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Briefing Paper 561 – Mental Health and Well-being by Lois Law

2022 has been the year during which most of the world emerged from the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. People crept out of their homes. Some went back to their offices and other places of employment, some continued to work at home, while others had no work to which to return. The masks came […]

Briefing Paper 560 – The 2022 Report on Trafficking in Persons by Peter-John Pearson

This year the US State Department issued the 22nd edition of the Trafficking in Persons Report. It is once again a comprehensive analysis of the scourge of human trafficking and the attempts of various countries, 188 in all, to combat it.   BP 560 – The 2022 Report on Trafficking in Persons by Peter-John Pearson

Briefing Paper 559 – The People Shall Govern: The Slow Road to Electoral Reform by Mike Pothier

South Africa’s first democratic national and pro- vincial elections in 1994 were held under a pure proportional representation system in terms of which political parties were awarded seats in direct proportion to the share of the vote they managed to secure. This was regarded as the only fair and reliable way of gauging the strength […]

Briefing Paper 558 – Talking about a Devolution: Getting Passenger Rail Back on Track by Kenny Pasensie

When Statistics South Africa conducted its National Household Travel Survey in 2013,1 more than 10% of Western Cape households surveyed reported using trains – in 2020 this dropped to just 3.1%. In 2013, 13% of workers used trains as their main mode of transport, but in 2020 that percentage dropped to less than 2%. The […]

Briefing Paper 557 – The Paris Agreement: What Has Been Achieved So Far? by Lovedonia Mkansi

The Paris Agreement is a legally-binding interna- tional treaty on climate change. It was adopted by the 196 state parties to the United Nations Frame- work Convention on Climate Change at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), on 12 Decem- ber 2015 in Paris, France. It officially came into force on 4 November 2016.1 […]

Briefing Paper 556 – Xenophobia – An Ever-Present Danger by Peter-John Pearson

As part of his Heritage Day speech this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised that xenophobia has no place in our heritage. He said that South Africans were a welcoming and hospitable people: “Our heritage is also the best version of ourselves that we seek to become. I am referring here to ubuntu, which speaks to […]

Briefing Paper 555 – Safe Relinquishment: Finding Solutions to SA’s Child-Abandonment and Late-Term Abortion Crisis by Lois Law

High levels of crisis pregnancies in South Africa and limited options lead large numbers of desperate girls and women to abandon their babies in unsafe circumstances, or to seek late-term abortions, which often result in the mother’s death, over and above that of the baby. The availability of ‘baby savers’ as a safe relinquishment option […]

Briefing Paper 554 – Ecojustice and Voices of Faith by Lovedonia Mkansi

As the world seems to be coming out of the woods with the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of familiar challenges are slowly beginning to re-gain traction on the global scene. The advent of 2022 was marked by the unfolding of some important conferences, including the UN Biodi- versity Conference; the Desertification Confer- ence; and the […]

Briefing Paper 553 – Women’s Month 2022 by Lois Law

August is Women’s Month in South Africa and 9th August this year marked 66 years since women of all races marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the pass laws that had been introduced by the apartheid government. They marched for equality, dignity and respect. However, even as we celebrate Women’s Month, women are still being sexually assaulted and abused by men, often the ones they know. Despite the numerous campaigns and interventions by government and civil society organisations around gender-based violence, high levels of sexual assault, rape and femicide still occur.

Briefing Paper 552 – The ANC Policy Conference and Migrants by Peter-John Pearson

Over the weekend of 29-31 July, the ANC held its 6th National Policy Conference at Nasrec, Gauteng. These conferences are meant to be held approx- imately thirty months into every administra- tion’s term of office, but this time round the COVID pandemic delayed the conference.1 Since the ANC is the governing party, and its decisions […]