Amakhosi in KwaZulu-Natal are threatening that there will be hell to pay should control of tribal land be taken away from them, and true to their word the issue surfaced in the first parliamentary debate of the year. With the ANC fractured as it is in the province, and with a general election just over a year away, this matter could menacingly hang around for a while yet. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
If you ever need somebody to ruin a party, consider inviting a dude from a ratings agency. At a Daily Maverick post-Budget event in Cape Town on Thursday, Standard & Poor’s chief Konrad Reuss warned that the so-called Ramaphosa Spring in South Africa could turn into something more like the Arab Spring if the country doesn’t change course fast. This, despite the fact that the Budget has addressed some aspects of the South African economy that the ratings boss believed were previously “very scary”. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Claims that the poor won’t pay more for an increase in value added tax (VAT), tabled in Malusi Gigaba’s Budget, are false. The questions are: did the Budget manage to mitigate increases in costs for the the poor – and were there other options? By GREG NICOLSON.
The United Kingdom has updated its travel advisory for South Africa, warning that “terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in country”. The advisory follows the kidnapping of a couple in KwaZulu-Natal by two people allegedly linked to a so-called “KwaZulu-Natal IS cell”. There are two essential aspects that require response: the motive for the alert, and South Africa’s vulnerability to an attack. By JASMINE OPPERMAN.
Optimum Coal Mine management has laid the blame for the company’s severe financial woes at the door of state-owned companies Eskom and Transnet – this despite lagging far behind on its coal supply obligations to the power utility. By Jessica Bezuidenhout for SCORPIO.
What usually unfolds over two weeks at Parliament – the State of the Nation Address, its debate and presidential reply and the Budget – was successfully crammed into four working days. That it was done from last Friday to Wednesday shows that the national legislature can step up its pace rather than stalling amid protocol and procedure snarl-ups. But by Thursday many MPs sighed a breath of relief that the debate on the DA motion to dissolve Parliament had been postponed and, once the party political caucuses were done, it was time to take time out. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Premier Helen Zille delivered her 11th State of the Province address on Thursday, marking the official opening of the Western Cape provincial parliament. In between loud heckling from members of the house Zille managed to deliver her address in just over two hours, focusing on the water crisis, social housing, health, education and safety. By SUNÉ PAYNE AND LEILA DOUGAN.
Billy Graham was our grand uncle in the “thoughts and prayers” business. Christianity was open for business. From stadium Christianity to television evangelism, after Billy Graham the numbers were staggering, growth in the industry exponential. While the jury may still be out on the overall global trends in religiosity, the shift towards evangelical Christianity, at least in the US has happened. Billy Graham was its greatest proponent. By PATRICK PILLAY.
During his State of the Nation address, newly-minted State President Cyril Ramaphosa made mention of the ocean economy, noting the national effort to develop this frontier for economic growth. Although one of the key initiatives of Jacob Zuma’s presidency, little has truly been achieved through Operation Phakisa; but President Ramaphosa now has an opportunity to breathe life into economic development opportunities at sea. By LISA OTTO.
February 17 marked World Pangolin Day. The day is meant to draw attention to the plight of the pangolin, the most trafficked animal in the world. One trafficking hotspot is Cameroon. By the AFRICA-CHINA REPORTING PROJECT, HK01 and ANU NKEZE PAUL.
Trying to define fascism, the British historian, Ian Kershaw wrote, is like “trying to nail jelly to a wall”. Fascism is as complex as the rhetoric of fascists is confounding. It is almost impossible, therefore, to pin down, exactly, what it is or who really is a fascist. What does help is to situate even the faintest notions of fascism in specific historical and functional contexts. Perhaps this way we may make some gains.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba came to Parliament to deliver his Budget Speech amid much speculation. Would he or wouldn’t he be the FinMin to deliver the actual speech? In the end he was. Lest we forget, Gigaba paved the way for the Gupta family’s naturalisation as citizens. In June last year, he failed to appear before Parliament to explain the matter.
by Andrew BEATTY / with Michael Mathes in National Harbor, Maryland America's powerful gun industry on Thursday accused its critics of exploiting a deadly school shooting in Florida for political gain, as President Donald Trump watered down demands for tougher regulation with a deeply controversial call to arm teachers.