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Briefing Paper 599 – The Government of National Unity by Mike Pothier

Whether one calls it a government of national unity (which it isn’t really, since the third and fourth largest parties, accounting for nearly a quarter of the vote, are not in it) or a grand coalition (which it is, given that no less than eleven parties are participating), the administration announced by Cyril Ramaphosa on 30th June constitutes the most significant development […]

Briefing Paper 598 – Advocating for the Rights of Children: Child Labour by Lois Law

Although somewhat less publicised than so-called conventional forms of child abuse and neglect, internationally, historically and currently, the most prevalent form of child abuse is child labour.3  Observed on 12th June each year, World Day Against Child Labour is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour. The day emphasizes the link between social justice and child […]

Democracy Digest 12 – Delicate and Slow – the Process of Building Coalitions by Mike Pothier

South Africa’s putative Government of National Unity consists of rather more parties (ten) than are usually found in a coalition, and it aspires not just to govern but to recapture the shared purpose that animated the nation in the immediate post-democracy period, getting us back on track after a period of misgovernance and loss of direction. But for […]

Economic Digest 45 – Will the GNU be the Beast to Spur on Economic Growth? by Kenny Pasensie

As per the Statement of Intent signed by the Government of National Unity partners, the top priority for the GNU is the achievement of rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth to create jobs. A tall order, given South Africa’s many challenges such as a flagging economy, structural unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, etc. Yet, there is a measure of optimism […]

Briefing Paper 597 – Thirtieth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family by Lois Law

2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF). In its resolution of 9th December 1989, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) proclaimed the International Year of the Family, in recognition of the fundamental role that families play in society. BP 597 Thirtieth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family by Lois Law

Family Digest 61 – Cancer: The Quiet Pandemic by Lois Law

Recently, SECTION27, the Cancer Alliance, and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) marched to the Gauteng Department of Health demanding that the R784 million set aside for radiation treatment for cancer patients be used. The monies were budgeted by the provincial treasury in March 2023 to outsource radiation treatment, but activists and patients say that not a single patient […]

Briefing Paper 595 – New Parties; Coalitions; Possible Outcomes by Mike Pothier

Our recent Briefing Paper, New Candidates; Three Ballots; Old Worries,1 dealt with the novelty of independent candidates and the move to a three ballot system necessitated by their inclusion, and looked at some perennial concerns – attacks on the IEC by disgruntled parties, overly aggressive rhetoric, and the thankfully unlikely prospect of election-linked violence. With only a week to go before the elections, we […]

Briefing Paper 594 – Manifestos on Environment and Climate Change by Bernadette Crewe-Brown

Concerned global voices, including South Africa, gathered at the first UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP1), which took place in 1995, coincidently in the first year of South Africa’s new democracy. COP1 was the first joint measure in international climate action agreeing on ‘Activities Implemented Jointly’. BP 594 Manifestos on Environment & Climate Change by Berni […]

Briefing Paper 593 – The 2024 Election and Commitment to the Vulnerable by Lois Law

The highest number of political parties in the history of South Africa’s democratic elections will be vying for seats in the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures. This proliferation of parties can be seen as indicating a lack of faith in the major political formations to both protect and implement the constitutional rights of citizens as set out in the Constitution. BP […]