GOVERNMENT management of South Africa’s public monies is a curious paradox: we are very good at collecting it and very bad at spending it. What it is spent on is a matter of policy – a subject for another...
Violence and abuse against women is the most pervasive and profound human rights violation, sapping women’s energy, compromising their physical health and eroding their self-esteem. The fact that men are seizing the opportunity to play an increased role in ending...
This week saw condemnation hurled at iNkosi Zwelivelile Mandlenkosi Mandela of the Mvezo traditional council, the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela and great grandson of Nkosi Gadla Mphakanyiswa, son of Mandela of AbaThembu King Ngubengcuka. This flurry of strongly...
I am not sure where the line “the death of an old man is no tragedy” comes from; it’s pragmatic intent is clearly to console, but oh, it is such a lie. It is the way of life that an...
DORIS Kearns Goodwin is a North American historian who has written prolifically about presidents of the United States. Her tome, Team of rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln, deals with the disagreement and feuds that marked the Republican...
A question that occurred to me during the Fifa corruption scandal was how many other skeletons were lying in cupboards, waiting to jump out – if only enough resources existed to scrutinise the full extent of deals involving government...
There is an isiXhosa idiom which aptly describes African people and their relationship with history: Nilibala msinya. Loosely translated, it refers to “a people with short memories who are so obsessed with moving on that they do not take...
SOUTH Africa’s democracy is in crisis because service delivery is failing on three key levels: the state, democratic institutions and “legitimate” institutions such as political parties and trade unions. Poor service delivery has caused these different pillars of South Africa’s...
The conditions under which government can take your land and property is a controversial issue worldwide, and the rules under which such expropriation can be done in South Africa are about to change. The Expropriation Bill currently being finalised by...
It is early days, but if proceedings at Buffalo City Metro council this week are anything to go by, then normality may just be on the horizon . On Wednesday, for the first time in three years, the council...
By LUZUKO SIDIMBA and DAVID CAREL As we speak the Eastern Cape department of education is undergoing its largest restructuring in history – and it has gone unnoticed by most of the country. The department is overhauling its service delivery model...
MARGARET Thatcher famously told her Conservative Party at its conference in Brighton in October 1980: “The lady’s not for turning.” Facing down tremendous pressure to reverse her liberalisation of the British economy, which had already caused unemployment to rise...
How can it be that four decades since EF Schumacher’s book Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered hit the world, the ANC leadership in the Eastern Cape still believes big problems – unemployment, economic decline, drought and...
The Birbury farmworkers in the Bathurst pineapple belt, between Grahamstown and Port Alfred, are on the cusp of having their poverty-stricken lives changed for the better now that the rural development department has rolled out its co-ownership land redistribution...
IN A crime disconcertingly similar to the one committed in East London just over a year ago, the meteorite Mafia has struck again, this time in Queensland, Australia. Truth be told, we are not sure whether there really is such an...
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas has made an interesting contribution to the economic debate in the latest edition of African Communist, the SACP journal, trying to define the different interpretations of the phrase “radical economic transformation”. It’s easy to be...
Twenty years after South Africa gained freedom and democracy, the question is whether this freedom is for the urban population only or is it for both rural and urban populations? Or does the urban population enjoy freedom at the...
A few weeks ago, I attended an event at the East London International Convention Centre which left me convinced that I should have widened my career choice after matric. This was no ordinary event. It was a gathering of chartered...
Zachariah Keodirelang Matthews was a giant among people. An educationist and intellectual, a pioneer in pushing back the limits presumed of or imposed on black achievement, a politician who proposed the Congress of the People at Kliptown and South...
Mascots in the armed forces are quite common in some countries, Britain in particular. We don’t seem to have many here though, but then we did have the Great Dane, Just Nuisance, who in reality could be claimed by the...
THERE is a difference between a democracy, a household and a chieftaincy. We have chosen to be a democracy and this is what we should be. But it is my feeling that South Africa is being run like a...
President Jacob Zuma and his corrupt cronies inside and outside government are now desperate. The decision to lay criminal charges against the former public protector, Thuli Madonsela, is just the latest in a litany of attempts to intimidate those...
The efforts to stem the tide against violence directed towards nationals from other African countries will be dead in the water if we do not deal with how Africans address issues of ethnicity and the constitution of identity. Reinforcing the...
The dawn of democracy in 1994 inspired not only the fulfilment of the aspiration, hopes and dreams of the people of this country but the aspirations and dreams of all oppressed and progressive peoples the world over. The defeat of...
It was a curious thing, several weeks ago, to hear Moeletsi Mbeki, invoking the 19th century mfecane as a basis for arguing that black people must move on from the politics of the land question. In the interview on...
