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Opinion

Protesters at the removal of the statue of Rhodes on UCT. Photo by Masixole Feni.Rhodes Must Fall, UCT, Lonmin and pension funds

As it started, by targeting the legacy of one dead white male, the Rhodes Must Fall campaign claimed morality. As it progresses, by targeting the activity of two living white males, the rump of campaigners cannot claim credibility. Members of a university as distinguished as UCT might have been expected to prefer substance over sloganeering.

Sep 1, 2015
Allan Greenblo
The rise in farm worker wages has not let to a major drop in employment. Photo by Kate Stegeman.At what level should a national minimum wage be set?

The struggle for a national minimum wage in South Africa has a long history, having been waged, largely by organised worker formations, since the 1930s. These efforts have taken various forms, from open class conflict to more subdued trade union representations to the various governments of the day.

Aug 31, 2015
Eddie Cottle
Who is to blame for the medicines backlog?

The Medicines Control Council has for many years been severely criticised for the exceptionally long time it takes to register a medicine. It is not unusual for a medicine to become available in Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States years ahead of its appearance in South Africa.

Aug 31, 2015
Henry M. J. Leng and David Sanders
Terry Bell.What solution to a world in crisis?

Oh, when will they ever learn? It’s the last line in every stanza of a famous Pete Seeger anti-war song. And it is wholly appropriate this week as we digest the latest GDP figures against a background of ongoing crises especially in the steel, mining and manufacturing sectors. Along with, of course, the continuing collapse of the rand.

Aug 31, 2015
Terry Bell
No one knows how much money political parties will spend campaigning for the local elections because of a lack of transparency in their funding. Photo by Masixole Feni.Who is funding our political parties?

The 2016 local government elections will be surely be heavily contested. Already in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay, the ANC, DA and EFF are gearing up for tough electoral battles. No doubt too, all the political parties will pour large sums of money into these areas. But quite how much political parties will spend on campaigning, no one knows, because of a complete lack of transparency in the funding of political parties.

Aug 27, 2015
Judith February
People rebuild their homes in June 2014 at Cato Crest after demolition squads descended on the informal settlement. Photo courtesy Abahlali baseMjondolo.Court victory vindicates shack dwellers' rights

A recent judgment in the Durban High Court has confirmed what shack dwellers, urban land occupiers and their lawyers have known for some time – the state’s habitual use of legal loopholes to evict land occupiers from their homes is unconstitutional. What’s more, Judge Mokgohla’s decision has finally showed up the courts as sharing responsibility for allowing these evictions to go on unchecked.

Aug 26, 2015
Daneel Knoetze
Copyright bill will empower blind people

Just over two years after the books for the blind treaty was signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, South Africa has finally taken steps toward ratifying the treaty.

Aug 26, 2015
Marcus Low
Nine in 10 farm workers earn less than the minimum needed to keep themselves and their families out of poverty, a new study has found.South Africa’s 5 million working poor

Every day millions across South Africa do arduous work in jobs that cannot keep them and their dependants out of poverty. These are the “working poor” and according to a new study, there are about five and half million of them.

Aug 25, 2015
Gilad Isaacs
Terry Bell.South Africa, colonialism, language and China

The whole question of colonialism has come to the fore again, courtesy of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) and its vehement objection to the introduction of the Chinese Mandarin dialect to local schools.

Aug 24, 2015
Terry Bell
A member of SWEAT protests against the murder of sex workers. Photo by Ashleigh Furlong.High time to decriminalise sex work

This month, international human rights body Amnesty International voted to “pursue a policy to protect the human rights of sex workers.” Its decision has generated much media attention and debate and has been opposed by many well-intentioned people and institutions.

Aug 21, 2015
Marlise Richter and Ruvimbo Tenga

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