Social Justice and Transformation

Karel | Nov 20, 2018
The State Of The South African Refugee Protection Regime: Part I - Current Status
Tove van Lennep
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Oct 30, 2018

Once applauded by UNHCR’s Antonio Guterres as ‘one of the most advanced and progressive systems of refugee protection in the world’, the South African refugee regime has deteriorated beyond recognition.This brief - the first in a three-part series - explores the state of protection and what it means for asylum-seekers within our borders.

Class Action Law Suits in South Africa
Jade Weiner
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Mar 28, 2018

This brief considers the emerging legal field of class and group action law suits in South Africa. Previously uncommon and undefined in law, these cases are becoming more prevalent in the South African legal space.

Free Basic Services At The Municipal Level
Rafael Friedman
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Feb 13, 2018

On 30 September 2017, South African municipalities were collectively owed R143.6 billion by consumers, according to the latest National Treasury report on municipal finances. R101.6 billion of this amount was household debt. If consumer debt is limited to below 90 days, then the actual realistically collectable amount is estimated at R22.9 billion.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE I - DEFINITIONAL ISSUES
Charles Simkins
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Jun 29, 2017

This is the first brief in a series of three. It deals with definitional issues. The second brief will be an annotated bibliography of international comparative data on domestic violence, and the third will look specifically at the situation in South Africa

Radical Socio-Economic Transformation, State Procurement and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2017

This brief by Charles Collocott deals with 3 inter-related topics and highlights the fact that the field is difficult to navigate because of a complicated set of rules which apply to black economic empowerment. It also points out that some of these rules often do not advance the interests of black participants and that an already complicated situation is further muddled by troublesome issues such as incompetence and corruption in the state’s procurement process.

Why the Hate Speech Bill should be withdrawn
Richard Griffin
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Feb 01, 2017

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) recommends that the Hate Speech Bill should be withdrawn in its entirety. In this brief, Richard Griffin, summarises the HSF’s submission to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development regarding the Bill.

WHEN JUDGES DO METAPHYSICS: Some concerns about the Tshwane street-naming case
Matthew Kruger
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Aug 10, 2016

In this brief, Matthew Kruger considers the majority judgment of the Chief Justice in the recent Tshwane street-naming case. Whilst acknowledging that morally-speaking the decision is probably correct, he expresses concern over the finding that people "must embrace the African philosophy of ubuntu" for them to be truly South African.

BETWEEN DOUBT AND CERTAINTY: Reflections on the state of our public discourse
Matthew Kruger
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May 24, 2016

For some time now our public discourse has been dominated by public intellectuals and other commentators whose opinions are characterised by a shrill, self-righteous certainty. In this brief, Matthew Kruger reflects on these issues, pleading for those who shape public debate to write with the kind of self-reflective humility that is possessed by those who are aware of their own limitations—who are aware of the possibility that they might be wrong.

REFLECTING ON THE CRIMINAL REGULATION OF MARIJUANA: Cancer, drugs and the long arm of the law
Matthew Kruger
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Mar 08, 2016

On more than one occasion Helen Suzman spoke out against arbitrary and abusive laws criminalising the production and use of marijuana. In this series of briefs, we revisit these issues in three parts. In the first brief, Matthew Kruger provides some context, by commenting on the prosecution of a married couple for their production and personal use of medical marijuana. He also explores the neglected value of freedom, explaining that sometimes the state can only fulfill its duty to respect and protect our rights by leaving us alone. In the second brief, Arvitha Doodnath considers the science relating to and social impact of marijuana and debunks some common myths. The series concludes with Kimera Chetty considering how we should go about regulating actions that do in fact negatively affect the interests of others, but whose criminal prohibition would also cause harm to individuals and the community.

What's in a name?
Arvitha Doodnath
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Mar 08, 2016

This brief deals with marital surname changes of women

Regulating Race-Related Expression: Outlining a conceptual framework
Matthew Kruger
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Jan 26, 2016

Discussions about issues relating to race are often marred by little awareness of some of the more important differences between different forms of race-related expression. The conflation of concepts tends to generate much unnecessary disagreement on important practical and policy-related issues. With this in mind, I try to do three things in this three-part brief. First, I distinguish three forms of race-related expression: hate-speech, racism and hatred. Second, I outline how the Constitution deals with efforts to regulate each form of expression. Third, I consider four hypothetical examples of race-related expression, for the sake of illustrating the conceptual framework outlined in Part I of this brief, and suggesting how each might be regulated in a manner that is consistent with the points made in Part II of this brief.

THE SOCIOLOGY OF ROMANTICISM
Charles Simkins
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Jan 12, 2016

Charles Simkins explores the Sociology of Romanticism in the context of Ferial Haffajee's book "What if there were no whites in South Africa?".

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

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)
Kameel Premhid
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Dec 04, 2015

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.

Plus ça Change, Plus c’est la Même Chose…?
Chris Pieters
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Oct 13, 2014

A considered view into the rights of persons in the context of South African common law over the last century, with emphasis placed on women's rights under the various systems.

Barnard Case - a Missed Opportunity
Kameel Premhid
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Sep 17, 2014

The recent judgment of the Constitutional Court (CC) in the matter of South African Police Service v Solidarity obo Barnard [2014] ZACC 23 is noteworthy, not for what the application managed to achieve but, rather, for what it failed to.

The Distribution of Income and the Distribution of Wealth in South Africa Part 1 - The Facts
Charles Simkins
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Sep 01, 2014

To the lay mind, wealth and income often mean more or less the same thing. For economists, the terms are distinct. Wealth is the sum of all your assets less your liabilities and is a stock concept. Income is a flow and refers to what you receive in a given period, say a year. They are related, because income less consumption is an addition to wealth and wealth creates an entitlement to income in the form of interest, dividends, property rentals and the like, which form a component of income, alongside earnings and transfers (such as social grants).

Report back: Roundtable on Equity and Redress
Amy Meyer
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Feb 11, 2014

The first 2014 Roundtable on Equity and Redress took place on February 6th. The event was chaired by the director of the Helen Suzman Foundation, Francis Antonie, and featured Lindiwe Mazibuko, Songezo Zibi and Eusebius McKaiser. This brief summarises some of the main themes of the evening.

Report back: The NDP Roundtable
Luke von der Heyde
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Nov 07, 2013

This brief provides a summary of the HSF’s recent roundtable on the National Development Plan.

NDP: The relationship between Youth and SMEs
Eythan Morris
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Aug 16, 2013

This brief analyses youth involvement in, and its relationship to, the Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) sector within the boundaries of the National Development Plan (NDP).

A Long Walk To Universal Franchise In South Africa
Ashleigh Fraser
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Jun 03, 2013

Recently, there has been a debate in the media about universal franchise. This brief outlines the history of the franchise in South Africa before Union (1910) until complete universal adult franchise in 1994.

Sexual offences in South Africa
Wim Louw
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Apr 25, 2013

This article presents some information on the problem of sexual offences, particularly against women, in South Africa. It also outlines government’s response to this problem. This brief represents preliminary research in the HSF’s broader project: Women in Society.

Inclusive growth: The answer to our equality prayers?
Eythan Morris
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Apr 10, 2013

Inclusive growth is a term which has been and continues to be applied to describe the way forward for the South African economy. This Brief aims to interpret inclusive growth in conjunction with our future aims as stated in the National Development Plan (NDP) and the current growth path experienced.