State failure has become a 21st century analytical preoccupation. It is traditionally defined by the inability of key state institutions to deliver public goods to their citizens because they cannot ensure physical safety nor offer productive economic environments.
Four months after Parliament passed the National Minimum Wage Bill – it was signed into law by the President in late November 2018 to be effective from New Year’s Day 2019 – there must be an amendment bill to correct what ANC lawmakers on Wednesday said was “a mishap”, the wrong sequential cross-referencing of clauses. But the bottom line is those who make the law didn’t do their jobs properly, and not for the first time, as 2019 electioneering and politicking upped the pressure.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme received almost half a million applications for the funding of higher education in 2019. Among those who need not bother applying, however, are students who do not have a South African ID book. The idea that financial aid should be reserved for South African citizens might seem fair enough on paper — but when you consider the case of refugees or asylum seekers, everything starts to look more morally complicated.
As fresh leaders rise to power resulting from civic movements’ demand for change, it seems that the new lot pays only lip-service to better governance. According to a Human Rights Watch report, human rights abuses continue even after electing new public officials.
It is often forgotten that the Anglo-Boer War was one of the great liberal and left-wing causes of the late 19th century. The first leader of the Labour Party, Keir Hardie, saw the Afrikaners as stout peasant farmers, standing up to the might of British imperialism. Across the world, funds were raised for the Boer cause. Others went further, volunteering to make the hazardous journey to join the struggle against the British.
As the African Transformation Movement continues to attract hundreds of thousands of people and is making its presence felt, there are unfortunately some mischievous, unfounded and incorrect media reports aimed at discrediting the party.
The nightmare scenario of a Zimbabwean migration may be the result of the current crisis in that nation. If it happens, is South Africa’s government ready to respond? Have they drawn from the lessons of the Syrian catastrophe?
Since the start of the year, with the release of the 2018 matric results through to the opening of private schools on Wednesday, there have been several stories about schools and education. This is an annual occurrence but the developments seen this year are a powerful reflection of certain dynamics and trends within our society. Sometimes, events in one particular sector demonstrate how a whole society operates, what the levers of power are, and who controls them. The start of the 2019 school year is a reflection of the dynamics driving political behaviour in South Africa.
Marianne Merten: DA appropriation of Marikana and Life Esidimeni names is crude partly-political electioneering
The DA appropriating the names of those who died in the 2016 Life Esidimeni tragedy and in the August 2012 Marikana Massacre for their 2019 campaigning project smacks of the crudest form of election profiteering.
The May 2019 election is fast approaching. All those who think a vote for Cyril Ramaphosa will help him succeed at constructive reform should remember that they will be voting, not for him – nor even for the ANC – but for the National Democratic Revolutionary Alliance.
We will have to endure the painful process of electioneering as political parties ready themselves for the 2019 election battle. In 2019, South Africa will mark 25 years of democracy and freedom, with much to be celebrated. But is should also be a year to call on South Africans to continue fighting for that democracy. This election should be a reminder of how many South Africans continue to be trapped in cycles of abuse, violence and poverty (where that triple threat has become a hereditary cycle).
The “great appetites of post-colonial elites” has contributed enormously to the continuous agony of the people of Africa. While our leaders and their families go on shopping sprees, our people seek economic activity. While they seek medical assistance across the globe, our people are subjected to a lack of medical attention as well as infrastructure.
President Donald Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he’s postponing a trip she planned to take to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan because of the partial government shutdown, telling her in a letter she should stay in Washington to negotiate.
‘Nobody,’ quoth an odd little tome first published in 1836, ‘likes to be considered improper, vulgar or obtuse, nor the kind of person who doesn’t know when to offer a lady a glass of wine.’ Well, I don’t know about that but in my experience, a minute after 5pm and I'm in the doghouse.
Here’s one for your next dinner party. When Food Mole failed to receive an invitation to to the ANC’s Manifesto Preview Dinner at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, he fretted for a minute, then pulled himself together. Like a nervous Cape stock fish, he’d been in this pickle many times. Once he’d thought about it, it became clear: as on many occasions in his long life as an observer of Matters Culinary, he’d fall back on his resources of cunning and wile. He would sneak in disguised as one of Jacob Zuma’s wives. (How would he know which one? Even Msholozi can’t tell them apart much of the time.)
The food world’s gone a bit mad for avocados lately. In the States, ‘guac’ (guacamole) is bigger than Donald Trump’s ego. Okay, maybe not quite that bigly. But in South Africa, they’ve always been in fashion. Here’s a bit of lore about the humble avo, and some ways to turn them into bigly desirable dishes.
Port Elizabeth has been known for its wind, smiles and beaches but might become known for its local Asian-inspired food scene. With familiar local haunts such as Fushin, Mellas and Suki, the city’s food scene is well served with sushi and stir fry. But if your taste buds are on the hunt for adventure, get yourself to Otak-Otak.
“We are now in the aftermath phase of the listeria outbreak and I think it is high time for an objective assessment of the bigger picture after the horrors of 2018,” asserts SA food scientist, Nigel Sunley. The Big 3 challenges of food these days are safety, nutrition and sustainability and we need to look at how the events of 2018 have influenced their prioritisation in South Africa in particular, he writes.
This was the second week of by-elections in a general election year. It was another tough night for the African National Congress (ANC) as they lost their second ward of the year, but it was also a mixed bag for the governing party in the Western Cape as the Democratic Alliance (DA) won back a ward from the ANC which they lost to them in a 2017 by-election, but they also lost support to the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) in a DA stronghold on the Cape Flats in Cape Town.
With a few months till South Africans head for the polls for national elections, hundreds of Democratic Alliance supporters marched through the streets of Johannesburg on Wednesday against what the party said was a ‘murderous’ 24 years of poor reign of governance of the ANC.