Democracy & Governance

The relationship between democracy and governance and the realisation of socio-economic rights is an important issue for debate. SACSIS seeks to understand this relationship and identify issues that act as barriers to pro-poor democracy.

Zwelithini's Lice Comment Only Deflects Attention for Parasitic Royal Households

Picture: King Goodwill Zwelithini courtesy Wikipedia Alexander O'Riordan - Reuters, amongst other news agencies, directly links South Africa’s xenophobic violence to King Goodwill Zwelithini’s incendiary statements: “Let us pop our head lice. We must remove ticks and place them outside in the sun. We ask foreign nationals to pack their belongings and be sent back." However horrific and objectionable these statements are for migrants, they are also illustrative of the anxieties of the Zulu royal house. Lice and ticks are scavengers that...

Will the ANC Government Ever Prosecute South Africans Serving in the Israeli Defence force?

Picture: Matanya/Wikipedia Eddie Cottle - When South African security services prevented a Cape Town girl from boarding a plane allegedly to join ISIS, many South Africans were pleased but at the same time surprised at how swift the reaction of our security services were. How come the same reaction is not applied to South African Zionist Jews serving in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF)? The swift action of the South African security services was carried out in terms of the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act (RFMA),...

Reason after Liberalism

Picture: Political Beacon Richard Pithouse - In recent days and weeks the liberal consensus on which the post-apartheid order was founded has been burnt away like morning mist giving way to the heat of the rising sun. From our liberal universities to the streets of Durban and Johannesburg liberal values have been spurned. This is not a new phenomenon. When popular organisation arrogates for itself the right to occupy land outside of the mechanisms endorsed by the state and the market, or when the ANC mobilises against a painting, or...

Is there a Future for Progressive Politics in South Africa?

Picture: Alexis Tsipras of Greece Fazila Farouk - Analysts argue that the expulsions of Zwelinzima Vavi and Numsa from Cosatu, by a faction sympathetic to President Jacob Zuma, have clear consequences for a major re-alignment of labour in South Africa. Perhaps more importantly it forces to the fore significant consequences for the re-alignment of politics in South Africa. Numsa, the radical metalworkers’ union, is in fact hosting a “Conference for Socialism” this very week to determine whether the ground in South Africa...

Commissions of Inquiry or Omission?

Picture: Ian Farlam, chairperson of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, courtesy SABC Dale T. McKinley - Amongst its many other attributes, South Africa could arguably be called the Commission capital of the world. While there is no official list of how many Commissions of Inquiry there have been in the 20 years since 1994, suffice to say that the numbers are impressive. In the last 14 years alone there have been no less than 10 national-level, high profile Commissions of Inquiry - five of which have yet to run their course - accompanied by scores of others emanating from the executives and...

The Political Significance of South Africa's Protests

Picture: Protest in the Western Cape Jane Duncan - In the broader scheme of things, how significant are the recent wave of protests that have engulfed South Africa over the past decade? Are they another means of pressurising the ruling African National Congress (ANC) into delivering better services, or do they represent a new form of anti-systemic politics that promises to change how society is organised, and for the better? Scholars are divided on this issue. On the one hand, the South African Research Chair in Social Change –...