Having water pumped into your car’s fuel tank along with petrol or diesel isn’t going to do your car’s engine any good. Nor your wallet, if the service station or fuel supplier denies that their fuel caused the problem, because...
What is the heritage we should be celebrating? It is an oft-stated fact that South Africa is a complex society. Its complexity is reflected in the tools that have been employed at various times in resolving the key questions...
The story of Sibongile Mani is intriguing, tragic and phenomenally educational all at the same time. Maybe it is how it exposes our complicated and often treacherous relationship with money. Yet for a developing nation like ours, the lessons which...
South Africa woke up to a new set of headlines about Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan yesterday. This time the newspapers told us that the Hawks investigative unit had written to his lawyers and told them they would not arrest the...
Any number of attempts have been made over the last few weeks to divert attentions from the Gupta Leaks and the related daily revelations about serious and damaging financial irregularities. The latest of which have been the Hawks revisiting of...
MANY excuses have emerged in the aftermath of the death of Mido Macia, the Mozambican taxi driver who died in a cell after being handcuffed and dragged for 400m behind a van by police officers. Some, including President Jacob Zuma,...
When you are already writing your sixth book at the age of eight, you deserve to be chosen as one of the top 10 youngest authors in the world. https://soundcloud.com/dispatch_dd/jonathen-jansen-interviews-internationally-recognized-8-year-old-author-michelle-nkamankeng I was privileged to share a speaker’s platform with this...
WE LIVE in a beautiful country, no doubt about it. We also live in a beautiful province, no doubt about that either. East to west, north and south, there is lots to do and plenty to see. The weekend before...
This weeks marks a year since coalition politics became a reality for SA.  The ANC lost three metro councils – Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane, the seat of government – to a coalition of opposition parties in local...
The men and women who run our country – that means the Gupta mafia family and their minions, Jacob Zuma and his captured crew – want you to believe the leaked e-mails that expose the extent of their corruption,...
To understand the diatribes penned by Helen Zille on the pages of the Sunday Times and various other platforms romanticising colonialism, we will have to hark back to the heyday of European Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th centuries and...
THE reopening of the land claims process heralds a new milestone in the government’s efforts to address the healing of our nation and the restoration of justice to the majority whose land was usurped by unlawful means during the...
EARLIER this week, Eastern Cape DA leader Athol Trollip publicly welcomed Thembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo as a DA member, demonstrating the DA is critical of political parties who associate with criminals – unless the criminals are potential vote getters...
Customs and traditions no longer serve us if they are not for the betterment of the people. Lately I have been receiving requests to petition for the banning of the movie Inxeba (The Wound). I have not watched it yet...
The Eastern Cape is South Africa’s second largest province in land area with a population of just below 6.5million people. The two former homeland areas, Ciskei and Transkei, contribute to its characterisation as one of the country's poorest provinces. Poverty,...
Archbishop Emeritus Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu’s 86th birthday today is a good occasion to reflect on the man’s contributions to South African society and global thought. I do so as a philosopher and in the light of ubuntu, the Southern...
IT IS not surprising that the response to President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle has been overwhelmingly negative: too much is going wrong for a couple of changes in the executive to change the perception that the government cannot turn...
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s character was a salient feature of his presidency. Accusations that he suffered from character flaws – such as being aloof and paranoid – were widespread at the time and have become part of...
A YEAR after Hugo Chávez passed away following a two-year battle with cancer, the former president of Venezuela still evokes passionate debate. His admirers in Africa still regard el comandante as a transformative leader who sought to build a more...
MANY were shocked by the judgement in the case of Andries Tatane , who was killed by police rubber bullets in a service delivery protest in Ficksburg, and are even more shocked that the National Prosecuting Authority has decided...
Companies which routinely put profit over the desire to honour their customers’ consumer rights – much less delight them with extra-mile service – can be extremely creative in justifying their decisions. Many insist on repairing faulty items, when, for six...
There are still a few blind and deluded individuals in South Africa – at the Union Buildings, the Saxonwold Shebeen and a few of their satellites in Nkandla and the ministry of social development – who maintain that the...
President Jacob Zuma has taken a keen new interest in economic policy. It is not for the first time that “radical economic transformation” will be the theme of the State of the Nation address or the key ANC documents leading...
A “TRUCK full of treasure” is an apt description of the investment of R410-million in the East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) announced this week. The creation of 200 permanent jobs in the city is equally welcome. Economists calculate that...
THE days of sleeping on inflatable mattresses when we go camping are numbered, but we’re not yet sure what alternative is going to be better, especially after some pain during the past week. You probably know by now that these...