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/ 21 September 2007

North West ANC names its top six

The ANC leadership in the North West has, as expected, nominated President Thabo Mbeki to continue for another term as party president. Although the formal nomination process starts only in October, the provincial executive committee has released a list of its top six preferences to its regions and branches for discussion.

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/ 17 July 2007

Lessons of health and history

Told in the first person, Elias Masilela’s<b> Number 43 Trelawney Park KwaMagoga</b> (David Philip) puts a tragic, and in some ways nostalgic, human face to life in exile during the apartheid years. The book tells the story of 25 PAC and ANC members who passed through Number 43, Trelawney Park, writes Vicki Robinson.

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/ 8 July 2007

A bump on the road to Polokwane

Last week’s ANC policy conference brought to mind a traditional proclamation: The king is dead. Long live the king! However one interprets the minutiae of ANC pronouncements on the next leadership selection, three things can be said. First, Thabo Mbeki will not be South Africa’s president come 2009; second, the internecine war for the presidency of the ANC will continue right up to the last moment.

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/ 29 June 2007

ANC policy meet: Amandla ngawethu

Delegates at the African National Congress’s (ANC) policy conference this week seemed on course to ensure that President Thabo Mbeki’s legacy of centralising power in the Union Buildings would be eradicated through a series of policy changes set to return power to the ruling party’s mass base.

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/ 22 June 2007

ANC: To the left, to the left?

Zwelinzima Vavi does not seem to run out of hyperbole to illustrate what is wrong with the government’s economic policies. "It is like a doctor saying an operation has been successful when the patient is dead," he said to great laughter when addressing a youth rally in Mangaung in the Free State last Saturday.

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/ 21 June 2007

Zuma’s plans for top job

ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma would not alter the broad parameters of South Africa’s economic policy, but believes the national treasury has usurped the people "as the driver of economic change" and that "participatory democracy" has foundered under President Thabo Mbeki.

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/ 7 June 2007

‘A fantastic initiative …’

Delta Environmental Centre is at the forefront of shaping the environmental education and the attitudes of South Africa’s future generations to preserve our ecosystems and add practical weight to the catchphrase "sustainable development". Greening the Future judges awarded the environmental centre a merit award in the not-for-profit organisation category.

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/ 10 May 2007

‘I don’t know how I can keep helping’

South Africa’s only civil society network for rape and abuse victims, Themba Lesizwe, has collapsed after the European Union withdrew â,¬20-million it had pledged to the organisation over the next three years. Themba Lesizwe, established in 2001 by four NGOs, had grown into a network of 269 affiliates in the victim empowerment sector in South Africa.

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/ 23 April 2007

Managing the labyrinth

Polo Radebe, the chief director of the black economic empowerment (BEE) unit in the department of trade and industry, said that the greatest challenge the unit faced was regulating the labyrinth of empowerment legislation, which included eight Acts and 15 industry charters. On February 9, the broad-based BEE codes of good practice passed into law.

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/ 22 February 2007

High-flying Alec is hobbled

Alec Erwin, Minister of Public Enterprises, has been hobbled by the national treasury which, contrary to expectations, advanced only a miniscule portion of the billions of rands the minister needs for his elaborate plans for state-owned enterprises. The finance minister indicated that a transfer of funds were contingent on Erwin’s business plans.

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/ 18 February 2007

Mbeki’s practical call to action

On the one hand President Thabo Mbeki’s State of the Nation address showed a man of steely resolve — without the characteristic poetry, Bible verses and George Soros references, his speech was concise, pragmatic and resolute. His marching orders to his Cabinet, "let us roll up our sleeves and get down to work", set out the blueprint for his final two and half years in office.

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/ 15 February 2007

A new, softer rand

The presidency and the national treasury are in discussions about how to soften the South African currency, which the government admitted this week was overvalued and was adversely affecting the growth of the non- commodity export sector, which has the potential to soak up thousands of semi- and low-skilled job seekers.

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/ 4 September 2006

Red tape chokes mining growth

The Department of Minerals and Energy has undertaken to investigate industry complaints that the deluge of prospecting applications received since the promulgation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (2004) had seriously hindered investment in the mining sector.

