Opinion and Analysis

Ending the book famine for the blind

A treaty that has the potential to change the lives of millions of blind people is at risk of being hijacked by publishers who show no sympathy for the difficulties faced by blind people across the world

Marcus Low

Opinion | 10 April 2013

South Africa should learn from Brazil’s Bolsa Familia

BRICS has come and gone. It has been driven from the headlines by Jacob Zuma using the hopes and aspirations of the millions who vote for the ANC as a means to enrich his narrow circle of crony capitalists through misuse of the SANDF in the Central African Republic. But before the memory of BRICS fades, let's remember the B in BRICS is for Brazil, a country with which South Africa is often compared.

Jack Lewis

Opinion | 3 April 2013

The Real Threat to BC Today

On a cold afternoon in July 2010, a group of us met in Newtown to
distribute pamphlets around the Johannesburg CBD and hotspots of the
2008 "xenophobic" attacks, such as Diepsloot etc. We were only about
twelve, so we had to break into groups of four.

Malaika Mahlatsi

Opinion | 3 April 2013

Unions must take campaign for global minimum wage to BRICS

This is the first in a series of articles by Jack Lewis which puts forward ideas to start a discussion on the need for a programme which can unify the work which many great campaigning organisations are doing.

Jack Lewis

Opinion | 27 March 2013

Facts and myths about the wineland value chain

The causes of the poor and the dispossessed continue to be manipulated by politicians
and unscrupulous individuals bent on accumulating power, personal wealth or both.
As a result, there is much cynical use and distortion of the evidence and of statements
emanating from painful occurrences such as the deaths at Marikana or the conflict in
the Boland winelands.

Terry Bell

Opinion | 27 March 2013

Andile Mngxitama: we need to draw a line in the sand

On the 15th of March Jared Sacks, a journalist and activist, published an article in the Mail & Guardian asking whether or not Steve Biko, the Steve Biko of 1977, would have supported Mamphele Ramphele’s recent political initiative. Some people, including people who had been close to Biko, really liked the piece. Others, including the well-known public commentator Andile Mngxitama, didn’t like it at all.

Zackie Achmat and Richard Pithouse

Opinion | 27 March 2013

In crisis times, symbiosis can trump the adversarial

South Africa’s annual wage bargaining — some say, strike — season has begun. In a
series of conferences this week, the various sides got together to decide on their
strategies and to plan the tactics they intend to follow as the hard talking gets

Terry Bell

Opinion | 20 March 2013

Apartheid: South Africa’s history, Palestine’s reality?

This is an edited version of remarks made by Doron Isaacs at an event hosted by the UCT Palestine Solidarity Forum for Israel Apartheid Week 2013. The other panelists, who spoke prior to Isaacs, were Professor Andrew Nash and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

Doron Isaacs

Opinion | 15 March 2013

Women’s day ideals: still a long way to go

It was International Women’s Day (IWD) on Friday. And it seemed an appropriate
time for a reminder about the labour movement origins of the day and of its noble
aims and egalitarian promise. This because several recent studies reveal that the
female half of humanity is once again bearing the brunt of the global economic crisis.
After all, when it began in 1910, IWD was rich with the promise of equality.

Terry Bell

Opinion | 13 March 2013

South Africa under construction: Give public works a chance

The Expanded Public Works Programme aims to create millions of short-term jobs every year while also providing the county with much needed infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and schools in areas that need it.

Amelia Midgley

Opinion | 13 March 2013

DA electoral reforms ignore the main problem: party funding

Of all the adjectives used to describe South African politics, boring cannot be one of them. Completely out of the blue the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday submitted an Electoral Reform Bill (Bill) to Parliament, which aims “to provide for the demarcation of … constituencies” in order to deal with the “alienation by voters from the political system”.

Gregory Solik

Opinion | 6 March 2013

The grant that changed my life

South Africa's social grant system is sometimes criticised as financially unsustainable and fueling dependency, but people such as Maureen Philander from Delft provide an example of how social assistance can transform lives. She shares her story with us.

Maureen Philander

Opinion | 6 March 2013

Mud Schools: a decade of lying to children

Angie Motshekga is in an ebullient mood. On Tuesday at Parliament she told the media that South African education is on an upward trajectory, characterized by focus, consistency and clarity. Fine. Nothing wrong with a bit of positive thinking.

Doron Isaacs

Opinion | 5 March 2013

Constitutionally speaking about the 2014 election

The 2014 election campaign has clearly begun and promises to be long and almost
certainly very bitter. Labour relations — and relations with labour — are likely to be
in the forefront, with Cosatu, as a member of the governing tripartite allliance, in the
thick of it.

Opinion | 27 February 2013

So you want a gun?

Do you want to buy a firearm for protection? Many people do because of the high rate of violent crime in South Africa. But is it sensible? Will a gun make you more secure or will it put you and your loved ones in greater danger?

Nathan Geffen

Opinion | 27 February 2013

Groping toward the future

In stygian depths 4km and more below the surface of the earth gold continues to be
harvested, but by fewer miners and with the aid of more—and increasingly efficient—mechanisation.

Terry Bell

Opinion | 20 February 2013