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Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Zuma’s State of the Nation Address attracted ‘positive sentiment’, according to social media research

State of the Nation: South Africa 2012–2013State of the Nation: South Africa 1994-2014State of the Nation 2016

 
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) started the increase in “social media negativity”.

National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete made things worse.

President Jacob Zuma came to the rescue and lifted the tone of the online chatter.

That’s according to analysis done by Media Tenor South Africa on last Thursday’s State of the Nation Address‚ which focused on the “conversations that occurred on Twitter”.

Media Tenor says the negativity set in when the EFF “began disrupt the event”‚ then added that the “tonality dropped even lower as … Mbete was criticised by social media users for the manner in which she was interpreting and applying the rules of Parliament”.

Once the EFF had left the house‚ Media Tenor said‚ “and the president continued with his speech‚ his coverage became largely objective”.

“He was able to attract some positive sentiment on the government’s plans to attract investment and address speding levels in the country.”

Zuma’s reply to parties on Thursday – following two chaotic days of debate on his address – “is likely to be a key factor which will shape social media conversations on the president”.


Source: TMG Digital

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  • State of the Nation 2016: Who is in Charge? Mandates, Accountability and Contestations in South Africa edited by Daniel Plaatjies, Charles Hongoro, Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Muxe Nkondo, Francis Nyamnjoh
    EAN: 9780796925138
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  • State of the Nation: South Africa 1994-2014: A twenty-year review of freedom and democracy by Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Muxe Nkondo, Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Moses Sithole, Francis Nyamnjoh
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    EAN: 9780796924612
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  • State of the Nation: South Africa 2012–2013: Addressing Inequality and Poverty edited by Jonathan D Jansen, Francis Nyamnjoh, Udesh Pillay, Gerard Hagg
    EAN: 9780796924223
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Presidency tweets last year’s ’9 point plan’ ahead of the State of the Nation Address

State of the NationState of the Nation: South Africa 2012–2013State of the Nation: South Africa 1994-2014State of the Nation 2016

 

Critics who said they will give Thursday night’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) a miss because they’ve “heard it all before” would probably use the Presidency’s Twitter account as proof that they were right.

Shortly before noon‚ the official Twitter account of the Presidency, @PresidencyZA, let them hear it all again – in all of South Africa’s 11 official languages.

It tweeted details of the speech and attached a flyer containing the bullet points of “Government’s 9 point plan to grow the economy & create jobs” in each of the tongues‚ rounded off with the “#SONA2016” hashtag.

President Jacob Zuma announced the “nine-point plan to boost economic growth and create much-needed jobs” during the 2015 edition of his State of the National Address.

The nine points are:

1. Resolving the energy challenge
2. Revitalising agriculture and the agro-processing value chain
3. Advancing beneficiation or adding value to the mineral wealth
4. More effective implementation of a higher impact Industrial Action Policy Action Plan (IPAP)
5. Encouraging private-sector investment
6. Moderating workplace conflict
7. Unlocking the potential of SMMEs‚ cooperatives‚ townships and rural enterprises
8. State reform and boosting the role of state-owned companies‚ information and communications technology infrastructure or broadband roll-out‚ water‚ sanitation and transport infrastructure
9. Operation Phakisa‚ which is aimed at growing the ocean economy and other sectors

While political commentators have said this would be Zuma’s hardest Sona yet‚ the Presidency on Wednesday tweeted a photo with the caption: “President Zuma has high tea with some of his special guests who are invited to the SoNA taking place 2moro #SONA2016”.

Source: TMG Digital

 
Related stories:

Book details

  • State of the Nation: South Africa 2012–2013: Addressing Inequality and Poverty edited by Jonathan D Jansen, Francis Nyamnjoh, Udesh Pillay, Gerard Hagg
    EAN: 9780796924223
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
  • State of the Nation: South Africa 1994-2014: A twenty-year review of freedom and democracy by Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Muxe Nkondo, Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Moses Sithole, Francis Nyamnjoh
    Book homepage
    EAN: 9780796924612
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
  • State of the Nation 2016: Who is in Charge? Mandates, Accountability and Contestations in South Africa edited by Daniel Plaatjies, Charles Hongoro, Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Muxe Nkondo, Francis Nyamnjoh
    EAN: 9780796925138
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Cosatu calls for comprehensive investigation into South African maize price manipulation

COSATU's Contested LegacyIn a statement published on their website, Cosatu has demanded that maize price manipulators be jailed.

Cosatu provincial secretary in the Western Cape Tony Ehrenreich says that traders are using the ongoing drought, reportedly the worst in over a century, to manipulate maize prices and unjustly raise prices. A call has been made for a comprehensive investigation and for “the trading of maize to be made public” so pricing can be monitored.

