Research & Policy Brief

Research & Policy Briefs have evolved into the @Liberty reports. Click here to view them.

SAIRR Today: Denialism all over again - 19th July 2010

It is odd that just two weeks after the country was taken over by Ghana-mania, reports of xenophobic attacks against immigrants from other African countries are making the headlines. How could the feeling that ‘we are all Africans’ vanish so quickly? Perhaps in the dazzle of the international spotlight and being swept away by the celebratory mood it was natural for South Africans to show allegiance to their continent, but the underlying factors that explained the xenophobic attacks in 2008 - and since - have not changed.

SAIRR Today: Why some schools work - 16th July 2010

The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angie Motshekga, has received much praise after announcing reforms to the Outcomes Based Education curriculum. However, the impact of the reforms will now be dependent mainly on the ability of the department to effectively manage and resource under-performing schools.

SAIRR Today: How down-under came out on top - 9th July 2010

The Department of Minerals and Energy has missed a rare opportunity to reposition South Africa’s mining industry and attract new investment into that industry. It could learn much from how the Australian government recently responded to that country’s ‘mining tax crisis’.

SAIRR Today: ‘New thinking’ needs to challenge policy and racial holy-cows - 1st July 2010

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said that South Africa needs ‘new thinking’ on jobs and growth. This comes after StatsSA released data last week which showed that formal employment in South Africa declined by close on 3% over a period that saw the economy grow by 1.6%. As Business Day pointed out, this was not ‘jobless growth’ but ‘job shedding growth’. It remains to be seen what Mr Gordhan’s ‘new thinking’ may be, but it may be a good time to consider how South Africa measures up against some of the attributes of successful free market economies.

SAIRR Today: Is hosting the World Cup worth it? - 18th June 2010

South Africa is in the midst of hosting one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and it is set to cost the country money that could have been spent on other projects. Will the long-term cost of hosting the Football World Cup be worth it, or should the country have rather spent the money on tackling the many social and economic ills facing the country?

SAIRR Today: The struggle for jobs - 28th May 2010

Much has been written about employment and job creation in the media over the last month. This week SAIRR Today reviews data from the 2008/09 South Africa Survey to give some perspective to that debate.

SAIRR Today: Good news in South African schooling - 21st May 2010

Recently the provincial education department in the Eastern Cape stated that it would be auditing former ‘Model C’ schools there because these schools had ‘too many luxuries’, and were refusing to comply with the provincial department’s policies. In a meeting at the provincial legislature in Bhisho in April, the portfolio chairman on education in the province, Mr Mzoleli Mrara, said that ‘Model C’ schools were ‘racist’ and used the country’s courts to win battles against the provincial education department. However, the 2009 matric results in former ‘Model C’ schools around South Africa indicates that their black pupils do very well.

SAIRR Today: National service is no panacea - 7th May 2010

The Minster of Defence, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, has proposed a campaign of national service to deal with the problem posed by high numbers of badly educated and unemployed young people. However, an obvious flaw in her plan can be found in its numbers.

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