The ANC does a superb job of navel gazing and self-criticism. It seems almost cathartic for the ANC to diagnose its internal problems and society’s growing disenchantment with it. The nine discussion documents released on Sunday in preparation for the ANC’s fifth policy conference in June are largely a rehash of previous policy proposals. But all these, plus some new remedies such as a review of its electoral processes, can only be implemented if adopted at the party’s December national conference. This does not help this year’s messy election campaign that is likely to produce leaders and outcomes the ANC is warning itself against. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
It certainly seems Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, has been acting as a sock puppet for other interests. But who exactly? And why? Perhaps all will be revealed in Sassa’s response on Monday to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s directive for Sassa to bring concrete answers to the ConCourt on how the grants crisis was allowed to fester and unfold. But judging by previous presentations by Sassa and the minister to Parliament, someone’s going to have to do a bit of root canal to get to the bottom of the rot. Meanwhile, the Department of Social Development has admitted there is no contract with CPS. By MARIANNE THAMM.
In South Africa, like pretty much everywhere else in the known universe, the more things change the more they stay the same. The Nokuthula Simelane murder trial is testament to this truth. Because if it’s obvious that PW Botha’s security forces murdered MK operative Nokuthula Simelane in 1983, why are the NPA now acting as if they’re paid by the accused? Why have the NPA not indicted the Security Branch brigadier who gave the order for Simelane’s abduction? Why is police minister Nkosinathi Nhleko being so bloody rude? And why, even today, is “apartheid mole” the worst insult you can throw at an ANC heavy? KEVIN BLOOM considers these age-old questions in light of recent developments.
Whenever the ANC has a big conference of any kind, it is the contestation around economic policy that is most keenly followed. This is because everything hangs off the economy; arguments around affirmative action and transformation are easier if the economy is growing and tax revenues are rising, they are harder if it is not. This time the ANC’s discussion policy document, for the policy conference in July, comes within the context of growing calls for “radical economic transformation”, the increasing condemnation of “white monopoly capital”, and a power struggle with the potential to rent the entire ANC asunder. To look through this document then is to do two things; to work out how the ANC’s economic policy could change, and almost more important, to determine the balance of power within the party eight months ahead of the leadership contest. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
A wholesale review of Parliament’s structure is proposed in the ANC’s Legislature and Governance Discussion Document released on Sunday. Like the proposal to centralise policy, planning, co-ordination and resource allocation in the presidency through a proposed “department of state policy and planning”, the legislative review proposes centralisation: one Speaker of Parliament rather than the two presiding officers for the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and making the ANC Chief Whip the Chief Whip of Parliament, rather than recognising all represented political parties’ chief whips. These are proposals that, if implemented, require constitutional changes. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Legally, South Africa is once again a fully-fledged member of the International Criminal Court. The country needs parliamentary approval before it can attempt to exit the court again. For President Jacob Zuma, however, the political calculus has now changed, which presents The Hague with a golden opportunity to convince South Africa to remain inside the international justice tent. By SIMON ALLISON.
South Africa’s decision to remove itself from the ICC means a squandered opportunity to show leadership and to use its influence within the court to help assuage the concerns about the work of the ICC. Following the High Court’s decision, there is now a telling chance for South Africa to continue working to improve the ICC from within. By MAX DU PLESSIS.
State Security Minister, David Mahlobo’s, remarks at the recent Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster media briefing that the ANC-government is contemplating regulating South Africa’s social media space comes at a time when South Africa is positioning itself to play a leading role in shaping telecommunications policy and regulation, particularly in Africa. But Mahlobo’s concerns about false news and scams need to be seen in the light of the pending 2019 general election and the increasing denial of digital rights by African governments feeling threatened by the citizen empowerment that the World Wide Web facilitates. By MARIAN SHINN.
Civilians have been caught between unresponsive governments and the violence of Boko Haram. But while the Boko Haram-sparked humanitarian crisis raging in the Lake Chad Basin has largely been overlooked outside of the region, recent high-level efforts have sought to change that. By Omar Mahmood for ISS TODAY.
After four days of ups and downs, New Zealand and South Africa had to settle for a draw in the first Test in Dunedin, after day five was washed out by the rain without a single ball being bowled. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
The new UCT academic year starts on Monday, March 13. After a rough ride over the past 18 months, the Students Representative Council (SRC) needs every support it can get from the students and academics alike on the campus. This is a motion in support of the SRC by the UCT Alumni, celebrating the positive impact that they have had during very difficult times, proposed by Laurence Gawronsky.
Given the controversy around Net1, I decided to look at Net1 from an investment analyst’s perspective and to try to understand exactly what Net1 does and how it generates its profits. The company is a bit like an onion, every time you peel away a layer, you uncover something else. I cry when I peel onions.
Yonela Diko: Sassa and JSE’s Project Orion: When a big institution misjudges the difficulty of a task
As with the JSE’s Project Orion, Sassa’s IT system had to be moved in-house, but this proved extremely difficult. Moving away from this arrangement would be a tall order in the league of Project Orion and it’s possible that after we have moved, we will miss CPS and its effectiveness in distributing to Sassa beneficiaries.
The financial sector is one of the most important components of South Africa’s economy, and one which should be transformed to facilitate meaningful economic participation by the majority of the people. South Africa therefore needs a frank and open discussion on how the ownership and control of the financial services sector and other sectors of the economy must be transformed to reflect the country’s racial, gender and geographic demographics.