Opinion and Analysis

Better politics is essential to fix education

The Limpopo textbooks debacle has exposed the staggering incompetence of Angie Motshekga, the Minister of Basic Education, and Bobby Soobrayan, her Director-General. But a recent incident indicates that they or their colleagues in the Department of Basic Education are also very nasty.

Nathan Geffen

Opinion | 3 October 2012

Cold war echoes and trade union reform

Both the Cold War and the bitter battles between communists and social democrats in
Germany of the Thirties found an echo at the 11th Cosatu national congress in
Midrand last week; an echo that is now being assessed by labour organisations and
activists around the world.

Terry Bell

Opinion | 3 October 2012

Zuma, the bible and the COSATU Congress

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven was amazed at the media interest shown in the
eleventh national congress of the federation. Shortly before the congress opened its
doors, 347 media accreditations had been processed, with additional enquiries still
being dealt with.

Terry Bell

Opinion | 26 September 2012

Government’s fuel policy makes us all poorer

Expect another hike in the price of petrol, diesel and paraffin in October. This is because the price is staying above $110 a barrel and the rand is weakening.

Jack Lewis

Opinion | 19 September 2012

Cosatu Congress will paper over the cracks

Amid unprecedented media interest, Cosatu’s eleventh national congress gets underway in Midrand on Monday. Many of the nearly 300 journalists, photographers and members of camera crews accredited to attend the event are clearly expecting drama.

Terry Bell

Opinion | 19 September 2012

Why the school closures are wrong

This is an edited version of a speech that was delivered on 15 September at a march in Cape Town against the proposed closure of 27 schools.

Ntshadi Mofokeng

Opinion | 19 September 2012

Another disappointing delivery failure by the education department

In 2011, a new Backlogs Grant was introduced. The National Treasury allocated R700 million to it. The grant's main purpose was to eradicate inappropriate structures and mud schools as well as the provision of basic services to schools such as water, electricity and toilets.

Yoliswa Dwane

Opinion | 18 September 2012

NPA’s response to Marikana has undermined the right to life

South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. The Constitution states that everyone has the right to basic healthcare, education and shelter, but upon reading further, there are limitations placed on these rights such as the state acting "within its available resources".

Zamandaba Sibiya

Opinion | 12 September 2012

Why fascism is a real danger

Last year Rhodes University academic Jane Duncan warned of "proto fascism" emerging in South Africa. At the same time, in an article for a local publication, I wrote that "the first loud, trumpet calls to fascism in modern South Africa have been sounded".

Terry Bell

Opinion | 12 September 2012

Injury, bleeding, delayed healing and mangled penises by design

Dalli Weyers looks at the design problems with the Tara KLamp circumcision device.

Dalli Weyers

Opinion | 5 September 2012

A union key to a really democratic future

The bloodbath at Lonmin’s Marikana mine served to alert more of the public to aspects of feuding and tension that have been ongoing for years and not only at Lonmin and in the mining industry generally. In particular it has highlighted the stresses, strains and battles for power and position within the trade union movement and opened up a number of debates about the way forward.

Terry Bell

Opinion | 3 September 2012

Lance Armstrong: It’s about the bike, not the boosters

The name Armstrong dominated the past week's headlines. Neil remained a public hero until his end. Lance’s drug infested career came home to roost. However the level of public support demonstrated for Lance Armstrong, as evidenced in website comments and polls, has been surprising.

Shuaib Manjra

Opinion | 29 August 2012

Behind the political posturing and defensiveness are people with genuine unfilled needs

None of the big political parties are showing the kind of leadership that is needed when it comes to housing.

Nathan Geffen

Opinion | 29 August 2012

Sorting facts from propaganda at Marikana

“Money, historic distrust, poor communication by and between different parties and the intervention of a small criminal element provided the volatile mix that exploded into violence....."

Terry Bell

Opinion | 27 August 2012

Implats, Lonmin and the battle of the unions

Given the amount of often dangerous nonsense being sprouted about "anarchists" and about Amcu allegedly being a newly formed union sponsored by everyone from the Chamber of Mines to BHP Billiton, I provide this historic record: an Inside Labour column published on February 19 this year with which nobody from the NUM or SACP disagreed.

Terry Bell

Opinion | 22 August 2012

On the Politics of Protest in Cape Town

A few weeks ago, the City of Cape Town was rocked by a spate of road blockades and other significant protests. Certain liberal NGOs joined the Democratic Alliance in condemning the protests claiming that they are violent and motivated by political party agendas.

Jared Sacks

Opinion | 22 August 2012