governance

SONA: What President Zuma Needs to Tell SA

 

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma will give his 2016 State of the Nation Address on February 11 to outline key government business for the year ahead. The event will be keenly watched to establish what the president and the governing African National Congress consider to be the most important challenges facing the country, and how they plan to tackle them. Politics and society editor Thabo Leshilo asks three political scientists what to expect.

What are the most important issues the president should be addressing?

Andre Duvenhage:

Institutional Independence: Why it is Important and What We Are Doing

Since its inception in 1993, the HSF has promoted the liberal democratic values that informed, guided and defined Helen Suzman's work. The Helen Suzman Foundation (‘HSF’) has a particular interest in the values enshrined in the Constitution. Central to the freedoms conferred by the Constitution are checks and balances designed to guard against abuse of power. At the largest scale, these checks and balances are ensured by a division of functions between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

​Section of Immigration Law ‘Unconstitutional’

The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that a section of the Immigration Act is unconstitutional as it allows for immigrants to be detained without any court oversight.
Human Rights Lawyers, spokesperson, Patricia Erasmus, points out that, "The High Court basically found that immigration detention may now not take place without mandatory and automatic judicial oversight."

Under South Africa's criminal law, all detainees must appear in court within 48 hours of arrest.

R2K Fears 17% Eskom Tariff Hike

The Right2Know (R2K) Gauteng has strongly opposed Eskom’s Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) application to the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) in which it is asking for a RCA balance of R22.8 billion, and will be protesting outside the NERSA hearings today and tomorrow.

According to R2K, if the RCA application is approved, South Africa could see electricity tariffs rise by up to 17 percent this year alone.

​NGOs Criticised Over Public Order Act

For all the noise made about the review of the Public Order Act, only three non-governmental organisations have submitted recommendations to Zambia’s Ministry of Home Affairs.
 
During his address to parliament last year, President Edgar Lungu asked for the review of the Public Order Act.
 
Home Affairs Minister, Davies Mwila, says there have been no movement from the proponents of the review of the act especially the political parties that were making too much noise about it.
 

26th AU Summit: Time to Take the APRM off Life Support?

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) – launched in 2002 with so much fanfare and hope by continental leaders such as South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo – is faltering. The last reports of the African Union’s governance programme into member countries’ performances in political, economic, corporate and social governance were conducted back in 2011 and issued in 2013, on Zambia and Tanzania.

Class of 2015: BNSDP Proves Rural Schools Can be Among the Best

Kagiso Trust joins the Free State Department of Education in congratulating the province’s Class of 2015, specifically the Thabo Mofutsanyana district. The Free State province achieved an 81.6 percent pass rate and the Thabo Mofutsanyana district achieved a pass rate of 87.5 percent, making it the best performing district in the Free State. Kagiso Trust, in partnership with the Free State Department of Education, has been implementing the Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) in 166 Thabo Mofutsanyana schools since 2007.

Batshu: NGOs Crucial in Development

Botswana’s Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu, says the government appreciates the role played by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in augmenting efforts to develop the disadvantaged and marginalised countrymen.

Batshu, who officially opened the NGOs Council and inaugural stakeholder's forum, said some of the civil society organisations' presence could be traced back to independence.

Amnesty Slams Angola Over Rights

Amnesty International says that Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos’s tightening stranglehold on freedom of expression in Angola and his government’s decades of fear and repression will cast an indelible stain on the 40th anniversary of the country’s independence.

The organisation states that as dignitaries and foreign leaders gather in the capital Luanda to mark four decades of independence, at least 16 activists continue to languish in Angolan jails.

Court Dismisses FUL Application

The Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria has ruled that an application by Freedom Under Law (FUL) to stop two top National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials from working is not urgent.

FUL has argued that the ‘train wreck’ in the NPA and President Jacob Zuma’s refusal to do anything about it has resulted in a constitutional crisis which urgently needed intervention by the court.

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