May 2010

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Public Finances and the Transparency Challenge

Picture: www.faqs.org Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - Do government departments pay any attention to what the auditor general recommends? How our government manages its finances is an issue that always stirs up a huge amount of emotions and public debate. Unfortunately, for South Africans, improving public finance management adheres to the adage “one step forward, two steps back.” Each year, the Auditor-General (AG) conducts an audit of the expenditure of government departments. Despite the fact that few departments receive wholly...

As Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Spreads, BP, Halliburton and Transocean Executives Deflect Blame for Spill

As thousands of gallons of oil continue to spew daily from a damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico, representatives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton were grilled by lawmakers in back-to-back hearings in Washington on Tuesday. Industry executives from all three corporations began with prepared testimony that involved blaming each other for the explosion and deflecting responsibility for the unfolding environmental and economic disaster.  In the clip above, Democracy Now airs excerpts of...

Marching to Tshwane?

Picture: Agencia Brasil Richard Pithouse - A year into his Presidency Jacob Zuma’s inability to resolve the acute tensions within the African National Congress (ANC) is painfully evident. But this does not mean that the party is drifting aimlessly. There is a clear trajectory and that course is a steady, albeit, lumbering move towards an authoritarian state driving a modernisation project via crony capitalism and the containment of the poor. The fact that Julius Malema has had to apologise for “undermining the stature of...

BASICs, BRICs and PIGS: New Acronyms and the New World Order

Picture: SACSIS Leonard Gentle - Quietly, but inexorably, the world is changing. In the past three months a number of events have occurred, which, in and of themselves may go nowhere, but indicate the emergence of tectonic shifts that will change the world as we have known it for much of the 20th century.  These changes may not necessarily be for everyone’s good, they may even portend more frightening developments, but if we don’t know about them we’ll only experience their effects like the...

A Tale of Two Apartheids

Picture: ectomorfo Mats Svensson - Most surfaces are covered with post-its, yellow, green and pink. Each post-it has its place, not randomly dotted on the wall, but consciously placed with an exact distance to the rest. I look around and see a pattern, but don’t understand all the codes: countries, persons, events, years, money… The shelves are covered with books and folders; alphabetized and based on a library structure, but with the artist’s own codes. Everything is in its place, always in the right...

British Elections: The Undoing of the Labour Party

Leo Panitch, Professor of Political Science at York University and author of "The End of Parliamentary Socialism: From New Left to New Labour" talks to Paul Jay of the Real News Network about the outcome of the recently held elections in Britain. Tony Blair of the New Labour Party ushered in the "third way," which has ended ingloriously with Gordon Brown's defeat at the polls after 13 years of Labour Party rule, which comprised winning three successive elections. This has...