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5 Talking Points From The Gigaba Budget

Finance minister Malusi Gigaba tabled the budget for the 2018 year, announcing a new tax regime, including an increase in value-added tax (VAT) since the democratic dispensation, and increases to personal income tax, to plug a massive revenue shortfall in the government budget, as well as free education. 1. In spite of a more positive growth outlook, government still needs to find R48.2 billion Gigaba announced that the government still needs to plug a massive revenue hole, in spite of a marginally improved economic…

Cyril’s SONA: Sexy Neoliberalism Is Back, Baby! Awooo!

Well. That was different, wasn’t it? President Cyril Ramaphosa. An undisrupted State of the Nation Address. Julius Malema giggling like a lovestruck teenager. And the promises. Oh, the promises. If the new president didn’t promise to come to your derelict house and fix the broken light switches himself, you must be the only South African left out. President Cyril Ramaphosa. It is still taking some getting used to. President Cyril Ramaphosa… The tongue wraps clumsily around the syllables, and spills them out hesitantly and…

EFF: Zuma Is Gone, Now Dissolve Parliament

Following the resignation of Jacob Zuma as the president of the republic on Wednesday night, the Economic Freedom Fighters hosted a press conference on Thursday, where the party leader Julius Malema said that the 5th parliament must still be dissolved. Malema said that the EFF would not be a part of the election of African National Congress president Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday to the state presidency, but would be joining the State of the Nation address, due on Friday. He further said that the party would be supporting the…

Wakanda Felt Like Home

The Hollywood imagination has a troublesome relationship with Africa, perhaps best embodied by Leonardo di Caprio’s jaded Rhodesian character Danny Archer in the 2006 film Blood Diamond, who muses wearily: “Sometimes I wonder... will God ever forgive us for what we've done to each other? Then I look around and I realise... God left this place a long time ago.” Or perhaps in Jennifer Connelly, playing the cloying, do-good Maddy Bowen who gasps her way through the ruins of a West African civil war and genocide. We could talk…

Mmusi takes over Cape Town crisis response. But why?

On Wednesday, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane hosted a press conference on the City of Cape Town’s looming water crisis. Flanked by city and provincial officials, he announced that he was ‘taking political control’ of the local and provincial governments’ response to the crisis. However, is he constitutionally mandated to do so? Or has he stepped over the line? “As leader of the DA, all DA governments are accountable to me through the federal executive. I am not fully satisfied with the way the city…

H&M deserves no sympathy – the fashion industry is built on brutal, racist exploitation

In 2013, a multi-storey commercial building in the Bangladeshi capital city of Dhaka collapsed, killing 1135 people and injuring thousands more. The disaster was notable not just for being the worst in the country’s history, but for the factories that operated inside the building too – this was a supplier to several global fashion brands. Reuters reported in 2016 that Bangladesh, after China, was the world’s second-largest exporter of ready-made garments, mainly because of duty-free access to Western markets and super-low…

Zuma’s free education plan is a ferocious hospital pass to his successor

Finance minister Malusi Gigaba was the very picture of discomfort on Saturday. He was at the 54th national conference of the African National Congress, as a senior national executive committee (NEC) member. But suddenly he found himself surrounded by journalists, and answering questions on something that surely would have been far from his mind – how he was going to find the money to pay for a new higher education funding regime that President Jacob Zuma had suddenly announced. Wait for the budget speech next year, he told…

The President’s Keepers and state capture: black intellectualism needs to focus, please

It is astonishing that a book revealing deep-rooted and widespread corruption and state capture in government should instead prompt a pointless debate about Jacques Pauw and his supposed audience. South Africa has an undernourished literary tradition. Even among the sophisticated, one still finds confusion and struggle over what constitutes a news article, commentary, analysis, narrative journalism and so on, and why a writer might choose to employ these methods. Ask any editor and they will show you the bald spots on their…

#BlackMonday: Whither the political leadership?

That South Africa is a bitterly divided society is a trite observation, and those divisions must inevitably play out in how different groups interpret social ills that affect us all. Black Monday was one such moment – hundreds of people across the country wore black and marched to protest farm murders. The march, which was supported by AfriForum, agricultural and business groups, as well as ordinary citizens, was sparked by the brutal murder of a farmer in the Western Cape during a robbery. Crime is a terrible problem in our…

The Fees Commission Report will not ease #FMF

: The presidency released the Fees Commission report on 13 November 2017. First will come the outrage. Then the protests. Then more protests. The end to the university crisis is nowhere near at hand, and the release of the report by The Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (The Fees Commission) will not produce the answer that students so desperately want to hear. There will be no easing of the financial chokehold that is strangling so many of them to death. The City Press reported on Sunday that the Fees…

Who is Hlengiwe Mkhize, the new Minister for Higher Education and Training?

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma suddenly announced a Cabinet reshuffle – his second in 2017 – where he finally removed the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) minister Blade Nzimande from cabinet. The reshuffle means that the DHET is now in the hands of Hlengiwe Mkhize, formerly the minister of Home Affairs, who had been in that position for just 6.5 months. She must now deal with, among many other issues, the fight over the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (Fees Commission) and the…

These students escaped a flooded minibus on the N2 highway during Tuesday’s storm in Durban

On Tuesday, Durban was wracked by a terrible storm. There was mass damage to infrastructure, roads were completely flooded and eight people tragically died. A minibus carrying University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) medical students back from their practical classes was caught on the flooded N2 highway. The Daily Vox spoke with Stacey Petzer and Stephanie Naidoo about what transpired as they escaped from the flooded vehicle. Stephanie Nicole Naidoo, 22, Durban, occupational therapy student It was an ordinary prac day, a Tuesday,…

How FC Barcelona could end up in Stoke on a cold rainy night

Spain is in the grips of a crisis at the moment. This week the Catalan region – located in the north-western corner of the country – voted by an overwhelming majority to secede from Spain. This was in spite of a brutal police crackdown on the vote, which had been declared unlawful by the government in Madrid. Despite opposition from the national government, it appears Catalonia will forge ahead with a unilateral secession. The secession movement is inspired in great part by Spain’s painful history. The country fought a…