Read the full press release:

COSATU demands that maize price manipulators be jailed

COSATU is concerned that traders are using the drought to manipulate maize price increases. The cost and supply of maize is very different to that being presented by the media. The media reports that maize prices are rising with amounts that only affect a small quantum of maize sold. The amount of maize sold is within the amount that is available in South Africa in spite of the drought. It would seem that traders are manipulating the price of maize, where it is being bought and sold. This has a huge impact on poor communities who are dependent on maize as a basic food item. This increase has a knock on effect on other prices as it is an important input into meat production etc.

COSATU calls for an investigation into the pricing of maize as this is clearly being manipulated by traders who are buying and selling amongst themselves. There can be no other reason that justifies an increase of R150 per ton when all other factors driving cost remain the same except local purchases of 70 000 tons. Cosatu wants the trading of maize to be made public so we can follow the pricing and see who is driving price increases through purchases. These purchases should be publicly available. Cosatu calls on the Competition Commission to investigate the pricing model of the maize and the prices on the SAFEX and the JSE. We also want a comprehensive investigation done into the demand and supply of maize in South Africa, in light of the drought. We believe the Government should intervene into the supply and pricing of maize given its central role in food security and hunger alleviation.

COSATU want the investigation concluded as a matter of urgency and the perpetrators to be jailed for undermining South Africans’ food security through price manipulation.

With questions please call Tony on 082 7733 194

Source: COSATU

Read more about the trade union federation in COSATU’s Contested Legacy: South African trade unions in the second decade of democracy, edited by Sakhela Buhlungu and Malehoko Tshoaedi.

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Cosatu Calls for an End to Skewed Power Relations within the Tripartite Alliance

COSATU's Contested LegacyThe Tripartite Alliance was formed in early 1990 when political parties were unbanned, and consists of the South African Communist Party (SACP), the African National Congress (ANC) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

Cosatu recently expressed its dismay at the skewed power relations between the different parties, calling for a reconfiguration within the tripartite alliance, which is currently dominated by the ANC.

Times LIVE reports that Cosatu general-secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali wants all alliance partners to be treated equally when it comes to decision-making powers. “We want an alliance that will collectively develop policy in line with our vision as located in the Freedom Charter,” he said.

To find out more about the history of Cosatu, read COSATU’s Contested Legacy: South African trade unions in the second decade of democracy edited by Sakhela Buhlungu and Malehoko Tshoaedi.

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“We want an alliance that will collectively develop policy in line with our vision as located in the Freedom Charter. We want an alliance which will collectively monitor the implementation of policy and decides on deployment and which can also call ministers to account,” Cosatu general-secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg on Monday.

His call, which formed part of the outcomes of Cosatu’s 12th national congress held last week, also wanted all alliance partners to be treated equally.

This is not the first time Cosatu has made such a call.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said the refiguring of the alliance would happen with the help of the workers on the ground.

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Life Begins at 30: Cosatu Celebrates Three Decades of Defending Workers’ Rights, and the Chance for Renewal

COSATU's Contested LegacyCosatu, the largest trade union federation in South Africa, is turning 30 years old today.

Fresh out of its 12th National Congress, Cosatu sees this red-letter event an opportunity for a “new beginning for our 30-year-old giant federation of workers”.

Karl Gernetzky has written an article on the significant issues Cosatu intends to work on going forward. The balance of power within the tripartite alliance and privatisation feature prominently among the federation’s concerns.

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The federation would not be involved in early debates over African National Congress (ANC) leadership succession, but was still adamant a “reconfiguration” of the tripartite alliance was necessary, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said at a briefing in Johannesburg.

Cosatu’s newly elected Cosatu office bearers briefed the media on Monday regarding preparations for its 30th anniversary celebration in Durban on Saturday. The federation has also finalised the declaration from its four-day national congress, which concluded on Thursday.

In a statement about the National Congress, which wrapped up last week, Cosatu commented on this important anniversary:

The federation of Elijah Bharayi, Chris Dlamini and John Gomomo is turning 30 years old tomorrow, the 1st of December 2015. This is a big milestone for the South African workers and the entire working class. We shall be celebrating this historical anniversary of the federation in Durban, at the weekend, where we will hold a rally on the 5th of December at Curries Fountain Stadium.

We will use this occasion to trace our footsteps back to the early days of this federation. We shall reflect on the vital historical moments and learn from the glorious victories that were secured by workers over the last thirty years. We will remember the role of the federation, working with the Mass Democratic Movement, under the leadership of the United Democratic Front (UDF), where it waged relentless struggles in the fight against the apartheid regime.

