ANALYSIS: Cutting numbers of provinces and government departments – a good but wildly difficult idea
It is becoming increasingly apparent that there are big moves afoot to change the structure of the state. This weekend, two Sunday newspapers carried reports of how government departments will be changed, the number cut down, and the Cabinet reduced. There is also talk of the number of provinces being reduced. While it is highly likely that these changes would improve governance, they also carry the potential for severe political turmoil.
Considering its importance to the South African economy, many people are deeply concerned about Eskom’s financial status as a going concern. EE Publishers put Eskom’s new CFO, Calib Cassim, in the hotspot.
Former South African deputy foreign affairs minister Aziz Pahad’s support for the Maduro regime in Venezuela throws into sharp relief the acceptance by political elites in southern Africa of die-hard regional governments that crush democracy to hold on to power.
Now that President Ramaphosa has announced a decision to unbundle Eskom into three separate state-owned entities — Generation, Transmission and Distribution — it is a good time to take stock of the announcement and where it leaves South Africa.
MUSLIM HERITAGE: Bo-Kaap must have heritage status, say residents of the country’s oldest Muslim settlement
Bo-Kaap, the oldest Muslim community in the country, has faced issues about gentrification as building developments clash with the area’s traditional history. Residents have consistently called for the area to be given heritage status. At a public hearing in Cape Town at the weekend, residents warned again that the area on the slopes of Signal Hill needed to have heritage protection status or its rich cultural history could be wiped out.
South Africa is set for a big 2020 on the international stage after it was announced that its president (most likely Cyril Ramaphosa) will be chairing the African Union next year. It will also be footing the bills for a certain monarchy on its border with Mpumalanga, to play host to AU activities.
Shamila Batohi took office only on 1 February 2019, but already the nation has high hopes and expectations of what the National Director of Public Prosecutions will achieve. Most public conversations on this topic have centred on corruption and addressing #StateCapture, but what can a new NDPP mean for ordinary South Africans?
Understanding matric results: Part 3: The way children are taught to read hampers their path to success
Decolonising the Literature Curriculum: We need to develop ‘rich literacies’. We need a curriculum that includes the voices of a wide range of writers, to prepare all of our children for a diverse world in which they can find their place as equals.
This last weekend a government minister sought to prevent an SABC crew from reporting and filming people who held a divergent view at an ANC rally in the Eastern Cape. Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams sought to undermine our media freedom and our democracy in the lead-up to elections. We should all be angry, and we should all demand answers and accountability. This is also about more than one offensive action by a minister; it is about our ability as a country to host free, fair and credible elections.
President Cyril Ramaphosa quietly sent an assuring signal in his State of the Nation Address to the five governments who received a diplomatic rebuke from South Africa after urging action against corruption.
I would suggest, President Cyril Ramaphosa, that you take youth seriously into your confidence. Some ministers need not come back after elections, not because of anything else but age. It does not help a country as young as South Africa to have people in their retirement age as ministers, while young people who are expected to take forward the future are not given responsibilities preparing for that future.
Liberals, centrists, ANC apparatchiks and foreign investors treated President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address like it was a religious epiphany. If you happen to be a progressive or even gently left of centre, the speech was far more profane. For the Economic Freedom Fighters, it was an occasion to whip the president on ideology. Instead, they slapped a parliamentary bouncer and invented an assassination plot. Two years ago, the red berets held all the moral authority. Now they’re behaving like clowns.