On Monday The Star published an interview with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. In this first interview since her return from the African Union she said that she is “her own woman” and is not simply a front for President Jacob Zuma. While it is still impossible to know who will win the ANC’s leadership election in December, it is important to consider the scenarios that could occur afterwards. We have already identified some of the problems that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa would face. But should Dlamini-Zuma win, it seems obvious that she will also face major problems as ANC leader.
President Jacob Zuma cost the ruling African National Congress millions of votes in the country’s local government elections in 2016. Core ANC voters stayed away, were repelled by the party – or simply gave up on it.
This comes through clearly from private polling data gathered before, during and after the general election in 2014 and the local municipal election poll in 2016.
History is already compulsory
A recent reply by the Minister of Basic Education to a DA question has re-ignited the debate on whether or not history should be made a compulsory school subject.
It needs to be made clear that history is already a compulsory subject for all learners up until the end of Grade 9. The DA supports this because all learners should emerge from school with a solid understanding of the history of their country, their continent and the world.
It has been two weeks since Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s now infamous tweet on the benefits of colonialism and all eyes are now on the Democratic Alliance disciplinary process to see whether this will spell the end of Zille’s career.
Personally, I do not believe that the DA should be sanctioning her for the tweet. Why pretend the DA comes from an anti-colonial political tradition when it clearly does not?
The New Trade Union Federation, spearheaded by leaders expelled from labour federation Cosatu, this week released lists of its signed-up members as well as potential future affiliates, already making it the country’s second-largest labour grouping.
The lists were released at a press conference, held in Johannesburg on Wednesday, and indicate that the still-unnamed New Federation may absorb more unions from Cosatu as well as from the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu), the one existing federation which has not been dismissive of the project.
President Jacob Zuma’s "radical" solution to the lack of meaningful land redistribution is to assure traditional leaders the government will expedite a precolonial land audit. How this will provide land and security of tenure to shack dwellers around the cities and to people who need land in rural areas is unclear. It is also not clear how the government will pull off such an audit, given its failure to complete an audit of all the land currently owned by state institutions, despite repeated undertakings to do so.
Nigerians are rightly outraged by the xenophobic attacks committed by some South Africans against Africans from other parts of the continent. The attacks bring shame to the country of Nelson Mandela. In condemning the attacks, there should not be the mistaken belief that all South Africans are xenophobic – the xenophobes are the minority.
South African President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation speech will be followed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Budget speech next week on February 22. They represent the country’s two main warring political blocs: patronage versus prudence. But after the “radical economic transformation” rhetoric was ratcheted up by the president, both men may soon stumble on a terrain potholed by what a Donald Trump aide approvingly terms “alternative facts”.
Zuma at least did include a belated definition of what he means by radical economic transformation:
Research findings show poor education that hinders young people is a central source of inequality in SA, write Murray Leibbrandt and Pippa Green.
Late in 2016, on the same day the ANC leadership met in Irene near Pretoria to discuss the future of its president, senior policymakers met some of the country’s top economic researchers just down the road to examine the social crises that threaten the fundamentals of South African democracy: poverty, unemployment and inequality.
There is a general debasement of politics in much of the world. Figures such as Trump in the US, Modi in India, Dos Santos in Angola and Erdogan in Turkey (not forgetting Berlusconi in Italy not too long ago) have become some of the proper names by which this trajectory is often known. South Africa is no exception. Although the debasement of our politics exceeds Zuma his name has come to stand for a certain kind of political decline.