September 2010

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The Politics of Economic Policies

Picture: indybay.org Leonard Gentle - Truly, we live in crazy times. What are we to make of the ongoing spats in the ANC? Are these really about nationalists versus communists? What are we to make of the nationalist, Julius Malema, and his BEE friends fighting for the nationalisation of the mines? All this while Malema also tries to get his nationalist buddy, Fikile Mbalula, to replace the communist, Gwede Mantashe, as Secretary General of the ANC in 2012. In the meantime, in order to distance themselves from such a heinous...

World Bank Report on Land Grabbing: Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors

Picture: World Bank Photo Collection GRAIN - On 7 September 2010, the World Bank finally decided to publish its much anticipated report on the global farmland grab. After years of work, several months of political negotiation and who knows how much money spent, the report was casually released on the Bank's website -- in English only. The report is both a disappointment and a failure. Everyone was expecting the Bank to provide new and solid on-the-ground data about these "large scale land acquisitions", to use their...

NGO Influence on the Wane?

Picture: World Economic Forum Glenn Ashton - The role that Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) play in South Africa regionally is under unprecedented threat from several fronts. Under apartheid, and particularly during its dying days, NGO’s had a massive influence on the emergence of the new democratic state of South Africa. Many NGO’s were de facto political instruments of the disenfranchised majority and they also had a profound reach into society as a result of the failure of the apartheid state to provide the...

Vandana Shiva on MDGs and Food Security

Video Last week more than 140 countries met at the United Nations (UN), to track progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Despite UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, taking a more optimistic view, a UN report earlier this year contends that most MDGs will not be met by 2015. The area lagging furthest behind in meeting MDGs is sub-Saharan Africa. There are more than one billion hungry people worldwide. A key target of the UN is to end world poverty and hunger, amongst other...

First Moral Leadership, Then Nationalisation

Picture: ANC (adapted by SACSIS) Saliem Fakir - There is no gentleness spared when waging war against “counter-revolutionaries” on the question of nationalisation. It’s the tough business of ruffling feathers. Those who demur get roughed up in verbal scuffles and perhaps worse. There are catcalls and labelling. Not for all of us, this is the time of high economic stakes for a few. The National General Council (NGC) of the ANC slipped through a quagmire on the issue of nationalisation and only just by the skin of its...

The Patriarch Calls Us to a Very Dubious Order

Picture: World Economic Forum - Eric Miller Richard Pithouse - Jacob Zuma sought to cast himself as the grand patriarch calling his family to order in his speech at the National General Council of the African National Congress. His call for order was warmly received by a wide range of people inside and out of the ANC. It's hardly surprising that many people have welcomed the call for order given Malema’s ranting in support of the avaricious ambitions of the predatory faction of the political class and some of the excesses in the recent strike. But...