We will reflect on the baptismal of fire that confronted the federation during the period of its birth in 1985, where an unprecedented 1.3-million working hours were lost to strike action. In response to this birth of a giant federation, the apartheid government applied a state of emergency between July 1985 and March 1986, in many parts of the country.

These battles resulted in the withdrawal of the requirement to carry passbooks on the 23rd of July 1986, by the apartheid regime, and the formal removal from the statute books the pass laws on the 13th November1986.

During those early years, COSATU had already shown its fighting capacity. In 1988, millions of workers stayed away from work to demand the reversal of the changes in the Labour Relations Act, despite the consistent threat of dismissals by employers. In 1990, the regime agreed to COSATU’s proposed amendments to the LRA.

We will be revisiting these battles and victories not because, we idealise the past but because we honour it ,as we imagine the future. We have a lot of history to learn from as we chart the new path that will keep this federation standing for another 30 years.

Read more about the trade union federation in COSATU’s Contested Legacy: South African trade unions in the second decade of democracy edited by Sakhela Buhlungu and Malehoko

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16 Days of Activism to Focus on How War and Conflict Affect Women’s Right to Education

Deconstructing Women, Peace and SecurityWomen's Property Rights, HIV and AIDS

 
It’s day two of 2015′s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an annual international campaign that starts on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day.

16 Days of Activism aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence at the local, national, regional and international level.

The theme of the 16 Days Campaign this year is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All!”:

This year, the 16 Days Campaign will focus specifically on the relationship between militarism and the right to education in situations of violent conflict, in relative peace, and variety of education settings, while continuing to make the links with militarism, as an encompassing patriarchal system of discrimination and inequality based on our relationships to power.

Education is a public good and fundamental human right recognized in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and upheld in various international and regional human rights conventions and treaties. Nonetheless, the right to education is subject to political, economic, and social shifts and upheavals, leaving certain groups (especially women, girls, people with disabilities, LGBTQI people, migrants, and indigenous people) particularly vulnerable and liable to being denied this crucial right. Recent data shows that approximately 38 million people are internally displaced worldwide, while 16.7 million are refugees. Girls and young women in particular are most adversely impacted by insecurity and crisis, with the most recent estimates showing that 31 million girls at primary level and 34 million at lower secondary level are not enrolled in school , and 15 million girls and 10 million boys will never see the inside of a classroom. As many as 58 million children of primary school age do not have access to education, with approximately half of these (28.5 million) living in conflict affected areas.

Follow the campaign on social media for more:

 
Two recent HSRC Press books deal precisely with the issues raised by this year’s 16 Days Campaign: Deconstructing Women, Peace and Security: A Critical Review of Approaches to Gender and Empowerment edited by Sandra Cheldelin and Martha Mutisi, and Women’s Property Rights, HIV and AIDS edited by Hema Swaminathan, Cheryl Walker and Margaret Rugadya.

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“Apartheid-era Police Tactics” – Adam Haupt on the Recent #FeesMustFall Protest at UCT

StaticAdam Haupt, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Film and Media Studies and author of Static: Race and Representation in Post-Apartheid Music, Media and Film, wrote an op-ed recently for The Con reflecting on the violent police action shown on university campuses during the Fees Must Fall protests.

Speaking specifically about the events that occurred on Monday, 19 October, when students occupied UCT’s main administration building, Bremner (which was known as Azania House during #RhodesMustFall), Haupt says that by the time he arrived in the early evening: “The police were present wearing riot gear armour, helmets, armed with guns, rifles and large bullets studded on to their belts. They were ready for war.”

Haupt and his colleagues tried to persuade the police not to initiate any violence, but he says the officer they spoke to was “not interested” in what they had to say, adding that he “spoke the language of an apartheid-era policeman”.

Read Haupt’s piece:

Students and staff members alike experienced the violence of the police officers’ message. Their communication was as clear as a bullet in the chamber. They were intent on a performance of violence and got some satisfaction. As SAPS left, people came out from their hiding places – dazed, traumatised, violated.

I say violated because I had always assumed that the university was a safe space, one where debate, protest and dissent were possible without inviting the aggression of apartheid-era police tactics. Unlike the approach adopted by Wits VC Prof Adam Habib, UCT’s instinct was not to engage, but to invite a “tough”, masculinist performance into a space that is grappling with racist, patriarchal inheritance. The performance of the police at Parliament was therefore prefigured by their performance on campus – both performances suggest that SAPS has not changed at all.

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Dear Brother Fanon … Reading Black Skin, White Masks in the Context of #Luister and #RhodesMustFall

Voices of LiberationThato Magano has written a piece in the form of a letter to Frantz Fanon, over 50 years since the publication of his seminal work, Black Skin, White Masks.

