From The Desk of the President

19 October 2020, 8:14 PM
We are undertaking a far-reaching and ambitious public investment in human capital, with the state as both a creator and an enabler of jobs, writes President Cyril Ramaphosa in his weekly letter to the nation.
Why an amnesty for grand corruption in South Africa is a bad idea 18 October 2020, 4:53 PM

South Africa’s former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, provoked a political storm recently when she suggested that public servants implicated in grand corruption should be given the chance to apply for amnesty.

How to keep adolescents’ social networks strong in a disrupted world 17 October 2020, 6:17 PM

People often depend on companionship and support from others to cope with the stresses of daily life. Social networks and support are linked to better mental and physical wellbeing. These networks are particularly important in adolescence – the period between childhood and adulthood. This is when peers become a more important part of life and […]

South Africa’s COVID-19 hunger relief efforts are working: why they must continue 16 October 2020, 3:58 PM

Since the year 2000, South Africa has made big strides in lowering levels of both child and adult hunger, as well as improving food security for many poor families. Research has shown that these improvements were largely driven by the expansion of the child support grant.

Young Nigerians rise up to demand a different kind of freedom 15 October 2020, 4:47 PM

Two days after Nigeria celebrated its sixtieth year of independence, a video of a young man brazenly killed by a member of the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad or SARS caught the attention of netizens. The Twitter user who posted the viral video claimed the man’s body had been left at the side of the road and his Lexus stolen. It sparked a wave of protests across most of Nigeria’s urban metropolises.

Changes in South Africa’s rainfall seasons could affect farming and water resources 14 October 2020, 3:57 PM

Most of South Africa’s seasonal rainfall occurs during the warmer summer months, from October to March. As a result, October is an important period for farmers to begin planning when to sow crops (such as maize, wheat and sunflowers) for the growing season.

From The Desk of the President 12 October 2020, 8:39 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to unite in their fight against crime. In his weekly letter to the nation, the President says citizens should not be blinded by their own prejudices to the suffering and pain of others.

People in Soweto told us about their fears in the first weeks of South Africa’s lockdown 9 October 2020, 2:52 PM

South Africa’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak was swift and assertive. The country quickly instituted testing, tracing, and quarantining those affected with COVID-19. But the financial and social effects of quarantine hit people, who were already struggling, especially hard.

Zuma’s attack on a judge is without merit, but it’s dangerous for South Africa 8 October 2020, 2:43 PM

“Post-truth” culture is exemplified by the constant negation of fact-finding, expertise and research. Within such a culture, speakers, whether they occupy positions of power or are commenting anonymously on social media, become increasingly comfortable with claiming that reality is whatever they say it is. This, without any need to offer evidence which can be evaluated against objective criteria through reasoned argument.

Positive developments in the Navalny poison saga should be welcomed by all 7 October 2020, 2:10 PM

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has this week done what a credible, multi-lateral body ought to do, which is to be seen to be fair and even-handed when dealing with all its Member States regardless of their political stature or economic standing.

Why human rights should guide responses to the global pandemic 6 October 2020, 6:09 PM

The coronavirus pandemic has killed over a million people globally and disrupted healthcare and political systems, economies, social bonds and religious practices.

Transforming patterns of agricultural land ownership is vital: Ramaphosa 5 October 2020, 9:00 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says it is important to release state land in order to transform the agricultural landscape and grow a new generation of farmers.

Less talk, more action needed on land issue 4 October 2020, 4:12 PM

The land issue in South Africa has not grown less important despite the seeming lack of focus on it at the moment. It cannot be overlooked that land and property rights are key issues to South Africa, the economy and the betterment of the country.

Serious reforms needed for economic growth 30 September 2020, 7:51 PM

Research by various studies from the World Economic Forum, Statistics SA shows that there exists intersectionality on poverty, unemployment and the livelihoods of women and children, who on the main bear the brunt of an unequal and poor growing of economy.

Nigeria’s pioneering gas flaring plan risks going up in flames 30 September 2020, 7:05 PM

Jonah Gbemre often has no electricity, but he says his home is permanently lit at night by the flames of waste gas being “flared” near his home town in Nigeria’s Delta State.

