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Thursday, 29 September, 2016
Quote of the week
"The Constitution requires that the consultation process take into account the best interest of learners. Rationalisation cannot compromise the right to education."
- Equal Education, Equal Education Law Centre.
Comment of the week
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Governance, Rating Agencies, Schooling…
In this week’s edition of NGO Pulse, Johan Burger, a consultant at the Institute for Security Studies’ Governance, Crime and Justice Division, writes that one of the founding values of democratic South Africa is the supremacy of the Constitution and rule of law. Burger states that over the past few years, the conduct of various prominent officials within the criminal justice system has severely undermined this constitutional principle and the very foundation of our democracy. He argues that all South Africans rely on the individuals who occupy these posts to exercise their considerable powers in tackling organised crime and corruption. He emphasises that it has emerged through various court cases and legal processes that some of these officials seemed to have used their powers to protect various individuals facing serious criminal allegations; rather than in the public interest.
Click here to read the full article.
Last week, we published an article by Agathe Fonkam, a researcher at the Helen Suzman Foundation, in which she gave an account of how Moody - a rating agency - evaluated the South African economy in its most recent reviews.
This week, Fonkam focuses on another rating agency – Fitch – which affirmed South Africa’s investment grade rating in June. Fonkam says according to Fitch, political risks have increased since the last review in December 2015, and this political risk is considered mainly in terms of its impact on the economy and public finances. She adds that this rating agency believes that South Africa’s slow gross domestic product (GDP) growth is due to the constraints in electricity supply as well as the worsening investment climate and conflicting labour relations. She notes that government has made considerable progress in addressing the issue of power supply with no load shedding so far this year, the maintenance management has improved and more power sources have been added to the grid. South Africa could be downgraded if the GDP can fail to recover sustainably, including lack of policy change to improve the investment climate, and high political instability that negatively affects the economy or public finances, among others, she maintains.
Click here to read the full article.
Lastly, Equal Education (EE), a non-governmental organisation, and the Equal Education Law Centre (EELC), has expressed their support for the Eastern Cape school rationalisation process, but only if it is conducted lawfully, democratically, and in accordance with the requirements and deadlines stipulated by the Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure. The EE and EELC say the rationalisation will create fewer but larger schools and this could allow the provincial department of education to achieve more with the funding it receives. The two organisations, which cautiously support rationalisation, call for learners’ rights to education to be protected and that those who attend schools scheduled for closure must be guaranteed spaces in other schools.
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