Magano considers the recent upsurge in student movements at tertiary institutions, such as Rhodes Must Fall, Rhodes So White, Transform Wits and Open Stellenbosch, in the context of two recent events.

The first event Magano considers Mbe Mbhele’s controversial proclamation during the Ruth First Lecture: “fuck off white people, fuck off”, and the second being Luister, a documentary detailing experiences of racism by black students at Stellenbosch University.

Read the article:

Reading you brother Fanon, you seem to suggest that these actions of revolution and decolonising, as inherently focused towards the enhancing of black life, are ultimately actions seeking the affirmation of black bodies by the other that is white, on the basis of ethical sensibility. I had been excited that these student led movements were saying that decolonisation must happen, that they were prepared for the revolution and that they were not appealing to the sensibilities of whiteness in any way. That after many years of calling for transformation of our relational, social and economic spaces, the call for decolonisation was one stemming from a position of self actualisation, where the black body will finally have the opportunity to self determine without white influence.

Yet, you remind us not to lose hope and be quick to declare “that the black man feels inferior” however, to see that “the truth is that he is made to feel inferior” and “that the black problem is not just about Blacks living among Whites, but about the black man exploited, enslaved, and despised by a colonialist and capitalist society that happens to be white.” You also remind us that “after having driven himself to the limits of self-destruction, the black man, meticulously or impetuously, will jump into the “black hole” from which will gush forth “the great black scream with such force that it will shake the foundations of the world”.”

I ask you then brother Fanon, should we not see these actions as the beginnings of ‘the great black scream’ that is to shake the foundations of the world? Is the threat of an utterance such as Mbe’s, telling whiteness and white people to ‘fuck off’, an act of agency that is not an appeal to ethical sensibility? Is it not that the disruption of spaces and the betraying of the “’the white family as the educating and training ground for entry into society’ as ‘the family structure is internalized in the superego … and projected into political [though I would say social] behaviour’” a critical act in removing the gaze of whiteness that pervades the experience of being black?

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What Do Steve Biko and Black Consciousness Have to do With #Luister?

Voices of Liberation: Steve BikoVoices of LiberationMashupye Herbert Maserumule recently wrote an essay for the Rand Daily Mail on why the “influence of Steve Biko is as apt today as it was in the 1980s”.

Maserumule observes that Black Consciousness seems to appeal to the “country’s black youth born after the end of apartheid in 1994” and quotes Frantz Fanon, who said: “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it.”

Maserumule refers to the controversial language policy at Stellenbosch University and says that the students represented by the Luister documentary are fighting to “restore and assert black pride — the essence of Biko’s philosophy of Black Consciousness”.

Read the article:

This much is evident in the accounts of 32 students at the University of Stellenbosch in the online documentary #Luister. “Luister” is Afrikaans for listen.

The struggles of the born-frees beg the questions:

Hasn’t the struggle generation betrayed its children with the architecture of the post-apartheid state?
Did it err when it focused more on political transformation to the detriment of social and economic dimensions?
Hasn’t the “Rainbow Nation” invention unwittingly normalised coloniality?

The cries of black students expose a failure to adequately situate the theoretical and strategic policy orientations of the post-apartheid transformation agenda in Biko’s Black Consciousness philosophy. As long as black pride is not attained in post-apartheid South Africa, Biko’s philosophy remains relevant. Its transcendence continues to connect generations.

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Apply Now for the UCT Graduate School of Business’ Short Course on Power Sector Reform and Regulation

Power-Sector Reform and Regulation in Africa: Lessons from Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and ZambiaThe UCT Graduate School of Business invites you to attend the 2015 Managing Power Sector Reform And Regulation short course, presented by Professor Anton Eberhard.

The course will take place from Monday, 12 October, to Friday, 16 October, at the Graduate School of Business in Cape Town. The tuition fee is R22 000 per person and the deadline for application is Thursday, 10 September.

The co-author of Power-Sector Reform and Regulation in Africa: Lessons from Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia will teach on the following programme topics:

  • International experiences of power sector reform
  • African challenges and trends in infrastructure reform and regulation
  • Overview of regulatory methods: cost of service, price- and revenue-cap, hybrids
  • Introduction to financial model: Economic and financial sustainability
  • Regulatory and procurement mechanisms for promoting renewable energy investments
  • Pro-poor regulation
  • The experience of the Africa Electricity Regulator Peer Review and Learning Network

For more information about admission requirements and certification, download the 2015 course brochure in PDF format.

Don’t miss it!

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Watch the following video in which Eberhard talks about the course, which looks at the electricity challenge in Africa:

Book Details

  • Power-Sector Reform and Regulation in Africa: Lessons from Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia by Joseph Kapika and Anton Eberhard
    EAN: 9780796924100
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