HSF Briefs

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Corruption and Accountability

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Crime and Police

Why so violent?
Lee-Anne Germanos
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May 28, 2020

In a time before the pandemic, South Africa could easily have been classed among the most violent societies. As a nation in lockdown, we are now informed that our rate of violent crime has decreased by up to 87% in some categories during the month of April. Conversely, the abuse of power by police officials has increased by 32% during the same month, according to IPID. We are all too aware that the conditions that have provided for this drastic drop in violent crime are temporary. So the question to be asked remains: why are we so violent?

Lindela And South Africa’s Defective Deportation Regime
Tove van Lennep
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Nov 15, 2019

What is going on at the Bosasa-run Lindela Repatriation Centre - South Africa's single specialised holding facility for irregular immigrants awaiting deportation? This brief investigates the country's notorious deportation regime and its custodians – the South African Police Service, the Department of Home Affairs and Bosasa.

Sexual Assault - Part 3: Sexual violence as a Weapon of War
Lee-Anne Germanos
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Apr 18, 2019

A very popular, yet grossly under recognised, feature and weapon of war is sexual violence. Sexual violence, like artillery, is used to cause destruction through the terrorisation of a population or as an assertion of power by belligerent forces. Rape, when committed as part of a widespread attack, is also an effective tool for bringing about the destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group – otherwise known as genocide.

Sexual Assault - Part 2: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Lee-Anne Germanos
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Apr 18, 2019

According to legislation, employers have a positive legal duty to ensure that the workplace is free from unfair discrimination. What the legislature and disciplinary bodies alike do not take into consideration are the delicacies of the power differentials between men and women (not only as between superiors and subordinates) in the workplace and the trauma suffered by the victims of sexual harassment. Until there is an understanding of these inherent power dynamics that exist in the workplace, sexual misconduct will continue to persist in that space.

Sexual Assault - Part 1: Sexual Offences in the Criminal Justice System
Lee-Anne Germanos
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Apr 18, 2019

Crimes of a sexual nature, the world over, are prosecuted distinct from any other form of crime. The burden of proof in sexual offence cases is more stringent (although it is not permitted to be). The tests and defences used are subjective as opposed to objective – as with all other crimes. Unlike other crimes, commissions of sexual offences, it can be argued, are skewed predominantly against women and children. They are also the only crimes in which the victim’s behaviour is the focal point, as opposed to that of the accused.

Cape Town Gangs: Political Dimensions
Tove van Lennep
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Jan 25, 2019

Understanding the true nature and genesis of gangsterism in Cape Town is central to the success of the recently dispatched Anti-Gang Unit. This brief looks beyond frequently cited criminal and socio-economic factors.

Ongoing litigation concerning the Head of the Hawks
Francis Antonie
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Apr 20, 2016

A message from the Director following the High Court's dismissal of the urgent court application brought against Ntlemeza by the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law.

REFLECTING ON THE CRIMINAL REGULATION OF MARIJUANA: Cancer, drugs and the long arm of the law
Matthew Kruger
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Mar 08, 2016

On more than one occasion Helen Suzman spoke out against arbitrary and abusive laws criminalising the production and use of marijuana. In this series of briefs, we revisit these issues in three parts. In the first brief, Matthew Kruger provides some context, by commenting on the prosecution of a married couple for their production and personal use of medical marijuana. He also explores the neglected value of freedom, explaining that sometimes the state can only fulfill its duty to respect and protect our rights by leaving us alone. In the second brief, Arvitha Doodnath considers the science relating to and social impact of marijuana and debunks some common myths. The series concludes with Kimera Chetty considering how we should go about regulating actions that do in fact negatively affect the interests of others, but whose criminal prohibition would also cause harm to individuals and the community.

The Mess Deepens
Helen Suzman Foundation
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May 05, 2015

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police is reported as having invited the Minister of Police to discuss the McBride suspension and the Werksmans Report. As indicated, below, we believe that the Minister of Police will have some explaining to do.

The Hawks and the Alleged Zimbabwean Rendition: Let the Courts Decide
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Feb 25, 2015

The recent unlawful suspension of senior Hawks officials has centered on alleged renditions of Zimbabwean Foreign Nationals and the Reports made by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate to the National Prosecuting Authority. Some confidential documents have leaked into the public domain.

Press Release - The Unlawful Suspension of the National Head of the Hawks
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Jan 23, 2015

This morning judgment was handed down in the Pretoria High Court by Prinsloo J following an urgent application brought by the HSF in the wake of the suspension of the National Head of the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation ("the National Head") (“Hawks”). The HSF was of the view that this suspension was irregular, and that the Minister of Police (“Minister”) had acted unlawfully.

Suspension of the National Head of the Hawks
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Jan 09, 2015

The HSF has approached the High Court in Pretoria to declare invalid the suspension of the National Head of the Hawks and the appointment of an Acting Head.

SAPS Amendment Act Case: Confirmation Proceedings and Application for Leave to Appeal
Luke von der Heyde
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Feb 21, 2014

In December 2013, the HSF received favourable judgement in the case of Helen Suzman Foundation v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others. The case involved the HSF’s on-going engagement with the establishment of independent policing and prosecutorial bodies that are sufficiently protected from political interference. The full bench of the Western Cape High Court found certain sections of the SAPS Amendment Act 2012 (the “Amendment Act”) to be unconstitutional to the extent that they undermine the structural and operational independence of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI – also known as "the Hawks"). The HSF maintains that independent anti-corruption units are a vital part of the institutional State apparatus in South Africa and welcomes the unanimous judgement of the High Court.

Demography and Youth

Lindela And South Africa’s Defective Deportation Regime
Tove van Lennep
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Nov 15, 2019

What is going on at the Bosasa-run Lindela Repatriation Centre - South Africa's single specialised holding facility for irregular immigrants awaiting deportation? This brief investigates the country's notorious deportation regime and its custodians – the South African Police Service, the Department of Home Affairs and Bosasa.

Migration IV: The state of South Africa’s borders
Tove van Lennep
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Sep 18, 2019

South Africa’s borders require serious attention to counter irregular migration, illicit trade and incumbered movement. The Department of Home Affairs’ intended solutions are deficient.

Should The National Development Plan Be Revised?
Charles Simkins
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Feb 05, 2019

National Development Plans are revised periodically, often at five year intervals. Although our 'National Development Plan 2030' (NDP) was launched in 2012, it has not been revised. This brief shows that the illusion that the goals of the NDP are achievable cannot be sustained for a minute. A rethink is due.

The State Of The South African Refugee Protection Regime: Part I - Current Status
Tove van Lennep
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Oct 30, 2018

Once applauded by UNHCR’s Antonio Guterres as ‘one of the most advanced and progressive systems of refugee protection in the world’, the South African refugee regime has deteriorated beyond recognition.This brief - the first in a three-part series - explores the state of protection and what it means for asylum-seekers within our borders.

Free Basic Services At The Municipal Level
Rafael Friedman
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Feb 13, 2018

On 30 September 2017, South African municipalities were collectively owed R143.6 billion by consumers, according to the latest National Treasury report on municipal finances. R101.6 billion of this amount was household debt. If consumer debt is limited to below 90 days, then the actual realistically collectable amount is estimated at R22.9 billion.

STAYING AT HOME AND LEAVING II - DETERMINANTS
Charles Simkins
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May 30, 2017

The preceding brief constructed and tested an indicator of whether a young person stays at home or has left it. This brief considers the reasons for leaving home and their impact. Some of the argument in this brief is quite technical. Readers uninterested in technique are advised to read only the introduction and the summary and conclusions.

STAYING AT HOME AND LEAVING I - MEASUREMENT
Charles Simkins
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May 30, 2017

Leaving home is one of the transitions made by young people. This brief constructs an indicator of whether a person has left home from information in the 2015 General Household Survey and sets out what the indicator reveals.

Youth Migration
Charles Simkins
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Apr 20, 2017

This is a brief specifically focusing on the movement of youth and it uses the same methods as two published briefs on migration among the population as a whole.

What Does The 2016 Community Survey Tell Us About Internal Migration?
Charles Simkins
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Apr 12, 2017

This is the second of two briefs considering contemporary evidence on movement of the population between mid-2011 and mid-2016. The first brief dealt with immigration and emigration of the foreign born. This brief considers movement between municipalities within South Africa, preceded by a summary of the findings of the two briefs together.

How fast is the South African population growing?
Charles Simkins
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Apr 04, 2017

This brief considers the differing population growth estimates from international and domestic sources for the periods between 1990 and 2015 and makes observations about the changes in the age distribution of the population.

Zimbabwe I - Demography & Economy
Charles Simkins
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This, the first of two briefs examining the prospects for Zimbabwe following the presidential succession, will consider the demographic and economic context. The second brief will discuss the political implications.

Economy

On The Importance Of Thinking Clearly About The Labour Market
Charles Simkins
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Jan 21, 2022

This brief is a companion to the Helen Suzman Foundation’s submission to the Department of Labour on the Report of the National Minimum Wage Commission on the Review and Adjustment of the National Minimum Wage for 2022. The analysis here amplifies the argument the Foundation made in its submission.

The Social Relief of Distress - How Well Did the Social Relief of Distress Grant Perform in January 2021?
Charles Simkins
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Nov 17, 2021

The fourth wave of the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey collected data for the month of January 2021, including information on applications for the SRD grant and receipts of it. This brief considers information from it, along with data from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2021, in an attempt to answer these questions.

Household Income and Household Hunger
Charles Simkins
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Nov 17, 2021

The preceding two briefs in this series considered the measurement of hunger at the household and personal levels in the 2019 General Household Survey and the five waves of the NIDS-CRAM survey conducted between April 2020 and March 2021. This brief develops the analysis by discussing the relationship between household income per capita, poverty and measures of hunger.

The Southern African Development Community III – Education And Labour Market
Charles Simkins
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Jul 29, 2021

The Southern African Development Community is made up of sixteen countries and all countries on the continent with territory below five degrees south. The fifteen other countries are linked to South Africa in many ways and constitute our ‘near abroad’. South Africans should know more about them than they often do, and the purpose of this brief series is to set the current state of development in its various aspects: demographic, economic, political and social. This brief focuses on the region’s rates of education and it labour market.

The Southern African Development Community II – Economy: Levels, Growth, Structure, Income Distribution And Happiness
Charles Simkins
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Jul 29, 2021

The Southern African Development Community is made up of sixteen countries and all countries on the continent with territory below five degrees south. The fifteen other countries are linked to South Africa in many ways and constitute our ‘near abroad’. South Africans should know more about them than they often do, and the purpose of this brief series is to set the current state of development in its various aspects: demographic, economic, political and social. This brief focusses on the region’s economy – in particular, its growth, structure, income distribution and levels of happiness among its population.

The Southern African Development Community I – Population
Charles Simkins
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Jul 29, 2021

The Southern African Development Community is made up of sixteen countries and all countries on the continent with territory below five degrees south. The fifteen other countries are linked to South Africa in many ways and constitute our ‘near abroad’. South Africans should know more about them than they often do, and the purpose of this brief series is to set the current state of development in its various aspects: demographic, economic, political and social. This brief focusses on the region’s population dynamics, namely the evolution of population size and its age structure, as determined by fertility, mortality and migration.

How Will The Health System Cope Over The Next Four Years?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the fourth of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. The first brief deals with commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure on health financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. The second considers the impact of local government on health. The third brief sets out information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of this brief.

Health Expenditure In The 2019/20 Financial Year
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the third of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. The first brief deals with commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure on health financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. The second considers the impact of local government on health. This brief sets out the information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of the fourth brief.

Local Government Impact On Health - What Do We Know?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the second of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. The first brief discusses commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. This brief considers the impact of local government on health. The third brief sets out information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of the fourth brief.

Occupational Health And Safety And Fund Payments For Treatment Of Injury And Disease - What Do We Know?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the first of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. It discusses commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. The second considers the impact of local government on health. The third brief sets out information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of the fourth brief.

Why Is Burger King Proving a Hard Sell?
Christopher Fisher
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Jun 14, 2021

This brief explores the legal basis for the Competition Commission prohibiting the purchase of Burger King by Emerging Capital Partners, and argues that it was borne out of an incorrect interpretation of the Competition Act.

Output, Employment, The Minimum Wage And Covid-19
Charles Simkins
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Jun 10, 2021

This brief advances an explanation of the divergence between the growth of output and the growth of employment, between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2021. In a brief published on 6 April 2021, I argued that the explanation lay in new methods of data collection – here I advance another explanation.

What Can We Expect From The Economy In 2021?
Charles Simkins
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May 11, 2021

This brief explores what economic drivers lie behind the economic growth projections from various international organisations, South African official sources and South African commercial banks.

Understanding Cronyism
Zeenat Emmamally
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Apr 21, 2021

This brief examines cronyism as a subtype of corruption, and argues, using the executive ethics code as an example, that frameworks do not adequately safeguard against cronyism.

Has Statistics South Africa Under-Estimated The Employment Recovery?
Charles Simkins
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Apr 06, 2021

Many commentators have argued that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a sharp increase in the unemployment rate, relying solely on Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS). But the QLFS is not the only source of information on the labour market. This brief considers the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the labour market by reviewing data from Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Employment Statistics and national accounts, as well as the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey.

The Silence of the Constitutionalists
Matthew Kruger
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Mar 26, 2021

In this brief, Matthew Kruger reflects on the suspension of democratic power and subordination of transformative goals during the last year of lockdown. After touching on the failures of our major political parties, Parliament and the media to comprehend or resist this reality, he turns his attention to civil society. In the face of this 365-day deferral of the Constitution, why have so many of our NGOs and lawyers kept silent?

