June 2011

Visit the archives.

Recognising the Rights of Domestic Workers

Video South Africa's Myrtle Witbooi, chairperson of the Domestic Workers' Network, rallies support in the run up to the adoption of the "Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers" at the International Labour Organsiation earlier this month in Geneva. Speaking on behalf of domestic workers, Witbooi, said, "We have come here to claim our rights. To be reconginsed as human beings and to give us back our dignity as women, because after all, the women that we work...

What Pearls of Wisdom Does Michelle Obama Have to Share with South Africa's Youth?

Picture: Tadias Magazine Fazila Farouk - When I first heard that America's first lady, Michelle Obama, was coming to South Africa, I thought to myself, “There goes the news - column inches upon column inches are going to be wasted on the colour of her lipstick.” The fact that she’s America’s “fashion ambassador” already made the news in the run up to her visit. Obama’s transformation from understated and perfectly well groomed woman to glorified clotheshorse has been disappointing to...

The Diagnosis of Patient South Africa

Picture: chickenlump Mohamed Motala - The National Planning Commission’s “Diagnostic Overview” report is a welcome policy discussion-document that has been needed for a long time in South Africa. It deserves praise for putting forward some important policy considerations that warrant closer examination. The diagnostic report is an important milestone in that it opens up the “big questions” about our post-apartheid democracy in a coherent and complete manner. For too long now there has been...

The Limits of Manuel's Diagnosis

Picture: jit bag Richard Pithouse - The spirit of Tahrir Square continues to animate resistance to dictatorship in the Middle East and is now also inspiring experiments with insurgent and popular democratic practices in Greece and Spain. A number of writers have described the rebellions in Southern Europe as being characterised by a “ferocious resistance” to the political class across its ideological spectrum. Similar sentiments are expressed in South Africa from time to time. But the dominant thrust of popular...

Thousands of Greeks Say No to Austerity

Video The Greek Cabinet recently approved a tough five-year plan that called for 78 billion Euros in budget cuts.  Opposition groups and unions called a general strike on 15 June 2011 to protest against these austerity measures introduced by the Greek government in response to demands made by the EU and international banks.  Hundred of thousands of people heeded the call and occupied "Constitution Square" in Athens. Paul Jay from The Real News Network (TRNN) talks with...

On the Quality of South Africa's Democracy

Picture: World Economic Forum Leonard Gentle - Now that the dust has settled on the 2011 local government elections and the frenzied one-upmanship of the leading political parties has momentarily calmed down, its time to take a long hard look at the results of the South African people’s most recent exercise in democracy.  Much has been made of the gains that the Democratic Alliance (DA) made on the African National Congress (ANC), but the ANC still won the election and continues to govern all the major cities except for Cape...