April 2009

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The Zuma Presidency: New Era or Business as Usual?

Fazila Farouk - Election 2009 has turned out to be a landmark event for the ANC. The party faced some of its stiffest competition and still came out tops, despite a dismal 15-year delivery record. In an ironic twist, the people whom the ANC has failed most turned out en masse to keep it in power, while those that it’s been bending over backwards for appear to have voted for the opposition.  The actions of both groups defy belief, but in a world where perception trumps reality, perhaps one...

Protectionism and the Economic Meltdown: How About Going Beyond a Crisis Response?

Picture: World Development Movement Stephen Greenberg - The South African Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) recent announcement that it is considering the reversal of some tariff cuts appears to fly in the face of a global anti-protectionist rhetoric. At the recent G20 Summit to discuss responses to the crisis engulfing the world’s economies, politicians were falling over each other to reject ‘isolationism’ and protectionism. Everywhere the bogey of protectionism is being warned against - not only by the same...

Book Review: From the Freedom Charter to Polokwane, the Evolution of ANC Economic Policy

Picture: PhotoBookSA & Ben Turok Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - "The People shall share in the countries wealth." This clause in the Freedom Charter tells of a continuing struggle to build a society that is more equal, prosperous and in which opportunity abounds for all. In recounting the Freedom Charter, Ben Turok – who introduced the economic clause at the authentic Congress of the People, describes this role as an accident of history. Turok is the author of the book "From the Freedom Charter to Polokwane: The Evolution of ANC...

Forgotten Freedom Fighters

Al Jazeera follows the story of a group of ex-combatants from the ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) or Spear of the Nation. The story covers the trials and tribulations of the group now living in Alexandra township. They have been struggling to survive in post-apartheid South Africa despite sacrifices made for their country. Largely unemployed and living in poor conditions, these former freedom-fighters receive little support. Many are still waiting to receive, at the very least,...

On Shaky Ground: Countries That Joined US, Israel Boycott of UN Racism Conference

Picture: www.gayrightschange.org Democracy Now - A number of Western countries are joining the United States and Israel in boycotting the United Nations (UN) World Conference on Racism, which hosted by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, opened in Geneva, Switzerland on 20 April 2009. Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and New Zealand all announced they would boycott the conference soon after the US announced its formal decision not to attend Saturday. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the opening session he was...

Public Intellectuals for Hire

Picture: www.shop.com John Reynolds - It would be amusing if it were not so tragic to watch some of our self-styled 'public intellectuals' outdo each other in their efforts to find a place for themselves in 'Zuma’s Brave New World'. Integrity is readily exchanged for expediency and principle easily substituted by opportunism. Public intellectuals, especially of the craven type, live for recognition and adoration. Like the court jesters of lore, they cannot conceive of an existence independent of a benefactor. What is the...