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BP 473: A Basic Income Grant: Do we need it?

Section 27 of the Bill of Rights asserts that
“Everyone has the right to have access to social security, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance, and the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights.”1

Three European responses to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, 26 March 2019

The seminar will provide an outline how and why the ‘European’ response was so mixed: in Belgium the compact was first accepted but next caused a political crisis and the government toppled over it; in the Netherlands (and also Iceland, Lithuania, Malta and Denmark), there was a ‘stipulation’ added within the wider context of acceptance and in Austria, the new right-wing government rejected the compact and refused to sign it (just as in Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria).

Environment Digest 6: Shedding Light on Eskom’s Unbundling

Eskom is the largest producer of electricity on the African continent, and is amongst the world’s top utilities in terms of power generation capacity. It owns and operates a number of coal-fired, gas-fired, hydro-electric and pumped-storage power stations, and one nuclear power station.

Elections 2019: Who Is Saying What About Corruption?, 19 March 2019

Each day the Zondo Commission of Enquiry provides us with uncomfortable viewing. We are
hearing about the way in which the state was captured and how those at the very highest level
of the state – the former President included – were complicit. Many questions have been raised
about what happens after the Zondo Commission.

BP 472: The Global Compact on Migration

The United Nations observes 18th December as World Day of Migrants. In his 2018 speech on that day, Secretary General Antonio Guitteres made reference to the migration phenomenon as a “powerful driver of economic growth, understanding and dynamism and opening for millions of people to seek new opportunities, benefitting communities of origin and destination alike.”

Submission on the Expropriation Bill

The Catholic Church holds to the principle of the universal destiny of all goods and thus, though private property must be respected at all times, and there can be no arbitrary dispossession of property, all forms of property ownership exist within a context where “the right to private property must never be exercised to the detriment of the common good” (Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, #23).

Response: 2019 Budget

Last year’s Budget speech recognized that government had dug the economy into a large hole as a result of years of mismanagement, corruption and free-spending; and that it was time to stop digging. Not long after delivering the speech the then Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, was transferred to the Home Affairs portfolio and replaced by Nhlanhla Nene – a safe pair of hands from the Trevor Manuel/Pravin Gordhan school of finance ministers.

Environment Digest 5: “National disaster”: the recent drought period

South Africa is a largely dry country, with considerable climate and topographical variation. Under normal circumstances, the south western part of the country receives its main rainfall in winter; the southern coast receives rainfall throughout the year; and majority of the rainfall is received in summer in the eastern and northern parts of the country.

Submission on the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill

It cannot be denied that crimes motivated or exacerbated by hatred occur in South Africa. We think immediately of certain xenophobic attacks, carried out for no reason other than the ‘foreignness’ of the victims; and of ‘corrective rape’, which stems from the perpetrator’s intolerance of the victim’s sexual orientation. It is correct that the criminal justice system should take cognizance of this, and that those who make themselves guilty of such crimes should be punished.

Advocacy and Participation in Government Decision-Making, 9 March 2019

“The intention of public participation provisions in the Constitution is clear – to influence government policy outcomes so that they reflect “the will of the people”. Therefore, a vibrant civil society plays an indispensable role in a democracy. It facilitates public engagement with government organs, including legislatures, and ensures that institutions, policies and laws enjoy legitimacy among citizens.” – Nkosikhulule Nyembezi & Sam Waterhouse

Response: The 2019 State of the Nation Address

In last year’s State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa – only a week or so into the job – made a number of commitments. Among the most important were: Taking decisive steps to comply with the directions of the Constitutional Court concerning social grant payments, which were then in a critical situation due to incompetent leadership and a minister who had ignored the Court’s earlier rulings…

Digest: The Catholic Church and Elections in Africa

The recent elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have shown, once more, the important role of civil society in fostering a democratic culture. But above all, the voice of the Catholic Church challenging the provisional results announced by the National Independent Electoral Commission resonated far beyond the DRC’s borders.

BP 471: Trafficking in Persons

There are two days specially designated on the UN Calendar with regard to the scourge of trafficking in persons (TIP). The first, observed since 2010, is 11th January, which is designed to develop awareness of TIP; the other, closely related, is the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, which is observed on 30th July.