HSF Briefs

Helen Suzman Foundation | Apr 08, 2015
Sorted by date
Transformation of the Legal Profession: Briefing Patterns in the Spotlight (Legal Aid)
Dec 04, 2015
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Kameel Premhid

This brief addresses transformation of the legal profession through the reformation of Legal Aid. This policy option may be unpopular in some quarters but could provide answers to the Bar’s problems. This brief is occasioned by correspondence between the author and a high-ranking official at Legal Aid, and demonstrates the need for radical policy thinking to address complex societal problems.

Transformation of the Legal Profession: Briefing Patterns in the Spotlight (Quotas)
Dec 04, 2015
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Kameel Premhid

The recent decision of the Johannesburg Society of Advocates to implement a quota in favour of black/female advocates is, no doubt, well-intentioned. The Bar remains one of South Africa’s most untransformed professions. However, quotas may not be the magical silver bullet. In the short-term, it may provide immediate redress. But, long-term challenges will be how to widen access to, and guarantee retention within, the profession.

South Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act II : The game of ‘chicken’ and calling our bluff
Dec 02, 2015
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Andrew Barlow

As part of the out of cycle review of South Africa’s eligibility under AGOA, a call for comments was included. The American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa (AmCham), the organisation that represents 250 US companies operating in SA, responded by detailing which issues were of concern to its members. In what follows, I consider at length the two most pressing issues raised by AmCham. I suggest that the poultry dispute has set a new and strong-armed precedent to economic relations between the two countries, and that our future under AGOA is far from certain.

South Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act I : Much ado about chicken
Dec 02, 2015
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Andrew Barlow

A fifteen-year poultry trade dispute between South Africa and the US came to a head recently. Relations thawed, and the US gave our government a 60-day ultimatum in which to remove trade barriers to US bone-in chicken cuts that have blocked them from the SA market since 2000. But US concerns over South Africa's future commitment to meeting eligibility criteria are not limited to trade. The protection of existing investment through the legal recognition of property rights, as well as the creation and conservation of an environment conducive to foreign investors, are at least as important to the US government. In this pair of briefs, I begin by analysing the context the ultimatum was delivered in. I look at the nature of Agoa and our commitments under it, I chart the history of the trade dispute, and I consider the grounds and motivations underlying each side's actions. In the second brief, I examine the two most pressing issues impeding our future inclusion under Agoa. I conclude that US patience has likely run dry, and our future eligibility is far from certain.

THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY: IV - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ECONOMIC PROGRAMME
Nov 17, 2015
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Andrew Barlow

The third brief in this series considered the economic programme of the SADC as it evolved since 2001. The original Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan has been revised recently, a Tripartite Free Trade Area has been launched, and a long-term economic strategy centred on industrial development and resource beneficiation has been approved. Discussing and evaluating the new economic trajectory that these changes signify is the subject of this final brief.

THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY: I - HISTORY TO 2001
Nov 17, 2015
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Andrew Barlow

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-state organisation based in Gaborone, Botswana that pursues a comprehensive regional integration agenda through both socio-economic and political cooperation. This year represents a turning point in the socio-economic programme of the Southern African Development Community. The launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area and a pivotal overhaul in socio-economic integration strategy make 2015 a seminal year in the evolution of the SADC and present a choice opportunity for an extended series of briefs. This is the first of four briefs. In it, I chart the history and development of the SADC from its inception in the regional liberation struggles of the 1960’s and 70’s. In the second, I explicate the institutional framework and decision-making structure of the organisation. In the third, I outline the many problems that the SADC has encountered in pursuing its economic integration agenda in the last decade. And in the fourth and last, I discuss what measures the SADC has taken this year to overcome these obstacles, and evaluate their prospects for success.