A good museum experience pays off for the tourism sector in Ghana 26 September 2020, 12:36 PM

The 2019 Year of Return, when Ghana welcomed Africans in the diaspora to participate in events associated with the country’s rich cultural heritage, was an opportunity to learn more about what tourists want. One million foreign visitors entered the country to mark 400 years of the first enslaved Africans arriving in the United States

We looked at the link between sexual violence and unintended pregnancy in South Africa 25 September 2020, 9:30 PM

Early unintended pregnancy can have negative consequences for adolescent girls and young women. Not only may their health be at risk; so may their education, economic mobility and productivity.

COVID-19 pandemic has brought the human spirit to life 24 September 2020, 3:02 PM

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has been a turbulent ride! This year has presented unprecedented disruptions in different fields of life. The flows of commotion have barely left any part of the globe unscathed. Yet in all the gloom, a lot of reassuring changes have manifested.

What the tourism sector can learn from Cape Town’s drought 22 September 2020, 7:14 PM

Extreme weather events have been topical in the southern African region and beyond in the past decade or so. Prior to tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth, no major extreme weather event had attracted such international media attention as the Cape Town drought popularly dubbed Day Zero did. Day Zero was the day the taps of Cape Town were anticipated to run dry.

Why do we celebrate Heritage Month? 21 September 2020, 6:05 PM

On the 24th of September this year, South Africa will pause and celebrate national Heritage Day. As part of the new approach for the national days program of government, the focus hasn’t only been on the main celebration itself but rather on the entire month, with a plethora of activations to celebrate our diverse heritage since the launch by Minister Nathi Mthethwa earlier this month.

Political analyst questions procedure in which ANC members took SANDF jet to Zimbabwe 20 September 2020, 8:47 AM

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga has questioned the procedure that the African National Congress delegation had followed to access an South African National Defence Force plane to Zimbabwe earlier this month.

Removing Masuku from PEC will weaken Makhura politically: Analyst 19 September 2020, 1:29 PM

Political analyst Xolani Dube has warned that removing Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku from the African National Congress (ANC) Provincial Executive Committee would weaken Premier David Makhura politically.

America’s inflection point: four key things Africa must watch for 14 September 2020, 6:19 PM

African scholars and policymakers face a tough challenge in analysing how the US presidential election on 3 November might affect Africa-US relations.

George Bizos: heroic South African human rights lawyer with a macabre duty to represent the dead 13 September 2020, 7:10 AM

Advocate George Bizos, who has died at the age of 92, stands in the pantheon of South African human rights lawyers and anti-apartheid activists.

How to hold elections safely and uphold democracy during the COVID-19 pandemic 13 September 2020, 6:42 AM

Free and fair elections face a new kind of threat. In addition to scheming leaders and compromised electoral commissions, there is now the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

EFF lost an opportunity to gain voters: Analyst 9 September 2020, 11:20 AM

Political analyst Lubna Nadvi says the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has lost an opportunity to gain voters ahead of next year's municipal elections.

Dignifying the indignity 8 September 2020, 6:03 AM

A few weeks ago, news headlines in South Africa bandied about images of one Bulelani Qholani who was forcefully removed from his shack as part of the City of Cape Town’s plan to evict residents who allegedly occupied land illegally.

Post COVID-19 South Africa needs a strategy to address the expected implosion of learner pregnancies 7 September 2020, 5:22 PM

To turnaround inefficiencies in programmes that aim to address learner pregnancy, coordination and collaboration comprising national, provincial and local government actors alongside youth community leaders, activists, and agencies such as the CGE is needed. But before this, certain immediate actions need government attention.

BRICS members set out plans to grow together through sport 7 September 2020, 4:22 PM

BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa recently signed a ground-breaking memorandum of understanding (MoU) on sport to foster their much-needed cooperation.

From The Desk of the President 7 September 2020, 3:33 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says 3 key bills aimed at dealing with the country's problem of gender-based violence are before parliament. Ramaphosa writes this in his weekly letter to the nation on Monday.

Nigerian scientists have identified seven lineages of SARS-CoV-2: why it matters 7 September 2020, 2:29 PM

By the first week of August 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic had caused about 654,000 deaths worldwide. In Nigeria, as of July 28, there were 38,945 confirmed cases recorded with 813 deaths.