Whom The Gods Would Destroy They First Make Mad
Charles Simkins
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Mar 24, 2021

How to achieve redistribution with growth in a period of economic decline is difficult and the beginning of wisdom is to avoid actions which make things worse rather than better. The purpose of this brief is to identify some of them.

Service Delivery in South Africa at a Glance
Chelsea Ramsden
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Mar 17, 2021

Against the backdrop of recent discussions on service delivery in the Kgetlengrivier Local Municipality this brief will examine current reactions to service delivery failures and possible actions that aggrieved residents may take.

Alternative Proposals For Electing Constituency Representatives In A Mixed System
Charles Simkins
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Mar 09, 2021

This brief considers three proposals on the table for a mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system for consideration by the National Assembly’s Home Affairs Portfolio Committee, and makes the point that advocacy of an MMP system does not, in itself, settle all the details which will needed to be considered in the process of electoral reform.

Third Quarter Production And Employment Statistics - Some Puzzles
Charles Simkins
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Jan 14, 2021

This is the final Brief in the series with all the statistical information about production and employment in the third quarter having now been published. This Brief focuses on puzzles which arise when all the sources are considered together.

The Era of Pandemics: Tomorrow's Forever Wars
Matthew Kruger
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Dec 09, 2020

We are now more than 250 days into our 21-day lockdown, with Ramaphosa and his Command Council claiming for themselves the power to legislate every aspect of our lives until the invisible enemy is beaten, or maybe even longer, as their rhetoric about the new normal suggests. In asserting this power in their war on the virus, they resemble another executive in a different, still-ongoing war against an equally invisible enemy: the US war on terror.

Human Settlements In The Metros
Charles Simkins
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Dec 04, 2020

This Brief discusses the Department of Human Settlements’ proposed re-orientation of its policies.

The July To September Quarterly Labour Force Survey
Charles Simkins
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Dec 03, 2020

Production in the South African economy has bounced back quite sharply since July. This Brief explores what the Quarterly Labour Force Survey tells us about employment and unemployment in the third quarter.

September Production, Rates Of Profit And Loanable Funds
Charles Simkins
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Dec 03, 2020

This Brief updates our understanding of the economy and how it has bounced back. It also considers trends in profitability since the beginning 2014, and finally discusses financial flows within the economy.

Foreign Nationals In Gauteng’s Informal Retail Sector
Charles Collocott
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Nov 24, 2020

This brief looks at some important facts behind the informal retail sector, specifically with regards to competition between local and foreign traders, and asks whether the Gauteng government’s current hostile stance towards foreign nationals in the Gauteng Township Economic Development Bill will help or hinder South Africans.

The Political Economy Of The Economic Reconstruction And Recovery Plan
Charles Simkins
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Nov 10, 2020

The government’s economic policy cards are on the table. Government policy attempts to achieve two goals simultaneously: to ward off an impending fiscal crisis and to improve investment to the point where it can underpin a respectable rate of economic growth. Both need urgent attention. The political economy question is this: can a coalition of interests be maintained to sustain the policy for several years?

Financing Government Debt
Charles Simkins
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Nov 05, 2020

The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, tabled in Parliament on 28 October 2020, projects that the government will need to issue above 50% more short-term and long-term domestic debt in 2020/21 than in 2019/20. In this Brief Charles Simkins considers if the targets can be met and what the macroeconomic implications of doing so would be.

How Coherent Are The 2020 Production And Labour Market Data? II - The Main Issues
Charles Simkins
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Nov 04, 2020

This brief compares production and labour market estimates from different sources. Some of the work has already been done in previous briefs and this will be referred to, with a brief summary of findings. In order not to clutter the exposition of new comparisons, supporting tables are placed in the annexure to the brief.

How Coherent Are The 2020 Production And Labour Market Data? I - The Basis For Assessment
Charles Simkins
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Nov 04, 2020

The preceding briefs in this series have drawn on a number of sources to assess the evolution of the economy during 2020. These data sources have been compiled for different purposes and to a great extent independently of one another. Yet they overlap and their findings can be compared. The questions arise: How coherent are the data from these sources? What judgements can be made after all the sources have been considered? What uncertainties and puzzles remain?

Electoral Reform And The Political System: The Helen Suzman’s Points Of Departure
Charles Simkins
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Oct 01, 2020

The first three briefs in this series establish three main points. The first is that the New Nation case requires electoral reform, the second is that electoral reform may not infringe the constitution, and the third is there are political systemic choices to be made by Parliament about the electoral system within constitutional constraints. This brief sets out the Helen Suzman Foundation’s points of departure at the level of the political system.

Electoral Reform: Are The Electoral Task Team’s “Core Values” Still Relevant?
Catherine Kruyer
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Oct 01, 2020

The Helen Suzman Foundation is producing a series of briefs on electoral reform in South Africa. Following the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections, this series will examine the road ahead at the policy, legislative, and institutional level. This brief, the third in our series, will reconsider the core values for an electoral system identified by the Electoral Task Team in 2003.

The April To June Quarterly Labour Force Survey: A Cautionary Note
Charles Simkins
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Sep 30, 2020

The April to June Quarterly Labour Force Survey has appeared. While the HSF commends Stats SA for finally producing it (there were two delays in publication). The HSF cautions that this survey is less reliable than its predecessors for reasons which Charles Simkins elucidates.

Electoral Reform: Constitutional Constraints On The Design Of Our Electoral System
Catherine Kruyer
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Sep 29, 2020

The Helen Suzman Foundation is producing a series of briefs on electoral reform in South Africa. Following the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections, this series will examine the road ahead from the policy, legislative and institutional perspectives. This brief, the second in our series, will explore the constitutional constraints on our electoral system.

Electoral Reform: Understanding the New Nation Movement case
Kimera Chetty
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Sep 29, 2020

The Helen Suzman Foundation will be producing a series of briefs on electoral reform in South Africa. Following the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections,this series will examine the road ahead from the policy, legislative and institutional perspectives. This brief, the first in our series, will explore the reasoning of the Court and consider the implications of the judgment.

July Production Statistics: An Indication Of A V-Shaped Recovery?
Charles Simkins and Charles Collocott
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Sep 28, 2020

Statistics South Africa publishes monthly production statistics for mining, manufacturing, electricity distributed, the five components of trade, catering and accommodation and two components of trade, storage and communication. The July 2020 estimates have now been published. Gross domestic product statistics have been published for the first two quarters of 2020. What do these estimates reveal about economic recovery since the Level 5 lock down?

The Implications Of The Second Quarter 2020 Gross Domestic Product Data
Charles Simkins
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Sep 11, 2020

Dr Simkins highlights that the StatsSA announcement on 8 September of a 51% fall in GDP is misleading in the light of a sharp, temporary shock to the economy as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. The Brief discusses information from the GDP data about the distribution of the burden of the shock. Further analysis of the distribution will become possible when the Quarterly Employment Statistics and the Quarterly Labour Force Survey are published in late October.

Austerity And A Permanent Income Shock
Charles Simkins
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Jul 15, 2020

This brief distinguishes between a policy of austerity and the fact of a permanent decline in per capita income, arguing that South Africa should adapt to a drop of real per capita income of 7 to 10% since 2014. It considers the trajectory of monetary and fiscal policy in this light.

The Adjustment Budget And Beyond
Charles Simkins
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Jun 30, 2020

Charles Simkins reviews the Supplementary Budget. A brutal affair. The Zuma legacy and misfortune have made it so.

The Coronavirus And The Economy
Charles Simkins
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Apr 01, 2020

In this brief, Charles Simkins suggests principles to guide thinking about the relationship between the epidemic and the economy.

Foreign Nationals In The Informal Retail Sector
Charles Collocott
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Aug 19, 2019

This brief looks at some important facts behind foreign nationals in the informal retail sector, and asks whether government’s current hostile stance on the matter, as voiced by the Minister of Small Business Development, will help or hinder South Africans.

The Economy: Adapt or Die III - The Long Term
Charles Simkins
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Jul 10, 2019

The first brief in this series considered economic priorities leading up to the 2020 Budget. The second brief discussed priorities for the following two years. This, the final brief, proposes initiatives over the longer term.

Recent ANC Comments on Prescribed Assets for Financial Institutions - Brief II of II
Charles Collocott
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Jul 01, 2019

This is the second Brief of two that looks prescribed assets, as touted by the ANC. It looks at the potential consequences and finishes with a conclusion. The first Brief introduced us to the idea of prescribed assets; why the idea has been tabled by the ANC; the history of prescribed assets and the lessons learned; is it required to cause private sector investment into government projects; and is it lawful?

Recent ANC Comments on Prescribed Assets for Financial Institutions - Brief I of II
Charles Collocott
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Jul 01, 2019

This is the first Brief of two, introducing the idea of prescribed assets: why it has been raised within the ANC, the history of prescribed assets in South Africa and the lessons learned; is it required for private sector investment into government projects and is it lawful? The second Brief looks at the potential consequences and finishes with a conclusion.

Monetary Policy
Charles Simkins
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Jun 13, 2019

In this brief, Charles Simkins examines the Reserve Bank's approach to monetary policy.

Debt - the millstone around Eskom’s neck
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 10, 2019

This brief analyses the magnitude of the problem posed by Eskom’s massive debt, coupled with the lack of information on what is being done about it.

Two innovations in the 2019 Budget
Charles Simkins
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Feb 27, 2019

We confine our comments on the 2019 Budget to its two major innovations: the approach to state owned enterprises and the early retirement scheme for public servants.

Budget Challenges III: Revenue And Expenditure
Charles Collocott
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Feb 18, 2019

This is the third of three briefs on the challenges to be faced in the presentation of the 2019 Budget on 20 February. It deals with revenue and expenditure. The first brief discussed the economic environment and the second discussed public debt.

Budget Challenges II: Public Debt
Charles Collocott
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Feb 18, 2019

This is the second of three briefs on the challenges to be faced in the presentation of the 2019 Budget on 20 February. The first brief dealt with the economic environment surrounding the Budget. This brief deals with the problem of public debt. The third brief will deal with government revenue and expenditure and their policy implications.

Budget Challenges I: The Economic Environment
Charles Collocott
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Feb 18, 2019

This is the first of three briefs on the challenges to be faced in the presentation of the 2019 Budget on 20 February. It deals with the global and local economic environment. The second brief will discuss public debt and the third will deal with government revenue and expenditure and their policy implications.

Should The National Development Plan Be Revised?
Charles Simkins
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Feb 05, 2019

National Development Plans are revised periodically, often at five year intervals. Although our 'National Development Plan 2030' (NDP) was launched in 2012, it has not been revised. This brief shows that the illusion that the goals of the NDP are achievable cannot be sustained for a minute. A rethink is due.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief V
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the final brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at why the BRICS Bank was not used, on what basis government is able to refuse disclosing further information on the loans, and finishes with a conclusion for the series.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief IV
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the fourth brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it is a summary of the lessons learned from the experiences of the six countries analysed, which have also taken on Chinese debt.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief III
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the third brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief II
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the second brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Argentina.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief I
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the first brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China. This brief is an overview of South Africa’s debt situation, how the loans from China fit into this, and why we need to look at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt.

The National Assembly’s Finance Standing Committee Fakes It
Charles Simkins
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Aug 22, 2018

On 14 August 2018, representatives of the World Bank presented their ‘systematic country diagnostic’ report entitled An incomplete transition: Overcoming the legacy of exclusion to the National Assembly’s Finance Standing Committee.

The Davis Tax Committee Wealth Tax Report - An Overview
Charles Collocott
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Jul 26, 2018

In anticipation of the Davis Tax Committee Wealth Tax Report, the HSF published a series of briefs last year on a wealth tax and whether it was viable method to raise revenue in South Africa. In March this year the Davis Tax Committee published its report on the matter, which this brief considers in the light of the HSF’s work.

Eskom’s 2018 Financial Results
Anton van Dalsen
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Jul 24, 2018

This brief provides a commentary on the main features of Eskom’s 2018 annual financial statements, released on 23 July 2018.

Can we start the long haul now?
Charles Simkins
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Jul 12, 2018

We live in a vertiginous age, in a Dadaesque social and political world. Can the ground be prepared for economic recovery in this politically unstable environment?

Reflections on the Minimum Wage Bill
Jade Tess Weiner
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Jun 13, 2018

This brief considers the current status of the National Minimum Wage Bill, its limitations and whether its impact will achieve its intended purpose – to advance economic development and social justice.

The PIC and GEPF - An Update
Charles Collocott
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Apr 18, 2018

This brief is a follow up on the PIC and GEPF briefs published in the second half of last year. It takes a look at the challenges still facing these organisations in light of the Executive changes and other occurrences that have happened since.

Wealth Taxes VI: Land Tax
Charles Collocott
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Apr 05, 2018

This is the sixth brief of a seven part series and it considers land tax a possible form of wealth tax in South Africa.

Wealth Taxes III: Problems
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2018

This is the third brief of a seven part series and it deals with the problems with wealth taxes. The first brief provided a conceptual framework and the second dealt with the rationales for a wealth tax.

Wealth Taxes II: Rationales
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2018

This is the second brief of a six part series and it deals with the rationales for a wealth tax. The first brief provided a conceptual framework, and the third discusses the problems.

Wealth Taxes I: Conceptual Frame
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2018

This is the first brief of a seven part series. It provides a conceptual framework on wealth taxes. The second brief deals with rationales for wealth taxes, and the third discusses the problems with them.

