- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
I love the Eastern Cape – I grew up there and have so many fond memories of its beautiful beaches, winding rivers and rolling uplands clothed in impenetrable thicket vegetation. The hills and rivers and beaches are still there, but sadly only patches of thicket remain, a great deal of it lost to changing land use, mostly farming. By PETER BORCHERT for UNTOLD AFRICA.
The Daily Maverick hauls out its trusty crystal ball, that old Ouija board, and a well-used pack of tarot cards, once more time, to consider what might happen if South Africa suddenly had to confront a great flood of refugees similar to those waves of thousands upon thousands of desperate people attempting to enter Western Europe from Syria and North Africa. J BROOKS SPECTOR filed this report from the future.
A South African team of researchers has been working diligently on a research route laying the groundwork for an HIV vaccine, and a breakthrough study led by a University of the Witwatersrand PhD student was recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine. So how far are we, really, from a vaccine? By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Emerging from the African National Congress’s national general council, the news that the ruling party is considering implementing a ‘wealth tax’ is certain to set some moneyed hearts a-flutter. It’s not a new idea, but it seems it might be being taken more seriously now than previously. REBECCA DAVIS considers the notion with some help from financial minds.
After the African National Congress (ANC) resolved this past weekend at its national general council that the government “should fast-track the implementation of the Presidential Commission review of provinces”. the question of whether it would be wise (and constitutionally possible) to change the powers or the boundaries of provinces has again becoming a political talking point. While the system of provincial government is not working as well as it should, it is far from clear that it will be either politically or constitutionally possible to change the system. By PIERRE DE VOS.
The landmark silicosis class action lawsuit in South Africa has thrown up some similarities between the history of the country's gold mines and the violent history of the rubber trade in the Congo. Over decades, South Africa's gold mines systematically exposed their mostly poor and black workers to dangerous levels of silica dust knowing it would kill them. By MARCUS LOW for GROUNDUP.
South Africa needs less talk of reducing migration, of associating migrants with negative outcomes, or of sending illegal migrants home. Instead it requires a better informed, cohesive and regionally responsive labour migration policy framework that recognises the country's socio-economic challenges and develops provisions that will ensure migrant workers contribute to, rather than work on the periphery of, national economic and labour objectives. By ZAHEERA JINNAH.
Between taking selfies with a cardboard cut-out of Boer hero and president of the Transvaal Republic Paul Kruger, listening to bible readings, singing along to Sarie Marais and eating champion koeksisters, the 2,770 delegates who attended the Solidarity Movement's Toekomsberaad – Helpmekaar 2020 summit in Centurion at the weekend approved a five-year plan, which includes the establishment of a private Afrikaans university to ensure the survival of the Afrikaner in democratic South Africa. The summit was a strange blend of ethnic mobilisation and past rhetoric folded into a future vision for Afrikaners as an autonomous rather than independent cultural grouping. By MARIANNE THAMM.
What the ANC needs to do to show it means business is to wield the hatchet against one of its own. Otherwise three days of big talk and introspection at its national general council (NGC) will come to naught. President Jacob Zuma hit the panic button on Friday – the ANC had lost over a third of its members in three years, traditional supporters were turning away and corruption had severely damaged the party’s image. The NGC’s comeback strategy includes giving a group of veterans the mammoth responsibility of doing what the current leadership cannot do – clean out the rot. And from the ICC to the media, the ANC is on the attack. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The ANC really does want to change the country. It makes no bones about it. The problem has always been into what, and how. ANC conferences such as its National General Council are about just that. This time, the changes the ANC wants to make are massive. It wants a wealth tax to be considered, for South Africa to leave the International Criminal Court, and, more complex than all of that, it wants accountability at the SABC! By STEPHEN GROOTES.
