7/23 Tue: Government Lecture
We were kept busy today, but in two distinct parts: lectures in the morning, and tours of Cape Town townships in the afternoon. Information about the government here, then the emotional impact in the next entry.
Our lectures were at Rosemont College (college can be anything BUT a degree granting institution), which is actually a private 10-12th grade high school; our classroom a small room, where we were packed in at tables so tight, no one could move without having others stand up. Then the first lecturer, to speak about Economics, did not show up, and even at that, the 2nd was delayed while they found a projector, and then cables, and then hooked things up, and provided the password.
Having extra time was no trouble for the group, as we’re a talkative and otherwise content group. Geraldine, who meant to miss the first lecture in any event as she disagrees politically with this professor, did show up and filled in part of the gap with a discussion of the Black Sash, a middle class, mostly White organization of women who protested Apartheid, usually with silent protests, and also provided aid of various sorts to those, esp. women, who were the subject of its abuses. The women were often arrested, but the police had no idea what to do with them – their husbands were often lawyers and the like – so they’d be released after a couple of hours.
UWC (Univ. of the Western Cape) summarized a semester course on the RSA government since 1994 in one hour.
*A Unitary, not Federal, State; not shared control, laws, etc.
Note: 6 kings, 1 king, 100’s of chiefs are on the public payroll
* Demographics: Whites <10%; Blacks are not a minority, here.
* Comparisons to both the African American & Native Am. experiences.
* Constitution emphasizes human rights – 18 pages worth.
* Small standing army – large draft. Military not big enough to overthrow govt.
* Strong Labor Unions, business sector, religious institutions boost stability.
* Served as a cease fire treaty. (During negotiations, which stretched out half a decade, there was more violence than in the prior decades of Apartheid. This was due to lack of trust and violations between opposing sides, and also because of conflicts within each party or alliance.)
>Section 25 – guaranteed property rights;
>No Punishments for prior action, but Truth and Reconciliation Commission
> for… Section 19 – Universal Franchise – turning gov’t. over to Blacks.
* Westminster derived Parliamentary System; no elected president
* Proportional Representation; no threshold vote for rep in Parliament.
* Symbols compromise; e.g. includes everyone, “like if the right side of the confederate flag was stitched to the left side of the Black Panther Party”
* Justicable Human Rights Bill; U.S. Style Judicial power
1st time permitted to rule a law illegal; Creative interpretation,
including foreign rulings as precedents, to support human rights.
* Abolish death sentence, corporal punishment
* Redistribution of allocation for social programs: education, health,
housing, police, etc. (had been 1/2 for colored; 1/4 for black)
* Welfare spending increase from 4 to 12 million recipients
* Safe drinking water (1 of 20 countries), electricity access from 40 to 85%
* 3 million houses built – given with deed (ownership)
* Gender reforms, but top down.
* Capital flight declines and ended in 1990’s
* Tax amnesty allows holdings of foreign capital
* New investment from China, India, Dubai
* White flight (800,000) was stretched over a decade, not all at once; and ended with 2008 Depression
* New generation of Black Professionals, plus immigration
Problems and Challenges
* 22-32% Unemployment – national average
* Crime wave
* HIV / AIDS; TB; Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
* Climate – large variability of rainfall
* Unfunded Mandates + Lack of Capacity of State
(“Pass laws like Sweden, Enforce laws like Sudan.”)
* Clumsy, uncoordinated implementation
* Corruption, Spoils System, Cronyism, Revolving Door
* 13 parties with seats. – only two with double digit %ages; national parties
ANC 66% 264 MPs
DA 17 % 67 MPs (official opposition; ruling party in West Cape)
5 ethno – regional parties
5 fringe parties (<1%)
3 parties broke away from ANC
New parties seem to be forming continuously, but they will have no practical effect as they are so small, and there’s no need or benefit of alliances.
1999- 09: Mbeke (educated in London, while Mandela was in prison)
2009- : Zuma
Election for 5 year term is 2014; President Zuma is running for reelection; with no viable alternative for head of the ANC, he will continue as president.
ANC Strategy — Growth of State Patronage
* Increase in cabinet ministers to 33
* Deputy Minister numbers increase – from 3 to 30
* Municipal lawyers – salary and benefits
* Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment
* Affirmative Action – public and private
Gender Reform Laws
* Choice on Termination of Pregnancy
* Divorce Courts
* Maintenance Act (support to single parents)
Domestic Violence Act
Recognition of Customary Marriages Act
(but men can’t marry a 2nd wife w/o permission of 1st wife)
Civil Union Act 2006
3 women in navy, 1 fighter pilot, 40% cabinet ministers are women
7/24: In class. Lectures this morning – discussed in the previous entry, and then the rest of the day our group only summarizing and debriefing. It is a perfect day to be in class – cold and dreary, though I hope it clears up, as I do plan to go to the jazz club tonight. I don’t think there’ll be all that much to write about the rest of the day, so this will do.
Professor Gottchalk pointed out that in Cape Town, all metropolitan residents contribute to the tax base, as a whole. There is no fracturing off, suburb vs. city, as there is in Detroit vs. suburbs.
He also lectured on the SA Foreign Policy on Wednesday, – lots of peace keeping it seems – but given the plethora of acronyms – I spent that time writing up this entry.
Also Wed. Lecture #16 by Harold Idesus, founder & head of Rosemont College. From Poland, now Ukraine; parent’s home language was Yiddish. 1st generation SA. Not an academic, not an expert. Legal background. Economics and politics a strong interest. worked in kibbutz in Israel.
Rosemont College – a private gr 10-12 high school – is attracting more students from throughout Africa. English learning is an issue.
* Land Tax – forced (successful) farmers off the land to become laborers for mines. (Would confiscate land if taxes not paid.)
* Corruption becomes part of economic structure. One must join in to survive.
* SA has not moved from resource development to manufacturing.
* no coherent economic policy.
* National Development Plan (NDP)
* Education is highly funded; results are the lowest.
bureaucratic desire to show good data
low teacher quality; challenging home settings;
* Poor record of creating jobs
* 3 teacher unions; no classroom evaluation observations.
* R130 Billion trade with U.S.; RSA has surplus R18.
The presentation was oral, and random, and quite interactive – so the notes reflect this, and aren’t very coherent, or perhaps meaningful. Oh well.
Seminar – teacher committee discussing economics and government
LUNCH – ate here. talked to the school security guard.
Kay’s Lesson – resources for follow up.
*Political cartoons. Zapiro; Madam and Eve
TACOS: Time (occasion); Action (what is happening); Caption;
Objects (list items you can identify); Summary (message)
*Brainstorm Lessons for preamble, National Anthem, Bill of Rights
“Amandla: Revolution in Four Part Harmony”
Travel Abroad Opportunities for Teachers – handouts (2013)