Cape Town Round Table: 6 February 2018 - The Budget, Growth & Debt - Beyond The Political Noise: Structural Change Is Urgently Needed
Rafael Friedman
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Feb 15, 2018

The Helen Suzman Foundation’s Round Table took place surrounded by banners advertising a State of the Nation Address on 8 February that was not delivered. Instead, an ANC process, drawn out for over a week, has resulted in its National Executive Committee recalling Jacob Zuma from his ‘deployment’ as president of the Republic, ending in his resignation on 14 February.

Municipal Consumer Debt
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Feb 13, 2018

This brief considers the latest figures, composition, causes and consequences of South Africa’s municipal consumer debt. It also discusses programmes instituted by government and State Owned Enterprises dealing with current issues around municipal consumer debt.

Structural Adjustment
Charles Simkins
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Dec 05, 2017

The ratings agencies have put South Africa on terms. Everything now depends on the outcome of Moody’s rating review for downgrade, which may not conclude until after the Budget is presented in February 2018.

The Public Protector’s Bankorp Report
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 22, 2017

This brief by Anton van Dalsen is intended to provide more detail on the recent Public Protector’s report and on some very disturbing aspects that it contains.

THE PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION AND THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PENSION FUND - AN OVERVIEW
Charles Collocott
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Jun 14, 2017

This Brief by Charles Collocott considers the overall structures of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), with a focus on transparency and the framework within which they invest. The need for transparency has been highlighted since the PIC invested over R 1 billion in Independent Media in 2013. The framework for investment is of particular interest since the National Treasury has recently stated that the PIC could possibly become the equity partner in loss-making South African Airways.

Reflections on the Downgrades by the Ratings Agencies
Agathe Fonkam
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May 23, 2017

This brief is a summary of the most recent decisions taken by the credit ratings agencies on South Africa's credit rating following the cabinet reshuffle in March this year. Standard and Poor's and Fitch downgraded the countries foreign currencies to non-investment grade, while Moody's has put the country's sovereign ratings on review for downgrade. The economic implications of the downgrade are evaluated

AGAINST ECONOMIC RECKLESSNESS II - THE VALLEY OF TRANSITION
Charles Simkins
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May 05, 2017

The first brief in this series by Charles Simkins considered reactions to the removal of Ministers Gordhan and Jonas, and the consequent ratings downgrade. Not surprisingly, a number of different and incoherent implicit assumptions were found. This brief sets out a framework for a more coherent assessment of the issues at stake.

AGAINST ECONOMIC RECKLESSNESS III - IT’S NOT ON TOP, IT’S INSIDE
Charles Simkins
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May 04, 2017

The first brief in this series by Charles Simkins considered reactions to the dismissal of Minister Gordhan and Deputy Minister Jonas, and the downgrades which followed. The second brief outlined a way of thinking systematically about the choices now facing South Africa. This brief will suggest ways in which thinking about transformation can be made more productive and more consistent with support for South African democracy.

AGAINST ECONOMIC RECKLESSNESS I - FIVE ILLUSTRATIVE QUOTES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS
Charles Simkins
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May 04, 2017

This is the first in a series of three briefs by Charles Simkins. It considers five reactions to the dismissal of Minister Gordhan and Deputy Minister Jonas, and the consequent downgrades. The second brief outlines a framework for understanding the choices now facing South Africa and the third deals with aspects of a route forward for empowerment.

SOUTH AFRICA AND THE RATINGS AGENCIES - II FITCH
Agathe Fonkam
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Sep 08, 2016

The first brief in this series discussed the current view of the South African economy held by Moody’s rating agency. The next brief will set out the position of Standard and Poor's.

SOUTH AFRICA AND THE RATINGS AGENCIES - I MOODY'S
Agathe Fonkam
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Sep 08, 2016

South Africa is in the middle of controversies relating to the SA Revenue Service, the Hawks, the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, the National Treasury, and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). There are also serious tensions within the government and the ruling party. South African government bonds have lost money for investors as bond yields have increased. This could get worse if the Minister of Finance is to be replaced by someone who is less trusted by investors. There are conflicts between the National Treasury and the SOEs (for instance Eskom, Denel and South African Airways) all of which revolve around the resistance of the Treasury to finance their respective bailouts. The biggest specialist investor in fixed interest in South Africa, Futuregrowth, has taken the decision to suspend financing any new loans to some SOEs, setting conditions for resumption. A Danish Bank (Jyske Bank) has withdrawn financial support from Eskom. Moreover, the IMF reduced its projections of growth in South Africa between April and July 2016, now expecting growth of 0.1% in 2016 and 1.0% in 2017. These recent developments will have an impact on the rating agencies in their next review. In this series of three briefs, one on each rating agency, an account will be given of how agencies evaluated the South African economy in their most recent reviews. Given the deterioration in outlook, there is serious cause for concern about their next reviews.

Informal Trading in Johannesburg
Amy Meyer
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Mar 17, 2015

Informal Trading has always been a part of South Africa's economy, 30% of which occurs in Gauteng. With an unemployment rate of 25.2%, Informal Trade is, for many South Africans, the "alternative to unemployment", and should be viewed as a way to "address unemployment" and "reduce vulnerability"

The 2015/16 Budget and Development
Eythan Morris
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Feb 26, 2015

This brief focuses on how the Budget proposals impact on development. The short term outlook for economic growth is relatively poor, so a better framework for development is needed to offset resource constraints of the current economic outlook. The Budget speech announced steps to improve investment, including investment in human capital and infrastructure, contain corruption, and lower the burden of regulation.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT AND THE MINIMUM WAGE
Charles Simkins
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Nov 10, 2014

The minimum wage issue has been rumbling for some time. The Parliamentary Labour Committee has started hearings on the topic. Business Day reported on 5 November that the Deputy President will chair a committee on the issue which will include six Cabinet Ministers, among them the ministers of labour, economic development and finance. NEDLAC has been given the task of producing a report on the technical aspects of its introduction by July next year.

Let a Hundred Black Industrialists Bloom
Charles Simkins
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Sep 23, 2014

For some time now, the creation of a hundred black industrialists has been on the government’s agenda. It was discussed at the National Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Summit in October 2013. Last month, the Deputy Minister of Trade Industry, Mzwandile Masina, announced that it was to be done in the next three years.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY IN THE SHORT RUN
Charles Simkins
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Jul 29, 2014

Hardly a week goes by without some fresh depressing news about the current state of the South African economy. The Reserve Bank has twice this year reduced its growth forecast for 2014, from 2.8% at the beginning of the year to 2.1% and most recently to 1.7%. It has also reduced its forecasts for 2015 and 2016. Standard and Poor’s and Fitch have downgraded South Africa’s credit rating and Moody’s has put it on negative watch. The Minister of Finance has warned recently that the period ahead will not be easy.

Business Licensing Bill pt. II
Eythan Morris
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May 23, 2013

The proposed Business Licensing Bill, which has been lambasted by critics as draconian and impossible to implement, will be significantly redrafted to take account of public submissions, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies promised last week. This brief examines the new developments.

Business Licensing Bill
Eythan Morris
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May 09, 2013

This Brief summarises some of the aspects of the Business Licensing Bill and considers what it could mean for business. It showcases State and Private Sector views on the Bill and concludes with some comments from the HSF

Social Security and Opportunity: Growing the Economic Cake
Andre Dumon
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Apr 25, 2013

In this brief the concept of increasing social security is looked at as being complimentary rather than opposed to economic growth. The author argues that in order for social security to become more comprehensive in South Africa, it needs to be made more sustainable through increasing economic opportunity so that people may become less dependent on the State for their micro-economic security.

2011-2012 Consolidated General Report on National and Provincial Audit Outcomes
Ashleigh Fraser
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Mar 14, 2013

The South African Auditor-General Terence Nombembe released the 2011-2012 Consolidated General Report on National and Provincial Audit Outcomes on 12 March, 2013. Whilst Nombembe’s address may have come across as being positive, his sentiments were contradicted by many negative audit outcomes. This brief examines the 2011-2012 Report and highlights the weakness of auditees, causing stagnation and regression.

Zimbabwe I - Demography & Economy
Charles Simkins
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This, the first of two briefs examining the prospects for Zimbabwe following the presidential succession, will consider the demographic and economic context. The second brief will discuss the political implications.

Education

What is a fair trial according to the European Court on Human Rights?
Mihloti Basil Sherinda
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Oct 19, 2021

This brief discusses the right to fair trial in light of the contemporary debate on the definition of a ‘trial’. It considers the matter from an international perspective, particularly in terms of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as interpreted by the European Court on Human Rights. Fair trial rights are divided into civil and criminal. The brief argues that the right to a fair trial requires a competent tribunal to adjudicate a matter with fairness and natural justice.

The Covid-19 Epidemic And Primary School Education II – The Impact On Learning Outcomes
Mihloti Basil Sherinda
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Aug 24, 2021

This is the second of three briefs discussing the delivery of primary education during covid-19, primarily in Quantile 1 to 3 in schools. The previous brief pointed out the unpredictability of the virus and its impact on school contact time. In this brief, we look at the impact on learning outcomes and consider the possible effect of the rollout of the vaccine.

The Covid-19 Epidemic And Primary School Education I – Priorities
Mihloti Basil Sherinda
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Aug 24, 2021

This is the first of three briefs discussing the delivery of primary school education during Covid-19, concentrating on Quantile 1 to 3 schools. These briefs emphasise two points: the first is the need to prioritise safety in schools in relation to the spread of the infection and the second is to prioritise the importance of learning over other school activities.

THE DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION’S THREE STREAM POLICY
Charles Simkins
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Jan 17, 2017

This brief outlines recent proposals from the Department of Basic Education on adding a third skills and vocational stream to the school system. Details have yet to be worked out, and the process will not be easy, but it is clear already that the third stream will have implications for currently uniform Grade 1 to Grade 9 education.

IS THE PROPORTION OF MATRICULANTS WITH POST-MATRIC QUALIFICATIONS DECLINING?
Charles Simkins
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Jan 17, 2017

He [the Statistical General] said parents were better skilled compared with their children, arguably owing to changes in the education system after 1994. “What we know is that the nursing schools, the teacher training schools and where people used to do trades, [those] schools were closed and they were converted into part of the university system. The net result has been they, those who are 15 to 34, do not have the skills of their parents, so hence the skills crisis, in part, in the country.” – Mail and Guardian, 18 June 2014

STRAIT IS THE GATE THE MATRIC CONUNDRUM I – THE SYSTEM
Charles Simkins
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Jan 12, 2017

This brief is the first in a series which will discuss the circumstances in which young people live. Some briefs will be supported by technical reports which set out additional detailed information for those interested in it. The first brief will consider the objectives and the extensive structure of the National Senior Certificate system. The second will deal with published information on National Senior Certificate outcomes.

THE UNIVERSITY CATTLE KILLING I - THE EXTENT
Charles Simkins and Anele Mtwesi
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Nov 02, 2016

This is the first of three briefs on the unrest in universities. It deals with its extent and costs. The second deals with the economic and fiscal context within which university and student financing has to be considered. The third deals with prospects for resolution.

THE UNIVERSITY CATTLE KILLING II - THE ECONOMIC AND FISCAL CONTEXT
Charles Simkins
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Nov 02, 2016

The first brief in this series discussed the extent and costs of the recent unrest in universities. This brief describes the economic and fiscal context within which student and university financing has to be considered. The final brief will deal with prospects for resolution.

THE UNIVERSITY CATTLE KILLING III - THE PROSPECTS
Charles Simkins
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Nov 02, 2016

The first brief in this series discussed the extent and cost of the unrest in universities. The second described the economic and fiscal context within which university and student financing has to be considered. This brief deals with the prospects for resolution.

OPTIONS FOR IMPROVED FINANCING OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Charles Simkins
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Nov 10, 2015

The first two briefs in this series were entitled “Principles of Student Financing 101” and “The University Funding System”. The second brief identified two things which need to be done immediately. This brief sets out options for consideration in the longer term.

The University Funding System
Anele Mtwesi
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Nov 05, 2015

This brief is the second in a series on university finance. The first was titled “Principles of student financing 101” and it can be found on the HSF website (www.hsf.org.za). This brief sets out the structure of university funding and considers the rising cost of university education to students as a whole.

What is the Gauteng Department of Education smoking?
Charles Simkins
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Jul 21, 2014

City Press reported on 29 June [1] and IOL reported on 10 July 2014 [2] that the Gauteng MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi, plans to merge former Model C schools with township schools. This is new. The Gauteng Department is smoking. The HSF has observed the smoke signal and we are trying to interpret it. In our efforts, we have posed ourselves the following questions:

Rivonia Primary School Case
Sarah Tobin
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Oct 17, 2013

This brief provides a breakdown of the events leading up to the Rivonia Primary School case and a brief analysis on what the outcome of the case means for schools. 17 October 2013

The NDP’s vision on Education
Zamambo Twalo
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Sep 06, 2013

This brief examines the National Development Plan’s (NDP) vision and policy proposals on the reform of the education sector in South Africa.

The Right to Basic Education
Anele Mtwesi
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Apr 25, 2013

It is widely accepted that education plays a vital role in lifting people out of poverty, empowering women and children, and promoting human rights and democracy. This brief aims to define the right to basic education in South Africa

Health

Who decides on Vaccine Mandates?
Christopher Fisher
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Feb 07, 2022

This brief reviews the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in National Federation of Independent Business et al v Department of Labour, OSHA and argues that it is able to usefully inform debates about vaccine / testing mandates in South Africa.

