Wednesday was Budget day in South Africa, an annual event for the state. But for most citizens, budget day is every day or, if they a slightly luckier, a weekly or monthly calculation to try to remain at least afloat economically. So what happened last week, along with the plaudits and the protests reflected in the media, will not cause any excitement for more than half the population.
When the Madlingozi family in Mfuleni extended their shack without authorisation, the City of Cape Town removed the extensions, amidst a dispute over the facts. Jared Sacks argues that the City presented its position without checking the facts.
On Friday 27 February GroundUp published a whistleblowers' account of the state of the Free State health system. Before publishing GroundUp sent a list of questions to the Free State Department of Health and the office of Premier Ace Magashule. Here is a response written by Mondli Mvambi of the health department and Makalo Mohale of the premier's office.
For 21 years, the Minister of Finance has tabled budgets announcing that large amounts of money will go to social services that are meant to improve the lives of the poor. But, even the staunchest government supporter would agree that the country has not derived full benefit from this money. Year after year the Auditor General, Public Protector and others report on inefficiency, poor accounting and corruption in all categories of public spending.
On 17 February Equal Education hosted a talk by Benny Wenda of the Free West Papua Campaign at the Wits School of Education. He is in South Africa to spread awareness about the West Papuan fight against Indonesian colonialism and gross human rights abuses of the West Papuan people. He said he was also here to "learn how [South African] leaders fought against apartheid, for justice and against [racial] discrimination."
Although there is speculation that the spectre of the R12,500 a month minimum wage demand is stalking the gold mines, no mandates have yet been received by the unions involved. This pay demand came to prominence at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in August 2012. It has now developed something of an iconic status among mine workers.
The City of Cape Town has policies in place, not to make it more difficult for our residents to live dignified lives, but to ensure that land use and housing delivery is equitable. The undeniable fact is, there is limited land available. And there are many people coming into our city for a better life. So, we have to be as fair as we can.
All kinds of nice things are being said and promises are once again being made by all the political parties around the State of the Nation speech and debate in parliament, writes Henriette Abrahams. But the reality on the ground for farm workers is very different.
Zonnebloem Boys is a primary school in District 6 in Cape Town. In March, along with all South African public schools, it will hold elections to decide who will represent its parents, teachers and learners on the School Governing Body (SGB). Much is at stake in these elections: SGBs have the potential to ensure that quality education is distributed more equally across our population.
The Metrorail website claims that it carries up to two million passengers per day countrywide. Finding a reliable estimate of how many people commute daily using trains in the Western Cape is challenging. Estimates range from 300,000 to over 700,000. Whatever the number, a lot of people, mostly working class, depend on trains to get to and from work.