February 2011

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The Real History and Contemporary Character of Black Economic Empowerment (Part 2)

Picture: moneyinafrica.com Dale T. McKinley - Editor's Note: Find "Part One" here. The ascension to and capturing of, political power always has a way of (eventually) exposing the practical underbelly of the victor’s ideological dressage. And so it was with the ANC’s transformation from liberation movement to political party in the early-mid 1990s. Flush with their ‘overwhelming mandate from the people’ in the 1994 election, the ANC leadership quickly abandoned any possibility of a radically...

Local Government Elections: The Will of the People?

Picture: bbcworldservice Jane Duncan - South Africa is gearing up for its third local government election. In an attempt to break with the authoritarianism of his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, President Jacob Zuma has promised a new approach to these elections, where more responsive candidates are selected that genuinely represent the will of the people. To this end, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has committed itself to greater community involvement in the selection of candidates. Branch members select candidates who are...

The Balance Between Growth and Redistribution: Revisiting the Call for a Basic Income Grant

Picture: Maureen Sills Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - Has the campaign for a Basic Income Grant (BIG) been successful? This question requires reflection, as in any democracy, assessing advocacy objectives can never be as simple as ticking boxes. The answer to the question is mostly answered in the negative, simply because South Africa does not have a universal income grant. The despondency of activists still supporting the campaign leads to a reaffirmation that South Africa will remain unequal and that feasible redistributive mechanisms are...

Naomi Klein and Big Noise Films: The Search for BP's Oil

Video The deepwater horizon spill has been recast as a good news story about a disaster averted. But oceanographers studying the spill say that below these healthy looking waves, the Gulf's problems are far from over. The oil from BP's spill in the Gulf didn't just magically disappear. Naomi Klein and Big Noise Films' Jacquie Soohen headed to the Gulf aboard the research vessel Weatherbird II, they found plenty of evidence of the damage still being done. 

Redrawing Colonial Boundaries: Africa in the 21st Century

Picture: USAID Africa Bureau Glenn Ashton - The borders of Sudan, Africa’s biggest country, are about to change, provided all the players in this grand game stay the distance. This could be the most significant redrawing of the colonial boundaries of Africa since the colonial transition that saw the departure of the European colonial powers, abandoning their "places in the sun." The partition of Africa into its present illogical and arbitrary boundaries took place just over a century ago, during what is now known as...

Chomsky on Egypt: 'This is the Most Remarkable Regional Uprising that I Can Remember'

Video In recent weeks, popular uprisings in the Arab world have led to the ouster of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the imminent end of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, a new Jordanian government, and a pledge by Yemen’s longtime dictator to leave office at the end of his term.  Amy Goodman of Democracy Now speaks to MIT Professor Noam Chomsky about what this means for the future of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in the region. When asked about...