Gangster State
Matthew Kruger
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Nov 29, 2021

When public life is structured by Family Meetings and threats of systematic economic and social exclusion, Matthew Kruger argues, we live in a gangster state.

Concluding Remarks
HSF
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Sep 15, 2021

This brief provides for concluding remarks and responses on Research Fellow Matthew Kruger’s previously published brief entitled “A Life of Freedom: Mandatory Vaccines and Mocking the Dead” in which he argued that it is a shared narcissistic disgust of others that motivates the present move towards a policy of mandating vaccines.

The Effects Of Looting On The South African Health Care System At A Time When It Is Most Needed
Sophie Smit
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Jul 26, 2021

In the past week and a half, South African news has been overtaken by reports of violent riots and looting which started in protest to the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma. The effect of the looting is evident on small and big businesses as well as the economy, increasing unemployment and making it difficult for businesses to recover from their losses. However, there are ripple effects which are not as clear. These include those on the health sector, and by extension the vaccine roll out.

Addressing Provincial Health Departments’ Medicolegal Claims Liability: Developing The Law Of Delict
Zeenat Emmamally
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Jul 16, 2021

Provincial health departments face numerous claims for damages for medical negligence. The common law provides that payments must be made in one lump sum, but this impacts on health departments' capacity to provide healthcare for others. This brief considers how the courts have begun developing the common law to provide for payments in kind and periodic payments.

The Life Esidimeni Inquest, Due To Start On 19 July 2021
Sophie Smit
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Jul 13, 2021

Five years after the Life Esidimeni tragedy was first uncovered, a formal inquest is being launched by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). It is the hope that the inquest will contribute to uncovering the truth behind the decisions which contributed to the termination of the contract which led to the death of 144 mentally ill patients and facilitate closure, by making it clear whether criminal prosecutions are to be instituted.

Combatting Vaccine Hesitancy
Sophie Smit & Josh Zients
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Jun 29, 2021

In this brief, we consider the problem and potential effect of vaccine hesitancy, and argue that given the deep-rooted mistrust of the state, the private sector can play a crucial role in combatting vaccine hesitancy. It is futile to procure the vaccine if distribution cannot be effected, or if, for whatever reason, people simply do not wish to be vaccinated.

How Will The Health System Cope Over The Next Four Years?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the fourth of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. The first brief deals with commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure on health financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. The second considers the impact of local government on health. The third brief sets out information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of this brief.

Health Expenditure In The 2019/20 Financial Year
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the third of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. The first brief deals with commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure on health financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. The second considers the impact of local government on health. This brief sets out the information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of the fourth brief.

Local Government Impact On Health - What Do We Know?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the second of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. The first brief discusses commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. This brief considers the impact of local government on health. The third brief sets out information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of the fourth brief.

Occupational Health And Safety And Fund Payments For Treatment Of Injury And Disease - What Do We Know?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the first of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. It discusses commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. The second considers the impact of local government on health. The third brief sets out information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of the fourth brief.

Output, Employment, The Minimum Wage And Covid-19
Charles Simkins
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Jun 10, 2021

This brief advances an explanation of the divergence between the growth of output and the growth of employment, between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2021. In a brief published on 6 April 2021, I argued that the explanation lay in new methods of data collection – here I advance another explanation.

COVID-19 Vaccines - South African Developments And Issues
Sophie Smit
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May 14, 2021

This is the second of two briefs about COVID-19 vaccines. This brief sets out vaccine developments in South Africa as well as the various issues that are being faced by the government, the health sector and the people in accessing the vaccine.

Vaccine Nationalism And Global Equity
Sophie Smit
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May 14, 2021

This is the first of two briefs discussing issues relating to COVID-19 vaccines. This brief argues that, in order to combat COVID-19, global equity to vaccine access is necessary. However, in order to achieve this equitable distribution, vaccine nationalism as well as poor government policy and governance surrounding vaccine access will have to be overcome.

Pharmaceuticals and South Africa III - The Courts
Chris Pieters
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Nov 19, 2020

In the first brief we considered the findings in the HSF’s enquiry into the structures regarding the pricing and distribution of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. The Second brief summarised the manufacturing environment of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. We conclude the series by looking at various findings against the backdrop of a Western Cape High Court judgement.

Pharmaceuticals and South Africa II – Supply
Chris Pieters
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Nov 19, 2020

In the first Brief we considered the findings in the HSF’s enquiry into the structures regarding the pricing and distribution of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. This Brief will summarise the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. The series will conclude by considering the various findings against the backdrop of a Western Cape High Court judgement dealing with some of the issues.

Pharmaceuticals and South Africa I - Distribution
Chris Pieters
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Nov 19, 2020

In the first Brief we consider the findings in the HSF’s enquiry into the structures regarding the pricing and distribution of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. The Second Brief will summarise the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. The series concludes by considering the various findings against the backdrop of a Western Cape High Court judgement dealing with some of the issues.

Hand Hygiene During The Covid-19 Epidemic
Nhlanhla Mnisi
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Apr 22, 2020

In an epidemic where so much remains unknown and where fear is widespread, it is important to enable all persons at risk to feel a sense of agency in relation to their own safety. Two elements are considered here: education about the importance of hand hygiene, and the provision of adequate quantities of usable water and sanitation to make thorough hand washing possible.

Mental Health II - National Health Insurance
Chris Pieters
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Apr 21, 2020

Part 2 will consider the content of the National Health Insurance Bill as well as possible implications that it may have on the state of mental health care.

Mental Health I - Legal and policy framework
Chris Pieters
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Apr 21, 2020

Part 1 explores the present legal instruments designed to ensure that all those who require it will have access to mental health care. The brief further considers the political will of creating suitable access for those most in need.

Asbestos Cement Waterpipes: A Health Hazard?
Nhlanhla Mnisi
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Jan 15, 2020

Studies have shown that asbestos poses health risks to humans beyond the inhalation of fibres. Evidence suggests that ingestion of asbestos fibres from contaminated drinking water supplied though aged asbestos cement pipes also poses health hazards. This review explores how continued use of deteriorating asbestos cement pipes in water reticulation networks poses risks to human health.

Emerging Contaminants - Crisis Or Manageable Risk?
Nhlanhla Mnisi
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Dec 02, 2019

At present the global scientific community is grappling with the question of whether emerging contaminants in water pose any substantial health risks to humans. While the serious empirical exploration is under way, misplaced media hype about them risks creating undue public panic. This brief explores current debates, risks and solutions for emerging contaminants in water bodies.

Sexual Assault - Part 3: Sexual violence as a Weapon of War
Lee-Anne Germanos
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Apr 18, 2019

A very popular, yet grossly under recognised, feature and weapon of war is sexual violence. Sexual violence, like artillery, is used to cause destruction through the terrorisation of a population or as an assertion of power by belligerent forces. Rape, when committed as part of a widespread attack, is also an effective tool for bringing about the destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group – otherwise known as genocide.

Sexual Assault - Part 2: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Lee-Anne Germanos
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Apr 18, 2019

According to legislation, employers have a positive legal duty to ensure that the workplace is free from unfair discrimination. What the legislature and disciplinary bodies alike do not take into consideration are the delicacies of the power differentials between men and women (not only as between superiors and subordinates) in the workplace and the trauma suffered by the victims of sexual harassment. Until there is an understanding of these inherent power dynamics that exist in the workplace, sexual misconduct will continue to persist in that space.

Sexual Assault - Part 1: Sexual Offences in the Criminal Justice System
Lee-Anne Germanos
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Apr 18, 2019

Crimes of a sexual nature, the world over, are prosecuted distinct from any other form of crime. The burden of proof in sexual offence cases is more stringent (although it is not permitted to be). The tests and defences used are subjective as opposed to objective – as with all other crimes. Unlike other crimes, commissions of sexual offences, it can be argued, are skewed predominantly against women and children. They are also the only crimes in which the victim’s behaviour is the focal point, as opposed to that of the accused.

A commentary on the National Health Summit 2018 report
PJ Hamilton
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Mar 26, 2019

In October 2018, the inaugural Presidential Health Summit took place. The Summit sought to invite key stakeholders to deliberate on the issues causing our health system to fail. With the release of the Presidential Health Summit Report 2019, the drafters of the report came to a number of conclusions and recommendations which require comment.

NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE FUNDING HOW MUCH DO WE KNOW? II - PROJECTIONS
Charles Simkins
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Jul 10, 2017

This brief is the second of two. The first brief assesses the extent to which government thinking has progressed on the funding of the health system. This brief will consider the extent to which quantitative modelling can help us think about the system’s future.

UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE V – Conclusions
Charles Simkins
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May 12, 2016

Charles Simkins reviews the previous four briefs, pulling together themes and proposing how the government could affect genuinely meaningful change to South Africa's public health system.

UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE III – Two Tier: Israel and the Netherlands
Andrew Barlow
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May 11, 2016

The second brief in this series dealt with the insurance mandate systems used by Austria and Germany to finance UHC. This brief reviews the two tier systems of Israel and the Netherlands. Two-tier health care is so named because it involves a publically funded basic health package being provided, with a secondary private tier of additional – and often better quality – services available for those who can afford it.

UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE II – Mandated Insurance: Austria and Germany
Andrew Barlow
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May 10, 2016

The first brief in this series introduced the concept of Universal Health Coverage, as defined by the World Health Organisation. It looked at how the NHI White Paper released late last year conceives of UHC, and posited that this ambitious single payer system should not be rushed into before other financing systems are considered. This brief describes the UHC systems in Austria and Germany.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND MARIJUANA
Arvitha
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Mar 30, 2016

This Brief looks at the science behind marijuana and discusses that marijuana is not as bad as Governments want us to think.

SORTING OUT MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Arvitha
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Mar 31, 2015

This brief reviews the Minister of Health's comments on the Medical Malpractice Issues in the Health Sector and responses to such comments

SELLING YOUR GAMETES – THE NEW BLACK MARKET?
Arvitha Doodnath
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Mar 04, 2015

A discussion of the international egg donation programmes which are exploiting South African women amongst other women for the selling of their eggs. The procedures of the egg extractions are also discussed.

Hunting for Healthcare: In pursuit of the NHI White Paper
Kate Francis
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May 23, 2013

This Brief reports on a recent seminar hosted by the Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme addressing the progress and challenges facing National Health Insurance. The Brief focuses on the NHI pilot districts, the concept of Universal Coverage, and raises questions about financing healthcare.

Medical schemes versus health insurance: What is the difference and why you should care
Kate Francis
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Apr 10, 2013

This brief aims to explain the key differences between medical schemes and health insurance and why demarcation between the two is important. Medical schemes, under the protection of the regulation of the Medical Schemes Act, have a large part to play in ensuring the right of access to healthcare. Similar protection is not afforded to other health insurance products. The right to healthcare may, therefore, be watered down if insurance companies, which are not governed by the Medical Schemes Act, are permitted to provide health insurance products similar to those provided by medical schemes.

Infrastructure

Asbestos Cement Waterpipes: A Health Hazard?
Nhlanhla Mnisi
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Jan 15, 2020

Studies have shown that asbestos poses health risks to humans beyond the inhalation of fibres. Evidence suggests that ingestion of asbestos fibres from contaminated drinking water supplied though aged asbestos cement pipes also poses health hazards. This review explores how continued use of deteriorating asbestos cement pipes in water reticulation networks poses risks to human health.

Water Scarcity In South Africa: A Result Of Physical Or Economic Factors?
Nhlanhla Mnisi
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Jan 15, 2020

South Africa is often described as a water-scarce country. This is based principally on physical descriptors like climatic conditions and escalating water demands. This brief investigates whether observed water scarcity in South Africa can be attributed to physical or economic factors, or both.

Water infrastructure backlog and access to water infrastructure delivered
Nhlanhla Mnisi
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Dec 02, 2019

Since 1994, South Africa has achieved major reductions in water infrastructure backlog with consequent improvement in access to water infrastructure delivery. However, gross rural-urban inequalities still persist. This brief provides an assessment of the state of the national water infrastructure backlog and access to water infrastructure as viewed within global development principles and aspirations.

Developing water sensitive cities I: Rethinking how we manage urban water
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Oct 30, 2019

Given the current pressure on water sources, South African cities must rethink their approach to urban water management. The concept of water sensitive cities as an means of improving local water security will be explored in a three-part brief series. This brief, the first in the series, provides an overview of water sensitive settlements and its application in South Africa

Understanding water issues and challenges IV: Water infrastructure assessment
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Feb 06, 2019

The condition of water resource and supply infrastructure influences government’s ability to perform the functions prescribed by the National Water Act and the Water Services Act. This brief discusses the expert assessment of water infrastructure in South Africa and highlights key challenges to effectively managing it.

Understanding water issues and challenges III: Water boards and bulk water services
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Feb 06, 2019

Water boards are instrumental in providing bulk water services across the country. But failing governance, financial mismanagement and unpaid debt are severely hindering their ability to perform their functions effectively. These challenges, and the influence of municipal and departmental governance on the functioning of water boards, are discussed in this brief.

The state of sanitation and wastewater treatment services in South Africa
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Feb 05, 2019

Effective sanitation services contribute significantly to reducing health risks and protecting the environment. But accessing safe and dignified sanitation facilities has been a long-standing problem for many South Africans. This brief positions the duty to provide sanitation and wastewater treatment services in the context of water services generally, and evaluates the current condition of these services.

The institutional structure for delivering water services
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Feb 05, 2019

The Constitution affords everyone the right to access sufficient water. One way in which the Water Services Act gives effect to this right is by establishing the institutional framework necessary to ensure water services are delivered. This brief sets out the institutional structure established by the Act, and provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities designated to each institution.

