Public Services

SACSIS promotes the fundamental right of the poor to services such as clean water, sanitation, waste management, affordable energy, public transport, health, education and social security.

Rip Eskom Apart

Picture credit: Pakistan Today Glenn Ashton - While rolling blackouts are never a joke, many South Africans cracked an ironic smile when Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba remarked that Eskom was better prepared to deal with their recent power supply crisis than in 2008. Thanks for that insight, Minister. Problem is, we still have rolling blackouts six years on, with things looking pretty dire as we approach winter. As usual we all pay, in different ways, for these systematic failures at the highest levels. Surely it is time...

UK Officially Recognises Pubs as 'Assets' With Importance Beyond their Market Value

Picture credit: On the Commons David Bollier - Why should investors always have the upper hand in “development” plans when the resource at stake is a beloved building or public space? Why should the divine right of capital necessarily prevail? How refreshing to learn that England has created a special legal process for preventing market enclosures of community pubs. There is even a Community Pubs Minister, whose duty it is to recognize the value of pubs to communities and to help safeguard their futures.  So far, some...

Safeguarding Public Health: South Africa's Challenge to International Intellectual Property Laws

Picture credit: South Africa Ayesha Jacub - Private profit versus public interest: the distinction may seem binary and simplistic but the divergence between big pharma and public health interests are increasing in polarity. Big pharma, like most big actors on the international trade scene have their interests firmly secured through lobbies touting big money, slanting legislation in their favour. With international trade legislation having direct effects on health issues in nation states, is the South African government doing enough to...

Electricity Tariffs: The Great Deception

Picture credit: 24by7news.com Cameron Brisbane - There has been an on-going protest for months in Msunduzi, home of the capital of the Province of KwaZulu- Natal, over swingeing electricity tariff increases that have caused indigent debt and hard disconnections to spiral and many businesses to downscale, relocate, or close shop. It has been wholly unreported in the national media -- nobody has been shot in the process, save one resident of an informal settlement when municipal security backed up by SAPS arrived to remove illegal cables. But...

The Politics of State Efficiency

Picture credit: Pensioner courtesy Help Age/Flickr Jane Duncan - South Africans have become used to certain parts of the state being efficient, while other parts are plagued by chronic inefficiency, to the point where many dread having to deal with them. The parastatal South African National Roads Agency, supported by the government, has finally swung into action in Gauteng, bullying road users to buy e-tags and pay exorbitant toll fees. On the same day that the e-toll system went live, thousands of commuters took to alternative routes to find their way...

What Good Healthcare Should Be: A Wonderful Case Study from Canada

Picture credit: Shouldice Hospital Ralph Nader - Do you know anybody with a hernia problem who wants to repair it and have a vacation at the same time? Well, if you do, send them to Shouldice Hospital, right outside of Toronto, Canada, situated on 23 beautifully landscaped acres with greenhouses, walking paths, stables, a tennis court and putting greens. Over four days and twelve meals, you’ll experience the finest, friendliest, safest, surgical and post-operative recovery experience in North America. You’ll pay from one-half...