On Saturday 30 March, University of Cape Town (UCT) council members will vote on a controversial motion to restrict interaction between UCT and any Israeli academic institution. If adopted, not only would this be unconstitutional, discriminatory and flout the doctrine of academic freedom, it would be unlawful for certain members to have voted if they have previously been involved in actions relating to a boycott of Israeli institutions.
This article may appear counter-intuitive, given the huge amount of rhetoric and conjecture which abounds outside of workplaces where Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) has been mindfully implemented. There is a huge amount of negativity which exists where BBBEE has failed to be successfully implemented, and even more fake news from owners in those companies which have failed to, or where they have simply refused to, implement any kind of BBBEE solution at all.
The earth also looks pitch black at night to those in search of the world’s second largest continent – and half of the earth’s land mass, for that matter. But now imagine this: what if, some years down the line, Africa was orange? What if, by the year 2030, viewed from outer space, the continent was ablaze with little lights, symbols of prosperity and connectedness, everywhere?
If you counted every hair on your head, that amount probably will not add up to the amount of times you have read and heard about the causes of the Eskom crisis. Corruption and state capture have been identified as the bedrock reasons why South Africans have been thrown into darkness over the past two weeks. A few people have pinpointed the unions as the cause of the problem because they are enraged about President Ramaphosa’s announcement that Eskom will be unbundled. Yet others have laid the blame on transformation policies, specifically BEE.
Officially, for the 2019/20 financial year, government will not be increasing income taxes. The only taxes set to increase are the indirect taxes: fuel levies, excise duties on alcohol and cigarettes, and the new carbon tax coming into effect on 1 June 2019. With these increases government estimates that it will raise an additional R1.2 billion.
The stakes have never been higher, and despite Minister Tito Mboweni’s always-jovial presence in parliament as he tabled Budget 2019, his words prepared us for the bitter medicine that must be swallowed before we can experience economic recovery.
Oxfam is at it again. With their latest report we are back to the same old mantra: wealth inequality is on the rise and the only solution is to tax the hell out of the rich. Further reflection reveals that the solution isn’t that simple. But first, some relevant distinctions.