There is no doubt that China’s emergence as the world’s second-largest economy and, particularly, its role in Africa, has shaken up the established order. No longer is the African continent seen as a problem to be solved by Western charity, but rather a business opportunity.
The talking heads at last week’s Jobs Summit among government, business and labour have decreed that they will create 275,000 jobs per year. If it was that easy, why didn’t they promise a million jobs a year? After all, they can always fudge the numbers, as they usually do.
The role of debt in Africa is that of a mechanism that has created an enslaving relationship between Africa and its creditors. Economies that have dollar-denominated debt are the most vulnerable to financial market volatility. As the dollar strengthens, the cost of repaying the debt rises and usually results in the rapid depreciation of the debtors’ currency. Here in South Africa we have seen these dynamics play out with our own currency.
Things are really bad, but things have never been better. This is the central premise of Hans Rosling’s book Factfulness (available on Amazon). It is a fascinating read and, if you accept his arguments, it is a book that cannot help but shift your perception of the world and help calm your reaction to the daily onslaught of looming disaster.
A year after the Robben Island ferry incident — in which 64 tourists were rescued in rough seas 3km off the V&A Waterfront when the vessel Thandi began taking water — members of the Western Cape provincial legislature have been updated about what preventive steps have been taken.
Cyril’s crossroads: Ramaphosa stays mum on Nene as he delivers Tutu lecture with forceful focus on land
On Monday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa made his first major public appearance since noise began to grow as to Finance Minister Nhanhla Nene’s future in his Cabinet. But Nene’s fate was not on the agenda: Ramaphosa was in Cape Town to deliver the 8th annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture. Though the topic at hand was peace, the President used his platform to issue a robust response to doubters on the land issue.
While there is no certainty yet about the future of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, what is now surely certain is that President Cyril Ramaphosa is facing an interesting and complicated headache. One of the complications is that it could be an opportunity to increase or consolidate his power. But it is also a moment fraught with political peril that may throw dark shadows over his “new dawn”.
It is true that whoever leads the ANC and the country operates with constraints, related to debt and also divisions within the ANC. But has the Ramaphosa-led leadership done what it could, within the constraints, to address the problems of the country? Has it taken the practical steps needed to address pressing issues such as land or has it succumbed to populist rhetoric?
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu’s office is preparing to implement the Public Audit Amendment Bill, which will finally allow action to be taken against financially errant government entities. Now President Cyril Ramaphosa just needs to sign the law.
GROUNDUP: They were forcibly removed under apartheid. Now they want their land back. But it’s occupied.
A group of residents who used to stay on a piece of land in Old Brakpan location in Ekurhuleni before they were forcefully removed during the apartheid era have vowed to take back the land. But the land is currently the site of an illegal occupation, as well as municipal plans for a mega housing project.
OP-ED: How to take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to close the vertical pay gap in South Africa
Respect Section 27 of the Employment Equity Act. It calls for the development of norms and benchmarks on proportionate income differentials. The legislation on disproportionate income differentials in a standard employment relationship already exists, but it is not being implemented.
The underlying question throughout The Fighters seems to be: ‘Has this been worth it?’ Chivers’ stories certainly contain heroics, but for every jaw-dropping account of bravery on Iraqi highways or Afghan mountainsides, he relates the toll in the form of broken families, opioid addiction, attempted suicides and shattered aspirations.
RUSSIA/AFRICA: Russia’s nuclear deal is icy, but its relations with SA are not – deputy foreign minister
Russia lost out when a change in leadership meant that the nuclear power stations deal with South Africa is on ice, at best. Still, Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov says his country’s future relations with Africa are looking bright.
Newsflash: Hawks confirm terrorism charge against 19 suspects accused of Durban bombings and mosque attack
Amid heavy security, 19 suspects appeared in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with a spate of attempted bombings in Durban in July 2018 as well as a deadly attack on a Shi’a mosque outside Verulam in May. Unusually, media and the public were barred from proceedings on the grounds that it could impact on ongoing investigations.
Nineteen suspects are expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the fatal attack at a KwaZulu-Natal mosque and the placement of several explosive devices at Durban shopping centres since March this year, according to the Hawks.
The final term is underway at Parliament this week. This session runs for eight weeks and is packed with activities. Highlights include committee, oversight and legislative work, oral questions to the Executive, important debates, Taking Parliament to the People initiative and a review of the national budget. That said, the timetable is fluid and can be overtaken by unscheduled debates, statements and events.
In 2015, the New York Times ran an article on how The Great British Bake Off Is the Key to Understanding Today’s Britain. The piece reflected on how, in the space of less than a century, Britain had gone from “the largest, most effective and arguably the most brutal empire the world had ever seen” to a nation obsessed with nostalgia and cupcakes.