The institutional structure of water resource management
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Feb 05, 2019

In an effort to effectively manage South Africa’s water resources, the National Water Act makes provision for establishing water institutions that aim to promote equitable and sustainable use of water. This brief sets out the institutional structure to manage South Africa’s water resources, and provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities assigned to each institution.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief V
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the final brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at why the BRICS Bank was not used, on what basis government is able to refuse disclosing further information on the loans, and finishes with a conclusion for the series.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief IV
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the fourth brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it is a summary of the lessons learned from the experiences of the six countries analysed, which have also taken on Chinese debt.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief III
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the third brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief II
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the second brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Argentina.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief I
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the first brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China. This brief is an overview of South Africa’s debt situation, how the loans from China fit into this, and why we need to look at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt.

Eskom’s 2018 Financial Results
Anton van Dalsen
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Jul 24, 2018

This brief provides a commentary on the main features of Eskom’s 2018 annual financial statements, released on 23 July 2018.

Parliamentary Submission: Section 25 (Property Rights)
Anton van Dalsen & Mira Menell Briel
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Jun 19, 2018

As part of its public participation process, the Joint Constitutional Review Committee of Parliament called for submissions on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution (the Property Clause), following a motion passed by the National Assembly on 27 February 2018, relating to expropriation without compensation.

The Future
Agathe Fonkam
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Mar 08, 2018

This brief is the last in a series of six on urban transport and discusses the planned future of the transport system in the five largest metros.

Minibus Taxis
Anton van Dalsen
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Mar 08, 2018

This brief is the fifth in a series of six on urban transport and discusses minibus taxis. The first two briefs present statistical material which delineates key current features of transport in metropolitan and urban areas.

Buses
Rafael Friedman
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Mar 08, 2018

This brief is the fourth in a series of six on urban transport and discusses buses, including bus rapid transport systems. The first two briefs present statistical material which delineates key current features of transport in metropolitan and urban areas.

Metrorail
Jade Weiner
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Mar 07, 2018

This brief is the third in a series of six on urban transport. The first two briefs presented statistical material which delineates key current features of transport in metropolitan and urban areas.

International and Comparative

Human Rights violations in the Kingdom of Eswatini
Mihloti Basil Sherinda
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Sep 07, 2021

This brief discusses human rights violations in the Kingdom of Eswatini in terms of domestic and international law. There are two aspects to consider: the use of force by the police and the right to freedom of expression and access to information. The reasons for civil unrest and the response to it by the government are explored. Following the unrest, the people of Eswatini should exercise their right to choose their political system and justice must be done for lives lost during the unrest.

Update on the Impending Border Management Authority
Tove van Lennep
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Mar 11, 2020

After being amended at the National Council of Provinces, the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill is one step closer to enactment. But the BMA exacerbates the problem it seeks to address: In its attempt to resolve the fragmentation of South Africa’s border management, it creates another costly level of government bureaucracy under the ailing Department of Home Affairs.

Genocide
Charles Simkins
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Apr 25, 2019

The particular horror evoked by genocide exists for three main reasons. Genocide is murder at a mass scale, it is usually perpetrated against the defenseless and, although tensions may build up over decades or even centuries, it can flare up very rapidly.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief V
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the final brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at why the BRICS Bank was not used, on what basis government is able to refuse disclosing further information on the loans, and finishes with a conclusion for the series.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief IV
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the fourth brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it is a summary of the lessons learned from the experiences of the six countries analysed, which have also taken on Chinese debt.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief III
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the third brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief II
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the second brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Argentina.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief I
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the first brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China. This brief is an overview of South Africa’s debt situation, how the loans from China fit into this, and why we need to look at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt.

The State Of The South African Refugee Protection Regime: Part I - Current Status
Tove van Lennep
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Oct 30, 2018

Once applauded by UNHCR’s Antonio Guterres as ‘one of the most advanced and progressive systems of refugee protection in the world’, the South African refugee regime has deteriorated beyond recognition.This brief - the first in a three-part series - explores the state of protection and what it means for asylum-seekers within our borders.

Zimbabwe II - Politics
Charles Simkins
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Jan 09, 2018

The first brief in this series outlined key demographic and economic conditions and dynamics. This brief considers their political implications.

Immunity of heads of states: The Al Bashir case
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Aug 01, 2017

In both the South African Supreme Court of Appeal and the International Criminal Court, the Al Bashir case centred on immunity enjoyed by heads of state. Both courts concluded that President Omar Al Bashir did not enjoy immunity on his June 2015 trip to South Africa. This brief outlines the basis of each court judgment as it relates to immunity and concludes that its application is often open to interpretation.

Authoritarianism in Zambia
Rafael Friedman
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May 23, 2017

On the night of the 11th of April 2017 the Zambian Police broke down the gate of Hakainde Hichilema’s compound and began their quest to arrest the country’s main opposition leader. All of this less than a year after Hichilema had disputed the result of a close-run presidential election. Both the election and the arrest speak to worrying trends in Zambian democracy amidst the backdrop of a stony silence by the South African government and other international actors.

American Foreign Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Where to from here?
Rafael Friedman
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Mar 29, 2017

Policy in the United States of America towards Sub-Saharan Africa has been a relatively stable issue over the course of the past few presidential administrations. In stark contrast to the debates that exist around American foreign policy in many other regions, American policy towards Africa has largely enjoyed bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats since the end of the Cold-War. This policy has been focussed on three main areas, which are likely to remain at the core of America’s relations with Sub-Saharan Africa; trade, foreign aid and security cooperation. Rafael Friedman explores what impact, if any, the shock election of Donald Trump will have on these.

America’s War on Terror in Africa
Rafael Friedman
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Mar 23, 2017

The growth of America's Global War on Terror has raised a number of questions for the African continent. Including the scope of American involvement and the impact that it has, and is likely to have, on counter-terror efforts in Africa. Rafael Friedman explores these in this brief.

Mozambique’s severe financial and economic problems
Anton van Dalsen
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Jan 24, 2017

This brief provides some background regarding a huge increase in Mozambique’s foreign debt and the serious impact on the country’s financial and general economic situation. It highlights the dangers of ill-considered and opaque government action and draws attention to the potential impact on South Africa of a grave deterioration in the economic situation of a neighbouring country.

After Al-Bashir: Part II
Matthew Kruger
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Apr 12, 2016

In Part I of this brief, I explained that although the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal in the Southern African Litigation Centre matter, involving Mr Al-Bashir, represents an important victory in the struggle for international justice, it is potentially quite limited in its future scope and impact. I then outlined the nature of South Africa’s political community—a sovereign state that is also a member of the family of nations—and thereafter connected this conception of statehood to crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. In doing so, I explained that these crimes, by their nature, harm all people everywhere. In this brief, I explain why these crimes also directly violate the Constitution. I also argue that the nature of this violation is such that it renders unconstitutional and therefore not binding any rule, either international or domestic, that purports to afford sitting heads of state absolute immunity in relation to such crimes.

After Al-Bashir: Part I
Matthew Kruger
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Apr 12, 2016

Last Friday, 8 April 2016, the Minister of Justice and others filed papers in the Constitutional Court. They are appealing the Supreme Court of Appeal’s finding that government’s failure to take steps to arrest and detain, for surrender to the ICC, Mr Al-Bashir when he visited South Africa in 2015 was unlawful.

Brazil's Travails, And Ours
Charles Simkins
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Mar 10, 2016

Charles Simkins looks at Brazil and the dire straits the country finds itself in, drawing instructive comparisons between the political and economic situations of South Africa and our troubled BRICS partner.

Six Lessons From Stalingrad
Charles Simkins
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Dec 15, 2015

This Brief looks at the turning point in Nazi Germany's Eastern Offensive. It identifies six principles that underwrote Hitler's humiliating defeat, and which remain relevant today.

South Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act II : The game of ‘chicken’ and calling our bluff
Andrew Barlow
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Dec 02, 2015

As part of the out of cycle review of South Africa’s eligibility under AGOA, a call for comments was included. The American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa (AmCham), the organisation that represents 250 US companies operating in SA, responded by detailing which issues were of concern to its members. In what follows, I consider at length the two most pressing issues raised by AmCham. I suggest that the poultry dispute has set a new and strong-armed precedent to economic relations between the two countries, and that our future under AGOA is far from certain.

South Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act I : Much ado about chicken
Andrew Barlow
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Dec 02, 2015

A fifteen-year poultry trade dispute between South Africa and the US came to a head recently. Relations thawed, and the US gave our government a 60-day ultimatum in which to remove trade barriers to US bone-in chicken cuts that have blocked them from the SA market since 2000. But US concerns over South Africa's future commitment to meeting eligibility criteria are not limited to trade. The protection of existing investment through the legal recognition of property rights, as well as the creation and conservation of an environment conducive to foreign investors, are at least as important to the US government. In this pair of briefs, I begin by analysing the context the ultimatum was delivered in. I look at the nature of Agoa and our commitments under it, I chart the history of the trade dispute, and I consider the grounds and motivations underlying each side's actions. In the second brief, I examine the two most pressing issues impeding our future inclusion under Agoa. I conclude that US patience has likely run dry, and our future eligibility is far from certain.

THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY: IV - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ECONOMIC PROGRAMME
Andrew Barlow
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Nov 17, 2015

The third brief in this series considered the economic programme of the SADC as it evolved since 2001. The original Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan has been revised recently, a Tripartite Free Trade Area has been launched, and a long-term economic strategy centred on industrial development and resource beneficiation has been approved. Discussing and evaluating the new economic trajectory that these changes signify is the subject of this final brief.

THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY: I - HISTORY TO 2001
Andrew Barlow
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Nov 17, 2015

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-state organisation based in Gaborone, Botswana that pursues a comprehensive regional integration agenda through both socio-economic and political cooperation. This year represents a turning point in the socio-economic programme of the Southern African Development Community. The launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area and a pivotal overhaul in socio-economic integration strategy make 2015 a seminal year in the evolution of the SADC and present a choice opportunity for an extended series of briefs. This is the first of four briefs. In it, I chart the history and development of the SADC from its inception in the regional liberation struggles of the 1960’s and 70’s. In the second, I explicate the institutional framework and decision-making structure of the organisation. In the third, I outline the many problems that the SADC has encountered in pursuing its economic integration agenda in the last decade. And in the fourth and last, I discuss what measures the SADC has taken this year to overcome these obstacles, and evaluate their prospects for success.

The power and the duty of the NPA to prosecute genocidaires, war criminals and other enemies of all humankind – IV
Matthew Kruger
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Oct 27, 2015

In this final brief I consider two issues. First, is the power afforded to the NPA under section 179(2) of the Constitution discretionary and, if so, what is the relevance of this fact? Second, does the NPA have a duty to prosecute foreign nationals who prima facie appear to have committed genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes and, if so, what is the relevance of this fact? Before addressing these two issues, though, I will provide a brief summary of the conclusions of the first three briefs. According to the SALC decision, the SAPS has a duty to investigate allegations against foreign nationals of crimes against humanity. In coming to this finding, Majiedt AJ said that the NPA does not have a duty to institute criminal proceedings; it has a discretionary power. The concepts of duty and discretion, though, are not mutually exclusive, as Majiedt AJ appears to have assumed. The source of the court’s mistake was its insufficiently thorough analysis of the relationship among ‘power’, ‘duty’ and ‘privilege’. Whether a power is accompanied by duties and/or discretion is a normative question, the answer to which requires consideration of the reasons for and against vesting the NPA with different types of power.

The power and the duty of the NPA to prosecute genocidaires, war criminals and other enemies of all humankind - III
Matthew Kruger
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Oct 27, 2015

In the first two briefs of this series I outlined the fact that, according to the SALC decision, the SAPS has a duty to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity. I explained, however, that in coming to this conclusion, Majiedt AJ said that the NPA has the power to institute criminal proceedings, but does not also have a duty; rather, it just has a discretion. In other words, he thinks that where a power is discretionary, the person vested with that power does not have a duty to exercise it. I concluded the second brief, however, by explaining that the concept of a duty and the concept of a discretion are not mutually exclusive. In this brief, I provide a possible reason for why the court thought otherwise.

The power and the duty of the NPA to prosecute genocidaires, war criminals and other enemies of all humankind – II
Matthew Kruger
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Oct 27, 2015

In the first brief I explained that the purpose of this series of four briefs is to determine whether the NPA has a duty to prosecute foreign nationals who prima facie appear to have committed crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. I indicated that I think such a duty does exist and that this duty is sourced in the Constitution itself. My explanation of why this duty exists began with an outline of the Constitutional Court’s judgment in the SALC decision, a case dealing with the duty of the SAPS to investigate foreign nationals accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. I ended the first brief by claiming that the finding of the court that the NPA has a discretion but not a duty to institute criminal proceedings presents certain problems—especially given the decision by the ANC to withdraw South Africa as a member of the ICC. In this second brief, I will explain the significance of the Constitutional Court’s conclusion and I will begin to interrogate the basis of this conclusion.

