LAND MUCH PROMISED, NEVER DELIVERED: South Africa has all legislative and policy tools for land redistribution – politics, patronage and governance paralysis have made it impossible so far
There is much noise around land expropriation without compensation, including from the self-serving bands of politicians gearing up for the 2019 elections. The blunt reality is that the legislative and policy tools for land redistribution, restitution and reform to redress landlessness and inequality have existed for most of democratic South Africa. That little, if anything, has taken root has more to do with competing political interests, patronage networks and governance paralysis.
Do not ask how or why, but there was a good possibility that I recently found myself leafing through ‘The American Enemy: The History of French Anti-Americanism’ by Philippe Roger. Then, this: he “embodies … a propensity for malapropisms and spelling errors. He also tends to think the world revolves around him, and modesty is not his strong suit: he is a curious mix of braggart and bourgeois”.
Independent radio host Gareth Cliff recently came under fire for comments he made disputing the popular narrative that Israel without provocation killed peaceful, unarmed Palestian protesters in Gaza. Instead, he said, it was justifiably defending its borders from incursion, and its citizens from violence. Let’s fact-check his story.
When Thabo Mbeki referred to South Africa as being a country divided into two countries, inequality was defined as an inter-racial phenomenon. But its dynamics have changed over the past two decades. Intra-racial inequality – inequality within race groups – has grown substantially, especially among black South Africans.
On Monday the council in the City of Joburg sat to discuss its budget. So complicated has our politics become, and so meaningful now are small political incidents, that this was front page news in at least one national newspaper. The big cause of it is the Economic Freedom Fighters’ behaviour, and the king-making power it has managed to achieve through its management of its “non-coalitions” with the DA in Joburg and Tshwane.
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and his DA-led government have been sent back to the drawing board to make changes to the City of Joburg’s R59-billion budget – for a second time – after the ANC rejected the entire budget while the EFF abstained from the vote but asked that the tariff adjustments be reconsidered.
NON-FINANCIAL CENSUS OF MUNICIPALITIES: Service Delivery Bucket List: Councils expand provision of services but figures are cloudy
The number of bucket toilets has reduced and municipalities are providing more water, sanitation, waste removal, and electricity services, Statistics South Africa announced on Monday on releasing its Non-Financial Census of Municipalities 2017. Still, beyond the data, many questions remain about service delivery.
In the year since Scorpio and amaBhungane obtained a trove of emails which became known as the #GuptaLeaks, KPMG, one of several private sector companies implicated in the gargantuan corruption of State Capture in South Africa, has limped from crisis to crisis. On Monday the auditing firm announced it was “reshaping” its business and that 400 employees could be losing their jobs.
The recent quarterly labour force survey once again shows depressing statistics – unemployment in South Africa has remained at 26.7% for the second quarter in a row, stubbornly refusing to budge. What lessons can South Africa learn from Ireland, which reduced its unemployment rate from 18% to 6%?
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille is back in court this week to challenge the Democratic Alliance’s ruling that De Lille effectively fired herself from her position when she stated her intention to resign in a radio interview. On Monday, the mayor’s lawyers argued that the political party acted contrary to the Constitution, the principles of good faith and fairness – and even Ubuntu – by ousting De Lille in this manner.
Given the importance of wildlife in South Africa’s tourism industry and its international reputation, it may come as a surprise that the legal protection of wild animals in South Africa is in a state of neglect. There are so many loopholes, disputes over mandates, outdated laws and non-compliances that the welfare of creatures we claim to protect, and which stand at the centre of the ‘wildlife economy’, is being ignored.
Despite the vast literature on Nelson Mandela, the qualities that his leadership comprised has been surprisingly neglected. If we are to learn from Mandela, we need to engage with what he did, how he exercised leadership and what considerations he had in mind.