Roundtable Series

Issue Twelve - October 2009 - Planning our Future: SA 2025
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Oct 2009
The Helen Suzman Foundation hosted a lively panel discussion at the Rosebank Hotel on the 14 October 2009. Former HSF Director Raenette Taljaard chaired the discussion and the panel made up of Neren Rau (CEO Sacci); Aubrey Matshiqi (independent analyst), Azar Jammine (Econometrics) and William Gumede (independent analyst) provided thought provoking and substantive comment. The discussion covered two new Green Papers: National Strategic Planning and Improving Government Performance, submitted by Trevor Manuel and Collins Chabane respectively.
Issue Eleven - April 2009 - Paying the Piper: Regulating Party Funding in South African Politics
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Apr 2009
The election campaign for the fourth democratically elected Government and Parliament of the Republic of South Africa has been one of the most expensive in our history. As our political parties spawn new market entrants into the party political space and others grow and consolidate their financial needs magnify accordingly. In terms of existing laws and regulations, particularly the fund established in accordance with the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Fund Act.
Issue Ten- March 2009 - Electoral Economics in the eye of a global storm
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Mar 2009
South Africa’s economic policy landscape has experienced one global financial crisis before. It emanated from Asia in the early 1990s, uncomfortably coinciding with our country’s transition to democracy at a time when a new administration had to win the hearts and minds, and confidence, of the global economy and international investors. The response to this crisis, the fiscal austerity of the Growth, Employment and Redistribution Strategy (GEAR) adopted by the South African government in 1996, was, and remains, a controversial policy response. It caused significant strain within the tripartite alliance, despite there clearly being very little domestic policy room amid a deepening crisis that engulfed all emerging markets and confronted a new government with no economic-policy track record with immediate and complex questions.
Issue Nine - December 2008 - Protecting and Defending our Constitution
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Dec 2008
The longevity of founding documents, declarations and constitutions are the preserve of all citizens who care about the ethos that inspires the societies they inhabit, and it lies in a complex process of internalising the visionary values of these social contracts and acting, and structuring our actions and our words, every day, to further the ideals espoused in them.
Issue Eight - November 2008 - Courts in a Crucible?
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Nov 2008
The past year has been a challenging one for South Africa’s judiciary. It has been both the object and subject of much political controversy. Judges have been in the spotlight of controversy, senior political leaders of various affiliations have brazenly and calculatedly attacked the judiciary under the guise of legitimate criticism and judges themselves have acted in ways that have posed new challenges for the judiciary as a whole (with a judge of the High Courts and the justices of the Constitutional Court at loggerheads). The situation has furthermore posed challenges for the operation and procedures of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and the concept of judicial misconduct and for the manner in which the public view the judiciary, the legitimacy of the courts and the justness of rulings from the bench.
Issue Seven - July 2008 - Electoral Reform and Responsive Representation
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Jul 2008
The Helen Suzman Foundation thought it prudent – with an election campaign mere months away – and the Electoral Task Teams’ call for a new mixed electoral system to be in place by 2009 to convene our second QRS this year to discuss Electoral Reform and Responsive Representation. The debate around electoral reform in South Africa has had a distinct journey with constitutional negotiators opting for a system of closed-list proportional representation at national and provincial levels of government with a mixed system at local government level.
Issue Six - April 2008 - Media Freedom
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Apr 2008
The Fourth Estate’s freedom requires eternal vigilance. The previous year – 2007 – has become etched in the South African memory as the year the media confronted various challenges and obstacles. These ranged from the controversial Film and Publications Amendment Bill to the litigation about the Sunday Times’ coverage of the Minister of Health and its aftermath which included some concerning developments with respect to the freedom of the press. These developments included the prospect of an arrest of the Editor of the Sunday Times and/or senior journalists, the statements published by key civil servants after a court order clearly and carefully sought to balance the Minister of Health's right to privacy and the public interest raising questions about their respect for the judiciary and the threat of government’s advertising revenue being withdrawn from the Sunday Times raised by the Minister in the Presidency, Essop Pahad. All these events increased the volume on the prospect of a new statutory regulatory body to be created – a Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT). This flurry of activity also sparked more debates when Koni Media launched a bid for then Johncom Ltd. (now Avusa Ltd).
Issue Five - December 2007 - The Final Stretch: Building up to Polokwane
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Dec 2007
It is a great honour for us to host the last of the Helen Suzman Foundation's Quarterly Roundtable Series for 2007. We're doing it at a rather opportune time, a few days before the kick-off, no pun intended, of the Polokwane Conference. We’ve asked some of the best and brightest analytical minds in our contemporary political environment to join us in a discussion on “The Final Stretch”. We literally are in the final stretch, and there are very interesting events emerging. We have Winnie Madikizela Mandela trying to broker agreements between the Mbeki and Zuma camps.
Issue Three - September 2007 - Future Politics: Change, coalitions or status quo?
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Sep 2007
Last year The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) started the Quarterly Roundtable Series. We aim to use this series to further public discourse on matters of national interest and national importance, and we have already hosted two roundtables. The first dealt with the impact of political culture on democratic institutions, and in the second, we looked at the review of Chapter Nine institutions.
Issue Two - March 2007 - Chapter Nines - Review, Reform or Reduction?
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Mar 2007
The Helen Suzman Foundation launched its Annual Quarterly Roundtable Series in 2006 aimed at stimulating debate on issues relevant to the future of democracy in South Africa and to explore matters related to politics and governance of South Africa. This Roundtable on the Review of Chapter Nine Institutions, currently in progress under the auspices of a parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy and the Public Service Commission chaired by Prof. Kader Asmal, MP, was convened to ensure that...
Issue One - December 2006 - The impact of political culture and traditions on democratic institutions and the consolidation of democracy
Author: Helen Suzman Foundation
Published: 01 Dec 2006
This is the first in The Helen Suzman Foundation’s new Quarterly Roundtable Series: The impact of political culture and traditions on democratic institutions and the consolidation of democracy. “There is a challenge confronting advocates of the values of tolerance and liberal constitutional democracy in all walks of life, in all political organisations and in all social movements. It is important to distinguish between those who wield political power for the common good and those who wield it for the sake of access to economic opportunity.”