If the first day of the ANC's NGC was dominated by issues around corruption, the "Premier League", and what President Jacob Zuma said was a massive decline in membership figures, Day Two saw a return to the ANC's past form. The economy is "white-owned", some of our members are corrupt because they "inherited a corrupt system", the membership debate is "hysterical" and the West is, of course, against us; nothing we haven't heard before. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
On Friday both President Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe outlined some of the major problems facing the ANC. Issues around gate-keeping, the loss of members, the rise of the "Premier League", all of them confronted, with the kind of honesty that the party often displays during its conferences. But, talking about the problems isn't going to necessarily fix them. The real problem facing the ANC now is one of structure, and the problem of a party that has its origins in a racial struggle. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The ruling party has recorded a massive and unprecedented plummet in membership. President Jacob Zuma told the opening of the ANC’s national general council (NGC) in Midrand on Friday that a frank assessment was needed as the party’s traditional support base were unhappy and choosing to abstain during elections. The president revealed that the ANC’s membership had dropped to 769,870, a drop of 450,187 members. In his organisational report, secretary general Gwede Mantashe told delegates that ANC branches were “polluted” by factional politics and the party was at risk of “being sold to the highest bidder”. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
As the African National Congress starts is national general council (NGC) on Friday morning, a strange air of the unpredictable has arrived to break the baking Gauteng heat. What just two days ago looked like a pretty boring event has suddenly taken on a strange twist, which just may turn out to be a significant one. At the same time, it appears that at least one party veteran is worried enough to confirm in public that he has produced a document showing what the party should do to regain the trust of South Africans, and to avoid losing elections. And Gauteng province is being troublesome. Suddenly this NGC is looking just a little more interesting. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Appeal handed down a long-awaited judgment on whether the SABC was within its rights to ignore the public protector’s finding that chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng should be suspended. The public broadcaster is left with egg on its face, while there must have been corks popping in Thuli Madonsela’s office. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The Democratic Alliance was engulfed in scandal last week, but on Thursday party leader Mmusi Maimane led a spirited attack on the African National Congress and its funding company, Chancellor House. The World Bank has joined the list of those looking into the company's deal with Hitachi and for Maimane it couldn't have come at a better time. By GREG NICOLSON.
Almost everything and everyone, it turns out. If last week's anti-corruption march had a vague focus, Cosatu's national strike on Wednesday included something for everyone. The demands however aren't the point. It was an attempt to foster unity while the federation is fractured, a search for relevance while Cosatu is under unprecedented pressure. By BHEKI C. SIMELANE & GREG NICOLSON.
There’s a sense that we’ve reached something of a tipping-point in this fifth Parliament, with the majority of political parties bent on losing the more carnival-esque elements of recent proceedings and putting noses to grindstones. Rule changes are being mooted in several important respects, while the Democratic Alliance has now come forward to claim the procedure for asking questions of the executive is being tampered with. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The ANC national general council (NGC) takes place this weekend and while succession is not on the agenda, it looms large. The ANC in Gauteng is taking some fresh ideas to the NGC, such as investing retirement funds into the economy, and sticking to its guns on old issues such as e-tolls. Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile also wants a forum of provincial leaders to replace the “premier league” and believes that instead of another bruising leadership battle, the ANC structures should elect its leaders by consensus. In a candid interview with RANJENI MUNUSAMY, Mashatile said Gauteng was “open to persuasion” on the next presidential candidate.
Want to become a South African judge? Expect to have your personal history closely scrutinised. Drunk driving, a flirtation with the Broederbond, and a former life as a Democratic Alliance MP are just some of the skeletons that have been unearthed so far. This week’s hearings of the Judicial Service Commission, to appoint 17 new judges, are giving white male candidates a particularly thorough going-over. The demographics of the judiciary remain foremost on many commissioners’ minds. By REBECCA DAVIS.
As the band gets ready to play and the curtains begin to twitch in anticipation of being raised on the African National Congress's (ANC's) national general council, it is hard to discern what the main theme or outcome of this event will actually be. That there will be power plays and factional battles, and policy debates is not in doubt. But, in another indication of the unique space the ANC is in at the moment, that could be a rather boring gathering. Despite the fact that it could, quite literally, determine the future of the country. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Last week, when the Rhodes Must Fall Movement, in solidarity with a number of other groups, disrupted an event at which economist Thomas Piketty was to give an address, the movement promised that chaos would be forthcoming if their demands regarding the conditions for workers at universities were not met. On Tuesday 6 October, they marched as promised on campuses across the country. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
The Democratic Alliance Student Alliance's victory in Student Representative Council elections at the University of Fort Hare in May was a surprise given that the institution is historically a stronghold of organisations aligned to the African National Congress. But it remains to be seen whether the change in student leadership will turn around the ailing institution. By SIBUSISO TSHABALALA for GROUNDUP.
In an excerpt from a plenary lecture he presented to the International Sociological Association World Congress in July 2014, PETER ALEXANDER argues that while Thomas Piketty has produced a seminal tome that greatly enhances our understanding of a critical problem facing humanity, his treatment of Marikana reveals significant limitations.