20-22 June | Understanding taxation and state building in sub-Saharan Africa

The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, has developed a multi-year project on “Understanding tax reform and state building in Sub-Saharan Africa“. Currently in its second year, its purpose is to research taxation as an instrument for building state capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.

With their varied colonial and post-colonial histories and systems, and their diverse tax systems, Botswana, Cameroon, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria were selected as the case studies, and research partnerships with public servants, civil society activists, academics and others have been put in place. The creation of country profiles is under way, and forthcoming activities include this three-day workshop in Johannesburg, 20-22 June 2016.

23 June | South African Labour Bulletin Dialogue: New Labour Formations Unity, Cohesion or Fragmentation

The fragmentation of the trade union movement has incited debates in broader society and academia. Most of the views have been informed by superficial analysis, which is mainly driven by political expediency or poorly researched journalistic narratives. These accounts place emphasis on narrow factionalism and rhetorical public statements. There is a need to transcend these narratives, and develop a fact-based political debate on systemic causes of the crisis, and what opportunities these present for developing alternative models of trade union activism.

The South African Labour Bulletin and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) will provide a platform for this engagement by hosting a discussion on: “New labour formations: Unity, cohesion or fragmentation”?

28 June | How does socioeconomic transformation impact service delivery at the municipal level?

South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. Social cohesion and economic growth are key drivers for job creation, attracting investment and creating economic opportunities to help accelerate service delivery. The looming threat of junk status and political infighting ahead of the elections coupled with regular service delivery protests across the country has raised the stakes for local government to deliver on basic services.

How are political parties addressing socio-economic issues at a municipal level? How well or badly are local municipalities doing in addressing some of these challenges and what changes can we look forward to.

Democracy Works Foundation (DWF), in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa, invites you to it’s second Political Café. Join Nompumelelo Runji (independent analyst and author) in conversation with Shaka Sisulu (independent socio-political commentator), Marina Mayer (Economist and lecturer at Wits Business School) and Stewart Wilson (Director of SERI).

The Youth Vote and Local Elections

Young people especially those between ages 18-19 represent the lowest percentage of the population that is registered to vote with under 50% of young people below the age of 35 years on the voter’s roll. Is what is being witnessed among the youth merely a matter of voting apathy rather than political apathy?

That is the question that the Political Cafe, the first in a series hosted by Democracy Works Foundation at the Bannister hotel last Wednesday, sought to answer.

13-16 July | Vuyisile Mini Winter School 2016

The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University, which includes the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), will host its Vuyisile Mini Winter School 2016 in Grahamstown on 13-16 July 2015.

This winter school, which is named in honour of a hero of the South African labour movement and liberation struggle, will be aimed at trade union office bearers in the Eastern Cape. It will create a space in which all participants can engage critically with social democratic ideas, particularly as those pertain to the linking of social policy and labour market interventions.

The Millennial Dialogue | South Africa Survey Results 2016

The Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), in partnership with the Global Progressive Forum (GPF), recently commissioned a ground breaking study to better understand the political attitudes of young people, aged between 15 – 35 years in three African countries – Senegal, Mozambique and South Africa. Read the reports here.

21-22 July | Reviewing a decade of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership

In 2007, the EU-South Africa Strategic partnership was launched. Aimed at strengthening relations between the two, a number of high-level meetings took place under its rubric. Following the economic crisis of 2008, which is reshaping internal EU country relations as well as its relations with South Africa, and the growing emphasis on South-South solidarity by the Zuma administration, the strategic partnership is increasingly under pressure.

With this relationship reaching its first decade next year, the SARChI Chair: African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, are undertaking a review of the strategic partnership, particularly in understanding what makes it strategic for both the EU and South Africa, and how this has evolved in practice.

SAFm The Talkshop: Millennial Dialogue and Youth in Politics

Millennials are a decisive societal group in South Africa and the African continent at large. Young South Africans demand to be heard as citizens, as not only the protests at universities across the country have shown. At the same time, millennials are persistently believed to be politically disengaged and uninterested. On 20 May, the Millennial … Continue reading SAFm The Talkshop: Millennial Dialogue and Youth in Politics

5 Aug | Who Makes South Africa’s Foreign Policy?

In 2015, the SARChI Chair: African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, hosted a workshop entitled ‘Towards a Participatory Foreign Policy’, aimed at considering the role of a range of stakeholders in shaping South Africa’s foreign policy.

In building on these initial discussions, the SARChI Chair and FES are inviting research papers contributing analysis on the role of these stakeholders, and how these actors have shaped South African foreign policy over the course of the first two decades of democrac

8 June | South Africa – Zimbabwe relations in the context of China

This topic is borne out of, and seeks to be a continuation of the discussion generated in the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) successful 2015 workshop on SA-Zimbabwe relations, in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

China was mentioned by panelists and participants alike several times, in the context of analysing SA-Zimbabwe relations. It is clear that one cannot gain a comprehensive analysis of these regional relations, without including an analysis of both Zimbabwe’s, and South Africa’s, strong bilateral relationships with China, including the three-way dynamics and the regional and international dimensions.