head, leaves an incredibly complex legacy. By MANDY WIENER.
Farm attacks continue to be a dividing issue. After yet another report released by the South African Human Rights Commission last week after the Hearing into Safety and Security Challenges in Farming Communities, it's clear the attacks are not motivated by race. But there's no easy solution to tackling the underlying causes. By GREG NICOLSON.
South Africa has no legislation regulating private donations to political parties private individuals and companies are able to donate as much in secret as they wish leaving the door wide open for corruption and the buying of influence. In a country already divided by high levels of inequality, wealthy individuals are able to influence policy in myriad ways thus ‘drowning out’ the voices of the already poor and marginalised. Yet, legislation cannot be the panacea for all ills, and it is also crucial that political parties are able to raise money for much-needed activities from building research capacity to electioneering. Yet, the missing link in the present laissez faire situation is transparency. By JUDITH FEBRUARY and LINDSAY FERRIS.
On Monday, the rand sank to its lowest ever level against the US dollar. As this was happening, union leaders, factory owners and the government were meeting to try to save jobs in the steel sector. Our mining sector is in the doldrums since the platinum price has tanked. At the same time, the African National Congress is planning its national general council, amid suggestions that it could be about to change its policy. As all of the indicators head south, this is still a terrible crisis to waste. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Our politics at the moment is in a twilight zone, where one leader is still at the height of power, and his successor hasn't yet been identified. This means there's a small window to think out of the box, to ponder what could be done differently. So we seriously propose that the best possible outcome for the African National Congress is for Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to join forces. Right now. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The current serious illnesses of both former US President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and the way they have carried out their respective public roles since retirement should urge us to consider deeply their impact on their two nations – and the world. J BROOKS SPECTOR takes a look.
There are three components to land reform, a key political issue in South Africa: redistribution, tenure reform and restitution. While redistribution and tenure reform remain sluggish and controversial, the 2014/15 annual report of the Commission on Restitution of Land rights shows much has been accomplished with regard to the R2-billion spent settling 428 claims. The symbolic value of these successes should not be underestimated. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Imagine being 22-years-old and still stuck in primary school simply because no local high school can accommodate your physical disability. This is the fate of Makhosi Ndabambi. More than 500,000 disabled South African children have no access to any schooling, despite the constitutional guarantee of their right to education, because schools are only built for the abled. By FATHIMA SIMJEE for HEALTH-E NEWS.
There is nothing romantic in the recognition of the right to resort to customary law. It is up to people to choose whether or not they wish their lives to be governed by these norms. But this needs to be in accord with the need to build a democratic state, in line with constitutional norms. The Eastern Cape bench has struck a powerful blow in defence of democratic rights by recognising the right of a community to elect their headman and not allow the local chief to simply appoint one. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
Twice last year, President Jacob Zuma said South Africa was ready for a woman president and quite enigmatically hinted it could happen anytime. “It’s a matter of time and I think it’s not far away,” Zuma said last August. Now the issue has picked up momentum since the new ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini declared that the organisation intends to campaign for Zuma’s successor to be a woman. This does not mean, of course, that the league will go in search for the best woman for the job and mount a Hillary Clinton-style campaign behind her. It will all boil down to the game of slates and horse-trading between ANC structures. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
If there was any remaining doubt about the direction of South Africa’s foreign policy, let it be laid to rest. The African National Congress’s top brass has spoken, unequivocally laying out a virulently anti-western, pro-Chinese vision for the future of international relations. This might be the time to start learning Mandarin. By SIMON ALLISON.
It has been another turbulent news week in South Africa. Days after the anniversary of the Marikana massacre, Roodepoort Primary School became the site of the latest questionable police action. It seems as if a lethal cocktail of political interference, bad communication, desperation, poverty and race have resulted in the Roodepoort Primary conflict. Of course, the real losers, on every level, are the schoolchildren – but why should we worry about them? Students have been subject to so much abuse in South Africa in recent years. Now they watch as parents, teachers and authorities battle it out. The old adage “children learn by example” seems, well, unimportant when these battles are being waged. But Roodepoort does show us that Marikana has taught us nothing. By RUSSELL POLLITT.
Even for those who believe Oscar Pistorius should have received a much longer sentence for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, the sudden decision to review his parole two days before his advertised release date has raised some eyebrows. The justice minister’s actions may be within the strict letter of the law, but the whole scenario poses some difficult questions. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Silicosis could become one of the defining issues for workers in our time. Tens of thousands of mineworkers are trying to launch a class action suit against gold mining companies. Now civil society groups are on board, claiming that occupational lung diseases not only affect mineworkers but perpetuate the cycle of poverty in labour-sending areas. By GREG NICOLSON.
Throughout history, human beings have killed wild animals to defend, avenge, profit or feed themselves. They still do. But there are a few who kill for another reason: pleasure. Why the pain and death of a beautiful creature gives them gratification is puzzling – perhaps they had father issues as teenagers – but there are more important questions that need answers. DON PINNOCK tries to sort out the truth from the rhetoric.