The power and the duty of the NPA to prosecute genocidaires, war criminals and other enemies of all humankind - I
Matthew Kruger
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Oct 27, 2015

This is a series of four briefs. In this series I consider whether the NPA has a duty to prosecute foreign nationals who prima facie appear to have committed genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity. I conclude that although the NPA has a discretion when exercising its power to institute criminal proceedings, it also has a duty to prosecute alleged perpetrators of such crimes. This duty is grounded in the Constitution, with domestic legislation and international law concretising, particularising and duplicating this duty. This conclusion has important implications for any decision by the NPA not to prosecute alleged perpetrators of such crimes. It also means that South Africa’s membership of the ICC is not critical to the NPA’s duty to prosecute such persons. The arguments that I make in this series include a fair amount of legal and conceptual analysis. As such, the ideal approach to reading this series of briefs would be for the four briefs to be read in a single sitting (or, at least, without much break in between reading each brief). In the likely event that such dedication is not possible, however, I have provided short summaries of the preceding briefs in the second, third and fourth briefs of this series. These three summaries, I hope, will be adequate to remind the reader of the more essential arguments of the preceding briefs.

The SADC Tribunal's Disappointing Rebirth
Kameel Premhid
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Sep 09, 2014

The adoption of the newest SADC Tribunal Protocol has sought to rebirth the Tribunal after a long gestation period where it underwent significant review. The latest manifestation indicates that the region’s efforts at taking the rule of law, and regional integration, seriously are nothing short of being stillborn

BRICS: THE NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK (NDB) AND THE CONTINGENT RESERVE ARRANGEMENT (CRA)
Charles Simkins
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Aug 04, 2014

On 15 July, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa signed agreements to establish the New Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement. The provisions of each have to be incorporated into the law of each country. Once this is done, probably by 2016, the institutions can start operation. How will they work?

SADC Tribunal Back in the Spotlight
Kameel Premhid
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Jul 29, 2014

The recent announcement by the Tanganyika Law Society to challenge the disbandment of the SADC Tribunal (before the High Court in Tanzania) has once again put the demise of this organisation in the spotlight. This Brief tracks the history of the Tribunal and explains why it is so important for the Rule of Law.

RIP: SADC Tribunal
Kameel Premhid
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Mar 20, 2014

The latest ruling by the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) -that no individual can access the SADC Tribunal as a means of recourse in a dispute with a member state may well be the death blow for that institution. This Brief explains why this is the case.

Some Notes on Sovereignty
Kameel Premhid
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Jul 25, 2013

The Helen Suzman Foundation has already written about the Constitutional Court’s decision in Government of Zimbabwe v Fick. In this brief, we look at whether the concept of sovereignty should have meant any different.

The SADC Tribunal Lives On… Kind Of.
Kameel Premhid
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Jul 12, 2013

The Constitutional Court’s decision in Government of Zimbabwe v Fick is a partial victory; the disbandment of the SADC Tribunal remains a travesty of justice. This Brief examines this in greater detail.

The SADC Tribunal: The rule of power versus the rule of law - The Tribunal Tragedy
Andre Dumon
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Mar 14, 2013

The future of the neutered SADC Tribunal is dependent upon the SADC Summit in August and perhaps the pending ruling of the South African Constitutional Court on the case of dispossessed Zimbabwean famers. At issue is also the link between the rule law and economic development. In the case of Zimbabwe the rule of power still trumps the law, and as a consequence the economy suffers. This provides portents for the SADC leaders.

Zimbabwe I - Demography & Economy
Charles Simkins
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This, the first of two briefs examining the prospects for Zimbabwe following the presidential succession, will consider the demographic and economic context. The second brief will discuss the political implications.

Justice and Public Interest

The Harm In Qwelane
Zeenat Emmamally
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Dec 07, 2021

This is the second brief dealing with the Constitutional Court’s decision in Qwelane v South African Human Rights Commission. This brief considers the issues that arise from the Court’s interpretation of the word “harm” in the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

Hurtful, Harmful, Hateful: Heeding Qwelane
Zeenat Emmamally
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Dec 07, 2021

This is the first of three briefs on hate speech law and it sets out the findings in the judgment of teh Constitutional Court in Qwelane v South African Human Rights Commission, wherein the Court interrogated the hate speech provision in the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

What Would Edmund Burke Say? Reflections on the Appointment of the Chief Justice
Chelsea Ramsden
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Oct 06, 2021

This second of two briefs comments on the procedure adopted by President Ramaphosa to consider the appointment of the new Chief Justice. The first brief considered the process of Constitutional Court appointments. With a focus on the Judicial Service Commission interviews held in April and October 2021.

Take Two: Appointing the Justices of the Constitutional Court
Chelsea Ramsden
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Oct 06, 2021

This first of two briefs will consider the process of Constitutional Court appointments. With a focus on the Judicial Service Commission interviews held in April and October 2021. The second brief comments on the procedure adopted by President Ramaphosa to consider the appointment of the new Chief Justice.

The Judicial Battleground
Chelsea Ramsden
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Aug 27, 2021

This brief considers the general state of the judiciary and makes the point that given the current judicial and political climate the selection of the next Chief Justice is of vital importance.

To postpone, or not to postpone? That is the question.
Chelsea Ramsden
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Aug 20, 2021

This brief will consider the pertinent question: What are the issues that the Constitutional Court will have to decide at the hearing of the Electoral Commission of South Africa v Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Others?

Impeachment of the Public Protector
Mihloti Basil Sherinda
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May 13, 2021

This brief explores the implications of the Independent Panel report and concludes that careful consideration of its findings about the Public Protector is necessary to protect our constitutional democracy.

State of Brutality - a constitutional crisis I: A Good Friday murder
Lee-Anne Germanos
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Jun 25, 2020

This brief, the first in the series, considers the circumstances leading to the death of Mr Khosa on Good Friday. The brief concludes with an overview of the reactions by government in the wake of the murder as well as the subsequent litigation.

The Constitutional Court And The Electoral Act
Charles Simkins
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Jun 23, 2020

The Constitutional Court ruling of 11 June 2020, declared the Electoral Act as unconstitutional to the extent that it requires that adult citizens may be elected to the national assembly only through their membership of political parties. This means that the Electoral Act will need to be amended and the Court has given Parliament 24 months to do so. This brief considers two possibilities as to how the Act can be amended.

Decision Making In A Time Of Uncertainty
Charles Simkins
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Jun 11, 2020

The brief considers the present state of uncertainty and how decision making is to be viewed and implemented. Charles Simkins introduces risk and uncertainty and then considers political emergencies, dictatorship and what to do with debt. The brief concludes with remarks regarding coping in the present uncertainty.

We Must Support The President
Matthew Kruger
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Apr 16, 2020

In this brief, Research Fellow Matthew Kruger considers what unified support for the President means during the crisis.

Legality In A State Of Disaster
Charles Simkins
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Apr 01, 2020

This brief is a companion to our recently published brief entitled ‘A guide to the duties imposed on South Africans during the lockdown’. That brief should be regarded as our Coronavirus Brief 1.

Do we need a Water Use Bill?
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Oct 04, 2019

In light of a recent announcement to develop legislation dedicated to transforming the water use sector, this brief examines the current legislative and policy provisions intended to drive water use reform. It highlights the slow pace at which transformation has taken place, underscored by a lack of political will, socio-political factors and, ultimately, an inconsistency between the law and its implementation.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief V
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the final brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at why the BRICS Bank was not used, on what basis government is able to refuse disclosing further information on the loans, and finishes with a conclusion for the series.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief IV
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the fourth brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it is a summary of the lessons learned from the experiences of the six countries analysed, which have also taken on Chinese debt.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief III
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the third brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief II
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the second brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Argentina.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief I
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the first brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China. This brief is an overview of South Africa’s debt situation, how the loans from China fit into this, and why we need to look at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt.

Companies Amendment Bill, 2018: Our submission to the Department
Cherese Thakur
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Dec 12, 2018

This brief summarises the Helen Suzman Foundation’s submission to Department of Trade and Industry regarding the Companies Amendment Bill, 2018. It proposes that in order to promote openness and transparency, the Companies Act should be amended to allow the public to access share registers by request to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

Parliamentary Submission: Competition Amendment Bill, 2018
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Aug 30, 2018

On 17 August 2018, The Helen Suzman Foundation Made Written Submissions In Response To The Portfolio Committee On Economic Development’s (The Committee) Call For Public Comment On The Competition Amendment Bill, 2018 (The Bill).

Constitutional damages: Recent decisions in focus
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Jun 14, 2018

This brief explores the concept of “constitutional damages” in South Africa and why they were awarded to the loved ones and survivors in the Life Esidimeni arbitration, but not to Michael Komape’s family.

Judging the Judges
Jade Weiner
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May 10, 2018

This Brief considers circumstances in which judges can be impeached for gross misconduct specifically considering the case of Judge Nkola Motata

The Constitutional Justice Report: Judging The Judges II - Assessment
Cherese Thakur
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Feb 08, 2018

This is the second part of a two-part brief concerning the Assessment of the Impact of the Decisions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal on the South African Law and Jurisprudence (Report). It will consider questions arising from the findings of the Report and highlight some issues of concern.

The Constitutional Justice Report: Judging The Judges? Part I - Context And Main Findings
Cherese Thakur
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Feb 08, 2018

This is the first part in a two-part brief concerning the “Assessment of the Impact of Decisions in the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal on the Transformation of Society” , otherwise known as the Constitutional Justice Report: an assessment of South Africa’s highest courts commissioned by the Minister of Justice.

Judicial overreach: a purely South African phenomenon?
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 23, 2017

Much has been said recently in South Africa on whether courts were interfering in the realm of the executive. This brief by Anton van Dalsen shows that this discussion doesn't just take place here.

The Traditional Courts Bill: Are they getting it right?
Richard Griffin
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Feb 14, 2017

This brief discusses the recently published Traditional Courts Bill. Earlier versions of this Bill were introduced in 2008 and 2012, but were withdrawn following public opposition to them. The brief considers whether the revised version of the Bill deals with the objections to earlier versions, and whether it should be passed.

IN DEFENCE OF SECTION 16(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION: A reply to David Saks
Matthew Kruger
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Jul 18, 2016

In this brief, Matthew Kruger replies to David Saks (Associate Director of the South African Jewish Board Deputies), criticising Mr. Saks' support for the Board's proposal to amend the Constitution and thereby limit further the right to freedom of expression.

In Defence of Harm, Offence and Hate: Part II
Matthew Kruger
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Jul 06, 2016

In Part I of this brief, it was explained that the proposal by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies ("SAJBD") to amend section 16 of the Constitution is conceptually confused and should be rejected. In Part II, it is explained why we must not only reject the proposed amendment, but also reassert our freedoms to harm, offend and hate certain people.

DEMOCRATIC QUALITY IN TESTING TIMES
Charles Simkins
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Apr 05, 2016

The extent of democratic consolidation is not manifest in tranquil times. It becomes visible in testing times. Choices made then determine whether the quality of democracy improves or deteriorates. Crises rule out the option of continuing business as usual

A critical analysis of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015: III – Authoritarian, anti-democratic and unconstitutional
Matthew Kruger
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Dec 08, 2015

In the first of this three-part series, Matthew Kruger analysed aspects of the democratic foundations of the Constitution and argued that the source and formation of customary law is essentially democratic in nature. In the second brief, Chris Pieters provided a summary of some of the existing legal framework regulating traditional rule, as well as the attitude of the ANC to this form of rule. The third and final brief offers insight into the constitutionality of aspects of the Bill’s structure and content.

A critical analysis of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015: II – The current regulation of traditional leadership
Chris Pieters
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Dec 08, 2015

In the first of this series of briefs, Matthew Kruger analysed the democratic foundations of the Constitution and explained that the nature of the source and formation of customary law is essentially democratic. This second brief is a short summary of some of the existing legal regulations of traditional rule, as well as the ANC’s attitude towards this form of rule. The third and final brief will offer some insight into the constitutionality of aspects of the Bill’s structure and content.

A critical analysis of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015: I - The Constitution, democracy and customary law
Matthew Kruger
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Dec 08, 2015

This is a series of three briefs that critically analyses aspects of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015. The first brief, written by Matthew Kruger, outlines some important features of the nature of South Africa’s constitutional democratic state that are relevant to the Bill. The second brief, written by Chris Pieters, provides a short summary of some of the existing regulation of traditional rule, as well as the ANC's attitude to this form of rule. The third brief, written by Matthew Kruger, argues that the Bill is in certain respects unconstitutional, in that its structure and content are inconsistent with the democratic foundations and values of the Constitution. The issues that we consider are broad and complex. As such, the various arguments made and conclusions reached in these short briefs are neither final nor complete. We hope, rather, that they contribute to an existing discussion around a Bill that we think is constitutionally unacceptable.

Transformation of the Legal Profession: Briefing Patterns in the Spotlight (Legal Aid)
Kameel Premhid
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Dec 04, 2015

This brief addresses transformation of the legal profession through the reformation of Legal Aid. This policy option may be unpopular in some quarters but could provide answers to the Bar’s problems. This brief is occasioned by correspondence between the author and a high-ranking official at Legal Aid, and demonstrates the need for radical policy thinking to address complex societal problems.

Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture 2015
Andrew Barlow
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Nov 05, 2015

Summary of the seventh Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture, delivered by Ms Gill Marcus at the Gordon Institute of Business Science on the 3rd November, 2015.

The rise and fall of Uniform Rule 49(11)
Chris Pieters
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Oct 22, 2015

Uniform Rule 49(11) was used as a method of enforcing court orders while the appeal process was underway. This has been repealed and its empty place is a reminder of how rules can be managed.

