South Africa rising? Hope in the townships
In a sense, you can see all of South Africa from the unfinished concrete roof of Morris Modipa’s bar on Avenue 15 in Johannesburg’s Alexandra Township.
What conclusions you draw from the view rather depends on your attitude towards the continent’s biggest economy, and its uncertain future.
Additionally, the GCIM’s research paper reveals that many adults in SADC countries have either parents or grandparents who have worked in South Africa in the past. “In every case, nearly a quarter or more people have grandparents who had worked in South Africa…About a quarter of the people in Namibia and Zimbabwe have parents who had worked in South Africa. So did 41% of Batswana, 54% of Mozambicans and 83% of Basotho.” It is this history that compels me to argue that the South African government ought to consider extending the concept of the ZDP to other foreign nationals from the SADC region.
Based on the foregoing, people from the SADC countries have political grounds to apply for South African papers that allow them to work and live in this country. Their fathers and grandfathers, after all, were exploited, like all blacks in this country, by a white supremacist regime in order to build the South African economy. In some cases, their fathers and grandfathers paid the ultimate price, dying from pneumonia and other lung diseases on the South African mines.
Perhaps it is worth noting that many people in the SADC region live in poverty and view South Africa as a place with many economic opportunities. Although South Africa has its own problems and challenges, the truth of the matter is that South Africa is the economic powerhouse in the region (some might argue on the whole continent). In a policy brief written for the Economic Justice Network, Dale McKinley argues that SADC member states have a population of about 250 million people and a combined GDP of some US$432bn - 65 percent of which comes from South Africa alone.
Needless to point out, South Africa became the regional economic powerhouse that it is today partly on the backs of immigrant labourers from the SADC who helped build the country’s economy. Is it unreasonable for people to want to share in the fruits of what they helped create?
The Case for Opening SADC Borders: ‘We live here, we work here, we’re staying here!’ By Mandisi Majavu
Southern Africa seen to overtake Asia as fastest growing region in a couple of years
KUALA LUMPUR: With governments and businesses increasingly interested to discover opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, the southern part of the continent will likely overtake Asia as the fastest growing region in a couple of years.
With that, sectors closely linked to consumers like financial services, education, retail and healthcare would benefit greatly while mobile telephony would enable southern Africa to leapfrog infrastructure issues, according to Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) country publishing director Robert Ward.
“One of the reasons (southern Africa would grow the fastest) is that China is slowing because its economy is maturing. But Asia is looking good globally and within that, Asean has slightly over 5% growth a year,” he said, adding that Asia remained a booming economy.
New Southern Africa Fundraising Awards - call for entries
Now for the first time, individuals who’ve developed innovative, creative and successful ways of raising funds and mobilising resources for a non-profit organisation in Southern Africa, will have an opportunity to be recognised for their achievements by entering the inaugural Southern Africa Fundraising Awards (SAFA).
Organised by the Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising (SAIF) and endorsed and supported by the Resource Alliance (UK), the Southern Africa Fundraising Awards will celebrate fundraising excellence in Southern Africa, whilst setting aspirational standards and championing best practice amongst fundraisers in the region.
Entries for the five award categories - Big Idea, Small Budget; Innovative Fundraising Campaign; Social Enterprise of the Year; Southern Africa Fundraiser of the Year; and Outstanding Volunteer - are open until 31 May 2013 for any individual or organisation within Southern Africa (i.e. South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho).
Uneven playing fields fosters violence
Uneven political playing field a cause of RENAMO violence in Mozambique and follows warnings in AfriMAP report from 2009
Is violence returning to Mozambique?
The recent outbreak of violence in Mozambique, widely suspected to be the work of RENAMO, is deeply worrying not only for Mozambique but the whole sub-region. Already calls are being made for SADC and AU to engage with the deteriorating situation after four policemen and three civilians were killed in ambushes of a truck and two buses at the weekend.
The violence has come as a shock to most people in the region but tensions have been on the increase in Mozambique for some time. Indeed, a 2009 AfriMAP/OSISA report warned about the potential dangers of the country’s uneven political playing field – and if more deadly violence ensues then there is little doubt that this will have been among the major culprits.
The debilitating 1975-92 civil war brought the country to its knees. For the last one and half decades the impact of the peace dividend has been evident – with the country attaining growth rates of more than 7 percent, the highest for non-oil producing countries. However, there have always been serious concerns that such economic growth was not translating into improved livelihoods mainly due to poor governance characterized by a neo-patrimonial political system and high levels of corruption. The public service in Mozambique has a deplorable reputation for incompetence and ineffectiveness, corruption, bureaucratic red tape, and poor service delivery.
Huge deposits of natural gas and coal – enough to supply Germany, Britain, Italy and France for the next 15 years – provide Mozambique with a real opportunity to consolidate economic development and improve the quality of life of its citizens. On the other hand if access to and distribution of such national resources is not equitable, it could easily stoke the fires of a civil war.