Economic Justice

SACSIS promotes the principle of just economies. We are opposed to economic development that violates social and economic rights and increases inequalities in the pursuit of economic growth.

Shadow Dancing with Debt: The Credit Ratings Agencies Must Be Reformed

Picture credit: Consilium Glenn Ashton - South African economic prospects have recently been downgraded, yet again, by major credit ratings agencies (CRA’s). The nation’s sovereign rating now stands just above junk bond status. Major parastatals like Eskom and Sanral have also been knocked by ratings declines because of poor planning and investment decisions. Similarly, South Africa’s highly regarded and robust banking system has been marked down by the CRA’s, precipitated by the recent blowback of African...

What 'Free Trade' Has Done to Central America

Picture credit: The Canadian Manuel Perez-Rocha & Julia Paley - With Republicans winning big in the midterm elections, the debate over so-called “free-trade” agreements could again take center stage in Washington. President Barack Obama has been angling for “fast-track” authority that would enable him to push the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP—a massive free-trade agreement between the United States and a host of Pacific Rim countries—through Congress with limited debate and no opportunity for amendments....

Karoo Parliament Needs Passion for Radical Transformation

Picture credit: Caroline Auzias/Wikimedia Commons Femke Brandt - On Thursday, November 6, I attended the second sitting of the Karoo Parliament in Cradock, Eastern Cape. The Parliament is hosted by the Karoo Development Foundation (KDF) that was established to examine the economic potential of the Greater Karoo, so that it can influence future government planning and expenditures. The foundation and its trustees consist mainly, not exclusively, of Afrikaner academics, business owners, entrepreneurs and farmers. During his opening speech, the chair of...

The Political Significance of Numsa's Expulsion from Cosatu

Picture credit: Irvin Jim, NUMSA Dale T. McKinley - It is arguably the most important political development of South Africa’s post-1994 era. On Friday, South Africa’s largest union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) was expelled by the majority of the leadership belonging to South Africa’s largest union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). The political significance of NUMSA’s expulsion derives from three key, inter-related areas of impact. On the ANC-Led...

Sometimes It's Better Not to Overstay One's Visit: Once More on NUMSA and the Demise of COSATU

Picture credit: Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and Irvin Jim, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa Leonard Gentle - The COSATU Central Executive Committee (CEC), the decision-making body of affiliate leaders, which meets between the more representative Congresses and Central Committees, held a meeting last week to decide on the fate of its biggest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) and to discuss the report of its General Secretary, Zwelenzima Vavi, himself the subject of dispute. This CEC was the consequence of a decision at a postponed CEC in April this year at which time the ANC...

Nene's Medium Term Budget Fails to Get Balance Right between Fiscal and Social Responsibility

Picture credit: South Africa Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - How do we measure the performance of the South African budget? The message from Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s inaugural Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement suggests dual objectives. Minister Nene has cut the expenditure ceiling and capped spending on items such as advertising, travel expenses, catering and consultants. Balancing the books sensibly and attempting to ensure effective use of public monies will encourage investor confidence and also pay for the salaries and equipment...