The Sidelined State Attorney
Chris Pieters
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Mar 12, 2015

In recent legal interventions involving the unlawful suspension of the National Head of the Hawks, the Helen Suzman Foundation became aware that the Minister of Police had, at the expense of taxpayers, sought the help of a large private firm. The State Attorney is the Office charged with the functions of dealing with State litigation. This revelation leaves one wondering what the State Attorney is doing.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse: A beginner’s guide…
Chris Pieters
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Nov 21, 2014

One consequence of the recent litigation engaged in by the HSF – involving the independence of the Hawks as well as the processes adopted in the appointment of judicial candidates – relates to a range of inquiries concerning the legal system and its processes. This Brief seeks to elucidate the legal processes that are followed.

The Public Protector - a Jewel in South Africa's Constitutional Crown
Chris Pieters
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Sep 17, 2014

The Office of the Public Protector is not beyond review or criticism. But there is an important line that needs to be drawn beyond which criticism can degenerate into abuse whether of the incumbent or the office. This brief seeks to elucidate that very line.

Understanding the Spy Tapes Saga
Kameel Premhid
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Sep 01, 2014

The ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) that the ‘Spy Tapes’ are to be released to the Democratic Alliance (DA), is an important decision for the rule of law. This brief tracks the case’s history and explains what the next steps will be.

Report back: Roundtable on Consultation and the Constitution
Chris Pieters
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Sep 01, 2014

On 26 August 2014 the HSF hosted a Roundtable event on Consultation and the Constitution. The event featured Mtende Mhango, Iraj Abedian and John Jeffery. This brief summarises some of the main themes of the evening.

The HSF and the JSC
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Aug 05, 2014

This brief details the HSF's ongoing litigation against the JSC.

Parliament Clarifies ‘Motion of No Confidence’ Rules
Kameel Premhid
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Mar 20, 2014

With the release of the Public Protector’s Nkandla Report, questions will arise concerning a possible ‘motion of impeachment’. It is important that Parliament clarifies how ‘motions of no confidence’ should work in light of the Constitutional Court’s Mazibuko ruling.

The Meaning of the Marikana Judgment
Kameel Premhid
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Sep 06, 2013

The Marikana costs judgment recently handed down by the Constitutional Court is a result of Constitution’s commitment to the separation of powers.

Tlokwe and the Rule of Law
Kameel Premhid
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Aug 16, 2013

Tlokwe (Potchefstroom) has been the site of an intense political battle between the ANC and the DA. The unfolding of the drama there provides incisive lessons on the rule of law.

HSF Takes JSC to Court: Update
Kameel Premhid
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Jun 20, 2013

This Brief gives an update on the HSF’s pending court case against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Service Delivery: What does the Constitutional Court say?
Kameel Premhid
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May 23, 2013

This Brief examines the recent judgment of the Constitutional Court in Rademan v Moqhaka Municipality and Others delivered on 26 April 2013. This case dealt with the non-payment of rates on the grounds of lack of service delivery. The findings of the Court are important for future service delivery disputes of this kind.

POSIB: President urged to act
Kameel Premhid
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May 09, 2013

This Brief looks at the passage of POSIB and argues that the President should not sign the Bill.

Public Interest Litigation Threatened by Legal Practice Bill
Kameel Premhid
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Apr 10, 2013

In this Brief (‘Public Interest Litigation Threatened by Legal Practice Bill’), Kameel Premhid, HSF Intern, examines proposed changes to fee structures in the legal profession and what negative implications this could mean for the work conducted by NGOs like the HSF.

Introducing HSF Briefs
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Mar 06, 2013

As part of our mandate to facilitate and stimulate dialogue on matters relating to our liberal constitutional democracy, the Helen Suzman Foundation is embarking on a project to research and publish a series of Briefs.

Land

Amending Section 25 of the Constitution to include expropriation without compensation - the latest developments, and reflections of a more general nature on the implementation of Government policies
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 09, 2021

This brief looks at the latest developments in the process to amend Section 25 of the Constitution, specifically regarding expropriation without compensation. Against the background of land reform requirements, it then goes on to reflect on the implications of insufficient institutional capacity within Government to implement large complex projects.

Section 25 Of The Constitution - What Happens Next?
Charles Simkins
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Aug 20, 2018

The purpose of this brief is to set out the framework within which developments in relation to the potential amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution will unfold, in relation to expropriation without compensation.

Parliamentary Submission: Section 25 (Property Rights)
Anton van Dalsen & Mira Menell Briel
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Jun 19, 2018

As part of its public participation process, the Joint Constitutional Review Committee of Parliament called for submissions on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution (the Property Clause), following a motion passed by the National Assembly on 27 February 2018, relating to expropriation without compensation.

The Case for Retaining the Cutoff Date for Land Restitution Claims (Section 25 (7) of the Constitution)
Charles Simkins
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Oct 07, 2014

Section 25 (7) of the Constitution established the right of individuals and communities who were deprived of property after 19 June 1913, as a result of past racial laws, to either restitution of their property or equitable redress. It is now being debated whether the cutoff date is appropriate or whether it was a compromise made in 1994 which should now be rescinded if sufficient support can be found in Parliament. At present, the ANC would need the co-operation of other parties to muster two thirds of the votes necessary for a constitutional amendment. The EFF has already promised to make its supporters available for such a move.

SOUTH AFRICA’S NOUVELLE CUISINE: SLICING AND DICING PROPERTY RIGHTS
Charles Simkins
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Aug 21, 2014

Historically, redistribution of assets has taken a number of forms. It may take place at the end of a war or as an outcome of a revolution. It may be the result of special action of greater or lesser legality under an authoritarian government. South Africa is developing an approach which differs from all the above. It has the following characteristics:

Minerals and Energy

Debt - the millstone around Eskom’s neck
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 10, 2019

This brief analyses the magnitude of the problem posed by Eskom’s massive debt, coupled with the lack of information on what is being done about it.

Eskom’s 2018 Financial Results
Anton van Dalsen
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Jul 24, 2018

This brief provides a commentary on the main features of Eskom’s 2018 annual financial statements, released on 23 July 2018.

Mining Charter Third Version: What are the legal issues?
Michelle Toxopeus
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Sep 12, 2017

Following the publication of the third version of the Mining Charter, the Chamber of Mines filed an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court to interdict the application of the Charter pending its review by a court. The application will be heard on 14 and 15 September 2017.

The Government’s nuclear power plans: is a rational debate possible?
Anton van Dalsen
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Feb 16, 2017

This brief follows other recent pieces which we have published on the issue of nuclear power in South Africa (see our briefs dated 18 November 2016 and 15 December 2016). It provides an update to the debate surrounding Government plans for new nuclear power, highlighting two issues that continue to crop up in the public debate and which can be confusing without the necessary background. It also provides the essential facts relating to the court application by Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute, set down for hearing in the High Court on 22 February 2017.

Developments in the South African energy debate
Anton van Dalsen
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Dec 15, 2016

We recently published a set of three briefs on the South African Government’s policy on nuclear power. The Department of Energy has now published a draft new Integrated Resource Plan, whose purpose is to provide the basis for long-term planning in the provision of electricity. This brief aims to provide a succinct summary of the latest developments and, more specifically, to draw attention to the most important issues that have arisen in this process.

Governance at the Strategic Fuel Fund
Anton van Dalsen
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Nov 28, 2016

Since press reports first surfaced in May 2016 about the sale of 10 million barrels of crude oil by the Strategic Fuel Fund NPC (SFF) from its strategic reserves, the SFF has received continuous media attention not only on account of that sale but also as a result of its other activities. This brief provides a summary of the current status of the issues that have arisen at the SFF, a state-owned enterprise, within the wider context of governance at state-owned entities.

The South African Government’s policy on nuclear power I – Current status
Anton Van Dalsen
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Nov 18, 2016

This is the first of three briefs on nuclear power. It considers the current status of the new nuclear power project. The second discusses the policy framework for energy and the role of nuclear power within it. The third brief will deal with technical and financial issues and will come to conclusions.

MINING, LAND, AND COMMUNITY IN COMMUNAL AREAS I - WHAT COULD BE ACHIEVED AND WHY IT IS NOT
Tamara Jewett
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Aug 11, 2016

This Brief deals with an overview of how issues of mineral and land rights and community governance undermine individuals and communities in interactions with mining companies. The argument is that future suffering can be prevented by keeping the basic principle that mining must benefit South Africans while changing the structure and, most importantly, the application of some of the law. Two follow-up briefs will delve more deeply into each issue.

Politics and Governance

The Public Protector Impeachment Process: How The Enquiry Resumes
Jos Venter
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Mar 04, 2022

This brief examines the judgement of the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the rules adopted by the National Assembly for the removal of heads and commissioners of Chapter 9 institutions, the effect thereof on the current impeachment process of the Public Protector and it indicates what may be expected going forward.

Who decides on Vaccine Mandates?
Christopher Fisher
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Feb 07, 2022

This brief reviews the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in National Federation of Independent Business et al v Department of Labour, OSHA and argues that it is able to usefully inform debates about vaccine / testing mandates in South Africa.

Redefining Politics And How We Think About It
Chelsea Ramsden
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Dec 02, 2021

This brief discusses politics of old and new and attempts to draw attention to the relationship between the government and the people. This brief is derived from discussions held, and ideas shared, at a conference hosted by the Goedgedacht Forum titled “COVID-19 Kindness: How Should We Do Politics Differently in South Africa?”

Gangster State
Matthew Kruger
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Nov 29, 2021

When public life is structured by Family Meetings and threats of systematic economic and social exclusion, Matthew Kruger argues, we live in a gangster state.

The Forthcoming Municipal Elections - Against The Background Of Local Government Disorder
Sophie Smit
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Oct 26, 2021

The current state of local government in South Africa is in a dire state and communities and local businesses are bearing the brunt of failing service delivery and accountability. These individuals have tried different avenues to enforce the constitutional obligations of their municipalities with little to no success encountered at each turn. With the municipal elections now before us, this brief concludes that voting is the best tool that South Africans have in holding their administrations to account.

Beyond CR17 - Problems With The Executive Members’ Ethics Act And The Executive Ethics Code
Zeenat Emmamally
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Oct 21, 2021

This is the last in a three-brief series. The first brief dealt with the relationship between donations towards campaigns within political parties and the Executive Ethics Code. The second brief discussed the reasons for disclosure of these donations. This brief considers problems with the Executive Members’ Ethics Act and the Executive Ethics Code.

What CR17 Teaches Us - The Need To Know Who Donates To Politicians’ Internal Party Campaigns
Zeenat Emmamally
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Oct 21, 2021

This is the second in a three-brief series. The first brief dealt with the relationship between donations towards campaigns within political parties and the Executive Ethics Code. This brief will discuss the reasons for disclosure of these donations. The third will consider problems with the Executive Members’ Ethics Act and the Executive Ethics Code.

Laying The Groundwork - CR17 And The Challenge To The Executive Ethics Code
Zeenat Emmamally
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Oct 21, 2021

This is the first in a three-brief series and it deals with the relationship between donations towards campaigns within political parties and the Executive Ethics Code. The second brief will discuss the reasons the disclosure of these donations is essential and the third will consider problems with the Executive Members’ Ethics Act and the Executive Ethics Code.

Legislatures in Lockdown
Christopher Fisher
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Sep 28, 2021

This brief argues in support of proposed amendments to the Disaster Management Act, which hold the potential to bring states of disaster under legislative supervision.

To postpone, or not to postpone? That is the question.
Chelsea Ramsden
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Aug 20, 2021

This brief will consider the pertinent question: What are the issues that the Constitutional Court will have to decide at the hearing of the Electoral Commission of South Africa v Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Others?

Amending Section 25 of the Constitution to include expropriation without compensation - the latest developments, and reflections of a more general nature on the implementation of Government policies
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 09, 2021

This brief looks at the latest developments in the process to amend Section 25 of the Constitution, specifically regarding expropriation without compensation. Against the background of land reform requirements, it then goes on to reflect on the implications of insufficient institutional capacity within Government to implement large complex projects.

Understanding Cronyism
Zeenat Emmamally
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Apr 21, 2021

This brief examines cronyism as a subtype of corruption, and argues, using the executive ethics code as an example, that frameworks do not adequately safeguard against cronyism.

The Silence of the Constitutionalists
Matthew Kruger
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Mar 26, 2021

In this brief, Matthew Kruger reflects on the suspension of democratic power and subordination of transformative goals during the last year of lockdown. After touching on the failures of our major political parties, Parliament and the media to comprehend or resist this reality, he turns his attention to civil society. In the face of this 365-day deferral of the Constitution, why have so many of our NGOs and lawyers kept silent?

Whom The Gods Would Destroy They First Make Mad
Charles Simkins
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Mar 24, 2021

How to achieve redistribution with growth in a period of economic decline is difficult and the beginning of wisdom is to avoid actions which make things worse rather than better. The purpose of this brief is to identify some of them.

Service Delivery in South Africa at a Glance
Chelsea Ramsden
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Mar 17, 2021

Against the backdrop of recent discussions on service delivery in the Kgetlengrivier Local Municipality this brief will examine current reactions to service delivery failures and possible actions that aggrieved residents may take.

Alternative Proposals For Electing Constituency Representatives In A Mixed System
Charles Simkins
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Mar 09, 2021

This brief considers three proposals on the table for a mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system for consideration by the National Assembly’s Home Affairs Portfolio Committee, and makes the point that advocacy of an MMP system does not, in itself, settle all the details which will needed to be considered in the process of electoral reform.

Third Quarter Production And Employment Statistics - Some Puzzles
Charles Simkins
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Jan 14, 2021

This is the final Brief in the series with all the statistical information about production and employment in the third quarter having now been published. This Brief focuses on puzzles which arise when all the sources are considered together.

