President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the U.S. from a 192-nation treaty that gives Chinese companies discounted shipping rates for small packages sent to American consumers, another escalation of his economic confrontation of Beijing.
Health4Sale: Government employee represents private company as Free State again prepares to outsource part of ambulance service
On 5 October 2018 the Free State Department of Health advertised a large new three-year private ambulance tender that requires 30 ambulances and about 250 paramedics. This flies in the face of comments by Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi that it is not national policy to outsource ambulance services. Earlier this year Motsoaledi said he told then Free State MEC for Health Butana Komphela that “it is wrong for them to privatise ambulance services. They must run them on their own”.
Last month’s world debut of the Audi e-tron serves as a reminder just how close the reality of electric cars really is — even in South Africa. But if Audi’s current concept cars are anything to go by, it’s only the start of an even grander mobility vision.
There is a myth that political leaders must weigh up the importance of protecting our planet against the immediate short-term needs of our citizens. We must expel this idea that these two are mutually exclusive. We now know it is not only possible to achieve the short-term needs of a country’s citizens without sacrificing long-term environmental protection measures, but in fact by tackling the environmental challenges facing us we can also increase living standards both now and in the future.
Born to a Swedish father and Australian mother, author Kristina Olsson is able to hold at least two opposing ideas in her head at the same time. It’s a facility she uses to subtly critique her home country through finely drawn characters, revealing the guilt and fear behind Australia’s bombast.
This is a factual record of what, in my view, led to the three Sunday Times mea culpas. It also goes some way in explaining the reputational damage to a once-great publication as well as two fine journalists who lost their way and found themselves being used and manipulated by very powerful forces.
Margie Orford: London Eye: Democratic institutions must be defended in an era of machismo and aggression
It is important that we use the democratic institutions that we have built up with difficulty and care in the past decades. We made them. We must defend them. And we must dial back the End-Of-Days rhetoric and keep on keeping on.
The tragedy of antiretroviral shortages is that while we await the powers that be to implement contingency plans in resolving this issue, the virus (HIV) is busy remodelling itself to resist the drugs. As the levels of ARVs in the patients’ blood diminish, the virus gets fertile grounds to emerge resistant to the medications. The emergence of these drug-resistant HIV strains will surely rubbish all the good work done by the ARVs Roll Out programmes.
This kind of theft, whether public money or the deposits of the most desperate or the SOE and municipality funds that could have been deposited in the bank to cover the original theft, matters to all of us – because it normalises an attitude that this kind of theft isn’t a real crime like sexual violence against women or murder.
From the time of Winnie Mandela’s death earlier in 2018, we have been flooded with writings on the life of this complex South African figurehead. Many suggest that her importance and the key roles she played during apartheid were only overshadowed by her heroic ex-husband, Nelson Mandela. There is a posthumous move by her supporters to gain for her the respect and applause they believe she so rightly deserves — and has been denied. But such credit won’t be easily won. Truth, Lies and Alibis: A Winnie Mandela Story, published this month by Fred Bridgland, uncovers a strong body of evidence to suggest that there were sinister goings-on which we still need to uncover.
Patricia de Lille is into the last fortnight of her tenure as Mayor of Cape Town — a post she has held since 2011 and which has been marked by very public turbulence for the last 18 months. In her final mayoral interview with Daily Maverick, De Lille describes her relationship with the DA as “abusive”, says she intends to devote at least another decade to public service and is adamant that a rumoured post as a South African ambassador overseas is not on the cards for her.
Two cases being heard in the Cape High Court involving the sadistic murder and rape of three-year-old Courtney Pieters and 21-year-old Hannah Cornelius have set out, in graphic detail, the extreme violence and horror of their last hours alive. We owe it to the victims and the families of these and thousands of other women and children who die this way in South Africa not to stare into the abyss. We need to fix this place.
UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime: South Africa should live up to Ramaphosa’s praise of civil society’s role in State Capture
In a major negotiation in Vienna, South Africa looks set to fall back on its old position, in alliance with Russia and China, that civil society should have no role in reviewing states’ adherence to international norms on combating organised crime. If it follows through, it will have blown an opportunity to strike an independent foreign policy stance on a crucial global issue where South Africa has a unique perspective — and will have taken a position that runs counter to President Ramaphosa’s own praise of civil society’s role in combating State Capture. But there is still time to change tack.
Reporter's notebook: When Might is Right – Parliamentary committee’s closed meeting and bouncers-enforced media compliance
The bouncers stood at the ready as journalists peacefully left Wednesday’s water and sanitation committee. It was closed to the media after law enforcement made promises to provide “granular detail” on probes into multi-billion-rand departmental graft. It is unprecedented in Parliament for security to be called in as protection against the media. As it turned, out neither the Hawks, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) or Special Investigating Unit (SIU) delivered the goods, never mind fireworks. Still, serious questions remain over parliamentarians’ willingness to close meetings when the constitutional bias — and parliamentary rules — are firmly for openness and accountability.
We are living through another blame and finger-pointing season. The EFF appears to blame the Reserve Bank and the Treasury (and, somehow, Pravin Gordhan) for the VBS bank scandal. The ANC and DA are relentless too, and almost everyone is blaming the Sunday Times and its now former journalists for what happened at SARS. Everyone, everywhere, blames other people for everything, for corruption, for crime, for the last 10 years, for the last 24 years, for the 342 years before that. In a democracy such as ours, it is expected and human. But when the blame game is based on politics and not facts, it is to the detriment of us all.
Nicholas Haysom (Fink to his friends) is used to tough and dangerous missions. The South African who was once Nelson Mandela’s lawyer has served with the United Nations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and South Sudan, trying to bring peace to very violent societies. Before that he helped Mandela mediate the peace deal which ended the Burundi civil war.