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Briefing Paper 539 – The Presidential Employment Stimulus – Denting Unemployment? by Kenny Pasensie

Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) latest quarterly labour-force survey, released in November,1 did not make for good reading. South Africa’s unemployment rate is now at a world record high of 34.9% – that is about 14.3 million of the working-age population. If the expanded definition of unemployment is used (this includes discouraged jobseekers) the rate […]

Briefing Paper 538 – Municipal Coalitions – A Viable Way Forward? by Mike Pothier

More than month after the official results of the 2021 Local Government Elections were released, the mayoral committees of at least three major cities had not been finalised. Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni were all ‘won’ by the Democratic Alliance, and that party’s nominees duly took up the two most important roles, mayor and speaker, in […]

Briefing Paper 537 – Where are They? Missing and Abandoned Children by Lois Law

Children have become increasingly vulnerable to all kinds of abuse and neglect during the lockdown, and what little oversight there was in terms of school and ECD centres has been interrupted. It is an environment where it is easy for children to go missing, with ideal opportunities for trafficking. Furthermore, the lockdown has seen an […]

Briefing Paper 536 – The 2021 Report on Trafficking in Persons by Peter-John Pearson

Every year since 2000, the US State Department has issued a comprehensive analysis of the scourge of human trafficking and the attempts of various countries to combat it. The report seeks to “improve our collective efforts to comprehensively address human trafficking”. Each year the report assigns a tier ranking to various countries based on their […]

Briefing Paper 534 – The Importance of Play during COVID-19 by Lois Law

In many ways the needs of children have been overlooked during the pandemic. It is important to be mindful that children have had interrupted schooling; they have lost opportunities to play with friends; and have spent extended periods of time at home, often in difficult circumstances where they may have experienced financial hardship and hunger. […]

Briefing Paper 533 – Aligning Policies for a Low Carbon Economy: SA’s Commitment to a Just Transition by Lovedonia Mkansi

There is sufficient basis in climate science base and the supporting evidence to show that global surface and atmospheric temperatures continue to rise as a result of further warming. Although natural drivers and internal climate variability could likely have an influence over the changes observed in global temperatures, these are not enough to explain the […]

Briefing Paper 532 – Migrants, Refugees and Displaced Persons by Peter-John Pearson

The Roman Catholic Church traditionally observes the last Sunday in September as the World Day of Migrants and Refugees; 2021 marks the 107th year of this observance. It is on a different date from the United Nations Day for Refugees, which is in June, and it also parts company with its secular equivalent by deliberately […]

Briefing Paper 531 – The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health by Lois Law

The sudden advent of COVID-19 on our shores and the realization that it was a highly infectious and potentially life-threatening virus led to the declaration of a state of disaster. The regulations thereof resulted in the imposition of the harsh Level 5 Lockdown in March last year, which required that everybody be confined to their […]

Briefing Paper 530 – The Emerging Group: Women Migrants Coming Out of the Shadows by Peter-John Pearson

In South Africa, August is observed as Women’s Month. The annual commemoration is inspired by the march in 1956 of 20 000 women, to the Union Buildings, the seat of government in Pretoria, to hand over a petition of many thousands of signatures protesting the imposition of the hated ‘pass books’ on women. It is […]