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/ 14 August 2006

Parliament’s 82% turnover

As many as 82% of African National Congress MPs have left Parliament since 1994, debilitating the legislature’s oversight powers as its ranks have been filled with junior ruling party members who lack the political clout to hold the executive to account. Only 49, or 18%, of the ANC’s 274 MPs have remained since 1994.

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/ 28 July 2006

ANC move to scrap provinces

The African National Congress’s national executive committee (NEC) has begun debating the future of South Africa’s nine provinces, in line with a resolution at last year’s national general council that the party should "review [the] provinces in the context of the increasing devolution of powers and functions to municipalities".

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/ 27 July 2006

The metamorphosis of Cyril Ramaphosa

In this season of nascent political larvae, when allegations of conspiracy and other creeping unpleasantness are to be found under every rock, supporters of Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidential metamorphosis are leaving no stone unturned. Reports that the unionist-turned-tycoon is readying his campaign for the presidency are part of the plot against Ramaphosa, they charge.

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/ 21 July 2006

Zuma trial: ‘We’ll put Mbeki on the stand’

<a href=""><img src="" align=left border=0></a>Jacob Zuma’s upcoming fraud and corruption trial threatens to become the next round of the ugly power struggle in the African National Congress, with the trial potentially being used to embarrass President Thabo Mbeki by placing him on the witness stand.

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/ 9 June 2006

SACP moves to go it alone

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has established a formal commission to review the proposal that it should contest elections — a move that could be the first formal step toward the restructuring of the "tripartite alliance". The establishment of the body is a clear signal that a split between the SACP, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the African National Congress may finally be taking shape.

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/ 2 June 2006

E-mail scandal rocks Namibia

A "hoax" e-mail campaign similar to the one that implicated top government officials in an alleged plot to smear African National Congress deputy president Jacob Zuma has surfaced in Namibia, strengthening suspicions that the e-mails are the work of an "outside force".

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/ 2 June 2006

Mbeki’s plan of action

President Thabo Mbeki will reinforce the message of clean, morally unquestionable leadership, dispel concerns about a centralised Presidency and bank on his urban, middle-class support in countering damaging attacks on him in the presidential succession battle.

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/ 25 May 2006

Cosatu warns against Mbeki dictatorship

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has launched a stinging attack on President Thabo Mbeki that appears to reiterate what was contained in the hard-hitting South African Communist Party discussion document released last week. On Thursday Cosatu said it was primarily concerned that the ANC leadership was "drifting towards dictatorship".

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/ 13 April 2006

Why Balindlela fired ministers

Two Eastern Cape government ministers, sacked from office this week, have left unanswered questions about alleged abuse of state resources and financial mismanagement amounting to millions of rands in one of the country’s poorest provinces. Premier Nosimo Balindlela fired health minister Bevan Gogqwana and tourism and economic affairs minister, André de Wet, with immediate effect on Monday.

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/ 13 April 2006

R120m lost in council car fraud

Eight council employees in the Ekurhuleni Municipality have defrauded the government of R120-million over the past year and imposed "apartheid-like" segregation at their workplace, an internal forensic investigation has found. The investigation resulted in charges of fraud, theft and corruption being brought against the eight municipal employees.

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/ 7 April 2006

Free State municipal mafia foiled

A ruling to dismiss the Mangaung municipality’s top two officials last Friday has highlighted how a group of senior councillors and officials ran an "organised corruption syndicate" that allegedly looted tens of millions of rands from the local authority. The Mangaung Local Municipality ranks among the country’s top 10 biggest councils, with a budget of R1,5-billion.

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/ 27 February 2006

Young ellie threatens IFP jumbo

The local elections are do-or-die for the Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal, which has haemorrhaged 38 municipal councillors to the fledgling National Democratic Convention (Nadeco) in the past two months. However, analysts say Nadeco lacks the political machinery and ideological direction to pose a serious electoral threat in the province at this stage.

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/ 16 February 2006

The caring balancing act

The removal of the social security grant function from provinces will allow the national government to shift its priority away from social assistance towards welfare services, which it says has been neglected over the past five years as social grants consumed as much as 92% of the provincial equitable share.

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/ 10 February 2006

From Gear to Asgi

The Congress of South African Trade Unions supports the government’s Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi), in principle — but says it will not succeed if it does not tackle poverty and inequality more forthrightly. The clumsily named strategy, unveiled this week, is the government’s blueprint for achieving 6% growth.