Feb 14: It’s Ester Howland’s Day

February 15, 2017

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Yesterday, February 14, should not have been in celebration of St Valentine and monogamous, romantic love. It's a day that belongs to Ester Howland and to the celebration entrepreneurship. The mythial Valentine was introduced as a party pooper.

Posted in: Commentary

Political interference and the unions

February 11, 2017

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The attempt by labour minister Mildred Oliphant — including a couple of lengthy and costly court battles — to interfere in trade union administration was slapped down hard on January 26. The labour appeal court ruled that her instruction to the registrar of labour relations to withdraw action against a defaulting Cosatu union and her […]

Time to seek the real state of nations

February 11, 2017

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This week brought us, in South Africa, another State of the Nation address (SONA) and, like its predecessors, it will probably be best remembered for the fashion parade on parliament’s red carpet and the punch up on the floor of paliament. There was also the usual post speech analysis of what was seen generally as […]

Posted in: Commentary

Corporal punishment: let’s learn from history

January 27, 2017

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There is nothing new in the still raging debate in South Africa about corporal punishment. During the great student rebellions in 1976, there was widespread rejection of corporal punishment that echoed the approach of the Roman scholar, Quintillian. More than 2 000 years ago, Quintillian argued that corporal punishment was fit only for slaves.

Posted in: Commentary

A luta continua — for 22 years

January 27, 2017

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A labour dispute at the then Midrand municipality in 1994 has rumbled on for 22 years and has again, this year, come to the fore. In the process it has thrown into sharp focus some serious problems facing the South African labour movement.

Ideal refuge for a kleptocrat

January 24, 2017

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Given reports over the years of the dictatorial behaviour of The Gambia's president, Yahya Jammeh, of the use by his security forces of assassination and torture, along with his apparently liberal access to the national treasury, he has perhaps found, in Equatorial Guinea, his ideal refuge.

Posted in: Commentary

Davos: a far cry from responsive & responsible leadership

January 22, 2017

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The world’s most expensive and probably most successful public relations exercise concluded in Switzerland this week: the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos. But this private club of some of the richest men in the world is responsible for the very ills they claim to be trying to remedy.

Posted in: Commentary