The Era of Pandemics: Tomorrow's Forever Wars
Matthew Kruger
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Dec 09, 2020

We are now more than 250 days into our 21-day lockdown, with Ramaphosa and his Command Council claiming for themselves the power to legislate every aspect of our lives until the invisible enemy is beaten, or maybe even longer, as their rhetoric about the new normal suggests. In asserting this power in their war on the virus, they resemble another executive in a different, still-ongoing war against an equally invisible enemy: the US war on terror.

Human Settlements In The Metros
Charles Simkins
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Dec 04, 2020

This Brief discusses the Department of Human Settlements’ proposed re-orientation of its policies.

The July To September Quarterly Labour Force Survey
Charles Simkins
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Dec 03, 2020

Production in the South African economy has bounced back quite sharply since July. This Brief explores what the Quarterly Labour Force Survey tells us about employment and unemployment in the third quarter.

September Production, Rates Of Profit And Loanable Funds
Charles Simkins
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Dec 03, 2020

This Brief updates our understanding of the economy and how it has bounced back. It also considers trends in profitability since the beginning 2014, and finally discusses financial flows within the economy.

Pharmaceuticals and South Africa III - The Courts
Chris Pieters
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Nov 19, 2020

In the first brief we considered the findings in the HSF’s enquiry into the structures regarding the pricing and distribution of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. The Second brief summarised the manufacturing environment of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. We conclude the series by looking at various findings against the backdrop of a Western Cape High Court judgement.

Pharmaceuticals and South Africa II – Supply
Chris Pieters
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Nov 19, 2020

In the first Brief we considered the findings in the HSF’s enquiry into the structures regarding the pricing and distribution of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. This Brief will summarise the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. The series will conclude by considering the various findings against the backdrop of a Western Cape High Court judgement dealing with some of the issues.

Pharmaceuticals and South Africa I - Distribution
Chris Pieters
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Nov 19, 2020

In the first Brief we consider the findings in the HSF’s enquiry into the structures regarding the pricing and distribution of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. The Second Brief will summarise the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in South Africa. The series concludes by considering the various findings against the backdrop of a Western Cape High Court judgement dealing with some of the issues.

The Political Economy Of The Economic Reconstruction And Recovery Plan
Charles Simkins
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Nov 10, 2020

The government’s economic policy cards are on the table. Government policy attempts to achieve two goals simultaneously: to ward off an impending fiscal crisis and to improve investment to the point where it can underpin a respectable rate of economic growth. Both need urgent attention. The political economy question is this: can a coalition of interests be maintained to sustain the policy for several years?

Financing Government Debt
Charles Simkins
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Nov 05, 2020

The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, tabled in Parliament on 28 October 2020, projects that the government will need to issue above 50% more short-term and long-term domestic debt in 2020/21 than in 2019/20. In this Brief Charles Simkins considers if the targets can be met and what the macroeconomic implications of doing so would be.

How Coherent Are The 2020 Production And Labour Market Data? II - The Main Issues
Charles Simkins
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Nov 04, 2020

This brief compares production and labour market estimates from different sources. Some of the work has already been done in previous briefs and this will be referred to, with a brief summary of findings. In order not to clutter the exposition of new comparisons, supporting tables are placed in the annexure to the brief.

How Coherent Are The 2020 Production And Labour Market Data? I - The Basis For Assessment
Charles Simkins
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Nov 04, 2020

The preceding briefs in this series have drawn on a number of sources to assess the evolution of the economy during 2020. These data sources have been compiled for different purposes and to a great extent independently of one another. Yet they overlap and their findings can be compared. The questions arise: How coherent are the data from these sources? What judgements can be made after all the sources have been considered? What uncertainties and puzzles remain?

Electoral Reform And The Political System: The Helen Suzman’s Points Of Departure
Charles Simkins
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Oct 01, 2020

The first three briefs in this series establish three main points. The first is that the New Nation case requires electoral reform, the second is that electoral reform may not infringe the constitution, and the third is there are political systemic choices to be made by Parliament about the electoral system within constitutional constraints. This brief sets out the Helen Suzman Foundation’s points of departure at the level of the political system.

Electoral Reform: Are The Electoral Task Team’s “Core Values” Still Relevant?
Catherine Kruyer
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Oct 01, 2020

The Helen Suzman Foundation is producing a series of briefs on electoral reform in South Africa. Following the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections, this series will examine the road ahead at the policy, legislative, and institutional level. This brief, the third in our series, will reconsider the core values for an electoral system identified by the Electoral Task Team in 2003.

The April To June Quarterly Labour Force Survey: A Cautionary Note
Charles Simkins
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Sep 30, 2020

The April to June Quarterly Labour Force Survey has appeared. While the HSF commends Stats SA for finally producing it (there were two delays in publication). The HSF cautions that this survey is less reliable than its predecessors for reasons which Charles Simkins elucidates.

Electoral Reform: Constitutional Constraints On The Design Of Our Electoral System
Catherine Kruyer
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Sep 29, 2020

The Helen Suzman Foundation is producing a series of briefs on electoral reform in South Africa. Following the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections, this series will examine the road ahead from the policy, legislative and institutional perspectives. This brief, the second in our series, will explore the constitutional constraints on our electoral system.

Electoral Reform: Understanding the New Nation Movement case
Kimera Chetty
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Sep 29, 2020

The Helen Suzman Foundation will be producing a series of briefs on electoral reform in South Africa. Following the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections,this series will examine the road ahead from the policy, legislative and institutional perspectives. This brief, the first in our series, will explore the reasoning of the Court and consider the implications of the judgment.

July Production Statistics: An Indication Of A V-Shaped Recovery?
Charles Simkins and Charles Collocott
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Sep 28, 2020

Statistics South Africa publishes monthly production statistics for mining, manufacturing, electricity distributed, the five components of trade, catering and accommodation and two components of trade, storage and communication. The July 2020 estimates have now been published. Gross domestic product statistics have been published for the first two quarters of 2020. What do these estimates reveal about economic recovery since the Level 5 lock down?

The Implications Of The Second Quarter 2020 Gross Domestic Product Data
Charles Simkins
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Sep 11, 2020

Dr Simkins highlights that the StatsSA announcement on 8 September of a 51% fall in GDP is misleading in the light of a sharp, temporary shock to the economy as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. The Brief discusses information from the GDP data about the distribution of the burden of the shock. Further analysis of the distribution will become possible when the Quarterly Employment Statistics and the Quarterly Labour Force Survey are published in late October.

Austerity And A Permanent Income Shock
Charles Simkins
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Jul 15, 2020

This brief distinguishes between a policy of austerity and the fact of a permanent decline in per capita income, arguing that South Africa should adapt to a drop of real per capita income of 7 to 10% since 2014. It considers the trajectory of monetary and fiscal policy in this light.

The Adjustment Budget And Beyond
Charles Simkins
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Jun 30, 2020

Charles Simkins reviews the Supplementary Budget. A brutal affair. The Zuma legacy and misfortune have made it so.

State of Brutality - a constitutional crisis I: A Good Friday murder
Lee-Anne Germanos
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Jun 25, 2020

This brief, the first in the series, considers the circumstances leading to the death of Mr Khosa on Good Friday. The brief concludes with an overview of the reactions by government in the wake of the murder as well as the subsequent litigation.

The Constitutional Court And The Electoral Act
Charles Simkins
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Jun 23, 2020

The Constitutional Court ruling of 11 June 2020, declared the Electoral Act as unconstitutional to the extent that it requires that adult citizens may be elected to the national assembly only through their membership of political parties. This means that the Electoral Act will need to be amended and the Court has given Parliament 24 months to do so. This brief considers two possibilities as to how the Act can be amended.

Decision Making In A Time Of Uncertainty
Charles Simkins
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Jun 11, 2020

The brief considers the present state of uncertainty and how decision making is to be viewed and implemented. Charles Simkins introduces risk and uncertainty and then considers political emergencies, dictatorship and what to do with debt. The brief concludes with remarks regarding coping in the present uncertainty.

Lives and Livelihoods
Matthew Kruger
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Jun 01, 2020

In this brief, Matthew Kruger writes about the detrimental impact, on freedom and politics, of any law or policy that overemphasises risk and safety.

The Lockdown Is Unconstitutional - Part III
Matthew Kruger
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May 08, 2020

The series concludes by arguing that the purpose for and process by which the powers under the Disaster Act have been exercised are unlawful and irrational, for they are structured by a near-total, comprehensive failure by government to understand what the Constitution is all about.

The Lockdown Is Unconstitutional - Part II
Matthew Kruger
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May 08, 2020

The Disaster Management Act is the legislation through which the Minister has effected the current lockdown. In this brief, the purpose and limits of the powers afforded to the executive by the Disaster Act are considered, and it is explained that despite their exceptional nature, these powers must be interpreted and exercised consistently with the transformative vision articulated in the first brief.

The Lockdown Is Unconstitutional - Part I
Matthew Kruger
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May 08, 2020

Matthew Kruger argues that the purpose and process by which Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has locked South Africa down is unconstitutional. In this first brief, it is explained that the state, in all that it does, has a constitutional duty to respect, protect, promote and fulfill the transformative vision that suffuses the whole constitutional order.

Mental Health II - National Health Insurance
Chris Pieters
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Apr 21, 2020

Part 2 will consider the content of the National Health Insurance Bill as well as possible implications that it may have on the state of mental health care.

Mental Health I - Legal and policy framework
Chris Pieters
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Apr 21, 2020

Part 1 explores the present legal instruments designed to ensure that all those who require it will have access to mental health care. The brief further considers the political will of creating suitable access for those most in need.

The Importance Of Criticism
Matthew Kruger
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Apr 03, 2020

In this fourth brief in our coronavirus series, Research Fellow Matthew Kruger explores the importance of criticism during this time of crisis.

The Coronavirus And The Economy
Charles Simkins
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Apr 01, 2020

In this brief, Charles Simkins suggests principles to guide thinking about the relationship between the epidemic and the economy.

Legality In A State Of Disaster
Charles Simkins
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Apr 01, 2020

This brief is a companion to our recently published brief entitled ‘A guide to the duties imposed on South Africans during the lockdown’. That brief should be regarded as our Coronavirus Brief 1.

Update on the Impending Border Management Authority
Tove van Lennep
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Mar 11, 2020

After being amended at the National Council of Provinces, the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill is one step closer to enactment. But the BMA exacerbates the problem it seeks to address: In its attempt to resolve the fragmentation of South Africa’s border management, it creates another costly level of government bureaucracy under the ailing Department of Home Affairs.

Spotlight On Accountability III: Accountability Categorised
Cherese Thakur
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Jan 23, 2020

This brief is part of a series that takes ‘accountability’ to its roots by explaining fundamental aspects of the concept, and provides a guide on how to assess accountability mechanisms for effectiveness.

Spotlight On Accountability II: Accountability Mechanisms
Cherese Thakur
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Jan 23, 2020

This brief is part of a series that takes ‘accountability’ to its roots by explaining fundamental aspects of the concept, and provides a guide on how to assess accountability mechanisms for effectiveness”

Developing water sensitive cities I: Rethinking how we manage urban water
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Oct 30, 2019

Given the current pressure on water sources, South African cities must rethink their approach to urban water management. The concept of water sensitive cities as an means of improving local water security will be explored in a three-part brief series. This brief, the first in the series, provides an overview of water sensitive settlements and its application in South Africa

Do we need a Water Use Bill?
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Oct 04, 2019

In light of a recent announcement to develop legislation dedicated to transforming the water use sector, this brief examines the current legislative and policy provisions intended to drive water use reform. It highlights the slow pace at which transformation has taken place, underscored by a lack of political will, socio-political factors and, ultimately, an inconsistency between the law and its implementation.

Strengthening institutional capacity in water resources management to enhance performance
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Oct 01, 2019

Given its current financial and operational challenges, the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation is struggling to fulfil its obligations. The legislative framework allows the Department to establish regional institutions to assist it in managing water resources. These institutions are underdeveloped, under capacitated and underutilised.

Migration IV: The state of South Africa’s borders
Tove van Lennep
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Sep 18, 2019

South Africa’s borders require serious attention to counter irregular migration, illicit trade and incumbered movement. The Department of Home Affairs’ intended solutions are deficient.

The Parliamentary Support Structure
Lee-Anne Germanos
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Aug 29, 2019

Parliament has an entire support structure comprising of two supporting offices, two branches and an administration. The employees of the support structure are the workhorses of Parliament. A report of the Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament for the 2017/18 financial year revealed strained labour relations in the parliamentary support structure which have manifested themselves in increased litigation by Parliament against its employees. Add to that the protest suicide of a senior parliamentary manager, and the report’s finding that the work environment and conditions were unpleasant, and it becomes clear that all is not well in the parliamentary support structure.

Deepening Democracy Brief: Parliamentary Accountability
Anton van Dalsen & Lee-Anne Germanos
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Aug 29, 2019

This brief discusses Parliament’s oversight duty (over, among others, organs of state) and Parliament’s accountability mechanism – the electorate. It briefly discusses the need for electoral reform in order to achieve better accountability for MPs.

Municipalities II: Assessing mechanisms of municipal oversight
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Jul 16, 2019

This brief series explores three institutional arrangements that influence municipal functioning. Part I evaluates executive authority in municipalities; Part II assesses mechanisms of municipal oversight; and Part III examines the legal framework for provincial intervention in local government.

Municipalities I: Evaluating executive authority in municipalities
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Jul 16, 2019

This brief series explores three institutional arrangements that influence municipal functioning. Part I evaluates executive authority in municipalities; Part II assesses mechanisms of municipal oversight; and Part III examines the legal framework for provincial intervention in local government.