Research & Policy Brief (previously SAIRR Today)
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The launch of the ‘political party platform’ Agang in February 2012 has shifted Dr Mamphela Ramphele from being a commentator on South African politics to being an active participant in the months leading up to the national election in 2014. This article draws together some of Dr Ramphele’s views on issues affecting South Africa and Africa.
In a speech to the Education Colloquium of the Democratic Alliance caucus on 15 May 2013, Professor Hermann Giliomee, vice-president of the South African Institute of Race Relations, put forward some lessons to be learnt from history by opposition parties as they reposition themselves for the prospect of power around the corner.
The Licensing of Businesses Bill of 2013 was tabled for public comment by Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry, in the Government Gazette on 18th March 2013. On 17th April 2013, the Institute made a submission on the Bill to the Department of Trade and Industry. A synopsis follows, while the full submission is also available below.
Research and Policy Brief: SAIRR submission to the Department of Mineral Resources on the Draft Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill of 2012 - 13th March 2013.
The draft Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill of 2012 (the Bill) seeks, among other things, to ‘remove ambiguities that exist within the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA),…streamline administrative processes,…[and] improve the regulatory system’. Instead, the Bill adds to regulatory uncertainty by giving the minister of mineral resources a significant number of new powers framed in such broad terms as to encourage their arbitrary and unequal application.
Policy submission: Employment equity: Stricter rules and bigger fines put firms and jobs at rick - 23rd January 2013.
Proposed new provisions under the Employment Equity Amendment Bill (the EE Bill) of 2012 could see many firms fined severely for failing to meet unrealistic racial quotas. This is likely to worsen the crisis of unemployment and give yet further impetus to labour unrest and social instability.
At no point since 1994 has the Institute confronted more angst and pessimism about the future of the country than we saw in 2012. At briefing after briefing we are asked if South Africa is headed the way of the north-African uprisings or Zimbabwe. The same sentiment is reflected in newspaper columns and reports both here and abroad. Perhaps it is partly the Institute’s contrarian nature, but in many respects we are now more optimistic about the future than at any point in the last decade.
Black economic empowerment (BEE) is currently governed, in the main, by the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2003 (the Act) along with the generic codes of good practice (the codes), which were gazetted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in February 2007 and entered into force in August 2008.
Not much is known about the deputy president of the African National Congress (ANC) and the country, Kgalema Motlanthe. On most matters he is guarded and unclear and sometimes contradictory. This article looks at some of the policy stances he has taken in the past.
Research and Policy Brief: Would the Presidential penis have mattered if it was in a book? Presidential address to the SAIRR by Professor Jonathan Jansen, 27 September 2012.
In his address to the South African Institute of Race Relations in his capacity as its president Professor Jonathan Jansen examines what the state of education tells us about the state of South Africa.
Few analysts are prepared to make bold forecasts about South Africa’s future political landscape. This paper breaks from that pattern and argues that the ANC is dying and will lose its parliamentary majority at or before the 2024 national election. We do not make this forecast recklessly but rather because the evidence points overwhelmingly in this direction.
Research and Policy Brief: The National Democratic Revolution (NDR): Its Origins and Implications - 31st May 2012.
Address by the Institute's Head of Special Research, Dr Anthea Jeffery, to the conference on ‘the national democratic revolution, land ownership, and the Green Paper on land reform’ in Pretoria on 31st May 2012.
Research and Policy Brief: Much Devilry Still in the Detail of the Protection of State Information Bill - 20th March 2012.
The Protection of State Information Bill may now genuflect enough to guaranteed rights to convince a majority of Constitutional Court judges that it passes constitutional muster. But it still gives classification powers to hundreds of organs of state, bars independent or judicial review of their classification decisions, limits appeal to the courts (for all but state officials), and threatens journalists and others with imprisonment merely for ‘accessing’, ‘receiving’, ‘obtaining’ or ‘possessing’ classified information without ‘communicating’ it at all.
“On 7th December 2011 the Government brought new BEE procurement regulations into law. It also unveiled a BEE amendment bill intended to prohibit fronting and lay down prison and other penalties for misrepresenting BEE status. If the Bill is adopted in its current form, this will be the first time since 1994 that jail terms will be available for failure to comply with affirmative action laws.”
Dr Pieter Mulder has courted great controversy with comments that black South Africans have no historical claim to land in the Northern and Western Cape and also that blacks own a greater share of the country’s land than the government admits. His comments come against claims that whites owned 87% of South Africa’s land and that little progress has been made in changing this picture.
Research and Policy Brief: Muriel Horrell: Apartheid’s Chronicler and Archivist - 22nd December 2011.
Early next year the South African Institute of Race Relations will publish the 2010/2011 edition of its world-renowned South Africa Survey. The Survey has been in print every year since 1946. Its reputation was established by Muriel Horrell, who joined the Institute shortly after the Second World War, in which she saw active service. Almost single-handedly, Miss Horrell wrote the Survey for the next 30 years, and after her retirement continued to contribute to it. The attached tribute was written by Sue Krige.
Professor Hermann Giliomee, one of Professor Lawrence Schlemmer’s fellow Vice Presidents of the Institute, delivered this tribute at Lawrence Schlemmer’s funeral service in Hout Bay on 31st October 2011.
Professor Lawrence Schlemmer, President of the Institute from 1983 to 1985 and at the time of his death Vice President and a member of our Board and governing Council, died in Cape Town on 26th October. This tribute was written by Professor R W Johnson.
Research and Policy Brief: Revealing the Master Plan: What the ANC has in store for South Africa, 28th September 2011.
Address by John Kane-Berman, chief executive of the South African Institute of Race Relations, to Institute members and guests at the Country Club, Johannesburg, on 28 September 2011
Research and Policy Brief: ‘Green monster’ could wreck both property rights and the rule of law - 1st September 2011.
The green paper on land reform, finally made public on 31st August 2011, is part of a new assault on the Constitution and the rule of law.
In this speech to the AGM of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Johannesburg on 23rd June 2011, John Kane-Berman begins with Trevor Manuel’s National Planning Commission. He then poses 16 questions about South Africa's future. Thirdly, he shows where Mr Julius Malema fits in. Finally, he suggests how business and others might act to halt South Africa's downward slide.