June 2008

Visit the archives.

More Than One Way to Cut the Pie: Providing For Foreigners and South Africans

Picture: author unknown Tara Polzer - There is a dangerous refrain in explanations for the xenophobic violence that has erupted around South Africa: that the violence was triggered by resource competition between citizens and non-citizens. Many government and civil society commentators have said, in no uncertain terms, that there is no justification for expressing competition for scarce resources through violence, but often the claim that there is indeed competition for resources, remains unquestioned. But are foreigners really...

Health as a Human Right in South Africa

Geoff Budlender talks about how the South African Constitutional Court gives meaning to the expression of "health as a human right," particularly in relation to how the state should be prioritising its health budget. He argues that the Constitution obliges the state to spend its budget in a progressive and transformative manner, which means that it must have a pro-poor tilt aimed at eradicating inequalities.

The Roots of 'Necklacing': Why White Farmers in Zimbabwe Are Responsible for the Killings in South Africa

Picture: rhodesian.net Gary Brecher - "The native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians of Southern Africa ... I personally prefer land to niggers." -- Cecil Rhodes, Founder of "Rhodesia" (Zimbabwe) (1887) "We do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests."...

The Root of Our Political Crisis Lies in Our Government Undermining Public Participation

Picture: Editor Tupp Frank Meintjies - Much of the current political uncertainty in SA - lack of focus, a sense of crisis on many fronts, large areas of misalignment between leaders and the population, a resurgence of street protests - can be explained by a lack of effective democratic participation. South Africa’s struggle was a popular one, and the intent was always to construct a society in which democracy meant more than taking part in periodic elections. The goal of a ‘deep democracy’ was always part of...

Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video

While we here at SACSIS are not impressed by Barack Obama's foreign policy stance on the Middle East and Cuba, we acknowledge that the nomination of the first black candidate as the Democratic presidential hopeful is a watershed moment in American and indeed world politics; and bring you his famous 'Yes We Can' speech immortalized in song by a production of the Black Eyed Peas. Related Reads: Obama at Aipac, Obama Goes Over the Top, Who is Barack Obama?

Economic Democracy, Food and Justice

Picture: gypsysoulcorby Saliem Fakir - Democracy is an imperfect system. Its characteristics can vary – from being  a creation of  populist traditions to democracies run by elites. In the common imagination when we think of democracy we think of people’s power. Power is delegated as a trust to holders of political office and from whom we expect that they would manage our affairs wisely and judiciously.  They would protect us from vulnerability. Depending on what is within their power or outside of...