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Cosatu Versus Manuel: The Rules Of Engagement

Cosatu concedes that it is involved in what it describes as “an argument” with Trevor Manuel, the Minister of Planning in the Presidency. Some commentators have used the appellation “fight” and others “something of a panic attack in Cosatu” to characterize what is unfolding in the tri-partite alliance which has governed since 1994. The cause […]

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The Constitution, Education and Racism

The Constitution of South Africa is founded on the values of non-racialism and non-sexism. Yet, fifteen years after the introduction of multi-party democracy, the “race debate”, which focuses on the nation’s habitual racism, continues unabated and unresolved. It is obviously one thing to call a country dedicated to non-racialism, as the Constitution does, and entirely […]

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Doctors, Hippocrates And Hypocrisy (Cont.)

The cacophony surrounding the wage negotiations in the public health sector has generated more heat than light. The sight of highly qualified professionals engaged in picket line protests complete with toyi toying is novel. Their placards prescribing a “cash injection” for the sector are plaintive, pointed and unlikely to be heeded. Some of the criticism […]

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The Constitution And Quotas (Cont.)

The sparks that have been flying as a result of the decision of the new Western Cape Premier to appoint an all male mainly “white” cabinet to help her run her province reasonably and accountably, need to be placed in their constitutional context. The provisions of section 132 (2) of the Constitution make it clear […]

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The Scorpions, The Constitution And The Rule Of Law

The controversial National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Act and the South African Police Services Amendment Act bring about respectively the demise of Directorate of Special Operation (DSO) or the Scorpions, as they are known to the public, and the creation of a new unit to deal with, inter alia, organised crime to replace the Scorpions. This […]

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First Steps in Basic Education

Everyone in South Africa is entitled to a basic education. This is a right guaranteed to child and adult alike in our Bill of Rights. The state is obliged to promote and fulfill this right. It has not been doing so on a disastrous scale. The statistics are sobering; only 3.5% of the black (African) […]

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Public School Principals and the principles of accountability (cont.)

It is not alarmist to suggest that the public school system in South Africa is dysfunctional. The last year for which comprehensive statistics are available is 2007. In that year 278,000 black learners did emerge clutching their matriculation certificates proudly in their hands. Unfortunately, on being tested for their functional literacy, it emerged that only […]

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The Dawning Of The Age Of Responsibility

If one takes into account that the economy of the United States is about 100 times the size of the South African economy, that the World Bank has its tentacles in every nook and cranny of the global economy and that South Africa is part of that global economy, then it is plain that it […]

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