politics

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:

Malema Urged to Respect Freedom of Press

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has expressed concern over the Economic Freedom Fighters leader, Julius Malema’s alleged intimidation of journalists who work for Gupta-owned media outlets.

This follows Malema’s warning that journalists who work for broadcaster ANN7 and The New Age newspaper that they would not be welcome at the party's events.
"It is unacceptable for any political party to intimidate journalists and to publicly state that they cannot guarantee their safety," argues SANEF.

​NGO Not Concerned About de Klerk Charges

The FW de Klerk Foundation says it is not at all concerned with the 22 charges of apartheid crimes pressure group Anti-Racism Action Forum (ARAF) has formulated against him.

The foundation’s communications officer Megan Dick says they have taken note of the anti-racism group’s intent to lay 22 charges against apartheid-era president FW de Klerk for ‘crimes against black people’.

ARAF intend to lay the same charges against Adrian Vlok, who served as minister of law and order from 1986 to 1991.

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.

Govts Urged to Intensify Fight Against Child Marriage

Development partners have urged the Zimbabwean government to be more aggressive in tackling child marriage, which is a serious violation of human rights.

According to Phyllis Mbanje, the country has conflicting legal provisions on the minimum age for marriage and its constitution does not expressly prohibit child marriage, and a number of laws effectively condone it.

Mbanje states that the gaps in the law, extreme poverty, poor access to education, and harmful religious beliefs and social norms fuel child marriage in Zimbabwe.

SACC: Inequality Worse than at End of Apartheid

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) says it plans to tackle the challenges and imbalances in the country through a campaign called ‘The South Africa We Pray For’‚ stating that research it commissioned shows that inequality today is far greater than it was at the end of apartheid.

The organisations says that this prayer and action campaign‚ to be launched at a special Reconciliation Day service on 16 December 2015‚ will see the church taking an active role in addressing the societal imbalances currently experienced in a post-apartheid South Africa.

FUL’s Bid to Put Brakes on NPA

Freedom Under Law (FUL) has argued that the ‘train wreck’ in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and President Jacob Zuma’s refusal to do anything about it has resulted in a constitutional crisis that urgently needs the court’s intervention.

FUL has asked the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria for an urgent interim interdict to stop Nomgcobo Jiba, the deputy national public prosecutions director, and Lawrence Mrwebi, head of the specialised commercial crimes unit, from working.

NGOs Take Govt to Court Over Nuclear

A group of NGOs is taking government to court in a bid to stop South Africa’s nuclear procurement programme because the bid process is flawed.
 
Other respondents are the National Energy Regulator (NERSA), chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete.
 
The applicants argue Joemat-Pettersson has failed to ensure nuclear procurement is conducted lawfully and meets the requirements of the constitution for a fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective process.
 

100% Renewable Energy Access for All

Greenpeace says that political will is needed to bring about a “just transition to a green and inclusive economy”.

Greenpeace executive director, Kumi Naidoo, speaking during the South African International Renewable Energy Conference in Cape Town, said that a new report being released by Greenpeace will help policy makers plot the way forward to achieve this reality.

The report, entitled Energy Revolution, pushes for a scenario where there is 100 percent renewable energy access for all by 2050.

Call for Govt to Rein in Western-Funded NGOs

The Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) MP for Buhera West, Oliver Mandipaka, has challenged government to rein in the country's western funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs), arguing they are now too many and causing confusion in the country.
 
Mandipaka, a former high ranking police officer, asked the Public Service deputy minister during parliament's question and answer session if government had plans to stop the further spread of NGOs.
 

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