Roundtable Series

Issue Seven - July 2008 - Electoral Reform and Responsive Representation
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Jul 2008
The Helen Suzman Foundation thought it prudent – with an election campaign mere months away – and the Electoral Task Teams’ call for a new mixed electoral system to be in place by 2009 to convene our second QRS this year to discuss Electoral Reform and Responsive Representation. The debate around electoral reform in South Africa has had a distinct journey with constitutional negotiators opting for a system of closed-list proportional representation at national and provincial levels of government with a mixed system at local government level.
Issue Six - April 2008 - Media Freedom
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Apr 2008
The Fourth Estate’s freedom requires eternal vigilance. The previous year – 2007 – has become etched in the South African memory as the year the media confronted various challenges and obstacles. These ranged from the controversial Film and Publications Amendment Bill to the litigation about the Sunday Times’ coverage of the Minister of Health and its aftermath which included some concerning developments with respect to the freedom of the press. These developments included the prospect of an arrest of the Editor of the Sunday Times and/or senior journalists, the statements published by key civil servants after a court order clearly and carefully sought to balance the Minister of Health's right to privacy and the public interest raising questions about their respect for the judiciary and the threat of government’s advertising revenue being withdrawn from the Sunday Times raised by the Minister in the Presidency, Essop Pahad. All these events increased the volume on the prospect of a new statutory regulatory body to be created – a Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT). This flurry of activity also sparked more debates when Koni Media launched a bid for then Johncom Ltd. (now Avusa Ltd).
Issue Five - December 2007 - The Final Stretch: Building up to Polokwane
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Dec 2007
It is a great honour for us to host the last of the Helen Suzman Foundation's Quarterly Roundtable Series for 2007. We're doing it at a rather opportune time, a few days before the kick-off, no pun intended, of the Polokwane Conference. We’ve asked some of the best and brightest analytical minds in our contemporary political environment to join us in a discussion on “The Final Stretch”. We literally are in the final stretch, and there are very interesting events emerging. We have Winnie Madikizela Mandela trying to broker agreements between the Mbeki and Zuma camps.
Issue Three - September 2007 - Future Politics: Change, coalitions or status quo?
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Sep 2007
Last year The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) started the Quarterly Roundtable Series. We aim to use this series to further public discourse on matters of national interest and national importance, and we have already hosted two roundtables. The first dealt with the impact of political culture on democratic institutions, and in the second, we looked at the review of Chapter Nine institutions.
Issue Two - March 2007 - Chapter Nines - Review, Reform or Reduction?
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Mar 2007
The Helen Suzman Foundation launched its Annual Quarterly Roundtable Series in 2006 aimed at stimulating debate on issues relevant to the future of democracy in South Africa and to explore matters related to politics and governance of South Africa. This Roundtable on the Review of Chapter Nine Institutions, currently in progress under the auspices of a parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy and the Public Service Commission chaired by Prof. Kader Asmal, MP, was convened to ensure that...
Issue One - December 2006 - The impact of political culture and traditions on democratic institutions and the consolidation of democracy
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Dec 2006
This is the first in The Helen Suzman Foundation’s new Quarterly Roundtable Series: The impact of political culture and traditions on democratic institutions and the consolidation of democracy. “There is a challenge confronting advocates of the values of tolerance and liberal constitutional democracy in all walks of life, in all political organisations and in all social movements. It is important to distinguish between those who wield political power for the common good and those who wield it for the sake of access to economic opportunity.”