Weekly wrap up: 27 February

By Andrea Teagle 27 February 2016

Gordhan tweaks SA's economic machine, NWU buildings burn, and Iran votes

This week’s wrap up

Retuning SA’s economic machine 
In Thursday’s budget speech, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan walked the country through the creative tax tweaks, state salary cuts and expenditure ‘reprioritisation’ intended to re-rail SA’s economy without blanket tax increases. Under an expenditure ceiling lowered by R10 billion, R31.8 billion will be reallocated to oiling the higher education, economic infrastructure and social welfare cogs. On the media front, Gordhan’s efforts to rescue SA’s economy met with literal applause on Thursday. But, overhead, the SARS rogue unit controversy still looms. With the Hawks readying for attack, the ANC on Friday came out in support of the Finance Minister.

From buses to buildings 
On Wednesday, student protesters torched buildings at North West University. Campus was closed after the Administration and Science Centre buildings succumbed to fire. Also up in flames is the once wide-spread, unified support for the students’ cause that accompanied the #FeesMustFall protests last year. Meanwhile, one attempt to unify students amidst rising racial tensions, the so-called Tuks #ColourBlind campaign, has been criticised for failing to acknowledge very real racial inequalities. 

Iran’s election battles 
As the US electoral race speeds up, Iranians are voting in the first parliamentary elections since the nuclear deal concluded under President Hassan Rouhani’s rule. The elections will measure public support for Iran’s reformists, and set the scene for a progression toward more moderate governance, or a return to hardline conservative rule.  To implement promised economic reform, President Hassan Rouhani needs the support of the newly elected parliament. If the hardliners come out on top, a less ‘moderate’ Iran is not one that makes for pleasant imagining

Video of the Week

Everything we Think we Know about Addiction is Wrong

Fact of the Week
As February makes its exit, here’s what maths has to say about achieving happily-ever-after. Says mathematician Hannah Fry (and a basic mathematical problem), your odds of finding the ideal partner are greatest if you date and reject the first 37% of your life’s suitors. Of course, you’d have to guess the total number of potential partners you’re likely to meet, and you may get it wrong.  But if you can nail down a reasonable estimate, the maths is unequivocal about when to stop. 

Culture Dose

Tobacco and the Harmful Effects Thereof. A popular adaption of Chekhov’s one-act play about the break-down of a lecturer whose own voice is lost amidst the words he speaks. On at The Market Theatre for one more week. 

Body Words part II. The second installment of the human anatomy exhibitionthat attracted 40 million viewers worldwide gives you more insight into the incredible workings beneath our skins. At the Sci Bono centre from Tuesday, 1 March.

Happy Sundays at Melville’s 27 Boxes provides the perfect excuse to drag the family to Melville. The market brings further quirky touches to this already quirky centre: food stalls, craft stalls and kids’ entertainment. 

Cape Town 
Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra performs at Kirstenbosch Gardens on Sunday, led by duo Goitsemang Lehobye (soprano) and Lukhanyo Moyake (tenor). Gates open at 4pm and the concert starts at 5.30pm. Tickets: R110-R150.

The Vagina Monologues will be performed at the Inner City Ideas Cartel on Saturday, at 8pm. A liberating, honest exploration of women’s realities and issues too often considered taboo, the play raises funds for initiatives to stop violence against women. Tickets: R60-R90. 

Durban iKHO! Festival is the city’s first family puppet festival. Various award-winning kiddies’ shows run through Saturday and Sunday at the Seabrooke’s Theatre. Tickets: R35. 

Sporting Weekend

Super Rugby, Saturday: Sunwolves v Lions, 6.15am; Crisaders v Chiefs, 8.35am; Waratahs v Reds, 10.45am; Force v Rebel, 12.55pm; Kings v Sharks, 3pm; stormers v Bulls, 5.15pm.

Momentum Cup Final: Cobras v Lions, 10am, Newlands, Cape Town

Soccer, PSL: Saturday: Tuks v Chippa utd, 8.30am; Jomo Cosmos v SuperSport Utd, 8.30amOrlando Pirates v Bloem celtics, 1.15pm.

Sunday: Golden Arrows v Platinum Stars, 8.30am.


Support DAILY MAVERICK & get FREE UBER vouchers every month

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money, though not nearly as much as its absence can cost global community. No country can live and prosper without truth - that's why it matters.

Every Daily Maverick article and every Scorpio exposé is proof of our dedication to this unshakeable mission. Investing in our news media is by far the most effective investment into South Africa's future.

You can support Independent and Investigative journalism by joining Maverick Insider. If you contribute R150 or more per month you will receive R100 back in UBER vouchers. EVERY MONTH until October 2019.

So, if you'd like to help and do something meaningful for yourself and your country, then sign up to become a Maverick Insider. Together we can Defend Truth.


Leaked Treasury letter shows government rifts over NHI

By Marcus Low & Anso Thom for SPOTLIGHT

Game publisher Electronic Arts has been voted "The Worst Company in America" two years in a row 2012 and 2013.